Podcasts About MLM and Mary Kay

I have two recent podcasts that are wonderful for women coming out of multi-level marketing (MLM) and women looking to learn more about MLM.  I was on the Divorce Survival Guide podcast with Kate Anthony, in an episode entitled The Truth Behind MLMs.  Kate has been a divorce coach for more than 10 years, and has one of the most popular divorce podcasts out there. It’s great to get this kind of exposure for the issue of predatory MLMs like Mary Kay.

Kate described our conversation: MLM schemes overwhelm and prey upon women, falsely promising entrepreneurship and financial freedom while making them more financially dependent on an abusive structure. In this episode, Tracy and I explore how MLMs masquerade as empowering ventures but function as wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Highlights from the interview:

  • Tracy Coenen sheds light on the predatory tactics of multi-level marketing. (6:10)
  • False promises about entrepreneurship: We discuss the facade MLMs portray that “you are starting a business of your own…” (14:49)
  • Instead of empowering women, MLMs make them more financially dependent on an exploitative structure. (21:31)
  • Tracy answers, “Why are women so drawn to MLMs? Why are women a good target for this?” (42:12)

What is funny about this podcast appearance is that I put it on my facebook page for the Divorce Money Guide, my online course that helps women understand their family’s finances so they don’t get cheated out of money in their divorces. A Mary Kay consultant named Bonnie Denham (who has been loving it for 4 years) commented and we had the below exchange where she called me uninformed and “hating on women.” Poor Bonnie.

The other podcast of interest is my own podcast, Find Me The Money. I had Emily Paulson as my guest, a former MLM pyramid topper, the author of Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing, and the founder of Sober Mom Squad.

We talked about the same types of things as I did with Kate, but this time Emily did all the talking. Many of her comments mirror mine. Her personal MLM story is interesting.

Emily knows how divorcing women are desperate for money and therefore become prime targets for MLM recruiters. She  explains that many MLMs were designed to specifically target women, offering false promises of financial freedom and empowerment. Across all MLMs geared toward women, we see manipulation tactics and shame being used to keep participants engaged and prevent them from leaving.

Hear why buying MLM products is a bad thing and how consumer awareness and speaking out about personal experiences with MLMs are crucial in combating the deceptive practices of these companies.



  1. Great podcast! I hadn’t realized the nightmare lawsuit you were entagled in. Yikes. Do you think you would have an easier time with such a lawsuit today given that you have much more experience under your belt?

    Also, I noticed you didn’t delve much into the shortage of actual retailing in Mary Kay (and other MLMs). Was that deliberate, or was there just not enough time?

  2. No, it would not be easier today. Lawsuits like this have only two goals: 1. silence the truth tellers, 2. bankrupt the truth tellers.

    And I just answer the questions that are asked during the interview. 🙂

  3. That podcast was great, and Tracy, you look fantastic in your headshot. I thought the anecdotes you told about your Mary Kay upline telling you “accountants don’t make people feel good, but you can can make people feel good with make-up” was wild!!

    I’m sorry to hear about that lawsuit.



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