A Director’s Letter to Her NSD

quitting mary kayCan you relate to her struggles as a Mary Kay sales director? Is this you? I know so many pieces of this story resonate with nearly all the sales directors in Mary Kay… This woman had the strength to quit and to tell her NSD about her experience.

Dear NSD,

I will try to paint a picture of my situation –but I don’t think it’s indicative of everyone’s situation. So please bear with me on details. I think as an NSD, you need to hear some of the situations I encountered…

Unless I was in a contest, or had worked a Bridal Fair, etc., bookings were my weakness. I had 3 classes and 5-6 facials since July 1. My heart wasn’t in Mary Kay by then, even though I tried to deny it. My dad had just died in May, my sister 9 months before, and my mother was alone in a big house, anticipating surgery. I am the only child left in town for her. I was reeling.

I came back from Seminar with great hopes, and not only had signed up for a website, but paid to have it done for me, paid for a unit newsletter, and worked at really getting my 3 girls that wanted to be directors where they wanted to go… so that became my focus. It was easier to focus on them than myself at this time. I actually cancelled several classes at the end of my decision-making time, and probably could have recruited more. I chose not to, deciding it wouldn’t be fair to others, and recently passed their info to Susie. I believe she has to potential for 3-6 recruits.

This last 6 months saw my unit production rise over 80% from last year. I finally had some workers with vision! They were recruiting, and I was actually having some wonderful meetings and lots of interest. I had regained what I enjoyed about MK… I thought.

Then the recruits began to fade away—as usual–and I had a very difficult person in my unit… I was just plain tired of riding the emotional roller coaster.

My reasons for leaving Mary Kay are not entirely personal. I had been preparing for this decision for over a year.

What you don’t know are the professional struggles I endured as an on-target car and new director right from the start. Maybe this insight will help others:

(This is a little confusing, so please, be forewarned.)

I only recently discovered why shortly after I had become a director, the reason I had no relationship with my off-spring, Kathy. Over 4 years ago, there was a complete breakdown with Kathy—my DIQ. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done at the time, and she wouldn’t say—until 2 months ago. Apparently, she was being treated the same way she had treated me, by her DIQ. She called to meet with me and apologize. She explained that my Sr. Director had instructed her to stay away from my meetings. She then took over with Kathy’s DIQ commitment—(I had no idea this was going on)—and I didn’t even know she’d finished DIQ until the info came thru online.

My Senior is 10 hours away and I believe always felt on the outside of the things we were doing in our city. She rarely went to Leadership or Seminar so I had no reason to see her.

Therefore, I came out of the gate as a new director, my unit was going strong, then voila! My DIQ took everyone on her team to another meeting 30 minutes away, 3 months before she even was a director. I had nothing. I was sabotaged. I had nobody attending meetings, nobody at my end of the year Unit Awards… and I was devastated by both Kathy and my Senior. This was taking place at the time when my sister was near death, awaiting an organ transplant. Seminar year end was around the corner. I wanted to do a Unit Club and always thought I could have—but my unit had all been taken away a couple months before. I couldn’t regroup to rebuild at the moment.

When I was an on-target car, I was humiliated at Seminar by my Senior in front of consultants from my Senior’s unit that I didn’t know, and chastised for not working hard enough… I was stunned. It was the worst 3 days of my MK life and I will never forget the shell-shocked feeling I had in Dallas. It was the second time I’d gone to Seminar. I did go on to earn my first and second car, and achieve Directorship, and become a Senior Director, but you know… all of these struggles take a toll on you sooner or later. I often wonder why I didn’t just take the hint and leave then. My Senior and National joined forces and told me to stay out of Opening Ceremonies to finish the car. I spent Day 1 listening to speakers from outside the Arena, begging on the phone for people to recruit. I always had the production. It was the people I lacked. At lunch, I was no farther along, and I was being “checked on” for my efforts. I should have walked out then.

What would possess a self-assured, college educated woman with 2 great kids, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, standing in the community, who had been fairly successful in a previous career, think this type of treatment was OK? I believe Mary Kay does bear responsibility. We work hard for acceptance, try to follow the rules, aspire to be even more pink than we already are… Yet, consultants and directors are told, “You didn’t work hard enough”, “What aren’t you doing/saying”?, “It works when you do”. “You just didn’t call enough people”, “She just doesn’t have enough information to say yes”…There are so many clichés and most are often counter-productive in the long run.

There should be an exit survey in MK, just like in corporate jobs. Not necessarily from 1 year personal use only consultants, but Directors who poured their heart and soul into this.

I have never, ever, felt any ties with my NSD, nor do I respect her in the least. I have had more phone, e-mail, and personal communication with you, than ever with her. (Thank you to you for giving me faith in some NSDs!) She called once, to push me to finish DIQ… When she was in town to work with my off-spring, (not me, my numbers were too dismal,) I didn’t know about it until weeks afterward, seeing the pictures in her next newsletter. When I asked her why I wasn’t contacted about her visit, I was told, “well, it was in the newsletter!”

The newsletter came out the week of my father’s death, and apparently I didn’t see it due to what was going on around me. I decided it was best to end all ties with her. The idea of being snubbed by her on this visit didn’t sit well, and I refuse to be someone’s peon. Nor did she acknowledge my loss…

So… Add all of this to the fact that I am tired of relying on others to make the meager income I do, and quite frankly, it’s not worth the time I put in, or the stress that results.

MK (and the way I allowed it to take over) almost destroyed my family life. I was on the verge of losing my relationship with my family. Shortly after I became a director, I began having panic attacks due to the stress over making production every single month, day after day…) that totally put me flat on my back once the adrenaline rush was over. When I took a good hard look at all this, it wasn’t worth it.

I never wanted to be an NSD. And when I repeated it at your Fall Retreat this year—as everyone in the room did, I knew then that I was done. I was lying to myself, and Mary Kay had run its course.

So, the long and short of all this, is, that my stats aren’t indicative of my work ethic, but rather of my declining interest, energy, and commitment, and mistrust of MKC overall. I have made the decision to allow Mary Kay to go away. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for “not working”. I did the work, but found I could not continually ride the Rebuilding Roller Coaster.

In the last 3 days–not one, but two–former directors in our area informed me of a website called, “pinktruth.com” and I must tell you—there are many directors with years of experience and some still doing very well in their Premier Club units–that have horror stories. At first, it depressed me to see how they were trashing Mary Kay, because I truly believe in personal responsibility. But when you read their stories (tab at the top of the page), it’s terrible. Some I can relate to.

My biggest problem and the ultimate decision maker for me, is a director’s production quota. If there was one change I could put into effect at Mary Kay Corporate, it would be to allow a “banking” system for director’s unit production, based on previous performance. Directors who have solid production for years, can lose everything so quickly–2 or 3 months–when missing production. What would possess a company to allow a solid director that maybe has never missed, or rarely missed production, miss 2 or 3 months and be OUT? Is her leadership and the subsequent results of disbanding of most unit members—not worth something to this company? I find this policy just plain wrong.

I know I gave you way more than you asked for, but I am way more than the stats you asked for could possibly represent. My best to you.


  1. (Sorry folks, but this is all I could hear while reading this “sob story”.)

    “Me, me, me, me, me.”

    It’s all about her. And is she that clueless? She was a pyramid scheme perpetrator; she was equally guilty of taking advantage of downline – just like her upline was doing to her. Did she shun her own recruits who didn’t “work”? This makes you wonder:

    “This last 6 months saw my unit production rise over 80% from last year. I finally had some workers with vision! They were recruiting, and I was actually having some wonderful meetings and lots of interest. I had regained what I enjoyed about MK… I thought.”

    Notice that, in her entire letter, there’s only a teeny weeny mention of pyramid scheme concern, and there is no sorrow that she herself participated and scammed others. And, after her PT revelation, the very next paragraph talks about, “Her biggest problem with MK is director production quotas.” Really? After reading PT? Nope, no guilt or concern for others, just this:

    “Add all of this to the fact that I am tired of relying on others to make the meager income I do, and quite frankly, it’s not worth the time I put in, or the stress that results.” And this,

    “I will not allow myself to feel guilty for “not working”. I did the work, but found I could not continually ride the Rebuilding Roller Coaster.”


    What’s it going to take to get people to recognize that “work” in a pyramid scheming con game isn’t much better than work as a drug dealer, prostitute, gang member, etc.. Mary Kay is financial violence!

    I have zero empathy for this perp. Had she not been ostracized, and/or if she were able to siphon enough money off her downline to make more than a “meager” amount, she would be on that stage sucking up all the “big fish; small mud puddle” glory.

    Yes, it is also possible to gather some insight from the article about how crappy it is to be a “Director”. As Tracy mentioned, it was also notable that she wrote to her NSD, to complain. But did she also write to every woman she recruited into her pyramid scheme? Somehow, I doubt it.

    If she has been reformed and apologized to her own downline, I will happily retract my criticism.

  2. I am tired of relying on others to make the meager income I do, and quite frankly, it’s not worth the time I put in, or the stress that results.

    “Relying on others [for] meager income” is a far cry from “just give yourself a raise!” isn’t it? The platitude does not reflect reality, and it never has.

    I hope this writer keeps visiting Pink Truth to gain more perspective, because she seems to think her story is atypical, and that the letter she wrote will raise some kind of alarm. It isn’t, and it won’t. I highly doubt the recipient of this letter did anything other than toss it. Maybe even shred it to make sure it didn’t get out. It is of far more benefit here on PT, where there’s a chance that some who need to see it actually will.

    • Agreed, Nay. She is still under the false assumption that anybody in MK gives a crap if you were treated badly. Exit interview? Those are for companies that care about employee satisfaction and retaining them. Nobody in a pyramid scheme cares if everyone is fleeing out the back door (in fact they count on it) as long as enough are coming in the front door.

      • I did find myself chuckling at the notion of an “exit interview.” With the overwhelming turnover rate in Mary Kay (and pretty much all MLMs), they’d need an entire division just to handle exit interviews. The paperwork generated in a year would reach to the Moon. And no one would read any of it, because no one cares.

        Mary Kay’s attitude is pretty much, “Uh-huh. NEXT!”

      • Besides, they’d never get any business done for the mass exodus they have happen every month.

      • I’m sure that Mary Kay, Corp. has the same attitude toward consultants that the consultants have towards new prospects: “Some will, some won’t, who cares? Next!”
        So predatory, inhumane and unfeeling.

  3. “At lunch, I was no farther along, and I was being “checked on” for my efforts. I should have walked out then.”

    So much for “owning your own business”

  4. I used to be really angry at my NSD for all the damage she caused me and others, while getting rich off of all of us. Yet, now I feel sorry for her. What kind of legacy has she left? A wake of disrupted lives and families, while claiming to be enriching lives. If she has a conscience, and that is doubtful, she must live with herself. If she is the narcissist I think she is, well, maybe karma will serve some justice. What a lonely, sad life. I hope Jamie Taylor gets wise before she is too much older, but she will probably jump onto another ship that exploits others. If she’s been okay with it so far, why change?

  5. Lots of bad stories between Srs and their offspring! The amount of accomplishment erased because of something unfair like swaying unit members and adoptees from another’s meetings (usually based in jealousy and ego), a bad month, a bad quarter, and public humiliation when excluded from something at Director meetings or as simple as a ribbon on a badge…it’s all enough to bring down the most confident and successful person. Locally, we had multiple Directors invite others’ Consultants to their meetings, and it got nasty. For years!

    Another thing I feel MK could’ve changed for the better is allow people to change units or Areas. Not necessarily moving their production around, but they should be able to leave an unhealthy relationship and work under another mentor. Lots of people have felt trapped having to spend time and trips with people they disagree with or have been wronged.

  6. It really amazes me how so many women in Mary Kay stay in this extremely negative situation when they’re not even paid employees. Like, many paid (salary or hourly) employees of actual jobs will put up with extremely abusive situations because they need to maintain their employment; they need their paychecks. But Mary Kay is “pay to play”! There IS no paycheck; there is no monetary reason (at least at the level this poster was at) to endure such abuse even one more day. To me it really shows just how pervasive the evils of MLM are. You have to pay for everything, from inventory to training to your “uniform” etc, yet you’re still willing to be treated so horribly.

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