Going Into Debt With Mary Kay
A sales director shows us how easy it is to fall into debt in Mary Kay. Even though she wasn’t making money, she has stayed in for years and tries to live the dream.
I started MK about 8 years ago. I was a stay at home mom with 2 children, who worked part time for extra money. I was a prime candidate for MK. I wanted to be successful and I wanted my husband and HIS family to be proud of me. I had a dysfunctional child hood growing up so all the “surface” support and love I saw hooked me immediately into the Pink Dream.
I was recruited in with $4,000+ in Mary Kay products. I started out strong, but here’s where it comes together. When I was in car qualification for my 1st of 3 cars, I was a little short on production during the 2nd month. My director suggested I just charge the needed amount of $3,000 because she was sure I would be earning that car. I did earn that car and thus began my cycle of credit card debit. It got deeper and worse each month. My credit cards became a stone around my neck.
I hid my debt for a while, but then my husband found out. We took a second mortgage on our first home which we didn’t even have to have a down payment for because our credit score was so good. After we did this I just knew I could start with a clean slate and really make money. Wrong! Before long I was back into the same mess. Why?? Why? Wasn’t I successful? I was driving a “free” car, after all.
Now I know (even though I hate to admit it) I was emotionally manipulated. I heard about how I was a leader in our unit and needed to perform. (Remember the woman inside who was so desperate for someone to love her and see her as someone valuable?) My team was looking to me. To fail at Mary Kay would be to fail them.
I thought my children needed a mother who was stable and successful. Becoming a director was a gift to THEM, in my mind. Being a director was the only way a person like me could ever make a living. How many times did I hear, “What are you going to do, wait tables?” I was convinced that outside of Mary Kay I was nothing, I could never become anything. Mary Kay was the ONLY way.
Because of the emotional abuse I had suffered from my mother growing up and the “abusive” situation I was in with my mother-in-law, I didn’t want to disappoint my senior director whom I thought cared so much about me. So I charged my credit cards and recruited on and on. I repeated everything I was taught.
I went through a divorce (no fault of Mary Kay) and became a single mother trying to survive on my Mary Kay income. I was told that I should NOT get a job outside of Mary Kay. People won’t recruit if they think you can’t make a full time income in Mary Kay. Your unit will fall apart if you start working for someone else.
They convinced me that I was going through a temporary “down time” and I could work my way out of it. I was trying to make a living for me and my children plus absorb all the new director start-up costs.
My husband and I filed bankruptcy when we divorced, so I had no credit available. My children and I lived on CASH only. I thought I was doing so much worse than other directors, but thanks to Pink Truth I now know they just had the credit cards to LOOK successful.
My production came from actual consultants, because I didn’t have the option of charging production on a credit card. I never felt good about getting women started with the big inventory packages. I just saw too many women with no sales and thousands of dollars of Mary Kay debt. But the attitude at all the director meetings was that everyone was sooooooo successful.
In all honesty I should have been getting food stamps for me and my children and some kind of Medicaid. But I was so brainwashed into the idea of looking the part of a successful director. Well successful directors don’t apply for food stamps. (After all how could I warm chatter women who just signed me up for food stamps?)
I felt guilty all the time. I needed to be working. I had to be on the phone in the evenings. Where were my children? Being quiet while Mommy “worked”. I was trying to set up those appointments. During the day, I had to warm chatter to get those new leads. It was an awful endless cycle. My church family prayed for me to be blessed. What I really needed them to know was my gas had been shut off and I needed help getting the rent paid.
Now God didn’t abandon me and my children. He did take care of us, but I am sure it would have been easier other ways. My prayer life and relationship with the Lord became focused on one thing: Me asking Him to help with my Mary Kay business. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
I suffered and so did my children. After a few years of being single, I remarried. My new husband never complained about Mary Kay. He prayed with me that God would bless my efforts and bless the businesses of the women in my unit.
We rejoiced together every month that my unit hit $5,000 in production. But still there was never money. My husband’s income was covering my Mary Kay expenses. I would tell him I just needed to get back on my feet. When the day came that the company was about to pick up my career car and my director status was in jeopardy with the company because I owed them money, I sat down and started doing the math. We should have been able to live on my husband’s income just fine without me even working. Not richly, but just fine.
Slowly the pieces started coming into place. It took several months and then I started asking myself, “Why am I paying so much money to be in Mary Kay?”
I started seriously considering getting out I saw a comment left on a blog with a link to Pink Truth. I peeked at the site and I started to see myself in so many ways—I couldn’t believe it! There were my life and my experiences staring out at me.
I was so ashamed of myself and I felt so much guilt I had been hiding it all these years. I truly thought I was the only one!!! Truly!!! I am hurting so deeply over the choices I have made over the past several years. I was so naive. I just thought I needed to get my act together. I thought I needed to find my superstar. I though I needed to get my personal business up and running. I thought I needed to get right on my thought process. On and on…
I am considering sending back my product. I am scared of what my senior director will say. I am certain it will be the end of our relationship. It is so sad to say, but I think our relationship has been about what I could do for her.
If you are reading this then I want to tell you something. You are great and you can be successful outside of Mary Kay. We hear so much about how bad the JOB world is. Be proud of what you do and the contribution you make to your family and your community. Please do not base your self-esteem on what the pink ladies around you are saying. I have a new focus on my relationship with Christ. He is the center NOT Mary Kay. God sent his son Jesus Christ to die on a cross for you. That is all the assurance you will ever need about your worth and value.