This is from retired Mary Kay nsd Linda Toupin. People are just numbers. And the best numbers they can be? The ones that have dollar signs in front of them! Linda bases this “Value of One” handout on a director commission of 26%, assuming that the “one” person is a personal recruit.

ONE customer who purchases $450 a year = $225 commission

ONE personal team member who orders $2400 a year (average of $200 per month) = $624 commission

ONE personal team member who orders $7800 a year (average of $650 per month) = $2028 commission

ONE personal team member who is in the national court of sales ($18,000 wholesale a year) = $4680 commission

Your customers and your unit is your immediate income.

ONE 1st line whose unit produces an average of $8000 a month for one year:

= $3840 commission per year @ 4%
= $5760 commission per year @ 6%

As a nsd ONE first line who produces $24,000 a month for one year @ 10% = $28,800 commission

As a nsd ONE first line who debuts after you become a national = $5000 bonus + $1000 bonus each year after that until the nsd or the director turn retire. Example of 20 years = $25,000 in bonuses alone.

If that same ONE offspring produces $10,000 a month production over 20 years @ 8% = $192,000 + $25,000 bonus = $217,000 per offspring.

Your directors are your future and retirement income.

Showing Mary Kay’s true colors again… this really isn’t about people. It’s about numbers and getting more numbers… because that’s the only way you move up in Mary Kay.


  1. The numbers… reminds me that we needed to call 10 to book 2… book 6 classes so that 2 hold… people are just numbers, to be dropped off they don’t book a class, place an order, recruit. People are to be used. That’s the narcissistic way. Who cares if you lose your friends and family? Who cares if you go into debt? Who cares if you think badly about yourself? Not the narcissists.

    • In fairness, other sales businesses do use similar numbers, but they’re based on strangers who voluntarily choose to approach the company or enter the brick and mortar. Like in mattress retail, we did (at least I did) know our key metrics: traffic, closing ratio, average ticket, and average profit margin. Meaning: how many people walk into the store; how many of those make purchases; what the average ticket of those purchases is; and what the average profit margin of those purchases is. But the traffic is made up of people who choose to come into our store. And trust me, nobody goes to a mattress store just for funsies. They go because they are in the market for a mattress. So there’s no stalking people shopping at Target, begging friends on social media, etc. And most successful retail stores do know these numbers, and can take actions to improve them. But in MLM it’s significantly different.

  2. This is one of the most hurtful parts of MLM. It spreads a virus of greed through friendships and family. My relationship with my aunt (who spent years trying to recruit me) suffered some damage when she got irritated with me for not joining and then when I did, she developed a resentment at me for returning product and quitting. Neither of us knew about the chargebacks. You get sucked in because the “opportunity” doesn’t come from a chain email or a handsome Nigerian prince in need of money. It’s comes from your aunt or your best friend or your neighbor. MLM uses trusting relationships to infiltrate and make money. I became a number to my own aunt. I, too, resented her for taking advantage of me. Nobody thought to look to Mary Kay’s tactics as the source of the virus.

  3. “As a nsd ONE first line who debuts after you become a national = $5000 bonus + $1000 bonus each year after that until the nsd or the director turn retire.”

    As AN NSD, one would have hoped that by her age, she would have learned when to use A and when to use AN. And what on earth made THIS look like a valid phrase: + $1000 bonus each year after that until the —nsd or the director turn retire—-.”

    Turn. Retire. I sure hope Toupin isn’t one of the former teachers.

  4. “ONE personal team member who orders…”

    “If that same ONE offspring produces…”

    You’ll no doubt notice there is no mention of whether or not any of those orders or production (read: orders from levels furter below) result in actual SALES. Because, of course, who cares? Your NSD commission and bonuses come from orders, not sales.

    As Tracy says, these aren’t actual people being exploited in Toupin’s eyes; they’re just numbers. Dollar signs.

    The other thing that jumps out at me in these think pieces from various upper-level MK denizens is this: their analysis and communication skills are horrible. As Juliet has pointed out, this one (like nearly all of them) is riddled with grammar and syntax errors. But it’s also just dumb. Toupin’s math is just pulling numbers off of the compensation plan and writing them down as if they mean something. Sure, if your recruit orders X dollars per year, you get Y dollars per year, but so what? It says nothing about the odds of that happening. As analysis goes, this is all pointless.

    Imagine you’re in a business meeting, presenting to a roomfull of suits. One of them wants to see your projections for the next quarter, and your reply is: “If we do ten million in sales, we get to keep two million! Who can get excited about THAT??!!” You’d be right out of a job.

    This essay is a clear illustration of why resumes with any history of MLM on them end up in the round file.

  5. Whoever started The Pink Truth is genuinely fabulous in my book! You are saving a lot of people an enormous amount of aggravation! Lee it going!

    • Her name is Tracy Coenen; comments by “TRACY” (all caps) are hers. Her profession is forensic accounting, so her specialty is uncovering hidden truths in mounds of numbers. You can find more of her MLM analyses (and admire her beautiful hair) at her business site

  6. LOL: “Toupin’s math is just pulling numbers off of the compensation plan and writing them down as if they mean something. Sure, if your recruit orders X dollars per year, you get Y dollars per year, but so what? It says nothing about the odds of that happening.”

    If a million dollars falls out of the sky, you’re a millionaire!!!! Isn’t that exciting????

    • I love your last sentence! LOL. But, dream bigger! $2 Million or $4 could fall out of the sky! You don’t want to set your goals too low.
      And if a million doesn’t fall out of the sky, it’s probably your fault somehow.

  7. Here’s math for you: Katie Toupin’s unit was #1 in ordering for March in Ruby. She’s not even a legit Director! If I were any of the other Directors, I’d be so angry she’s getting recognition when she was handed all those people. Her unit ordered the equivalent of $40K wholesale and is listed for all to see in the new July Applause.

    MK, that’s a gross slap in the face of all the Directors striving for recognition. She’s a musician, not a hard-earned Director worthy of that suit or kudos.

    • “she was handed all those people.”

      I listened to an interview with Robert FitzPatrick, author of “Ponzinomics: The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing.” He was talking about back-room deals and how people are often brought into the MLM and “placed” at high positions. He said MLMs are the perfect environment for cheating.

  8. What got my attention (and at Seminar) was just how LITTLE is sold to get into the court of Sales! $18,000 wholesale gets you into the Court of Sales. Court of Sales is supposedly the Best of the Best in the company. We KNOW there’s expenses on those sales, so the consultant isn’t profiting even $18,000. But the directors say “full- time pay for part-time hours” & “executive pay”. I want to meet the executives making $18,000 per year. ??
    They also say you don’t have to recruit. You can make money just by selling the products. Clearly not very much money.

    • The only Directors with $18K checks will have done $1.8 million Circle of Excellence at Seminar this year. Then, they pay taxes on it and have expenses subtracted. See my math below:

      78,000 monthly unit production
      = 18,000 commission (23% of wholesale ordered)
      78,000 wholesale = 156,000 retail
      156,000 x 12 months = $1,872,000 unit retail for Seminar Year

      The only Director (now retired NSD) that comes to mind having accomplished that is Kathy Helou who was the first to have a unit order $2 million.

      Very, very limited number of people having done that much in all these years.

      • Dang; My former director was probably making less than minimum wage ($15,000/ year) all while claiming she made enough to support her family on her own if something happened to her husband and that she made an “executive” salary. I believed her.
        She did admit she worked full-time in MK. Like most people in MK, she wasn’t on Court of Sales or Court of Sharing; didn’t have a MK car. She eventually lost her unit after she had a health issue & the unit didn’t make production. Plus whatever amount she ordered just to keep the unit afloat before the end. Probably $$$.
        I wish I saved my old unit newsletters to see how much she ordered and our unit production was to figure out approximately how much she was making.

        • Then, watch this. If your Director wore a bar pin, the highest one she wore earned her this much money:

          $300,000 Circle of Achievement = $34,500 gross commissions (not counting or subtracting chargebacks, car payments, operating expenses)
          $400,000 Circle = $46,000 commissions
          Half Million = $57,500 commissions
          Top Director Trip = $74,750 commissions
          Million Dollar Unit Club = $115,000 commissions

          So, if she never wore a bar pin, she was taking home way less than $34,000/year. And, just because someone did Half Million one year to get pin or diamond ring doesn’t mean she makes that much money every year. My Director, for example, did Half Million 20 years ago but still says she makes an “executive income”.

          These numbers are simply 23% of the average yearly wholesale it takes to achieve each increment. Expenses as a Director are outrageous, and many of them are to just keep up the appearances that you have a thriving, head-turning, “on fire” unit. Paying for someone to maintain a website, another to do your newsletter, another to assist you in your office…those paychecks cost money. I had many chats over the years with Directors who admitted to not filing taxes or who had rotating, alternating credit cards to shuffle the debt around. Bedrooms and drawers full of inventory. It’s sickening!

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