Written by Raisinberry
If you had success once in Mary Kay, you can have it again, right? You keep drawing on that one positive experience to tell yourself that it can be done again.
There is a joke in my family about how lousy my coffee is. I have had many years to perfect a simple pot of coffee, but there is over a 95% chance that the pot I make this morning will suck. It will make no difference to me however that this morning’s brew will make my tongue curl up and my taste buds scream. Because I will make another pot tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow after that. Why?
Because I made an absolutely great pot of coffee once. The memory lingers and I am still using exactly the same water and the same coffee. Someday the correct measurements of coffee to water will return, and I will be smelling the aroma of that gloriously wonderful, rich and creamy, breakfast blend… and I will smile.
You know I can tie this simple event to Mary Kay, don’t you? Scary. It occurred to me listening to the sound of the drip, drip, drip into the clear decanter that this is why so many of us stayed in Mary Kay, long past the obvious signs of futility surfaced.
It worked once before! It really did. We did the work, the work panned out, the work produced results, the work got us recognition and accolades and a ribbon or bee pencil, and we believed. If you can do it once you can do it twice. Sometimes you could do it 10 times a year!
Ten times a year, where you made $400 or $500 in sales during a week of bookings that actually held is a business, isn’t it? Oh the feeling of pulling off $100 from a telephone reorder! The bliss of a referral! The joy in finding an orphaned customer! Mary Kay works when you do!
I think in 1963 when ladies were not working actual jobs outside the home, the excitement of a few hundred dollars had to be elating. If a 1970’s woman could make ten times $400, or $4,000 in sales over the year, yippee! Welcome to Disney World!
Times have changed. But one thing remains the same and that is human nature. We are rationalizing creatures. Today is you are able to make a perfect week in Mary Kay a reality, selling $1,000 in product or more, you can trick yourself into believing that big weeks are the norm and that your business is making money.
Even Mary Kay Ash once made a statement to the effect that she didn’t really think her consultants needed to be money savvy. Nope… no need to balance the books or get an accurate picture. You make $1 for every $2 you sell, and that should tell you all you need to know.
So, as long as you made one really good week in Mary Kay, you can hang on and hang on and hang on waiting for another great week to return. You are using the same ingredients, and it’s just the “formula” that needs perfecting. If you could get them to hold, get them to answer the phone, get them to return a call, get them to remember to ask guests, get them to stop saying, “you don’t have to buy anything”, you will have all the perfect measurements to hit it big once more.
It has been referred to as intermittent rewards, as Mary Kay is like an addictive behavior, such as a gambling addiction. “It paid off before, just keep punching in those coins and maybe just maybe my lucky number will come up”. As in gambling, like Mary Kay, the house always wins. As long as you refuse to evaluate your behavior and continue to order product you aren’t selling, baited by wholesale prizes and area contests, and always thinking out ahead to the “day” when you can get that perfect week to happen once more, you are trapped in a belief system that denies the reality you live in daily, in favor of a future reenactment of the past!
Let’s say you do duplicate your “perfect start.” Since those sales were found from your warm market who wanted you to succeed and were willing to help you, the next 15 faces will have no such motivation. Face that a minute.
Your original success was largely slanted in your favor due to the generosity of your friends and family. When the hunt for customers begins in earnest, it is a battle of trying to get people you meet in a mall, class, or by referral to care enough about you to hold the appointment or introduce you to others. This is where the road gets rocky and the sales slow down and become intermittent. But you have your Perfect start week to keep you warm!
Honesty requires that you look at your sales from Month 3 in the business. Real customers. What did you sell? $819 for the month? $500? $1200? How many new bookings? Or did you find that your director began the push in earnest for you to recruit, which misdirects you off selling into full blown interviewing guest event frenzy?
Now you aren’t thinking about sales, you are not selling much, and you are interviewing and asking guests. YEA! You get a recruit, maybe two, maybe three! And all your focus shifts to CARS and RED JACKETS.
Oops. Its Month end. You gotta order, don’t you? Speed of the leader and all. Consistency Club, Star Consultant, Contest Dujour.
And here facing you is that terrible pot of coffee. It smells bad, it is painful to take in, it is bitter. You believe because it worked before it can work again and all you have to do is “more” next month. You will not evaluate. What was your actual profit when you worked at the level you were most excited about? The realistic month where family did not prop up your business?
How much debt did you incur to maintain the face of success? If you sold $2,000, your 40% was $800, and from there subtract meeting fee, and the monthly portion of year long expenses…including INTEREST on your credit card, wear and tear on your car, lunches out with prospects, apparel, added grooming costs to be more slammin’ than ever and what you see is how positively unprofitable selling Mary Kay is, and how positively heinous recruiting for Mary Kay is.
And here is the reality check: out of hundreds of thousands of consultants, each Seminar has a few hundred in the Queens Court of Sales, selling $40,000 retail (supposedly) or more. Two thousand women out of nearly a million who PROFITED $16,000 BEFORE EXPENSES for the year! The top of the top. The Crème de la crème.
What percentage of successful consultants is 1,500 out of 500,000 in the U.S.? (Hint: Not even close to 1%) And we already know that many of those, only ordered to hit $40k… they didn’t “sell” to hit $40k. Almost no one in Mary Kay makes a living from product sales. Please let that sink in.
Possibilities are a wonderful thing to entertain in your mind and motivate your soul. Anything can happen and belief in what is possible has moved women to greatness.
The thing is, when the evidence and experience aligns to tell you that what you see and what you are doing is NOT producing a return to a previous expectation, it IS time to evaluate. Wasn’t it Mary Kay herself who said that to continue to do something the same way, expecting difference results is a form of insanity?
Let’s not let an addiction to intermittent results, blind us from seeing the overall picture. Let’s not be afraid of reality. And certainly, let’s not continue to do something that is draining our resources and self esteem, all in the hopes of finding that “secret” formulation that up to now has eluded our grasp, especially in light of the evidence that painfully few are really achieving it!
I am heading out to get a new coffee maker. The way God uses metaphor in my life, I have a sneaking suspicion that my pot was made in 1963 and sucks up the water I put into it, baiting me to try again. It spits out a cup I can swallow but am never satisfied with, and I am no longer willing to waste my time on a wish, when the overwhelming evidence tells me there is a better way to get a perfect cup. There are too many variables (sometimes it drips a pot full…sometimes 2 cups) and too many attempts have shown me that, the day that perfect cup returns, I will know even less about how it was achieved than I do now. So goes the intermittent rewards of the Mary Kay marketing plan.