Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

A Mary Kay Director’s Letter to Her NSD

quitting mary kayCan you relate to her struggles as a Mary Kay sales director? Is this you? I know so many pieces of this story resonate with nearly all the sales directors in Mary Kay… This woman had the strength to quit and to tell her NSD about her experience.

Dear NSD,

I will try to paint a picture of my situation –but I don’t think it’s indicative of everyone’s situation. So please bear with me on details. I think as an NSD, you need to hear some of the situations I encountered…

Unless I was in a contest, or had worked a Bridal Fair, etc., bookings were my weakness. I had 3 classes and 5-6 facials since July 1. My heart wasn’t in Mary Kay by then, even though I tried to deny it. My dad had just died in May, my sister 9 months before, and my mother was alone in a big house, anticipating surgery. I am the only child left in town for her. I was reeling.

I came back from Seminar with great hopes, and not only had signed up for a website, but paid to have it done for me, paid for a unit newsletter, and worked at really getting my 3 girls that wanted to be directors where they wanted to go… so that became my focus. It was easier to focus on them than myself at this time. I actually cancelled several classes at the end of my decision-making time, and probably could have recruited more. I chose not to, deciding it wouldn’t be fair to others, and recently passed their info to Susie. I believe she has to potential for 3-6 recruits.

This last 6 months saw my unit production rise over 80% from last year. I finally had some workers with vision! They were recruiting, and I was actually having some wonderful meetings and lots of interest. I had regained what I enjoyed about MK… I thought.

Then the recruits began to fade away—as usual–and I had a very difficult person in my unit… I was just plain tired of riding the emotional roller coaster.

My reasons for leaving Mary Kay are not entirely personal. I had been preparing for this decision for over a year.

What you don’t know are the professional struggles I endured as an on-target car and new director right from the start. Maybe this insight will help others:

(This is a little confusing, so please, be forewarned.)

I only recently discovered why shortly after I had become a director, the reason I had no relationship with my off-spring, Kathy. Over 4 years ago, there was a complete breakdown with Kathy—my DIQ. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done at the time, and she wouldn’t say—until 2 months ago. Apparently, she was being treated the same way she had treated me, by her DIQ. She called to meet with me and apologize. She explained that my Sr. Director had instructed her to stay away from my meetings. She then took over with Kathy’s DIQ commitment—(I had no idea this was going on)—and I didn’t even know she’d finished DIQ until the info came thru online.

My Senior is 10 hours away and I believe always felt on the outside of the things we were doing in our city. She rarely went to Leadership or Seminar so I had no reason to see her.

Therefore, I came out of the gate as a new director, my unit was going strong, then voila! My DIQ took everyone on her team to another meeting 30 minutes away, 3 months before she even was a director. I had nothing. I was sabotaged. I had nobody attending meetings, nobody at my end of the year Unit Awards… and I was devastated by both Kathy and my Senior. This was taking place at the time when my sister was near death, awaiting an organ transplant. Seminar year end was around the corner. I wanted to do a Unit Club and always thought I could have—but my unit had all been taken away a couple months before. I couldn’t regroup to rebuild at the moment.

When I was an on-target car, I was humiliated at Seminar by my Senior in front of consultants from my Senior’s unit that I didn’t know, and chastised for not working hard enough… I was stunned. It was the worst 3 days of my MK life and I will never forget the shell-shocked feeling I had in Dallas. It was the second time I’d gone to Seminar. I did go on to earn my first and second car, and achieve Directorship, and become a Senior Director, but you know… all of these struggles take a toll on you sooner or later. I often wonder why I didn’t just take the hint and leave then. My Senior and National joined forces and told me to stay out of Opening Ceremonies to finish the car. I spent Day 1 listening to speakers from outside the Arena, begging on the phone for people to recruit. I always had the production. It was the people I lacked. At lunch, I was no farther along, and I was being “checked on” for my efforts. I should have walked out then.

What would possess a self-assured, college educated woman with 2 great kids, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, standing in the community, who had been fairly successful in a previous career, think this type of treatment was OK? I believe Mary Kay does bear responsibility. We work hard for acceptance, try to follow the rules, aspire to be even more pink than we already are… Yet, consultants and directors are told, “You didn’t work hard enough”, “What aren’t you doing/saying”?, “It works when you do”. “You just didn’t call enough people”, “She just doesn’t have enough information to say yes”…There are so many clichés and most are often counter-productive in the long run.

There should be an exit survey in MK, just like in corporate jobs. Not necessarily from 1 year personal use only consultants, but Directors who poured their heart and soul into this.

I have never, ever, felt any ties with my NSD, nor do I respect her in the least. I have had more phone, e-mail, and personal communication with you, than ever with her. (Thank you to you for giving me faith in some NSDs!) She called once, to push me to finish DIQ… When she was in town to work with my off-spring, (not me, my numbers were too dismal,) I didn’t know about it until weeks afterward, seeing the pictures in her next newsletter. When I asked her why I wasn’t contacted about her visit, I was told, “well, it was in the newsletter!”

The newsletter came out the week of my father’s death, and apparently I didn’t see it due to what was going on around me. I decided it was best to end all ties with her. The idea of being snubbed by her on this visit didn’t sit well, and I refuse to be someone’s peon. Nor did she acknowledge my loss…

So… Add all of this to the fact that I am tired of relying on others to make the meager income I do, and quite frankly, it’s not worth the time I put in, or the stress that results.

MK (and the way I allowed it to take over) almost destroyed my family life. I was on the verge of losing my relationship with my family. Shortly after I became a director, I began having panic attacks due to the stress over making production every single month, day after day…) that totally put me flat on my back once the adrenaline rush was over. When I took a good hard look at all this, it wasn’t worth it.

I never wanted to be an NSD. And when I repeated it at your Fall Retreat this year—as everyone in the room did, I knew then that I was done. I was lying to myself, and Mary Kay had run its course.

So, the long and short of all this, is, that my stats aren’t indicative of my work ethic, but rather of my declining interest, energy, and commitment, and mistrust of MKC overall. I have made the decision to allow Mary Kay to go away. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for “not working”. I did the work, but found I could not continually ride the Rebuilding Roller Coaster.

In the last 3 days–not one, but two–former directors in our area informed me of a website called, “pinktruth.com” and I must tell you—there are many directors with years of experience and some still doing very well in their Premier Club units–that have horror stories. At first, it depressed me to see how they were trashing Mary Kay, because I truly believe in personal responsibility. But when you read their stories (tab at the top of the page), it’s terrible. Some I can relate to.

My biggest problem and the ultimate decision maker for me, is a director’s production quota. If there was one change I could put into effect at Mary Kay Corporate, it would be to allow a “banking” system for director’s unit production, based on previous performance. Directors who have solid production for years, can lose everything so quickly–2 or 3 months–when missing production. What would possess a company to allow a solid director that maybe has never missed, or rarely missed production, miss 2 or 3 months and be OUT? Is her leadership and the subsequent results of disbanding of most unit members—not worth something to this company? I find this policy just plain wrong.

I know I gave you way more than you asked for, but I am way more than the stats you asked for could possibly represent. My best to you.


  1. Char

    And would you believe after all that grief, being a Mary Kay consultant isn’t even a real business!

    “What would possess a company to allow a solid director that maybe has never missed, or rarely missed production, miss 2 or 3 months and be OUT? Is her leadership and the subsequent results of disbanding of most unit members—not worth something to this company? I find this policy just plain wrong.”

    MKC, the only real business albeit corrupt, is executing the system they use, MLM, to stay in business. They are not worried about you with regard to your finances. All they care about is the consultant’s purchases – which makes them their money.

    May I suggest you read Dr. Jon Taylor’s MLM explanation? I know it will hurt when all your efforts are invalidated in what you thought was “your” business. The quicker you accept it, the better. We were all chumps once.

    You can’t fix MLMing. The definition of the act is what it is.

  2. Mickey2942

    Spend or die. MLM is not a business. You need to be doing both, getting new prey, and purchasing stock in order to achieve respect in the MLM. They “cold shoulder” you when you don’t follow the program, hoping that your need for inclusion will force you to ignore financial reality. I am sorry for your problems, and glad they helped you see MK for what it really is…

  3. morningstar

    And here is the MK math that is circling for CC registration. I fell for this interchangeability on retail /wholesale for years!

    -CC promo circling ( I am sure this is MK corporate speak)-

    ONLY $95! You can spend that on an expensive dinner or new pair of shoes. OR invest in YOU, learn how to GROW your Mary Kay business and earn MORE! PLUS, get a $40 wholesale/$80 retail credit with your first product order placed March 26-April 30, 2019. And a reduced Seminar registration fee. That is like going for only $15!!!

    $95 Career Conference Registration Fee – $80 Retail Product Credit = ONLY $15 investment for fun, inspiration, recognition, and education!

    1. MLM Radar

      Did you notice that when MK talks about how much you get they always use the “retail” price? When they talk about what you pay, OTOH, they always use the “wholesale” price.

      $95 Career Conference Fee – $80 (retail) credit you get: WOW! You’re only paying $15!

      Except that you really only get $40 off your next order, not $80. You’re paying $95 now, so that you can save $40 later, after paying shipping costs and sales tax on the “full retail” price.

      To see the $80 you have to find a buyer for that future order, and sell at maximum price. Yeah, good luck with that. Likely the reason you’re considering attending Career Conference is that you’ve already spent several thousand on MK inventory, and you’re hoping to learn the secret for selling it. Which doesn’t exist. You need another $80 in MK inventory like you need a hole in your head.

  4. Reader

    BTW about the cruise:

    A scammy business + international waters + flag of convenience = ?

    What more could they get away with in the financial laws of whichever country the cruise ship is registered?

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