Mary Kay Doesn’t Work

Mary Kay works when you do! No it doesn’t. There is a reason why sales directors earn so little. This story details the struggles of new sales director who quit after the debt and the fight became too much for her.

Early last year, Mia was flying high. She was a new sales director, in a brand new Mary Kay car, and feeling successful with commission checks between $1,000 and $2,500 per month. The sky was the limit! She would determine her own success based on how hard she was willing to work!

But the truth was that Mia was faking it till she made it.  Mia was exaggerating about how much money she was making, because she believed in talking about your goals and acting as if they were already done! (Sound familiar, anyone?)

Mia believed she was well on her way to Cadillac production and told everyone her unit was “on target”, when what she really meant was that she was hopeful that she could quickly build to pink Cadillac production levels. Again, she talked about it as if it was already done to help motivate and inspire everyone. (Common in Mary Kay, no?)

Over the last six months, the Mary Kay bubble popped for Mia. Her production was falling and no matter how hard she worked, things just weren’t happening for her. Mia’s husband was very worried about her, as she became unable to eat because of the stress. He didn’t tell her to quit Mary Kay. He believed she needed to make that decision all on her own.

Mia is now $5,000 in debt and calling it quits. She did have a nice car credit account built up right after she got her Mary kay car, and it has helped her through the last few months. But this is it. The credit is used up, and she does not want to continue on this path anymore. Mia put her heart and soul into Mary Kay, worked long hours, and never really saw a return on that effort. It finally became too much.

She is stepping down and has $7,000 wholesale inventory which she is trying hard to liquidate. Mia says she just doesn’t have the strength to convince women to work a marketing plan that does not work.

Ladies, I share Mia’s story with you to remind you how common this is. This story is not of one woman, one “bad apple,” who thought that MK was a get rich quick scheme or wasn’t willing to work hard. This is a woman who followed the plan for months, and was still losing money… even after moving up to the coveted “sales director” position which was supposed to be the ticket to making money. Yet she has continued to lose money month after month.

There are women like Mia who work hard, do all the right things, follow the plan, and still do not move up in Mary Kay. Is it the fault of the woman, or does it indicate a flawed plan? I’ve seen it happen too many times. The stories are all the same, and the problem is with the Mary Kay system.


  1. BestDecision

    It’s June 27. This is where Directors are plotting out how they’ll get orders in to make their Seminar goals a reality. I’ve seen relatives signed up, multiple customers ordering $600 so another can be qualified, and even dead people signed up. I’ve seen Directors paying for Starter Kits, grasping at Personal Use Consultants, and ordering enough so that DOZENS of boxes are delivered to them by UPS. Calculators and scratch pads were/are our tools over the next 4 days, and I remember vividly a very seasoned Director telling people “You’ll eat, sleep, and have sex with your husband when June is over with.”

    If MK really is all so many claim it to be, there wouldn’t be a rush, plotting, or “creative” finishes. Those would be the rare occasions, and the norm would be everybody happy, fulfilled, and not running ragged. You’d also have many more Directors feeling good about themselves and their upcoming trip to Seminar because they would have met goals and are farther along than last year.

    I miss none of it.

    1. TRACY

      And even though these things are largely “against the rules,” Mk turns a blind eye because they make MILLIONS (literally) from these shenanigans on the last few days of the seminar year.

    2. enorth

      On the last day there’s a slew of new consultants (with the same last name as the recruiter.) A miracle!

      Ladies, do not allow your up-line to pressure or guilt you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with (like ordering inventory you don’t want or need) so that SHE earns something. Don’t fall for the “Teamwork makes the dream work” script.

      If SHE doesn’t get HER Cadillac or cruise or diamond-ring or Director-trip, it’s HER problem, not yours.

  2. cindylu

    :-< Very Sad 🙁 Yes sad that hundreds of women have gone through this and continue to go through this. We want so much to believe. We go through the initial euphoria of believing MK is that special company. We learn, try, work, make phone calls, try to make sales and attend training. Little by little MK itself implodes with lies, no real training and endless debt. We go to Seminar and try to get a glimpse of how those women on stage got there. Little by little fear sets in. Fear of excessive credit card debt, fear that MK Directors and NSD's really are fake. We go into our MK office and see boxes of unsold products. We go into our Directors home and see a room full of unsold products. One of the consultants in my unit had yellowed products she'd trade with others. This consultant actually thought she was helping out. Thousands of products occasionally being sold well past their expiry date. MK doesn't keep track of actual sales.

    1. Char

      “MK doesn’t keep track of actual sales.” – They don’t. But let me throw out a different perspective:

      They do keep track…..of all the products sold to consultants. If you view consultants as the real customers (they are), it all makes sense; hence why they don’t keep track of “re-sales”. Like Wal-Mart doesn’t keep track of what you sell at a garage sale or eBay.

      So, how does MK keep these customers aka consultants buying and placing big orders? Why call them business owners and give them crowns, of course. The illusion is everything when executing a confidence trick.

      “We go into our MK office and see boxes of unsold products” – The consultant sees boxes of “purchased” product, not unsold, because she was the real customer. Tada! And now we know why keeping track of “re-sales” by Mary Kay would be as futile as reporting Wal-Mart brand sales at a garage sale back to corporate.

  3. Roo2

    Has anyone else taken note of the amount of NSDs having a full on instastory full of them driving while giving an update on their lives/ Mary Kay success/ words of wisdom/ Starbucks drink order? It’s even more disturbing when their kids are in the car too.

  4. enorth

    “creative finishes”
    — All one has to do is peruse social media to see some “creative finishes.” Want your photo taken sitting in a pink Cadillac? (I can just image what goes on behind the scenes.)

    “Mia was faking it.”
    — This is true in all MLMs. I heard someone in another MLM sobbing that she was exhausted from pretending that she was successful. She had dropped two ranks and was desperate to not let anyone find out, especially her down-line.

    Everything is predicated on appearing wildly successful. Because if you don’t look and act “successful”, you won’t be able to attract more victims. You need more victims, you need their orders, you need their money, you need their contacts and their networks.

    MLM is not an honorable profession.

  5. Len Clements

    This article has more holes in it than a Trypophobiac’s nightmare. But I’ll try to fill only these two:

    1) You say Mia “…did have a nice car credit account built up right after she got her Mary Kay car”, and it was substantial enough to help her through “the last few months”. But just three sentences later you claim she, “never really saw a return on that effort.” So are you asserting that Mia never saw any financial return – except for six months of financial assistance and a free car? You surely know the difference between a “return” and “net profit”, so how do you reconcile these contradictory statements?

    2) If Mia is quitting her MK business with “$7,000 wholesale inventory”, and only worked the business for “several months” (if it had been over a year, I’m sure you would have stated that), why is she “trying hard to liquidate” it? Why doesn’t she simply send back the unopened product, which surely would be the large majority (if not all) of it, for a 90% refund (less any bonuses this returned inventory earned her, which even you would have to agree is fair)?

    Don’t answer my questions, personally attack me, then ban me from replying, in…
    3… 2… 1…

    1. TRACY

      Are you still trolling around, Len?

      I’m quite certain that you understand the person who wrote this article I posted meant that not seeing a return meant she didn’t make enough during her tenure with Mary Kay to make the investment of time worthwhile. In other words, she likely made about minimum wage (including the not-so-free car).

      And please pay attention. The article says she was a new sales director early last year, and that in the last six months her unit has been failing. That totals up to more than a year. We don’t have details on how much she is eligible to return and whether or not she’ll do that.

      Why are you here and why don’t you read more carefully?

Comments are closed.