Let me preface this journal entry with what works for some may or may not work for others.
Last spring I was talking with a fellow nurse and she said, “I have been afraid to ask you but here it goes, I am a Mary Kay consultant and I have 30 facials I need to do this month. Would you be able to help me out?” I thought at that time that I was almost out of my moisturizer and I remember using Mary Kay in the past and liked it. My reply was “Sure, why not!”
The time and place was set for my facial. I arrived and was pampered for 1 hour. Soft hands, soft lips, clean and moisturized face with some color. The fun friendly girl time completed my hour. In all fairness, I absolutely fell in love with the Time Wise skin care set, I would have purchased the set in a department store.
A couple days later I received a text from my consultant “checking in on my skin.” She then told me she had to practice “Career Chats” and was wondering if she could practice with me and she would give me a gift of my choice for my time. Thinking I am almost out of my brow pencil I agreed to meet her.
I sat through the career coffee with her and was surprised that everything she went over looked so easy on paper. Minimal hours and big bucks. I ordered my Starter Kit and within 2 hours I received a phone call from the director. Another appointment was made …so she could get to know me…
So my Mary Kay journey continued with learning to squirt individualized trays, read a script and how to close for a sale. I attended Mary Kay Girls Night Out weekly 2 hour “training’s”, which honestly was mostly full of cheers and WooHoots for the top sales and team builder’s while welcoming new consultants in a cultish manner with rote responses to the directors motivational deliveries. I also attended, with a guest in tow, weekly “career chats“, another 2 hours a week. Then there was the barrage of daily Voxers, texts and phone calls. I was even asked by my Director “to consider opening up my Facebook profile because she wanted me to benefit from announcements and be motivated.”
It was all a bit overbearing and weird. Being in management and having a lot of autonomy for years I was not used to the constant barrage of communication, “support” and overall omnipresence.
So remember the promise of minimal time spent for maximum money? I was told if I put on a dress, wore 3 pieces of jewelry as well as 2 shades of eye shadows and follow the script provided the average amount I would profit would be $50 per hour. Well I must have been doing it all wrong. With all the “support and coaching” I received, I did not making anything close to that. That average did not include all the time and money spent I had to put into cold calls, appointments not kept, driving, weekly Girl’s Night Out and Career Chat Coffees, thank you cards, regardless of sale or no sale, for customers who you did facials with, assembly of “goodie bags” gift wrapping, shopping for the perfect cotton pads for eye makeup removal, cute ribbon, tulle and gift bags considered only if up-to-par.
I went into this with the idea that my initial pampering session was fun and actually useful for good skin care. The money promise was a deal maker. It was a fun time with those who love me and helped me get through the initial training of facials, but when I came to working outside of my “circle of influences” the appointments were not what I had imagined with hesitations and sales less than $50.
When I decided that it is all too much and too invasive I deleted Voxer, my Facebook account and told my director that my schedule had changed and I was not able to dedicate as much time to Mary Kay as I previously had.
I am thankful that I did not recruit anyone else into this, with the exception of my daughter. She can decide if she wants to continue or not. I will even help her pack up her merchandise to send back to the factory for Mary Kay’s money back guarantee. I am thankful we did not spend the money to go to seminar or any of the other training weekends.
I will continue to keep my consultant’s status because I absolutely love Mary Kay’s skin care and and lipstick. My son’s acne is much improved. I get to make gift baskets for donation raffles and Mary Kay makes for great gift giving.
I have no bad feelings at all. I just had no idea what direct sales was before entering this pink world. I do not fault or look down on these nice ladies who make Mary Kay their lives. They are doing what is good for them. It is just not for me. It is not a lifestyle I find fulfilling or even 100% honest.
I know that there are many pink Mary Kay cliche’s about wanting to make my life, and the lives of my family, better by “never giving up on your dreams” or “being committed”. I am happy for all who are able to enhance their lives with extra money, trips, cars and jewelry. My biggest aspiration is that people are happy. In 51 years on this Earth one of the BIGGEST lessons I have learned is that “Desire causes suffering on some level.” Just think of something you really desired and what happened if or if you did not get “it”. If you did not get it that causes sadness, regret and not good enough. If you get the object of the desire you are “happy” before it is gone and you find something else to fuel your desire and suffer over the next thing. I believe it is very important to work for a fulfilling life for yourself and those you love but I just wonder about the suffering that comes from the constant motivational reminders, through Voxer, Facebook, text messages and even phone calls, that you need to be better by being busy with selling thus creating desire for more and need for recognition’s.
Coming out of the pink fog I am reassured to still have great happiness and joy in my spiritual practices, reading books, watching the newest Asian Soap Opera, walks in mediation, having a somewhat clean home, enjoying my evenings at home with my family or even just doing nothing. (Gasp)
So it is time to pack away the Mary Kay and put my Buddhist practice texts back on my shelves. It is time to reclaim my mind space and sacred dwellings.