Recently, I was doing research on personality types and abuse of power. In my research, I saw many articles about different personality types, such as: Sharks, Dolphins, Urchins, and Whales.
When I was done reading one article The Power Patterns: Sharks, Impactors, Controllers, Dominators, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
Why? Because, based on my experience and that of my friends in Mary Kay, the Power Pattern of a Shark mirrored the image of power and abuse that is commonly used by many Mary Kay National Sales Directors and Sales Directors.
The Power Pattern of a Shark
Here is what I learned about the “power pattern” of a shark.
Sharks are willing to prey on anyone, but they especially like the vulnerable, those with big hearts and low guilt tolerance, those with large consciences and concern for others … in other words, people that can be easily intimidated or overridden.
Who are “targeted” for recruiting in Mary Kay? Those who have a void they are looking to fill, those who are lonely and looking to build relationships, the vulnerable , those who have big hearts, want to help others and want to do good.
Mary Kay Sharks are extremely clever and dangerous.
The “sharks” in Mary Kay are very clever and dangerous. They work their way into your life, using love bombing–declaring their love and concern for the future of you and your families financial future. They convince you that they can teach you how to be successful in a Mary Kay business because “look how successful I am.”
They convince you to do everything they tell you to do, have blind faith and don’t question what you are told–“follow the leader” and you will be “wildly” successful, just like them. After all, they must know what they are talking about, after all, they are “successful.” Why would they tell me to to do anything that would hurt your business? They wouldn’t climb the “ladder” of success “without taking someone with them!”
So, you purchase a large initial inventory, not because you have to, but because they’ve convinced you the “only way to be successful is to start with product on hand.” After all, they remind you, that’s how they started and look how successful they became.
Now, you have invested more money than you can afford on inventory that you can’t even give away, never mind sell. You are living on a “vision” of being a “successful business owner” and you’re amped up on emotions and the feeling of belonging and being loved.
By this point, you have encountered the “negative” or non-supportive people in your life. At the Mary Kay shark’s urging, you have distanced yourself from them, because you don’t want to let anyone’s negativity “cloud” your vision or dream, do you?
So, now you only have your “Mary Kay mothers” (NSD’s and SSD’s) who “love and support you”….they are your “new family!” Well, they got you where they want you…
“The primary goal of the shark pattern is to ‘eat’ others”
….stealing your essence, feeding off your emotions, sucking out your energy, leaving you feeling drained and tired, or buzzing with adrenalin overload.
….the Shark must first find the chink in your armor, and sadly, for most people this is pretty easy to do. We all have openings where we are missing Self or are simply unaware. Places where we have pain in denial, parts of ourselves that we don’t want to look at, these are the places where the Shark can seep in.
This starts happening early on in your Mary Kay career as soon as you start showing a desire to move forward in your business.
They find out what makes you tick, what your WHY is (why you want to make your business a successful one) such as, more time with your family, make your own schedule, independence, financial freedom, to give your family choices in life, etc.
Then, in their quest to help you “shift,” they dig deep into your past to find out what’s holding you back.
Most of the time of those things are insecurity, low self-esteem, fear of failure, the lack of support from friends and family, and your beliefs.
They, then, use the information that you have given them as the reasons for why you’re not making money , incurring credit card debt, or unable to book, sell and recruit. It must be your fault. It’s your inability to “grow”and “stretch”. Unable to let go of your insecurities or letting the “negative” people in your life influence you.
They would never tell you that it’s very difficult to sell an overpriced, medium-quality product, or that no one wants to be exposed to high pressure sales and recruiting tactics commonly used by Mary Kay consultants and, no, it’s not “being pampered” if they have to give themselves their “free” facial and makeover, they are expecting someone to do it for them!
You are then so exhausted and blaming yourself for not having a successful business.
You’re not doing it the right way.
You’re not working hard enough.
You’re not working smart enough.
It’s your own fault.
You’re not aware of the 99% failure rate in multi-level marketing. So, you pick your head up and you vow to work your business as hard as you can, their way….it’s up to you. “You determine your destiny.” But at what price?
The Shark (NSD or SSD) uses very powerful tools such as manipulation, love bombing, promise of success, withholding of mentoring, verbal and emotional abuse, seclusion from “negative” influences, to help confuse SD and IBC’s and mess with their heads. They have you believing you can’t “make it” with out them…they hold the key to your success in Mary Kay. Your unwillingness to open up, become vulnerable and “shift” into their way of thinking are the reasons for your failure.
The sad part is, after all of this, you still want to be loved by them and please them.
So, How can you tell when you’re being “sharked” by your NSD or Sales Director?
As the writer says in the article:
Because our tendency is to want to excuse and understand people, and we don’t want to see ourselves as unloving, we are usually very willing to overlook the behaviors of the Shark and dismiss our own gut responses that say, “something doesn’t feel right here.”
It may take some soul searching. Those who are being “sharked” in Mary Kay, have been love bombed, brainwashed, manipulated, turned upside down, confused, made to doubt reality, made to doubt their own perceptions, made to shut out the “negative” non-supportive people in their lives and made to doubt their own feelings. Heck, you may not recognize the woman in the mirror.
You don’t know who to believe. Do I believe my “mentor?” Do I believe my loved ones? Do I believe the thousands of women on Pink Truth?
You are so starving for love, attention and recognition for your work, you’re willing to follow anyone who shows you this–even if you are semi aware that it’s fake or you really didn’t earn it.
Have you been “Queen of Sales” but you know it’s what you ordered, not what you sold?
How about “Queen of Sharing” where your “recruits” family members or friends that were willing to help you get to the next level and have no intention of pursuing the business? Did you pay for their “active” order?
You want to be “successful”–you’re willing to follow the leader and do what is taught to achieve it, even if it is without “integrity.”
Are you questioning the “integrity” or “morals” of your mentors’ guidance? Have you convinced yourself they “wouldn’t do anything to hurt your business” and suppress that gut feeling because you believe the ONLY way to be successful is to “follow the leader?”
You want to “work through God.” However, you’re told your unwillingness to “shift,” or “questions about the business,” is denying the plan God has for you to help other through Mary Kay. Any woman who wants to be a good Christian, does not want to disappoint her Father.
If you are reading this article and realized you have been “sharked” by your NSD or SSD, it is not to late to get out. This is not the case of “a bad apple of the bunch” this is common behavior of Mary Kay “management”
I know because I was “sharked.” My life was turned upside down by the predators of Mary Kay.
By the grace of God, I was able to “give up” my status as a Sales Director, my unit, and my (very expensive) “free” pink Cadillac in order to live a life of integrity where I can truly live my life with the priorities of God first, family second, career third…so can you. What will you do?
- Kerri’s Story: A Chronicle of Mary Kay Manipulation, Threats, Abuse & Bankruptcy
- The Art of the Con: Mary Kay Manipulation & How Pink Predators Get Away With It
- Pink Truth: The Personal Integrity Challenge