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

The “5 Hours a Week” Lie

Here’s another one of those Mary Kay “training” items that is really meant to make you feel like you just didn’t work hard enough. Who couldn’t five extra hours a week to do something important like Mary Kay???

This piece tells you that if you’re willing to work just 5 hours a week, you can profit $800 per month. Who wouldn’t want to make $40 an hour by working a little bit here and a little bit there?

I’m sure that if we all tried, we really might be able to find five extra hours to do something that we’re really motivated to do. But the truth is that you can’t really get anywhere in Mary Kay with five hours a week. There is a far bigger time commitment if you want to do anything more than make some pocket change. And you’ll never make the $800 profit they say you will.

So what is the motivation for making you feel like a loser who didn’t try enough? Well, hopefully you will be guilted to put in one more order to get back that “active” status . (As if it really means anything at all.) Maybe you’ll put in another order to “finish your star.”

You see, these types of documents are meant to squeeze every bit of life out of you that they can. Maybe you’ll put in one more order before you call it quits. Maybe you’ll twist the arm of one more recruit who will hopefully put in an order.

Yes, guilt is a powerful tool. One that is used daily in Mary Kay.

See What Five Hours a Week Can Do for You!

It is my observation that every consultant can find the time to hold an average of 2 classes per week. Yes, even the consultant who has 1 1/2 jobs and family responsibilities. Rarely do you meet a person who does not spend 6-10 hours per week in front of the television, playing Bunko, or some other activity which has nothing to do with her job or her family. What could it mean to her to invest that time into preparing for, traveling to, and holding 2 classes per week?

Find 2 times per week that you would be willing to hold classes. Then, highlight those times in your datebook for an entire year. Then, get on the phone for an Hour of Power to schedule 2 appointments in each of those times. Don’t be afraid to double book – it doesn’t mean you’ll be holding 2 classes (that almost never happens). It does mean that when one of them postpones, you’ll still have a class to hold. Double booking is all about smart use of your time – it’s about dealing with the disappointment of postponements. (In the event that both hold, just do both classes at your home or at one of the hostess’ homes offering her an extra gift for pulling up 4 more chairs.) Decrease postponements and increase sales by doing all the steps of hostess coaching.

Now, what can the 2 classes do? Let’s say your first classes meet the national average for new untrained, unskilled consultants of $150 – $200 in sales. Two classes per week at $175 would give you $350 in sales. Your 40% paycheck (once you get your inventory built to profit taking level) is $140. That’s $140 profit for 2 classes.

Couldn’t you find 4-6 hours a week for $140? Just think what will happen as your skills increase and you build just a small reorder business. It has been my observation that consultants who are consistently holding 2 classes per week will have their sales to $500 per week in just a few short weeks. These are averages, not guarantees.

$500 weeks = $2,000 months. Your 40% paycheck for a $2,000 month is $800 a month. 60% to replace what you sold is $1200 wholesale. $1200 wholesale every month is Emerald Star status every quarter. Being an Emerald Star each quarter puts you with in a few dollars of National Court of Sales.

What could an extra $800 a month mean to your family? Vacation, swimming pool, braces!

That’s not all. Let’s look at what 2 classes a week can do for recruiting. It has been my observation that there is at least one good recruit prospect at every class (a person who needs money, is already working 2 jobs, needs to get out of the house, is looking for a way to get back home). Company statistics teach us that ever new consultant can expect to recruit one out of every 5 prospects. So, if there is one prospect at every class and you make the effort to do some follow-up (give her a recruiting packet, book a class with her, invite her to weekly events, set up an interview with her), you should get a new recruit from every 4-5 classes. That’s 2 recruits per month. That’s a free car for anyone in 6 months. And, if each of them orders a minimum of $600 wholesale before the Seminar year ends, that mean you walk on stage at Seminar as a member of the Court of Sharing.

You deserve the financial supplement 2 classes a week can mean, as well as the company prizes. Are you willing to discipline yourself to hold 2 classes per week?


How many “full time” sales directors with Mary Kay actually hold 2 classes per week every week? Almost none. It’s not nearly as easy as they make it sound to actually get people to hold those classes and have guests show up.

I like her fake “averages” for class sales. New, untrained consultants sell an average of $150-$200 per class. That’s a made up statistic.

And did you catch the statement that double booking is okay because both classes won’t happen? What does that tell you about the cancellation rate? You are basically guaranteed that at least one of those classes will cancel.



  1. BestDecision

    2 classes/week does NOT equate to only 5 hours of work. Even if you hold them in your own home and don’t have a commute, it’s takes time to pack, clean mirrors, tidy up, fill orders, dress, coach hostesses, confirm guests, and then do effective table and individual closes. And don’t forget attending your unit meeting, which is at least an hour long!

    1. TRACY

      They also conveniently forgot all the time spent on:
      – legwork to try to meet people who will agree to book (phone calls, warm chatter, etc)
      – time spent “coaching” those who book classes, only to have at least half of them cancel at the last minute
      – messing around with inventory, promotions, etc.
      – playing on social media in order to generate interest

  2. MLM Radar

    A brand-new consultant may get $150 to $200 on her first two classes. That’s because she’s selling to friends and family who are sympathetic.

    But notice the expectation that EVERY class after the first two will also get $150 to $200, and that as she gains experience her sales will increase.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. As everyone who has ever sold MK can tell you, the TRUTH is that after the first two classes your MK sales go DOWN. And stay down.

    After your first two classes you’ve sold all you can to all your friends and family who are interested. Now you’re left trying to sell to people who aren’t interested, who aren’t close friends, who you may not know at all…. And that’s a lot harder.

    Notice also that this Director pushes you to order, order, order based on the expectation that ALL your classes will be like the first two. Good luck with that one.

    By the time you figure out the game (big orders, few sales) you’ve already charged a lot on that shiny new MK credit card, and your payments are coming due. So the Director rolls out the next tactic: It’s just a temporary slump, she’ll say (she’s lying). You don’t want to be a QUITTER, do you? When you were off to such a good start? And you’re so close to Profit Level (her profit, not yours)… can you just place one more order?

    Our advice: Don’t place that next order. Get out of the quicksand pit. Cut your losses and send that inventory back.

    1. TamS

      A game people played two decades ago when this type of nonsense was used to recruit me. I had no money, 2 little kids, a full time job and a husband who would help with nothing. But I had excellent credit. 5 hours was more like 15 and cost me more in babysitting than I ever made. Parties with 0 sales and I was in sales, and did well in sales for my real job.

    2. Neverpink

      It’s a card game, like Bridge or 500. It might be regional because I’d never heard of it until one of my coworkers from Minnesota said something about it.

      Also, I really dig how this “Sales Director” seems to shame personal activities that have nothing to do with a job or a family. Hobbies are good for the soul, lady.

      1. BestDecision

        I’m hoping Tracy posts a screenshot I sent her of a Consultant being heralded as amazing because she “made” $20,000 last year by working literally around the clock. I was shunned for wanting to go to a family graduation, birthday dinners, naps, dinners without handing out business cards, etc. It’s ridiculous and sick!

  3. Mickey2942

    The real problem here, is that since the world of Mary Kay started, most women were married, SAHM, with a bit of extra to buy makeup. A “party” was socializing with friends. Buy a lipstick, some foundation. It was fun.

    Fast forward 40 yrs. Most families are headed by divorced women, who are working. Carving time for a party, to try on makeup is a lot, especially if you don’t have daycare. Extra money? $200? To buy makeup? No way. I can pick up some stuff at Walmart.

    Society has changed. Mary Kay has not. The entire model is over 50 years old!

    1. TRACY

      And even if a woman *does* have $200 extra to buy makeup… why waste hours at a “party” and then deal with the harassment afterward? Sure, they claim it’s “personal service.” No, it’s tons of interactions all designed to recruit you, even after you say no. Because it’s not about you, it’s about recruiting into the pyramid.

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