Don’t Burn Bridges For Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

Tracy’s Note: This is one of my favorite topics in Mary Kay. Your upline is notorious for telling you to “burn your bridges” so you can be fully committed to Mary Kay. Nowhere in the real professional world would anyone else tell you that. Got a CPA license? No one in their right mind will tell you to let it lapse because of a new career “opportunity.” They’ll tell you to keep it current because you never know when you might need it in the future. But not in May Kay. Common sense and business acumen are thrown out the window in an attempt to make sure you never leave the big pink cult!

As some of you know, I was a non-top director and was in MK for 10 years… had a wildly successful quarter and the rest of my career sort of sucked. I moved up fast because I loved the attention and the trinkets (and my credit score was perfect)… Ended up with 4 MK cars (the last one was towed away in a mildly dramatic manner), 35 some stars (mostly emeralds), and queen’s court of sales (got the ring that a jeweler bought for $50 for the gold, the stones weren’t worth anything.) With Pink Truth’s help I returned my huge inventory and didn’t tell my senior director (apparently she was hit with a huge chargeback in June of that year, oops, soooooorrrrryyyyy).

Anyway, I was the one who was told to “burn my (professional) bridges” so that I would be successful in MK, and in English that meant nursing and therapist credentials had to go– I had a bunch of initials after my name… I hadn’t kept up with continuing education credits for 2 reasons; 1) No access to professional trainings/work and 2) No money for internet courses/conference attendance/time for clinical practice… so my new mantra at my meetings became “I lost 12 initials after my name and gained freedom because of my Mary Kay career” and I actually said that with a convincing smile.

Fast forward a few humbling years… I found Pink Truth (it was called MK Sucks at the time) got out of MK as a result of what I learned, and then found it hard to get a job without my professional credentials,so I was working alongside young college students (I am old) who were thrilled to be making $9.35/hr. I was not thrilled, but I WAS lucky to have a job.

I can’t begin to tell you how many applications I submitted for any job that might pay my bills. I can’t tell you how many times I cried on the phone talking to Raisinberry and Tracy…how did this happen? I thought I was smart? What am I supposed to do? I didn’t get hired because I had too much experience, there was the age thing, people assumed I would move up too quickly, one organization told me I was too smart. It was devastating and frightening. Fast forward again.

Happy ending… I landed the job of my dreams and Tracy sent me a gift card to get some new clothes for the new job, when does that ever happen in real life??? Sigh, what a blessing she was for me! Anyway, the job was perfect for me… AND through the grace of God and some state legislative changes, hard work, refresher courses, doctoral level classes, and some money I got all of my licenses, registrations and certifications back within 3 months. My new job even paid for another level of credentialing.

That is all wonderful and all, happy ending to a typical horrible MK story BUT… I want you all to learn from my experience. The MK career myth is a LIE. That’s all there is to it. There is no good reason to “burn your bridges.” I was lucky, many aren’t. I had support and resources to get through this maze, many don’t. For those of you with professional credentials/licenses/registrations– do whatever it takes to keep them… you know how hard they were to get in the first place.

For those who have decent day jobs, keep them… there is no reason to stop working in the “corporate” world– remember you were told how you could replace your income with MK? It’s not true, because it is not going to be consistent. Trust me on this one. If Mary Kay was capable of producing a consistent executive level income, why would there be a need for quarterly infusions of pink foggery? Why wouldn’t you actually own your business? If having a JOB was so bad, why would people on PT continually write about all expense paid training opportunities that their JOB provides for them? Remember the myth of free training? Just sayin’.

I was paying over $600/month for health insurance when I was in MK. I have a pre-exisitng condition. The $600/month included a $10K deductible. (Ten thousand dollars, OMG.) I pay much less now with a low deductible. I have a stable income, I get raises, I work with positive people, and I buy my Olay age-defying make-up at WalMart, based on Raisinberry’s expert advice.

I want you all to pay attention because I am old and wise… For those of you getting out of MK, please know that it will be OK. There is a grief process as you say goodbye to that dream. Your success is not related to your activity level. MK is MLM and MLM’s exist to prosper those in first. You were not first, you will not prosper.

For those of you thinking about MK. Bad idea. Really. There is no way that the baloney they sell you isn’t past it’s expire date. Read on. Check out the archives on this site. Good stuff there, and remember, those of us who write on this site have nothing to gain. You are able to benefit from our experiences… pass it on.


  1. Char

    “there is no reason to stop working in the “corporate” world”…….even though consultants suggest this.

    Can someone explain to me how MK teaches consultants to bash the corporate world, yet is a corporation itself? Has that not dawned on these people? The real MK business, albeit one that uses unethical sales practices to make their billions, has salaries, hourly wage earners, and a CEO.

    I wonder SuzyQ. What if you applied to work at MKC, would they have hired you given the 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE? (Lol, not that you would.)

    Imagine the consultant application at MKC: 10 year CEO experience at Mary Kay. Applying for CEO at MKC. Has anyone ever tried this with only consultant credentials? Certainly should be in the running for an upper-level position, right?

    The double-talk in MLM is astounding.

    1. Data Junkie

      Right on Lazy Gardens. And there is a another reason for burning bridges: They want you to sever contact with anyone influential in your life who is not already in Mary Kay. They can’t take a chance that someone you respect will shine a light on the nonsense coming from your up-line.

      Great write-up SuzyQ. My heart hurts for all the well-intentioned women who lost years of their lives to this destructive business. It seems to be the kindest and nicest are the ones to get hurt the most.

      As for your forward, Tracy, I have found that nearly everything coming from the up-line in any MLM is contrary to nearly everything they teach in business school…from terminology (gross vs. net) to market saturation, territorial protection, oversupply, stale inventory. Nothing in MLM makes sense from a business perspective…unless you look at it from corporate’s point of view, then EVERYTHING makes perfect sense!

  2. Wild Collards

    Back in the day I was a store manager at a chain of bakeries and when it came time to hire staff, we were told to “round file” anyone who used direct sales as part of their work history. Case in point: another store manager hired a lady who was at the Leader position in Avon, and she turned out to be completely unqualified even though she hyped herself up as being a “team builder” and a “leader”. Bottom line, direct selling does not translate well into the “real” business world, so keep those credentials.

  3. NayMKWay

    There is one bridge MK will encourage you not to burn: theirs. “Don’t send your product back! You’ll never be able to sell MK again! You don’t want to burn THAT bridge, do you?”

    1) It’s a lie. You can get back in with a sob story and a credit card.

    2) Why the heck would you want back in? That’s one bridge you want to burn, and burn well. Flame thrower, gasoline, thermite, nuclear weapon… whatever it takes. Burn it. Burn it to Mary Kay Ashes.

    (See what I did, there?)

  4. Autumn

    So…the whole overqualified crap is another reason to never ever do MK or any other MLM full time!

    However… the overqualified crap is something that drives me up the wall. It actually doesn’t matter what derailed a career. People gotta eat and keep a roof over their heads. Its especially insulting in a job market where people get laid off without a single thought of what will happen.

    Sorry for the tangent, I just hate what hiring has become. So incredibly one sided and discriminatory.

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