Top 41 Mary Kay Ash Quotes & Mary Kay Book Review

I have always been a big fan of Mary Kay Ash.  I consider her one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time.  I recently read her book Mary Kay and absolutely loved it.  What I want to do in today’s post is share my favorite Mary Kay Ash quotes from her book Mary Kay. They are listed by where I found them in the book.  Each quote is in bold and italics.  After each quote I will share my own two cents on the subject.  Enjoy.

# 1 Sadly most people live and die with their must still un-played. Most people never fulfill their life’s purpose or even pursue their true dreams because they are held back by their comfort zone and the fear of the unknown.

# 2 When I was successful, it wasn’t because I was more talented than the next salesperson; I was just willing to make more sacrifices. Once you decide what you want to accomplish you must decide what you are willing to give up, in order to get it.  All successes will require some level or sacrifice.

# 3 I’ve found that successful people are never afraid to try, because they are never afraid to fail. You can’t succeed your way to success.  You have to fail your way to success.

# 4 I believed that even if they wouldn’t work that hard for money, there were women who would work very hard for recognition. Recognition is one of the most powerful motivators in the world.  Kids cry for it and grown men die for it!

# 5 I am convinced that competition is most productive when you are competing with yourself. Don’t compete against others.  Compete against yourself and what you are capable of achieving.

# 6 … People will buy more readily when they can take their products home with them.  Keep some extra products on hand so your customers don’t have to sit around and wait for them.

# 7 … If you act enthusiastic you will become enthusiastic.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  Act excited and you will become excited.

# 8 The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.  Set the example for your team to follow.  A good leader can turn the Bad News Bears into a bunch of champions.

# 9 It has always been my philosophy that a salesperson should never discuss personal problems with customers. Keep your personal issues to yourself.  Your customers and team members already have their own issues and don’t need something else to worry about.

# 10 It’s important to realize that nobody is highly motivated every day.  Understand that there is a huge difference between motivation and commitment.  All you really need to succeed is commitment.   Motivation comes and goes.

# 11 A happy face and a happy attitude are always an inspiration to others. Act happy, even if you aren’t.

# 12 Under ideal circumstances, anyone can project cheerfulness, but the real test of a champion is being able to put on a happy face when deep down you’re suffering with a serious personal problem.  Be positive when you are around others and don’t let your personal problems shine through and bring them down.

# 13 But a business consists of millions of small decisions, not just the big ones.  The big decisions are easy to make.  Ultimately, your success comes down to the bunch of small decisions you have to make every single day.

# 14 I stress that no matter how successful you are in your career, if you lose your family in the process of attaining that success, then you have failed.  I couldn’t agree more.

# 15 Money is not worth sacrificing your family.  Your family is the most important thing you have in life.

# 16 In these economic times, everyone can use some extra income.  Most people, regardless of their income or salary, would benefit from an extra $500 to $1000 per month.

# 17 The first step toward getting people to respect you is to respect yourself.  If you don’t respect yourself, don’t expect other people to respect you.

# 18 You must remember that members of your family are not as interested in your work as you are. Don’t expect everyone else to be excited about what you do.

mary kay book# 19 Success is much more wonderful when you have someone to share it with. Having a partner or spouse to share the ups and downs that life brings is one of the best things you could ever hope for.

# 20 If you aren’t willing to fail, you’ll never succeed.  The definition of an entrepreneur is a risk taker.  You must be willing to step out and potentially fail, if you want to do something great with your life.

# 21 If you really want to make a success of this business, then you must put yourself on a schedule.  This is one of the most valuable quotes on this page.  Most new entrepreneurs really struggle with time management.

# 22 Time is a salesperson’s most valuable commodity.  Be smart about how you spend your time each day.

# 23 Hiring someone to free you from time consuming household tasks can be one of the best career decisions you’ll ever make.  I love this idea.  Delegate the time wasters so you can focus on activities that bring in more revenue.

# 24 Stop spending dollar time on penny jobs. Work on tasks that actually make the cash register ring.  Don’t confuse busy work with being productive.

# 25 Work expands to fill the time available for it. I’ve found this lesson to be spot on.  You must set deadlines for yourself and stay on task.

# 26 Without goals you can waste your entire life, with nothing to show but a feeling of frustration and dissatisfaction. Everyone should have written goals for their life. If you don’t have a goal, you have nothing to aim for.

# 27 No matter what the final goal, it’s very important to set attainable daily goals- then meet them. Break your big goals into smaller daily goals.

# 28 The world is very full of people who are very quick to dream and very slow to act.  There are tons of dreamers in the world who want to do great things, but there are very few people who are action oriented, who will roll up their sleeves and get to work.

# 29 Many people are so afraid of failure that they forget to try anything.  Fear of failure is quite perhaps the number one cause of failure in life.

# 30 I believe that the only difference between successful and unsuccessful people is extraordinary determination.  Nothing worth accomplishing in life is fast, free or easy.  Good things take time, hard work, and persistence.

# 31 Before trying to begin a new business, you should carefully analyze your own strengths and weaknesses.  Everyone has different talents and abilities. Figure out what you are good at and then find a way to use those talents to pick a business model that is best suited for you.

# 32 If you decide to become an entrepreneur, you must also be willing to work harder than you would ever work in an ordinary job.  Being an entrepreneur is very demanding and challenging, but I love it.  You will work a lot more than you work in a job.

# 33 You must discipline yourself to work as if you had a boss standing over you.  You must be disciplined with your time.

# 34 I think it’s vital to always have something at the end of the rainbow.  Celebrate your successes, each step along the way to your ultimate goal.

# 35 The more you give the more you get. This is simply the law of sowing and reaping.  You have to give to get.

# 36 If you give somebody a forty-cent item in a $1 box with $100 worth of recognition, that’s a thousand times more effective than giving a $100 item in the same box with forty cents worth of recognition. I love this quote.  Focus on recognition.  It does wonders for your team.

# 37 Let people know that you appreciate them and their performance and they’ll respond by doing even better. Give your team feedback.  Do the little things to make them feel appreciated.  Celebrate their successes.

# 38 I don’t think anyone responds positively to criticism. Never criticize, condemn, or complain.

# 39 And whether you’re standing in a reception line or talking to your child after school, it’s always important to focus all your attention on the person in front of you.  Take your eyes off yourself (and your cell phone) and focus on the person you are talking with.

# 40 We believe that with lots of praise and encouragement, everyone can be successful. The more praise you give others, the more good behaviors you will see.

# 41 Over the years, we’ve found that positive encouragement and sincere praise work wonders.  Never forget to praise and recognize others.

About the Book

All of these quotes come from the self-titled book “Mary Kay.”  The book was published in 1981 by Harper Perennial.  It features 197 pages.  The ISBN is 0060926015.  It is available anywhere books are sold.

Book Review

Overall, I give the book 4 of 5 stars.  It was fun and easy to read.  The content was great.  It had a great format and layout.  I highly recommend it to others.

Mary Kay Ash Photo
Mary Kay Ash, late founder of Mary Kay Inc. (PRNewsFoto)

About Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash is the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.  She has received countless awards and is considered one of the top entrepreneurs of the 20th century.  Sadly, she passed away in 2001. Learn more about her company.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are my top 41 Mary Kay Ash quotes from her self-titled book “Mary Kay.” Which quote did you enjoy the most and why?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Disclaimer: Mary Kay is a registered trademark.  I am in no way affiliated with the company, nor have I ever been in the past.

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Chuck Holmes is a Network Marketing Professional, author, and blogger. He's been in the industry since 2002. He is one of the top producers in his network marketing company. He is happily married and lives in Florida with his beautiful wife, Rachel. He enjoys flea markets, reading, writing, walking, fishing and funny movies. You can call Chuck during business hours at (352) 503-4816 EST or you can email him at

4 thoughts on “Top 41 Mary Kay Ash Quotes & Mary Kay Book Review

  1. I worked in the Mary Kay business and learned a lot! Details matter. Hard work matters. Presentation, quality, even just making sure the client feels good and is having a good time, all of these things matter exponentially in any industry. The lessons learned with Mary Kay have stuck with me in other ventures in my life. I’m glad I had the experience.

  2. Wow, she said some great stuff throughout this book. It makes me want to read it.

    There are certain quotes here that really took me: #3. If we are always afraid of failing, we will never get anywhere. Not only that, we often bring the worst on ourselves when we always think of the worst.

    #27 is something I firmly believe in. In all actuality, I always called them objectives to reach the final goal.

    And, the last one, praise works wonders. If we find anything to praise a person about, it will motivate them in great ways.

    Thanks for sharing these Chuck.

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