Mary Kay: The Success Story of America's Most Dynamic Businesswoman
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Mary Kay: The Success Story of America's Most Dynamic Businesswoman

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  553 ratings  ·  86 reviews
The Story of America's Most Dynamic Businesswoman
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 28th 1994 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1981)
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Toni
Aug 05, 2009 Toni rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mary Kay Ash fans, old fashioned people, self help enthusiasts
Let me just say that it is incredibly difficult for me to pass up a bargain. So, when I found this gem of an autobiography in a 25 cent bin, I was helpless to stop myself. Settling in with some tea and a blanket, I prepared myself for a huge dose of propaganda. What I found was actually a sensitive, complete, inspirational autobiography of an amazing woman. Though there were a few irritatingly shallow parts, I walked away feeling positive about my purchase.

Ok...I get that Mary Kay Ash is all abo...more
Sharon
This is more autobiographical than how-to. It clarified misinformation I had supposed was true about her, but wasn't. Interesting life story, not the least of which is the coincidence that the company from which she retired in 1960s, before she started MK Cosmetics, had its headquarters in my MA town! She offers a compassion and respect for body image starkly missing in mainstream media. She passed away 8 years ago after a long and passionate family, business, community and church-filled life.
Tina
Returning from a Mary Kay career conference, I determined to read Mary Kay's autobiography. She's not a writer, but many of her philosophies on life and business are insightful. I found myself quoting her to people more than I wanted to while I was reading the book. Regardless of what one thinks of Mary Kay Ash, you can't deny that she has a remarkable personal story and built a billion dollar company from scratch. Perhaps she knew a little of what she was doing?!
Herb
This is a good "personal" manual on how to build a successful business and how to run it with a strong sense of morality and ethics. I think I would have liked Mary Kay Ash as a person, and you don't have to be interested in the cosmetics industry to enjoy this good story.
Kristi
I have a new hero! I absolutely loved this book. I am not a big fan of Mary Kay Cosmetics products, but I am now a big fan of Mary Kay Ash. What an inspirational woman. I found myself energized and motivated after reading this book. I’ve adopted her motto of God first, Family second, Career third. I feel like she truly lived by that creed and ended up successful in every aspect of her life and kept things in proper balance. I loved her no nonsense approach to competition and hard work. I loved h...more
Kat
I don't read a lot of biographies. A person has to be REALLY interesting for me to even think about picking up a bio. When I first became a Mary Kay consultant, my director insisted I read this book to pick up the philosophy of the company and find out something about its "founding mother." Never one to turn down something to read, I picked it up and began to read. Rarely have I been so moved by a person's life story. This woman was a business pioneer unlike any other; she took huge risks and re...more
The Snowman
2.5. Well, there you go. I read this for my book club as one of our "Dare Reads". And I turned it into a "every day that I feel too haggard to read or focus, I'll hit this book" read. Says a lot about my mental state most days. Also good for when I was taking my Melatonin.

Anyway, I was sort of surprised. I couldn't help but admire what Mary Kay did and what her project meant to so many women in the mid 20th century onward. Better yet was the more proto-feminist viewpoint this book had. Mary Kay...more
Deb
I read this book when I started my Mary Kay business a few years ago. Mary Kay Ash was an amazing woman. I no longer sell Mary Kay but I value everything I've learned from my time as a consultant and the life lessons Mary Kay's story taught me.
Liz
So I basically read this book out of necessity since it came in my Mary Kay consultant starter kit and I felt a responsibility to read it.

Obviously Mary Kay wasn't a writer, and it does show in her little book. There were parts I did enjoy and some good ideas and snippets here or there. I did find myself pushing to get through it, which is why I had to downgrade it from a 3 to a 2.

Plus I know if I didn't get it for free and wasn't working for the company I probably wouldn't have read it.

It was...more
Bethany Clark
Being a new Mary Kay consultant, this was a must read for me. I wanted to learn as much as I could about our founder and the principles of our company.
Mary Kay was a simple woman with a great dream, to help woman make better lives for themselves.
She believed that we should always live our lives in this order - God First , Family Second and Career Third.
She inspires so many even to this day - she was extremely motivated, very caring, and believed if you put your mind to something anything can...more
Nancy
amazing lady. a complete inspiration of hard work and faith.
Yoonmee
I initially picked up this book because I'm new to Texas and wanted to read about a Texas legend. Well, let's just say that Mary Kay is a most certainly a hoot in every sense of the word. I'm torn between giving this 2 and 3 stars. While reading it, I had to set aside my more feminist-y ideas and just accept Mary Kay for who she is -- she's from a completely different generation than I am and, hey, she's a Southern lady who believes one of the things women need to succeed in life is lipstick.

She...more
Janel
This book was originally written in 1981 and reprinted two more times after that. Because of that fact, it was hard to really appreciate the statistics referenced because of how old they were. I felt like the book read more like a self help book than a memoir. I'm not a big makeup person and therefore had a hard time relating to Mary Kay. I do admire her drive, ambition and leadership. I think if I would have read this book at a different time in my career, I could have applied some of her tips...more
Trina
Behind the southern charm is a women with a far reaching vision and the drive and determination to take it there and beyond. This is full of personal insights and business philosophies that several companies have and should covet. I like the simple manner in which the book is written with enough factual data to keep it moving. I am glad I read this.
Gobnait
I read about 40 or so pages. I am a fan of Mrs. Ash and her company. I have been for decades. As I read this book that was published in 1981, I realized how much I and the world has changed in 33 years. It felt out of touch and outdated. It was modern, decades ago. If I, a woman in my 40's feels that this book is outdated, I can only imagine what younger girls would think of it. Perhaps there are nuggets of advice and goodness here. I didn't stick around long enough to find them.
Regina McNally
Very interesting autobiography by the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. This book is quite outdated - Mary Kay Ash died in 2001. Also, some of her ideas - such as constantly talking about God, and saying that a woman should always "fix herself up" by doing her hair, makeup, and wearing a dress, even if she wasn't planning to leave the house - didn't jive with me. Then again, she did run a makeup company. Those things aside, there is no question that Mary Kay was an intelligent, driven entrepreneur,...more
Dana Peebles
God first, Family second, Career third is one of the many nuggets of truth and inspiration found in this biography. Motivating and reassuring to how we are called to live by the golden rule, and what we send into the lives of others comes back 10-fold.
Minzi
This was a great book. I think you can really tell that Mary Kay handled her life ' Like a Boss'. Some of her ideals are outdated - like women don't wear pants - and how to please 'your man' kind of stuff. But overall for business acumen and how to never ever give up - she's the one. I wonder if having that business set up the way it is,' pyramid style ' with out people being able to access products with out going through a dealer will serve them well through time.. but I guess it has so far. I...more
Erin
I received this book from Mary Kay Inc in my starter kit and since I'm the type of person who wants to know everything, I started reading. Mary Kay Ash has a way of motivating you while telling of a harder time in American history. Her stories are wonderful, and very personal. This inspired me in a cheesy "I can do it all" kind of way. Mary Kay was born at a different time and struggled because she was woman. Because of this, she was inspired to create a new business to help other women. The mod...more
Kathy Mertens
I used to laugh about Mary Kay and the whole concept of her beauty business. well i decided for some strange reason to sign on with Mary Kay as a conaultanr. Book came in my starter kit. just let me say this woman was truly amazing. hard worker, provider for her family and foremost a woman who puts God first in all she does and treats people with dignity love and concern. Have now added Mary Kay as one of my female role models.
Amanda
An inspirational read for anyone who desires to pursue a business in Cosmetics, and a definite "Yes, I can!" confidence-booster for women of all generations.
Myla
I really enjoyed this. I just signed up to be a Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics, and this book came with my startup stuff. It really is amazing to me that with all the challenges she faced, that she's not bitter. She simply turned her yucky experiences into good ones for others. I now have an idea of why Mary Kay people are so supportive, and why they follow the Golden Rule so well. The more I learn about this company, the more I'm glad I am part of it. No glass ceilings, compete again...more
Veelashae
I have been encouraged to read this book for YEARS! And I literally mean years, as my mom was once an Independent Beauty Consultant herself. Well, I finally read it earlier this year. Mary Kay did a phenomenal job sharing her story and all her emotions and feelings when developing her company, without losing sight of her values and beliefs. Since finish reading the book in February, I still pick it up thumb to pages I made notes just to get some food for thought and words of encourage to stay st...more
Jeanette
Dec 11, 2009 Jeanette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mary kay fans, biographers, self help book lovers, people who like fast easy reading
Recommended to Jeanette by: erika
Shelves: books-to-swap
i was recruited by a friend to sell mary key and i got this book free with the crazy huge order i purchased. it took me a while to pick it up, but it was great. part self help, part novel. reading mary kays story was great, and it was extremely inspirational. not at all cheezy like one would imagine., if only i had her umph and determination. it was cool to find out how she started her business from scratch and just was a freaking cool person she was.
Naomi Carmen
i read this book upon becoming an independent beauty consultant for mary kay cosmetics last year and i actually really liked learning about mary kay ash, and the reason why she founded the company she did at such a late age in her life. it was great reading for me, because of my connection with mary kay inc., but i am not sure if it would mean a lot to you if you were reading it just because.
Heather
Jan 01, 2010 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for an inspirational story of success.
Recommended to Heather by: Aimee Niculescu
I love the story of Mary Kay Ash because she was such an inspiration to so many women. She fought to create a company that could allow women to be, have and do anything they ever dreamed of. I think this book is great for anyone looking to start a business, who owns their own business or just wants to hear the inspirational story of one woman who has changed the lives of so many.
Rashida Williams
This was a good, short read. It had a lot of gems in it for business women. It was a memoir, which I loved because I'm a huge biography and documentary junkie. It was originally written in 1981 so some of the anecdotes are a little outdated. However, the book was still good if you want to be in business for yourself or if you want a career in sales.
Kayla
Still reading, but I enjoy her humor and am extremely interested in her life. I could'nt believe my eyes when I read she clipped coupons--It blows my mind to read over and over again how she founded her company on the principle that faith comes first, then family, then career. Refreshing thing for an ambitious Mama to hear.
Tori
I am a Mary Kay lady, and all Mary Kay ladies get a copy of this book when they join the company. I realize that by saying the story was inspiring, I sound as though I've been brainwashed by the cult. Trust me, I haven't...I'm not your typical Mary Kay lady. That said, Mary Kay's story is a motivator and an easy read.
Suzanne
Want to be inspired and motivated? Read this book. Mary Kay had a lot of tips on how to be productive, manage your time, balance work and home life, treating people they way you would want to be treated and add a personal touch to everyone you meet.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to better all aspects of life.
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Mary Kay Ash was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.
More about Mary Kay Ash...
The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles from America's Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Mary Kay: You Can Have It All: Lifetime Wisdom from America's Foremost Woman Entrepreneur Mary Kay on People Management Mary Kay Consultant's Guide Managing People Mary Kay

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