Breathing Again After Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

I used to look forward to Labor Day as a “real” excuse NOT to call potential models, and NOT have to do my Monday meeting. In my Mary Kay days, I would be exhausted from the end of the month. At the end of each month, I would be praying for the month to turn around, recruiting like crazy, warm chatting, doing phone interviews, promoting end of the year contests, making new flyers and newsletters, emailing like crazy, and oh yes, praying for the month to turn around.

Although we were still early in the seminar year, I was worried that I was not going to meet the goal AGAIN this year. One more year in nosebleed at Seminar, one more year of not living up to my potential, one more time across the nsd awards banquet stage as a non-top director, one more year with a unit of non-worker bees.

But, that was okay so long as I could look at myself in the mirror and know for certain at least I had done my part. There was constant fear, always there, sometimes palpable, and sometimes just a sensation I tried to ignore. Fear that I was not doing all I could, I was not working my business full circle, I was not an effective leader, I was letting everyone down, and I was giving God nothing to bless in my business, fear that I could not pay my bills.

As directors, our ability to pay our bills depends a lot on you, dear consultants. And when you don’t order, we don’t have commission checks. We have our own sales of course, but many times, we are so busy trying to recruit (easier money) that we tend to neglect our personal businesses, and $100 here and there doesn’t cut it. And we are busy. Busy busy busy. Always on the go, always looking for those sharp women we asked God to put in our path. The stress is incredible. Checking production, figuring out our checks, seeing if it comes close to matching our bills, continuing to pray. Looking at our sister BFF directors and wonder how they do it, and why can’t we?

The end of the month was “exciting.” Kind of. Staying by the phone or the computer, or meeting a new consultant on the last day for the inventory talk and hoping she had a credit card with some room. By the last day, or even the last week, we knew exactly how many newbies it would take, and what their inventory total would need to be to get a “decent” check. But not really exciting, because most of the time we’d never make that goal.

I wonder if there are any directors out there who face the end of the month and honestly ask themselves if the inventory decision is in their best interest or in the newbie’s best interest. Probably not, because it’s hard to sell from an empty wagon, and we certainly don’t want to set someone up for failure. Or that’s what we tell ourselves, anyway.

As I look back, I wonder, too, about the directors in my area who have been in Mary Kay for 25, 30, 35 years. They are not nsd’s and some are too old to even try anymore. They seem to get stuck at FESD or ESD. They have been in and out of cars and unit clubs. They have had units of 50 and 250, and they carry on. Their blouse colors change frequently as the directors in their downline come and go during the year. Year after year after year.

The process of churning goes on and on, over and over and over. When I mentioned this futility to a friend, she suggested that these women must just really like being in Mary Kay. That is probably true, and I also think they must have other resources available to “help” with the not so good months, not so large units, and inevitable downturns.

So, Labor Day is very different for me after Mary Kay. Soon after I quit, it felt like I had surgery without anesthesia. Now I think of Mary Kay without much emotion. And then there are little things, like not thinking about what kind of Mary Kay month I will have. A holiday is enjoyed as a break from everything, and there isn’t the drama, stress, and worry about how this time I will make my MK goals for the month. September will be just another month. One in which I can enjoy the days and the evenings, garden, read, bbq, anything I want or feel like doing. Like breathe.


  1. BestDecision

    Trip Directors doing half that the next year or losing Cadillacs, 20-40 years of being in and still not a Trip or NSD, and bee pins and rings that don’t result in offspring or lasting reward.

    All of those examples are very common in MK. We were taught success is “for the few that choose” and “not just for the few”. It’s a lie! The large percentage of the sales force will never even become Directors (99% according to Dacia Wiegandt), and few of them become Cadillac Directors. Far fewer go on Trips, and a minuscule amount become NSDs.

    Labor Day, among many days, are days I now breathe. I don’t make booking calls or text people at night or on weekends. I don’t mail samples and hope people meet me on Facebook. It was all wasted time, and I gave my heart & soul to MK with nothing to show for it. Had I stayed in my career those years, I’d be much farther along now—not to mention more money in the bank and a lot less doubting myself or trying to mimic the latest superstar.

    1. pinkblacksheep

      The culmination of my Director’s career was when she went to 2018 Seminar as a trip winner for the 1st time, ranked 14 in Ruby, 4 offspring directors.

      By November of 2019 she has dropped to Premiere Club (after 20 years of Cadillacs, she doesn’t do copays) and took the cash to buy a Suburban.

      Wonder if she even made Unit Club.

      The end is near.

      1. J

        Interesting how in the land of jobs/corporate world we don’t worry constantly about being CEO one day, dropping down to manager, then a few dark months as an assistant before we rally ourselves to get back to CEO—only to fall short and land as VP (all within the same company).

        Glad to be out of that mess of peacocking with only one feather.

      2. BestDecision

        I know former Trip winners that dropped below Cadillac afterwards. They’re beaten down with the “They didn’t work hard enough” excuse. That’s exactly what so many of us felt on here because a finish line of a year, a quarter, or a month always started over. You truly never could enjoy your accomplishment because it was wiped away at midnight!

  2. Char

    Imagine going through everything SuzyQ describes in the article only to find out:

    – None of it was for your business, as being an MLMer isn’t owning your business.
    – You were involved in an endless-chain recruiting scam.
    – All that “work” was only helping to perpetrate the con.
    – You had a goal to be an NSD who is in cahoots with an MLM (scam) company. Ewww.
    – Your contributions of lying about the “opportunity” and ALL THAT ORDERING made Mary Kay Inc. billions, not you.

    Is participating in a con game, with a commission kickback, worth your soul……regardless of how hard you work at it?

    Lurkers will say, “It’s not a scam. I’m involved in a real opportunity.” Please be reminded of the difference between blatant thievery and a “confidence trick” aka “con job”.

    It is the con woman’s job to convince you to WILLINGLY hand over your money. They gain your confidence, and they trick you into thinking the “opportunity” is legitimate. The more certain you are that it is not a scam, the more skilled the con artist is. Funny how that works.

    To begin exposing their lies to you, start by asking:

    Is Mary Kay an MLM company? It is an undeniable fact that it is, but will they lie to you? If they lie, pay attention to what “training” is. Is it about reselling product, or about “building a team”?

    The answer is so easy, it’s scary. But, create an illusion around the con game, and it almost seems real. That is, as mentioned, how a confidence trick works.

  3. Cindylu

    Enjoying Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and all Holidays. No failed Open Houses, no ignoring children while warm stalking, no endless meetings and no more lying. Now I can enjoy family gatherings. I also don’t have a room full of unsellable products cluttering up my home. I can save money on gas, shipping costs, samples, credit card fees, seminar costs and advertising or business cards that seldom work. Best of all my husband and family are overjoyed that I got a real job with real benefits and still had time for others.

  4. ragtopcutlas

    Once upon a time (many years ago) I was told I would make an awesome director. I laughed and was assured the person speaking was knowledgable. I laughed again & informed the speaker that I could not motivate employees making $16.00 an hour, paid holidays and sick leave, plus insurance. I have learned some motivation techniques since that time. I told my employees last Friday to have a wonderful, long weekend & to remember to return to work this am. Everyone showed up today. We all agreed the weekend was too short but it was really nice to have a paid holiday.

    You are exactly right, Cindylu. I enjoy all my holidays and my family. Bonus is a great job with real benefilts.

  5. NayMKWay

    “Looking at our sister BFF directors and wonder how they do it, and why can’t we?”

    But of course it’s now clear: none of them were doing it either; everyone was faking it but never making it.

    “Soon after I quit, it felt like I had surgery without anesthesia.”

    I would imagine it’s the fear of experiencing that that keeps so many in, despite the futility of it all. It’s pretty hard to walk away from something you’ve invested decades into, even though it’s obvious you aren’t getting anywhere.

    Change requires bravery, and I salute all those here who did the brave thing and got out.


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