Finally Quitting Mary Kay

quit-mary-kayA consultant shares her quitting story. She got as far as DIQ, and then finally decided to call it quits. Does her story look like yours?

One day I woke up and thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” I graduated with a degree in a foreign language. One I could do nothing with. I loved it, but after I graduated I had no idea what to do next.

Along came Mary Kay. One of my best friends held a “class” at her mother-in-law’s home and I attended it. She painted such a pretty picture, and I was feeling so down about my worthless degree that I thought, why not give it a go?

I did pretty well. Three recruits one month. Five recruits the next. Decent enough sales, I suppose, but after all, most of the profit was spent on re-ordering, re-stocking, taxes, shipping, cost of gas to get to and from parties, etc.

I was talked into getting a credit card after a few month. When I first joined I refused to get the credit card. But I was doing SO well, with all my recruits, that I thought, it’s time I’m a star consultant. Notice, I wasn’t doing enough in sales to get me to that point yet, so that’s why I said my sales were only decent. In the poor area I live in, my average class of 4-5 people gave me about $100 in sales. And that was on a really, really good day. I know skin care, and makeup, too by the way. I went to school for esthetics for a while. I’m also a good salesperson. But my director said I was just making excuses when I said that my area is poor.

I live in an area that is notoriously cheap. If I told you where I lived, instantly trailer parks and overalls would come to mind. But onward with my Mary Kay dream!

With that credit I purchased  $2,400 wholesale inventory. Shortly after that, for some reason, I could not get people to hold bookings with me. Cancellation after cancellation. I went to career conference, which got me so energized and “ready” to be a director, that I said I would “do whatever it takes” to make it happen. I told myself I would NEVER ask my family members to join my team to get me into DIQ. But after career conference (I’d never been to a conference before), out of my excitement from hearing all the stories, my director convinced me to call up family members and get them all added onto my team and active within the next 7 days (the end of the month). And I did it. FIVE of my family members joined to help me, and placed the $225 minimum to get active.

A new month starts (with me now in DIQ) and I have zero appointments on my book. I started cold calling people from the name games I’d played months previously. No one took the bait. I finally called a girl who had attended a party almost a year previously and she miraculously booked with me. She had 6 guests attend, because my hostess credit was, have 6 guests, get $100 in free product REGARDLESS of sales (another strong suggestion my director said I should do during DIQ). I arrived at this girl’s house, did the party (her, plus her guests made it 7 people)… not one person purchased ANYTHING. NOTHING. And it was 45 minutes out of my way! And here I am OVER $100 of product gone, when you calculate taxes/shipping. I cried my eyes out that entire 45 minutes back, then went for a long, hard run to run out my anger and bitterness from that day.

Towards the end of the month I knew I wasn’t going to make it through DIQ, and I told my director I REFUSED to buy my way into the next month. My best friend who recruited me had just bought her way into her second month of DIQ, and I wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t afford to.

So I failed. I had the worse emotional breakdown I’ve ever had knowing that I got my family members into this to help me and I was going to fail, but thankfully my husband was there to support me and tell me it was okay… He said failure is inevitable in life, and maybe I needed to take a step back from MK and relax for a little bit before entering DIQ again.

I’m so thankful he suggested that. I know on the inside he was thinking, “I wish she would stop with MK altogether,” but he waited patiently for me to come to that conclusion myself. We went on our first vacation in over 6 years, and I deleted my facebook, and turned off my phone for 8 days.

I felt like a human again.

Over the process of that year, getting into DIQ, failing… I neglected my marriage and my family. All my energy and efforts went into “building my business” that just wasn’t working. For almost a year while I was in MK I didn’t go on one date with my husband. How sad is that? I also lost a lot of friends. I used to have so many friends that I would see them all the time, who would call or text every day, and everyone stopped talking to me… probably for fear I’d talk to them about Mary Kay. I never wanted to be this person, yet there I was. It was really, really sad for me.

But then one day I woke up and I said there is no more. No. I can’t do this. I am returning my product and getting that 90% back. I am paying off that credit card, and I will buy my skin care from Wal-Mart for all I care.

I was able to get back to loving life, working a normal 9-5 job. The stability and regularity of a 9-5 job is so much more appealing now that I had this MK experience. And I’m going back to school for something I love. MK may have wasted a year of my life, but I suppose I won’t be deceived by any other direct selling companies again.


  1. Char

    You failed. You failed at being a pyramid schemer. Congratulations!!!!!!

    You got sucked in to the MLMing/direct selling quicksand, pulled yourself out, washed it off and disinfected yourself.

    I’ll say it again in an analogy because MK and all MLM companies have a way of twisting things and confusing people. Failing at bad acts like: lying, murdering, shoplifting, drowning, and pyramid scheming IS A GOOD THING!

    MLM i.e. Mary Kay is a flawed system used by scamming founders to get wealthy. Don’t believe me? See the article. Mary Kay Inc. scammed $2400 plus out of the author. They even got her to be party to the crime for awhile, but then she wised up.

  2. Ihatepink

    I saw myself all over this post, but most especially in the part that talked about the challenges of selling MK in a poor area. That was my challenge, too. The people I sold to in my area could barely afford to keep food on their tables, yet there I was pressuring them to buy MK. If they did buy, it was a token lipstick or eye shadow purchase. They couldn’t have been bothered with buying skin-care products and establishing a daily skin-care regimen, much to my director’s chagrin.

    Pressuring the economically disadvantaged to buy overpriced MK products was reason #236 that I got out of MK.

  3. BestDecision

    I know Directors that have neglected their kids, pets, and friends for the sake of “making it happen”. When you put them in daycare, give them away, or “can’t afford any girlfriend time” so you can get a Gold Medal or whatever, aren’t you, in fact, putting your priorities in the reverse order Mary Kay taught us to?

    It reminds me of a Director meeting I drove 2 hours one-way to get to. It was June, and we were told that men can wait for food and sex until after June 30. Later, I found out that the Director who taught that had found out her husband had cheated on her.

    Surprise, surprise…

  4. Mickey2942

    Failure at MLM means that you have ethics and integrity. Kudos to you!

    MK is not about sales, or selling products. It is about signing people up, and pressuring them to sign people up. That is what you are actually selling. The product is the least of it.

    1. star24

      Mickey, I LOVE that comment. “Failure at MLM means you have ethics and integrity”. That is SO true. Thank you; everytime I feel like maybe it was ‘just me’ who can’t do this, I remind myself all the reasons I am refusing to be “that girl”.

  5. Lazy Gardens

    “I graduated with a degree in a foreign language. One I could do nothing with. I loved it, but after I graduated I had no idea what to do next.”

    You CAN, via the Internet, be an English tutor for people who speak that language. It can be quite lucrative.

  6. Douge

    After a consultant returns her product what happens to her recruits and does she continue to get any commission if she is no longer a consultant? I have searched for but have not found, answers to these questions. Thanks

    1. TRACY

      Her recruits belong to her sales director once she is terminated from the company. (Sending back her products terminates her.) The sales director then receives all the commission.

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