Final Farewell to My Mary Kay Offspring

[Reposted from our archives because it was so awesome and is still relevant!]

Written by JTA

I know you think ill of me and that I am nuts. Some of you even hate my guts. But, I still love each and every one of you despite this and although I am at the end of my Mary Kay journey, thank God, I’d like to share with you a final farewell. Of course none of you read Pink Truth so you won’t see this, but maybe it will help someone else. It is long but please hear me out.

Realizing that you all believe my feelings and actions to be that of a crazy person, please remember I am the same person that you followed for all those years. You former future NSD, the one you listened to, the one who mentored you, the one whom you went to for any and all issues and gave you advice that you followed.

It took me months and months and months to take the position that the Mary Kay business is fatally flawed. And most of all, regardless of what you now think of me personally, the main reasons I have taken this position is that most of you barely make production, many of you BUY your production, and ALL of you make very little income. That is an indisputable, numerical fact that has nothing to do with me, my thoughts and beliefs, or my actions.

But the question is, if you listened to me for years, believed in me all that time, why now am I crazy and/or to be despised and ignored because of my opinions about a company? You dropped me like a bad habit. This seems wrong doesn’t it?

Having said that, a year after my “20 reasons” post , all of the backlash and anger, and months of drama, thankfully every one of the major production buyers from my former area are no longer Directors. Those of you who remain, however, continue to struggle and I cannot imagine what lies you tell yourself to continue to push forward. I can only pray that you one day see that you are involved in a cult to put it simply, one that causes you to do unexplainable, ridiculous things. Not to point fingers, because it caused me to do those things, too. It seems to cause EVERYONE to do those things. Another wrong.

You are all awesome, ethical, wonderful women who have as a result of your affiliation with MK have become LIARS. Again, not to point fingers, I was, too. Think of the $1,000s upon $1,000s of fake orders, the fake recruits, the times you stood up and talked about your ‘free car’ that you pay for and the ‘high check’ you had so long ago. How about the lies of omission which have been explained so well recently? We’ve all done that. You continue to do it. IT IS WRONG.

Then there are the issues at home. Most of you have some sort of family time which is precisely why your production sucks. To succeed you have to work 24/7, that is the plain and simple truth. So kudos to you that you’ve kept that part sacred and have not succumbed to that piece of brainwashing (the ‘short term sacrifice/long term gain’ fallacy).

But please know that this and only this is why you have not, nor will you ever, do the ‘big numbers’. Not because you can’t, not because you aren’t capable, not because you haven’t done this or that promotion. You could do it, and I never doubted that. The numbers are how they are ONLY because you do not work around the clock. Unless you are willing to work around the clock (or recruit Nigerians, which one has so far with some success, so good for her, but that is another story.) it is never going to happen for you. NEVER. This, too, is wrong.

But a few of you have worked more than others, and/or spent more than others trying to prop up your units, doing a little better and making very low 5 figures instead of 4. Your relationships have suffered because of it. There have been a few near divorces that thankfully were caught in time as the Director resigned/was terminated for lack of production. There have also been some of the real deals, though.

And yes, I do blame Mary Kay. I am sure there were other problems as well, but the bottom line is the men were NOT brainwashed, did NOT agree with the time you spent away from home, did NOT agree with the money you spent compared to what you make, did NOT believe the hype. So they are branded unsupportive and over time the marriages have failed. This is very sad. And also wrong.

So to summarize:

  • I am not crazy. I even went to our NSD’s shrink (yes she sent me there thinking I was depressed or having some sort of mental issue) who stated what was obvious to the shrink: that I needed to take a step back from MK. That was hard to hear, but ended up being the truth. Once I did I realized all of the above wrongs and really looked at your numbers. Yes, I committed the crime of “studying the roots of the tree instead of just picking the fruit” as we’ve heard a million times. Now you see why we aren’t supposed to study the roots. They ain’t pretty.
  • I did not quit because my husband makes great money and we didn’t need the money. He did not influence me one way or the other, and has always been supportive of anything I wanted to do. He in fact did not work for so long that we are, in a word, poor. The details of this would shock you. Financially poor but rich in all other ways that matter.
  • I did not quit because I got a great job and make great money there. I have done some other things but most have been volunteer or not great money makers. See above that we are broke but I would rather be broke than live a lie.
  • I did not hang on and collect checks with any sinister motives. I did so because I could not sell the business that I spent 10 years working my ass off to build. I spent more money than all of you put together to do what I did how I did it. The events, prizes, visits to all of you, etc etc. So try to understand that I just wanted to try to recoup a tiny portion of what I had put into the business that would soon die. Not to mention my family needed the money. I am pretty sure you would have done the same thing if you were in my position.
  • I was not purposely deceptive or devious. All of my moves prior to last August were orchestrated by our National, presumably to soften the blow. In any case, I did exactly what she said to do for about 7 months. She read and critiqued every email and bit of communication to you. All the while you criticized me for what I was doing and how I was doing it. Of course once I did things my way you criticized me, too. My sisters, my friends.

I’ve been told by mutual friends that you all are big girls and can make your own decisions. Well, your decisions have been to the detriment of you, your families and finances. And the difference, the biggest difference between YOU and ME is that you all had ME all those years pushing you and teaching you all the wrong stuff. We have the same National who influenced us, sure, but you all also had ME, too.

So despite the fact that you are adults, I wrongly influenced you for years and years, some of you for more than 10 years. I will forever feel responsible for this.

So the bottom line is I ended a lifetime career for you. You may not believe that but it is the truth. I sacrificed that career I thought I would do forever, one that paid me thousands and thousands per month, for you. Yes, I am happier in that I have more time with my family, and I am not stressed.

But the main reason I left is because of what was going on with you. I made money, so at least I had something to show for it all. You didn’t and still don’t. My hope was that if you saw me leave, saw that I did not believe in the lies and unethical craziness that goes on, that maybe you would think twice and either change your ways or leave, too. It has been HARD, imagine losing your career, your big income, who you are and have been for over a decade. But as hard as it has been, it is worth it.

As I’ve told you before, I hope you know my door is always open. I think about you, all of you, every day and wish you nothing but the best, and I miss you. Maybe someday we will be friends once again.

5 COMMENTS

  1. “Yes, I committed the crime of “studying the roots of the tree instead of just picking the fruit” as we’ve heard a million times. Now you see why we aren’t supposed to study the roots. They ain’t pretty.”

    There’s a reason why so many early humans became farmers instead of keeping on as hunter-gatherers. If a food resource is wiped out by Mother Nature or a rival forager beats you to it, you’re screwed. And trust me, the branches in Potential Customer Woods have already been stripped bare by every Kbot that came before you.

    When you plant a tree, the roots are the most important thing to check. You have to clip off any broken or diseased ones, make sure none are wrapped around so that they’ll strangle the others, and dig a nice big hole so they can spread out and grow. Without healthy established roots, there’s no rest of the tree. Plus, it has to be the right kind of tree for the fruit you want to get, planted in the right kind of soil, watered and fertilized until it’s established and pruned and tended carefully.

    Meanwhile, the Kbots are jamming a 2×4 into a sandbox and praying for apples. PINK LADY APPLES.

  2. “But the question is, if you listened to me for years, believed in me all that time, why now am I crazy and/or to be despised and ignored because of my opinions about a company? You dropped me like a bad habit. This seems wrong doesn’t it?”

    The second you step down or step away, YOU are treated worse than a fart in an elevator. Your so-called friends for life turn on you and say vicious things about you, your mental health, and your life. You are ostracized in everything because you dared look at the man behind the curtain.

    For a company that supposedly builds women up, those same women excel at tearing them down.

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    • It’s nearly identical to my post about the pastor who left his church and religious organization, Christianity. If it sounds like a cult,….

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  3. These stories are heartbreaking. If you look at the stories of successful sales folks/entrepreneurs, you will hear about how much product they were able to sell, and the margin they were able to make on those sales, with nary a mention of how much they ordered. These MLM/MK stories mention ordering/production/recruiting prominently, and barely if ever relay any tangible numbers about actual customers buying, using and rebuying actual product.

    I have heard MK stories about product changes, product issues, returns etc. and how that impacts consultants. But no one seems to be claiming bragging rights about how much product they actually sell, or who has the most customers, the margin they make selling, and how much their customers are knocking the doors down to get more product. These are things real sales/business folks concern themselves with.

    I suspect there is a tiny sliver of MK purchases that end up in the hands of true, loyal MK product users. Beyond that, my guess is the next largest population of buyers are made up of pity purchasers who are supporting a friend or family member, and are not exactly customers who would otherwise choose these over-priced products. The overwhelming majority of ordered product likely ends up in the homes of the sales consultants, to eventually be given away, sold below cost, donated, or sent to the landfill.

    All the discussions about “production”, “seminar”, classes, ceremonies, awards, “faces” etc., gloss over the reality that there is no real market for these products. There are millions of MK consultants globally ordering products when only thousands (or possibly tens of thousands globally) are true customers buying these products.

    What MLMs like Mary Kay are really selling is a very elusive “opportunity” that only a tiny group can ever hope to realize. And even that must be oversold, because it is nearly impossible to realize. I’ve even read on these pages that 2% in Mary Kay can actually turn a profit. Don’t believe it. The income disclosures in MLM only show “gross” commissions and bonus income, not net income/profit after all expenses.

    Research for the FTC shows that MLMs, on average (including Mary Kay), create losses for 99.6% of participants. If Mary Kay is outperforming the MLM average, it would be by the low tens of basis points at best, not whole points, as the research shows. Not a single MLM in that research was able to achieve even a 1% success rate.

    Starter kits (aka initial inventory orders in Mary Kay) and qualifying minimums are what power the upward cash flow in product based MLMs. No outside sales are necessary for corporate (or kingpin) profitability, which is why so little time is spent talking about actual sales of the product. Stories like the one above just drive this point home. How many times does she even mention anyone actually selling the product? All those words, talking about a supposed beauty product distributor business, with no mention of actual product sales.

    See what I mean?

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