I'm actually quite excited about the chance to sell Mary Kay. I've used the product for over six months and love it. The friend who sold to me and then recruited me to sell is doing well and enjoying the work. Now is an ideal time for me to learn the ropes of a very flexible job that I can do while in graduate school.
So why do I find myself, rather than announcing the decision proudly, apologizing for it and justifying it?
A lot has to do with preconceptions both about myself and about Mary Kay. When my friend first invited me to her grand-opening event, I got a mental image of middle-aged ladies all in pink smelling of lavendar soap. Once firsthand experience changed my mind, I met with the disparaging opinions of others of my friends. One in particular (forgive me for using you as an example; I'm not angry) said that no one makes money from Mark Kay until recruiting other poor suckers to sell, as if it were a pyramid scheme. (It isn't.)
The preconceptions I think others have about myself make me more reluctant to mention my new business. First, I'm a self-proclaimed geek. I'm not known for fashion or glamour sense. I fear those who know me will wonder how I think I can make money "selling lipstick," as I've heard people describe Mary Kay consulting work. This attitude I sense in others often plays into a mini identify crisis I've been having regarding my growing interest in looking nice. I grew up identifying as a geek, and I continue to do so. I maintain that geekiness is a matter of having counterculture or outside-the-mainstream interests, such as science fiction or role-playing games, not a matter of dress or appearance. Still, most people associate geekiness with being unfashionable, whether through apathy or conscious choice. Because of my court-reporting job, I've had to assume a nice "corporate chic" wardrobe. Then I lost a significant amount of weight and enjoyed wearing clothes that flatter my thinner shape. Then I started using Mary Kay to take better care of my skin, and then I started using their makeup. Now I'm afraid I look and dress more like those who made fun of geeks during my grade-school days. I feel a bit like a traitor. And I fear some may see the Mary Kay pin as the final flourish removing me from geekdom.
Secondly, I think no one considers me to have business sense. I'm afraid to mention that I've invested money in Mary Kay inventory, because I anticipate my friends will think I've wasted it. No one considers my savings hoarded for graduate school as wasted. Why shouldn't I invest some in a money-making venture that can support me in graduate school? I find myself jumping to my own defense and informing others that anytime within a year of beginning work as a Mary Kay consultant, if I want out, I can return any unsold product for ninety percent of what I paid. If I sell less than ten percent of my investment, I'll be guaranteed to break even.
And here I go justifying once again.
All that said, I'm still excited about this opportunity. I'm going to have fun and make money. Let me know if you'd like a free facial, or if you'd like to earn free product by hosting a skin-care class.