Slogans in Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

Before Mary Kay I worked in human resources and taught supervision and organizational development with a large international firm. Part of my acquisition of information required that I attend some of the seminars of the major players in the world of “motivational speakers.” (I still can’t get SNL’s Chris Farley out of my head.)

Slogans and motivational quips were those quick mental adjusters that helped fear and lack of focus dissolve into confidence and determination.

They originally were designed to help a person through the lows of rejection and to become mentally tough. They were for our good. But, like any good thing, in the hands of a person with wrong motives, or bad intentions, a good thing can go very bad.

In the hands of opportunist Mary Kay nationals, the quips deflected what has been happening under the surface, and became a method for manipulating women by hiding a secret M.O. Mary Kay has been busy doing the opposite of “enriching women’s lives” by creating a method to foster personal dissatisfaction and at the same time, fogging over its exposure.

I am sure Mary Kay Ash gathered her famous sales force “sayings,” never imagining that they would be used to block analytical thought, ignore true conditions, foster denial, corrupt leaders, maintain fraud, hide opportunism, shift blame, or become religious doctrine.

But what sloganeering has become in the world of Mary Kay is a sublime method of blocking women from facing the reality of what is all around them, what their otherwise astute “spidey senses” would have allowed them to see, months and years earlier.

Slogans and sayings have protected Mary Kay’s empire and have created a sort of corporate shield that becomes a self inflicted mind control for all parties involved, and deflects any responsibility for the results of running a pyramid scam, away from Addison, Texas. But that is only one part of its purpose.

Independent Beauty Consultants who question anything are shut down like they just got jolted with a electromagnetic pulse and no one is the wiser. When she awakes from her stunning, she will believe that Mary Kay is the benevolent overseer who sacrifices for her benefit, and she is the one who, alone, must carry the ball over the goal line. Trusting her overseer, she proceeds. Her overseer reminds her to trust her Director. Her Director reminds her to trust her National. The stage is set.

“If it is to be it’s up to me!” she courageously ventures forth.

“Find a way or make a way,” she tells herself when engaging in creative recruiting practices.

“You must show up to go up,” her Director tells her when she has no money to pay for the winter retreat.

“Take your daily mental bath” she reminds herself when evaluating where her business is financially.

“No? NEXT!” she quips, to steel herself against prospects who say no and the fact that bookings aren’t coming easily.

“Take God as your business partner” she reminds herself and wonders why God has not blessed her with a woman in her path.

“3 plus 3 plus 3,” she chants, wondering when the next $300 week will appear.

“You can’t sell from an empty wagon,” her Director sells her, as she wonders when her buckling shelves will register “full” in her director’s eyes.

“A laurel rested upon soon wilts,” says her Red Jacket letter of congratulation, with the encouragement to find 2 more recruits ASAP, to go “on target” for car.

“It’s not for the chosen few, but for the few who choose,” she is told, when half her team quits and she is making up production on her own credit card.

“Act successful and you’ll be successful,” resonates in her mind as her director calls her up front at meeting to talk about her last weeks efforts.

“Believe and you will achieve” her NSD tells her; when she asks what she should do if she can’t get to 30 by Friday.

“Work will win where wishing won’t,” she tells her children as she goes out again to warm chatter.

“The cream always rises to the top.” She is told when other unit members stop showing up and she is flattered into staying the course.

”No one follows a parked car.” She is chastised when her warm market appointments are done and bookings have dried up.

“The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” Her NSD warns (when she says she can’t go, can’t order any more, won’t be finishing star) that she is teaching her team to do the same.

“The only person who fails in Mary Kay is the one who quits.” She tells her husband after he totals the credit card debt from years of “faking it till you make it.”

What slogans did you hear frequently in Mary Kay?


  1. Cindylu

    When I read MK’s book “You can have it all”. I sensed a tremendous potential for evil along with the good. In looking at other motivational speakers, I note their self centered and total focus on personal profit. They use slogans like: peak performance, achieving personal and professional goals, mental wellness, leadership experts, develop cutting edge ideas, develop leadership strategies, focusing on your core mission etc. They peddle mantras of success, stay the course and some have used Spiritual or Bible verses to keep us from questioning their ultimate goal. It’s not about empowering women. It’s about a few profiting from the financial ruin of others. There has been a lot of gaslighting going on for decades.

  2. Char

    How many people hearing these slogans ask themselves WHAT it is they’re doing to potentially achieve the “success”?

    – “If it is to be it’s up to me!” – Up to me to endless-chain recruit.
    – “Work will win where wishing won’t” – What kind of work? Pyramid scheming work?
    – “Take God as your business partner” – But being an MLMer isn’t owning a business.
    – “Act successful and you’ll be successful“ – Successful at what? Pyramid scheming.

    And so on. All effectively brainwashing people with these slogans encouraging them to omit critical thought. Even the simplest questions get ignored: WHAT is it you are doing? WHAT kind of work is it? WHAT does it involve?

    Here’s an old Amway slogan, “Buy from yourself and teach others to do the same”. Yeah, no. You are buying from Amway and getting others to buy from Amway. That’s billions for Amway. Sound familiar?

    Oh just believe in THEIR system, slogans, and have faith. 😂 Don’t ask intelligent questions and be so negative.

    1. BestDecision

      Fake it ‘til you make it. Legal in any other profession to fake education or work history? That’s the whole reason they attract and keep so many people. We believed someone who quoted scripture that she made more than she really did. We believed NSDs never had bad days. It was rare a top Director or NSD would speak frankly to us at Leadership, and they risked IT ALL doing so.

      A recent example of this is a Director I knew that has bought or leased a Cadillac and has a personalized plate alluding to the fact it’s a MK car. Total fake! But, that’s the pressure we had to keep up an image and never fall from the highest we ever reached.

  3. ran4fun

    “Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you land among the stars!”

    Umm, if NASA’s mission is the moon and they miss, it would be considered a failed mission. And landing among stars sounds more like lost in space…

  4. Heather

    The showing up to go up always made me nuts, and the showing up meant money out of my pocket. Again.

    I remember the near outrage and comic disbelief I experienced when I told my senior and NSD that I was not going to Leadership one particular year. The hubs was due to return from a 6-month deployment the week or so before Leadership. I wanted to be home with him and our son. My NSD had the gall to suggest that I bring him to Leadership since it “will be like a mini-vacation for you two!”

    Um, no.

  5. MakeupLover

    “Need money? Just sell a Basic! Your inventory is an ATM!” This quote always made me laugh. Like it was just that easy! And it was delivered in a patronizing tone. As if you wouldn’t be broke if you were working the business.

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