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

MK Works When You Do

Mary Kay works when you do! No it doesn’t. There is a reason why sales directors earn so little. This story details the struggles of new sales director who quit after the debt and the fight became too much for her.

Early last year, Mia was flying high. She was a new sales director, in a brand new Mary Kay car, and feeling successful with commission checks between $1,000 and $2,500 per month. The sky was the limit! She would determine her own success based on how hard she was willing to work!

But the truth was that Mia was faking it till she made it.  Mia was exaggerating about how much money she was making, because she believed in talking about your goals and acting as if they were already done! (Sound familiar, anyone?)

Mia believed she was well on her way to Cadillac production and told everyone her unit was “on target”, when what she really meant was that she was hopeful that she could quickly build to pink Cadillac production levels. Again, she talked about it as if it was already done to help motivate and inspire everyone. (Common in Mary Kay, no?)

Over the last six months, the Mary Kay bubble popped for Mia. Her production was falling and no matter how hard she worked, things just weren’t happening for her. Mia’s husband was very worried about her, as she became unable to eat because of the stress. He didn’t tell her to quit Mary Kay. He believed she needed to make that decision all on her own.

Mia is now $5,000 in debt and calling it quits. She did have a nice car credit account built up right after she got her Mary kay car, and it has helped her through the last few months. But this is it. The credit is used up, and she does not want to continue on this path anymore. Mia put her heart and soul into Mary Kay, worked long hours, and never really saw a return on that effort. It finally became too much.

She is stepping down and has $7,000 wholesale inventory which she is trying hard to liquidate. Mia says she just doesn’t have the strength to convince women to work a marketing plan that does not work.

Ladies, I share Mia’s story with you to remind you how common this is. This story is not of one woman, one “bad apple,” who thought that MK was a get rich quick scheme or wasn’t willing to work hard. This is a woman who followed the plan for months, and was still losing money… even after moving up to the coveted “sales director” position which was supposed to be the ticket to making money. Yet she has continued to lose money month after month.

There are women like Mia who work hard, do all the right things, follow the plan, and still do not move up in Mary Kay. Is it the fault of the woman, or does it indicate a flawed plan? I’ve seen it happen too many times. The stories are all the same, and the problem is with the Mary Kay system.


  1. NayMKWay

    The whole “fake it till you make it” nonsense is not only morally wrong, it doesn’t work.

    The morality issue should be simple enough: you’re living a lie, which is just plain unhealthy. But in MLM, your pretense is an attempt to entice others into the scheme, which is much worse. Yet it is encouraged and given the innocent-sounding moniker “Attraction Marketing.”

    Oh, but it’s only a temporary falsehood, you’re told, because you must program your mind for success if you want to be a success. It’s a tried and true formula.

    No, it isn’t. It’s a trope that’s been kicked around for well over a century. Plenty of self-help gurus have raked in millions flogging the notion that changing your mindset or reprogramming the Universe is some kind of magic key to moneytown.

    It’s fine to have a positive mental attitude. Just don’t let it degenerate into self-delusion or hucksterism.

    1. Char

      This is what they call “work”. You need to work really hard at faking and living a lie, and then lure others into an endless-chain, product-based pyramid scheme.

      You don’t climb the ladder of MLM success unless you can con the masses and recruit them. 1% takes from the 99% of people playing the same game, but people only play in the first place because they are told everyone can win.

      How exhausting it must be keeping up the charade. No wonder people fail for not working hard enough………..at scamming.

      “Mary Kay works when you do.” People should be asking, “Doing what kind of work?”

  2. Data Junkie

    “Mia says she just doesn’t have the strength to convince women to work a marketing plan that does not work.”

    As Frosty Rose pointed out last week, one must compromise their personal integrity to promote this business. So…which takes more strength: Standing up to your up-line, or working against your own morals?

    Both options sound exhausting to me. Best to steer clear of MLMs like Mary Kay which make it is so hard, if not impossible, to do the right thing AND be successful.

  3. Rhonda

    I was Mia about 15 years ago. I worked and worked for 5 solid years. I missed my son’s games, was 8K in debt and had about the same in inventory. I sent the inventory back and got out of debt by selling my new but not used director’s suit, I had already taken the cash option on my second car, and sent it back. I was thrilled to dump and sell so much garbage to other directors. Two of the five “superstar” directors are “still in”. I have no idea how they’re doing it! I quit because I found myself alone at Seminar 4 months before, as high up as they could put me. I had a realization that that was it for me. And I had a National that sabotaged me with my offspring director. So all in all, it was all this plus the bastardization of God’s Word. The ultimate guilt, disillusionment, and pain at missing my kids lives for 5 damn years. It was enough. Oh—and I was always in the hole at tax season. How stupid could I be to allow that to happen to me? But I did…

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