Written by Frosty Rose
Late July finds droves of intrepid Mary Kay beauty consultants eagerly preparing for the be-all-end-all of experiences in Mary Kay—Seminar!
For the blissfully uninitiated, this is when consultants and directors come together to spend 3-5 days in the very last place anyone wants to be in July—Dallas—which will be “turned pink” for weeks as thousands of consultants cycle through this indoctrination. They will learn the secrets of getting ahead in Mary Kay (some will finally figure out that the secret is lie and cheat). And they will spend valuable girlfriend time at the feet of the company greats.
But beware. There are some things you need to know about coming to seminar—how to dress, how to act, how to fit in, and, importantly, how to avoid the “seminar blues.” I know, I know. The last thing you want to do when you’re preparing for an exciting getaway is focus on what your “re-entry” period will be like, but this is a must for any successful business woman!
What, you ask, are the seminar blues?
Like many things in the pink fog, it’s fairly innocuous on the surface. It’s the few days when you come back from Seminar, faced with the reality of your life and business. If you’re not careful, all that reality (read: negativity) will burst your pink bubble and fill you with dismay that maybe this isn’t the greatest opportunity out there for women.
Seminar blues are a kind of culture shock—you’ve spent days cocooned in pink positivity, hearing from nationals and top directors about how they made it to the top and how you can, too! You just have to have the right attitude, the right work ethic, a high enough deserve level. Get those few things fixed, and you’ll be unstoppable, just like she is. But then you come home, and everything’s just the same (or slightly messier if you have kids) as when you left. Your customer base is the same, your team is the same, everything is the same. And “the same” didn’t earn you diamonds or a top director trip last year, so what makes you think it’ll work this year? Well, that, my dear, is just negative thinking! Everything is not at all the same! Because you have a new attitude, and you MUST protect this new you at all costs.
So, how do you do that? Well, we have some very good tactical advice from a top Mary Kay director that’s just for you!
1. Before you leave for seminar, have 20 appointments booked and confirmed for the 2-3 weeks after you get back. You’ll be so busy with appointments that you won’t have time to focus on the negativity around you! Wait, you’ve never had 20 appointments in a two-week period in your whole life? Well, that’s just laziness. Get over yourself!
The insider trick to this tip is this: If you do manage to get those 20 bookings, you’ll be so busy, you can’t focus on the negativity (read: reality) of your situation. You won’t remember the sinking feeling of yet another motivational speech from a narcissistic wanna-be influencer that just regurgitates the same meaningless tripe. If you don’t manage to get those 20 bookings (spoiler, you won’t), you’ll be so convinced that it’s your own fault that you’ll frantically try to get your activity up, creating a frantic busy-ness, which creates the inability to focus on the let-down that Seminar really was.
2. Pre-coach well. Prepare your hostesses so all those 20 bookings hold. They didn’t hold? (They never do!) Well, it’s all your fault. Get to work, you lazy loser! More guilt, more shame, more victim blaming.
3. Follow through on strategic communication with key people. Take phone numbers and addresses of the key customers and recruits that you need to talk to in Dallas. Send them a postcard while you’re there. Call them from the airport on your way back. Your enthusiasm will be contagious! Between the training classes, celebrations, outings with your director, awards with your national and every other thing you can think of, you won’t have time to breathe while you’re in Dallas, and we all know how conducive airports are to phone calls, so this is an automatic set-up for failure. But, again, if you can’t make this happen, it’s all your fault. And you have no one to blame for your failure except yourself.
4. Prepare to handle “re-entry.” Promise yourself that you won’t be distracted when you get home. (Can you hear my eyes rolling yet?) Hire a babysitter and a housekeeper to maintain your life while you chase your goals. Use the profits from your sales to pay for these things. Wait, you aren’t earning that much, or anything, from your sales and you’re hesitant to drop even more money after you just spent $1,000+ in Dallas? Negative nelly. Just work harder—this opportunity works if you do!
5. Bring your husband with you to the next meeting. Let him be appropriately indoctrinated. Spend more money on a babysitter, drag him kicking and screaming, and let him see what you see. Uh oh, all he saw was a bunch of over made-up fakers? He’s just being negative, don’t share anything with him anymore if he can’t support you!
Seriously, folks. All of this adds up to a trap to keep you constantly moving, never reflecting, never evaluating. And if you do start to think, you know, when you lay down at night and everything’s quiet and you can’t escape your own doubts… Well, in those moments, you’re convinced that every failure is your own fault because you didn’t measure up to some imaginary, impossible standard.
Everyone who’s been to seminar in Dallas can share at least three horror stories. For three days (or four or five, depending on extra events hosted by your national director, and paid for by you), you will be too cold, exhausted, under nourished by terrible convention food. Your feet will be sore. You’ll be crammed into a tiny hotel room at one of the most expensive hotels in the city with three other women. You’ll be stressed by finances.
Recognition events will be hosted to celebrate everyone’s victories from the year—but it reads like the script of Mean Girls. You’ll be snubbed by directors because you’re only a consultant. You’ll be snubbed by Cadillac directors because you’re not even in your director car yet. You’ll be snubbed by the nationals just because. And when you come home, don’t think too hard about the experience. Just get to work so next year you can do the snubbing and be in with the “in” crowd. Don’t focus on the fact that there will always be a more “in” crowd that you won’t have access to.
Or you could jump off the hamster wheel and feel the freedom that comes with letting it all go. Let go of the self-doubt. Listen to that still quiet voice that speaks to you when you lay down at night. Why are you putting yourself through all this? Avoid the seminar blues permanently by simply stepping away.