Thursday, January 3, 2008

Makin' Money

A little "today on pink truth" from your "fearless leader"!

"For 1.1 million American women, Mary Kay will not be great in 2008" reads one of todays headlines.

With no credit given to anyone else (yet), I can only subscribe the following math to Tracy.

Approximately 700,000 in MK currently - check
Approximately 40,000/month added for a total of 480,000 for the year - check
Total new and original MK reps 1.18 million - check
Total making an "executive income" 600 - check (but this is thin ice because a definition of executive income WILL vary)
Total making a living (or small income) of 10k to 20k - 13,000 - (not sure where this number comes from but) check
Number of consultants making a "small profit" - 10,000 - ummmm what?

Out of 700,000 no wait, 1.18 million consultants in MK this year (less the aforementioned directors and NSD's) you think that only 10,000 are going to make a profit? Where do you get that number? That is a ridiculously arbitrary number.

Accounting profit is the difference between retail sales price and the costs of acquisition (whether by harvest, extraction, manufacture, or purchase). A key difficulty in measuring either definition of profit is in defining costs. Accounting profit may be positive even in competitive equilibrium when pure economic profits are zero.

I find 10,000 people a might small and unlikely number for people who have drawn some profit from Mary Kay.

That aside, "making money" is not the only thing that women look to in making Mary Kay "great in '08". There are many that sign up as "personal use". Judi, here on this site, is one of those people. She has no intention of making money and shares the expense of the resigning fee, the shipping, and the 50% discount. Because she may not order more than $200 this year, she may also fall on that list of "women that Mary Kay 'churned' through and spit out".

Judi, may I ask, at this point in your experience with Mary Kay, would you say that you feel you are being "used and abused" or offered a product you like and found a way to get it at a price that you like?

I am sure I don't have to tell you, you are safe to answer honestly here!

Sorry, I am one of those that "like" math, and when I see it being butchered the way it was today on PT, I have to say something.

Nothing Follows


  1. I totally agree with you on this one! And what exactly defines a small profit? Is she saying that 600,000 plus consultants aren't even making $1? The extreme crazy math drives me bonkers!

  2. pretty in pink,

    Is this your first time commenting here?

    If it is, Welcome!

    If it is not, sorry I missed you earlier!

    I think she is actually saying that 1.1 million plus consultants are not even making $1.

    Yes it is extreme!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I think this goes to prove the old adage -

    There are lies, damn lies and... statistics!

  4. I do not feel I am being abused at this point in MK. Of course, my director nor the company has my phone number, either! And the email address they both have is specifically there for them to contact me. No one else uses it. I have cushioned myself away and that is how I make MK work for me.

    I love the products. I do not find they are worth full price but they ARE worth 1/2 price. And if I order once a year I get the Look Book for free along with other news items about what's going on.

    As to the numbers PT uses, I have no way of knowing this is correct. Just like we have no way of knowing where MKs numbers come from. I do not believe many people are making much money in this company. And according to those posting, they are not making a lot of money. It sounds like they are in MK for a little extra at the end of them month. And if that works for them, then MK is a perfect fit.

    I do not consider myself an IBC. I am a customer. So I think it is misleading if MK lumps me in with the IBCs. I think corps numbers should reflect those consultants who are only buying for personal use and those who are sellers of this product. If someone hasn't ordered in a year, are they considered still working their business? There are so many variables that it is impossible to say who is right when it comes to the numbers.

  5. The post says 1.1 million American women. The 1.18 million consultant number is worldwide. Not just the U.S.

    As for MKC keeping track of numbers, I believe that is why they have the different levels of Active, Inactive, and T. Once your status is T you are not considered a consultant.
    For the purposes of accuracy, it would seem to me that MKC would measure A1 consultants when measuring production. A1=ordered at least $200 w/s in the current month. Next, they would look at A2's and A3's and see how much was ordered. People who are I and T status haven't ordered in at least 3 months.
    As far as how many IBC's there are in existence, it's hard to say if they are looking at just A1, A2, and A3 or if they also include I1, I2, and I3. Technically, the company consdiers you a consultant from the time you place your initial A1 order until one full year passes to the next order making you terminate.

  6. speaking the real truthJanuary 4, 2008 at 7:57 AM

    I think that Mary Kay Corp. does/will reveal certain numbers. When they named us the number one brand in the combined category of Skin Care and Color, they told us exactly the source for that claim. I trust the numbers that I get from CORPORATE, we just need to make sure that we understand exactly what that number represents. For example, in the above siting, it does not say that we are number one in skin care, only in the combined category. People need to listen closely to the info. that they are given and be careful not to bastardize it when they repeat it.

    NOW, what consultants and directors often say, I do not just trust outright. However, I think that they are usually "mis-speaking", more than trying to be deceitful, but I know that there are probably some who tell things that they know are not accurate. Before we spit something out, I think we should use the following guidelines:
    1-Do I personally know this to be true (my own personal business or that of someone that I know personally)
    2-Can I back this statement up?
    3-Am I repeating the info. verbatim?
    4-If in any doubt, call MK and ask them if something is true, or for a clarification of the statement.

    I always enjoy the "presidential address" at Seminar, etc., because that is when they do give some statistical info. on the company and its successes.

    Back to the profit issue.
    Someone can benefit, without making a profit. Just like Judy, she is benefiting by getting a 50% discount on her personal products. Many consultants in these situations still charge others more than wholesale, so they do make a profit.

    It is each consultants decision as to whether or not this is enough of a benefit to them to be a consultant, and criteria for each may be different.

  7. It seems that - the recommended end price of the product is too high thus a number of customers become personal use consultants to get 50% off. Question: The consultants working their business - are they discounting to get sales and thus not making much? I left a post on another thread asking where are the IBCs that are supporting themselves (or making really good part time income - I know "good" can be subjective). I'm just wondering that's all. Heck, can't the directors for Mary Kay just get their consultants to share their profit and loss info with them (since each consultant can run their business as they wish)...if someone would get this type of information, it would add to the facts and data.

  8. objectiveone
    where have you been? Plenty of directors and consultants have written about how we make a living with this business on this blog and others. You wont see it one PT because those kinds of comments arent allowed.

    We can tell you until we are blue in the face about how we make money (part time and otherwise) in this business. But you still wont believe it because you have been conditioned by PT and maybe some personnal bad experiences to automatically think that we are making things up.

    Its really frustrating to keep singing this song. I know women that all they do is MK. Most of the directors in my town work MK full time with the majority of others doing it part time including myself.

    I dont sell my products at a discount. I run specials sometimes to move discountinued things and give some of my repeat coustomers deals on birthdays, etc. But to discount products on a regular basis..No. I expect full price and I get it. And there are plenty of IBC's in this area, but I still get full price. I have learned that what one person wont pay, someone else will. So I just move on to the next customer.

  9. No, I do not see the MSRP of MK as too high, but it all depends on one's point of view. To people used to buying Cover Girl and Maybelline, of course MK is "expensive". Everything in the US has its "price point", whether it is clothing, cars or cosmetics.

    As to the question "where are the IBCs who are supporting themselves ...", again it depends on your point of view. I would say, "working", PT'ers would say "slaving and denying".

    As to directors getting their consultants to share their P&L info, it won't and can't happen. Directors are not "district managers". Consultants are not responsible for their directors for their performance. Directors can provide mentoring, training and inspiration, but directors cannot motivate their consultants, that must come from the consultant herself. As a director's husband who is fully involved in my wife's business, I do not want myself or my wife analyzing a consultant's financial perfomance. What are we supposed to do if we see something stupid? My wife provides a simple money-management sheet and the importance of keeping business money separate from family money, and if requested I will discuss the importance of keeping proper expense records. My wife does individual new consultant training, including discussing initial inventory, and she will help a new consultant with her initial classes/parties, but she can nothing do to absolutely make a consultant "fly". My wife can't even push the new consultant out of the home (nest).

    Asking about P&L data raises the broader question of why is a MK consultant any different from a person who owns a pizza shop. If I have the urge to open my own pizza shop, sure I can ask my future competitor, but he/she has no compelling reason to tell me what has made his shop succesful. Why should he, so he can make less money?

    One might say that my last statement goes against the Go-Give spirit, that if I have an idea and you have an idea, we each have one, but if we share our ideas then we will each have two. I disagree. No matter how good an idea is, its success is entirely dependent on the execution, motivation and perserverance of the person performing it. Does the person take it to heart (to borrow the USPS slogan, "neither rain nor ...", or does the person try it once half-heartedly and go back to the afternoon soap operas. Plus, different methods work for different people. My wife hates "warm chattering" people in malls, supermarkets etc. However she has great success visiting small offices and getting new names by giving small chocolates and a hand cream sample. (A few month ago, the woman who started Spanx was on a prime-time news program. Before she started Spanx, she sold office copiers door-to-door and stated that she had been tossed out of offices and escorted from office buildings more than once, but she still did her job for 7 years.)

  10. I'm going to address the original question, "are consultants making money". If you define a consultant as anyone who signs an agreement, which is almost certainly the definition used by MK in the letter sent to the FTC that stated approx 40K people become new consultants each month, then the answer is probably on-average, no. (I can see PT'ers dancing with glee.)

    In my experience, the reason is that most (approx 50%) consultants do almost nothing. Some (I'd say less than 10%) are personal-use or family-use consultants, with no intention of selling anything at a higher price than what they paid. The remaining 40% (or 90% of the original 50%) never get going or quickly fade away. Why? Who knows? Why do people get degrees in college that they never use? Why do people buy shoes and wear them once? People are not made from cookie-cutters and no one has been able to figure out what makes some of them leaders and some followers, or some successful and others with more month than money. For those of you who are Sci-Fi fans, I'll refer you to the Foundation series written by Asimov in the early 1950's.

    The point about "the opoportunity" is exactly that. It's what the consultant does with it. For a very small capital investment, compared to starting a brick-and-mortar business, a consultant can make a profit, even as little as $500 a month. (People who compare MK to professional incomes, such as doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc, have forgotten the huge amount of time money poured in at the beginning of that process, plus the not-insubstantial amounts for annual dues/licenses, new AutoCad or Lexis software, malpractice insurance, hospital fees, etc.

  11. Hi scam, thanks for stopping by!

    Judi you raise an interesting point. If people that are "technically" consultants but not "really" consultants (like you) were not "counted" in the tallies we would probably see very different results. I imagine that there would be a smaller total number of consultants, but a larger percentage of "successful" consultants. By the numbers, you will LOOK like an unsuccessful consultant. (that is why I asked you how you felt!)


    The 1.1 million was a reference to the 700,000 + 480,000 (40,000X12) "new recruits" anticipated this year.

    Objective One,

    Welcome. I hope the answers provided were adequate! Feel free to ask any question you want. I know this site is not really optimized for finding old conversations. (nods to foreverpink... sorry.. working on that!)


    I understand your point and agree with your assertion, but you lost me on your math!

    40% is 90% of 50%? Seems like it would be 80%, no? Perhaps it is my cold (yes, I am STILL sick :( )

    Thanks all.

  12. Objective one, did you get an answer to your question? It takes a while to get Pro MKers to stop defending themselves and give a straight answer. I have had to say over and over that I am not anti MK. And I finally got an answer. We don't have to many consultants responding here but those that do ARE making money. And they are making the amount of money they set out to make. It's not full time pay. It's a supplement income. From what I remember, most have husbands who primarily support the family ( like me ) or another job and MK is the little bit extra that puts them over the top. They are all very happy with their income, which is the end result you want when you take an extra job.

    I do think that corporate should separate those who are personal use and those who are selling. And I do think Directors should have more input in what their consultants are doing. Shouldn't they be DIRECTING? I don't think a big inventory should be purchased right away. You have no idea how you will do in this business and you can reorder at any time so why start with so much? And if your director is really on your side she will more than gladly "sell" you some of her stock to cover what you don't have in your first few weeks. She should be right there with you during that time anyway, directing.

    And, MKHonesty, if there were a pizza parlor in my town bragging about how much they made and begging me to join in that business, I would definately expect them to show me the money. So many times at the meetings I heard my director and other directors and the national tell us how much they made. And they told this to guests, too, to get them to join. Are we supposed to take their word on it?

  13. Dave, you're right, 40% is 80% of 50%.

    Judi, way back on ME's blog I stated that there is no reason for an initial order to be greater than $1800 whsl, and that MK should eliminate the new consultant bonus levels for orders above $1800. With the Earned Discount Priv, consultants can do smal orders. (Background: before EDP, the min order size was $200 whsl for a 50% discount.)

    No, directors should not be "seling" product to consultants, because that is (a) helping the director turn over her stock, (b) giving the director the contest (Star qtr, Court of Sales) credit, and (c) now causing the director's planned inventory level to be low. The only time my wife "sells" product to othre consultants/directors is if the item is no longer available for ordering from MK. In that case, the price = whsl + tax on the retail value + actual shipping cost. The alternative to "selling" would be "loaning" the product to the new consultant. That is a decision that has to be up to the director, based on whether she thinks she will get her product back, no different than loaning money.

    No, Directors have lots of "input" into what their consultants are doing. What I think you are asking is that directors have more "control of the performance" of their consultants, much like the manager-employee relationship. Directors cannot have that, because the consultant is not employed or supervised by the director. A director has no legal ability to right a performance improvement plan, set the consultant's work hours, control the consultant's level of pay, or ultimately fire her. There is an old saying in the military, "do not give orders you cannot or do not want to enforce." It's hard to go back in history in this blog, but as I remember, your 1st director ordered products for you little or no input from you; products that were soon discontinued and that you had problems selling.

    Yes, you have to take a director's or NSD's word for what they say they make. Just like a lawyer or a real estate agent says he/she makes X hundred thousand dollars a year. Lots of people enter those fields expecting to make that much money, but that is not guaranteed. There is an anecdote that only 10% of new real estate agents last a year. I've been unable to verify that, but I did read a statement by a realtor industry person that 90% of the sales are made by the top 10% of the agents.

    Regarding the pizza shop analogy, if you want to open a pizza FRANCHISE, then you are required to obtain the franchise disclosure (usually at your cost, around $150). That was the whole question of the proposed FTC rule, should the franchise rules be applied to all business opportunities and if not, is there a minimum dollar limit that would trigger the application of those rules. Off the top of my head I'll summarize MK's argument: No, because the required initial investment is $100plus tax & shipping, plus any inventory purchased within the previous calendar year can be returned at 90% of the whls value. So the risk to the individual is very low. (end of summary). I'll embelish that summary. $100 is less than a good pair of women's shoes (dress or running). $100 is less than it costs to fillup a pickup or SUV with gas in many parts of the country.

  14. I'll address the pizza shop analogy again.

    It is reasonable to assume that every one who walks into or calls up a pizza shop orders and walks out with a pizza. Theat's great. It sounds like a 100% guaranteed sale. But by the point the person makes the call or walks into the shop, the buying decision has already been made. Now it's just order fulfillment.

    Backing up a little, you have to look at what the pizza shop has to do to get that person to call. People have been asking on this blog (and stating as fact over on PT), that consultants must discount product in order to sell it. I'll ask one question: has anyone here ever bought a pizza from Domino's without being offered 2 for 1, or free cheesy sticks or something else. I for one cannot remember the last time I bought a Domino's pizza at the posted price!

    My wife makes lots of full price sales, and the only gift she gives is a PCP premium or a full size hand cream ($4 Whsl).

  15. Most people who open a bricks-and-mortar biz start advertising it weeks or months before it even opens! Flyers, mailers, coupons, ads, etc., etc., etc. Right now, there is a new Hardee's opening soon near me. They have signs plastered everywhere (Coming Soon!!) and are already mailing out flyers. (Most food franchises take a percentage of the franchisee's profits to help cover advertising.) They are offering free this and discounted that to get people to walk in the door.

    Even with all of these things, the Hardee's will probably not turn a profit for 5 years, because of the investment required.

    I am using this type of approach with my MK biz. I have not joined and will not join until next month, but I am already "putting the word out" and booking classes and one-on-ones. My goal is to have orders to cover my entire starting inventory ($600 wholesale). I $400 in orders so far, and they understand I will not be starting my biz until next month, so there is no rush. I am not offering any discounts.

    MK is a business, just like any other. Ordering just so your shelves are full makes no sense to me. Ordering because you need stuff makes sense.

    As far as making money goes:

    This is not a business that runs on autopilot. I don't know of any business that does. If you stop working the business, it stops working for you.

    I will have a blog when I start my biz. I will keep you all updated.

    PS - I had planned on starting my biz this month (and had posted previously that I was going to start in Jan.), but my mom is having health issues and is scheduled for surgery.

  16. mkshay,
    best of luck to you and I pray that your mom gets better!

    You have the right attitude about this business with realistic expectations. That means you will handle the ups and downs of running a business (any business) well!

    I am looking forward to hearing about your success!

  17. I think an initial order of $1800 is ridiculous. You have NO WAY of knowing how this business will do. Order the kit. Use it to do facials. Shay seems to be working from an empty cart and she hasn't even signed her contract yet. If during the first month or two you have a customer that wants 1 thing that you don't have it is more reasonable to get that one item from someone else rather than order over $200 for that one thing. Once you get a feel for the business, then it would make more sense to keep stock.

    And if some lawyer was trying to get me to put money into his firm and telling me how much he makes and telling me that was probably what I would be making, yes, I would want proof. Why should these directors be trusted? What makes them trustworthy?

    And I do not think directors should be the boss of their consultants. But I do think they should use their expertise and experience in directing their consultants. I highly doubt that consultants will fight their director if the director encourages a very small initial order.

  18. Judi, I think small initial orders are the norm. Why? Because MK offers a Color 101 look to a new consultant who places a $600+ whls order within the first two weeks of her agreement, and bonus product for initial $600, $1200, etc orders during the agreement month and the month afterwards. If these orders were coming in automatically, do you think that MK would need to provide incentives, or that the incentive level would be so low?

    I'm going to be blunt here: A personal use (PU) consultant is only slightly more qualified than Lazy Gardens to recommend how a consultant should start and run her business. I stated over on ME's blog a while ago (I think before Seminar) that if I were setting initial order policy, I would require a $600 minimum in order to discourage PU consultants. I recently heard a NSD say, "if you're going to be a PU consultant, please don't tell anyone that you are a MK consultant, because you are not."

    You suggested that MK only count as consultants only those who are working the business, not PU consultants. I don't know what the cutoff would be. A possible cutoff would be those consultants who are receiving a 1099-MISC, which is triggered by either receiving $600+ in commission and prizes, or by ordering $5,000+ in whsl.

    Regarding people telling other people how much they can or do make: High school students are enticed/encouraged/recommended to go into certain fields every day by their friends, parents, guidance counselors, and books listing the average yearly income of different professions. This morning I heard a radio ad for an online college degree service that stated that "it's a well known fact that a person with a degree will earn over a $1 million more on average over their lifetime than someone who doesn't." The key words are "on average". A college degree does not GUARANTEE that you will make more and/or keep more than someone who only has a HS diploma or a GED. I'll bet that in those statistics are a lot of college graduates who are making less than HS graduates. My point is that every day people are told that they could be making more money doing X. The only guaranteed income that I know is to go into civil service or some other government job where a person's performance (or lack of it) makes no difference in the pay and the rules make it very hard to fire someone unless they are a criminal. Of course, those jobs usually have very slow advancement and small annual pay raises, and advancement is often dependent on someone retiring, quitting or dying.

  19. MKShay: One recommendation: if you're booking more than 2 weeks in advance, like it sounds that you are, then double-book. People don't keep their own doctor's &dentist's appts, even when they get a reminder phone call the day before and get charged $25 for missing the appt. Other than that, it sounds like you are thinking more than 30 seconds ahead, which is great.

    My best wishes to your mom, mine just broke her hip in a fall on Christmas Day, and she has had both knees replaced over the last 6 months. Don't worry, she's doing fine. I think it's the English blood, stiff upper lip and all that.

    Be careful about the strategy of only ordering what you need. Once you start really selling (as opposed to planning to sell by setting up appointments). My apologies if you have received money from customers already, because then you really have made the sale. Getting back on track, you'll have to ask yourself whether you are missing sales because you do not have the product on the shelf, or even avoiding certain people (such as ones with a different skin tone than yours) because you do not have the product to service them.

    Your information about the new Hardee's brings up another subject: "grand openings" or "business debuts". Some directors are really big on this idea. My wife is not, because she feels that a new consultant does not have enough of a customer base to make the grand opening a pyschological and monetary success. A lot of consultants do a lot in preparation for this event, preparing flyers, mailing them out, baking/cooking food, dressing their house, etc. Some of the best "grand openings" that I have seen came from businesses that have been open for 1-2 months. My wife teaches that consultants need to get the product on 30 faces in 30 days, in order to gain both confidence and experience, using both classes and 1-on-1 facials.

  20. Thank you for the well wishes and advice. :o)

    My situation is rather unique, I would think. There are a lot of people in my family that love MK, but have lost their consultant (either because they moved, the consultant moved, or the consultant no longer is in MK).

    These are people who can rattle off their MK order off the top of their heads, practically, so I don't need a kit or inventory for them. LOL

    I am not doing a "Grand Opening" per se. I am just letting people know that I am going to be hanging out my MK shingle next month. :D

    I am also getting pre-payment for orders.

    I will also be working the 30 faces in 30 days approach. :o)

  21. I agree that PU consultants are not really consultants and have no business giving advice, but since I started MK as a selling consultant, I feel my voice has some merit.

    What is the hurry to order $600 or more right out of the gate? If there is such a good chance that it will be sold why not order minimum $400 retail and see how that goes? If you have a month to still get discounts, why not wait? Do like Shay is doing and set up appointments beforehand. And that was good advice about double and triple booking. A lot of times they DON'T hold up and you are stuck.

  22. Mkshay, sounds like you are doing well in planning and organizing your business. That is great! I look forward to reading your blog. As for where I have been, I have been reading these MK related blogs on and off for over a year now simply since they are interesting. Actually when I was 18 (a long ago), I did become a MK consultant! I wanted to be a makeup artist and thought it would be a way to get into the field. Unfortunately, I did not do my homework well (or any at all!) before I signed up. Fortunately, I just got a starter kit. This was way back in the mid-80s and the women involved in MK were not pushy. What happened? Well, I realized I wasn't into making sales plus my customer base were all poor starving college students like me! So, after a couple months, I just stopped attending MK stuff and just used the starter kit myself. I admit, I was glad the director didn't call me since I was a bit embarrassed about the whole thing. That said, years later, I wish they would have asked me who I was going to sell to and maybe I never would have spent that X amount of dollars (so long can't remember how much). But, I never felt like I was taken advantage of - I took responsbility for my own actions back then. I admit, after reading a bunch of Pink Truth, I thought well maybe I was taken advantage of but no, I still take responsibility - it was a bad decision on my part. Ironically, I wound up being an accountant/auditor instead of a makeup artist and like TC, I have my CFE certification. I'm 40 now and older and wiser. Anyway, I haven't posted much on PT just since I can't totally support PT stance but neither can I support a pro MK no blinders on stance since there obviously have been some bad leaders in the bunch. In my mind, there could be a win-win here - let's put it this way, a woman like Mary Kay and is thinking about selling it. Have her go to PT - why not? She can then see the "business gone bad" side. It may make her think long term about the business. Maybe she decides not to do Mary Kay but she still remains (ahah!) a Mary Kay customer of the original consultant that introducted her to Mary Kay. Or, maybe she goes personal use consultant. Bottom line, she is still buying the product. If I was in MK, I would only worry about PT if I thought my customers would boycott Mary Kay...or, if I was a director who was living on the churn and didn't want to lose the new ones coming in (hmmm). Anyway, I think what is hard to deal with here in cyber-space is that you have PT wanting Mary Kay to implode and go away and you have pro MKers that think it is all just fine the way it is. I do think Mary Kay could benefit tremedously from a number of changes and emerge a better company then they are now. That said, I can't tell how much their business relies on the directors getting new IBCs in and churning away. So, maybe they don't want to change. Again, I don't know the answers to this. But this is where PT's math or analysis (as much as some of you may not like it) could be "directionally correct". If Mary Kay was a public company, we could all go to town analyzing their financials and having quarterly calls with them on profitability and their business model. But they are not. Sorry to ramble on - thanks for letting me post.

  23. ObjectiveOne,

    Again welcome!

    It seems that you have a very balanced view of the situation, and a well educated mind to boot!

    I would agree with you (refer women considering MK to PT) except for the simple fact that if you do not read all of the posts there it is quite possible to walk away believing that all of Mary Kay is the way it was for them.

    I personally believe that the majority of Mary Kay is NOT operated the way they paint it to be!

    As I mentioned earlier, I do apologize for the layout of this site and the difficulty associated with navigating it! I promise you though, there are a lot of really intelligent people here that are experiencing varying levels of success in this business.

    We would gladly welcome a CFE here amongst our ranks!

  24. MKHonesty,

    Thanks for clearing that up and for the good points about pizza, etc.

    I believe I have been inspired for a new post that should help put both sides of the MK scenario in perspective... look for that one tonight!

  25. Mk Honesty said>>>>>
    Your information about the new Hardee's brings up another subject: "grand openings" or "business debuts". Some directors are really big on this idea. My wife is not, because she feels that a new consultant does not have enough of a customer base to make the grand opening a pyschological and monetary success.

    Thank GOD someone brought this up!!
    MK Honesty Im glad your wife doesnt teach this. Some directors do this because they feel 10 women will be there and the sales will be
    high and they will find recruits.
    MK was NOT designed to be this way.
    If there is a debut being held and the new consultant asks 30 people to come and 3 show up and there are low sales or no sales she is dissapointed and wants to quit. Its much better to have the debut
    after a consultant is properly trained and has learned how to book.
    If the debut is a success its a win win situation, if not it is more psychologically devastating than a class that has cancelled.
    Great point you are the first I have seen to bring this up.

  26. I find MKHonesty and Colleen's views on debuts interesting. I never had a debut. My director only helped you out with a debut if you came in with an initial inventory of $1200 or $1800...I don't remember which. Anyway, I just did the $600 order, so no debut for me. The director wouldn't do it, and I didn't know how to do one on my own. I always wondered if I had missed out on something important...but maybe not. Interesting perspective--thanks! :)

  27. I also like Colleen and mkhonesty's views on debuts. I didn't have one either. My recruiter did hold my first class for me and I observed. I have done this for my own team members as well. My director had debuts for some new consultants at one point in time and I had wondered if I'd missed the boat on that. Now, it seems she doesn't do debuts. So, I'm not sure if they proved to be damaging to the consultants or if she decided SCC's are the way to go. Thank you for your perspectives. :)

  28. I have always thought debuts or "grand openings" or whatever the word of the day is, were BIG mistakes. The new consultant doesn't learn how to do anything and she has invited all her friends and then she is done. Do the Perfect Start like we did back in the day. That's what gets the ball rolling. And here's another suggestion: she should book at least five before holding the first ONE. That way, if the first one isn't so hot, she has to keep going because she already has the others booked. If she didn't, she would probably quit because the first one was a dud.


  29. I did have a debut. My director used her stuff since I didn't have everything in my inital order. It wasn't a SCC. It was mostly a free for all. Try whatever you want. She told me to give a 40% discount to insure that people bought. I did not get any bookings from that debut. It was all friends and family and I didn't want to use them. I would have much preferred her to help me get a SCC of people I didn't know. But she focused on recruiting. Which she did at my debut.

  30. speaking the real truthJanuary 6, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Oh my, the business debut. This is such a flawed concept.

    First of all, consultants need to see us hold skin care classes. How many times will they need to just openly let people do whatever they want? What are you training them for?

    Next, I cannot believe that Judi's director suggested that she give a 40% discount to get started. How does that help? She makes basically nothing, and then those customers will continue to expect a discount.

    Point #3, if you recruit her best friends and family, then you've cut off her lifelines to bookings. So there she sits, maybe with inventory, with no one to book, and her friends just bought products or recruited at the debut, so she has no one to sell to.

    And the worst scenario, is that the consultant puts all of her eggs in one basket so to speak. If no one shows up or sales are not great, she is very deflated. She would get off to a much better start to book 5 parties immediately, and have her director or recruiter help her with the first one, and also observe a few of theirs. Do a Perfect or Power Start like "ME" said. That's how I started and I sold $500 my second week in the business, hardly knowing what I was doing. I was hooked, and those appts. led to others so my business kept growing from there.

    I personally think that this idea came from the fact that for many directors, it was easier to have her hold a debut, than for us to have our own classes for her to watch. This flawed thinking hurts both parties.

    Directors and those moving up the career path need to be in the field to keep up to speed and to show their consultants how the business is done, and give their consultants confidence that the plan still works.


  31. speaking the real truthJanuary 6, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    ooh, ooh, ooh!

    I have to share with everyone that I attended a great Jan. Jumpstart this part weekend.

    Here was the best part, the NSDs there were talking about getting back to the basics of booking and selling and away from flippant recruiting. I thought that I would stand up and applaud.

    One of them talked about not building a top unit, but building a TOP SELLING UNIT. She described how this had been the secret to her success for over 25 years. Her personal unit still has over 200 unit members! They talked about getting back to those skin care classes and forgetting all of this "on the______" stuff. Seeing clients and putting products on their faces is what we are all about. It is the Mary Kay way and it works!

    I was so excited to see that I am not alone in my thinking about what direction we need to go and to hear that the company is on board with it as well.

    This all gave me confidence in the future of our company, and once again proves that the company does listen to those of us working the business.

  32. Speaking the real truth the only PROBLEM with getting back to the basics (and this is my opinion) is I agree with you!!! What about those women who have pushy directors who have DIQ's find a way make a way!!! How do we get this into their heads!! There is a certain amount of pressure involved when it comes to becoming a car driver or a director. Having a DIQ in the unit drives up the directors commission check and if she is in a national area that promotes this the consultant will think this is what she is supposed to do then there is the shunning if you dont do as Miss director says. Was this a LOT of NSD's saying this or NSD's in your area?
    I hope it was NSD's from other areas as well.

  33. STRT--whoever you heard at your Jumpstart, sounds just like my NSD. :) My NSD and her senior have a CD set called "Back to Basics." It's excellent. EXCELLENT! :) About a year or so ago I decided to dump all the gimmicky classes and booking "tricks" and just go back to Focusing On Faces. This has been promoted by my director and her senior for ages. There was a short period of time where our unit was meeting alone and it seemed to get away from the basic SCC. We were talking about those MK Rocks parties and I had no interest in that. Now we meet with our senior unit again and I think it is more focused on what's important. I love my director, but I am thankful we meet with her senior again. My business has certainly improved since the meeting dynamic has changed back to um, BASICS. ;)

  34. speaking the real truthJanuary 7, 2008 at 6:58 AM

    Colleen, there were 4 NSDs there, none of them my own, and I know how my own feels, so that makes 5.

    The exciting part that you didn't catch is that from what they said, THE COMPANY is returning to this philosophy. That is the critical part. Therefore, we should see promotions and support for selling the product and holding appointments.

    Also, those directors who choose to build otherwise often do not last. Without a base unit that sells product, they will always have to bring in a ton of new people, with inventory, just to stay afloat.

    My unit did over $12,000 last month. $1000 was from new consultant orders, $400 of which was from 2 re-signs placing $200 orders. So really one new order of $600. That gives me more security than bringing in a new gal with a lot of inventory.

    Both of the NSDs who had been in for 25+ years talked about having a selling unit and they both did over $25,000 wholesale in their personal units, who admittedly get little attention from them. They said that their consultants are trained to sell and they just do their thing. That's the way things ought to be!

  35. Judi said...
    Objective one, did you get an answer to your question? It takes a while to get Pro MKers to stop defending themselves and give a straight answer.

    I would like to say, I haven't been adding as much simply because most of what I would say as been writing on this site. Just earlier. But I would like to first reply to Judi and say,
    I and many others don't defend ourselves, we have told you, we make money, I have given an itemized example of my typical month and showed if you mulitple by 12 rougly what I would make. I think what you interprete as defending is frustration because no matter how patiently we try to explain, it doesn't ever sink in.

    When I file my Schedule C it is less than what I actually make because I get to take a deduction for my mileage and a deduction for a home office. This does ON PAPER reduce my income, but I have the room in the house and I drive. I am fortunate to be able to take the mileage deduction because if I worked for a Company and drove to and from work every day, that would not be deductable.

    I pay quarterly taxes and have for 13 years because I make way too much not to file quarterly.

    I have been a single mom earning my way off Mary Kay and am married now but my hubby doesn't support us. We need both incomes.

    I don't frontload and I teach my unit to sell and I too sell lots.
    Actually I do dispute you must frontload to make production, we haven't had one new unit member in the last two months and ZERO new production and still did over $10,000. So what does that mean?? Duh.... my people sell this product and then buy more so they can keep selling.

    It can be done. It can be done right. You can make money. You can do it honestly. The system isn't flawed, people are.

    Not everyone will be good at everything and some people will never be good at some things. Life is what you make it and if someone didn't do well at something and have let it go then I just think it is smart to move on and stop wallowing in self pity. I am glad that my life is full and I love what I do and am glad that if there is something I don't like in life - I have so much good, that I don't have to waste my time just going over and over the bad stuff that has happened.

    If this sounds snippy, my apologizes but what's they old saying? "you might as well talk to a brick wall?" seems this is often an appopriate statement - when dealing with anyone that has had a bad MK experience.

    Hey I bought a gallon of milk once that was bad. It didn't stop me from ever buying milk again.

    All pro-mkers on this site acknowledge there are things that have been done that aren't right, we have never said that everything is perfect. NEVER... however anti mkers want to say that all and everyone is bad. It just isn't that way.

  36. I just got my WELCOME BACK package for re signing. It says to consider scheduling a debut or grand opening 2 - 3 weeks after signing. There were a lot of interesting comments about why this was NOT a good idea. I wish I had heard them before my debut, but I doubt I would have heeded the advice since the company seems to be advocating them.

  37. Since I'm the one that started the comments about my wife not recommending her new consultants do business debuts (aka grand openings), I'll take it upon myself to go read what's in a Starter Kit. All of this information can be found on InTouch -> Education -> Business Basics -> Starter Kit Information This is what is in the Starter Kit, not what is in the 2nd Chance ($20) kit. (All I know that the 2nd Chance kit is a bag and a bunch of paperwork!)

    1. One of the things inside the First Steps Brochure is a checklist of things to do. Under the "2-3 Weeks" heading, the third item states, "Consider scheduling a debut or grand opening to launch your business."

    2. There is also a separate business debut checklist. Under the 1st group "Before The Debut", the first two items are "Talk to your Independent Sales Director about your Business Debut" and "Decide when you will hold your Business Debut". This page continues with At the Debut and After the Debut.

    First off, the fact that my wife doesn't promote debuts does not imply or indicate that my wife is out of step with MK or that MK is out of step with the sales force. Obviously, MK believes that debuts are a useful tool to help a new consultant get started, but they are LOOKING ACROSS THE ENTIRE SALES FORCE.

    The initial statements make it obvious that a debut is not required and it's timing is up to the consultant. The words are "consider", "scheduling", "Talk to your ISD about ..." and "Decide when".

    That said, it is also reasonable that a new consultant would follow the guidance of her Director. However, there is no way the Director can do a new consultant debut without the consultant, since it's usually held in the consultant's home, the consultant sends out the invitations, and the consultant is there.

    One of the most interesting things I note on the debut checklist is that the debut is not a SCC and not a recruiting event. In fact, agreements aren't even on the list of "things to have handy", and "presenting a marketing plan" is not one of the checklist items. The closest thing that comes to this is the I-story. Guests hear about the product line, try the Satin Hands set, and hopefully book a future appt. Some guests may place orders on the spot.

    Judi, I am truly sorry that your previous (I hope not current) director turned what should have been an event designed to build your business into something to build her unit size. Hopefully, her actions came back to haunt her.

    Kare, if you are still selling MK, there is nothing stopping you from essentially having a debut, although it's typically called an "open house". Just focus on bookings, not sales. If you have a bunch of people come at the same time, it's very hard (some would say impossible) to focus on the needs of one or two people while other people are just standing around. Book individual or small group appts so that you can give them the service they deserve.

  38. I was always under the impression that debuts were for intoducing your business to people with the hopes of getting appts on your books. It is an event that encourages folks to support you in your new business by booking appts for you.

    So many have turned this event into something else that I think it does sort of sabotoge the consultant in a way. If people come and buy things then where is the incentive to have a SCC?

    I did not have a business debut and I am kind of glad I did not. I held my first class by myself without my director. I just went for it myself and did it.

  39. From an old timer here, many of us still do the first class with a new unit members. It was really just years ago, the "business debut" came into play and as others have said is was not to be a recruiting event but a way for the new consultant to let family and friends know what she was doing and to get bookings. Having your recruiter or director helps to get bookings because their confidence level is far above a brand new consultant. It was so cute once, I watch one of my friends who was a new consultant ask you neighbor if she would have one of her first classes, the neighbor responded, she would love to that she had loved MK but hadn't had a consultant in years but thought it would be fun and already knew just who she was going to invite. My friend was so surprised that it was so easy, I watched her almost "unbook" her neighbor... stammering she said, now, if you really don't want to have a party, well..... I don't want to make you feel you must, I don't want to pressure you... the neighbor and I both chuckled. And we both reassured her that yes, she sounded as if she sincerely wanted to host the party. Had I not been there she may have convinced herself as well as the neighbor, that the neighbor didn't want to have the party. (It was only her self-confidence level that was low, not the neighbor's interest).

    I did try a few business debuts but what I found was that the attendance wasn't usually big enough to accomplish what I would have liked to have seen. So I went back to doing the first skin care class with them. It is a way that the consultant can see me do a skin care class in a small setting, get sales, and set up bookings for her. I know then she is off to a great start. For me, it also is a bonding experience for this consultant because it is a time we are working as a team.

    I have heard other directors having great success with debuts, it just isn't my cup of tea.
    That's what great about this business, we have the choice to conduct either the skin care classes, the debuts, or trainings.


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