I Am On Fire, and It’s Going to Last!

Written by SuzyQ

I secretly love it when directors have a “good” month. In my former wannabe area, we competed for silly little prizes from the dollar tree in contests for highest monthly production and most recruits. It was terribly exciting. And very competitive.

If I were still in Mary Kay, in this wannabe area and with the rest of my former BFFs, we would be applauding one of the long-time directors. She has had quite a run this seminar year, so far. Did way higher than ever before as she wrapped up her car and aced it again this month. She was able to bring in a diamond AND an emerald star and her base production came through for her, too. Wow. She now has some car credit socked away and a great bonus.

And one of the senior directors? She rocks, too! After months and months and months of co-pays on her MK car, she actually has enough to meet the production requirement! She has a recruiting machine in her unit. A new Red Jacket! This is so exciting! THIS is the way it is supposed to be! These two women are actually approaching CADILLAC production. Be still my beating heart. They are actually making money! Really, they really truly are! Mary Kay works when you do! Ha ha Pink Truthers, losers, slackers, non-beelievers. Ha. Ha.

Okay, now that we have calmed down some, it is just silly of me to mention that these newbies came in with those orders on the last day of the month? Isn’t that just the way it always is? People waiting until very the last minute. It is so stressful and so exciting. (And there are extra days built in to fix those “on hold, cc decline” orders.) And you know, if you just keep trying and just keep bee-lieving, their stories can be yours, too!

Am I jealous? No. When I first quit Mary Kay, I would feel a some jealousy when I thought about the fact that they would make more money than me this month. But then I remember that most months I make more than them, in a career I actually love. I have a savings account now, with actual money in it. I’ve made money month after month, with a steady paycheck, when they’ve been scraping by and topping off production with their own money. And I have credit cards that aren’t even close to being maxed out because I pay them off every month, and I have health insurance that my employer heavily subsidizes, and vacation pay, and an old car with no payment, and that kind of stuff.

For almost all of them, it is eventually going to fall apart. It has to. It’s the way of multi-level marketing. This is just the power of intermittent reinforcement…. every now and then it works, and that is what causes us to repeat the behavior, because you never know, it may work again.

Very much like a slot machine. One win, no matter how small, can keep you seated in front of that particular machine for hours and dollars. The difference with MK though, is that when you have a “run” of good production and recruiting, you become the new best thing, and are used at banquets, director meetings, nsd events and anywhere else to inspire everyone with your “How I did it, and YOU can too, story.” It’s pretty heady stuff, being the new expert, having sister directors take notes when you talk— planning the Top Director Trip, rehearsing the seminar speech, looking for new gowns, etc. So much to do! So much power, so much confidence. Until it falls apart.

We tend to forget that fires burn out. They run out of fuel. Recruiting stops. Credit dries up. Chargebacks begin. People lose faith. Meeting attendance drops. Models become no-shows. Wheels spin. Leads dry up. Production drops and car co-pays start again. Parties and interviews cancel, and the bright light of success fades. The truth is that the level of activity does not ensure success in MLM. And every time this happens, as it must and will, it becomes harder to get the momentum going again.

So, enjoy your success, dear former BFFs! You’re on FIRE!


  1. The fire analogy is perfect for MLMs and MK. When the fuel is burned up, you are right back to where you started.

    I think all of us had “on fire” experiences at various points in our MK “career.” Nice commission checks, a unit that was ripe for exponential expansion, excitement that was palpable… it was all there. We might have even had a few months of it where we thought, “THIS!! This is it!!” Only to flame out later for one reason or another. We jump back onto the hamster wheel, and the cycle starts all over.

    Now, we watch those we know in the pink cult from afar — looking for fuel for their fires before they completely burn out.

  2. What is not obvious to MLM recruits is that MLM up-line profitability is powered by continuous consultant “churn”. There is no “passive” income in MLM. Drop-out rates can reach 80% in many MLMs, meaning you lose 8 out of 10 of your team every year. This translates to a team-size “half-life” of about six months. So if you “let your foot off the gas”, your team rapidly shrink (losing half of it’s members every six months). You need to work constantly to replace the drop-outs. If you stop recruiting, you team will quickly dwindle down to nothing, no matter how large it is at its peak.

    This churn never ends. You can never reach stability in MLM and take a break from recruiting. The fire needs continuous refueling, and recruiting, not product sales, is the way the MLM fire is fueled.


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