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

Executive Pay For Part-Time Work

Written by Frosty Rose

A few weeks ago, we looked at how little money sales directors are actually earning, backed by real numbers out of the Jamie Taylor national area. But what about the other half of the equation that recruiters are always promising?

Executive pay for part-time work. Having debunked the “executive pay” myth, let’s dive into the “part-time work” piece.

For years, the gold standard of work for a Mary Kay consultant has been a 3+3+3 week. In English, that’s 3 parties, 3 interviews, and $300 in reorders. A sales director is supposed to be leading by example, so let’s assume she’s working at this level. (The reality is, no one is working at this level, but if they’re not, they’re being guilt-tripped for not working hard enough and told that their lack of success is all their fault. But that’s a different story for another day.)

Mary Kay directors will tell you that a 3+3+3 may take 12 hours. It’s so easy, after all! But how much time will you really spend on your “business”? For the purposes of these calculations, I’m using Mary Kay training numbers. My argument would be that it’s going to take far more time and effort to book and hold parties and interviews, but we’ll go with how they train new consultants and lowball it.

Three Parties:

Mary Kay math dictates that you need to book 2 parties for 1 to hold, so to hold three, you’ll need to book six. Per Kristin Sharpe, you need to talk to five women to book one party, so you’ll need to call 30 women to book six parties. For the purposes of this calculation, we’ll ignore the time you need to spend stalking…er… warm chatting strangers in the supermarket to get new leads, and just assume you have a pile of names and numbers on your desk. Let’s assume a ten-minute average conversation per person as you’re booking parties.

10 minutes x 30 leads = 5 hours booking parties

Once you actually book those parties, you’ll need to spend at least 30 minutes per hostess getting a guest list, making sure she’s prepared for you to get there, and arming her with the verbiage she needs to guilt her friends and family into showing up… er…inspire her people to come pamper themselves.

30 minutes x 6 parties = 3 hours coaching hostesses

At party time, you’ll need to clean mirrors, pack sample bags, and put everything in your demo bag to schlep it across town for the party. Let’s assume 30 minutes per party in prep time, plus 30 minutes of travel time.

(30 minutes prep + 30 minutes travel) x 3 parties that actually hold: 3 hours

Parties typically last 2-3 hours, so let’s average that and say 2.5.

2.5 hours x 3 parties = 7 ½ hours

Post-party travel, clean-up, and paperwork will take at least an hour per party.

1 hour x 3 parties = 3 hours

Party total: 21 ½ hours

Three Interviews:

Presumably, you’re meeting these victims… er… enthusiastic prospective business owners at your parties each week. Interviews will typically last an hour, so you’ve got 3 hours invested in this piece, if all goes well. If not, you’ll be at a Starbucks, stood up, as the baristas try to figure out if you’re waiting for a date or an MLM victim. Their money is on the latter.

$300 Reorders:

Again, we’ll rely on that good ol’ reliable Mary Kay math, which says you should be able to get $100 in reorders per hour on the phone with your customers (ha!). So to get $300/week in reorders, you’ll invest another 3 hours here. Oh, and don’t forget the time placing product orders with MK, deliveries, and at least one trip to the post office to ship to your out-of-town customers. Add another 2 hours.

All told, your “consultant work” of a 3+3+3 will take 29 ½ hours. Well, that’s not too bad. That, legitimately, is a part-time job! (I’m not getting into the earnings you should expect from these 30 hours invested. With directors running BOGO sales every five minutes, competition from eBay and Amazon, and all the giveaways you’ll have to include to bribe hostesses and potential recruits, you’re not making very much money from sales. For most directors, the sales part of their business is a break-even. They hold parties with the sole purpose of meeting new recruits.)

And wait! We haven’t added on the extra responsibilities of a director! Let’s take a look.

As a sales director, you have to plan and execute a weekly sales meeting. The meeting itself is 2 hours, but you’ll need to get there at least 45 minutes early to set up and accommodate those consultants that get there early. You’ll also end up staying 45 minutes late to tear down and chat with stragglers. Add 30 minutes for travel and an hour to plan/prep.

2 hours + 45 minutes + 45 minutes + 30 minutes + 1 hour = 5 hours for weekly meeting

You also need to make time to touch base with your consultants on a regular basis. MK wisdom says that to maintain Cadillac production, a unit should have at least 100 consultants. Let’s say you touch base with each consultant once a month and each conversation averages 10 minutes.

25 consultants per week x 10 minutes per conversation = 4 hours, 10 minutes

You should also expect to support your consultants in their recruiting efforts. Let’s say your unit members do 5 interviews in a week. Add another 5 hours.

Oh, and you have to support those new recruits! If you get one new recruit per week (which you definitely should with all those interviews! /s), you’ll need to plan time with each of them. An inventory talk (ahem… manipulating her into frontloading products she’ll never sell) should take about an hour. And if you plan to go the extra mile (and you’re a top MK gal, so of course you will!), you’ll hold a “Business Debut” (ahem… recruiting all their potential customers before they have a chance to sell the first item) for them, each of which will take about 4 hours.

New recruit support: 5 hours

And what about all the behind-the-scenes work? The social media posts, the unit newsletter, the recognition blasts, creating and marketing contests, planning and purchasing prizes, keeping on track of reports, on and on and on. Let’s be conservative and say one hour per day.

Back-office work: 5 hours

Your director responsibilities will likely take a total of 24 hours, 10 minutes in addition to your consultant responsibilities.

Total time invested in your “part-time business”? Almost 54 hours per week! The bulk of those hours will be at night or on the weekends. You’ll lose time with your family. You’ll have no social life outside of Mary Kay. As I shared in the first half of this series, Sarah Burgette, the #10 director in Jamie Taylor’s area, is averaging less than $2,400/month. $600 in commission income per week for almost 60 hours of time invested. Tell me again how this is executive income for part-time work???


  1. Popinki

    But that’s why you need to hire someone (out of your whopping big monthly income) to tackle that back office work for you!!!!! It’ll save you so much time!!!

    Seriously, folks, if you want a part time job, just get a part time job. You’ll work set shifts, collect regular paychecks, and not even have to think about the place on your days off.

  2. Data Junkie

    Great work Frosty. This shows that “Part Time” is yet another business term misused in MLMs like Mary Kay. Add that to the long list of other misused business terms including “Business Owner”, “Income”, “Wholesale/Retail”, “Customer”, “Sales”, “Profit”, “Opportunity”, “Residual Income”, “Make (as in ‘pay’)”, the conflation of “gross” and “net” revenue etc..

    All of these terms mean something very different in MLM compared with traditional businesses. This is why you can’t trust anything you hear from MLMers. If you do catch them mis-using these terms, you can have some fun by channeling you inner Inigo Montoya, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

  3. Heather

    If I work 54 hours a week, I get paid for 14 hours of overtime at an incredibly high rate. That’s on top of my regular pay. I can guarantee that the weekly paycheck will be more than the monthly checks received by most directors.


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