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

DIQ Seeks Advice

A Mary Kay DIQ wrote seeking advice on becoming an ethical Sales Director in MK:

I found your site on accident over a year ago when I began my business. I pop in occasionally just out of curiosity to see what is being said. While I disagree with a lot of the points that are made, I can identify with the emotion and hurt that are behind those defenses.

I am currently in my 2nd month of DIQ and am working on finishing my 3rd month of car qualification, and while this is a really exciting time, I am not completely happy with the way I am being taught to do things. I.e: get production from recruiting new consultants who purchase large amounts of inventory (rather than train my current team to sell the product and consistently have a legitimate need to reorder product), put inventory orders and starter kits on my OWN credit card and have them pay me later, expect my husband to cook/clean/do laundry when I am fully capable of doing at least part if not all of that, guilt my best friends into joining by telling them I NEED them to or they aren’t my real friend, etc.

I have never had a problem with selling the product, and consistently sell $1800-$2000 every month, and I truly enjoy meeting new people at the appointments I hold. Where I am starting to lose my enthusiasm though, is in the tactics I have been taught to get orders out at the last of the month. Like offering outrageous ‘incentives.” Shouldn’t 50% profit be a good enough incentive?

I am writing because I do feel that I would make a great SALES director, but with what I have been taught so far in DIQ from my soon-to-be-senior, I can see why you all here had such a bad taste in your mouth. So I am writing to ask, what tips would you have for me to actually be an ethical, respectable, and relatable Sales Director as opposed to what is apparently and unfortunately the ‘norm’? I will not turn into what I have been seeing lately as that is against all I stand for.

Thank you for your input!

-Don’t want to be a DIQuitter


  1. MLM Radar

    Shouldn’t 50% profit be a good enough incentive?

    If you’re telling recruits that they’re making 50% profit, you’ve already crossed the line from being ethical to unethical. Sorry. Haven’t you paid attention to your own tax return?

    You KNOW that it’s not 50% profit. Not after all the expenses, fees, hostess gifts, bundle discounts, purchases of “Limited Edition” items nobody can sell, and the costs of attending conferences and Seminar. You’re lying by claiming they make 50% profit.

    So no, it’s not possible to be an ethical Sales Director, while you’re parroting Mary Kay’s “Buy for $1 and sell for $2” line to recruit team members. But if you DON”T parrot that line, it won’t be possible to meet your monthly “production” quotas .

    Sorry. Being a Director means sacrificing ethics, one step at a time.


    Advice I gave to a friend years ago concerning DIQ:
    Whatever you do to become a director, you will need to do each month
    to maintain your unit. I believe there are former directors on this site who
    debuted at seminar and lost their units immediately.

  3. Wasrings90

    If your own experience and the reading of this website hasn’t taught you that this company’s business model can’t be run honestly, than you are missing the whole point of why MLM’s are awful preditory companies who don’t care about the people on the bottom.

  4. Lily in NYC

    OP, I admire your desire to be ethical, but you are set up for failure in MK. And having integrity makes it even harder. The fault is with the business model – there is absolutely NOTHING you can do to make decent money in MK. Look at the Mary Kay math articles in the archives and please get out before you go into debt.

  5. Ruby Slippers

    Becoming a director completely ruined my enthusiasm and love for the business. I sold about as much as you do….$1,500 -$2,000 per month without many discounts. My discount average was 10% total per month and that was with party sales. Unfortunately after being a director for awhile my joy for selling waned because I was selling to put $ back into production because of a stagnant unit….even with new people coming in…. Let’s say one a month (5 new is considered maintaining a unit and 10 = growth ) maybe a $1000 order average from new. The remaining people generally fizzle as can be expected. It’s you, new, and the few dear!
    1/3 are watching , 1/3 are working, and 1/3 are on their way out. So with a unit of 30 you might have 10 workers including yourself and by some miracle if all 10 order in one month (rare but humor me) that’s 2250 production . Where is the other $2250 coming from? Maybe a star order if you are lucky . And with the new commission schedule if you are not at 5500 you don’t get any bump in commission. Used to be $5000 netted about 1500-1800 commission. Now if you get to $5000 it’s only 13% director commission plus any 13% on personal when 5 order.
    Unless you get to 50 unit members FAST after debuting forget it….it’s a lose lose proposition! 50 people will = about 5000 production per month average. Maybe more if you are lucky .

    1. Char

      Numbers are good, but the thing is “HOW” do you get unit members to sign up in the first place?

      Are they told it’s a “business”?
      Is executive income dangled?
      Told it’s dual marketing and not MLM.

      Lies, lies, all lies.

  6. Shay

    News Flash:
    Buying something and selling for it double the price won’t get you far unless you buy a sh*t load of something and sell it all and charge tax. You have self employment tax, expenses for your “business” you are lucky to see 20% if you sell it at double (buy for $5 sell for $10)
    You need to be buying and selling at least 4x the amount (pay $2, sell for $8) to make a living when selling anything.

  7. Char

    I commend you for writing in and asking reasonable questions. Unfortunately, you probably won’t like the answer: You can’t do MLM ethically, because MLM can’t thrive on ethical.

    The trick to understanding it…..is to stop thinking through your own perspective. Start thinking through the eyes of Corporate and Upline. This is what you are beginning to experience, and it’s not pretty. Corporate and Upline don’t give a crap about YOUR 50% profit. They care about your orders and recruiting orders. The end.

    The things you read here on PT reveal the truth that newbies aren’t told. That’s why you don’t currently agree with it all. Just wait.

    There are two groups in MLM:

    1) Newbies and completely brainwashed consultants who think it’s ethical and are in denial.
    2) Upline who know it’s not ethical, but do it anyway for money.

    Think about this. If all was revealed, who would sign up? The MLM system must lie initially to get people to join – YOU. As these people climb, YOU again, they learn the ugly truth. It’s at this point the “victim” decides to become the “perp” to keep the scheme going – or not.

    A DIQuitter is the smart, truly informed, ethical, defogged person who learned a valuable lesson about MLM.

    Note: “I made some money” does not exonerate something from being a scam. Bernie Madoff made plenty of money.

    1. Mountaineer95

      “Whatever you do to become a director, you will need to do each month
      to maintain your unit.”…

      This might be the single most important aspect of directorship that DIQs need to fully consider. All of the crazy things, the crazy work hours, the incessant social media posts, pics, and begging; the skipping other activities and invitations because you’re in DIQ; whatever you had to do to succeed in your DIQ; YOU’LL HAVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN. EVERY MONTH.

      You don’t think so? You don’t think that, during your forever maintenance of your new directorship, you won’t have to *consistently* work at the same intensity you did during DIQ?

      Well, unfortunately, you will. Yes, you’ll have to work just as hard, if not harder, than you did during DIQ. Wait, why would you have to work even HARDER? DIQ was the test, right, and you passed! Why must you work EVEN HARDER?

      Well, for starters, it has to do with how many people you can add to your unit. All of the favors you called in to your friends and family to get you to directorship? You’ve used them. All of the close and peripheral friends you needed to sign up? You already did. Some of those new IBCs you signed up later quit? They did. Your qualifying unit is NOT the unit you’ll run with during your time.

      So here you are with a new unit and a ton of requirements and not nearly enough people to meet them. Thus restarts the hamster wheel. But this time around, you don’t have the family and friend support that you did initially. Why is that? Well, see above: your closest friends and family already signed up while you were in DIQ. Can’t sign them up again. You probably shared on your social media that you were pushing for this (directorship) goal, and so you’ve already gotten your close friends and maybe strangers to commit…but all of that was to help you reach directorship ONLY.

      Why don’t your peeps understand that, once you’ve achieved this directorship position, you STILL need their help every day? Well, it’s because in the ‘real’ (non-Mary Kay) world, once you achieve a huge promotion, you’re considered to have “arrived” and have lots of time to just settle into your new position…and definitely don’t need to solicit their continued monetary support.

      But that’s not how MK works…so, finally you made Diredtor! Yay! But, you still have production to meet. And now that you’re in your “goal” position, your past supporters won’t be so eager to support you in new endeavours. But why is that? Well, for most of us, getting a promotion is a thing that happens once in a very long time. And in pitching it to your warm market, You stressed the importance and uniqueness of directorship, and how you’ve worked so long and hard for it…and your supporters believed that, when you achieved this directorship, you had met your goal that they so lovingly supported, and that was that.

      All of those stops you had to pull out to gain directorship? They weren’t a one time thing; you’ll need to find more stops to pull out, and fast. All of those friends/family you had to sign up? Not a one time thing; you’d better have more family and more friends that you overlooked during your DIQ. Production? Oh yeah, your directorship status carried significant production requirements. “Oh, I know” you say. But while you may have sold s lot prior to and during your adIQ, hoe may of your buying customers did you sign up as reps during this DIQ? Even your mom wnd your sister and your dog sitter…while they might have paid true retail for your products pre-diq, now that you’ve sign d them up (and they can get their faves at cost), will they buy your items full markup? Nope. So you’ve cannibalizes your customer base to make director (wiping out your customers), in that you’ve signed up every Tom Dick or Harry.

      THERE IS NO BREAK. THERE IS NO “CRUISE” PERIOD during which you relax and just let your unit work itself and pay you. There is ONLY your desperation in trying to keep your title and your MK car.

      Seriously, all new directors need to take a moment to consider this: you put in a ton of crazy work to make director. And maybe now you think you’ll get a break. NO, YOU WON’T. The requirements are still there, looming. You think you worked hard to make director? Buckle up, because you will have to maintain that level of work and recruiting if you want to keep your unit. You have no break. You have no opportunity to reflect on your journey, to just bask in your position. You either keep your unit, or you don’t. And the work needed to keep your unit might eclipse the work you needed to put in just to even get your unit.

      You worked your tail off in your final months of DIQ. The question is, can you maintain that level of work every day for the foreseeable future? Because THAT’S what you’ll need to do, all day and every day, to maintain your new level. That final DIQ push that you worked so hard on…can you do that same level of intensity every day for the rest of your Directorship days? Seriously, can you? That’s what you’ll need to do to be a successful director (ie one that doesn’t lose its car or level due to not meeting production quotas).

      We don’t wish you ill will; I think most of us will congratulate you for achieving your current goal. We also know what lies ahead for you, and we are pulling for you! We want for you to be successful. And we hope that our words help you to find success outside of any pyramid schemes.

  8. BestDecision

    I remember being in DIQ and realizing how fake a lot of Directorship was. The cheating was rampant, and I didn’t want to burn bridges by lying to my unit or customers. I debuted as a Director and eventually earned diamond bar pins and Cadillacs while having offspring Directors. Here’s the thing: EVERYBODY does it. Do you really think a Director is going to pass up the chance at driving pink if she’s short on production? Or, how about the humility and stern lecturing from Seniors and NSDs when you’re short on a luncheon invitation? Once I was a Director, I was told over & over that a Senior is not a Senior if she’s not in a Cadillac.

    The pressure is often unbearable. When you’re backstage or at Director meetings, you hear the conversations about how others finished their goal, and you add up the numbers and realize most are lying about what’s really happening in their lives. Hiding boxes of inventory from their husbands in storage units, having secret credit cards, taking loans out to finish goals.

    My advice to you as someone who has, in fact, walked in your shoes, is LEAVE NOW. Listen to your gut. Directors who have been so for DECADES aren’t getting any farther along in the career path, and that means it’s statistically against your favor to ever make it far. Your instinct is telling you what you know you need to do.

    By the way, I was worried about being called a “quitter”, too. That is, until I made more money outside MK and now with benefits and guaranteed off time where I don’t have to answer texts or check production. I’m off when my family is off, and I’ve never regretted leaving.

  9. Shay

    Sweet Heart,
    you just explained what is wrong with Mary Kay. This is how Mary Kay trains but likes to pretend they do not and the consultants do this on their own.
    Let’s say you could sell $100,000 a month. guess what? You still could not be a director or get a car because you have to recruit. Mary Kay is more worried about what numbers the new bodies can also bring in you’re not rewarded unless you recruit.
    are you starting to see now how Mary Kay is out for Mary Kay and not out for your best interests?

    Get out while you can.

  10. SB

    If you’re that good at sales, you genuinely should seek employment as a sales rep for a regular company. You will be compensated well, provided incentives for doing a good job, and best of all, have the backing of a solid company when times are tough. No buying on your own dime to make it up. If you have children, it can be hard, but if you dedicate yourself during your working hours, you will have the time “off work” to be truly “off” and spend time w/ family.

    1. Shay

      I just made up a number.
      I can’t remember the amount that units must make a month for the leader to get a car. I don’t think the sales combined or $100,000 a month. my point was just saying even if she could sell all of that by herself she is still not going to move up and less she recruits which is ridiculous.

      personally I’m glad it is that way because I would hate to see somebody bust their butt like that and get such little reward.

      1. SB

        I didn’t mean my comment to be a response to yours, I was making a comment to the letter writer :). Just making the point that good salespeople are assets to a company and will be compensated well. If she *could* sell $1000 or $10000 or whatever of junk makeup, she could sure sell (insert legitimate product here: cars, makeup for a legit company, insurance, houses, etc.).

  11. Lazy Gardens

    There is no ethical way to succeed in an unworkable business model, and MLMs are not sustainable. They are the business world’s equivalent of strip-mining, over-fishing, over-grazing, and clear-cutting.

    If you fully disclosed the time and the expenses and the real income prospects, no one would sign up, would they?

    If you taught real-world business practices, where inventory is minimized, expenses are carefully tracked, and gross markup is not called “profit” … no one would sign up, would they?

  12. Lazy Gardens

    “Don’t want to be a DIQuitter”

    That is a thought-stopping cliche if I’ve ever heard one. Condensing what should be a rational, fact-supported business decision into something that fits on a bumper sticker ir an Instagram meme.

    There is nothing wrong or shameful about changing course if you have data indicating that continuing in your current path is going to end badly. I’ve seen many companies shut down entire divisions, or even close the business because the market condition were unfavorable, or they needed to retrench financially.

    You know who REFUSED TO QUIT? The Donner party. What did it get them? Mostly dead and partly eaten. The other portion of their group left that tail and went the more established route. 100% of them survived the trip.

  13. BeckyOliver

    If you do exactly everything your upline & peers have told you to, against your better judgement, then you can become a Sales Director in MK. If you want to work with honesty & intregity you will never become a Sales Director.
    There is no middle ground.

  14. pinktruthsaves

    So on one of Dacia Wiegandt’s multiple Instagram accounts, this one partly in Russian (I think), one of her entries look like this (see below). It makes it all— Mary Kay opportunity—look so worthwhile. And can someone actually get to a level in Mary Kary where she can maintain wealth without recruiting or making sales? Dacia surely seems to be making that claim. And, with all of her fabulous pics and glamourous image, Dacia doesn’t sound the least bit predatorial. I have to say that her persuasiveness makes one want to be a believer.

    723 отметок “Нравится”
    I love when people ask me, “hey are you still doing that little Mary Kay thing?”
    I’m like yes! Very much so! .So to explain I started my business at the ripe old age of “22.” Took it very seriously & worked for “3” years Sᴜᴘᴇʀ Hᴀʀᴅ!!!Basically I put in “30” years of work in “3” years! Why? My thoughts were I would rather work when I am able, capable, young, set my self up for success & my children. ? ????????? ????? ?? ?? ?????? & ??? ?? ?? ???????! My favorite quote I tell, ???? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???’? ,?? ??? ??? ???? ?? 2 ????? ???? ???? ???’?! You can design your life I promise you just have to work hard, have some self-discipline, & focus. I work now because I want to not because I have to. There is a huge difference! Entrepreneurship is the way to go! Find your passion & run with it.

    1. BestDecision

      Dacia is one of the many NSDs that’s grandfathered in under the old NSD rules. They have no minimums. They’re guaranteed a car and trip every year until they retire.

      The newer NSDs, however, have to hit certain numbers to go on the NSD trip and can lose their title. They have to book, sell, and recruit until they retire. Completely different mindset and different than what MK Ash created in that position. Because they had so many low performing NSDs that were coasting, they had to update the qualifications and maintenance about 9 or 10 years ago.

      A Director cannot maintain a unit without recruiting. Completely impossible!

  15. J

    A couple of things; I think it’s honorable what you’re trying to do. Here are some things I wish would have been different about my time, I did 8 years. (Started when I was 18, and really think I had a good unit).

    [snip and note from admin]

    This comment is so excellent that I’m cutting and pasting into an article for tomorrow’s front page. Thank you J!

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