This is retired Mary Kay NSD Gloria Mayfield Banks comparing Mary Kay to a “real job.” Mary Kay isn’t a real job because 99% of the people involved spend money on it instead of getting a paycheck. Because it’s an MLM, the odds of success for the vast majority are miniscule. So they’ll end up spending money instead of making money.

Success in Mary Kay is not tied to mastering a skill or working hard. It is directly proportionate to whether or not you can “pull inventory.” If you can recruit new victims and get them to place big initial orders, you move up. But only if you can do that faster than people quit and return their inventory. And you need to churn the volume of recruits very fast.

So is Mary Kay a real job?

Throughout my career I have seen many Consultants come and go because they felt they needed to find a “Real Job.” Why do people think that Mary Kay is NOT a “Real” job? What classifies an opportunity as a “Real” job? Does getting a paycheck with the same number of dollars each pay period classify as a “Real” job? Does working 10-40+ hours, and still making the same amount of money classify?

How about getting up very early, taking a shower and leaving your house every day? What about putting your kids in daycare- does that make it a “Real” job? How about having to schedule vacation time a year in advance? Or having to explain to your supervisor why you need a day off? Maybe that is what makes it a “Real” job. Maybe you need to be working for someone else, have to report to someone else and let him or her decide when you deserve a raise.

Let’s pretend for a moment. What if we apply “Real” job guidelines to your Mary Kay business? Just imagine if you devote 20 hours per week of complete and total focus to doing your Mary Kay job well? What if you set your own goal and always did today’s work today instead of waiting until you felt like it? Imagine the possibilities- if you paid attention to profitability and actually took the steps necessary to promote yourself.

You owe it to yourself to make Mary Kay a “Real” job-even if it’s just part-time.

Why would you give more time and commitment to someone else’s business than you would your own? Do you really want to work for someone else forever?

Wouldn’t you prefer to work 20 hours, but get paid like you worked 40 hours?Would you like to be your own boss? Would you like to plan your own hours each week to work within your family’s schedule? What if you could take an extra day off one week, then work an extra two hours each day for the next week to make up for it? Do you have this type of freedom with your “Real” job?

If you feel like you have “tried Mary Kay” and it hasn’t worked for you, try asking yourself a few questions.

  • If someone with my MK work habits worked for me, would I continue to pay them or reward them?
  • Am I consistent in my efforts?
  • Do I make calls when I need to make them- no matter what?
  • Do I place orders in a timely manner to keep the “store” stocked with the hottest, most up-to-date products?
  • Do I give great customer service-going over and above what the client expects?
  • Do I follow up on all leads and potential recruits quickly and professionally?
  • Do I work with my Director on accountability and turn in my weekly accomplishment sheets?
  • Do I attend trainings and events in my area?

If you have answered any of these questions with a “NO”, perhaps this is an opportunity to change your ways and make new goals for your business this month. Make it a point to treat your Mary Kay business like a “Real” job-you will earn REAL money, REAL cars, REAL prizes and see REAL changes in your life!

Want to make a REAL difference in the lives of women? I believe we can!

With a Mary Kay Career, what you make is up to you!


  1. “Do I work with my Director on accountability and turn in my weekly accomplishment sheets?”

    But, Gloria, aren’t I the sassy, independent, #BossBabe CEO of my own company?

    (And besides your weekly accomplishment sheet [what] don’t forget your math homework and the diorama for science class.)

  2. This is too funny. Ask a real business owner those questions and they will laugh you out of the room.

    Now, ask a Mary Kay lady some real business questions and observe the look on her face:
    – What was your net revenue (commission plus sales margin) last month?
    – How did that compare to the same month last year?
    – What about year to date? All time?
    – How much inventory (gross cost) is sitting on your balance sheet? And your downline?
    – How much inventory has expired while on your shelf? Year to date? All time? What about your downline?
    – How many competing reps do you have in your market territory?
    – What does your ledger say for your costs (last month, year to date, and all time)
    – What does your ledger say for your commission and margin net revenue (last month, year to date and all time)?
    – What was the average margin (% over wholesale) for your personal sales last month? Year to date? All time? What about your downline?
    – Did your schedule C show a profit or loss last year? How are things shaping up for this year?
    – How much did your downline spend on product last month? Year to date? All time?
    – How much commission revenue and margin did your downline clear last month? Year to date? All time?
    – How much did your downline (in aggregate) lose last month? Year to date? All time?
    – How many new reps did you sign last month? Year to date? All time?
    – How many reps did you lose last month? Year to date? All time?
    – What is the aggregate (for all time) and average operating loss for the active reps in your down-line?
    – How about for all the reps who quit?
    – How much aggregate personal loss are you willing to tolerate before you call it quits?
    – How much aggregate loss are you willing to tolerate in your downline before you call it quits?
    – Based on your historical P&L trend, at what date in the future will you finally turn an aggregate profit (considering all costs and revenue for all time)
    – If that trend holds, how much longer until you are clearing a net income comparable to full-time minimum wage? Six figures?
    – Please share your persoanl P&L historical trend graph and forecast
    – Please also share the same for the aggregate of your downline

    Real business owners track data like this. My guess is most Mary Kay reps only track commission and bonus revenue, if they track anything at all.

  3. “weekly accomplishment sheet”

    I saw It Works training videos where up-lines required team members to take screenshots of their posts and then forward them to the up-lines to prove they were “working their business.”

  4. Yes, Gloria. I did, in fact, do all those things. ALL. OF. THEM! And you know what? It didn’t work. Because statistically, it can’t work for 99+% of all distributors in an MLM scheme. It can’t. Because without the funding from the downline, there’s no money for the upline or corporate. 99% of consultants MUST lost money for the company to stay afloat.

    But thanks for staying on theme for Mary Kay “training.” If it works, it’s because it’s an amazing opportunity. If it doesn’t, then it’s all your fault. Gross.

  5. Do I work with my Director on accountability and turn in my weekly accomplishment sheets?

    This sounds like the “make work” my former manager would foist on us at 3.30 on a Friday to make sure we didn’t leave early. Her replacement would happily sign our flex sheets so we could slip out before the end of day.
    We had a week-end book where we wrote down what we did and any minor problems that had occurred when we had no supervisors checking in on us.

  6. Data Junkie, your list of questions are what I LOVE ABOUT BUSINESS ACCOUNTING. These are what would turn a kbot faint from the blood rushing to her heart to keep her alive should she be faced with those questions with real answers expected. Turn tail and run, I do believe is the phrase that would fit most of the NSDs as it is hard to learn what no one is teaching you because they don’t know such constructs EXIST.

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