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School of life

This is an unforeseen continuation of “Ouch my legs hurt,” which were my reactions to getting started with a new venture.  Now I’m a fully inducted newbie and have “discovered” more relevant observations about the infancy of an undertaking.

It wasn’t what I was about

Many (many) years ago, I had a newborn infant.  He was my pride and joy and I wanted nothing but the best for him.  My husband’s position had been rif’d and we were dirt poor, but I had my heart set on some stacking cups made by Discovery Toys.  If the budget was nudged a tiny bit, we could have cups without eating too much macaroni and cheese.

I called a consultant out of the phone book and explained I wanted to buy cups.  She booked me for a show.  Wait, I didn’t want a show.  I wanted cups.  But nonetheless a show was on her books and she would be there.  All I had to do was clean my house, make some goodies (“Wait, I don’t have any money to feed other people”), invite a bunch of my friends and voila, I might get my cups free!  Free sounded good, but I didn’t want a show and consequently it was just me and my also-broke sister.  Between us we felt sorry for her and bought $64 worth of toys.  I got my cups, but it would have been so much better if I had just gotten them the way I wanted.

A funny follow up is a few years after that, I chose to begin a Discovery Toys business because they were really fantastic.  I bought my kit and my recruiter said book some parties.  I did.  She said, “We’re having a training, so come.”  I did.  In the morning I was overwhelmed with praise because I was brand new, had 10 parties on my books and a new team member.  No one had told me that wasn’t the average.  Later the keynote speaker, a woman 3 management levels above me, stood up and talked about perseverance.  She recounted early in her business how she had gone out even when things weren’t wonderful, had the $64 dollar shows, but kept going.  Yup, it was the same lady.  I went up and introduced myself to her and pointed out even though she hadn’t made much on my show, she was now making money on me as a down-line, so it all worked out in the end.

Back to what I wanted versus what I got:  wanted cups – got a show, wanted exercise accountability – got fundraising.  I thought I could do both, and the encouragement I got with my exercise would give me the reason to devote the time and energy to fundraising.

I had to miss last Saturday’s training because of another fundraiser I was in charge of.  Tuesday I got a mentoring call.  Yay, I was needing it because I had begun to feel like slogging off on my regime.  “Hi,” she said, “How’s your fundraising going?”

Screeching halt.  My approach to this was I’ll give you fundraising if you’ll give me fun exercise accountability.  Her approach was I’m calling as your mentor, but my purpose is to have your money coming in.  Party/cups – cups/party.  I could get what I wanted, but not the way I wanted it.  Dilemma.

 Be the Spice Girls

Remember the Spice Girls?  One of their more memorable songs had the easy-to-remember lyrics of, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want …

As a Mary Kay leader, you need to know what your new team member wants, what they really really want.  If it is what YOU want, what YOU really really want, you run the risk of giving her a show, when she really wants cups.  Listening is the key.  She may not know exactly what she wants, but she has an idea.  That’s what she wants.  It’s your job to help her get it.

Yes, most people get in to make money, but not everyone wants to do girl’s night out parties and/or not everyone can see a management position.  Take them where they are, help them do what they want and they can be great.  Give them the cups – they may want the party later, or they may love the cups and want to jump in all the way.


I talked with hubby and we decided their goal got in the way of some of my goals, so I’m going to train, I’m going to walk the 1/2 marathon, but I’m not doing it with an organization of happy people.  I am sad about this, but maybe someday we’ll laugh about how I was the first week dropout and now look at me, the coach.  Let’s worry about the 1/2 marathon first!

One Response to “School of life”

  1. […] process of something new through fresh eyes.”  It began with tired legs, took a turn to the Spice Girls and now we wrap it up.  What do you do when things go […]

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