What I Learned in Mary Kay

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“We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don't know where you're aiming, you don't have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she cared.” - Mary Kay Ash

September 13, 2018, marked the 55th anniversary of Mary Kay Cosmetics. The company opened the doors on Friday the 13th which, according to superstition, is bad luck. When Mary Kay Ash was asked why they opened their doors on that day the answer was simple: that was the day the lease started.

When I joined Mary Kay in February of 2005, I was shy, insecure, and had very low self esteem. I joined Mary Kay to make extra money as I was a soon-to-be college graduate going out into the real world on my own for the first time. Even though I was shy, I knew I had the ability to share skin care and cosmetics that I loved with the women within my circle of influence. I listened to my Mary Kay consultant say, “Put this on. Now how does your skin feel?” I thought, I can do that. The extra income from my Mary Kay business helped in times of need but the money I earned paled in comparison to the personal growth I developed.

Everyone is doing the best they can at any given time.

Judy Brack is a retired National Sales Director in Mary Kay. She retired not long after I met her so I’m grateful I had the pleasure to spend time with her and learn from her even though it was a short period of time.

She always said to us, “We’re all doing the best we can at any given time.” This made me think about when people make mistakes, whether they’re big or small, that was the best they could do at that time. They could be distracted by a stressful event happening in their life or maybe they were just be plain tired.

Keep this in mind when someone is rude to you when you’re out and about. Maybe they just heard bad news about a family member or they’re in a negative home or work environment. You don’t know their background so just be kind to them as they are doing the best they can at that moment.

Do it anyway!

About a month before Mary Kay opened their doors, Mary Kay’s husband passed away suddenly. He was a huge support system for her and the business. Instead of postponing opening day, they opened their doors anyway. They had come so far and they weren’t going to let anything stand in their way. Even if I’m not “in the mood” to go to work, I do it anyway whether I’m working for myself or for someone else. Even though I love working out, if I have a workout planned and I feel great physically but mentally I’m not into it, I still workout. I always feel better once I get started.

It’s important to have a group of women as part of your tribe.

We had weekly success meetings in Mary Kay lead by our sales directors. If our director wasn’t local to us we were adopted by a local sales director and invited to attend her weekly meetings. This was such a powerful experience. Now, in high school (and sometimes beyond high school) women are known for competing with each other in a negative way. This was not the case in Mary Kay. We all became like sisters to each other and supported each other not only with our Mary Kay businesses but in our personal lives as well. Women connect with each other on a whole different level than they do with men. We understand female issues because we go through many of them ourselves. And it’s fun to do girly activities that men don’t want to do with us.

How to set a big goal and achieve it step by step.

I learned so much about goal setting in Mary Kay. I learned how to break down an annual goal down by month, week, and day to achieve it step by step. One big lesson I learned was not to use stress or being “busy” as an excuse not to achieve a goal.

Scot and I moved to Portland, Oregon, in September of 2013. Before I share our Portland adventure with you, lets rewind for a minute to April 11, 2012. We were on our first date when he told me he wanted to move Portland to attend Trackers Earth, an outdoor survival school. My first thought was “Cool! This guys likes adventures!” I didn’t think much of it after that. I don’t remember talking about it too much after that. Fast forward to February 2013 when he told me he was moving to Portland at the end of June of that year. Now, we were moving in together at the end of March and he was going to leave three months later. Well, I decided I wanted to go with him. So, I packed up my stuff and we moved to Portland together in September. He was there for the summer and came back down to get me in September.

That was a very stressful move for me for several reasons: I had never been Portland before we moved there, I was in a new relationship with a man and I didn’t know where it was going, and I quit my secure job in insurance. So, I decided I was going to join a Mary Kay success meeting to make friends. It was definitely a very stressful year for me and on our relationship. I had my most successful Mary Kay year while in Portland.

The importance of daily inspiration and motivation.

There’s always inspiration and motivation somewhere in the Mary Kay environment at all times. A group of top sales directors put together a Million Dollar Message. They took turns recording an inspirational and educational message each day for all of us to call in and listen to. I listened to this every day in Portland (that’s when I learned about) when I was getting myself ready in the morning.

Before and after I learned about the Million Dollar Message, I always had an inspirational CD ready to listen to with a top Mary Kay sales director. It’s so important to constantly be filling your head with positive and motivational language. This includes self motivation. I always had my list of affirmations I would say to myself throughout the day. I still carry a 3 x 5 index card with my affirmations on it and review it daily.

The importance of having your spouses support.

Mary Kay is so brilliant to allow spouses to attend the annual Mary Kay convention, Seminar. Scot has always been supportive of my endeavors but when he attended Seminar with me he was in awe. They offer mens classes at Seminar to taught by spouses of top Mary Kay sales directors. They pretty much say, “If you support your wife (not just monetarily but emotionally) while she’s building her business, she’ll have the ability to support you financially in the future. This will give you the freedom to do what you want with your career.”

Scot also helped hold me accountable for my actions. I filled out a weekly plan sheet every week with my schedule and put it on the fridge. After dinner, if I had “booking calls” on the schedule for the night, he would take care of the clean up so I could book appointments. This was extremely helpful when I was tired and didn’t feel like making calls. He held me accountable.

Make people feel important.

Mary Kay Ash always said, “Pretend everyone has a sign around their neck that says ‘Make me feel important.’“ This goes for every person you come in contact with. It can be as simple as smiling at anyone who makes eye contact with you. Or giving them a genuine compliment on their clothing, makeup or hair style.

When you’re having a conversation with someone put your phone away and don’t look at it when it vibrates or makes a noise. Really focus on the person you’re talking to at the time. When we allow ourselves to become distracted it’s sending a message to the other person that the conversation you’re having with them is not important. Maintaining eye contact and focus shows that person that you’re listening to their words.

It’s ok to eat dessert first.

Two of my favorite things about Mary Kay Ash: she always carried hot sauce in her purse and she wasn’t afraid to eat dessert first. I don’t do this often but sometimes I just want to eat a piece of dark chocolate before dinner or lunch. I have yet to do this at a restaurant but maybe that will get on my to do list for next week.

Sales is finding a need and filling it.

When I joined Mary Kay in 2005, I was working in insurance transitioning from a customer service representative to a sales representative. It was fitting that I began my insurance and skin care sales careers at the same time. I had an amazing mentor in insurance as well as in Mary Kay and I truly felt blessed to be getting the best training from two amazing sources.

The first thing I learned is sales is finding a need and filling it. I would and will never pressure anyone to buy a product or service I’m promoting if they don’t need it or want it. Now, I do believe everyone needs a skin care routine regardless of what it is. However, I met women who absolutely loved the products they were using and simply didn’t want to switch to Mary Kay. I never took it personally because they weren’t saying no to me, they were saying no to the product. If they couldn’t afford to buy the product at that time, they would find the money and buy it at a later time.

Only take advice from someone you’d trade places with.

This is a big one for me. When I wanted to grow my customer base, I went to a consultant that had a lot of customers that reordered regularly to learn how she gets them and keeps them. It’s the same with health coaching and personal training. I wouldn’t want to take advice from a coach who is overweight, unhealthy, and rarely exercises. If someone tells me they’re plant-based (or vegan, meaning they don’t eat any animal products) and they want to continue the lifestyle with the help of a health coach, I would refer them to my friend who is plant-based herself and is in great shape. I feel she is more qualified than me to give advice to someone in the plant-based world.

The decision to move on from my Mary Kay business was a simple but difficult one to make. My heart broke a little when I made the decision to sell the remaining product I had in stock and refer my customers to other Mary Kay consultant. I knew in my heart it was time for me to move on to a new adventure. Not long after I left Mary Kay, Mark Sisson launched his Primal Health Coach Institute Certification (back then it was called the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification). It was perfect timing for me to finally get a health coaching certification after many years of having the burning desire to do so.

Even though I’m not a part of the Mary Kay environment I will be eternally grateful for my ten year Mary Kay journey. Mary Kay was just a small part of my personal growth and health journey in comparison to how big life its. It was truly a powerful one. I encourage you to reflect on a part of your life journey that you’re no longer on that served for a specific time in your life.