Saturday, December 8, 2007

To Raisinberry.

Recently Pink Truth posted a VERY long article by one calling herself “raisinberry”. The article was called, “If truth is truth” and presented the question that is on very many people’s mind. Is what I am experiencing (or experienced) in Mary Kay the norm, or an aberration? She then lists her story in great detail. If you are not a regular on PT, I recommend that you go read it. It is well written and without reading it, you may not understand this post. You can read it here.

I have read her post several times and what follows is my response. It is not complete by any means, but I think the important things are covered. At the end, you will see an invitation to not only Raisinberry, but to any who genuinely want to ascertain and typify the Mary Kay experience and are willing to join this site in doing so. I emphasize that here because if you are not interested in everything that I have to say, I would like to at least know that you got the invitation to post what YOU have to say. I GREATLY value the opinion of anyone that posts here. Please feel free to join us. That said, let’s get into it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the new format here, you can click on the link below to open the rest of this post in another window, or you can click on the title of the post to open the rest in the same window.


What is truth?

You ask, “If truth is truth, why are there sides to the Mary Kay issue?”

I ask you; to what truth are you referring?

Are you referring to absolute truth? Some say there is no such thing.

Are you referring to YOUR truth? If so, your truth is not my truth and so, truth (in this case) is NOT truth.

I assume that you ARE referring to absolute truth. Absolute truth IS truth, no matter what situation you are talking about. But to say that anyone holds the absolute truth regarding the Mary Kay opportunity is unreasonable at best. (Am I right?)

Without getting into a philosophical discussion about what defines truth, I will agree with you that it is important to find some way of discovering what the normal or at least average experience is in Mary Kay. (Do we agree?)

Is what you experienced the norm while my wife, her director, and the handful posting here on this site the aberration?


Is what they experienced the norm while you and your PT friends are the aberration?

One of the major problems with undertaking that sort of evaluation is that no two people’s experience will be exactly alike. Some loved the product but hated the way they were asked to dress. Some hated the product but loved the “culture”. Some love everything and just accept that their director is a little psycho. Some are having a great time just buying enough to stay active and distributing it to their friends and family as gifts. This creates a VERY big problem in typifying the experience one will have. (Do we agree?)

If we were to take only people that were interested in the career path we would still have a massive problem with setting a standard of expectation. Some people have moral integrity so stiff that you would swear that if they found a penny on the ground they would not rest until they found the owner. Others are so suggestible that you could convince them that even though corporate says, “don’t sell in a retail setting” they really mean you should rent a store-front and set up shop. (Do we still agree?)

Your experience tells us that some people can be conned AND convinced to con others. Unfortunately, the definition of a “bad” experience and that of a “good” experience will not be uniform. Many people that have said, “I love Mary Kay” have been told they are wrong. Many that have said, “I hate Mary Kay” have been told it was their own fault. This creates a problem if we are to evaluate the norm of an experience based on opinions of people we don’t believe. You don’t believe us. It is hard for us to believe you when you post good advice on PT and call it bad. This makes it even harder for us to believe you when you talk about stuff that happened when you were in MK. (Did I lose you?)

You yourself have said, “We’ll be seeing you pro-MKers on PinkTruth real soon.” I am sure you remember that. You obviously don’t believe that there is a possibility that some of us will not be joining your ranks. The fact that you (and others) cannot acknowledge the possibility that some people were able to rise through the ranks with integrity and keep their values intact causes your opinions to lose a LOT of credibility. The fact that you think a “number one” brand should not need to change their product line makes many of us wonder if the things you perceived as “bad” were really bad or just something YOU didn’t like. (Do you see the problem there?)

I presume that by posting your experience you are proposing that it should be the test case for finding common ground?

How do you expect people to respond to you? You know they are not allowed to (unless they agree) on the site you posted it on. You can see that some people have already responded here on this site. I don’t see any responses from you or others on PT here (except Judi…again thank you Judi. We all love your perspective here!) How would you propose we create this “common ground”? (I am really asking)

I cannot and will not create a response to every point you make. I am sure that some of your experiences are universal, while some were unique to you, and the rest were somewhere in the middle.

However, even if we got the full participation of everyone that has ever “spoken their peace” about Mary Kay on the internet, I am sure that we would still not be able to accurately ascertain what the “real world” ratios are. 700,000 in MK in America? That is a lot. How could I take even 7,000 people that happened to log on to the hypothetical neutral “battlefield” as a significant sample? How many thousands of IBC’s just love their business and are blissfully unaware of the “battle” on the internet? How many irritated former consultants could care less? (still tracking?)

While it may be futile to try to accurately demonstrate the “common experience” that one is guaranteed to have in MK (impossible, no?), it is not futile to create a guideline of sorts that prepares anyone going into MK with a way of enjoying their experience and arming them with a plan for success. It is also not futile to create a list of things that directors should avoid in case some have lost their way and want to get back on track. (have I lost some?)

Throw out the “Everyone is going to get rich quick with Mary Kay” and the “Everyone that joins Mary Kay will be destroyed or destroy many” extremists and present an objective view of what Mary Kay looks like. (oh wait, that is why I started this site!)

Now if you are in either of those extreme groups, I am not going to throw you out… but neither will I afford your extreme views the kind of validity that you would hope I would. (sorry, trying to build something neutral here)

You (Raisinberry) say you are looking for a place that offers “a way to test the waters and see if what we have experienced in Mary Kay is actually a norm or some aberration”? I present to you, this site. (Have you seen it yet?)

Do you really want to know what the typical experience is? Or have you decided that your experience is universal enough to condemn and accuse all Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants of being the same as you (were)? (I suspect the latter)

Prove me wrong by posting here. Prove me wrong by telling people on Pink Truth where they can find this site. Prove me wrong by doing things that will actually result in an upfront and frank conversation about peoples experience and maybe lead to some discovery. Otherwise, I will continue assuming that you really have no interest in the truth. You will force me to continue believing that all you are interested in is declaring that YOUR point of view is the truth.

All others, (“lurkers” As I believe you would refer to yourself) jump on in. You can expect that we will ask questions about your experience. We would love it if you answer those questions. Sometimes the same experience can be positive or negative depending on how it is viewed. My parents used to physically discipline me. (I know some of you will agree with or disagree with this practice, try to see past that) I HATED it. I was convinced they hated me. I was convinced that I was a victim. Had the attention given to child abuse now, been around then, I may have tried to use that against them. Looking back now though, I realize they really had MY best interest in mind, not theirs.

It will not always be the case, but sometimes a director offering incentives for ordering is REALLY just offering a SALES incentive. My wife’s director (as I mentioned) and other directors on this site, have testified that they are very attentive to making sure their consultants don’t order inventory they aren’t selling just to “win” prizes. Some of them are initially hated for THIS because the consultant feels they are getting “picked on”. I think if I were in that situation (I was the director and I was trying to help someone by telling them to sell some of their inventory before purchasing more, and their response was one of indignation and “how dare you”), I might just say, “Ok, go ahead, buy as much as you want. I will give you the prize.”

It is indeed hard to accept a statement like, “My director never trains me” without asking what you have done to get training. Do you call and ask questions? Do you participate in the conference call? Do you take advantage of the opportunities to go warm chattering with someone that is really good at it? So, we may ask questions like that. It is not an attempt to disqualify your statement.

We DO want to validate or invalidate it. If you say, “my director never trains me” and follow it with, “I called her every day and she said, “show up to go up”, none of my sister consultants went warm chattering, they just talked about doing it, and my unit does not have a conference call”, we can say VALID! You were in a “no win” or at least difficult situation.

If you say, “No, I never called my director and ignored her calls when she called me, I hated warm chattering so I didn’t go, and I didn’t like being on the phone for 45 minutes every week for a conference call”, we might say that it was not your director that was not offering training, but you who didn’t accept the training. There are still many more variables, and so, more questions may follow. What we are trying to do here is create a template of sorts that can serve as a way of passing on accurate iterations of our experiences. For some it will be a caution. For others it will serve as advice.

So, once again, I invite all to post here. Let’s get the conversation started. It is a fact that Pink Truth will not allow people to post anything on that site that is evidence against what they claim is the truth. If you want to explore with us BOTH sides of the Mary Kay experience, we enthusiastically welcome you here.

Come one, come all.


  1. David,

    I don't think that you will get a response from raisinberry, I don't think that pt allows them to post anywhere but on pt. It is kinda sad not be free to post where you want to.

    I would like her and others to answer the questions that you posed to them.

    I love my MK and I love my business. I want to work my business the upright way. The way that Mary Kay Ash intended, book, sell, book,sell, and then recruit.

    I get angry when the women on pt say bad things about MK and that makes me just want to work mine more and to make sure that it is done in an ethical manner. I don't ever want to give anyone a bad taste for MK because the product is good.

    You know the old saying and the old song "One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch girl" well, I think that we should all work to keep these bad apples from spoiling the whole bunch.

    I guess I have said enough.

    Come on Raisinberry come and talk to us here where we can exchange thoughts and "TRUTHS". I don't think we will see you here however I hope that we do.

  2. Pink Bren,

    That is some very interesting information. It would explain a lot about why we haven't heard much here.

    I will not flatter myself by assuming that this post (raisinberry's) was about my site. I will flatter whoever it is she WAS talking about by saying, "someone hit a nerve".

    I can honestly say that I do not know what we will discover as we explore the ratio of good experiences to bad ones. I do know that some people have had bad experiences. I also know people are having good experiences.

    What I am mainly curious about is HOW both are achieved. If we can minimize the bad and maximize the good, isn't that a good thing? I hope that we can create a place that is the "go to" site for people that are curious about Mary Kay but are not sure that the information they have been given is accurate.

    Anyone out there that feels you might get in trouble for posting here let me emphasize the following.

    You will remain as anonymous as you would like. You can post with a nickname if you want. You can use your Pink Truth nickname OR create a new one. If you are afraid that some of your experiences will line up with your posts on PT and you will get banned, you should know that Judi (somewhat of a regular here) has used the same name here that she uses there and to my knowledge she has NOT been banned.

    I would love to hear your thoughts. Both sides are welcome.

    Thanks Pink Bren

  3. David,

    I think this exchange is good that you have formed here. I also am glad that Judi post here. I know that she was hurt by her director and that was and is sad because if she did it to Judi she might still be doing it.

    With that said we all have to be responsible for our own actions. We all are accountable for the way that we treat others.

    I know that some directors will stop at nothing to get to the top. However when they get there in such a manner that was not Mary Kay Ash intended they have a hard time staying at the top.

    I do want to move up I am doing it slow and steady. I want those that are on my team to move up to if that is what they want. I want it done the right way. You have to have a customer base to keep the cash coming in and then you worry about recruiting and building.

    This is just a humble consultants opinion. I take the good and use it and I take the bad and leave it alone. Not everyone has the same convictions, you have to weed out what is right for you and go with that and leave all the other stuff alone.

    Hope that everyone has a GREAT DAY!

  4. I, too, hope that some from PT come here. I would assume they are reading, if not posting. I know that if you are disgruntled with MK you do a lot of research to find out if you were the only one.

    I found PT one day after my husband asked me what we were going to do with all my MK still in boxes, taking up space in our office. I knew how hard I worked. Even with not much help from my director, I worked hard. I left my daughter home with my husband, drove 30 minutes to my meeting. Sat for 2 hours while everyone sang, danced, prayed, acted like children who overdosed on sugar. I was not learning anything about selling. It was all recruiting. That was not what I wanted to learn. So I started going to a meeting an hour away. She was less intense but still did not TEACH. Praise is fine. But every week we were praising people for having 1 class. 1 class in a week is NOT good. That is not a business, that is a hobby. I wanted 3 classes a week. I called my director for advise. All she gave me was inspriation. My inspiration were the boxes. I called my adopted director. She told me about fish bowls. I HATED begging to put a fish bowl. But I did it. I even paid my sister 10% of all my sales if she put some bowls in her home town and checked them and called me with the info. I got a ton of names. Getting them to hold was another matter, and getting the ones that held to acctually invite people; that was another matter, too. It just seemed like a lot of effort for not much gain. And when I actually sold $50 worth of product I was insulted. All that work and time for a measly $50? And then customers came out of the woodwork for the product return. Not even my customers. But my post is getting too long. I LOVE product return. It has been my salvation. More on that when it applies to the question.

    David, I applaud you for this site. It is good to see some are making money. I hope they are. People do love the product. It's kind of expensive, but some don't mind paying. I was not a director, not even close. I was not even a red jacket. Not even close. So I like hearing the experiences on PT from directors. But then they tell how they got there and it so sounds like my director. When your experience matches so closely to so many others it makes it seem like it is that way with everyone. I hope raisenberry comes here. She is an excellent writer and gets her point across beautifully.

    On a side note, I did have to change my name on PT. For some reason my password would not work. PT keeps posting about password changes, though, so I don't think I was blocked.

  5. Judi,

    I know that it seems like a lot of work. It is, it is a business. I opened my hair salon 7 years ago and let me tell you to get it up off the ground this is what I HAD to do.

    I went to work at 7 am, I would sit there some days with no appointments on the books at all. I would not get home until 10 pm. I worked and worked the first year a little fruit not much the second year more fruit the third year even more. Now seven years later I am booked I work 3 1/2 days a week. I no longer work until 10 pm. I pick up my girls from school and then I am home with them. There are trade offs in life. We have to determine what we are going to trade off short term for long term benefits.

    Like I have said it is up to each individual to determine what they want to put into this business and what rewards (not talking from the company) they want out of it. This is like any other business depending how much you put into it is what you get out of it.

    It might take 1,2,3,4 or even 10 years to see the reaping of the fruit that you put into it today.

    I get upset when I hear people say oh you can make such and such. What is good for one might not work for the other. I will say again I think that we need to book, sell, book, sell and then recruit. I think that if we know what we are doing by booking and selling then when we do recruit we can show them what and how to do it.

    I like this business and I love the products and I noticed that you keep saying that they are over priced. Have you been to the cosmetic counters at Macy's and Dillards or looked at MACs prices we are fairly prices. I bought MK before I signed up and if I hadn't signed up I would still be buying it. I don't think that it is overpriced just my opinion.

    Be careful in posting. I know of some ladies that used to be on pt and yes they were bannned and they had their password changed or whatever she does. The owner of pt does not play fair she wants to bash however she doesn't want anyone to say anything other than I hate MK they did this to me they did that to me. Just a word of caution. I have been reading for a long time and in that time many have been banned.

    I did post one time there and my post was up for like I don't know 2 seconds and it was gone. It was not ugly or mean it was just gone. I will defend this company because I don't think that it is bad I think that it has some bad directors and if we sit back and do nothing about that it will continue. If the directors are not doing what they are suppose to you need to report them to the company .

    Have a GREAT DAY

  6. Speaking the Real TruthDecember 9, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    Truth. It is interesting that someone on PT would bring that up. How can one have "truth" if they only share one side of the story and ACTIVELY prohibit the other side from appearing or being told? If the PTers want truth, why not open up the postings to all and see what the majority comes out to be?

    If you read the stories of those who preport to have had a bad experience in Mary Kay on such sites as PT, and you know anything about our business at all, you will notice some gross misconceptions presented. Beginning with the "I lost thousands" myth. As has been pointed out before, simply return the product for the 90% have one year...and the agreement states your rights to do so.

    As to the director's expenses. On PT they take the absolutely most ridiculous examples and PRESENT them as the norm. That is not truth! Again, if you evaluate the information presented, you will see that it does not add up. Those with small units, who are not making production, do not need office assistants, nor would they be giving out a lot of prizes (no one to reward), or have a high cost for the consultant first look program. When I have evaluated my own expenses, I cut where I should, and spend where I should. It's all under my control, and that includes the events that I attend...NOTHING IS MANDATORY other than a Starter Kit and a one time per year order. If one does not know where to spend her money, she should seek out wise counsel on the issue and put pen to paper.

    The idea that every consultant should return their product to the company or sell it on Ebay. That is not always what is best for the consultant, every situation is different. And how is it truth to sign an agreement that you will not sell items on Ebay, and then do it anyway? I've already heard of one consultant being influenced by PT and returning her products in haste, only to regret it. Will PT take responsibility for that? They expect us to take responsibility for everything that happens in MK and every decision that individuals make.

    Finally, many of the posters, and some of the most aggressive, have never been a Mary Kay consultant, and of the others who speak about directorship, many of them have never been a Mary Kay director. Yet, they speak with the absoluteness of one who has walked that walk. How is this possible? I do understand that some might have had the experience of a very close friend of family member being in MK, and maybe they have some knowledge of the biz. However, many of them give out advice as if they know everything there is to know about Mary Kay. Again, that is not truth, especially since they will rarely reveal that they were never in the company.

  7. Sharing the real truthDecember 9, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    Another comment.

    If Mary Kay is so bad, how do the PTers explain the high number of those who re-join the company? They've been on the "inside" and they choose to return.

    I think the TRUTH is that Mary Kay is not what PT would have its readers think.

  8. speaking the real truthDecember 9, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    sorry, that last comment was mine...I keep forgetting my "nickname"

  9. If everything you read on that site describes a bad experience then you will come away with the idea that everyone or at least the majority of women are having the same bad experience. This is manipulative because no good experiences are being allowed, or they are only being allowed in a minimal amount. So of course people who read it will think everyone is having a bad experience in MK because the ones that are having a good experience are not allowed to post as often or not at all. So how can this be truth?
    Its as if the blog owner is running an experiememt but manipulating the variables so that she can have the outcome that she wants. Its not right and she knows it, but it is stategic nature and to me she is insulting the intelligence of women who frequent her site.

    If you recognize your experience on the pink truth site, then so be it. There is nothing wrong with that. When running a business there are bound to be bumps in the road, and even I have been able to relate to a story or two on PT, (back when I used to read it). But PT did not sum up my whole MK experience so I took it with a grain of salt. I had also already been in MK many years by the time I saw that site so I knew many of the things that they described were exagerations and half truths. But the most vulnerable women to the pink truth site are new consultants who are not used to the ups and downs of business, so it is real easy to scare them off from continuing to try because they more than likely will relate to a story or two just because it is the nature of business. But pink truth depends on putting fear and doubt into minds of consultants in hopes that they will quit, and some do quit before they have really tried. That is unfortunate.

  10. I don't think PT is doing as much damage as some of the posts here think. If a consultant is swayed by PT then her director is not doing her job. If a director brings someone in to truly "enrich her life" then she should be showing her the ropes in this business. She should be helping her get bookings, helping her teach a SCC, helping her make appointments from that SCC. She should be seeing enough positive real life examples to counterbalance the online negative ones. You relate when you hear the stories on PT and then see them also in your real life. I wanted to be attached to my director. I wanted to follow her to classes, I wanted her to come with me to mine. I wanted her to teach me to book with someone I did not know.

    I think if you are having a good experience with MK, or you are a director is who doing it right, it is hard for you to imagine that some may not be doing it right. Same for me to hear that some are making money. I just have such a hard time believing it. But when you hear on PT that it is not just you, you feel just a tiny bit better. And you want to tell your story so that it doesn't happen to someone else.

  11. speaking the real truthDecember 9, 2007 at 2:05 PM


    I understand what you are saying and appreciate your civil approach to saying it.

    But please believe that there are MANY of us making money in Mary Kay, in fact, making a living. That is why we get so upset. Some of the PTers wish to destroy our livelihood. I don't know what I would do if I were not a Mary Kay Sales Director. My options would be limited due to lack of education, and wanting to be home with children.

    I also believe that some on that site say and do as they do for their own personal gain. That is of course, my opinion, but when their own agenda gets in the way of truth, or is intended to hurt or destroy the livelihoods of others, I have a real problem with that.

    You are right, most consultants are unswayed by PT. When one of my new team members ran across it, she just said that she was glad that I was her director.

    I guess the real insult is that so many of us go over and above what is required of our position, yet we are lumped in with those who do not conduct themselves ethically.

    We must always keep in mind that everyone will not get along or see things in the same light. I understand that and understand how consultants can get disgruntled, even with an ethical director. They misunderstand something that is said or done and their feelings are hurt. Directors are not perfect, even the best of them, but PT preys on those feelings and uses it to further their agenda. That is not truth.

  12. Judi,

    You raise an excellent point. For the most part, Pink Truth will effectively be a place where people can share their stories and realize they are not alone. For people that are in a bad situation, this is great. It sounds like for you it was exactly what you needed. And for that, they should be commended. Much the same as women's liberation founders should be commended.

    However, as with many things, it has apparently lost its way.

    What is generally advocated and flaunted as "the truth" is that if someone in Mary Kay approaches you, you should, "run not walk" the other way. THIS is what many of the MKers with integrity have a problem with. If PT said, "look out for these things. If you see them beware." there would be no need for this site. However, they strongly imply that Mary Kay and success can't be combined. They imply that anyone with Mary Kay is going to try to ruin your life.

    It is at the very least untrue and more likely, it is grossly untrue.

    Regardless, it is the way they call their extreme bias "truth" that most of us take issue with.

    How damaging is their assault on my wife's character? On the character of those posting here? I don't know. The fact that people take the time to post on that site things like, "I was going to sign up for Mary Kay, BUT I am so glad I found this first" tells me that it is damaging enough to make it worth my time to host a site like this.

    I hope that speaks clearly enough to the damage we feel they are doing. There are some well written comments here also that speak to why we take issue with it. I agree with several of the comments here that you probably could have had (and still can have) a much better experience if you were teamed up with a different director.

  13. In order to be successful in any business, I believe you must love the product and believe in it and love what you are doing. For me, I find people find me believable and you can tell I truly enjoy what I do and do love the products. My belief is sincere.

    When I read ex-MKer's saying they believe that the product is overpriced, or it isn't a quality product, or they hated doing skin care classes, it really doesn't surprise me if this was how they felt that they didn't succeed.

    I can understand if they had a problem with the philosophy of the Company or their director, etc.. and choose to move on but that shouldn't change what they felt about the products even if they decided not to purchase them because they didn't want to support a Company they didn't believe in.

    Bottom line if you don't like doing the facials and skin care classes and don't believe in the product, being a consultant isn't for you. and I do feel that statement is the truth.

  14. Judi,

    Case in point.

    Just saw this little thought from "raisinberry".

    "The business works ONLY If you are willing to take financial, emotional, and spiritual advantage of others."

    THIS is exactly what many people here have a problem with.

    1. As you have heard from many here, you DO NOT have to take advantage of anyone; financially, emotionally or spiritually for the business to work.

    2. This is being presented as the "real truth" about Mary Kay.

    3. There is NO opportunity for someone to say, "Hey, wait a second, I am having good success here and I am not taking advantage of anyone".

    If they want to say, "this is OUR truth", or "this is the way it was for us", that is completely different from saying that it is the ONLY way or that it is the ONLY experience you will have.

    It would be a much more productive use of their time and energy to compile a list of things that can serve as red-flags to others.

    The message of many on this site is, "It is not impossible to have an enjoyable and successful career in Mary Kay."

    The message of this site is "Let's look at both sides of this discussion and see if we can actually help people with our time and energy".

    Hope that helps illustrate why some people are so "enthusiastically defensive" of Mary Kay!


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