An Ex- Mary Kay Director Tells How She Lost Her Directorship

Mary is an ex-director who got caught up in the do-it-fast mentality. Her senior wanted to go NIQ, and needed one more director to do it. Mary joined Mary Kay Inc. in 2005, and started with a full inventory. She was encouraged to buy $600 wholesale each month (that’s how you get your 13% recruiters check, otherwise it’s only 9%). Now she is $18,000 in debt.

She went into DIQ after only a few months as a consultant. She had 4 genuine recruits, and her director convinced 4 more of her customers to be personal use consultants. Voila! Mary had the 8 needed to go into DIQ.

As you can imagine, Mary didn’t have the necessary production to complete DIQ, so she added a couple thousand wholesale herself. Add to that career conference, new director training, seminar, director’s suit, training center fees, and prizes.

Here’s how Mary says she ended up “falling out” of directorship:

  1. I went into directorship so fast because I was “encouraged” to by my sales director, who was my friend. She wanted to go into NIQ and I had to finish DIQ by a certain date to help her achieve that and I spent thousands to make production to help her achieve that goal, only to have others not finish, so she didn’t make it anyway.
  2. I now have only 20 active team members, but all directors have to maintain an active team of 30 members for her to maintain NIQ, so recruiting is being pushed big time. So the goal is for each of us to personally recruit a lot of new consultants, and I just haven’t been able to do it.
  3. Because I’d been in such a short time when I went into DIQ, I didn’t know about all of the costs and the time involved in being a director. It was quite a shock to find out how much money is required in awards, a place to hold meetings, newsletters, unitnet website, and MORE, besides being encouraged to get office help so you can “focus on income-producing activities.” And there are so many meetings fordirectors!! Meetings with your senior, with your national area, etc. Plus, you are expected to go to every recruiting event hosted by nationals. When is there time to hold classes?? It’s all about recruiting, not getting customers!
  4. My senior director told us one day that she had several pages of people returning inventory, but that just means her consultants are working hard on recruiting. To me, it’s obvious that people are being pressured into buying huge inventories!
  5. One of my consultants cancelled her debut one night because her daughter had a dance competition and made it to the next competition, that happened to be the same night. My director said, “She doesn’t have her priorities straight.” Again, that took me by surprise because I thought family was the priority.
  6. When I had to miss my unit meeting one night due to a family situation, I was lectured about my “lack of committment.” I thought we were all supposed to be independent contractors? Shouldn’t I be able to decide how I want to run my own business?
  7. If someone is not going into DIQ, then she won’t take the time to answer their phone calls or talk to them after meetings. She says they are just a waste of her time, she’s got to focus on those who are going somewhere.
  8. I won’t ask people struggling to make ends meet to order just so I can make production. I’m struggling now myself because of this debt, so I can’t do it to someone else who is worse off than me, especially the single mothers.
  9. At career conference and seminar, if a consultant was not a star, then she was completely ignored. She couldn’t come to dinner with us, or spend the evening with us. If a consultant spends the money to come to those events, I think she should be allowed to participate in some of those events with her director. She may not get all of the rewards, but she gets to enjoy the feeling of belonging in the group–wouldn’t that be more motivating?
  10. I can sell approximately $1000-1500 a month myself, but that’s not enough. After all of the expenses of being a director, and saving up for seminar, leadership, etc., and buying new product, I never have made a profit, and I can’t get rid of all of the product I “built up” by buying my way into directorship.

The saddest part of this is how “normal” it is for sales directors in Mary Kay. The do-it-quick mentality has only made these things worse. Women aren’t fully informed about all the expenses, responsibilities and day-to-day “stuff” that is involved with being a director.

And I don’t blame THEM for not knowing these things. How on earth would they know to even ask about them or consider them? They are constantly told that their senior will tell them what they need to know and their senior is looking out for them, etc. So not true.


  1. MLM Radar

    The fact that she was pushed into DIQ with so much omitted information says she wasn’t meant to succeed.

    The NIQ didn’t want her. She never did. The NIQ knew that she’d probably fail, and wanted this DIQ’s recruits to bolster her director’s unit.

    Squeezing recruits out of DIQs is the most effective way to keep her established directors at the 30+ unit size so she can get to NSD.

  2. raisinberry

    This is 100% accurate. This is very often how it’s done. Some Nationals can pretend that they are not this ruthless, shocked even, that such a unproductive push would be made against downline Directors to get to Senior during their NIQ window, but that would be 100% horsecrap.

    The MINUTE…the very MINUTE an honorable “leader” in Mary Kay discovered this and bent her ideals to these kinds of practices, she became a PREDATOR. And then rationalized her behavior.
    Most of them have created their National Area’s exactly this way…and since time may have passed and they are farther away from those acual days when they INFLICTED this, they can now pretend to be o so appalled.

    The only way this company continues to engage in recruitment and Unit and Area building IS BY DECEPTION.

    If today, whatever Higher Power you may believe in, pulled the sheets off the hidden inner workings of all the Directors, Exec’s and Nationals, and exposed the debt, the deception and the financial ruin that this Company has presided over for the last 50 years, there would be coast to coast humiliation and emotional breakdowns! AND THEY KNOW IT. They simply do not care to come clean because that would expose the fraud and stop the production ordering. Their lofty promises would be exposed as lies! Can you imagine the lawsuits based on false claims??

    There is NO ONE above Director grade and Corporate Sales Development that does not know it. It is a pink charade.

    1. Please help with ? Tyia

      I don’t want to give my real name out so I’m going to make up a name but can somebody please get a hold of me I have a question to ask a consultant or ex consultant very important questions I have some concerns I’ve been in for 3 months and really need to know a couple of things that I don’t want to talk to with my director

  3. Honeybeige

    1) I never understood the mentality of pushing someone in order for someone else to succeed.

    2) My late director was chastised by MK corporate for not attending seminar one year. Her husband was having surgery for throat cancer.

  4. cindylu

    It is sad that from beginning to end this mlm business relies on a past business model that no longer works. Weekenders the clothing mlm went bankrupt. All we can hope for is that directors read this site, realize this company is no longer viable and stop the exploitation of other women. There is no real way to advertise (this was restricted from the start and a huge reason why MK is a huge failure). No one wants to have a party, be conned into winning a fake make over, no one wants to sell make up without any real training. No one wants a get rich has been scheme that hasn’t worked in decades. Time for all directors to send back products and quit recruiting innocent women into this cult.

  5. CaliforniaGal

    Well, ladies, Mary’s story is my story as well. I was pushed to go into DIQ before I realized what it was all about. I kept asking our local National and other successful directors at the Mary Kay Center where we all had our meetings, what do directors have to do anyway. I was told to just do it and everything would be fine.

    Well, I did it all right, but I had such debt, and a unit members who signed on just to help me that I knew I couldn’t last long. If just ONE director had told me that being a director was one long DIQ, I would never have even tried to become a director. I think Mary Kay is so deceptve that I wonder how women sleep at night knowing how they are abusing other women. Mary Kay is really financial bondage. Just a sad, scummy pyramid scheme.

  6. Michael S

    The issue of consultant and DIQ debt nails it on the head. I’ve paid off a MK Chase Credit Card twice now for my wife. She gets back into it vim and vigor but when it comes time to pay the CC bill, I am the one stuck paying it every month. All told, I’ve paid off about $10,000 in CC debt and we have a basement full of inventory that hasn’t moved in months. MK corporate makes it far to easy for these “stay at home” mothers who earn no income to rack up debt on a credit card with inventory because the husband owns the home. I laugh when I hear the MK sales pitch about working as a consultant because the words: “you have the choice to say no” are never uttered. My wife will go on and on about all the great things about the company but then complain when she can’t work because of our kids’ schedules. I still work full time providing a home, health insurance and all the necessities. I know MK is a large corporation, but it feels more like a parasite sucking away at my wealth.

  7. enorth

    ” MK is a large corporation, but it feels more like a parasite sucking away at my wealth.”

    It is TRULY sucking away at your wealth. It’s just a very expensive hobby. Sounds like you need to put your foot down and stop the nonsense.

  8. Lindsey K.

    my experience was similar. I was a 18yr old SINGLE MOM pushed to become a consultant. I was told I would make money so easily. Free car…new friends…bla bla bla. It quickly fizzled (everyone I knew was broke- who could I badger for sales?). I was left feeling like a failure (and of course I was in debt from the initial inventory I bought and couldn’t sell). You live and you learn I guess…(*cough cough* NORWEX is the current scam). Right now I’m in medical school so things do get better.

  9. Michael S

    What I find truly depressing is so many of the women hoodwinked by this pyramid scheme are smart, educated, erudite ladies who want to do the right thing. Yet you have a company which continues to front out their long since dead founder as a role model for the independent, business minded woman hocking products which appeal more to vanity than to reasonable personal need. Frankly, a better lesson in the female business model would be Jean Jennings Bartik and her contributions to female computer programmers following WWII and the decades afterwards.

    1. MLM Radar

      Smart, educated… and unsuspecting ladies. That’s why they get snared. This is a company with over 50 years of experience mastering the art of the con.

      There isn’t an objection that Mary Kay hasn’t heard, and most of them have scripted answers. The introductory interview is scripted to find out exactly what your hot buttons are, so they can overcome whatever holds you back before you can put it into words.

  10. Thank you all for explaining all of this. I was thinking about being apart of MK. I decided I should give myself time and really see what I would be getting myself into before I said yes. Now I am so glad I waited!

  11. Mare

    Oh I’m going to a make up class tonight I bought over $600 worth of product but I told them I can’t start a business as I operate two businesses now and suffer physical damage from a spinal cord injury what do you think they will say to that ?

  12. researchready

    What gets me about all of these comments is, at no point and time does anyone force anyone to sale Mary Kay or go into leadership. As adults, we should be responsible to fully investigate and research any business venture that we desire to go into. Mary Kay has been in business for just abut 54 years. I am sure Mary Kay did not build this company upon these type of morals or standards. Stop blaming other people for your bad choices!!

    1. TRACY

      Forcing, you say? When one does this “fully investigating” and the recruiters lie about the opportunity and mislead about the earnings, what then? The company IS built upon lying and misleading. That’s how women are recruited. That’s the real problem here.

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