Kid Stuff: Reasons, Excuses, and Mary Kay NSD Gillian Ortega

Written by The Scribbler

Because I can’t take another episode of Man vs Food’s Adam Richman stuffing a baseball-cap sized meatball into his face, I’m ripe for some “B” list entertainment:  Mary Kay National Sales Director training videos!  They’re the videos that – like the Hurliator ride at the state fair – have the ability to tickle your ribs and turn your stomach at the same time!  I’ve brought enough Pepto for the whole class, teacher, so let’s explore the dopey delights of our NSD of the Hour.

NSD Gillian Ortega’s website features an interview between Ortega, one of her sales directors, and the director’s two daughters.  Of particular interest is Part 3 of the video, titled, “Using your Children as a Reason, Not an Excuse.” In this segment, NSD Ortega asks the director’s daughters what they love about their mom’s Mary Kay business, but not before she works a goopy handful of dream-casting into the director’s coif (which, incidentally, has received a generous visit from the Kate Gosselin Hairdo Fairy.)

Ortega:  So tell me, what is the thing that you both have loved the most about Mommy’s business?  Because your mom is a sales director in Mary Kay and now she’s going for her pink Cadillac, and then she’s going to go for her National Sales Director position…

It’s my opinion that going for the Cadillac was not in the director’s plans, because the second Ortega mentions it, the director’s body language goes into overload:  her eyes bulge out for a split second,  her lips mash together into a thin line, and her shoulders bunch up in a gesture that screams, “Um, okay, that’s new!”

Daughter #1:  Well, it inspires me…because it’s like a role model, when you don’t meet something, try again and again.”

Ortega:  That’s awesome!  Like a role model!

Ortega:  (to the director)…we’re not all going to reach our goals all the time…but we always want to shoot for the moon and we’ll land among the stars.

Director:  Absolutely.  And you just keep on going, right…keep on trying and never give up.  And that’s been the most beautiful thing about my Mary Kay business.

I’m a huge supporter for goal-setting and never giving up; the issue I have is what constitutes “not giving up” in Mary Kay:  struggling for a pink pinnacle that will most likely never show itself and the financial, moral, and spiritual scars to prove that persistence.  On the off-chance that you do manage to claw your way to the top, who’s to say that you won’t bail later (as former NSD Allison Lamarr did) and come clean about your life at the top of the Mary Kay monolith:  “I became a frustrated entrepreneur…working extremely hard without ever producing a payoff.”

Ortega:  I know…(turns to older daughter)…is there anything you want to share about what you love about mom’s business?

Daughter #2:  Um, well, even though sometimes she’s gone, it’s worth it…

Ortega:  (to the director) So many people make excuses and they hide behind their kids and they say that – this is what we hear all the time – “I just don’t have time…it’s my kids”….and that’s women who just really haven’t grasped what the goals are for the children…we want to pay for college for you guys…you’ll have a car you won’t have to pay for.  All these things we can do for you when we’re successful.

All these things, with the exception of replaying all the milestones that were missed and regaining all the moments lost with your children because Mary Kay was given top priority.  I have a director’s e-mail which advises readers, “Is Mary Kay a priority in your life or does that come last?  Do you choose to work your business first…what you spend most of your time in is what matters the most to you!  Give it a try; make Mary Kay a priority and you will see your life change dramatically!”

Dramatic change, eh?  How so?  One possibility is alluded to in a 2009 Ortega Area Fall Advance speech given by NSD Dacia Wiegandt.  Wiegandt talks about how she worked 40-60 hours a week as a top director (“I love being with my family,” Dacia explains.  “But I know that I have to work, too; to have all the pleasures in life…”). Things get thought-provoking, however, when Wiegandt mentions her preschooler:

“I have a little boy, who’s 3…he’s very lively…he’s in time-out a lot at school and he went to the office twice last week; so today I’m on the airplane in Chicago and I get a call from the principal…what was happening was that there were 16 kids in the class…he was biting and pushing to get attention from the teacher, so the teacher started doing something different, she started holding him and telling him he was doing a great job, and he stopped it.”

I’m not going to drop the hammer on Wiegandt as a mother, because the majority of moms do the best they can each and every day.  However, I will point out that the puzzle pieces in Wiegandt’s story create an interesting picture.  If one is working one’s Mary Kay business 40-60 hours a week as a director (and Lord know how many hours as an NSD) and one’s child is pulling a Mike Tyson on his classmates in an effort to get attention, wouldn’t that merit a review and reordering of one’s priorities?  Or is doing something when Mary Kay doesn’t stand to benefit “negative?”  Both NSD Wiegandt’s account and NSD Ortega’s interview show me that when it comes to children and Mary Kay, there appears to be a raging obsession with the someday (paying for college and cars) and rarely a glance at the now. Children need what a Mary Kay business can never provide:  loving, undivided attention now.

And of course, no NSD training video would be complete without some first-class fibbing!

Ortega:  You’ve just proven to our National Area and the Mary Kay world that your mom has not sacrificed for her to be successful…never uses her kids as an excuse; you always have used them as a reason to be successful.”

NSD Ortega claims her director hasn’t sacrificed anything as a mother, and yet the director’s daughter’s admission of “Sometime’s she’s gone” tells me a very different story.   Also, I’m apt to wonder how Ortega defines “successful,” given the fact that her featured director does not rank anywhere in the latest Top 100 Achievement Circle/Commission Circle lists found in Applause.  Some might argue that Mary Kay success can take many forms (such as someone overcoming shyness), however, when’s the last time you opened a copy of Applause and browsed through the “Women Who Aren’t Shy Anymore!” list?  Try to ignore all those pages dedicated to the acquiring of prizes, cars, jewelry, and recruits, though; they’re just typos.

If NSD Gillian Ortega is your National, her anti-family teachings should disgust you.  It is quite clear that in her National Area, the phrase “Family Second, Career Third” is a truthless chunk of pink chum, meant to be tossed into recruiting interviews in the hopes of attracting nibbles and star orders.

Should you use your children as reasons and not excuses in the name of Mary Kay?  Absolutely! Use your children as the best reason out there to shun the lopsided life lessons of NSD Gillian Ortega, for whose behavior there is no excuse.


  1. MLM Radar

    God first, Family second, Mary Kay third.


    God first = Mary Kay herself
    Family second = Your Mary Kay team, particularly the ones above you
    Mary Kay third = Your customer base (not a priority, unless you’re recruiting)

    As for that guy who pays the bills and the irrational short people who demand your attention… they don’t make the priority list.

  2. Iescaped

    My former SD/NSD would frequently teach on “balancing your family” with your Mary Kay career. What she always failed to leave out was that you would be working you arse off like a Corporate Executive, but getting paid like the summer intern.

    Darling SD/NSD would always lord over us that Thursday and Sunday nights were Family Dinner nights. Sounds good, but upon closer inspection it would be impossible for anyone else in MK to do this. Darling NSD has a large extended family living in her house, the youngest son is around 12-13 yrs old (everyone else is an adult). On Family Dinner nights everyone else prepares the meal, sets the table and cleans up. Darling NSD just swoops in when the dinner bell rings and shazmam, dinner with the family.

    I was with her on a few Thursday evenings to see this first hand. On Thursday nights, 1/2 of her Area has their weekly meetings. She makes a quick appearance from 6-7pm (longer if there is fresh meat wavering on the fence). A hurried drive home and hopefully by 7:45pm dinner isn’t cold. Half hour to 45 minutes later, she sprints from the family (while they clean up) and she is back in her office on the phone!!

    Conniving SDs and NSDs are taught to start painting a picture and let the downline fill in the rest.

    I have absolutely no problem with a working man or woman having a lifestyle like this. BUT do not try to dupe people into believing that you are able to spend quality time with your family. I doubt the CEO of Fortune 500 company would tell a potential executive that they can be home to have quality Family Dinners!

  3. raisinberry

    Scribbler this was an excellent piece of exposure for the fraud that is mary kay’s motto. Nice work. And how sad.

    Mary Kay Ash’s raging workaholism, born out of an inner need to be important and to be acknowledged from childhood family dysfunction, gets passed on to women everywhere, as the strategy for a successful life. God could she be more wrong.

    Children are abused under the guise that providing cars they don’t have to pay for and fancy houses, toys, stuff, someday in the future, is what they need-what they want. What lunacy and twisted rationale it is, to call the end game in Mary Kay, a “successful” life…and worse, at the expense of your children.

    Kids are your reason? So you abandon them in order to coerce as many women as you can, into a inventory buying scam, whereby you lie about your own results and paint a pie in the sky picture of the job, hiding from them what is actually required, which is endless recruitment replacing those before them who washed out, while skimming your commission off of their growing debt- THAT YOU encouraged them to get in, so that you can pretend- play businesswoman.

    Yeah that’s a great thing to teach your kids.

  4. Beth

    Yes and today we all got the email reminding us that a Mary Kay event (aka Leadership which is around the corner) is not the place for children of any age (read: regardless if you’re nursing your baby…leave him at home).

    At this past Seminar, I was leaving the arena early with my SSD to talk before we left for the airport and there were about 10 ladies with babies on the benches outside the arena in the lobby. I spoke to one and she said they were asked to sit out in the lobby with the babies. WHAT?!?!
    I can understand not bringing your teenage children, but not even a baby who is still nursing?? Come on.

  5. I have seen the sort of character that makes someone like Mary Kay Ash the sociopath that she was all too often. These people might pay lip service to family, life, etc, but in reality would be happy to stomp on all those values. They’re very hateful people, period

    1. Beth

      Well and my thing is…when I step down in a few months after I get my real estate license, I don’t see it as “giving up.” I have a pretty well working unit and we typically hit 7000-8000 in production. I am just tired of it. My kids need to also see me working with integrity and realizing that it’s time to move on. My SSD has been an ESD for 2 years with no DIQ on the horizon. I don’t want to keep pursuing just to plateau and get stuck for years at a time. I don’t feel like that is the best role model for my kids either.

      1. Iescaped

        Beth, congratulations for getting your real estate license and for making the decision to leave Mary Kay.

        Doing the REAL math and looking at the numbers is not very easy. Even at $7000-$8000 in production a SD is barely making $10 per hour (expenses, charge backs, pretty darn hard to only work 40 hrs each week, etc..).

        It may take awhile to get back to a normal life, but it is well worth it. Holidays and family time are so much more enjoyable!

        1. Beth

          Thank you!! And I’m not your traditional director in that I choose to not have a lot of overhead. No assistant. No prizes for every little thing (just do consistency club only). So that helps a little with expenses.
          I’m just ready to do something different!!

          1. MLM Radar

            Welcome Beth. I encourage you to keep reading and consider how much what you read here lines up with your own experience. There are some very good articles that might speak to you in particular. They’re entitled “A Sales Director’s Letter to Her Unit.” and “The “Sometimes” Success Scam – A Letter From Your De-Fogged Director” and “A Mary Kay Director’s Letter to Her Unit About Resigning.” You can find them by using the search bar.

            If you’re planning to quit MK in a couple of months, I’d suggest you discontinue Consistency Club. You’ll be vulnerable for commission chargebacks for a full 12 months after you resign. Your own resignation is probably going to trigger some of your consultants to quit – the only reason they’re in MK is because they like you. So the less production you pull in these last few months, the less your potential chargeback is going to be.

  6. I once was lost

    You know what is ironic about this? Gillian’s son Vincent was I guess a great baseball player. He decided it was to much work to keep at it. (He really said that) He could have won a scholarship to college, he didn’t want that…hmmm mom taught him to be lazy,greedy,selfish. You know he wanted to live in their home (and still does) and be taken care of by his mother. A “man” in his thirties with a woman who he is not married to with his two young children. This idiot has ran more scams got caught has to pay back everything he took from these people, money he does not have. Always pretending he has another scam that is better then the last. He is dumber then a 10# bag of stupid. Rents cars to make people believe he actually owns them. It’s unreal how stupid he really is. He can’t spell correctly. I even wonder if he even graduated from High School.

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