Commission Checks Prove Consultants Aren’t Making Money

Written by Frosty Rose and Parsonsgreen

Mary Kay national sales director Lynnea Tate never disappoints. She shared recognition in the Directors Only Facebook page, bragging on the top consultants in her whole wide area, so impressive!

Surely, there’s nothing for Pink Truth to dissect here. After all, these are the best of the best! They must be making an executive-level income, even as a consultant, right? Wrong!

Results were posted for each month from December through April, but February was mysteriously missing. During this time, the very highest commission check earned by any consultant in the Tate National Area (or whatever cutesy moniker they’ve given themselves today) was $510.77, earned by Shelly Nieschel for her March production.

She was closely followed in April by Mary Ann Brenchick, who still styles herself as a director on Facebook (even thought she’s a consultant), with $510.33. Shelly fell off the scoreboard entirely in April.

Obviously, these women aren’t making much money. A $500 “highest check” is nothing to write home about outside the Pink Bubble. But how does it break down inside The Fog? Surely, these women are earning all kinds of trinkets, or even on target for directorship or a car? Not strictly on the efforts of their team, they’re not!

To earn a 13% commission check of $510.77, Shelly’s monthly team production was $3,929. Minimum production for DIQ is $4,000, which she hit because of her personal order of at least $600 (required to max out a 13% commission rate). Minimum production for the car is $5,000, which she may or may not have hit.

For the uninitiated, nsds must have 20 directors in their downline to debut. Directors must have a minimum of 24 in their downline. So, if we’re looking at bare-bones minimum qualifications, nationals have to have at least 500 consultants and directors in their downline. Of these 500, Mary Ann is the only one who could possibly be legitimately in DIQ or on target for her car.

And, the top ten consultants in the entire area earned a grand total of $2,523.05 for the whole month of April. In aggregate, that’s not executive income! And you know those women worked far more than the equivalent of one part-time job.

“But, but, but, what about profit from product sales?” I can already hear the critics asking. There wasn’t any profit from product sales! Let’s dig into Mary Ann’s numbers for April again, shall we? Her team ordered $3926 in products from the company to get her that $510.33 commission check. She had to have at least 5 team members ordering $225+, and she herself had to order $600.

At that point, her altruistic sales director would encourage her to “stretch” and hit $5,000 in total team+personal production to be on target for her car. After all, it’s just $474 more! And you’ll earn it all back once you’re a director! So, Mary Ann just earned a $510 check for ordering $1,074.

To have sold that, she would have had to sell almost $550 every week during the month of April. Using Mary Kay math, that’s 11 new faces or three parties. Spoiler, she didn’t do that. She probably didn’t do half that. She paid the company more money than they paid her, and continued stockpiling products she didn’t sell.

In short, Mary Ann’s not making any money. Shelly’s not making any money. None of these women are making any money. They’re all still among the 99.6% of MLMers who will lose money, even on their best month. And they’re the top consultants in an entire area. So, how are we supposed to believe that any consultant is making extra money to support her family and build her entrepreneurial dreams?



  1. I’ll speak from my area of expertise, personal experience. I’m a master in this department, ha! I’ve been purging and decluttering. I’ve come across many of many federal income tax returns filed in the last 10 years. I joined MK in May 2003, but didn’t really “start working it as a business” (🙄) until later in 2004, after I went to Seminar and saw “the Big Picture.” (🙄)
    I’ve come across NO tax return where I showed any profit over more than a few hundred to low thousands, if I came out ahead at all.
    In the previous days before my awakening and healing, I would have come down hard on myself.
    **Just need to be better organized.
    **Don’t spend so much time scrolling your phone/sleeping/insert other “wasteful” activity.
    **Attend an event.
    ** What are you listening to? Is it positive?
    On and on, gaslighting myself.
    Now I recognize I was not / am not the problem. Grateful I came back to PT to find out more about what was going on behind The Pink Curtain. I hope anyone who stops by takes some of our lessons to heart and doesn’t just slather us in Debbie Downer detergent.
    P.S. I was a Successful consultant. I “earned” a couple cars, did time as a director. I hovered in the Team Leader – Future Director positions most of my career (the perpetual red jacket)… but as I mentioned, I was making very little money. Embarrassing.

    • And all the while, you were stood at the front of the room every week at “Success Meetings.” Paraded around as the epitome of consultant success in Mary Kay. And at best, you made a few hundred extra dollars a month, while sacrificing family, sleep and self.

      The whole system makes me sick.

      • Frosty, exactly right. And I felt really special. “Make me feel important.” Why was I important to them?? I was a good pink pawn. But I slurped it all up, lol. The system definitely knows the ones to go after – it’s even promoted –
        1. Owns her own home (credit more readily available)
        2. Has children (she’s easier to work with because she’ll do it “for her kids”)
        3. College degree or higher (she knows how to persevere, won’t quit – familiar with success – easier to manipulate – Oh you’ve got a nursing degree, this is not that difficult!!)
        4. Married (even better chance with the credit rating, and husband is an @$$ if he isn’t “supportive”)
        There more but those are the ones I remember off-hand. Easier to manipulate.
        Like you said… makes me sick.

  2. Jordan Tate was top earner for Dec, and she’s not on the lists after that. Does anyone know where she “went”?

    • A lot of people think it’s Really Not A Good Idea to work with family because then workplace issues turn into family issues, and vice versa. I’d imagine it’s that much worse in MLM when everyone you recruit becomes your competition and the pool of potential recruits is vanishingly small.

      It’s also a great real world example of a point someone here (Data Junkie maybe?) makes from time to time: if you clone the most successful NSD – Jordan’s not a clone but I figure a child is the closest real-world equivalent – and give them the same resources – Lynnea’s experience here – it’s 99.4% likely that the clone will fail just because the odds are so badly against you.

      Numbers and hips don’t lie.

  3. All these women purchasing poduct they don’t need, to achieve some arbitrary goal/title/trinket.
    Yep…the system is working exactly as designed, which is to get the sales force to over-order product in quantities they have no chance of using or selling, and to recruit others to do the same. All of these individual losses, when combined, make MK corporate and the tippy top of the upline very happy indeed.

    Only in MLM is it considered okay to run a business that thrives only when the sales force, in aggregate, is continously losing money, and lots of it, from their own pockets.

  4. Every time you see these “Top 10” or “Top 100” lists, don’t look at the #1 position. Remember that EVERYONE ELSE made less than the person in the #10 or #100 spot.

  5. There is a full page ad in the latest Good Housekeeping Magazine (has actress Ali Stroker on the cover) advertising Mary Kay. It shows three women who are raving about how they can fit Mary Kay into their busy lives. I know that magazines exist due to advertising money but I had always respected GH magazine and this really threw me for a loop.

      • And, “All Mary Kay products are approved by the FDA.”
        I heard this one the other day from a SD, “Think of all the celebrities who use Mary Kay!”
        She didn’t name any. Not one.

        • I remember being treated to lunch at “THE Country Club” Ellen loved satin hands and bought tons of it. She was very wealthy. She was also a refugee from the Holocaust and I listened to her stories and cried with her. She was about 10 when she had to leave her family to be safe. I would visit her because I enjoyed her company so much. Anyway, she wanted to treat me to a special lunch and did. We were at the club with the ladies who lunch and many of them were young and beautiful. They all pulled out compacts and touched up their make up, Dior, Chanel, Laura Mercier, Estee Lauder etc etc and I had actually thought about giving them a gift bag of samples. I was so ashamed of representing such a low rent brand. Ellen ended up teaching me more than she knew.

          • I took home $450 a month….min wage at McD…1987! At least I got a $250 xmass bonus and generous profit sharing….lol!


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