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In this age of shortcuts, moral looseness and business sharp practices in which people are eager to outdo, cheat, deceive and take advantage of another; can life or business built on an ethical foundation thrive and blossom into an outstanding success? Let’s unravel the success secret behind Mary Kay Inc.


People often cringe at the word “perfection” but not Mary Kay Ash because she did not just hold onto the idea of perfection but she manifested it in the running of her business.  Mary Kay’s personal and professional life were intricately integrated with the strength of conviction.

Until you believe in perfection you will never grow to live it out both in your personal life and business.


Mary Kay who experienced unfair treatment as an employee of a direct sales company gained promotion to the position of national training director. The company’s president hired a man to assist Mary Kay with her workload; within the first year, the owner of the company created an opening or position of national sales manager and appointed Mary Kay’s assistant to occupy the position with twice her salary.

Mary Kay was deeply pained by the unjust management and unfair treatment.She resigned the next day. Mary Kay Ash decided to write a book about how to run the perfect company but she later changed her mind. In her words, “After making a long list of the qualities of the dream company I would have wanted to work for,“I thought, instead of writing a book about how a good company should (be)run, wouldn’t it be great if somebody ran one?Mary Kay Cosmetics was birthed.


Mary Kay Ash founder of the multi-billion dollar company which specializes in women’s cosmetics had certain revolutionary beliefs on how to start and run a business and life, as opposed to the popular concept of succeeding in life and business. It is a regular practice for employers to manipulate their employees and policies for their selfish interest, but Mary Kay had a different perspective; the Golden Rule formed the foundation of her life and business.Mary Kay reveals, “Before our doors opened for business, I vowed that no one associated with my company would ever be subjected to unfair treatment or unjust management. She further declares, “I can say unequivocally that every decision we make at Mary Kay Cosmetics is based on the Golden Rule”.

It is popular for companies or employers to exploit their employees without considering their need for a personal life but the reverse is the case for Mary Kay. Her company’s motto is “God first, family second, career third”. She states, “What value is a professional success if family and personal happiness must be sacrificed? It’s important that we keep sight of what really matters in life. If we lose our families and our faith in the process of developing our careers, then we have failed”

It is common for employers to value profit at the expense of people but not Mary Kay: “From day one, how people were treated at Mary Kay Cosmetics was more important to me than profits and losses. That’s why I say, ‘P & L means People and Love’. Of course, I’m concerned about profits and losses. I just don’t give them top priority. If you treat people right, they will work more efficiently and the profits will come in”.

We live in a society where money is invested in companies and to develop natural resources while neglecting to improve mankind and develop human resources but Mary Kay had an entirely different focus; Anne Newbury who was an employee with Mary Kay Cosmetics and had earned commissions in excess of $7million revealed about Mary Kay’s influence: “I would have done anything that she ever asked me to do. Not only because I admired and loved her, but because when I look back over what my life could have been if I hadn’t been drawn to her influence, I shudder. Not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually. She helped me to believe that I could be anything in the world that I could ever dream of becoming”.

Breaking promises and commitments have become an expected norm both in business and in life but Mary Kay’s dependability was unwavering. She declined a White House invitation from President Regan in order to keep her commitment she made to greet the company’s new employees.


Mary Kay reveals, “I can affirm that the growth and success of Mary Kay Cosmetics is a direct result of having taken God as our guide. Faith is a twenty-four houra day commitment and no circumstance is so unusual that it demands a double standard or separates us from our faith”.


Mary Kay Ash was named Lifetime Television’s most influential business-woman of the twentieth century in 1999. Mary Kay Inc. has been named one of America’s 100 best companies to work for and one of the top 10 companies for women.

Annual sales of Mary Kay Inc. exceed $2.2billion with 1.6 million salespeople working for Mary Kay Inc. around the world.

Mary Kay charitable foundation which supports cancer research and efforts to end domestic violence was established in 1996,

These accomplishments were made possible because she had built her life and company on the foundation of sound moral principles that are timeless.


  • The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”is the rule of engagement that guarantees success in all aspectsof human relationships and interactions.
  • Always follow your heart and convictions. Mary Kay’s accountant and lawyer had predicted failure at the inception of her company but Mary Kay Inc. has turned out to become an extraordinary success. Mary Kay Ash states, “Had I listened to their advice, Mary Kay’s Cosmetics would never have opened its doors”.
  • When you create a growth inductive environment or culture where your employees can grow spiritually; mentally; emotionally and financially you automatically empower and inspire them to grow your business leading to huge financial gains.
  • Until you take a worthwhile risk you don’t have a chance to grow. Mary Kay Ash risked her life’s savings of $5,000 to start her company.
  • Never perceive money as a thing to be spent but rather perceive money as a tool to be effectively managed and invested. Consequently, budget your money and save for investment purposes. Until self-control is in place you will be unable to control your desire to spend money.
  • People are the greatest asset of a business. Place the highest value on people rather than on profits and your business will experience the highest growth because the quality of the people working with the company determines the quality of the company. 
  • You are not disadvantaged; seek for the advantageous gift in every seemingly disadvantageous experience and advance your life with it.

Embedded in the disadvantage of unfair treatment suffered by Mary Kay from unjust management of her former company was the advantageous gift of running her own company causing advancement in her life.

  • Become self-improvement driven. Be a life-long and a lifestyle learner in the domain of life. Mary Kay was a habitual reader and committed to studying business and self-help books applying what she learned to her life and business.
  • Never be clueless; success leaves clues if you want to be clone with success take clues from exceptional successful people and you leave success clues to inspire and help others succeed.
  • Maximize your life by maximizing your time; maximize your time by budgeting your time. Budget your time by writing out seven tasks you need to accomplish each day in their order of importance and set a time frame and deadline beginning from the most challenging or less appealing task and if any task on the list is not completed move it over to the next day’s list as the first task; completing each one after another.
  • Embrace change; anticipate change; initiate change-change is the only constant in the success equation. Mary Kay Ash reveals, “And while your principles never change; your products need to and your business needs to”.
  • Think people are important; treat people as important and people will play important roles in your success.
  • Be enthusiastic; people respond positively to the enthusiasm which emits success vibrations.
  • Your personal and professional relationships will not depreciate when you appreciate people. Mary Kay affirms, “We can praise people to success”.

“You have to think in terms of what’s good for the other person. Learn to think this way reflexively in all dealings with people and success will seek you out. No matter what you do for a living, this approach always works when sincerely applied.”


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