And The Winner Is, Part 2

Mary Kay is not about making money.  Of course there is that reward as well, but the Mary Kay lifestyle is a personal development program.  It is based on solid principles of coaching and mentoring people to be their best, to be more than they could have dreamed possible.

Mileta earned the position of Independent Sales Director in 1982.  That means she recruited and trained at least 24 team members and that team had to have sold a significant amount of retail in order to qualify.  Mary Kay has never paid commissions on recruiting, only selling.  That one fact, among others, separates the business plan from other direct marketing companies.

The first company car showed up in 1983, (a rather mediocre Oldsmobile pale white Forenza) but just two years later a beautiful 1985 Buick Regal, Pink with a White Top was awarded to Mileta as a bonus for her work.

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I always thought that was the prettiest car Mary Kay ever leased for us.  For the next 38 years 20 business cars have been provided, new every two years, always pink, with 17 of them being Cadillac’s.  These incentives provide motivation for the Mary Kay Sales Director and are also a rolling billboard for the company.

Since 1983 Mileta has mentored, coached and groomed over 20 persons into management positions in her organization.  Not all have survived in the Mary Kay business, but all have been better persons because of this training.  Below is one photo of just one group of them.

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In addition, she has mentored and groomed over 20 other persons into management positions who belong to some other down-line Sales Director’s organization.  The incentive there is simply “it is the right thing to do,” as there is zero financial reward for helping out a sister organization.

Every time we moved due to my career Mileta left one or more functioning organizations behind, eventually scattering her organization over 27 states!  As I neared retirement age, and we both have good health, we chose to abandon the usual upwardly mobile lifestyle and simplify our belongings into a motor-home, a motor-scooter, and a pink Mary Kay Cad–and travel the nation coaching and mentoring the organization that has become known as “Mileta’s Mary Kay Miracles.”  Everywhere we go, one of these follows us around.  A new one just magically shows up at a GM dealership every two years.  It is remarkable.  I love driving Pink.

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And The Winner Is–Part 1

Mileta entered Mary Kay Cosmetics as an Independent Sales Consultant in 1977 through a close friend, Gayle Cox and her sister Elizabeth Ellis.  At the time we were traveling to sing and preach at various churches across the nation as a ministry vocation.  We had also purchased a plot of land in the mountains of Colorado in hopes of building a log home.  We were standing in line waiting on a phone booth in a small village called Florissant.  (remember, a long time before cell phones!)  As the elderly lady finished and made here way to her car, and as Mileta stepped up to the phone booth, I noticed a Mary Kay window sticker on the car.  “Hey, we just joined Mary Kay,” I interrupted in a rather rude way.  “That’s great,” came the reply, “we’ll wait for you to finish and please follow us to our cabin where we can talk.”Cripple Creek.42Floyd and Viola Middleton entered our lives that day,  They became our adopted grandparents any time we were in Colorado and introduced us to the one lady who would change Mileta’s Mary Kay Career forever.

Kathy Rasmussen was their daughter and one of the top Mary Kay Directors in the United States.  She became a National Sales Director (we attended her debut in Washington D.C.) and grew several National Sales Directors under her umbrella.  She took Mileta under her coaching and was one of several very important leaders to groom her career.

We lived near Cripple Creek, a tiny mountain village which at that time was populated by left-over miners and hippies, with a growing number of retirees.  I accepted a church job that paid nearly nothing.  I worked three other jobs but it was apparent Mileta needed to help more with the income.  She went to work practicing the new skills she was being taught, and  hitched her star to several rising personalities in Mary Kay in the Colorado Springs area.  Four of those ladies went on to become National Sales Directors.

One night she woke me as she returned home from a regional awards meeting.  “I placed third in the entire area in sales,” she exclaimed.  Three months later… “Hey, I am the top sales-person in all of Colorado Springs!”  My attention was growing beyond the $1,200 per month she was contributing to our budget.

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One day a Pink Cadillac showed up at our mountain home.  We had met Dalene at a restaurant near Russel Kansas while traveling and singing.  She was our “up-line” director and was building toward becoming a National Sales Director.  I was intrigued as to why she would drive 400 miles to see us in Cripple Creek.

Dalene Hartshorn“I’ve learned that if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone, you can achieve anything that you want in this business and have a life that others may only dream of.”  Dalene Hartshorn

Our life changed that day as I taught her 5 year old son to split wood (off with  my head for that one) and she coached Mileta into achieving the title of Mary Kay Independent Sales Director.

Note:  Success in life is often linked to who is mentoring you.

More to follow.