Life as a Top Director in Mary Kay

Written by Kate

I wanted to give everyone at Pink Truth the perspective of a “higher up” director. At my peak, I had over 1,000 in my downline, and 9 offspring directors. I was high up on the “food chain” for a while, but never felt good about my position.

I am one of those people who have honestly made over $100,000 in a year, and I could show you my 1099s to prove it. However, I was torn as a director, because I watched my own directors struggle, and watched my consultants go into debt. I never once ever asked my team to order for me. I always said don’t order unless you need products, and don’t order limited edition items. I let them know in advance when things were changing, and truly cared about my team.

However, I cheated myself. I signed up friends and family to get them qualified to meet requirements, and I never felt right about any of it. Everyone has done things that are less than honest to move up – even the ones who seem to be so successful and so squeaky clean.

When I brought this up with my upline, I was given the “everyone does this” or “make it happen” routine. I sold my soul, and looking back, my spiritual life suffered greatly. I needed the money to provide for my family, I was good at what I did.

Because I was good at it, it made it harder to see clearly. I wanted desperately to stay home with my kids, and this was my drive to succeed – being able to attend their field trips and be home for them when they were sick. I didn’t care about the cars, the fancy outfits, or the jewelry. I just wanted to be a Mom.

Yes, I was one of those “evil” directors lurking at every corner trying to get you to order… but not really. I was a director who was running 90 miles an hour just to keep the balls in the air. Please know, no one was honest with me, and when I tried to get my questions answered… I was considered negative.

I was so confused through this process, and was working so hard, I never had time to think. I was raising a busy family, taking care of over 900 consultants, doing parties, my own marketing, my own bookwork and taxes, keeping women happy (which by the way is impossible), and trying to keep corporate and my upline happy, and traveling the world with my MLM smile on… recruiting and selling. I never had time to think it through as I was exhausted. Everyone was patting me on the back and telling me how amazing I was, and it was hard to slow down to see clearly.

Directors are human. Directors only have 24 hours a day. Directors are told what to do and they do it hoping to reach the dream, and at the end of the day, they put their head to the pillow, and they never did enough. Directors have women mad at them all of the time because they never did it all “right.” Didn’t decorate correctly for the unit meeting, didn’t say the right thing to the new consultant, didn’t dress accordingly, didn’t properly deal with unit personality problems, didn’t stay in touch with me when I quit.

You suddenly realize there is not enough time in the day to stay connected with your working team, do your own classes, coach your hostesses, present the marketing plan, love your family and the people who quit as well… it would be impossible. There is only one of you to go around.

I can’t tell you how many times people were mad at me because I was not a “true” friend, and didn’t stay in touch after they quit. Let me tell you, I stayed friends with many women who left Mary Kay, and I respected their decision because I truly cared. However, it’s just impossible to stay in touch with hundreds who come in and out yearly. Impossible.

When people quit other jobs, I wonder if they expect the boss to stay in touch with them and be buddies? I guess I see it as a business, and “schmoozing” is part of sales. Am I wrong? Just a thought. So, if you are a consultant who has been “dumped” and you are mad at your director? If you were in my unit, I apologize from my heart. I just couldn’t keep up.

I have learned so much, and I am sorry if I learned it at your expense. It was never my intention. I just didn’t understand the web I was getting into when I started, and the “executive income for part time hours” seemed so wonderful. I wanted to believe it was true. In the end, I didn’t lose money, but lost other valuable things along the way.

Thanks Pink Truth for being my therapy. You have saved me thousands of dollars not having to go to therapy, and I appreciate all of the women on this site. The truth will always set you free and I am truly free today.

To all of the directors out there… Take time away from the MLM literature, self help books, and phone calls and e-mails, and take some time for quiet talks with God. You will find your truth when it is your time.


  1. raisinberry

    I still say, the whole “never be negative” and refusal of the company or sales force to address and listen to “negativity” is nothing more than a ruse to keep the sales force, especially the upper sales force in isolation. The reason why is simple. When we get together, and speak the truth, we all start to suddenly see that what we were sold is a pie in the sky scenario that was designed to keep us on the wheel, churning out production, chasing the dangling carrots of our National Sales Directors. We never knew WE WERE ALL IN DEBT, being held there by intermittent reward checks that seem to suggest we COULD get out of debt, if we just did more. Only the MLM yo-yo of non stop representative turnover, ALWAYS returns the recruiter back to a former starting point and the cycle repeats. Meanwhile, our NSD’s and Corporate glean their earnings off our DEBT.

    NO ONE IN MARY KAY TRACKS RETAIL SALES. Get that through your head, lurker.
    Nobody CARES if your business is profitable! They do not REWARD that!
    It is your ordering, excessive ordering for non sense contests and benchmarks, and your SILENCE about difficulties that has kept thousands upon thousands of women stuck to the production hamster wheel, drowning.

    So, while this writer has come to repentance, nevertheless, her JOB was to be indifferent to the reality of what she was selling to On Targets, Red jackets, DIQ’s…and that is this: I make money, LOTS of IT, by tricking other women into believing that some day they will arrive where I am and be able to pay off the mountain of DEBT they amassed playing “mary kay”.

  2. Char

    “I am one of those people who have honestly made over $100,000 in a year, and I could show you my 1099s to prove it. However, I was torn as a director, because I watched my own directors struggle, and watched my consultants go into debt.”

    That is the moral of the story, isn’t it. How do people acquire money when they do MLM e.g., Mary Kay?

    What if I told you I made 100k last year selling drugs, robbing banks, or selling cigarettes to minors, etc. because I needed the money? Would the 100k still sound impressive and make you want to do the same? What if I was an honest drug dealer, or a nice thief? Make it okay? Umm, no.

    It must be recognized and accepted that MLM is an inherently flawed method, a fraud based on lies. That is where we need to be – black and white. You either are a scammer errr… MLMer, or you aren’t.

    I’m glad the author has seen the light. Full credit to learning from a bad experience and sharing her story here. We all make mistakes. However, let’s try and stop people before the mistake happens. Before people like the author get sucked in.

    Let’s also hope she is no longer supporting this scam in any way, shape, or form, including using products or keeping a customer base. Otherwise, she is essentially only stealing a little bit – instead of a lot. Stealing is stealing, and MLMing is MLMing. No sugarcoating it. It is what it is – a fraudulent business model that requires you to financially harm people below you.

    ……”and watched my consultants go into debt.”!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. BestDecision

    All the self-help books! The faces of our yard sale customers as I emptied my collection of them was hilarious. I know they must’ve thought I was his poor, beaten soul (which I was!).

  4. cindylu

    Thank goodness for a few directors who are brave enough to walk away and make sure other women know the truth. Once I realized that I would often be away from my children I knew that MK was fake. My own director was stuck as a SD for over twenty years. Her husband and children were stuck carrying this selfish narcissistic woman. At no time did my SD help others unless she profited. Many women ordered product that was discontinued weeks later. We ordered those unpleasant smelling Christmas perfumes that no one wanted. The men’s products were a joke.

  5. Heather

    Does that $100,000 isn’t account for expenses, such as the amount of product you bought, the amount you paid to “earn” your director position, gas, mail, rewards, leadership/convention tickets, dues, and other fees? I’ve never been in a MLMer, but usually there’s little earned after balancing the outgoings and ingoings.

    “I have learned so much, and I am sorry if I learned it at your expense. It was never my intention. I just didn’t understand the web I was getting into when I started…”
    That’s a non-apology. Also, you might not have known about the game when you came in as a consultant, but you certainly new once you started fibbing to help yourself rise in the ranks. It sounds like you were a director for quite a while and ensnared other women in the web that you kept spinning. Believe me, I get it, but there’s not a lot of wiggle room here.

    Society puts too much pressure on women to be perfect homemakers, endearing mothers, beautiful, thin wives, and amazing workers. It’s impossible for anyone to meet those standards that are never heaped on men in the same way. I hope things are going better for you now!

Comments are closed.