How We Use Our 24 Hours

Mary Kay Ash gives some words of wisdom at a 1991 conference. She tells us how everyone has the same 24 hours per day, and it’s all about how you use those hours. Also:

  • Create a 6 most important things to do list
  • Use your weekly plan sheets to plan each week and day

If you ever wonder why Mary Kay is full of directors and NSDs giving “advice” that doesn’t actually tell a consultant how to get women in the door, here is why. Mary Kay Ash never gave real advice. She gave sound bytes that people continue to quote. Time management? Great! But if I don’t have any customers to manage, what does it matter?


  1. Samantha

    It’s not terrible advice, in the sense that it doesn’t work. It’s terrible advice for MLM and knowing that you can plan everything down to the minute and still fail, because the system is designed for you to do so.

    1. TRACY

      Exactly! What the MLM-bots will never admit is that your success in MLM is not tied to how hard you work. There are TONS of people who work hard and follow the “plan” and never see “success.” It’s because the system is inherently flawed in a way that guarantees most will lose money. Those who do see “success” (i.e. rise to the top of the pyramid” do so with a combination of hard work, lots of luck, and good timing. In other words, if you work hard to get a lot of contacts, you might get lucky enough to get a certain volume of them who sign up and also start recruiting, and they might get lucky enough to get recruits who start recruiting, and if all the timing works out correctly….. you meet the complicated required numbers at various levels to allow you to move up in the pyramid. But most of it is luck. Have you seen all the “top directors” and NSDs who have either left the company or aren’t even making $10k a month? It’s not because this is a real business with success that is tied to hard work.

      1. Data Junkie

        And what these companies will also never reveal is the underlying business plan of the corporation. Nothing about this business is designed to help the reps be successful. To do that, you need a product that has value in a competitive market. Mary Kay products are nothing special, are over-priced for the quality, and everyone knows it. All the incentives are designed to get the reps to buy and to recruit. Mary Kay does nothing to reward actual retail selling, or to help their reps build and maintain a competitive retail business that puts product into the hands of outside customers.

        Can anyone point to a Mary Kay bonus or promotion that is linked to actual sales of product to outside customers? Does anyone in Mary Kay even care? It is easy to list the incentives in Mary Kay to get their reps to purchase and to recruit. But to actually sell the product? Not so much.

        Clearly, the Mary Kay corporate business plan is predicated on selling product to their own sales force, with no dependency outside sales. It takes some serious deception and manipulation to hide this reality from new recruits, while fooling them into thinking they are starting a small business.

      2. Mountaineer95

        Right?! It doesn’t work in MLM because their goal (of you recruiting your customers to become sellers in the MLM) is a horrible business plan (for you, NOT for the MLM itself). You are to use these time management tips to take the customers that you’re already making 50 percent profit on, and recruit them so instead of making the 50 percent profit, you’re now making a few percentage points on their wholesale purchases.

        No degree of time management advice can change such a poor, unprofitable plan.

          1. enorth

            “50% profit”

            I was never in MK but I listen to a lot of MK team/training videos. To get any sales, you give discounts and freebies. It’s applauded as a smart business move because, “you’ll have repeat customers!” Maybe. And if you do, they will be repeat customers who always expect discounts and freebies.

            1. Mountaineer95

              Yes! In real-world retail sales business, when calculating profit goals, we factor in these less-obvious costs (which would be equivalent of the discounts, freebies, etc that MK pushes their folks to provide).

              So we knew, to the dime if we looked carefully enough, how much of that gross profit was eaten up by other costs, and when we were setting goals, we’d keep the net profit numbers in mind. We certainly didn’t ignore them, paint them as potential tax deductions (lol), or do whatever it is that the Kaybots do to justify them.

            2. Mountaineer95

              And, they’ll be repeat customers UNTIL they are recruited into MK themselves. Sounds like a bad idea business-wise, no? Yes, yes it is. But in MK you don’t have a choice. Your customers are potential “recruits” (AKA those with whom you desperately need to share the opportunity and if not you’re doing them a disservice.” You get a few shots to recruit them, but if you fail to, they are free recruitment game to anyone else in MK.

              So your customers? Not yours, not ever, as long as they are only customers. Either you recruit them or someone above or around you will recruit them because you “didn’t share the opportunity” with them.

              1. PurpleH

                Yep. I’ve had that done to me by two different SDs who shares their meetings with my SD. One stolen customer was someone I worked with, who regularly bought (1 or 2 items at a time)from me, and she was already deep in PartyLite. The stealing SD knew me well, saw me every week at shared meetings, and never gave me the “courtesy call.” That was a sly, intentional move. My second stolen customer was the only bride I ever booked from purchased names, and I had already facialed her entire bridal party and immediate family, with follow-up appointments booked for finalizing bridal looks. “She said you’d never told her about the opportunity.” Yeah, right!

            3. pinkblacksheep

              I made about 20-30% on my sales. The range varied based on the incentives, hostess gifts, booking prizes, etc that I gave at a particular appointment or party. 50% wholesale discount off retail is not 50% profit. I’m ashamed that I followed the script instead of telling the truth.

          2. Mountaineer95

            Wow, control as a topic is interesting to think about in relation to MLMs. The MLM environment could be a breeding ground for:

            …those who in general “succeed” by controlling others, and since MLM provides the venue for this, they seek MLM opportunities;

            …those who enter MLM “innocently” and ultimately resort to control as needed to perpetuate success in MLM.

            I think that of the higher-level MLM folks, there might be a subset who enjoy success by exerting control over those below them (downlines, employees, offspring). MLM structure certainly would feed the ego of someone like that.

            Think along the lines of true narcissists; they could (and already do, not naming names) totally thrive in higher-level MLM roles (MK included, and we could have fun with a PT discussion thread about which SDs and above display true narcissistic and/or sociopathic behaviors).

            In some ways, success in MLM does welcome (and possibly require) achieving and maintaining control over those below you in the pyramid. You WANT them to order X amount, you WANT them to recruit X number, you WANT them to learn the “right” way to accomplish these things, and you’ll be damn sure they won’t speak negatively of any aspect of the business.

            But when you’re up against the “hate” (aka anything that questions MK doctrines like those found on PT), persuasion might not be enough…then CONTROL is your better bet to get them to do what you need them to in order for you to: receive bonuses, walk across a stage with a sash, wear a fancier (but in no way less ugly) suit, etcetera.

            The control can be exerted in several ways, and most are very passive-aggressive and thus less noticeable or provable. The more blatant cases become known and are often “handled”. The passive-aggressive types, however, can be seemingly innocently successful for years before being stopped.

            Yes, I know that in any company with two million employees (yeah right, “employees”, barf), in any given day, at LEAST one will fail/be fired/be written up/ die by lightening strike. This is the MK Army argument: there are so many millions of us IBCs and above that whatever cute anecdote PT posts is just that; an anecdote. Presented by ONE person. Who may not even be legit. Who certainly is the bad apple in the bunch. Who certainly doesn’t speak for the rest of us.

            Well, we don’t need a legion of frustrated Kaybots to speak up (though we do have that legion, as far as the many who’ve either posted here and/or contracted Tracy directly over YEARS).

            While the horror stories (more like real-life accounts) shared here do only involve a tiny percentage of the full roster of MK ladies from the same period of time, we have cold hard numbers (and numbers that are, to this day, UNDISPUTED by ANY MK supporter, employee, IBC, Director including every level from DIQ to Elite Executive Senior Super Special or whatever sits right under NSD) that irrefutably show that:

            MK as a business venture DOES NOT WORK. Well, that’s wrong. It DOES work, and likely quite well, for the senior executives/family owners/corporate veterans at MKC. MK Corp is successful (at least we think). But EVERY SINGLE POSITION in MK that’s NOT a corporate position CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be compared to those positions, even the NSD* positions. They’re still not MK Corp employees. And thus ANY discussion that relies on Corp facts/percentages/anything will be disregarded because they’re Separate companies and separate businesses.

            *NSDs are not corporate employees, they’re the highest level independent contractors in the Independent MK structure, and to my knowledge, no longer receive “immunity” perks via which they had NO requirements needed to maintain their status;

            AFAIK, they have metrics to meet (just like directors) or they risk losing their areas/units/whatever at ANY time. Now, I’ve never been in MK (and I promise you that if the soccer grandma who’s driving around town in her pink Caddy ever invited me to an event, you should know that I’ll troll the hell out if it by publicly and vocally asking the hard questions like “how many other MK reps are in my area, what’s their total current sales volume” and a mess of other questions

  2. NayMKWay

    It really frosts me when MLMs publish an income disclosure statement with a boiler-plate “results not typical” disclaimer footnote that includes the phrase “How much you earn depends on how hard you work.” Bullplop. The system is rigged against you, and hard work is no guarantee of success. They know that as well as we do, but lie about it anyway.

    It’s like a casino claiming success at the slot machines depends on how much you “invest” and how hard you’re willing to work pulling the handle.

    1. Mountaineer95

      Also I’d like to share that I’m adding your “it really frosts me” to my repertoire of “non” curse words/phrases I can use and still maintain full political correctness (kind of like the “son of a BISCUIT” I learned whilst living in the Carolinas).

      Those living in frostier areas may still be offended, and while I sympathize, I think it’s nothing a good toboggan hat and a hot beverage can’t fix.

      1. NayMKWay

        I hesitate to tell you this, Mountaineer95, but I feel you should know. The original phrase is: “It really frosts my balls,” so you may want to use it judiciously, just in case someone in the audience is familiar and gets the vapors.

        I heard that a lot, growing up, from my father, who was a US Navy seaman in WWII, so it would not surprise me if that saying came from the Navy also (and yes, I am quite old; why do you think I used the phrase “gets the vapors”?). And who knows, maybe they weren’t talking about certain anatomical regions, but about those other spheroids that are a big part naval lore. I refer, of course, to the “Kelvin’s Balls,” which were painted red and green and used to calibrate magnetic compasses, to compensate for any magnetization of the ship itself. They are out in the weather, after all, and it gets very cold in the northern climes.

        1. EyesWideShutNoMore

          Nay, I love that phrase, I’m adding THAT to my repertoire! Lol!

          Thanks for the Kelvin’s balls explanation… my dad was a big naval fan (never enlisted in the navy though lol) and collected items off ships (he worked at a harbour). One was a binnacle and that replaced the Christmas tree one year. My brother and I as kids thought it was red and green for Christmas, not because it had an actual reason!

    1. BestDecision

      Oh, but it was always our fault we didn’t have enough customers/bookings/Actives. No matter how high we had climbed, the slightest disappointment was because we didn’t do enough. Once you realize that as truth and fact, you never see MK the same again. Most feel it when trying to keep 3 Active for their Red Jacket. Then, it’s felt again going into DIQ. Always juggling balls because that bath tub drain is always open, and someone is falling off October 1. Again on November 1.

      If only we did more. Every Director meeting, Fall Retreat, Leadership speech, Career Conference class…never enough and always scolded.

  3. Cindylu

    MK herself was questionable in what she preached and her actual real past. Considering what she did to some of the original directors, this whole mlm is untrustworthy. One of her own original directors Jackie Brown began to see flaws from within MK right from the start. Jackie Brown’s story is about loyalty and betrayal, joy and heartbreak, recognition and disappointment, heady success and depressing failure. Ultimately, it is also a story of tragedy, and Jackie Brown is the only one who can tell it. MK herself wrote slogans and ideas of how to run this mlm. Truth be told MK also could not really keep this pyramid scheme afloat even when she herself worked in sales. Other directors who worked hard began to do well. MK then changed the rules and requirements to keep them on the hamster wheel. (and to gain more of the profits). Have others do the recruiting and classes. Have others earn and lose cars. Constantly change the playing field so fewer NSD’s and fewer Directors earn that disputable executive income. The company pays very little for advertising, marketing etc. It downloads the costs of training, training aids (Samples, booklets, Business cards), Seminar, Career Conferences, meeting rooms etc. on Directors etc. MK constantly changes the product line passing on those costs to IBC’s and Directors. MK used platitudes, phoney tough love, the laughable booking of 3 classes a week etc. The reality is that most of that bogus advice rarely works. It doesn’t work because women today are tired of the MK deceit. Even in the 1960’s women often returned over priced products after they had buyers remorse or an angry husband. Fifty years later no one believes the classes, free make overs, Christmas Open Houses or any other dumb sales tactics anymore. Women are sick and tired of MK and these predatory mlm’s. Why get a mediocre silly make over from an unqualified MK lady? Better to go to a real make up artist (Some doing it for free). (With a minimal makeup purchase and no recruiting). Beginning to end these greedy sales tactics are in place for maximum profit for the CEO’s and heirs. No amount of MK enthusiasm, pink Cadillac songs or love bombing will erase the millions of unsold yellowing products on eBay or families in debt. Even with MK’s to do list.

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