There are plenty of female entrepreneurs who inspire and who create and build amazing business empires. One of the first and the person who pretty much led the way was Mary Kay Ash. We are all familiar with her cosmetics and skincare line but the really interesting thing about Mary is how she used the experiences she faced in the corporate world (watching men get promoted over her and earn more money)to develop a marketing plan that would help women to make their own money and a salary that wasn’t capped.
The marketing plan wasn’t even supposed to be a marketing plan. Frustrated by yet another man making twice her salary (one she trained), Mary retired from the business of direct selling, an industry she worked in for 25 years. She wrote down a list of all the negatives she had experienced and the changes and improvements companies could make so the negatives wouldn’t exist. In doing that, she realised she had quite a good plan for a business and used her $5000 savings to start Beauty by Mary Kay, a skincare and beauty company. Her approach was to provide women with the skills and opportunity to become businesswomen and in doing so, they could take control of their own future. As Consultants, they would buy the products wholesale and sell them by demonstrating the products at homes and offices. What proved to be a very effective strategy was Mary’s approach of focusing on “praising people to success” instead of the competitive rule. There were incentives and award ceremonies and the women helped and encouraged each other. By 1994, over 7000 cars were given to the consultants (to the value of more than $100 million), to reward them for their hard work. The formula was different to the cut throat world of business at that time but it worked and the company became a multi-billion dollar empire. Mary was a pioneer at providing good and well paid jobs for women and taught them the skills to believe that in business, anything can be achieved
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