I was hugely pregnant and freaking out. First of all, I knew nothing about babies! A teenager who had babysat an infant would know more than I did. Second, I didn’t want to quit everything I cared about for motherhood. Yes being a mom would be important. But I didn’t want to lose me. I had seen a teenager across the street and decided to pursue her.
I waddled my big bellied self across the parking lot of our townhouse community and knocked on the door of the home I thought she lived. A beautiful lady with chestnut skin and a dimple smile opened the door. She was older than me and younger than my parents. I took a deep breath, spilled my guts explained I was (obviously) about to have a baby, needed help, and I thought a teenager lived here.
She chuckled and said when Maya got home from soccer practice she would send her to my house, a few hours later Maya knocked on my door. Maya was my right hand for years,
When she wasn't at school, playing sports, she helped put stickers on projects, held JJ, while I held Mary kay appointments and watched JJ so I could ride my horse. She eventually moved away, but introduce me to one of her best friend, to help me out.
That baby from my belly is 8 years old now. It’s been a few years since Maya and I have really talked, but when she came home for Christmas this year she decided to stay. Of course, I was one of the first people to know!
Last night I was cohosting a zoom call about the HOPE we can get from Mary Kay in 2021. My two good friends and I had our teams on the call, and we all invited guests so they could learn more about the opportunity. I invited Maya. My friends and I took turns sharing our favorite things about the business, how Mary Kay has enriched our lives, and why we have hope from our Mary Kay businesses in 2021. Then at the end we opened it for questions. After several inquiries where we could tell guests were interested in the business, Maya piped up. She told everyone how we met, how she held my crying baby while I gracefully held Mary Kay appointments in the next room (it didn’t feel so graceful to me), how I’ve always been a good friend to her, how consistent I was in my Mary Kay business for the near decade she’s known me (that’s an outsiders view), and how I always pursued things that set my heart on fire (ok that’s true) . She talked about how impactful that was to her as an outsider looking in, and how Mary Kay seems like a huge part of that. Then she said, “I guess I do have a question. What I want to know is, what about Mary Kay has made you stay for over a decade?”
I took a deep breathe, looked at that Zoom screen with 12 different beautiful faces, all different colors, shapes, backgrounds, and in different parts of the country. One of those faces had been my friend for nearly 13 years and another who had been my friend for 3 years. They both had scraped me off the proverbial floor of frustration and disappointment in the last week. The answer was clear. It’s the friends.
I’ve grown up in church, played girls sports, and did social clubs in college. But of all these, Mary Kay is the place I’ve flourished. It’s the place my shy and somewhat introverted self becomes a glowing extrovert. But why? It’s not the skincare products, although my skin is better now than when I started my business 13 years ago. It’s not the makeup, though I went from a clueless tomboy to confident in makeup artistry, and I truly enjoy wearing makeup now.
Mary Kay Ash, our founder, created the company on the Golden Rule and said when you keep your priorities in order of God first, family second, and career third, everything would work out. When she was asked on the show 60 Minutes if she was using God, she looked the interviewer in the eye and said, “I hope he’s using me.” That’s bold. That’s powerful and unapologetic. That’s the kind of women we become in this business.
In the process of becoming all those things, we also become women who learn to reach down and grab a hand, or reach out both arms and draw someone in. We learn to ask the hard questions and tell the hard truths that most are never caring or bold enough to ask. We learn to encourage, smile, cheer, and affirm one another. Mary Kay said a woman comes into this company like a tight little rosebud, but when you give it nourishment through encouraging words and believing in it, she blossoms into a beautiful rose. Through all of this she built a culture where women lift each other up. It’s the friends.
So, sweet friend, a decade of Mary Kay comes down to this: friendships. I’ve learned what it means to have good friends and to be a good friend. To the outsider we look like over the top happy women who sell lipstick and drive pink Cadillacs. It’s true. But it’s not the lipstick or the Cadillacs that make us smile. It’s the friendships and who we’ve become because of them.
Sarah is a Mary Kay consultant and has been a leader in the company for 11 years. She’s earned diamond rings, money, designer bags, and even the use of a few cars, but what she cherishes most are the friendships and the person she’s become because of her business. When Sarah isn’t working she helps her kids with distance learning, riding her horse, writing her first book, and even podcasting! To follow Sarah and all her endeavors and download a free short story, check out www.liveridelearn.com.
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