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

Four Phases in Mary Kay

A former director remembers being “trained” on this as a new director. It is one of the many things that set off alarms in the back of her head. Sales directors are warned in advance of the exact path their businesses will take. Note the subtle brainwashing going on during phase three. The ex-director’s comments are inserted after each phase.

Four Emotions of our Business from NSD Rena Tarbet

Phase One: The first phase is excitement. You’ve caught the vision of where you can go and what you can do for yourself and your family through our Mary Kay opportunity! You don’t know or understand just how it will all come about but you just know that it will. Nothing can stand in the way of your pursuit of the Mary Kay dream – you’re ready to take on anything.

This is a dangerous phase. Riding that wave of excitement lends itself to making potentially disastrous decisions. As directors were taught to encourage potential recruits to sign their agreements while in this phase. We are taught not to let them think about it too long or get advice from husbands or parents. Why? The longer someone thinks about it the less likely they are to sign on the dotted line.

We are also taught to have our new unit members “make a decision on how they’d like to start their business” during this phase. I actually had a national tell me that the longer the new member takes to make a decision the smaller size inventory she will order. She said “There is a narrow window of opportunity and the longer she thinks about it the more narrow the window becomes.”

Phase Two: Then phase two hits – frustration. Things are not going as fast as you’d like them to. Can you relate to this? Of course you can! We’ve all been there. We get impatient with ourselves and our customers. We tell ourselves that no one wants to book a beauty show or buy Mary Kay cosmetics.

This is where critical thinking skills need to kick in. There is not a consultant alive who has not gone through this phase. The experience speaks for itself, if you find yourself in this situation–pay attention–this is life in a Mary Kay career. It is miserable, frustrating and very detrimental to one’s self esteem and confidence. You can’t help but compare yourself to all those other “successful” consultants. You find yourself wondering what you are doing wrong.

This is a common time to seek advice. As directors, we teach our consultants to seek the advice of someone we’d like to emulate. We teach our consultants not to discuss their frustrations with one another, only someone higher up than they are. We teach them to not give in to negative thinking.

Phase Three: Then comes phase three – the crisis point. Do you throw in the towel and shoot holes in your beauty cases or do you get your head on straight and work it through? Do you tell yourself that unit meetings are the last place you’re going since you have not done anything to crow about? Or do you tell yourself that unit meetings are where you need to be to get your act together? The right question to ask yourself is the last one – as hard as it me be to push yourself to a unit meeting, it’s the best thing for you and your Mary Kay career right now. You’ll actually be glad you went.

The brainwashing in this paragraph is astounding. “get your head on straight”, “get your act together”, “push yourself to go to your meeting” This advice comes from a top National Sales Director. The implication is that wanting to quit when the business is failing you is somehow wrong. This is a time when you should be listening to your instincts. Instead, all too often we take the advice of someone whom we think we can trust.

Phase Four: The last phase is recommitment. You’ve made it! You’ve recovered from the situation and you’re stronger for it! You’ve recaptured your dream, you’re excited again, and ready for the next obstacle.

One thing is certain – each time you slip into the frustration phase, your trip back to phase one (excitement) gets quicker because you know the way!

Words fail me here. I want to reinforce listening to your instincts and critical thinking. Don’t let your director or recruiter do your thinking for you. Each trip through these phases sucked us further and further into the pink fog. This is how we become emotionally invested in the opportunity. Eventually, when the fog lifts we can see the opportunity for what it really is.

One comment

  1. NayMKWay

    The unfortunate thing about Phase 1 is how it draws people to try again after dropping out. They remember how great they felt after first signing up, when all their newfound “friends” were gathered around cheering her on. They remember the pity buys from friends and relatives; not seeing them for what they were, they thought greater things were to come. Oh, the excitement! That rush can be downright addictive.

    Remember the commenter a few years back who announced she was going back to MK for her fourth try at making it work? Case in point. Others hop from one MLM to another, probably not even realizing what draws them back over and over is that high they felt early on. It’s sad.


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