Once Upon A Time, I became a Mary Kay consultant.
I was pregnant with our third child and preparing to become a Stay At Home Mom. As a preschool teacher, I made an embarrassingly low income. With how little I made weekly, it just made sense to quit working and stay home with the kids. Daycare is not cheap. Before and after school care adds up quick. Had I continued where I was professionally, I would have been working for the sole purpose of paying for child care.
OK, hold on – Let me answer the question you’re probably wondering right now: No. Finding a job “in another field” that paid more was not an option. I had dedicated years to something I considered a career, no matter how little the pay. Financially, it may not have always been smart, but it was what I knew, what I continued Professional Development for, and most importantly, I was committed and believed in it. Sure, I could have said, screw it, and found a fast food gig with flexible hours and worked around my husband’s schedule so we could take turns with the kids…But let’s not get into all the reasons why that would suck ass.
So, this is where we ended up: I would quit teaching, take care of our three kids at home, and leave having a career to the hubs.
We were terrified of being broke. We hadn’t realized how much my small salary actually impacted our lives until we began doing the math.
So, I wanted to help out. I didn’t want the financial burden to rest solely on hubs.
I began doing some research.
Direct Sales. Multi-Level Marketing companies. Surveys. Getting paid to watch ads. Focus groups. Remote online jobs.
The Be-Your-Own-Boss Internet Rabbit Hole is really freaking deep.
After some consideration, I decided on Mary Kay. From what I could tell, it had a high percentage of profit from sales and makeup is something all women want to buy, right?
It took me about two months to realize I am not MLM material.
I HATE selling shit to people.
I HATE pretending I care what “your color” is.
I don’t want to host a spa-themed party at your house for you and 12 of your closest gal pals.
Honestly, I probably hate your gal pals, and it’s bullshit I can’t drink the wine too.
And listen, I get it – you bought three shades of lipstick from me last month. I KNOW you dont want more this month.
I am not a pushy sales person and I feel stupid posting on social media about “this offer I just HAVE to share with my girls!”
There is undoubtedly some money to be made in MLM and Direct Sales. But you have to jump on a wagon early, before the other neighborhood ladies scoop up the clientele, and you have to be a real sales person to make it work. You have to be willing to push for the sale and recruit other women for your “team.” You need to “branch out,” and talk to those you may not usually. You have to meet selling quotas every month to maintain your seller discount…
Listen…hardly anyone actually wins the pink car. You have to sell A LOT and I mean A LOT of products consistently and not have a team, but an ARMY of women working under you.
Albeit, some ladies just simply have a knack for it. Me? I’m not one of them. And, honestly, I probably hate you if you are.
Come on, you have to admit, nothing sucks more than receiving a friend request from an old high school buddy you assume wants to reconnect with you, only to find out they’re going to spam you for 6 months with exclusive offers.
So, anyway, in my time down the Rabbit Hole, I have discovered LOTS of MLM’s that I don’t want and could never sell (OK, maybe the pandemic isolation had me believing for a brief moment I could try again).
Here’s my quick list of bullshit MLM’s and Direct Sales I don’t want, could never sell, have TRIED to sell, or is just plain ridiculous:
-Leggings, oversized shirts and dresses. Oddly, all the styles are named after women. Even more oddly, none of them are named Karen. Some legging companies have you buy an entire inventory up front. LuLaRoe’s smallest start-up is $499! COME. ON. That’s three weeks grocery money.
-Scented waxes and oils you warm and diffuse to make your house smell like Better Homes & Gardens threw up in the air ducts. Listen, if I want my house to smell like Fall, I just won’t mop the floor after my kids track in wet and muddy crunched up leaves from their shoes. And why the hell do I want my baby to smell like citrus with one of those scented stuffed animals? The smell of baby is already magical.
-Cleaning products. Honestly, I have nothing against any products that are eco-friendly like Norwex. But why am I going to order bathroom cleaners and window cloths from you when I’m already at Walmart?
-CBD products. I don’t know much about the effectiveness of hemp for stress and all that…But I DO know that my doctor can recommend something less expensive than a $50 hemp bath bomb box.
-Meal planning kits for people who hate meal planning! This is just laughable to me. Take your ass to the grocery store.
-Makeup. I’m getting to old to sling lipstick in hopes of winning a pink car. Wal-Mart makeup works just fine for me and I promise, it’s good enough for you too.
-Magic drink packets. There’s a special place in Hell for companies like this. After mixing these tiny packets of powder with some water, you drink it up and your entire body is magically cured of any and all ailments! Suddenly, you’re able to manage your weight and poop easier! Some brands are cheaper than others, but I’m pretty sure fresh water and exercise are free.
-Essential Oils. Don’t come at me with that witchcraft. Lavender makes you smell like lavender. END of advantages.
Hey – I’m glad that some women are able to make a living off this stuff. And, OK, truth be told, maybe I’m just a little jealous I don’t have it in me. But at least you know if I send you a friend request after 20 years, it’s NOT to sell you makeup!