"Miracles Happen" the autobiography of Mary Kay Ash

by jptanabe

The story of Mary Kay Ash, founder of the Mary Kay company, from her childhood in rural Texas to the founding and great success of her dream business.

You've probably heard of Mary Kay Cosmetics - you know, the company that sells skincare and make up and gives their top people pink Cadillacs - but do you know anything about Mary Kay herself?

Yes, Mary Kay Ash was a real person, a woman who founded her own company in 1963 when society didn't expect (or for the most part allow) women to be business owners, let alone successful ones. This book is her story.

Mary Kay Ash and her autobiography

The first time I picked up this book I was curious but not expecting to enjoy it. I didn't know much, well nothing personal, about Mary Kay Ash, and thought it would be either boring or too much of a sales pitch for her company to be a good read. I was quite wrong!

The book is written in the style favored by many autobiographies, full of little vignettes from her childhood and her early life, her first career, several marriages, and the founding and success of her own business.

Sometimes the time frame is a bit unclear - for example, a couple of times when she mentioned her husband or his death I wasn't sure which one it was!

Her Philosophy

Then there are sections where Mary Kay explains her business philosophy. She developed this during her years as a direct sales representative for another company, one that didn't value her as much as it should have. She consistently outperformed the men on the sales force, so instead of promoting her they had her train the new recruits and then promoted them to positions above her! At meetings they when she expressed her ideas, the response was often "Oh you're just thinking like a woman!"

So, Mary Kay designed her dream company, one in which people were not passed over for promotion but worked together to bring success to the company and themselves. She envisioned a culture of mutual support rather than cut-throat competition. She also determined that recognition would be given to everyone for their success, and there would be appropriate rewards (like jewelry for women, and yes, pink Cadillacs!). And, she realized that when selling products to women, thinking like a woman would be an asset!

But she knew that women were always balancing many things, such as their family as well as a career. A woman of faith, she knew that God came first in her life, so she developed the motto: "God first, family second, career third." With these priorities Mary Kay believed that she could succeed, and her work and her words have inspired thousands of other women, and men too, to do the same.

I can't say that reading this book will change your life, but I have met many woman who say that becoming a Mary Kay consultant changed their life.

More books by Mary Kay Ash

You Can Have It All

Mary Kay shares the secrets of her success as a businesswoman while also living a fulfilling personal life.

Following her priorities—God first, family second, and career third—and some sound, savvy business strategies, she managed to create a multibillion-dollar international company as well as a fulfilling life that reflects her values

The Mary Kay Way

Mary Kay's "how to" manual on how to succeed in business while remaining true to yourself and your values as well as your customers.

A foreword by Mary Kay’s grandson, also a company executive, introduces her timeless guide to entrepreneurial success.

Updated: 04/09/2024, jptanabe
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jptanabe on 10/11/2015

Thanks! She did indeed break through that "glass ceiling" with style.

candy47 on 10/10/2015

Mary Kay persevered through the discrimination towards women and proved to the world that what you want, can be done! Nice article.

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