Mary Kay Ash(an Entrepreneur)

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Mary Kay Ash(an Entrepreneur)

  1. 1. One Woman Can™ Be Inspiring, Uplifting, Compassionate Written by: Farkhanda Kiran Submitted to : Ms Asma Department : Computer Science Semester: 7th Dated: June 18,2014 A timeline of the Greatest American Woman Entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash
  2. 2. Mary Kay Ash 2 Mary Kay Ash - Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc. "Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says 'Make Me Feel Important.' Not only will you succeed in business, you will succeed in life."-Mary Kay Ash Innovative, charismatic and contagiously optimistic, perhaps no woman has played a more important role in the advancement of women entrepreneurs than Mary Kay Ash. After experiencing firsthand the "glass ceiling" that kept many women from reaching top positions in the male-dominated corporate world, Ash envisioned a dream company where working mothers could determine their own levels of advancement and compensation, be their own bosses, and set work schedules that would still leave time for their children. The result of this vision was Mary Kay Cosmetics, a unique multilevel, direct- sales cosmetic firm that would provide hundreds of thousands of women with the opportunities Ash herself had been denied. Early Life Mary Kay Wagner Ash believed that "a lady never reveals her age," and therefore the exact year of her birth is unknown. It is estimated to be 1916. She was born to Edward and Lula Wagner in Hot Wells, Texas, the youngest of four
  3. 3. Mary Kay Ash 3 children. Her mother, who had studied to be a nurse, worked long hours managing a restaurant. When Mary Kay was two or three, her father was ill with tuberculosis (an infection of the lungs). As a result, it was her responsibility to clean, cook, and care for her father while her mother was at work. She excelled in school, but her family could not afford to send her to college. She married Ben Rogers at age seventeen and eventually had three children. Working Mother When asked to name her greatest achievement, Mary Kay Ash proudly replies, "I think the biggest legacy we are going to leave is a whole community of children who believe they can do anything in this world because they watched their mamas do it.” Like many business pioneers, Ash stumbled upon her entrepreneurial talents quite by accident. It happened in the latter half of the 1930s, when a door-to-door encyclopedia saleswoman struck a deal with Ash: If Ash could sell 10 sets of encyclopedias, the saleswoman would give her a set free of charge. Ash agreed and sold 10 sets in just a day and a half. This was a rather remarkable feat, considering 10 sets was the three-month quota for the company's most accomplished salespeople.
  4. 4. Mary Kay Ash 4 Believing she'd found her forte, Ash continued peddling encyclopedias part time and was soon earning enough money to help support her young family. Unfortunately, she also earned the wrath of many of her friends who accused her of selling them a product they didn't really need. Taking her customers' disdain to heart, Ash searched for a more useful product to sell. She turned to Stanley Home Products, a direct-sales company offering housewares and cleaning supplies. Shortly after joining the company, Ash attended a convention at which Stanley's most successful saleswoman was crowned "Queen of Sales." Ever the competitor, Ash vowed that the next year she would be queen. To achieve her goal, she persuaded the reigning queen to hold a demonstration party, during which Ash transcribed her presentation word for word. True to her vow, the very next year Ash did indeed win the title. A major turning point in Ash's life came when her husband returned home from World War II and ran off with another woman. With three children to support, Ash was forced to make Stanley Home Products her full-time career. But even though she quickly became a top sales producer, she watched in frustration as men who had less talent and knowledge were promoted ahead of her. Fed up with being passed over, Ash joined the direct-sales firm World Gift Co. in 1952. Within 10 years, she had extended World Gift's distribution into 43
  5. 5. Mary Kay Ash 5 states and earned a position on the company's board of directors. But her suggestions were often dismissed by male members of the board with the comment, "Oh, Mary Kay, you're thinking just like woman"-a remark that never failed to enrage her. She finally quit in 1962, after a man she had trained was named her supervisor and given twice her salary. Starts Her Own Company Deciding to take an early retirement, Ash set out to write a guide to help other women avoid the pitfalls she'd faced in the male-dominated corporate world. She composed two lists. The first outlined her negative experiences. The second detailed the qualities she thought would constitute an ideal business-a "dream company" for working women with families that would 1) treat everyone equally, 2) base promotions on merit and 3) choose products based on their sales performance and marketability, rather than profitability. Looking over the second list, Ash realized she'd created a workable direct- sales company and thought, "Why am I theorizing about a dream company? Why don't I just start one?" And that's exactly what she did. First she needed to find a product. It had to be something women could believe in, that they could recommend with all their hearts, and, most important, a product that could be used up and re-ordered over and over. But where would she find such a product? Ironically, it was already sitting atop her bedroom dresser. For nearly 10 years, Ash had been buying a skin softener from the daughter of a local hide tanner who had concocted the cream from tanning solutions. With
  6. 6. Mary Kay Ash 6 her $5,000 life savings, Ash bought the recipe for the skin softener, furnished a small storefront in Dallas, and hired a local manufacturer to create a line of skin-care products based on the hide tanner's formula. While her second husband dealt with the legal and financial matters, Ash recruited a sales force of nine of her friends. But one month before the company was scheduled to open, disaster struck. Ash's husband died of a heart attack. Convinced that she could not succeed without her husband's help, Ash's lawyer and accountant urged her to abandon her plans. But like most great entrepreneurs, Ash, who was then in her mid-40s, ignored the advice of "the experts," and Mary Kay Cosmetics opened its doors September 13, 1963. From its inception, it was unique among direct-sales businesses. Instead of using high-pressure sales pitches, Ash instructed her salespeople (whom she christened "consultants") to show women how they could use Mary Kay products to improve their appearance. Once women saw the results, the products would sell themselves. It was a technique Ash claims no company had ever tried before. Within three and a half months, sales of Mary Kay products totaled $34,000, and by the end of the first year, that figure had risen to an amazing $198,000. A year later, sales had quadrupled to $800,000.
  7. 7. Mary Kay Ash 7 Mary Kay once said that success came fast because she did not have any time to waste. She was already forty-five years old when she started the company. She said a woman needs money fast as she gets older. Now Mary Kay Cosmetics is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care products in the world. It develops and tests skin care and beauty products for the face, body, hair and nails -- many more than it started selling in nineteen sixty-three. Today, Mary Kay Cosmetics has sales of more than two billion dollars a year. It has more than one million sales representatives in more than thirty countries around the world. You can find Mary Kay products and sales representatives in Argentina, India, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, and China, to name a few.
  8. 8. Mary Kay Ash 8 Motivating Employees Every year since nineteen sixty-five, Mary Kay Cosmetics has held a yearly conference in Dallas for its sales representatives. The first one took place in one large room. Mary Kay cooked food for two hundred people and served it on paper plates. As the company grew, so did the conference. Now, more than thirty-five thousand sales representatives and company officials pay to attend education meetings at the yearly conference. A special event at the three-day conference is Awards Night. That is when prizes are given to those representatives with the most sales for the year. Awards Night also includes a show in which famous singers and dancers perform. The Awards Night winners receive special paid holidays, jewels, furs, and pink Cadillac automobiles. In Germany, winners receive a pink Mercedes Benz, and in Taiwan they are given a pink Toyota. By nineteen ninety-four, seven thousand cars had been given to sales representatives. The cars are pink because
  9. 9. Mary Kay Ash 9 Mary Kay products come in pink containers. Mary Kay liked that color. Mary Kay believed that recognizing good work is the best way to increase a company's sales. She said her company tried to have competitions in which everyone has a chance to win. She did not want to organize the kind of competition where someone has to hurt another person in order to win. So the Mary Kay competitions are designed around the idea that it is best to compete with yourself. That means every individual is trying to do better then she did last week or last year. Competition winners are rewarded well. For example, winners of one of the competitions get a gold pin called the Ladder of Success. Sales representatives earn a pin by selling a large number of products. Then they earn jewels for the pin as they increase their sales. Each jewel is placed higher on the ladder than the others. The pin of a top sales representative is covered with diamonds. A Humanitarian Mary Kay's third husband, Mel Ash, died of cancer in nineteen eighty. She wanted to help find a cure for the disease. At first, she helped organizations
  10. 10. Mary Kay Ash 10 raise money for research. Later, she started the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, a non-profit group that provides money to support research about cancers affecting women. In two thousand one, the company and foundation expanded their goals in an effort to help stop violence against women. Mary Kay Ash’s Honors Countless business leaders, authors, politicians and members of academia have recognized the pure brilliance and determination of Mary Kay Ash. She received numerous prestigious awards during her lifetime and many more following her death on Nov. 22, 2001. Some of her honors include:  “100 Greatest Women of 100 Years” by the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas (2008)  A&E Television produced “Mary Kay” which aired on the Biography Channel (2006)
  11. 11. Mary Kay Ash 11  PBS and the Wharton School of Business’s “25 Most Influential Business Leaders of the Last 25 Years” (2004)  Baylor University’s “Greatest Female Entrepreneur in American History” (2003)  “Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century.” Lifetime Television (1999)  National Business Hall of Fame, Fortune (1996)  Pathfinder Award, National Association of Women Business Owners (1995)  One of “America’s 25 Most Influential Women,” The World Almanac and Book of Facts (1985)  Horatio Alger Distinguished American Citizen Award (1978) Through the years, Mary Kay Ash received many business awards. She was named one of America's twenty-five most influential women in nineteen eighty-five. She became a member of the National Business Hall of Fame in nineteen ninety-six. Later Years Mary Kay Ash wrote three books. The first book, "Mary Kay," told the story of her life. More than one million copies in several languages have been sold. She described her business ideas in the book "Mary Kay on People Management." Her third book was released in nineteen ninety-five. It is called "Mary Kay--You Can Have It All." The money earned from its sales went to help fight cancer.
  12. 12. Mary Kay Ash 12 Final Days Mary Kay Ash's health declined after she suffered a stroke in 1996. She died at her Dallas home on November 22, 2001. She was a tough businessperson with a thorough knowledge of marketing and sales. Through her belief in women's abilities and her willingness to give them a chance, she made the dream of a successful career a reality for hundreds of thousands of women worldwide. An Inspiration Mary Kay told the women who worked for her that “To be successful in life a person should put God first, family second and work third”. She said women must discover how to be good wives and mothers while at the same time learning how to succeed in work. Business experts say she was an important business leader who cared about people. Mary Kay sales representatives say she developed a way for women to earn money and still spend time with their families. One example is Valerie Yokie. She started selling Mary Kay products twenty years ago. She was an official at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., but left her job to stay home with her two small Mary Kay Ash The Woman
  13. 13. Mary Kay Ash 13 children. She became interested in the Mary Kay Cosmetics company because it was a way to get started in a business for a small amount of money. She paid less than one hundred dollars for her supplies. After one year and one half, Mrs. Yokie became a director of the company and started helping other women become successful Mary Kay representatives. Soon after this, her husband lost his job. Then he developed cancer. Valerie Yokie has supported her family for twenty years through Mary Kay Cosmetics. She is an extremely successful businesswoman. She has won many prizes in Mary Kay competitions, and receives a new pink Cadillac every two years. Valerie Yokie's story is similar to those of other Mary Kay representatives. They agree that Mary Kay Ash changed the business world. They say she opened a door for women by providing them with a way to earn money that balances work and family. Just three simple words – One Woman Can™ – capture the enormous impact Mary Kay has had on the lives of women worldwide. And those same three words also represent the encouragement and empowerment that every woman can experience through Mary Kay. One Woman Can™ really do anything she dreams possible. Valerie Yokie
  14. 14. Mary Kay Ash 14 "We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don't know where you're aiming, you don't have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she cared." Mary Kay Ash

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