Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Burn Those Bridges!

Written by SuzyQ

Burn those bridges, ladies! It’s the right thing to do! Trust me!

Oh my. Did anyone else hear those words in Mary Kay? Of course you did, especially if you became one of the TOP TWO PERCENT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD (that would be a director, of course), or at least in the company. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard “Mary Kay doesn’t like her directors to work. It makes it look as though you don’t trust the company or the position of director.”

How many times did we hear directors say they were so excited to leave their J.O.B.S. so they could stop devoting all of that time working for someone else, and instead use that time to build their own futures? How many other times were we told lies? For example:

  • Can you give yourself a raise whenever you want?
  • Can you promote yourself at work?
  • Can you take time off whenever you please?
  • If you decide that you want Fridays off, can you take Fridays off?
  • Do you have to call in sick to someone? Have you ever needed a note from the doctor?
  • Your health insurance is not a benefit, do you know they are taking it out of your salary?
  • Are you being paid what you are worth, or what the “job” is worth?
  • Do you get recognition at work?
  • Can a (wo)man be loyal to two masters?
  • Have you taken God as your business partner?
  • Do you trust that God has laid His plan for success on your heart?
  • Isn’t it fun to make money by playing with make-up and talking on the phone?

So, directors, remember those first few weeks after DIT? Thinking you had made it, you had really made it! You had some debt with the fake consultants and all, but everybody else did, too. In my DIT class, Tom Whatley laughed and told us we needed to replace the “mirror foggers” and get right back into DIQ. We laughed, too.

We bought all the business tools and bling we were given the opportunity to buy, and learned quickly that director expenses were incredibly high. We didn’t want to look cheap though and we knew we had to sell the director sizzle. We also knew that business debt is good and personal debt was bad, and it would all add funny stuff to the I story when we debuted as NSDs. The road map was clear, all we had to do was follow.

We are told even more now—now that we are directors—that Mary Kay didn’t like her directors to work. Many of us have jobs that are not particularly wonderful—positive recognition may be missing, hours may be funky, pay may not be as much as we would like, coworkers may not appreciate us trying to recruit them, bosses may not understand that we need to be on the phone during our lunch breaks, or that we need time off to attend a retreat or event or function, and our senior directors just sigh when we express our frustration… it feels like we are trying to work two full-time jobs. One of them seems to have a dead-end and the other has unlimited potential. They understand, our seniors, and they say again “Mary Kay doesn’t like her directors to work, what are you waiting for?”

So, we quit our day jobs. We have been slowly and completely been absorbed into the pink fog. We know we are winners! We are directors! We drive free cars! We are business women! We are Godly women, and MK is our mission field! We are in the Top 2% of the Company! I remember feeling terrified and empowered when I quit. My daughter had a more practical point… I remember her words as though it was yesterday… “Way to go Mom, now we will be on the street.” I responded “We will look so pretty someone will rescue us.”

When we are directors in MK there is no extra money for continuing education and licensure requirements and those of us with professional credentials really have no choice but to let them expire. We are not supposed to work, so we can’t get practice hours, and we can’t afford the additional expense of continuing education hours anyway. We burn our bridges. We are on our own. But, our MK business will save us if we bee-lieve enough and work hard.

Burning those bridges. The bridges need to be burned so that all of our effort and energy is focused on MK, and not those silly credentials that pull our attention away from the task of building our units. If we have something professional to “fall back on” we will not invest what is necessary–emotionally, spiritually or financially– into our MK business. When MK becomes our sole source of income, MK logic tells us we will be successful, if we don’t burn the bridges, we are not the kind of director MK wants us to be.

Except what boss or professional has EVER encouraged you to lose the license you worked so hard to get? What business owner has ever suggested that you need to let that certification go so you’d be more committed to their company? Who in their right mind encourages you to burn a bridge when you never know when you may need another professional opportunity? NONE. Except Mary Kay. Real professionals know the value of licenses and certifications even if you’re not currently utilizing them. Real professionals know that someday a job opportunity might come your way unexpectedly, and you might just need that license. But not in Mary Kay. They want you to give up everything you worked so hard for that you will be forced to stay in MK. Even if you want or need to go back to your old profession, without that license or certification, you’ll have a hard time doing so.

So many other PT’ers, including me, have written about specific issues related to directorship and why it is so hard, I won’t go through it here again. What I do want to address again though, is the fact that many of us were incredibly successful and good at what we did at our J.O.B.S., and in our professions, that it was humiliating and impossible to understand how we could fail so badly at something that supposedly required nothing more than “squirting and reading.”

Burning those bridges… it’s too late for many of us, but lurkers? Lurkers, please listen. DO NOT burn your bridges. Maintain your certifications and credentials. Keep your options alive. Do whatever it takes to keep those bridges open. MK will not work, read a little more on this site if you still have doubts about us “lazy loosers.” Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had to spend over $1300 (money from my J.O.B.) and a year of my life to regain one of my licenses. I once again have professional licensure… it’s a good thing.


  1. Kristen

    Great post and eloquently written. I never heard the “squirting and reading” line, but I did hear: “Can you say up, up up? That’s all it takes.” (Meaning how to teach women to apply makeup). Incredible.

  2. NayMKWay

    SuzyQ offers a pithy example of Mary Kay doublespeak in this excellemt article:

    1. “Your so-called free health insurance at your J.O.B. isn’t free, you know; they take it out of your paycheck.” (MK fails to mention how much more you’ll pay for an individual plan if you “burn that bridge.”)

    2. “Free car!” (At best, the car is in lieu of pay and therefore not free. And what about those copays when volume comes up short?)

    In my 40+ years in the business world, I’ve never had a prospective employer even hint that their health insurance was free, yet Mary Kay shouts “free car!” all the time.

    Not a good look, Mary Kay.

    1. Peggy Hicks

      In every J.O.B. I had, my health insurance was free. The company paid for it & it was one of the fringe benefits I had, along with paid vacations, sick leave & pension plan. This is why I didn’t quit my J.O.B. when I was in MK for 6 months in 1992. It didn’t take long for me to see the handwriting on the wall & I left because I vowed I wouldn’t go into more debt than I could repay in 6 months. I’m convinced that I quickly figured out what MK was really about because I was in my mid 40s & had enough life experience to see the forest for the trees. I got out, returned my inventory, never looked back, & paid off my remaining MK debt within 6 months.

      1. Jo

        I’ve never had a free health insurance from any job, they usually paid for a portion though. I’m self employed and that’s the one thing I miss. I prefer self employed though because I can work when I want. And no I don’t do MK. Or any mlm. I am a consultant and VA.

  3. Shay

    How the holy phuck do they get away with religious harassment (not to mention manipulation)?
    Look, you believe in God- good for you that is not my issue, I am just saying in any other work place having religion pushed on you like this would not be tolerated. Ever.

  4. Heather

    My senior would NEVER consider quitting her “real job” with the federal government, despite being one of the “top sellers” in the company. The gubmint job paid a LOT and had great bennies. Many people higher up the food chain kept trying to convince her to quit or retire from it, until they realized that her being X AND an SD showed how “you could have it all.”

    If you want to burn bridges, burn that horrid pink one that leads you to and from MK.

  5. Lazy Gardens

    One thing a cult does is have you sever connections with anyone not in the cult – friends and family are shunned – Mary Kay just has you use and abuse them financially until they start shunning you.

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