Negative Motivation in Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

Dream Big! Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss you will land among the stars! Show up to Go Up! Believe and You will achieve! Act enthusiastic and you will become enthusiastic! Whatever you say you will do, do it if you have to move heaven and earth!

Back in the day w could get a Mary Kay “Words of Wisdom” calendar with something like a $400 wholesale order. It was a virtual smorgasbord of gems and jewels to foster positive motivation. One of the sayings: “Failure is an inevitable, necessary and useful part of being successful. Actually we learn more from failing than from succeeding because failure impresses us with what we did not do, and it impresses us more memorably than succeeding.”

It appears to me that our NSDs have taken that gem to heart… the power of impressing in us what we did not do – at least in my national area.

It started with the posting of who was attending Seminar or Career Conference in the newsletter. The idea was to publicly embarrass sales directors for deciding not to participate. Sales directors in turn, posted the unit members who were attending, in hopes that all those whose names did not appear would register immediately. The power of being left out… of being the only one who didn’t help, or achieve or participate looms large overhead.

By having everyone know you hadn’t made the commitment to attend, you were revealing how you weren’t a team player, or worse, were not committed to leadership. Emails would come out daily announcing all those who did not sign up. Or, a different slant would be, “These are the women who are committed to their business..” When asking for a reply, the national would email, “These are the women I have not heard from.”

It must have been a powerful guilt producer, this negative motivation, because the newsletter started posting not just the Top Ten Units, but all the Units, the Director’s personal order (or lack thereof), and her recruits (or lack thereof) and Unit recruits (or of course, lack thereof). It became pretty clear that everyone was going to know if you were struggling or “not helping” the national area.

Whether an area was winning an exotic trip for their national, or a 15% increase, or Inner Circle, you didn’t want to be the unit that didn’t produce! You didn’t want to be the unit that lost it for your national. You didn’t want to be the director that didn’t help her finish!

All those lovely positive motivational calendar quips go flying out the window in the face of the powerfully moving impression of failure. Negative motivation is just one more tool in the bag of manipulation tricks held by the sales directors and the nationals. It is designed to get us to pony up the resources to save face. Mission accomplished: complete control!!!

Shoot for the moon! And if you miss… better hope it is not in the newsletter.

8 Comments

  1. NewFreedom2018

    Our director would put our monthly wholesale orders in our unit newsletter. In my case, it lead to competition and resentment. I felt like other consultants were doing “something right” that just wasn’t happening for me.

  2. Lazy Gardens

    This works, but only if you analyze the cause or causes of the failure and correct the conditions that led to it. “Failure is an inevitable, necessary and useful part of being successful. Actually we learn more from failing than from succeeding because failure impresses us with what we did not do, and it impresses us more memorably than succeeding.”

    When Starbucks outlets were struggling because of too many outlets after the initial boom, they CLOSED some of them to let the others survive. But a consultant will be to to redouble her recruiting efforts to succeed.

  3. Not a bot

    ‘Believe and you will achieve’. This sounds like one of those positive thinking phrases that leave out facts and reality. You can’t build a house out of thin air. You can’t build a profitable business if you have a product that a lot of people are selling and very few want to buy. No amount of will power or work will produce results (at least not the results that are worth while for the amount of effort put into it).

    I’ve never been in MK, but how do people justify the cost of conferences and all the other costs. It is a lot of time and money spent for the ‘extras’.

    1. MLM Radar

      You’re led to believe that the tools and instruction you need for success will be presented at the conference.

      “Can’t afford to go? That’s exactly why you need to go.”

      But the only thing you really get from the conference is encouragement to suppress your rational thinking, find a way to place a big order, and recruit more friends.

      Oh yes, you also are told to do kindergarten art, such as crayon on your pillowcase (keep your MK dreams in your dreams), paint butcher paper with discontinued MK makeup and dance across the stage in a line with pink paper plates representing Caddy steering wheels.

      If you’re expecting serious instruction you’ll be disappointed.

  4. enorth

    “how do people justify the cost of conferences and all the other costs”

    I listened to a FB live where the SD said you can always borrow the money or sell things in your house you no longer want.

    “positive thinking phrases”

    They’re full of them. Manifest your success, cast your vision, name it and claim it, speak it to the universe. They are all brainwashed by reading too many self-development books.

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