Monday, January 7, 2008

Consultant only OR Career Path?

Two fantastic questions will naturally evolve from this subject. And I hope the answers will naturally take several directions.

First question.

Can someone make a "living" by ONLY selling and not recruiting anyone?

For the sake of everyone answering from the same perspective, lets avoid responses like "why not recruit someone" and "if you like what you are doing wouldn't you try to pass it on". Those are not "wrong" or "bad" points. They simply do not answer the question being asked. The question (again) is CAN someone make a "living" by ONLY selling?

For this question, we will set an acceptable living at $24,000. I know you can not survive where I live on that kind of money. But I think as an average, nationwide standard, it is fair. If anyone disagrees, feel free to change the amount (higher or lower). Just keep in mind that I will not be able to respond until after work. (and tomorrow I have an after work commitment that will prevent me from saying much of anything. So just "take it away"!

The second question is can you recruit women and become a director without;
1. ruining their lives?
2. ruining your life?

I know that second question is rather vague and "open to interpretation". I think that is a good thing. I want to know what, how, why.

Some say that Mary Kay is only a good idea if you remain a consultant ONLY. Is this accurate? or not? why?

Nothing Follows


  1. speaking the real truthJanuary 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    David, first of all I must say that your second question is insulting, and I wonder if your wife feels the same way. Of course it is possible and probable!

    I have had many consultants tell me over the years how grateful that they are that they were introduced to MK and that I am their director. By the same token, I am grateful to my recruiter, Sr. Director, NSD, and Sr. NSD for introducing me to MK, AND FOR TEACHING ME THE PROPER WAY TO CONDUCT MY BUSINESS. Some have had a very positive impact on how I conduct my personal life as well.

    As to the first question. That consultant would need to average $1000/wk in sales. That is not easy, but yes, it's possible. Again, I must re-state that many women are not looking an income that they could completely live off of, they are looking for extra money.

    I do counsel with those who want an income to live off of or to have a career that directorship is the path that will BEST provide those things.

  2. I don't think it's fair to say that many women are only looking for extra income, not enough to live off of. If that is the case, what is up with the whole "executive pay for part time hours"? I realize that "executive pay" can differ from person to person, but I think it's fair to assume that "executive" would be more than the average person is earning. This saying is so rampant in MK all over the country that I find it hard to believe than anyone would think that many women go into this business for only a little extra at the end of the month. If that were the case, that saying would not be such a big one when consultants are recuiting.

  3. Judi, I don't know where you live, but I think it's fair to say that (a) you don't live all over the country, (b) have not statistically sureveyed the whole country, and (c) know enough MK consultants to say that the phrase "executive pay for part time hours" is rampant all over the country.

    My wife doesn't promote that, her mother doesn't promote that, her NSD doesn't promote that and her adopted (local) NSD doesn't promote that. So that's three different locales, from Oklahoma to the southwest to southern California that don't promote that.

    If you are going to provide sweeping generalizations, please provide your source(s).

  4. OK. Here are my sources: My cousin in the Missouri/Kansas area was told that right before she signed. My aunt who is a Director in Texas was told it and tells it to her recruits. My SIL in New York was told it when she was told of the opportunity while shopping at a mall. My friend who went to a meeting as a "model" in California was told it more than once throughout the night. I live many hours from all of these people and I was told it.

    So, no, I do not live in all areas of the country. No, I have not surveyed the entire country. But I do know quite a few consultants in various parts of the country where this statement is/was said.

    Let me say also that when I make statements it is based on what I have seen or heard. I do not assume that everything I have experienced in MK was/is experienced by all others. Just as I don't assume that because I had a bad experience there are only bad experiences to be had. I am merely saying that because I have heard so many of the same things that others have heard, then it would seem that these statements are said ALOT. They are inaccurate and misleading. And I do not want someone to have an experience similar to mine, so I tell my experience.

  5. Can someone make a "living" by ONLY selling and not recruiting anyone?

    My expectation is that someone cannot make a living by ONLY selling. It's not to say it's impossible, but I would never set the expectation to a prospective team member that she can live off of sales only. Here's why it's possible: a friend of mine made the Queen's Court of Sales at Seminar 2007. Incidentally, it was also her first year as a consultant! Her profit as most of us here know would have been at least $18,000. It's not quite enough to meet the standard of living here, but it's a tremendous accomplishment. Now, she does have a full time job on top of this. I can't speak for her, but if I were in her shoes, that would be a nice bonus to my full time job. ;) For those who are curious, she has one team member. She's a senior consultant.

    This next thing I'm going to say kind of blends into the second question(s): Will recruiting/turning director ruin lives?: I suppose it could if it is allowed (I feel we are responsible for our reactions to situations. Our lives can only be ruined if we allow them to be). But here is what I'll say to that. My friend who accomplished this feat of Queen's Court of Sales in her first year was recruited by a girl I recruited. I'm indirectly responsible for introducing her to MK. Funny how things work out, isn't it? ;)
    Could I recruit people who decide they don't like MK? Absolutely. Anything is possible. Might they say it ruined their lives. They could. Would that be my fault? I doubt it. Not when I know that I've given them all of the information and guidance I possibly could give.

  6. I also feel that we are ultimately responsible for our own actions. I am not shy in saying I don't have a whole lot of respect for my director. She was very misleading in her discription of MK, money wise and time wise. She did want me to put more money into it than I did. I followed my own gut there, though. I do not feel like she has ruined my life. What I lost is only money. And it was in the form of cash, not credit, so no interest rates, etc. So in my case it did not ruin my life. But there may be those who are easily manipulated by master manipulators, who know they are manipulating. In that case, then I think a director can ruin someone's life. I would think that would be rare, though.

  7. My recruiter, who's also my SSD, always flaunts her highest bonus when doing teambuilding interviews. At guest events she parades her newest "star-of-the-moment" and her out-of-the-ordinary "sales" like it's something that goes for everyone. We're not allowed to point out that it's got nothing to do with real statistics. I've pointed out that we're bound by our contracts not to exaggerate possible income, but to no avail. Once a consultant has signed and started working though, she's always very clear about the fact that big money comes to teambuilders, smaller money to those who focus only on selling (which is is also havily frowned upon in my unit, btw).

    Question 1: Can you make a living just selling?

    Personally, in my busiest month I took home app. $1500 after expenses. That was in my first year, so naturally, I'm clinging to the memory of that month as something I could push myself to repeat EVERY month. On top of that, I'm hoping for repeat business to add a bit extra. Maybe it's an illusion, maybe I did that well because I was still going through my own friends and acquaintances. Maybe I won't ever acheive good repeat business. But I'll give it a couple more years and see. People posting above me: in my unit, MOST consultants are/were hoping to make full-time money working part-time with MK wihtout having to become SDs, because that's what was dangled in front of us when signing. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening, since a majority of them sell less than me.

    Question 2: Can you become SD/do teambuilding without compromising your intregrity?

    Not if you do it the way I'm being taught. The more I climb the ladder, the uglier it gets. If I did everything my SD (now SSD) told me, I'd be SD already, but my conscience won't allow me to do it her way. She's praised by everyone for making SD 10 months after signing up. Now, 2½ years after signing up, she has two successful offspring SDs. But since she fails to make people "feel important" for REAL is likely to be her downfall. My inspiration to do teambuilding the right way comes from negative sites like PT (reading how NOT to) and balanced sites (mk4me, I look up to you!), but I have such a bitter taste in my mouth that right now, I'm willing to forfeit the big money and focus only on my customers. I'm sure they will appreciate buying without me desperately trying to recruit them. Or worse, my SD trying to recruit them behind my back after I've told her they're not interested.

    Hope my answers inspire some more comments!

  8. Matilda, that is just terrible. Bravo to you for continuing your business YOUR way. ;)
    As for the "executive income" claims; I only know one director who says this from time to time. She does in fact earn an executive income. I've been to her house and met her family and I can attest she is doing quite well. She has been in the business just about 20 years and has earned a few Cadillacs. I'd have to give her the benefit of the doubt that she makes executive income. Also, she has a business background. I admire her because she is real. She talks about her struggle in her early years. It took her 3years to hold classes consistently. Anyway, I digress. When she's talking about the executive income, she talks about herself. Like, she'll say something like, "I can wait with my kids for the school bus and be home to greet them when they get home from school. I'm available to take them to their activities. My business is scheduled around me and on top of this I can earn an executive income." I wouldn't call that misleading and she doesn't say constantly.

  9. i dont think you can make a living only on sales. In order to make a living (no other job) I do believe you would have to be a director or some higher level.

  10. Matilda, thanks so much for the compliment.

    I would like to add, myself, my national, and the area directors I work with do not tell anyone that they will make an executive income.

    It would be way too much reading to go over my interview which I can do in my sleep but in short, I do tell everyone that the majority of people start Mary Kay parttime and look at building. Once you establish a customer base, you will start getting reorders and then you continue your parties and facials and your income will increase. ... I say, please realize, this is not a get rich quick scheme, it is no different than any other business, it is going to take awhile to get it going and get it off the ground. If you are looking at making loads of money quick, this business is not for you.

    ** Now, I suppose it would be possible if someone wanted to book approx 10 parties a week and really worked 40 hours a week to make alot of money, but I have yet to meet a consultant in Mary Kay that actually did 40 hours of parties a week... and I don't plan on doing it myself either. But if someone needed money badly enough, if I was put in a life or death situation, I know if I was willing to do the work, I could earn as much as I was willing to put in. (Selling that is)

    We all know STRT and I are directors, both are on target Court of Sales, which means to date we have ordered over $9,000 wholesale/$18,000 retail. We sell this product. (Myst, if you are on target, sorry for not mentioning) Profit on this would be $9,000 in six months, double that and you would have about $18,000 a year. Great money? Well not so much in my opinion, bad money??

    Well let's look at this:

    Minimum wage is $7.15 an hour
    Based on a 40 hour work week and 2080 hours in a year (40 x 52)=
    Yearly salary BEFORE Taxes is

    I can honestly tell you I would rather be doing 2 to 3 classes a week than working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage retail position or fast food place. But that is just me. (Note putting anyone down with these types of job, but being a little ADD, I can't stand repeative type behavior. So I wouldn't be too good at doing the same thing over and over)

    And as far as not selling, I have two bookshelves with my product, I have done 12 1/2 yrs court of sales, that is $225,000 wholesale or $450,000 retail. I don't have it stashed in storage sheds, garages, attics, or anywhere else for that matter. It is with my clients. So, yes you can sell product. Hey - look, I am only $50,000 retail away from 1/2 million, how cool is that?? Never thought about totalling how much I have sold in my MK career, now going to have to find all my past tax returns, my curiousity is up.

    Recruiting and Directorship increase income and I can say yes, you can earn a good income but when I looked up executive income in the dictionary, it wasn't listed with an amount.

    Prior to Mary Kay, I was a Corp. Accountant/Business Financial Anaylst - I worked mega hours at Salary. I quit in 1994 and was able to almost replace my income and then since I no longer had to pay a fulltime sitter I actually ended up financially ahead and I ended up ahead of the game and worked less. Would one consider my former career an executive job? I guess much of this is matter of opinion.

    Will this work for eveyone, NO
    Will it work for some, YES

    Is it a get rich quick scheme? NO
    Can you earn money/good money? YES

    Do I feel the time I put into this business is worth the income I am receiving, Yes, and sometimes I feel guilty because I feel I should be doing more than I do.

    Have a great day everyone!!

  11. speaking the real truthJanuary 8, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Judi, most of the women that I work with and have worked with for over a decade are not coming in to replace their income or to live off of their MK income. Also, I have found that what women claim when they start their businesses is often not what they wind up doing. I've had one join for personal use who became and Sales Director and earned use of company cars, others have joined for a career and wound up doing very little. I think that most just need to give it a try and see what they want to do with it, and if they like it, and are willing to do the work that it takes for what THEY want.

    I do not believe that you can earn exec. pay in a few hours per week unless you are one of the NSDs who worked hard years ago and is just waiting for retirement. I work, many hours per week, but the thing is that it is when, how, and where I choose to work.

    Judi, can I ask why you are not in your aunt's unit?

  12. speaking the real truthJanuary 8, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Matilda, I hate to hear what you are saying and I am sorry that you are getting some bad guidance. Watch closely though, as your director may not be here a few years from now. I've seen hot shots shoot up to director, earn a caddy, produce offspring, and then the whole thing collapes because it was not built on the solid and firm foundation of the skin care class.

  13. My aunt asked me the same thing when she found out I had signed up! She's a director. I live hours away from her and only see her a couple, three times a year.

    My sister hosted a party and my BF signed up. I signed up at her debut a couple months later. I had no idea about the MK structure. Didn't understand about how commissions were made, etc. If I would have known that I would have signed up under her.

  14. Too funny, STRT, I, too, only joined for personal use, I was #12 for a friend for her Grand Am, I planned only on getting my products at cost and that was it! And believe me for 1 1/2 years that was all I did.

    Interesting the way things in life change.

    STRT, may I ask what Seminar Division you are? Just sounds like we have had alot of the same influences?

  15. Matilda, ditto to STRT, remember we are here and will gladly try to answer any of your quesions. I strongly disagree with the statement fast is easy, slow is hard. My belief is steady growth in your customer base and then steady growth in recruiting will get you whereever you want to go and you will get there and have a solid foundation and future.

    Judi, why didn't you join with your aunt when you just rejoined?

  16. I've heard people say "fast is easy; slow is hard" and I like this saying better: "inch by inch, it's a cinch! yard by yard, it is hard." Which means exactly the opposite of the former. Baby steps. :) That's my game plan. I'm going to work my way through 30 phone calls this month--and then some!

    I also didn't join for a new career. I joined for a new hobby that seemed like a worthy cause to pursue: it's fun, social, I help other women, and as a bonus I can make a little side cash. No pressure, either. No rigid structure so I can make my own schedule. Sounded good to me. The more involved I have become in my business, the more I would love to get more out of it. So, I'm slowly learning the ropes and gaging what to do and what not to do and now I'm ready to step out of my little comfort zone and go for the top. :D

  17. shades, I think your philosphy is great, you keep it up girl, what's that song, "just put one foot in front of the other and soon you will be walking out the door"! You sound like a great person. I want to share some goodies with you because I have a feeling you will understand just how I felt when I got them, if you get a minute, scroll back to this week in MK on this site and read the 5th (i think) entry, it is from me and I just wanted to share a few extr "bennies" of our biz.
    Have a great night, Pink Dreams!

  18. Totally anonymous person you don't knowJanuary 9, 2008 at 7:11 AM

    I have a question, and I am not sure where to post this, so I will ask it here. Perhaps it can be a post of its' own. I think it would be a great discussion question.

    I want to join MK, but I have several friends who sell it.

    The person I really want to join under is someone I don't know as well, but she and I have hit it off and I like her style. I have also spoken to her sponsor and she seems very low-pressure.

    The other person is a good friend of mine, and I am working with her on another business venture, but she is a very, very Type-A and started her biz with $10,000 in inventory. (Yeah, don't get me started on that. She has that kind of money to blow on inventory and fully embraces the "no empty cart" philosophy.) We work well on our other business venture because it is a totally different thing than MK.

    I feel like joining under Friend A would be a pleasant experience. I feel that joining under Friend B could be about as fun as sitting in a corner poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. With Friend B, I feel like I will be getting end-of-the-month calls and she has already told me things that make me realize she has a totally different philosophy than I do about MK.

    So, how can I break the news to Friend B without hurting her feelings?

  19. speaking the real truthJanuary 9, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    JUDI, you can call the company and explain to them your situation, and since it is family, they will most likely move you into your aunt's unit. The company does make exceptions when someone realizes that they should have recruited with someone else. Since you've just re-signed, if you didn't know that you could change at that time, they would surely change it.

    MK4ME, I am in the Pearl Division, how about you?

  20. speaking the real truthJanuary 9, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    Fast is easy, AS LONG AS IT IS DONE THE RIGHT WAY. If it is fast, just for the sake of fast, and you go along building no base of clients or recruits for a unit, it will struggle and most likely collapse.

    If you desire to move into directorship, or even a good consultant business, you do need to work with enough intensity to build momentum. Momentum can take you a long way.

    Just whatever you do, build your business off of selling the products at full retail, and teaching others to do the same.

    Remember, we are called consultants, not corporate recruiters.

  21. STRT says, "Remember, we are called consultants, not corporate recruiters."

    Love that line STRT!

    I am Emerald, guess our training isn't restricted to the area we come from! :)

  22. totally annoymous person you dont know,

    Would you specify which one you are referring to as friend A and friend B?
    Sometimes,(according to my director) it can come down to who offered you the opportunity first, or who facialed you. Are they both in the same location

  23. Thank you SO much everyone for your nice answers! You make me believe again (but in the good, non-foggy way)! I've read this page several times already today to build my spirit!

    Dear Anonymous: of course you should sign with the one you feel comfortable with, otherwise it'll ruin your whole experience. But I'm sure you've already decided on that. Tell friend B that you don't want to upset the balance you have in your other venture. She should appreciate that. If she doesn't that's just more proof that you're right in going with friend A.

    Good luck!

  24. Thanks MK4ME! I saw your posts on the other thread. I posted a nice sentiment I received there as well. :)

    I'm in Emerald, too. :D

  25. speaking the real truthJanuary 11, 2008 at 7:10 AM

    Anonymous, my question would be "who have you been purchasing products from?"


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