Saturday, March 29, 2008

Enriching Women's Lives?

Eversleigh brings up a good point (among many).

"I must ask..." "....in what way has MK enriched anyone's life? I ask in all sincerity. I see it as a company who sells skin care and make up and perfumes, amoung other things. How does this truly enrich anyone's life? And please don't say self esteem. Self esteem can be gotten from any other company where someone succeeds. What is it about MK that makes it so wonderful?

I had a horrible start with MK. I was lied to, manipulated...."


For the sake of this post, I will ask that everyone refrain from describing their personal experience. We will assume (and suspend discussion about) that some people have had excellent experiences while others had horrible experiences. The vast majority most likely fall somewhere in the middle of the two most extreme scenarios. That is NOT what is at stake in this conversation.

The company most definitely makes the claim, "Enriching Women's Lives". It is on every box that gets delivered to the house. It is on the website. It is without a doubt, a "core value" of the company.

But in what way is it meant to be interpreted?

Does this meant that the aim of Mary Kay Corporate is to Enrich Women's Lives?
Does it mean that the Consultant's aim is to Enrich Women's Lives?
Are both of the above statements accurate?


In either case, in what way is this achieved? Exactly which Women's Lives are being Enriched? In what way are they being Enriched? Do THEY realize their Lives are being Enriched?

Before you get started, I would like to point to one very important observation.

Eversleigh, speaking about self-esteem, says, "... can be gotten from any other company where..." as a reason for NOT citing self esteem as a way in which Mary Kay "Enriches Women's Lives". It is my opinion that this criteria should be thrown out.

Arguably, there are many qualities of any company that may be reflected in other companies without it necessarily being the express intention of those other companies. In other words, the fact that one company calls attention to a characteristic that is emphasized in its operations does not automatically disqualify other companies from embodying that same characteristic merely because they do not call attention to it.

Think for instance about BMW's claim to be the "Ultimate Driving Experience". Their goal is to create a vehicle that is exactly that. The Ultimate Driving Experience. It can't be said that it is NOT their goal just because someone else is also trying to create the ultimate driving experience. I would feel pretty safe in saying that any company that endeavors to create a car or a line of cars (Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda - not to mention Ferrari or Lamborghini) has the high-minded goal of providing THEIR customers with the ultimate driving experience.

As evidenced by the plethora of publications (Motor Trend, Car and Driver, etc) that analyze and expound on which vehicles THEY feel are the best, it can certainly be argued that BMW is NOT always and in all situations the "Ultimate Driving Experience" they aim to be. Sometimes someone else is better. Some people could indeed express encountering horrible experiences with BMW. Perhaps brought on by mistakes made by the Bavarian company in its manufacturing plant, its distribution centers, its showrooms, or its service departments. Or potentially brought on by user error. I am sure someone out there, unaccustomed to the handling or the braking of a more powerful vehicle, drove their shiny new 'bimer into a ditch and, because the CAR was the only thing new to the equation, blamed their accident on the "feel" of BMW. Subsequently, they may never drive another BMW and will likely tell everyone they know to, "avoid those death traps".

Back to Mary Kay and the question at hand.

"...in what way has MK enriched anyone's life? I ask in all sincerity. I see it as a company who sells skin care and make up and perfumes, amoung other things. How does this truly enrich anyone's life?"

This is an excellent question, and I hope to get some excellent responses.


26 comments:

  1. I blush, David, to be on the home page.

    About my question. . . I sell MK. Have for a while. I love the skin care. I find it does wonders for my skin. I also found that Olay did wonders for my skin. I am not in the catagory where I tried tons of products and only MK worked for me. My skin is pretty easy going, it doesn't take a prestige brand to work.

    I am not "enriched" in any way by MK. I look at it as a job. I earn some money. I do it for purely selfish reasons. If I were not making money I would not be doing it. If someone is made happy in the process, wonderful. But that is not my goal. My goal is to earn extra cash so hubby never has to work overtime to pay for braces, eye glasses, celebratory dinners when the kids come home with a good grade, all of the non necessities that come up along the way and make life more enjoyable. If I quit MK I do not think I would be "unenriched". It's a job to me. Nothing more, nothing less. If I weren't working for MK I would be doing something else. It is not my be all, end all.

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  2. Does MK enrick women's lives? My initial response was "no" however, I looked up the definition of "enrich" from online dictionary -- and after reading the definition, I now think it does.

    en·rich (ěn-rĭch')
    1. To make rich or richer.
    2. To make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding: An appreciation of art will enrich your life.
    3. To add fertilizer to.
    4. To add nutrients to: The dairy enriched its milk with vitamin D.
    5. To add to the beauty or character of; adorn: "Glittering tears enriched her eyes" (Arnold Bennett).
    6. Physics To increase the amount of one or more radioactive isotopes in (a material, especially a nuclear fuel).

    MY OPINION OF EACH (IN CAPS)

    1. To make rich or richer. - ONLY A FEW ESSD OR NATIONALS WILL GET THIS BENEFIT. THE AVERAGE IBC WILL NOT BE RICH, IN MY OPINION, FROM MK.

    2. To make fuller, more meaningful, or more rewarding: An appreciation of art will enrich your life. - DEPENDING ON HOW EACH IBC VIEWS HIS/HER OWN LIFE. TEACHING SKIN CARE/COLOR TO CERTAIN PEOPLE MAY BE VERY MEANINFUL AND/OR REWARDING. I FIND ASSISTING WITH FUN RAISING EFFORTS IS VERY REWARDING & MEANINGFUL.

    3. To add fertilizer to. - WELL, DEPENDING UPON WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO, ...

    4. To add nutrients to: The dairy enriched its milk with vitamin D. SEE ANSWER TO # 3

    5. To add to the beauty or character of; adorn: "Glittering tears enriched her eyes" (Arnold Bennett). I THINK MOST IBC'S, BY LEARNING HOW TO APPLY PRODUCTS PROPERLY AND THROUGH PERSONAL GROWTH AT THE MEETINGS, PUBLIC SPEAKING, ETC., WOULD BE 'ENRICHED' IN THIS MANNER.

    6. Physics To increase the amount of one or more radioactive isotopes in (a material, especially a nuclear fuel). SEE ANSWERS TO # 3 AND # 4 ABOVE.

    Mary Kay is a way to earn extra money for me too. I work my MK Business very part time and that's my choice. I have experienced personal growth through pubic speaking, meeting new people, teaching application techniques, goal setting, etc., that I did not experience through working regular JOBS for 30+ years.

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  3. Just because not every womans life will be enriched by Mary Kay, does not mean that it does not enrich some women's lives. Its very individualized. Your life may not have been enriched by Mary Kay Eversleigh, but that is not to say that the women you deal with are not enriched by your services.

    Its not always about us as consultants being enriched. Just making someone happy even if it is for a few minutes, will enrich thier life for that moment. Its a ripple affect. And just because someone can get that same enrichment somewhere else, does not always mean that they will. You never know what is going on in the life of someone else. We cant assume that what is normal for us is the same for everyone else. What may just be an everyday ordinary job to you may be something special to someone else.

    My life is enriched simply because I like doing this. I like the feeling of making someone feel that she looks great, I like teaching skincare. Getting up in front of people and speaking is something that I would always shy away from. Now its not that hard for me, especially if I enjoy the topic I am talking about. I know that is due to my experience as a beauty consultant.
    I like having customers that can depend on me. I believe one can get enrichment from anything they enjoy doing, especially if what they do makes someone else happy. My day job is enriching as well, because I get to help others there too. However I have some co workers who may not feel the same. But that doesnt make it any less enriching for me.

    The motto does not say that Mary Kay enriches ALL womesn lives. It just says that it enriches lives. To me that is a fair statement.

    What only seems like a job to you or a way to make extra money, may mean a lot more to someone else. You may have enriched someone without even knowing it. They might have a better view of the Mary Kay business because of thier involvment with you. Even before I signed on to become a consultant, I ALWAYS remembered the way I looked and felt after my very first facial. I was 18 years old, the lady that I bought my products from still sells Mary Kay. She is very special to me. It is a pleasant memory and one that I feel enriched by. If I can give someone else that same feeling, then I am all for it.

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  4. Curious, along with Missy the CatMarch 30, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    Though it might be useful for people to see what MKC thinks that it means and I just happen to have a copy of the MK Mission Statement. It says:

    "Mary Kay's mission is to enrich women's lives.

    We will do this in tangible ways, by offering quality products to consumers, financial opportunities to our independent sales force and fulfilling careers to our employees.

    We will also reach out to the heart and spirit of women, enabling personal growth and fulfillment for the women who lives we touch.

    We will carry out our mission in a spirit of caring, living the positive values on which our Company was built."

    My opinion? A mixed bag. I've seen a number of women come out of their comfort zones in positive ways, which is good. I've also seen a number of women incur extreme financial difficulties as a result of being manipulated by their recruiters, SDs and so forth on up the ladder; this is not so good.

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  5. Eversleigh wrote, "My goal is to earn extra cash so hubby never has to work overtime to pay for braces, eye glasses, celebratory dinners when the kids come home with a good grade, all of the non necessities that come up along the way and make life more enjoyable."

    That's enriching.

    And yes, the same thing could probably be accomplished via a part time job at a fast food restaurant.

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  6. good point Rebecca. If this business helps you out in anyway, that could be considered enrichment.

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  7. Curious, along with Missy the CatMarch 30, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    What it comes down to is that enrichment is in the eye of the beholder. After all, what I consider to be enriching may not do diddley squat for you. And vice versa.

    Each person assessing this questions would have to weigh the positive things they got out of their association with MKC vs. the negative and draw their own conclusion as to whether the overall experience was enriching or not.

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  8. I like Rural's post about what enrich really means.

    I have not gotten rich from MK, but richer than if I didn't work at all. Not to say I couldn't make the same with another company.

    It does not make my life more meaningful. It's skin care, nothing more, nothing less. If MK went out of business today I wouldn't feel it. Money can be made in other ways.

    If fertilizer = manure I have definately seen THAT in MK.

    Adding beauty? In my opinion, Olay can do that just as well.

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  9. Interesting how just a few days ago you posted this, and today they posted THIS on InTouch:

    “We are dedicated to the enrichment of life. I want everybody who has anything to do with our Company to be the richer for it, not only financially, but every other way, too.”

    – Mary Kay Ash

    In keeping with true Mary Kay tradition, the Company continues to look for ways to help you enrich your life by offering you opportunities to enrich your business.


    We’re excited to announce the first-ever Enrichment Program previously available to Independent Sales Directors, will now be available to all Independent Beauty Consultants. Beginning April 1, you can log onto the Mary Kay InTouch® Web site and access exciting, easy-to-use educational offerings. These will vary each month, ranging from online lessons to downloadable audio tracks. Lessons will include topics such as Mary Kay’s Principles, Philosophies and Core Values, and the Essence of Leadership. Simply select the “Education” tab, click on “Consultant Enrichment Program” and let your educational enrichment begin.

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  10. Director's have had this program since January.

    And Mk has enriched my life from the point that I love what I do and get paid for it with flexibility. I have met some very wonderful special people that I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

    Granted some will say if I were self employed elsewhere I could say the same, however, the Company has done our legal ease ad slicks, product development, website design, medical relations department, product replacement, etc.. I do not see how if I had to totally pay for all these things for a product I decided to manufacture, or resell, I could possible expect the same return I get from Mary Kay.

    Plus I LOVE what I do.

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  11. Speaking the Real TruthApril 2, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Speaking the Real Truth here...Sorry, I just don't want to fool with that whole creating an id thing, what happened to the old way that we could use a name without "signing up".

    Anywho.

    Had to comment here. To me, another definition for enriched would be to be "enhanced, added to in a positive way". As a Sales Director for many years, I can assure you that my life has been enriched. I am able to be the anchor for my home because of my MK business. I've also made some wonderful friends and learned some great life lessons and life skills.

    No one said that MK was the only place to have your life enriched.

    But, here is the best part. When consultants tell me that they are grateful for their MK business, and for my help to them. This happened just this weekend. One of my gals explained how she had been able to leave another part time job and have more flexibility for her family and how she was making more money, having fun, and making new friends. To me that's a life "enhanced or added to".

    Also, there have been many personal milestones for me. I love recognition and love competition, so MK is a great fit for me. There are a lot of jobs that do not offer things that I need personally.

    I'm kind of sad for eversleigh, because I see that she does not have a passion for this business that many of us have. I truly love my career and really cannot imagine doing anything else at this point. To work just to make money isn't fulfilling to me.

    AND, my family will be enriched by about $3800, maybe more this month due to my business. And yes, that's AFTER TAXES and expenses. Plus, they are lovin' my sweet new ride that we just picked up 2 weeks ago.

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  12. Speaking the Real TruthApril 2, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    BTW, figured out the name thing.

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  13. mk4me, I asked this on another blog, but I was wondering if you could tell me what kinds of things do you do at the bridal fairs that you go to. Is it a booth sort of situation where you showcase product, give out samples, raffle off a prize? I am going to be doing a vendor booth in the fall at a gospel event we are having and I want to know what kind of activities I can do at my booth.

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  14. 4everpink - will give some more ideas, but you already have alot of them - off to bed right now, :)

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  15. Don't be sad for me, Speaking the real truth. I work to live, I do not live to work. My job is to provide funds so we can get the most out of life. My family is my passion and they fullfill me enough. I do not need a job to do it.

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  16. I speak as a customer and as a consultant.

    When I left the first SCC that I had been to in years, I felt fantastic. I felt pretty! I loved the way my face and skin looked! And it showed. I held my head a little higher and smiled a little wider.

    See, being a mom of four and homeschooling to boot....well, it had been a while since I had pampered myself and treated myself to something that made me feel so..."feminine." (Stupid word, but it gets the point across and I am too tired to think up a better one.)

    As a consultant, I can help other women feel this way and also make money doing it. Sweet!

    Yes, I believe MK enriches women's lives.

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  17. Okay. Sorry. I forgot the part about not telling personal stories. Again, I'm tired and not feeling well.

    I think that "enriching" is in the eye of the beholder....

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  18. I feel that Mary Kay is designed to enrich women's lives on both sides of the beauty agreement, so to speak. The consultant's life is enriched because she may find a renewed sense of confidence as well as a way to bring some money home for her family. The consultant enriches her customers' lives by listening to their needs, offering them a quality product, and giving them the chance to feel pretty.
    The customer is enriched when she feels prettier on the outside and as a result, feels better on the inside.
    It's really not about us, the consultant, but what we can do for our customers. Helping another woman to feel good about her appearance should make us feel good about ourselves regardless of how much money she spends with us.
    I think these points are what Mary Kay Ash had in mind when she spoke of "enriching women's lives."

    ~Shades of Pink~

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  19. Sorry, forever, my son is having surgery (yesterday) and he will be in the hospital until Saturday, so I haven't been around much. (I have the flexibility to be by the hospital bedside while dad must leave to go punch in at work. -
    It has been an extended illness with loads of hospital stays and dad is totally out of sick and vacation time but... not me!
    (I see this as one way Mary Kay has enriched my life) I stay at the side of my son and came home to close to $300 reoders on voicemail. So in reality, I got paid for being at the hospital.

    Now for Bridal fair answers -
    I also always volunteer at the bridal fairs to provide the make up for the models in the fashion show. Our sign up for prize always includes a free session and a gift certificate to be used at that time. (I do this so we don't just hand a basket and never see the person again.)

    I have also designed the entry forms to ask. Have you used MK?
    Y or N
    Do you have a consultant? Y or N
    Her Name:
    (If they put a name in, I mail it to the consultant if I can find her)
    If you didn't win the gift certificate would you still like to have a -
    facial
    party
    catalog
    not interested.

    It is a circle on the yes or no or mark the box once they fill in their name address, phone number and email.

    I do this because we can give attention to the leads that have more interest and save the less interested for a rainy day,

    We do a beautiful product dispaly, copy handouts to give out (too costly to hand out Look Books, and then I have a page of things for a brdes to remember that I give them with it.

    After that it is smile and have fun!

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  20. Eversleigh said...
    "Don't be sad for me, Speaking the real truth. I work to live, I do not live to work. My job is to provide funds so we can get the most out of life. My family is my passion and they fullfill me enough. I do not need a job to do it."

    Well said. Nicely stated. Good point. I understand what you are saying. It works for you - and that's really all that matters.

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  21. mk4me, thanks for the tips. I did not know you had so much on your plate. I pray that you son gets better.

    One question. If someone approaches you at a booth wanting to place an order for something how do you handle that? We are not supposed to sell at booth/fairs, but it would be real tempting for me not to go ahead and complete the sale and deliver the product to them. Do you know what I mean?

    I plan on giving away a basket full of items and giving out samples. Thanks for the tip about the flyer, I wouldn't want to deplete my supply of beauty books.

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  22. Hello 4everpink, thank you for your well wishes. The Doctor thinks everything went very well.

    Now, I know it is so tempting but we are not suppose to do that, and (especially where I am a director and suppose to lead by example) I will not sell at a display period. However, that being said, I do start a conversation with them, I ask if they have a consultant, many say yes, and say but I see you are here and just thought I could get it..... I explain the golden rule and that I know how disappointed I would feel if someone sold to my clients like that, do they understand? I suggest they go right home and call their consultant so she can get them what they need. I then do go one step further and hand her my business card. and say, if you should find out she has gone out of business or doesn't have what you need right away, then please don't hestitate to call me, I am not saying I dont want to help you, I am saying, I want to help you as our Company likes us to conduct our business.

    Now if she says she doesn't have a consultant, I ask a few questions, did she go out of business, did she move, did you move, her exconsultant's name, etc..and I tell her I would love to have her as a new client and will take very good care of all her Mary Kay needs but because of the rules of our Company I still can't sell it at the Booth but I would be more than happy to drop it off to her on my way home from the event or meet her at a place convenient to both of us she she could still have her goodies the same day. If that doesn't work out I sort of joke about how long she has been with out and I will have it to her the very next day with a little gift for waiting and becoming a new client to me.

    It is funny because very often, the person that wants to buy on the spot has a consultant, if not, I have found that this go-give approach has come back to repay me 10X, many of these "new-to-me" customers will refer friends to me, saying you want believe how honest she was, or they will say to me years later, what impressed my the most about you was the way you did the right thing, it wasn't about just getting a sale.

    If they give me the name of a consultant I know that is still active, I ask if they have lost touch with them, if it was a yes cuz they moved or whatever, I ask them if they would like to be reconnected with their consultant. If they answer is yes, I find the consultant and give her the name and number of her client and ask her to call her asap as she needs some product. (please remember I do give the client my business card because I have found even after contacting the consultant, the client is still never contacted (sad but true) and when the client does call me back, I then service her with no guilt.

    When I am working with my unit members and adoptees or other area consultants at events like this, they also see the example set.

    It would be so easy to just make the sale, but I think that I have been rewarded over and over again with some wonderful clients and a few recruits because of the behavior in situations like this.

    Handing out samples to someone that is very interested is a good thing, handing them out to all, gets very expenseive.

    Also if their is someone I particularly bond with, I flip her registration slip over and right a little note to myself, Brunett in blue dress with the little girl, we talk about taking care of her skin...and put my name on the back, that way when we divide the leads, I get her name and when I make the phone call I remember who she is and can continue the conversation from the booth. It makes the prospective client feel good that you remember what they were interested. (This goes for anyone at the table that feels a bond with one of the visitors).

    We do about 2 - 3 bridal fairs a year and one actually does give us a price break because we will provide the make up for the models for the fashion show, but you must negotiate this, they aren't going to offer.

    Most of all have fun with the visitors!! Good luck foreverpink, keep us posted on your results.

    Any more questions, just fire away.

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  23. thanks mk4me, thats just what i needed to know!

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  24. I totally agree with "Speaking the Real Truth"; MK has enriched my life thus far. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I got my degree in child development and to make a long story short, I WILL be with our children! Our family is very active in our church, but there are just some things that church doesn't quite reach. Anyway, I love MK because:

    I get to network with other moms who have the same goals and priorities I do, in a social setting.

    I get rewarded, and yes, I love the fake tiara and candy, jewelry and such, for my efforts. (My husband is great, but I rarely hear him clapping and screaming for me b/c I did laundry and dishes the whole week!)

    I feel much more positive! That has been a struggle for me for a long time. I'm a better wife and mother b/c of that too.

    I don't take things personally! (Previous to MK, I would get so upset if something didn't work out the way it should've or could've and I would just beat myself up over it.)

    I feel beautiful!

    My husband thinks I'm sexier! ;)

    I love being able to contribute to our family financially w/o having to pay for daycare or a nanny. I love to suprise my husband and he loves being spoiled!

    I love the confidence I'm gaining!

    I feel more comfortable talking to people; about anything!

    In conclusion, I truly feel that MK has already enriched my life! I'm not in the top, or anywhere near the top, in sales or recruiting, but I love the personal gains I have made through MK, and the person I'm becoming.

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  25. speaking the real truthApril 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    Eversleigh, I understand what you are saying, but I think that you are missing a big point.

    Believe me, I work for the money, as well, I am just able to work at something I love and that I am passionate about. Not only is that more fun than "just a job", it is more fulfilling, and helps me to be better FOR my family. I hope that makes sense.

    I'm not suggesting that you sell MK, but I think it is such a blessing when financial need meets passion. When you can feed your family doing something you loved, I think that your life has been enriched. This is what I wish for in regards to my own children, that they love their work, and that what they love to do will provide for them. With MK, I feel that I set that example for them, since rather than just "going to work", I really enjoy working. I hope that it encourages them to reach out for whatever it is that they really want to do and are called to do. For you, I hope that you find whatever it is that could be both in your life.

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  26. I am perfectly happy in my life, speaking the real truth. I don't like nor dislike MK. It serves it's purpose.

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