Monday, January 19, 2009

Pink Truth: "Lying" sounds so much worse than "Misrepresents". Since we don't have proof, lets use the one that sounds worse. Like the tabloids!

Pink Truth questions Mary Kay Director's Executive Income

I believe we have been over this before, and it quickly devolves into multiple trails of questions like, "what exactly is "executive income".

This is however, a very important consideration for everyone involved in this conversation.

From those involved with Mary Kay to those considering getting involved, clear communication in terms of expected income is important. This is the case in any career move, and is often a source of great contention.

Any employer will tell you that there are many hidden costs to having employees. The amount of money that you see on your paycheck is not anywhere near the amount of money that your employer shells out in order to retain your services. Think it is disappointing to see taxes removed from your paycheck before you even get your hands on it? It is worse for your employer.

Whether or not this has anything to do with the fact that many employers (slightly or greatly) over represent the money they intend to pay you is not easily clear, but I have seen it many times. I have even experienced it first hand.

Particularly difficult in this situation is the expected income in a commission only situation. You see, in a situation where you collect a steady, pre-stated, weekly/monthly/twice-monthly, based-on-hours-worked paycheck, you get paid what was agreed upon (or at least what the contract ends up saying was agreed upon). When the amount of compensation that you stand to receive is based solely on your performance (I.E. how many units you sell), it is far too easy for your future "employer" to have too much faith in your ability.

Add to this the fact that for someone (it seems that there is at least a healthy number of these in MK) that previously had no job/part-time job/min-wage job any income will feel "executive"... and you have a recipe for dangerous misunderstandings.

That said, here are what I believe are two very important things you should keep in mind whether you are explaining the opportunity to someone or having your next possible opportunity explained to you.

1. Keep in mind that words can be very powerful. What you say. What you hear. Words mean different things to different people. Words have emotions attached to them. Executive income is a good example of this. We instantly picture a wealthy individual with a luxury car, a beautiful home and a fat expense account to do whatever they want with. That is not necessarily the case, but if you allow yourself to picture this (or if you allow a recruit to picture this), there could be a pretty serious disillusionment being scheduled.

2. Ask questions. On both sides, questions are the best way to ensure (or at least have a pretty good idea) that what you each are HEARING and SAYING are one and the same.

What are your thoughts about the executive income possibility in Mary Kay?

What is executive income... to you?

What else would you like to add to this topic?


  1. I think to be executive (in my area of the country; cost of living varies) it's got to be a minimum of 100K. I think, realistically, that a successful person selling makeup and making a profit is probably going to earn more like a supplemental income, such as I get by art modeling and proofreading books. I couldn't live on either (or both) of those jobs alone, but they help bring my regluar paycheck up to something I can live on while also occasionally spending a few bucks on myself and not just the basic bills.

  2. If you are not trying to be misleading, why use the phrase "executive income"? Why not just spell it out? This is what you can expect just starting out. This is what you can expect after you get this many customers. This is what the average MK consultant makes. This is how many hours I work each week. Not just how many hours I am doing a SCC, but how many hours I put into my business. I don't understand why some have to dress it up, if it is such an enriching experience.

    Even in diet commercials where they show people losing a lot of weight they have a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen: results not typical.

    The same can be used in MK. Yes, you can earn an executive income. Will you? If you look at the majority, no.

  3. arabella,

    I don't usually get a chance to leave comments myself anymore, but I just saw your comment and had a moment to do so, so, here I am.

    I personally think that the whole problem here is that there is no "what you can expect" in this situation.

    For some people, selling (in this manner) is a perfect match (think Tommy Boy's dad... "...he could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves..."). This person would stand to make ca$h hand over fist. To tell this person they should "EXPECT" to make the average is no better (and no worse) than telling someone for whom selling would be a very bad match to "EXPECT" to make executive income.

    The problem (as I see it) is that there is no way to forecast how someone will do with this. (That by the way is the answer to the oft asked question, "why offer the opportunity to everyone... when NOT everyone will succeed?")

    For some people, it will click and be the "best decision I ever made"... for others, it will prove to be a "non-match". Either way, to tell someone that they should "EXPECT" an exact outcome (or in this case INcome ;p ) is ill advised. Whether it is to say "You will make a lot of money" or "You will make no money".

  4. I do think there is a "what you can expect" in this business. When a person is recruited the recruiter knows if they have ever sold anything. The recruter knows if this person has been a SAHM for years, or book keeper, etc. Of course, you shouldn't tell someone they CAN'T do something. But to give some unrealistic expectations, in a field that they may have never been in, is not something to aspire to, either.

    The problem I have with the whole executive income line is that it is usually followed by "in less than 15 hours a week!" Come on, be realistic. Especially if the person being recruited has never been in sales. Because that is what MK is. Sales. Why dress it up as something else?

  5. How about "blabla" is the average? As in, mathematical mean. Or, heck, you could give the mean, median, and mode.

  6. A person making an "executive" income generally does not do so when first starting the job so it is very misleading to tell a potential recruit that she can do so in Mary Kay. Most of the time one works her way up the so-called ladder to executive status. That is just the way it is. Plus, from what I have seen directors are making no where near the "executive income" level. It is shameful that they say they do. Yes, Dacia did it but as someone said it is the exception rather than the rule.

  7. A person making an "executive" income generally does not do so when first starting the job so it is very misleading to tell a potential recruit that she can do so in Mary Kay. Most of the time one works her way up the so-called ladder to executive status. That is just the way it is. Plus, from what I have seen directors are making no where near the "executive income" level. It is shameful that they say they do. Yes, Dacia did it but as someone said it is the exception rather than the rule.

  8. Sorry for the double (and now triple) post. :)

  9. If I were buying a real business, as a matter of course in the transaction the seller would open their books and let me see the full cash flow ... income, inventory, expenses, etc.

    Even getting into an "opportunity", like a McDonalds franchise, I would get a full breakdown of all the predictable expenses BEFORE the contract is signed. None of this "you'll find out when you need to know" stuff like is reported by disgruntled ex- and current IBCs.

  10. Tsu,

    You make an excellent point.

    Unfortunately, it seems the "disgruntled ex- and current IBCs"

    did not see the value in such advice...

    and the

    "you'll find out when you need to know"

    attitude is perpetuated further down the line...

    This 'indiscretion', as it were, does not make a business any more or less "real" though.

    Does it?

  11. This sort of ties in with the other post so I feel I am repeating myself but what the heck.

    I haven't found an official definition of executive income. It is going to mean different things to different people.

    Seriously, did any consultant truly think she would join and put in a couple of hours a day and be making 6 digits in their first week, month, year?? If there was one, I think she should be locked up for her own protection because she is going to be in real trouble with all the real (actual) scams and theives in the world. (PS for those that believed this, please never give out any personal information out such as: social security number or credit card numbers to someone you don't know)

    A business... okay, you are correct, we can't sell our business. But aside from that, I have the freedom to run it as my business (with a few rules that I agreed to when I signed the contract) which was my CHOICE. As far as what I built, I could turnover my clients to the consultant of my choice, I am sure, she would do something nice for me and if I had product left when I retired, I could send it back and get the 90% back. As with most self employed individuals, I would suggest if you want something more than SS, you open an IRA.

    We can advertise. The only thing is we must use the Company approved ad slicks. After seeing some of the um... second grade construction jobs I have seen on some facial boxes, I am glad that everyone isn't free to do their own thing. I like the fact the the ad slicks the Company has are professional looking

    We can't sell at flea markets, I am happy about that, I wouldn't want to be hanging out at a flea market trying to sell stuff. If you want to sell something at a flea market, find a product to sell.

    As TSU pointed out, an owner of a McDonald's does own it but they are still subject to the rules of the franchise. So what we have some rules we must respect.

    As far as showing figures, well if a consultant wants to see me info, I would be happy to show it to them. But for all the "yelling" about hiding income. The facts are facts. You buy your product at a 50% discount. It is suggested you sell it at retail. If you do that you have earned 50%. Now, even without a calculator, if you sell $100 retail and paid $50 wholesale, you net $50. Now if you don't spend any on expense, you have earned $50.

    So if you want $1000 net, you better be planning on selling more than $2000.

    A director does have more expenses than a consultant (and usually other forms of income) showing a brand new consultant my information as a glance into what she might be making as a new consultant WOULD BE A MISREPRESENTATION on what she could make.

    All the information is provided in the consultants guide and on MK Intouch. Learn MK and the Advance brochure has everything spelled out - from new consultant to national. It just boils down to personal responsibility if some one want to know.

  12. But isn't it true in MK that you pay half price but then you pay tax on the retail price? Then there is shipping, etc. All of that eats into your profits so you aren't really making double. And yes, it would be naive for a new consultant to think she could make exec. income after only a few months. But for recruiters to say exec. income is possible for part time work leads prospective IBCs to think that they can make more than they should reasonably expect to, and you know they do. It is like that with all MLMs.

  13. Yes it is true that we pay tax on the retail, however when you sell the product, even if you give a discount you still should charge tax on the retail amount that you paid for it. You are to recoup what you paid for - you just paid for it in advance.

    This is done and then MK takes care of the sales taxes with the appropriate state.

    Anyone that wants to complain about it, be my guest, with my background, I would much rather have it done this way, than to have to do sales tax (I believe it is stll quarterly) reporting - chances are I would need to hire an accountant. Mary Kay takes care of it for us n/c.

    Ask any busines that reports sales tax, just another thing to keep track of.

    Connie I appreciate the conversation but no, I don't know that they all say that. None of the people I work with promise that. And I know I don't. If you have read any of my past postings, the line I use in my interviews, is... if you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, then Mary Kay is NOT for you. It is not hard as in complicated but it does take work and effort, especially in the beginning when you are just getting started.

    To continue... it is similiar to any other endeavor, you get out of it, what you put into it. Many business don't even start turning a profit or taking a paycheck for a couple of years. Also you are going to have to leave your house, I know you are excited but that doesn't mean everyone knows you are now a IBC, people are not going to magical line up at your front door to buy MK. You are going to have to let people know what you are doing... but we are always careful to attrack not attack, because I never want someone to think I am a stalker, turn and head the other directions if they see me coming, or not answer the phone if they see my number on caller id. These things are not good for your business.

    Seriously, you may choose not to beleive me but, I would rather have someone that is truley interested and take me time and train her well and right and know she will be with me so my time is well invested and her "likelihood to succeed" is far greater. I don't want to bribe, manipulate, and trick someone to getting in and then try to train them and have them just quit after I invested time in them.

    I don't want to be trying to bring the mountain to Mohamad, it seems to me it would be much easier if Mohamad wanted to go to the mountain with me.

    And yes, shipping may "dip" into some profits, but let's figure on a $600 order the shipping fee is less than 1.5%.

    Tax on expenses is an expense, tax on inventory is not an expense. It is recoverable.

    Okay, sorry so wordy but it is hard to write what I feel so it comes across properly but without making it so wordy that noone reads it or falls asleep before they do. <3


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