Friday, March 20, 2009

Business Cycle or Hampster Wheel

I don't know why this suddenly dawned on me, I have often read ex-directors stating one of the things they hated while being a director is the "hampster wheel" feeling of the end of the month deadlines. For me, it is just the way things are. I work hard at the begining of the month and usually just let the end roll in on its own, so that the next month starts at the begining and not half way thru. I rarely have the "last day" omg, I can't walk away from the phone syndrome, simply because if it isn't there, I am not waiting for it. I don't want to have my life ruled by "the last cent". If I have something else I want to do, I do it, if someone assigns an order to me to submit to the company, I will make every effort to submit it, but seriously that only takes seconds. With WI Fi, laptops, and cell phone internet access, this really is not an inconvenience and if I can't - well it goes in the first day of the new month - now if I have someone that is trying to attain a certain goal, I would be more than willing to go the extra mile for her but as a rule - what is in, is in.

It hit me tonight, that this cycle was no different than the cycle I had when I worked as a Corp. Accountant/Financial Anyalist. Part of my job was to do the monthly Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss sheet and have them faxed to the Corp. by midnight the 3rd day following our closing. I couldn't do my part until I had all the pieces from all the other departments and they had a 5:00 deadline. Often I could not start to do my part until everyone was leaving and often (very often) it would be me and the security guard with me watching the clock so that I could get things transmitted before midnight - calling home and telling the kids "good night and that I loved them". This was the typical month end of a manufacturing business. Of course the year end stuff was more demanding and of course the yearly inventory was extensive as well.

Any business or industry has projected targets, they will work harder as the deadline for the goal approaches, some may be monthly, others yearly. We always see - year end clearance sales, etc.. increase sales, reduce inventory. It is simply that ""nature of the beast".

I guess my point to this is: it isn't only Mary Kay that may have a "cycle" - if it doesn't work for you, then obviously, being a director is probably not going to be your cup of tea. Many careers (jobs) outside of Mary Kay will also have what could be considered the "hampster wheel".


  1. The only difference with the MK hamster wheel is that you had a set salary MK4me. This one is dependent upon that the UNIT does.
    In defense of these women there is a guaranteed salary for you and those who have a job! In YOUR defense you have a stable unit and if you want more money (or any other consultant) they can hold more classes or facials PERSONALLY to guarantee more money. Also in YOUR defense you cant get laid off (unless you do something MK does not like or you break their rules) everybody has rules. Since you have a stable unit and you sell 2-3000 retail every month you have a guaranteed paycheck! Those who frontload or recruit all of their customers dont. They may for a while but they can usually tell. You can work in your pajamas some of the time others cant, and you can stay at home. I see that there are more benefits if you have a successful unit than there are at work but if you cannot afford health benefits and if one wants to have the same salary at 50-60 hours a week more power to them. I think your situation is the best as long as its stable.

  2. duuuude. 50-60 hours? I have a regular 40 hour workweek on Job 1. The other two vary wildly. Sometimes nothing, sometimes slammed. Right now, slammed, but the checks will be necessary.

    No one would ever sell me health insurance as an individual even if I could afford it...I tried one time. If I don't get it through an employer, I would be without (and completely screwed). I assume though that MK4ME gets health insurance through hubby's plan.

    I work in my pajamas on job 2, and in absolutely nothing on job 3! lol

  3. The only difference with the MK hamster wheel is that you had a set salary MK4me.

    That was exactly what I was going point out. You are comparing apples to oranges. MK is no good substitue for a "real" job with steady pay and benefits.

  4. I admit, my hubby carries the health insurance, so that makes that nice, otherwise, I am sure I would be paying more than we do (his is free but we do co-op pay for mine).

    and humbly, I forget sometime that my salary varies, I know what I can sell personally and I know I can count on that, I know what the unit can do without effort and I can count on that.... when we do over and above, it is like a bonus.

    I wasn't comparing salaries,etc... just the idea of the cycle.

    I have always admitted, I would be nervous to be be a single parent and be self employed. - If I were single, I wouldn't mind -

    Have a great weekend everyone!!

  5. p.s. yup, I had a set salary ( I was salaried) but the 50+ sometimes 60+ hour weeks, weren't really apeealing with two kiddos.

    I was so career focus driven, I didn't even realize what I was missing with the kids, until my dead passed away at the young age of 58. That's when I realized I had to reevaluate my life.

  6. oops, dead = dad...

    boy, it is been 15 years and it still brings tears to my eye, my dad was my hero.

    (and I hope I didn't sound snarky in my article, my tone was really relaxed) - I was just so used to dealing with deadlines that it was sort of just status quo..

    and I love working in my pj's on those "office" days!

    The UPS man does know how much MK helps me! haha

  7. I'm glad you wrote this mk4me. It makes sense. When you work ethically, recruit good consultants, and train well, you build a strong team. If you have a strong team that is working steady,and you continue to work your own business, you won't have to be on the hamster wheel.

    Colleen, directors who front load aren't being very smart. It doesn't make sense to me to recruit just "anyone with skin", then NOT train them well, AND frontload. You are just asking for problems. Train them. Get them on a workable inventory (or none), then guide them through the ropes. You end up making a lot less work for yourself in the end. Front loader's deserve to end up on the hamster wheel. They created their own monster out of sheer stupidity and greed.

    Insurance is another story. Thank God my husband is covered through his job. My other home business is a daycare business and I certainly don't make enough to provide my family with insurance. The prices are insane!


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