I've been gone quite a bit- traveling to various places even during this six month trip- but here and there I've had the opportunity to write little notes. Here's what I wrote to a group of newbiess in one of the online MaryKay forums I frequent. The feedback I received was great! For example:

"Wow! that is actually the BEST way I've seen it put in the last 20yrs of being a consultant and previously a director."

So I thought I would post my three tips here, since the advice applies to any of these network-marketing / at-home business you get involved in, not just Mary Kay:

I sell MK. I love the product, but not the business end of the company. I have never lost money in this business, except one time when I forgot to charge sales tax when offering my clients a sale :-). I offer three tips:

1. Attend meetings to learn, but RESIST the urge to get emotional. I attend some unit meetings because I learn a lot. I learn more about the products, get to play with the new items without paying first, and get to ask questions about problems my clients have. I get annoyed with the "Get Excited" comments and the use of emotion to spur action (which often benefits the upline/director but not really the consultant). They use emotion to convince you to buy inventory more than you need, or spend 30 hours and $X00 trying to "win" a $5 prize.

2. RESIST the urge to buy inventory unless you can afford to lose the money. As one who has had my own clothing boutique for going on 7 years, I already knew to avoid the MK inventory trap. No matter how much inventory you keep, someone will want an item you don't have. And inventory eventually goes stale (or the packaging changes, or something else happens where you really can't use it all). Don't waste your money. Only buy as much inventory as you can afford to, have room for, and realistically think you can sell.

3. When you get an order, but aren't active (and don't have enough to meet the $200 wholesale minimum), ask your family and friends to help you out by offering them a 50% discount. I did this my first order, and was mobbed by the ladies of my church- ended up with $1000+ retail on my first order, and then followed it with a $250 retail order the very next day.

Hope that helps someone