It Won’t Get Better As a Director

Written by Frosty Rose

Pink Truth often reveals the reality behind the lights, glitter, glamour and recognition of Mary Kay events. The drama, the snark, the ballooning credit cards that are just under the surface of the “girlfriend time” that directors and Corporate pitch.

One event that doesn’t get much airtime is Director in Training (DIT) week. Directorship is sold to consultants as the be-all-end-all of Mary Kay achievements. Once you’ve earned (ahem… bought) that coveted director suit, you truly have access to all the wonderful things that the company has to offer.

But, as with everything in Mary Kay training, once you become a director, you learn that the rat race is only just beginning. “New level, new devil.” At DIT, directors are given the tools they need to grow their units (recruit, recruit, recruit!), to identify and nurture (manipulate) downline directors, and to start the new grind to national.

I have been contributing to Pink Truth for some time now, but debuting as a director and DIT week are moments I’m just now ready to fully process with you. It was the beginning of the end of my time with the company when the scales really began to fall from my eyes.

I was a consultant for 10 years before I finally achieved directorship. I tried my darndest to work ethically and follow the rules. I’d been in and out of DIQ, on and off target for the car, and churning through consultants like they were used tissues. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong!!

Until I finally decided—this was it! This was my time! And I was going to make directorship come hell or high water. So, I did. I did everything that was required to become a director! I held parties, I interviewed everyone with a pulse, and on the last day of month 4, when I had exhausted every other option, I recruited my mom and my sister, and activated 4 other inactive consultants with my own credit card.

I was so scared that the company would find out that I had broken the rules that I had all the orders shipped directly to the consultants, even though it was my product. I spent the next two weeks running all over the countryside collecting illegitimate orders from my faux unit.

As soon as I got the call from Corporate that my directorship had been “accepted,” I breathed a big fat sigh of relief, and set about organizing my director debut. I booked a conference room at a hotel, wrote a speech worthy of an Oscar acceptance, invited my whole unit, my family, all the consultants and directors in the geographic area, and all my customers. I wrapped gifts, organized recognition, got a babysitter for my baby. I. Went. All. Out. I set up the room for 100 guests—would there be enough space? Maybe it would be standing room only!

Y’all. My parents and my husband showed up. Two other directors came, along with one person from my unit and exactly zero customers. It was humiliating, exhausting, and should have been eye-opening. But unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was a nail in the coffin, but not the final one. I pulled on my big girl panties and carried on.

By the time I debuted as a director, the company had moved DIT from a centralized affair in Dallas to regional events that happened periodically more locally to the directors. Mine was in Chicago. Fortunately for my credit cards, the event was free and they fed us. I still had to buy a plane ticket and pay for my own hotel room. And by that point in my directorship, I was stressed.

This wasn’t the easy, part-time-job-for-executive-income that I’d been sold. It was a constant grind. It tore me away from my family. It drained our finances. I couldn’t get another job because that would be admitting defeat. The few women in my unit were clinging to the dream with me, but they weren’t selling as easily as I was and I couldn’t figure out why.

So, I flew to Chicago. I just knew that the nationals at this event would pour into me, teach me the secrets of success, show me the missing link in my work and why it was so danged hard for me! Of course, there were no secrets shared. Just more of the same tired training that I got at every other event. Auri Hatheway told us to put together 50 hostess packets and 50 new consultant packets and not stop working until we had handed them all out! Sure, but… to whom? We had all exhausted our contact lists doing DIQ.

I was having a panic attack in the bathroom, and Jan Thetford came in. I confided that I was over $23,000 in debt and my husband didn’t know. “Don’t worry about it,” she reassured me. “I was driving a Cadillac and had $75,000 in debt that my husband didn’t know about. Just make it to national! That’s where the money is!”

I introduced myself to the “queen” of the event. She had already completed two of the three challenges the company set for first-year directors. What was her secret?? Well, she just sold everyone a $4,800 inventory immediately. Sure, the company had called her, concerned about the fact that 10% of her consultants had already returned their inventory, but so what? They just didn’t see the vision! And she got to keep 90% of the money, so that was ok by her.

One sweet lady had been in and out of directorship for 20 years. It was her third DIT week. But this time it was going to work!

I was so disheartened. I went home and confessed the debt to my husband. I made a promise to not put any more orders on a credit card. And I washed out of directorship within three months.

Directorship isn’t sustainable in Mary Kay. Being a consultant isn’t sustainable. Often, being a national isn’t sustainable. It’s the essence of building your house on shifting sand. Please, if you haven’t joined yet, don’t.

If you’re in the grind of DIQ, hoping it will get better as a director—it won’t. Directorship is just DIQ on repeat. This is your life now, until you leave Mary Kay. Warm chatting every woman in your path, not seeing people for the dollar signs in your eyes, drowning in debt, but hoping that next month will be different.

But next month won’t be different, unless you make a different choice. Step off the hamster wheel, out of the hustle culture, away from the grind. Quit. Then take a deep breath and build the life you truly want.



  1. Come on, Frosty. You know you only failed because you didn’t work hard enough or want it badly enough. You only compromised your morals and broke the rules. You didn’t inveigle yourself into the company of the whited sepulchers… um, NSDs… and kiss their grits hard enough. If your husband gave you grief about the $23k you should have just dumped his negative, unsupportive keister. Your baby secretly hated you for not driving them to the babysitter in a pink Cadillac. You were paradoxically also a spineless jellyfish who let yourself be talked into something you didn’t want while expecting everything to be handed to you.

    Now that I’ve used up my sarcasm quota for the week…

    My heart broke for you when you got to the party no one came to. All that work, time, money, and soul. The pink sisterhood doing life together is such a painful and hurtful lie.

  2. Greatest decision I ever made was walking away from directorship. No “second half of the month stress” no weekly meetings and quarterly events when I would get stress migraines and be so busy I forgot to eat, no “fake girlfriends” (the ones who you thought were your closest friends and ditch/block you immediately when you say that you are out) , no “company travel that I pay for” only real trips that can be enjoyed.

    I remember my senior director saying “but where are you going to wear the fancy clothes you just bought?” Let me tell you I have had more real opportunities to dress up since leaving. My life is not miserable and hopeless without mk.

    • Good grief. You’re broke, miserable, and stressed, but by golly you get to wear FANCY CLOTHES!!! There’s an incentive to stay 😝

      I found some extra sarcasm in the fridge behind the 6 started jars of the same pickles that I had to throw away 😳

  3. “Don’t worry about it,” she reassured me. “I was driving a Cadillac and had $75,000 in debt that my husband didn’t know about. Just make it to national! That’s where the money is!”

    This is some-one, a nashy-nash at the tippy-top of the company who was deeply in debt. Our critics constantly tell us that “it’s our fault”, “we were weak” and “no-one held a gun to our heads”.

    So why was this supposedly successful, highly admired woman in debt? Could it be that the system is designed to drain money from those further down the food-chain in order to make the nationals only have money?

    • I did not debut with a national. My senior director did fly in from several states away to attend, so I guess that makes 3 directors who came. She was highly offended that I told her she couldn’t stay at my house for her trip. Like, woman, I do not like you, haven’t for years at this point. And I live in chaos with a toddler who only sporadically sleeps through the night. Take some of that “big girl” money you just made off my back and get a hotel room! (And, yes, this was my reaction from INSIDE the Pink Fog. I was SO CLOSE to figuring it out.)

  4. Can you imagine what Dave Ramsey would say to all of this credit card debt?😂 All kidding aside, I felt so bad for her when her director debut event was a flop. The ultimate “ I held a Mary Kay party and nobody attended. It will be better next time, I can’t quit.” So sad.

    • Linda Toupin used to do a training on how to teach new consultants to fund their inventory. And I quote, “There are 7 places to find money for inventory. And only one of them is not Dave Ramsey approved! chuckle chuckle.”

      I was APPALLED when I reflected back on that training from outside The Fog.

      1. Borrow it from your savings. (Not egregious.)
      2. Borrow it from your retirement accounts. (Certain to get you yelled at if you asked DR.)
      3. Put it on a 0% Mary Kay Chase card. (Big fat nope from Papa Dave.)
      4. Put it on a different credit card with zero balance so you can write off the interest. (Nope!)
      5. Put it on another credit card that does have a balance and forfeit the tax write-off. (Again, not Dave approved.)
      6. Sell some stuff from around the house that you don’t need anymore. Old furniture, that piano that no one plays anymore, engagement rings from previous marriages (teehee!), etc. (Meh, not bad. But use those funds to get yourself out of whatever financial hole made you think MK was a good idea.)
      7. Borrow money from your friends or your mama. (Again, are you trying to make poor Dave’s head explode? He’s not getting any younger and I don’t think his heart can take this much blasphemy!)

      • And the ONLY true solution is the one you won’t hear promoted: DON’T FRONTLOAD!
        Instead, let your customers order directly from the web site using their own credit card!

        Why in the world would you go into debt to stock inventory for others, especially when you don’t know what they will need? Chances are you will not have what they want and you will have to order anyway. Let your customers pay for their own product. No frontloading required. Problem solved.

  5. This is so raw and so sad but also so genuine and such an important read for anyone still believing in MK. The amount of debt these ladies incur is horrific. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. “Y’all. My parents and my husband showed up. Two other directors came, along with one person from my unit and exactly zero customers.”

    Debuts are nothing but MK loyalty tests. They have no business value. Customers don’t come for these reasons:
    1) They fear another awful sales pitch like their first (and last) make-up session
    2) Customers are the wrong audience to celebrate your business accomplishments, and they cringe at the invitation
    3) The accomplishment is arbitrary. You achieved a title change…no one outside the business cares

    If my insurance agent invited me to celebrate an accomplishment he achieved at work, I would definitely cringe, and then decline. It’s just not appropriate.

    • THIS!!!

      NSDs and SDs pressure the new SD to spend MORE money for a party. A promotion is a business accolade and not something that you invite your customers to as Data Junkie put so well.

      Rather than a debut with all the expenses, why wouldn’t it just be held at the weekly unit meeting with the IBCs? Putting on my pink glasses…If it were held at a unit meeting, it could be sold as BETTER than muffins and makeovers and be the IBCs’ job to invite their guests (customers), to see how the new SD is launched, to hear the i-story and sales pitch, yada-yada-yada.

      Let’s put this in perspective of my job as a professor. This year, I will be promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. I spent a lot of time (nearly a year) putting my case together. In the academic world, it’s like writing a book. You have to prove that you are “worthy” of being promoted providing evidence (actual documents, data from course evaluations, etc.) that what you are saying about yourself is true. The case goes to the faculty review committee in my department for review. If they approve, it goes to the chair, then the College faculty review committee, then the dean, then the University’s faculty review committee, then the Vice-Chancellor, then the Chancellor. This is a year-long process of review and can be denied at any point. My case has been approved at all levels so far and is now at the final approval point with the Chancellor. Since it got this far, It’s 99.99% guaranteed I’ll get the promotion. Next August, my college will recognize me at a faculty meeting and the promotion will be in a newsletter. I don’t know if the university has a party for those promoted, but if so, I won’t be inviting my students. That would be the equivalent of inviting your customers! AND…if there is a party, I don’t pay for any of it.

  7. MK Corp is very well aware of the credit card debt Directors have, and don’t care. I remember someone telling me Suze Ormon was a guest speaker at a leadership conference decades ago to give financial advice. Obviously, it didn’t do any good!

  8. Before you join, you’re told “This is where the money is. Not in your J-O-B.” As a consultant you’re told “Directorship is where the money is.” Then, as a director, you find out the real money is when you become a National Director. 🙁 That must have been a kick in the teeth as a brand-new director. I wonder what they tell the new Nationals who aren’t making as much money as they thought/ expected.

  9. So wait, does this Chicago DIT mean you didn’t get to sit in Mary Kay Wagner Rogers Eckman Weaver Crowley Hallenbeck Ash’s bathtub?

  10. Like you, I was a consultant for close to 10 years before making the leap to DIQ and directorship. I was told that’s where the money was, and “You need to be in the ‘big girls’ club.'” I actually debuted with 42 unit members, and 5 were reds. (I caught all sorts of shizz from my NSD for not debuting with 50. Suck it, lady.) We had a party at the community center where I lived because the only charge was a cleaning fee. We catered food for a buffet from a local place that was an actual garage repair shop — THE best food for parties came from this garage in Aiea. We encouraged Aloha attire to make folks feel comfortable. The party was FUN. My neighbors and some friends came. Hubs was actually supposed to be out to sea that day, yet something on the boat broke, so he was there. (He wasn’t all that thrilled.)

    My senior and other directors in the line came to it because I was living in Hawaii at the time. They used it as a vacation, and like you, I told them they would have to book hotels since I did not have any extra space in our Navy-issue roach motel (aka base housing). The local directors came out in full force, and to this day, I’m still friends with many of them (they aren’t in MK anymore). I’m NOT friends with the remaining directors in my line because I stepped away. I’m the “looser.” (I have the last laugh — I make more per month now as a nurse than my former senior director.)

    As soon as the party ended, I HAD to get right back to work. There wasn’t a lot of money unless I worked 50-60 hours a week (most of it my personal business — I could legitimately sell the product, almost always at a discount. The “big girls’ club” sucked. There was nothing new and innovative there. DIT week was a Groundhog Day for every conference, seminar, and retreat: book, sell, RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT. My own NSD was one of the speakers at the new directors’ week. How I lasted nearly five years boggles my mind, and yes, I had debt. I had plenty of debt. Hubs was livid when he discovered how much credit card debt I was carrying on one card.

    Why do we do this to ourselves? I ask that question every time I read a post like this. We wanted to be accepted. We wanted the prestige of having “made it.” We wanted to show others that we were legit. Yet we had nothing but smoke and mirrors.


  11. I was never in MK but here’s the saddest SD tale I witnessed.

    Several years ago, I came across a consultant who — somehow — made it through DIQ. I was surprised she succeeded, as she lives in a small town in rural PA. Where was she finding recruits? She had dutifully been making weekly (if not more) three-hour round trips to her SD’s meetings. What a drag.

    She traveled to Seminar and debuted on stage. She posted a pic of herself on stage from behind, which revealed she was waving to empty seats. At home, her debut party was held in the back room of the local family restaurant. The room was dark and dreary, and the few attendees looked miserable. She held a few unit meetings at a hotel nearly an hour away from her home. (No hotels in her town.) She then switched the meetings to her home, and even provided child-care.

    You guessed it: she lost her title rather quickly. The poor woman didn’t stand a chance. But she spent a lot of time, energy and money trying.



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