Friday, October 31, 2008

Pink Truth: We are running out of bad things to say about Mary Kay

Pink Truth must have run out of bad things to say about Mary Kay. They must even be having a hard time finding those hidden, secret, evil "gotcha" emails where a director says something that sounds (or is) profoundly manipulative. Times are so tough, it seems, that they have even given up on making up emails from consultants and directors that make Mary Kay look like the evil empire they imagine it to be in their heads.

That's right, in fact, they seem to have resorted to simply posting the news straight out of MK headquarters. Pathetically, they attempt to discredit it with "...You've got to wonder how honest he's being..." and " light of the fact that the company is down 1,000 sales directors in the U.S. in the last year..." and, in one of their constant refrains, talking about how terrible it is that "their being so positive all the time".

Other than that, they are basically endorsing Mary Kay by passing on, word for word, the latest encouragement from Mary Kay corporate to their sales force.

Don't believe me? See for yourself. Pink Truth tells all, Mary Kay has never been stronger

By the way Tracy, this is what companies do. It is what we as individuals do. It is what our Presidential candidates do. We take a realistic look at our situation, change what we can and promote the positive aspects of what we can't. Do you think that John McCain is going to come out with a press release tomorrow, "Well, looks like Obama is going to win this one... I am throwing in the towel..."? I doubt it. He is going to keep talking about why he thinks he would make a better president, change what he can about his strategy and promote the positive aspects of what he can't. Expect his name to still be on the ballot next week (along with all the other "losers" that could probably stake a significant amount of their life savings on the fact that they will not be the next president*). Expect that hundreds of thousands of American women will still be selling Mary Kay next week as well.

Oh and by the way, if you sent a DMCA copyright infringement take-down notice to me because I quoted one (1) paragraph from one (1) of your posts, don't you think it is a touch hypocritical for you to copy/paste Darrell's entire letter? A touch lazy too, no?

Oh and happy Halloween everyone.


  1. I find it amusing that we in Mk should be upset that Mk is debt free. Without MK Corp, I would be out of business. So the fact that the "mother" company is solid is a concern for me, why??

    I remember not that long ago, many pter's were saying how getting a job at Starbucks would be just as good as being a consultant. Secure, and all that, hmmm I remember reading that loads of Starbucks were/are closing because of losses. I am sure that all those Starbucks employees are now out of jobs.

    As for being down 1000 directors, well I haven't seen that in writing anywhere (doesn't mean it is not true) but I do think when the Company lowered the requirements for diq, instead of directors working harder to get strong (which was the intention) - it created weaker units because diq's started weaker and then I think many "fudged" to get there and couldn't maintain their units and the Company stopped enabling weak directors and started enforcing the rules of being a director. So being down 1000 weak directors isn't necessarily a bad thing. As we have learned from pt, a weak director can make less money than a strong consultant, likewise a weak national can make less money than a strong top director.

    And as we have seen from reading pt, struggling directors don't always realize they are really hurting themselves when they buy production and charge up high debt, so maybe the Company has taken notice to this and has decided to save them from themselves. I also know at Seminar the Company announced the termination of a large number of agreements because of illegal activities, so that being said, the Company is responsible for the decrease in the number of directors. I think in Corporate, we use to call it "cutting the dead wood".

    In some cases, it is the quality not the quantity that counts.

  2. I don't think the emails are fake...not after what I went through.

    *true* positivity is good. But faking it, not so much. When I was in, it wasn't that bad in my particular group. We did vent about the not so hot things. Not in meetings, but in other gatherings like in the car on the way to meetings, and it was okay. The thing is, in order to address and solve problems, you have to be able to mention them in the first place. I'm glad the director I had wasn't one to shush her consultants. She'd propose solutions. Most of the time they didn't actually work, but I do give her credit for trying.

  3. mk4me said: "I find it amusing that we in Mk should be upset that Mk is debt free. Without MK Corp, I would be out of business. So the fact that the "mother" company is solid is a concern for me, why??

    Well, technically, that's what Mary Kay says, but the reality is, nobody knows for sure because they are a private company and that information is confidential.

    From how I read and interpreted the entire thread, I can see the validity of the point that technically, the company is not debt free. Not when you have x-number of consultants, at all levels, carrying inventory with a means to cash it in at 90% from when it was purchased. Normally you could brush off that kind of statement, but not these days. Given our global! - Mary Kay is global - economic times, the likelihood of consultants cashing in is higher today than it ever has been. Not just in North America, but everywhere! Especially everywhere else.

    I don't know about where you live, but from where I stand people are more desperate to pay down their credit debt (rising cc interest rates) and their lines of credit because the banks are not lending money right now. Everybody I know/see is switching into self-preservation mode. They want to have that cushion incase their car breaks down or to prepare themselves incase heating costs are more than they bargained for ... or worse, incase they lose their job and they need LoC cushion to carry their mortgage payment until they can find something else.

    mk4me, it's different if you're established with a large unit. You've ensured that your unit knows how to sell. A couple of others here on the site do as well. But honestly, I don't think that there are many IBCs who can say that they really know how to sell or even have a customer base large enough to support their inventory, let alone turn it over every six to nine months.

    Even if you have "desperate" candidates entertaining the opportunity for the first time and then signing on, the likelihood of them purchasing much of an inventory to start out with is pretty bleak because the banks won't loan them credit. Also, chances are their cards are already "up there",and/or they're finding it tough to make ends meet so they don't have any savings to invest in an inventory.

    IMO, I think every consultant should be worried. Not just in Mary Kay, but in ALL home party businesses.

    If I were to invest in any kind of business today, it would be in a dollar store. Dollar stores, Wal-Marts, bulk food places, etc., are the retail stores who make money in times of recession. Not boutique start-ups.

  4. flybye64, point taken but is any Company at all secure?

    Yes, consultant can send back products, but others will continue to buy. (Please understand, I am not talking about frontloading directors, you know my viewpoint on starting with a large inventory.) I speak my mind even when I teach at workshops, retreats, etc... and I am happy to say, I haven't been jumped yet. -Actually, I am pleased to say that many directors have thanked me for my "wisdom" because as a "veteran" I have a track record and proof of what has worked versus what doesn't work.

    With the statements that MK is debt-free, I am sure if there was any large lender, they would be speaking out.

    My opinion is despite what may or may not happen with the 90% buyback options, I still feel better that the Company can deal with them without having to deal with other large debt as well. Also being privately owned, we aren't being affected by the stock market, etc...

    As far as getting credit, I haven't looked at getting any lately but the offers in the mail, continue to roll in.

    I was checking out at Walmart the other day and the cashier said do you have a Walmart card? I said, no but I really don't need a card, she replied, you will get $20 off your purchase today if you apply. Hey, $20 off is $20 off so I said sure, what the heck? I was approved at the check out for $5,000 in seconds. Of course they put that purchase on your card, so as soon as I got the info, I set up my account on line and paid it off. (Can't disagree with not wanting to be in debt.)

    I do agree that we must be cautious but I also believe that people are still buying and as long as I have a clientelle that wish to buy, I will continue to sell. As long as my consultants continue to sell, they will buy. If and when the day ever comes that Mk or my business is in trouble, I will have to consider other options. But all in all, I don't feel any more threatened than anyone else. -Home party business or other business.

    Two dollar stores in our area just closed last month. So is any place really secure?

  5. Flybye,

    There is something interesting about your comment that helped me put into words what I consider one of the major differences between the two views on Mary Kay.

    I will refer to an old saying, irrelevant now, but quite profound in its day. When people used to rely on their own personal crops to sustain them through the winter...(i.e. grow food to eat or die) I believe there was a saying along the lines of, "The wrong time to plant your crops is when you are hungry". In other words, if you waited until you ran out of food to plant the crops that would provide your sustenance, you were - for all intents and purposes - dead.

    I think the saying can and should be applied to Mary Kay. You are not going to buy the starter kit and next month start raking in "executive income", "living wages", or even "minimum-wage wages". In fact, the comparison to crops is a weak one because while crops will be up and ready in a handful of months, Mary Kay may take a handful (or more) of years to be capable of providing sustenance and stability.

    (I know some will disagree and point out that some people have turned Mary Kay into an instant (or near instant) success, but the reality is that this is something that you need to be patient with.)

    It seems, from the small window we get to peer through into the vast world of Mary Kay (700,000 or so in the U.S. and we "hear from", what a few thousand at best?), that the ones that turn out to succeed are the ones that don't expect any kind of get rich quick results. The ones that start by turning $50/month profit. Then aim a little higher, and a little higher, progressing with building a client base and then a team.

    The ones that don't survive, the ones that end up on PT are the ones that for various reasons don't have the time/patience to build slowly. They either give up before they mount huge debt (seen as the better of two evils) or they dig themselves in DEEP in an effort to buy their way to the perceived success of the upline.

    Looking at the surface, you really can't tell the difference. So, the ones that everyone sees as being successful may (hold on for the shocker...) be successful. They also may not be.

    However, all the "negatives" that you point out about the current state of the Mary Kay option really only apply to the one that needs cash and needs it now. Not to the ones that are planting their crops well ahead of their need.

    Please understand, I am not by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that there aren't any recruiters that give the impression that you can plant today and eat tomorrow. I don't for a minute doubt that it was because of lies like these that many women got in trouble in the first place. But to suggest that these lies are the real Mary Kay, and, by extension, that Mary Kay is inherently flawed is a dangerous exercise in circular reasoning.

    Looking at the economic scenario that is unfolding before our eyes can certainly be unsettling. I think that there are people with very secure jobs that are scared by the rising unemployment rates... just because we are being shown that nothing is "secure". Everyone, from big to little companies all the way down to individuals, is asking, what can I do to be safe.

    I don't think that $.99 stores or walmart are any safer than Lehman Brothers was. Google looks really good right now, but, really, no one knows.

    As mk4me just pointed out (as I was typing this),

    "If and when the day ever comes that Mk or my business is in trouble, I will have to consider other options."

    If you are doing something, and it is working, even if you don't love it, at least it is something.

    "Don't worry about tomorrow, today has enough worries of its own"

  6. I understand what you're both saying, Dave and mk4me. But that doesn't preclude the fact that no one is "safe" just because the company they work for says so. There are just too many unknown variables. Even us! We can say, we're fine. Don't worry about [me]. And then something catastrophic happens, like we were a union employee with a "permanent" job working for GM and the whole plant gets shut down. !!!

    I don't care if a company is public or private. Who is going to grand stand and holler from the roof-top that they're in the red? That their sales are tanking? Maybe Mary Kay is doing better than ever. IMO, I hardly doubt it. I'm not being negative. I'm being cautious in my observation.

    I can't believe that Darrell recommended the sales force stop reading the newspaper because it's all bad news? WTH? That's the reality we're living in! You have to know what you're up against if you're going to be successful...

    Even if you are private and "don't owe anything", you are still vulnerable for different reasons. Like maybe the people you depend on to sell your wares won't? Or can't?

    If things were different and I was considering the Mary Kay opportunity today instead of three years ago, and like before, I was going to invest $3600 in an inventory, do you know what my husband would say? Try, "Not likely." It's not that we don't have access to $3600. It's that if $3600 is going out the door, it's not on a new business venture. Not right now, anyway.

    These are very uncertain times. I wouldn't bank on anything for anything.

    Like say May Kay does tank like Weekender. Pink Truth would not longer exist! LOLOL Isn't that hilarious?!?! So even Pink Truth's life span is determinate when you think about it that way. And by extension, Balanced, too.

    mk4me, I really do understand where you're coming from. However, I'm just saying, have a contingency plan. Read the papers. Always. You have to have the pulse on your economic climate in order to be effective/successful. Not reading about what's happening around you is not good advice. In fact, it's the worst advice I've heard yet!

    As for Wal-mart offering you a credit card, I don't doubt it. I'm referring to banks loaning women $5000 to spend on skin care and make-up. It's all about risk. Your credit at Wal-Mart was approved on your rating. If Polly with $25k in credit card debt walked in and she had a late payment history, I can guarantee you that she would not be granted $5k. Five hundred, maybe. Maybe if she's lucky. But I would think that she would be denied. I guess the point it moot. Department cards are the worst if you don't pay them off right away (they count on that you won't and most consumers don't pay theirs off every month.) Those cards carry the highest interest rates. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another money making endeavor.

    FYI, I was sent an "application" from my bank six months ago for a $10k line of credit. Pre-approved. I actually signed the document and sent it back to see what would happen. I have a 10k line of credit!! But that was based on my/our history of paying off our balances every month and not defaulting on our bills. Now given what's going on, I'm kinda happy about that! haha!

    We had a dollar store close here, too. But there are three others making money hand over fist. Six cashes open and no less than 10-15 people waiting to pay for their purchases 8/10 times I'm in one of them. It's all about the inventory. People have standards regardless if they're paying a buck or $100 for something. People won't pay $1.00 for crap. Sounds hilarious, but it's true.

    Dave said: "The ones that don't survive, the ones that end up on PT are the ones that for various reasons don't have the time/patience to build slowly. "

    I have to disagree with this statement. That's broad brush. I read a lot about women who said that they were not the sales person "type" but were told it didn't matter. Or that they just wanted to be PU but were persuaded to purchase inventory, then got caught up in the rah-rah and continued to purchase more. Or that they didn't know a lot of people. Again, supposedly it didn't matter and they were persuaded to purchase inventory. At least $600 w/s to qualify. ??

    From my personal perspective, I relate to these kinds of stories because two of those"objections" were mine (not the sales type and didn't know a lot of people) and I was told the very same thing and I bought inventory! But the thing is, it DID matter. It mattered very much. Cold calling is the death of me. Or literally, it was the death of my business. I knew before going in what I "couldn't" do because of my comfort level with what it would take to be successful in sales. Yeah, yeah, "it was up to me!" to step out of it. But you know what??? I didn't want to! (I still don't want to.. even more now!) This negative feeling I associate with cold calling goes to my very core. Obviously the discomfort "seeps" from me whenever confronted with having to prospect new clients. I've never aspired to be CEO. But yet, my willingness to help an acquaintance (guilt!) outweighed what was more important and logical. Me and my ineptness at sales!

    IAnyway, my point in saying all that, is that I witnessed a lot of women in Mary Kay for all the wrong reasons. It wasn't just me. What worries me now, is that "that" culture is still very much alive and the economy today is affecting people's judgement differently. In other words, things for the most part are pretty volatile. People are making emotional decisions. Be it, bailing on Mary Kay and return thousands and thousands of dollars, or directors front loading new recruits, desperate to make money. And we all know how that story ends!

    Time will tell what happens. I sincerely hope that I'm proven wrong, because ultimately it means 700,000+ women are out of work, just like that! And that really, really worries me.

  7. flybye,

    First of all, in response to a small part of my comment, you said:

    "I have to disagree with this statement. That's broad brush."

    The comment you extracted that line from was nearly 700 words long. I would hope that you would be thankful that I gave it a broad brush. The whole point of my comment is that for people who take it as something that needs to be built, not a quick-cash investment, the current financial situation holds no bearing. The question is not who can or can not get credit. The point is that their clients still need their services and there are still women out there that are looking for cosmetics - and for some of them, Mary Kay will be a match.

    The whole point of encouraging people to not obsess over the news is just that... don't obsess over it. The problem in this economy is that, like Britney Spears of yesteryear, people can't look away from a train wreck.

    Imagine the difference between two consultants. We'll call them Sally and Samantha.

    Sally reads the news everyday... obsessively. Every dip of the stock market, every "consumer confidence report" in WSJ, every job layoff announcement, etc. She is, for lack of a better word, addicted to the horrific news she hears.

    Samantha, is vaguely aware that there is a financial crisis. She knows that things are bad for people out there, she knows that there is instability in the markets, the job fields and people are talking about a depression. But beyond that, she could care less. She knows what her job is (to demonstrate cosmetics to women, and offer excellent customer service to her clients), and she intends to keep doing "business as usual".

    Sally and Samantha happen to have a mutual friend (call her Sarah) who they both happen to visit on the same day. (one in the morning, one in the afternoon... coffee for one, lunch for the other, I don't care, point is they talk separately)

    Talk, naturally, turns to the economy. Sally and Sarah commiserate with each other equally. Now, neither of them - to this point - have had any ill consequences from the downturn. Sally, Sarah and Samantha all have husbands that still have good jobs, their mortgages are all up to date, they are not sinking in credit card debt, etc. But Sarah and Sally manage to work themselves into a frenzy with the what-if's. "What if" my husband loses his job. "What if" we default on our mortgage. "What if" the U.S. dollar loses it value. "What if" we become a socialistic country and the government takes over. By the time they part ways, there is no chance that Sally is going to offer Samantha any cosmetics... how can anyone think about anything so trivial at such a horribly scary time in history?

    Samantha on the other hand shuts the scare cycle down immediately. She tells Sarah, "I am not really all that up to date on the specifics... I know it is bad out there, but I know that, as of right now, I am doing okay.... How are you and your husband doing?" Sarah, thinking for a moment, realizes that things are okay for her as well and responds, "Now that you put it that way, we are doing okay as well. How has your business been affected?" To which Samantha can answer completely honestly (fine, no difference, slower, ups and downs, whatever the case may be) and say, "Now that you mention it, have I ever demonstrated my products to you? I would love to give you...".

    I think the real key in a situation like the one that we are in is to, as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy suggests, "Don't Panic". Be aware, yes. Be cautious, you should be anyway. Don't say yes to something because you are afraid to say no.

    But as I am sure you are well aware, Warren Buffet (Forbes ranked #1 wealthiest men in the world in the beginning of '08 - net worth, oh, about $62.8 B) recently sunk about Ten Billion Dollars into a few "little" investments... He said, "When everyone is scared, that is the time to be aggressive"... or something to that effect.

    By immediate boss, the CEO of the company I work for, told me recently that she refuses to talk to anyone that is "panicky". She actually chided a client on the phone for it. (No, I don't mean, "what do you mean you're not going to spend money this month, you're just being panicky" - It was more like my description of Samantha above... She heard him out, then pointed out that he is okay, we are okay, and the so-called sky is not falling.

    I guess that is my advice to you. Not as it pertains to the merits of Mary Kay, but as it pertains to your personal well being. Don't let the "news" panic you. Keep doing what your doing and deal with each bridge as you come to it. Things are going to be slow for a while possibly. Plans may need to change, and everyone is going to have to learn to roll with the punches. But you are not doing yourself any favors if you panic.

    As I closed the last comment,

    "Don't worry about tomorrow, today has enough worries of its own"

  8. Dave you have COMPLETELY misinterpreted the essence of my posts.

    First of all, I'M not "panicking". I'm sharing my observations.

    My point was, and I suppose it got lost in the very long post I wrote speaking to various points about this 'n that, is... just because Mary Kay "says" they are fine does not mean that they are.

    When I read Darrell's message a red flag popped up. In other words, me thinks "the lady doth protest too much".

    Yes MKC is private (viewed as a plus for many people "invested" in their company). But that doesn't mean that they are "fine" and insulated from what's happening around them. I agree that they don't have investors to "manage" in the conventional sense. But they are obviously trying to "manage" their sales force with that announcement! Which, if you think about it, is targeted at their (emotional) investors!

    As well, they are a private/global Corporation. So we have no idea how/where Mary Kay "invested" their assets/liquidity. Then there was the $40Billion lawsuit they were hit with a couple of years ago.

    "Don't read the papers or listen to bad news." : Politicians, financial people, etc., have basically been telling people the same thing because.... people started shifting their $$ from mutual and stock to cash. Which one could argue, successfully, that their actions worsened the affects of the "adjustment".

    So let's think about this. What is Darrell's motivation to write and disseminate that kind of message? Look at that the words/tone he used. Would you not agree that its purpose was to "calm" the sales force? Why? Could it be that people are cashing in their "stock" and therefore more cash is exiting the company than going in? We'll never know because we don't get to see their balance sheets. So, it could be argued either way depending which side of the fence you're standing on.

    Let's look at the climate (his motivation)... You can't discount/control the reality of people having a hard time right now. If they have little or not enough money to pay for the necessities but $1200 w/s sitting in their home office, regardless of how positive they view their opportunity, if they personally don't have a (good/constant) market for their inventory and they are financially hurting, it wouldn't be unreasonable to presume that the inventory would be packed up and sent back. That's worse case scenario.

    Hey, I agree with you. In terms of the market, I know that it is wisest to sit on what you have and be patient because the losses we're witnessing now are temporary. To cash in now ensures that the losses are permanent. At the moment, I, myself, just file away my investment statements in their sealed envelopes because opening them is the equivalent of stepping on the bathroom scales after Christmas. In other words, I know the news is "bad". Luckily for me, I have a good 20 years before I need my money so I can be patient.

    HOWEVER, this is more than a market correction. This is about hedging bad mortgages and their long-reaching tentacles. It's for all the reasons we've never witnessed before so the fallout is pretty much unknown. In other words, beware. That's all I'm saying.

    I see your point about Warren Buffet. He's buying on a "low" and is gleefully waiting for the market to bounce back. He's positive and he's excitedly waiting for WHEN the market bounces back. Believe you me, there are a lot of investors sitting on their cash waiting for the up turn.

    But (there's that word!) a lot of the women in Mary Kay don't live that kind of lifestyle. Speak to anyone in the banking industry and they'll tell you that a lot of people are living but two pay checks from bankruptcy. So although this downturn may be short lived, i.e., a two to five years, the immediate impact for a lot of families is immediate and severe. Especially if they're in a manufacturing town like Buffalo or Detroit. Or a tourist destination like Florida.

    The bottom line is don't take anything for face value. If life has taught us anything, it's take what people say with a grain of salt. Be personally responsible and then you won't be victimized.

  9. Oh I just have to reiterate an idea.

    The posters on this site have repeatedly stated in reference to the whiners over at PT was that all anybody had to do was read (the agreement). To stop playing the victim and take personal responsibility for what happened to them and move on. All the information was there in black and white and if they chose to ignore, well 'good on ya'. Ya learned your lesson. Now plug your cake hole and move on. (Paraphrasing...)

    Well you know what? I agree that any you put your name to should be read right down to the fine print.

    That is why I take incredibly exception to Darrell disseminating a message to "stop reading" and/or listening to reports to what's happening around the world to the ENTIRE sales force! So what? People are being counseled to "ignore" what's going on around them to the detriment of their personal finances in favor of Mary Kay's!

    What other motivation is there to writing a piece of propaganda like this, anyway? I say propaganda because Mary Kay is a private company. We will never get to verify that they are "flush" and/or just "peachy".

  10. I am probably one of the most realistic people one could meet, I do not believe in turning my head to the news, however, I have learned for my own emotional well being, there are better times to listen to it and limit how much I listen to.

    I had a few days when I was really down, couldn't figure out why, then I realized hubby loves to watch the news stations and often falls asleep in his recliner, so if I am doing things around the house, I can hear each commentator, and their views and the bashing and tearing down of other candidates, this isn't really news, it is opinions and smear campaigns. It is doom and gloom, and it was getting to me.

    It seems like everyone is now believing they are so much worse off than they were 6 months ago.
    I am sure many are, but in my case and my circle, I realized I had started buying into this. The thing that hit me was Hubby and I are no worse off (actually we have had a little more "free" money lately than 6 months ago.

    I prefer not to watch it just before I go to bed, because then that is what I think about all night and don't get a good night sleep.

    Darryl's message, well, I can not say what he was thinking or what tone he was using, but by protecting yourself and not dwelling on doom and gloom, will be better for anyone. And I think so many Company's are making statements about their situation, if nothing was said, I am sure most people would have consider that a bad sign.

    I agree we can not be ostraches with our heads in the sand either.

    As with anything, I think one must find the middle ground between too much and not enough -

    Panic greats bigger problems, being cautious is wise but one can still be optomistic and posetive.
    Yes, I have stashed a few hundreds under the matress (just in case) - hahaha

  11. Flybye,

    Since you stated it so plainly, lets look at your primary point.

    "..just because Mary Kay "says" they are fine does not mean that they are."

    As you yourself said, no one knows what the future will hold. And yes, any company "could be" lying about their state of affairs. (See Lehmans Bros.)

    However, the point of this letter seems to be about responding to the question, "In all this turmoil, how is Mary Kay (the company) doing. You may not believe him, but Darrell is answering that question with "right now, we are doing good" 0 debt, no "Ball and chain" of Wall street, etc. He points out that there are things that are out of their control.... for instance, rising costs of suppliers can have a huge impact on the cost of Mary Kay products in the near future... HE said that. But, as I pointed out earlier, he is encouraging people to not let the panic of the "what if" to keep them from moving forward.

    What I think you are not hearing from me, and is crucial to the difference between this being propaganda and simple 'keep on keepin on' encouragement is who the intended audience is. And on this note (although it is obviously all of Mary Kay) we will disagree. You see, I don't think anyone that is sitting on or considering purchasing a large inventory should "just hope" that inventory will magically turn to gold. REGARDLESS OF HOW THE ECONOMY IS DOING!!! If you have $3600 on your shelf and you are not interested in doing the work it will take to sell it (at full price) than be done with it. This is just common sense. The stability (or lack thereof) of Mary Kay is not going to change the fact that sitting inventory is NOT going to make you money.

    That is why I am convinced that this message is to the people that are turning their inventory over... month to month... consistently. They order, sell, re-order, and repeat. Each cycle getting a little bigger as they add new clients - and possibly - new team members. It is for these people that the encouragement is to get excited about the positives and, again as mk4me points out while I was typing this, not lose sleep over the "what if" stuff.

    Finally, you seem to be putting words in D's mouth. I do not see anywhere that he says, ""stop reading" and/or listening to reports to what's happening around the world"

    I did see this:

    "I tend to scan articles that are negative, and I read word-for-word articles that are positive. The good news is that my approach doesn’t take me as long to read the paper as it used to. The bad news is that my approach doesn’t take me as long to read the paper as it used to. Continuing to read about how poorly our economy is doing, I am reminded how GREAT it is to be a part of Mary Kay. I thought I’d share with you today why I passionately feel this way."

    Basically, he "skims" the bad news. Not "ignores" the bad news. He seems to be suggesting "not dwelling on the bad news... but dwelling on the good news..."

    Also, how is, "...Continuing to read about how poorly our economy is doing, I am reminded..."

    somehow synonymous with

    "..."stop reading" and/or listening to reports to what's happening around the world..."


    I actually just read his message for the first time today because what you were saying about it did not seem like something he would say (not that I know him, but because of the nature of his position). I suggest maybe you should go back and read it again. Perhaps you missed his point?

  12. See David, you always dilute a conversation in semantics.

    There's a rampant "negative nelly" (words encircled with a line through them) culture in Mary Kay... Thus...

    "I tend to scan articles that are negative, and I read word-for-word articles that are positive."

    Plus this: I encourage you not to let ANYONE dampen your optimism and enthusiasm."


    Not letting anyone dampen their enthusiasm.

    How? by encapsulating themselves with other like-minded people (other Mary Kayers) and doing like Darrell... not reading the negative stuff and/or listening to anything negative be it on TV or radio.

    I don't care if you agree. I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, I got his message and I'm confident that I got it right. If you don't want to take it that way, it's okay by me! You all can turn if off, be unaware and thus unaffected. It's whatever it takes to get you by.

    Just remember, a good retailer maintains inventory levels in keeping with demand. So if your demand goes down, order less.

  13. mk4me nothing has affected me more than politics. I change the channel every time I see that I'm going to be subjected to some kind of character assassination. That's the kind of negativity one can definitely do without.

  14. flybye,

    great timing... I just got in.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that you should look at what Darrell said in the same light causes you to hold your political avoidance of negativity.

    Politics are ongoing and it is important for us "the people" to be aware of the decisions that are being made and especially the ones that we take part in - and by extension - influence.

    If I were to take what you just said, "That's the kind of negativity one can definitely do without." and rake you over the coals for burying your head in the sand and ignoring the reality of the political climate going on right now, you would (correctly) point out that I missed your point entirely. I don't for a minute think that you are suggesting that we should close our eyes and stop our ears against hearing about the political issues that will be affecting us for better or worse over the next four years - and beyond. You are simply being selective about the types of information that you ingest.

    Similarly, Darrell is not, in this letter suggesting that people be unaware of the economic picture.

    I will point out, again, that he said, "Continuing to read about how poorly our economy is doing, I am reminded..." He is not saying that he stopped reading about it.. he said just the opposite in fact.... "continuing" means it is ongoing. This is not semantics. This is what he said.

    You actually said it exactly right. He is encouraging people to not let anyone, anything, any-anything to dampen their optimism and enthusiasm.

    The anti-"negative nelly" culture you speak about is not exclusive to Mary Kay. There are people everywhere that take the "just think happy thoughts" thing way too far, and to their own great detriment. However, the fact that people do that, does not change the fact that we each are responsible for not letting our optimism and enthusiasm get stolen from us.

    Keeping an optimistic and enthusiastic attitude IS NOT the same thing as buying unnecessary inventory and hoping it will move.

    The problem that I believe Darrell is attempting to overcome here is not consultants that may avoid ordering. He is not saying, "You're not selling? Try ordering more product, and just believe that it will fly off the shelves."

    He is saying, "Don't stop offering people the product that you offer just because you think the economy is gloomy and people wont respond positively."

    You said:

    "You all can turn if off, be unaware and thus unaffected. It's whatever it takes to get you by."

    And that is why I feel like you are still missing the point. This is not a matter of turning anything off, being unaware or hoping that unawareness will cause it all to go away. Like hiding from someone by closing your eyes!!! This is not a futile exercise in coping and getting by. It is a very simple, but sometimes difficult choice to not allow fear, anxiety, and the negative laments of others to dictate the way that we live our lives.

    Is it bad out there, economically speaking? You bet.

    I talk to my neighbors, colleagues, friends, family, et. al. all the time about it. One friend of mine and I worked ourselves up very nicely about how outrageous it is that we just signed up for $850 BILLION dollars of future taxes to bailout "accomplish" something that even the best and the brightest minds admit they don't understand!!!! But by the end of the conversation we went away thankful that we still have something to eat tonight and a means to get to the place that we work - and so on and so forth.

    Someone pointed it out... I think it was mk4me... that there is a balance that must be struck. I have a few acquaintances that are "negative nellys". They do not get very much of my time. Is that cold? Maybe. However, I don't apologize for that decision anymore than you do for not listening to the character attacks of politicians. If I wanted to go into a long conversation with you about how terrible life will be for all of us if McCain (or Obama... take your pick) gets into office, I am sure that you would cut me off at the pass and move onto someone that actually wants to discuss the merits and/or concerns about policies of each candidate.

    It is not a decision to ignore anything. It is a decision to not let the things that you are not ignoring throw you into a downward spiral that prevents you from doing what you are supposed to be doing... whatever that happens to be. In the case of politics it is voting.

    It stands to reason that there are some people (where I live in the very blue state of CA) who are so disheartened that Obama is basically guaranteed to win our state that they will not go out and vote. (There may also be some fans of Obama that will not vote because they are so confident that he will win without their vote.) The point is not whether your candidate wins or loses (in this case) but whether or not you did your part in letting your voice be heard.

    The same friend that I mentioned earlier and I were discussing the "lesser of two evil" belief. In other words, I may vote for McCain because, even though there is a lot that I don't like about him, at least he is not as bad as Obama (also reverse that - voting for Obama because at least he is not as bad as McCain). He said that he has already voted and that he voted for neither of them. I said, "You know that he (the one he voted for) is not going to win, right?" And he said that, of course, he knew that, but he had to vote his conscience and he felt strongly that he could not support either of them, so he voted for someone else.

    The point in all of this is that, even in the middle of all the negatives and the (in his case) negative-nelly talk about "voting for the lesser of two evils" he decided to do something.

    And that, I think, is the whole point of Darrell's letter and why I am so passionate about defending it. We are not saying to be ignorant about what is going on. Be informed. Be aware. Know how the economy affects you personally. Know what may be coming down the road (as much as you can) but don't let the fear of what may be or what might happen keep you from doing.

    keep doing....

  15. "If I wanted to go into a long conversation with you about how terrible life will be for all of us if McCain (or Obama... take your pick) gets into office, I am sure that you would cut me off at the pass and move onto someone that actually wants to discuss the merits and/or concerns about policies of each candidate."

    Maybe. I've been noted to vote either/or depending on what fiscal policy is needed at the moment. There are only two. You either control spending and take money out of the economy (and raise interest rates so people can't afford to spend). Or you try to generate money by printing more and lowering interest rates to encourage banks to lend and thus kick the economy into gear. Many variables determine which fiscal policy should be employed. Depending on your ideology, you vote one way or the other. That's your decision. :)

    Regardless, sometimes you just have to show up, plug your nose and do what is good for "all". Because the long and the short of it all is that one person can meet all your requirements 100% of the time.

    Having said that, I hope that means that you've actually had an interest prior to the last two weeks before voting time. Otherwise, you're being subjected to the negative campaigning and thus forced to make your decision for purely emotional reasons. You now what I mean? :)

    I flip the channel because I've followed what's going on and I know how I'm going to vote. I don't need to listen to the rhetoric to "help me decide".

    I'm speaking more at a macro level. As in global. This site is about balanced "Mary Kay". So let's look at Mary Kay.

    Mary Kay is a global company. That means that they are being subjected to many, many economies. The US represents more than 1/2 of the WORLD economy. On a personal level, I find that really difficult to wrap my brain around. On a simplistic level (because I'm not a PhD or anything) that means that many countries invest in the US dollar. If the US is suffering, you can pretty much guarantee that the countries who bought stock in the US are suffering more for the simple fact that they are much weaker. There are many ways to invest in the US dollar. Until lately, unbeknownst to most, they have bought........... bad mortgages that were supposedly "guaranteed" on three levels (for simplicity sake) by US banks. There were not so bad mortgages, (10% return), bad mortgages (5% return) and really bad (low return). I'm just pulling numbers outta the hat, but that's basically how it was "presented". Fast forward to the crash. ... Everybody found out that none of the mortgages, regardless of ranking, were worthy of a return OR were guaranteed. !!! Now do you see why this had such far reaching affects?

    Enter the US government's intervention (and other governments pledging to invest in each other's economies). Which! only delayed what the market would've done naturally. --That would be recover.-- Why? The money that the banks were given to guarantee mortgages is actually sitting in a bank accounts waiting to be invested on the upswing. In other words, the mortgages that that money was suppose to "cover" isn't being used for the intended purpose.

    So what would've been the better option? The US government would've been better off to have people apply directly to the government for a mortgage guarantee thus taking the control OUT OF THE BANKS' HANDS. (The crooked entities that got the world economy into this mess in the first place.)

    What does all this mean in Mary Kay speak? The littler economies are suffering way more than North America's. So maybe a lot more consultant's are cashing in. Depending on where you live in the US, on a micro level, there could be some severe hard times. All I can say is look at the Applause mag and compare director and NSD earnings/rankings by region. That'll give you some indication as to what's going on. Or maybe not. People are who they are. Some like the accolades if you know what I mean. ;)

    Like I said, you'll read into the message what you want. Bells and whistles went off for me. Call me jaded, negative, etc. Whatever. I just smile and nod and stash my cash. ;)

  16. "Because the long and the short of it all is that one person can meet all your requirements 100% of the time."

    Should've read, "can't" meet all your requirements...

  17. I dunno about optimism and enthusiasm...I believe in realism. I know objectivity can be difficult, but it's worth striving for, especially when it comes to finances.

    I don't watch TV news (or watch TV at all). I get my news online. The economy does suck. My friends are getting laid off at an alarming rate. My company isn't giving raises and have put hiring on hold. Mr. Gothboy's company is enforcing 9 days of leave and either you have the time saved to cover it or you are forced onto leave without pay.

    I went out and picked up 2 side jobs to help fill in the hole. And I'll be honest with you, if I hadn't known the right ppl, I wouldn't have gotten them. But the bottom line in my bank account is that I do have them.

    I am definitely spending less on cosmetics than I did before the economy went down the crapper. Also less on, well, everything except gasoline and needed prescriptions. Our household has had to make serious cutbacks in order to be able to pay basic bills, because prices are going up steeply but our pay is not. My 2 extra jobs *almost* help me keep pace with inflation. We are definitely affected, yet are lucky to be less affected than our laid-off friends!

    These people are borrowing money from their families when they can and running up huge debts to pay the rent while they frantically search for replacement jobs. I have let them know that, as long as I have work, if they run out of groceries they should come to me and I will buy food for them. And people have had to take me up on it.

    I realize it does no good to run around screaming AAARRRGH WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, but at the same time, if we are to be realistic then we must recognize how serious things truly are. Investing in any kind of business where I'd start from scratch is not a thing I would want to do right now, personaly. (now if you do MK without inventory and without expensive nonessential extras, that *may* be another story...if you are financially savvy and all.)

  18. I so hear you, Miranda. Hugs to you for being a compassionate friend.


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