Life as a Mary Kay Top Director

Written by Kate

I wanted to give everyone at Pink Truth the perspective of a “higher up” director. At my peak, I had over 1,000 in my downline, and 9 offspring directors. I was high up on the “food chain” for a while, but never felt good about my position.

I am one of those people who have honestly made over $100,000 in a year, and I could show you my 1099s to prove it. However, I was torn as a director, because I watched my own directors struggle, and watched my consultants go into debt. I never once ever asked my team to order for me. I always said don’t order unless you need products, and don’t order limited edition items. I let them know in advance when things were changing, and truly cared about my team.

However, I cheated myself. I signed up friends and family to get them qualified to meet requirements, and I never felt right about any of it. Everyone has done things that are less than honest to move up – even the ones who seem to be so successful and so squeaky clean.

When I brought this up with my upline, I was given the “everyone does this” or “make it happen” routine. I sold my soul, and looking back, my spiritual life suffered greatly. I needed the money to provide for my family, I was good at what I did.

Because I was good at it, it made it harder to see clearly. I wanted desperately to stay home with my kids, and this was my drive to succeed – being able to attend their field trips and be home for them when they were sick. I didn’t care about the cars, the fancy outfits, or the jewelry. I just wanted to be a Mom.

Yes, I was one of those “evil” directors lurking at every corner trying to get you to order… but not really. I was a director who was running 90 miles an hour just to keep the balls in the air. Please know, no one was honest with me, and when I tried to get my questions answered… I was considered negative.

I was so confused through this process, and was working so hard, I never had time to think. I was raising a busy family, taking care of over 900 consultants, doing parties, my own marketing, my own bookwork and taxes, keeping women happy (which by the way is impossible), and trying to keep corporate and my upline happy, and traveling the world with my MLM smile on… recruiting and selling. I never had time to think it through as I was exhausted. Everyone was patting me on the back and telling me how amazing I was, and it was hard to slow down to see clearly.

Directors are human. Directors only have 24 hours a day. Directors are told what to do and they do it hoping to reach the dream, and at the end of the day, they put their head to the pillow, and they never did enough. Directors have women mad at them all of the time because they never did it all “right.” Didn’t decorate correctly for the unit meeting, didn’t say the right thing to the new consultant, didn’t dress accordingly, didn’t properly deal with unit personality problems, didn’t stay in touch with me when I quit.

You suddenly realize there is not enough time in the day to stay connected with your working team, do your own classes, coach your hostesses, present the marketing plan, love your family and the people who quit as well… it would be impossible. There is only one of you to go around.

I can’t tell you how many times people were mad at me because I was not a “true” friend, and didn’t stay in touch after they quit. Let me tell you, I stayed friends with many women who left Mary Kay, and I respected their decision because I truly cared. However, it’s just impossible to stay in touch with hundreds who come in and out yearly. Impossible.

When people quit other jobs, I wonder if they expect the boss to stay in touch with them and be buddies? I guess I see it as a business, and “schmoozing” is part of sales. Am I wrong? Just a thought. So, if you are a consultant who has been “dumped” and you are mad at your director? If you were in my unit, I apologize from my heart. I just couldn’t keep up.

I have learned so much, and I am sorry if I learned it at your expense. It was never my intention. I just didn’t understand the web I was getting into when I started, and the “executive income for part time hours” seemed so wonderful. I wanted to believe it was true. In the end, I didn’t lose money, but lost other valuable things along the way.

Thanks Pink Truth for being my therapy. You have saved me thousands of dollars not having to go to therapy, and I appreciate all of the women on this site. The truth will always set you free and I am truly free today.

To all of the directors out there… Take time away from the MLM literature, self help books, and phone calls and e-mails, and take some time for quiet talks with God. You will find your truth when it is your time.


  1. BestDecision

    This reminded me of how brainwashed I was to think it was all my fault. And that I wasn’t the only Director ridiculed for not doing things “the MK way” or following along like a soldier and doing what everyone around me was doing. All the self-help books!

    On the outside,I, too, looked like a success story. But, I was far from it internally. Diamond bar pins, offspring Directors, Red Jackets, Cadillacs…pure success on the outside but miserable inside. Every Director meeting felt like an obligation and a parade of last month’s successes. Directors boasting about their months, but then later realizing they had lied about their numbers for ATTENTION.

    Congrats on making it out. Never happier!

  2. raisinberry

    I remember laying in bed looking at the ceiling, sick inside, because 4 credit cards were maxed…how did I get here???

    At an area event, I was teaching the DIQ’s…and I opened my mouth and these words came out,” How many of you are in more debt than ever since joining Mary Kay?” Every hand went up. The Directors sitting in the back of the room had heart attacks…

    Since I was “still a believer”…I said, “that stops today. No more personal ordering until you have sold at least 1500.00 to clear some debt. From now on, exact records must be kept, including all costs, deducted. If you end the month with a profit, send another 50% of that to your lowest balance credit card…

    You could have heard a pin drop. Even the Mocha Bronzes went Soft Ivory. And that was the beginning of the end…how dare I encourage them not to order! They were DIQ!! Was I nuts??? One of the DIQ’s said, “Are we allowed to talk about this?” Let that resonate for a minute.

    In the face of some 15 women raising their hands, the reality of the situation still escaped their ability to assess the truth. Mary Kay and its Director’s can not afford any honest information about money management, ordering for goals, not sales, and the lack of accounting, with wall to wall financial denial going on…

    Because they need the opposite. Upline and Corp make their money, off YOUR credit card debt. They know it. We know it. How easy would it be to teach and verify, good accounting practices?

    1. NayMKWay

      Raisinberry, you’ve contributed a lot to this site, but this story in among the most chilling I have read yet. Maybe you shared it before and I missed it, but there’s no way I read it before and forgot. It’s unforgettable. This one deserves its own article.


      [Semi-amusing side note: being a guy who hasn’t worn make-up since community theater decades ago, it took me awhile to parse “Mocha Bronzes went Soft Ivory.” Brava; very poetic.]

    2. AnonyMouse

      “Are we allowed to talk about this?”

      ? YES. You, a grown ass woman, are allowed to talk about your finances!!!!! Jesus Mary and Joseph the brainwashing. Good for you for speaking up about the truth.

    3. BestDecision

      Just like we weren’t allowed to talk about chargebacks, the company discontinuing product lines with no advance warning (TimeWise), the cost of the Director suit EVERY year, people disappearing from events and not being able to admit they’d just quit, the real cost of attending Leadership Conference, the cost of renting training centers and hotel rooms, how little profit we saw we made on our tax forms, or how nasty Directors are to one another but act like it’s this big sisterhood full of kisses and genuine love.

      It was all pink smoke and razzle dazzle. Exhausting!

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