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

You Didn’t Work Hard

Have any of you “thoroughly investigated” MLMs? Did you work hard (enough) while you were in Mary Kay? Are you just a loser in general who couldn’t make it in any business setting like this guy suggests?

Hello Pink Truth:

I stumbled on your site by accident. I read on just to see if you had uncovered some things about MLM businesses that might be new and different and, of course, accurate. To my disappointment, I found many generalized short statements not supported by sufficient detail to help any objective person to learn anything about the businesses.

The IRS does make a distinction between a pyramid and a multilevel marketing business. Your web sit confuses and jumbles the two.

People who are successful in all kinds of businesses have habits and leadership capabilities that account for their success. They work very hard! They could produce excellent results in a sole proprietorship, partnership or a corporation. You will always find some people trying to cheat every system possible. They victimize others because they are not willing to pay the price of success. If you ask the real questions you could perform a valuable service. For example, “What amount of activities did you do in the business?” “What amount was recommended to be successful?”

“What kind of due diligence did you do before entering the business?”

To condemn a whole class of businesses without thoroughly studying it seems a little irresponsible to me!


  1. BestDecision

    Hats irresponsible is not reading our real-life examples and experiences. True, there are people on here that have never been in MK, but I, and most of us on here, was.

    I held skin care classes in dresses, nose, and heels in rain and heat. I had more No Shows than I preferred. I refunded customers after giving them exceptional service because no one could ever make them happy. I held my breath in hopes that my team wouldn’t return their inventory and cause me to lose my commission checks or title. I cold called. I worked EVERY SINGLE DAY on my business. I thought about my business when I was on vacation with my family. I held unit meetings every week at night when I wanted to be home spending quality time with my family. I flew across the country for Seminar and Leadership Conferences only to come home being scolded that I didn’t do enough and while watching people cheat to get onstage. I watched the most successful and tenured people LIE about their income and lifestyles, later finding out they manipulated us all to make more money or popularity.

    Do you need me to continue??

    1. OnelessSD

      Best… you said it all. I was actively pursuing my MK business for almost 20 years. I was a SD for 9. I legitimately did the court of sales 5 years consecutively… (largely because I was working my butt off trying to keep my unit afloat… so I sold a lot of product- consistently.) I worked all the time. I’m not lazy, but the mlm system is so flawed that you can’t get ahead without cheating.

      There is no way that this way of life is sustainable without lying and cheating. My last interview I did with a prospect… I told her the absolute truth of what she could expect, how much time/ effort it will take, etc… I never heard from her again. It was my “test” to see if I could be completely honest about MK… would someone want to do this… and the answer was a resounding NO!

      This lady who wrote in truly is clueless about how things work.

  2. Char

    “To condemn a whole class of businesses without thoroughly studying it seems a little irresponsible to me!” –

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I have been studying MLM for nearly 20 years. How long have you?!!!! BTW, the act of MLMing is not a business. It’s a flawed method. It defaults to endless-chain recruiting, and that produces a pyramid scheme.

    Amway got it right with their motto, “Buy from yourself [at a supposed discount] and teach others to do the same.” That, of course, describes a pyramid scheme. You’ve heard that saying before, right?

    I assume you’ve studied Dr. Jon M. Taylor’s MLM work (FTC website) because that would be irresponsible of you to preach here about something without thoroughly doing your research. Fair statement? Btw, FTC stands for the Federal Trade Commission.

    You said, “I found many generalized short statements not supported by sufficient detail to help any objective person to learn anything about the businesses.”

    TIP: It’s not the “businesses” one should be researching! It is the method that they use. Then, you simply avoid any “business” that uses the flawed and corrupt method.

    Multi-level marketing = endless-chain recruiting = pyramid scheming.

    This method produces a 99% failure rate with, AND THIS IS KEY, the top 1% and founders lying about the “opportunity” to the other 99%, while that 99% repeat the lies they are told. Chew on that.

    This is the “hard work” you accuse people of not doing? Seems to me you are suggesting people need to be better liars. And like it or not, all the “work” MK consultants did, or didn’t do, was pyramid scheming.

    Imagine me defending myself to the judge about how hard I worked at being a successful drug dealer……all the driving I did to crack houses, parties I went to, numerous amounts of people I tried to recruit to use drugs who just said “no” to my face. Your Honor, I worked so damn hard at it, and it was truly exhausting – work.

  3. Renay

    This article completely skips over how the majority of those who were scammed got roped in on promises of how easy it is to make money ‘in your spare time.’ By definition you shouldn’t have to work that hard.

  4. cindylu

    Women are becoming too well informed to be taken in by this fly by night mlm scam. Women hate those ridiculous party schemes of yesteryears. It is embarrassing to lie to friends and invite them to these fake skin care classes. Within most mlm’s their products are over priced and sub par. Plus they want us to con our friends and relatives into another silly party. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, there is no where to advertise. Also after 50 plus years women avoid anything to do with these type of rip off recruiting schemes. Book a class and it inevitably cancels. Sell products and some are eventually returned half used. It is the consultant stuck with the bill. The pity purchase means that many women are peeved with the lying and scheming. Spare us the rhetoric of this being a viable business. It isn’t remotely a business. A real business isn’t some kind of underground secret. Everything is kept under wraps. The constant recruiting, the front loading, the endless cost of training, the co pay for cars, that the workers are responsible for advertising costs, the cost of products, that products constantly change at the consultants expense, the cost of seminar and conferences (with shared hotel rooms and lousy food) and other costs of gas etc. Worst is having to work at MK day and night while family suffer both financially and otherwise. Every single thing within MK is fabricated. Most Directors and NSD’s haven’t had a real chance of selling products or recruiting for a long time. Worst are those euphemisms: Win a car (Actually lease co-pay a ridiculous pink car), products fly off shelves, women helping women, executive income, free training, etc. None of this has been real for decades. That’s why it’s a pyramid scheme.

  5. Lily in NYC.

    It’s almost like this dude willfully ignored all of the documents and articles in the archives that directly spell out why the MLM business model sets one up for failure.

  6. Data Junkie

    I love how folks like this gloss over the indisputable fact that 99% in all MLMs MUST LOSE MONEY for the top 1% to turn a profit. It does not matter if every person in the entire MLM had the same skills as highest diamond platinum or whatever. The loss rates would be identical because that is how the system is designed to work.

    I have created mathematical models of many MLMs over the years to help show this. But folks in MLM simply refuse to see what the models make quite plain. These truths are unavoidable:
    – You cannot get rich selling retail out of your home unless you are selling something truly unique and you are the only one selling it
    – If you are relying on recruiting to get rich, you must accept the fact that you must screw over 99% of the folks in your down-line to turn a profit for yourself
    – It is mathematically impossible to have, on average, even one direct full down-line rep for every per in your down-line. This means for every rep with 5 direct down-line reps, there are 5 reps with zero down-line reps
    – It is a mathematical certainty, therefore, that no down-line can be profitable as a whole
    – Any up-line profit (rare as it is) is funded by losses in the down-line

    These simple truths governing MLM failure rates cannot be avoided. Mary Kay does not have some magical formula to increase profitability or otherwise make it different from any other endless-chain system. It is therefore dishonest to claim that profitability in Mary Kay (or any MLM) is in any way related to effort. It can be easily shown that the more committed the individual is to the Mary Kay system, the greater the losses they will experience.

    The ones who make it big do so for reasons other than effort. The most common attribute is proximity to the founding of the company…coupled with a sufficient lack of scruples required to comfortably profit off the collective losses of the poor saps in their own down-line.

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