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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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  802 Ratings  ·  119 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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Antoinette
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Tina
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?!
Sharon
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Sarah Marie
Miracles Happen by Mary Kay Ash

DNF

Mary Kay is a very prolific woman. She's one of the most successful business women in the world and her rise to fame in a world dominated by men set her apart from a lot of women. Mary Kay is the type of woman who always reached for the stars and wanted to do more than what was possible. She's a real inspiration and many women have careers due to her brilliant platform and marketing plan. She's an amazing woman, but she is not a writer. She is a time hopper-whic

...more
Kristi
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Deb
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nancy
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing lady. a complete inspiration of hard work and faith.
Jorgina
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MAG-NI-FI-CO!!!!! Recomendable 100%
Tena
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time reading this book. I've been a consultant for over 20 years but this book isn't about the Company but about the Lady herself and her journey. If you need an easy read and some inspiration this is the book you should read. If you are in sales you will definitely get great guidance and customer service techniques.
Bryan
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect much of this book despite it being an old one. It's got of lessons for any entrepreneur whether in the direct sales industry or not. Some parts did focus a lot on women in business though. Good read.
Svetlana
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
С художественной точки зрения - не особо ценно. Но если учесть, что МК - одна из немногих женщин, которой удалось построить сильную международную компанию в мире мужчин, то очень круто.
Yoonmee
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, texas
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
Meg
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is still one of the most influential books on my professional life I can point to.

I picked this book up many years ago at a college book nook sale for probably less than a dollar. While it isn't similar to my life, Mary Kay was from Texas, baptist, divorced, with several children, the way she saw work ethic and enthusiasm has been a bench mark of my career.

I almost don't know where to start. Often before business meetings I will practice smiling or picture myself jumping up and down similar
...more
Aaron
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura Radniecki
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I enjoy reading business books and while I haven't read a lot of memoirs or autobiographies, I want to read more of them. That's why this book intrigued me.

The book was originally written in 1981 so there are a lot of parts where either the statistics have changed or times have changed. I had to remember the timeframe, and know that things were different then - for example, when she said Mary Kay consultants never wear pants. They always wear dresses or skirts. I understand her reasoning for tha
...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
Minzi
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liz
May 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Erin
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Regina
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Bethany Clark
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara Britton
I picked this up at work and read it over the course of a couple of weeks. Most of it is either a Mary Kay sales pitch or (understandably) archaic "if your husband needs your undivided attention from when he gets home to when he goes to bed, just wake up at 5 AM to get your work done!"-type stuff.

There are some gems, though, of feminist thought and genuinely great advice. I honestly did enjoy reading Miracles Happen, which is why I gave it three stars, but I'll admit most of the enjoyment was in
...more
Myla
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Veronica
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
Micheala
this book was very difficult to read. not because I couldn't understand it but because I've just never been into these types of reads. but I promised a Mary Kay consultant that I would read it and give her a review. honestly I think I should be taking notes of where my favorite parts are so I can tell her what I learned from the book. its not a bad read its just very detailed and a lot of things are repetitive.
Jeanette Cupcake
Jan 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mary kay fans, biographers, self help book lovers, people who like fast easy reading
Recommended to Jeanette Cupcake by: erika
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.
Christopher
You have to read it charitably, and if you do, it’s a decent (if scatterbrained) mix of autobiography, history, and advice. My advice: if you’re married to a Mary Kay consultant, or otherwise invested in the company, read it. It will really help you understand why the business operates the way it does. Mary Kay really was a remarkable woman and this details her life and business story in an illuminating way.
Kathy Mertens
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Mary Kay Ash was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.
More about Mary Kay Ash...