A Reason to Stay

So my friend and I were trying to move a tv and accidentally dropped it on my foot. I ran to my nurse roommate who dumped hydrogen peroxide into the wound and we called it a night. When I woke up the next morning, I freaked at how bruised and nasty it was, so me and nurse roommate took a field trip to a mediquick. The point of this blog post is not to talk about my doctors visit, but let's just say it could have gone way better with a lot less judgement.

Fast forward a few hours.

I'm sending a picture of my war wound to everyone, even my Mary Kay director (she asked for it).

Injured foot

Then she shows her doctor husband, who offers to help. It's 1045 at night and I have never met him before. Obviously I want to put my toe in the best possible environment to recover, so I go. He cleans it up, gives me a few tips, butterflies it up, and sends me on my way.

I sell (well try to) Mary Kay under the direction of his wife for less than two months and he is putting my foot back together on his off time. If that kindness and generosity does not perfectly explain how everyone wants to be treated, I don't know what will. To know that there are people out there like that gives me a lot of hope for the world. It's also why I'm falling for Mary Kay.

I definitely didn't join Mary Kay for the medical benefits (there typically arnt any) but it's one of the reasons I am re energized to stay. Not the fact that it connects me with doctors, but that the network it creates takes care of one another. Not successfully selling makeup in a makeup industry is pretty demotivating, but to know that the people I'm surrounding myself with are actually fantastic humans keeps me going.

Selling makeup might seem trite, but being immersed in a culture of giving and genuinely helpful people is not. Having people that care about you beyond just numbers is what sets Mary Kay apart from other multilevel marketing companies. Despite being an independent contractor and basically only having minimal responsibility for me, my director went out of her way to help me and demonstrated an unparalleled level of compassion outside of the job related requirements. That's why I'm proudly staying with Mary Kay.

How to do Better than me in the Makeup Industry

I've been in the makeup business for 2 months now and have sold a whopping 100$ in the industry. Here's what I've learned so far: 1. Just because people are your friends doesn't mean they'll buy from you. - They tell you to use your network, but sometimes your network just isn't into it. None of my friends want to buy from me and its weird harassing them to. Keep it rolling and find new markets.

2. Face to face is still essential. - I thought I'd take the easy way out and sell online. No one wants to buy makeup online when they can try it on and look at it elsewhere in person.

3. If you don't take you seriously, no one will. - I secretly still don't wear enough makeup to be a viable makeup seller. It's tough to persuade people to do something if you don't do it yourself.

4. Do something. - I made a fancy website, Facebook page, and twitter feed for my new job, yet have not backed it up with any amount of skills, promotion, or tactics. Just because it has a pretty facade doesn't mean it'll succeed.

5. Do you. - When I first joined, she basically told me the boys line was irrelevant. I knew more dudes supporting me then women, yet I didn't even bother selling to them because she sort of told me not to. I should have known to do me and sell to them, since in the end they're 80% of the meager sales I've had.

Sometimes, there CAN be such a thing as too much enthusiasm

So now that I'm running my own independent beauty consulting business, I decided that I needed to back it up with social media. This was a natural inclination, as social media is my daytime profession. Plus, I had it worked out in my head that the more I sold online, the less legwork I would need to do in real life. So along came my alter ego, Sara at Mary Kay. She has this fancy little fan Facebook page and a Twitter handle to match. I went through and invited my friends to like the page and gave about a 10 second thought as to what to schedule onto it. Then I turned my sights onto my new Twitter persona.

I really saw Twitter as my outlet to new fans for many reasons, such as Twitter's longer history of hash tags, trending topics, and a general attitude that its not creepy to follow strangers. So I went Twitter-crazy. @SaraAtMaryKay went through and followed almost anyone talking about makeup, Mary Kay, skincare, or even just in the geographic vicinity of Richmond. Then she started retweeting like it was going out of style. Just to top it all off, she started mentioning lots of people that she whimsically decided would be interested.

Then Twitter blocked @SaraAtMaryKay.

Down went my non de plum. Thankfully, it only lasted for about an hour, and @SaraAtMaryKay was back in the game.

One may assume that after being blocked for being considered spammy, you would breathe and reign in the crazy Twitter horses. Nay. @SaraAtMaryKay continued to trek on. I had that account go through my real account and follow everyone that I thought would want to follow my makeup persona. I did a bit more retweeting, and just like that I was suspended (which means that you have to sit through several days of Twitter jail while they decide if you are allowed back on the site).

I was livid. How was I going to launch this great new endeavor if Twitter keeps taking me offline? So what if I condensed an entire day of reasonable Twitter engagement into an hour? So what if I spent my lunch hour blowing up the feeds of my followers?

Then it hit me.

Twitter is about people. No one wants to see me throwing myself at them. It was basically Twitter trying to tell me I was being desperate and needed to get my shit together. Basically I was being that drunk girl at a bar that just won't shut up so that everyone else can enjoy a bit of discourse. She just keeps blurting things out and hoping someone latches on to at least something she said, when in reality they're just rolling their eyes.

Sometimes, there can be too much enthusiasm. It's great that I wanted everyone to know I was selling markup, but I needed to direct all that emotion into digestible packages. I wouldn't want people doing that to me, so why was I doing it? Better yet, I work in social media, so how was I so deluded into thinking that this was okay?

My best answer is simply  one word: enthusiasm. It's hard to gauge how much is too when you're excessively excited about something. Not everyone will want to hear about your passions 24/7. That doesn't mean they don't want to hear it, just that they want it in moderation. Keep your readers in mind and just consider: how pissed would you be if someone blew up your feed with all the content you are producing?

From Tom Boy to Tweezers

On the day that I was left alone in office and was tasked with compiling the components of a proposal into a succinct and elegant binder, I quite literally ran to Panera to grab a sandwich for lunch before the big push was going to happen. As I was waiting in line, cursing the skies that I happened to come during the lunch rush, this petite blond girl told me the color of my dress (coral) was very in season (the middle of a Southern Virginia summer), and complimented my skin tone (flushed and sweaty from the jog over to get a sandwich). Then she asked me to enter in for a free makeover, so naturally after the plethora of compliments I had just received, I half-assed an entry and put just my name and number in. A few weeks passed and I got a phone call from the petite blond girl telling me I won. My life at this point was nothing short of a clusterfuck. Most days I couldn't tell you which way way up, so when she asked me to give her a date and time that worked, it was a miracle that I even picked a day of the week that I was free.  So then my friend and I embarked on an adventure that led me to make some very spontaneous decisions.

We rolled up a few minutes late to our free makeover, and were soon welcomed by the petite blond girl, who showered us with compliments, free drinks, and promise of cookies. Then we went into a mecca of makeup, in which she had an entire room full of product and pink, and spent about 2 hours smothering our faces in a myriad of products. By the end of the seminar and $100 later, I had somehow decided that selling makeup was going to be my new part-time job.

When I called my mother to tell her about it, she laughed.

When I called my sister to tell her about it, she laughed.

When I told a few of my close friends about it, they laughed.

Why was this new part-time job so funny? Probably because I had grown up playing sports, started wearing makeup my senior year of high school (let me clarify when I say "wearing makeup" I just mean mascara and eyeliner), and was basically a bro. So what I had never applied an entire face of makeup? And who cares that I can't put eyeshadow on myself without looking like a drag queen.

It was this reason exactly that I wanted to sell makeup (other than needing a bigger budget to maintain a somewhat reasonable lifestyle as a twenty-something respectable, yet fun, young professional). I thought that this opportunity presented itself so that I could learn how to be a lady.  In order to sell makeup, I'll need to learn how to to apply makeup, as well as consult people about what to get for themselves. Surely all this pretty girl stuff will rub off on me.

Even if this is the best it's going to get, at least now I know what the difference between foundation and bronzer is.