Numbers Don’t Lie

Written by JTA

How many times have we heard that the numbers don’t lie? Well, the numbers are precisely what caused me to become disillusioned about this “business” and this company. A person in their right mind would not be able to look at the numbers I see and continue on.

Not so much my personal numbers in Mary Kay, although I spent an extraordinary amount of time working, doing the “short term sacrifice for long term gain” thing. My schedule was 8am-10pm Monday through Friday. I worked on Saturday, too, and took off from 6pm Saturday to 6pm Sunday and then got back on the phone. I was taught by other NSDs to only ‘relax’ those 24 hours so that I could become NSD more quickly.

I made okay money, usually around $10,000 per month, BEFORE expenses and chargebacks. But that was for an 80 hour work week. Pretty sad, isn’t it? When I added up the hours for the first time, I wondered why my family even put up with me! But that is for another post.

The numbers that caused my stellar career to crumble were that of my offspring. None of them made any money, and most were losing money. Yes, Mary Kay sales directors lose money. Lots of them lose money. I observed, for years, the deceptive and destructive practices by sales directors as it related to production, and finally I could ignore it no more.

It is important to note that not a single one of my offspring were willing to do what I did. They didn’t and still don’t work the enormous hours and make the sacrifices necessary to have a “successful” business. That is what it takes, if you don’t already know. You must work basically around the clock to keep it up in Mary Kay. I’m not shaming them for not putting in 80 hours a week like I did. Rather, I’m pointing out how difficult it is to make money if you don’t do it.

I admire that my directors had the good sense to spend time with their families and have some sort of a balance in their lives, as probably most directors who are categorized as ‘mediocre’ or ‘unsuccessful’ do. What is so puzzling, though, is WHY they remain on the proverbial hamster wheel, on the road to nowhere month after month, year after year?

Case in point: One terrific lady had been a director for about a year. She is beautiful, talented and smart. During that year, she made minimum production on 6 times. Of those 6 times, 4 times she made the minimum because of a large personal order she placed. Two of the later months she placed orders around $3,000.

You might wonder if this director needed that amount of product? Did she need the $1,200 of product or the $1,500 of product she ordered several months? Perhaps, but why were those orders always placed on the last day of the month, and for the EXACT amount she needed to hit the minimum production needed to maintain her unit?

This is not a coincidence.

These orders were purposely placed so that she would not lose her directorship. A position that has made her no money, but has cost her thousands, not to mention marital strife. Why would an otherwise smart and savvy person willingly participate in such madness? Why do her supposed leaders and mentors, again otherwise Christian and caring women, allow this to happen?

The only reason that I can come up with is this: They are all brainwashed. I don’t have an explanation for why corporate does nothing about it, even though they can see the same thing I do, but on a much larger scale with thousands of people instead of a dozen. Greed, I guess. (Hey Mary Kay, take a look at all those who you sent letters to that missed production last month. I bet you will see a lot of similarities to the above, several huge personal orders to make the minimum. Don’t you think you should do something about this?? NSDs, or even the senior directors, it has been happening for years, aren’t you supposed to be helping these women?)

If you are not making any money, if your unit size is less than 10, if you are having to order personally in the thousands to keep it up, if your family and husband are upset at what you are doing, if you have spent years and have gotten nowhere, STOP and take a look at your past year. Someone’s life is getting enriched, but it isn’t yours.

Wise up ladies. The numbers don’t lie.


  1. Brainwashed no more

    “The only reason that I can come up with is this: They are all brainwashed.”

    Great article. Yes, brainwashed to meet goals. And, there’s no time to think because it’s a constant hamster wheel. No down time. And, it’s people’s pride that everyone knows their goals. It’s hard to de- brainwash. Especially, you’ve been told only to complain to your director. You’ve been taught to manipulate your spouse. I can go on and on. Mk has decades of perfecting their manipulation of women and their families.

    Put off your family time for mary Kay. It will pay you later in financial stability. You’re building your future. The nsd position has been so glorified that everyone wants to be an nsd or thinks they want to be one. Then, goals and prizes continue this.

  2. Lazy Gardens

    Another number that doesn’t lie … the possible slice of the sales pie.

    Take Mary Kay’s own number for their “sales”, divide it by 2 (to get “profit”), and then divide it by the number of IBCs they have. That is the average possible maximum income for an IBC from sales.

    For every IBC making more than that, there has to be one or more making less. Because that number doesn’t stretch.

    From Forbes (year unknown)

    Sales 3 BILLION
    Sales force exceeds 3.5 million

    3 billion divided by 3.5 million = $857 per consultant

    1. Mountaineer95

      I feel like this should be an automated response sent to every IBC who stumbles onto this site and shoots a critical email to Tracy, saying that they “make good money”. They ALL say it, but almost none of them actually CAN be.

  3. Shay

    Okay but you can’t make money just selling products. Let’s say you sell $100,000 in products in one year and full retail- it won’t happen, let’s say you did..
    $50,000 pay yourself back
    30% of $50,000 “retail” sales for business & personal taxes + expenses, credit card fees.. Wnat $ 13,000 is all you have left?
    tsk tsk
    When you gotta recruit to make money cause the product is shit and can’t make money anymore.. it’s a scam

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