Me and Mary Kay…sorta

Our 10th Anniversary

Today I am celebrating my tenth wedding anniversary. A milestone, yes, but for me it is even more important. You see, I’m not the easiest person in the world to get along with or tolerate. Okay, in all fairness, I’m a much better person than I was 15 years ago.

Back in the day I was mean, stubborn, selfish, and all kinds of other nasty things. I have had countless friends come and go, with a very small number holding steady. I hae infuriated, pissed off, and offended more people than I can even count. I cared little about making connections with anyone. So why the glimpse into my sordid past?

As I said, today is my anniversary and my husband has earned a very special place in my heart. He is the one person who I have maintained a personal and positive relationship with for the longest consecutive period of time. I know that sounds weird, but I really have pissed off a lot of people.  It has not been easy for him, but hopefully he thinks it is worth it.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about other types of relationships. Being in business I’m tasked with finding ways to bring people close enough that they find value in me and my product. I don’t think enough people give serious consideration to relationships when trying to build their business’s reputation. For me it plays, and always has played, a very important, even crucial, role. After all, I am out there every day asking people to have faith in me and to spend their hard-earned money on my products. I really don’t take that lightly. In fact, the idea that readers might not like our books torments me to no end.

Some of you may be wondering what happened to change me so dramatically. In truth it was a couple of things. First and foremost was meeting my (now) husband. The time we have spent together (15 years in total) has truly made me want to be a better person than I was. He has made a point to find the good in me from the moment we met. He did not change me, knowing him made me want to change.

Mary Kay Ash

The other major influence in my life was the late Mary Kay Ash. You all probably know her from her internationally renowned cosmetics company. Over the last few years I have investigated and studied her company and her life with great enthusiasm. This remarkable woman literally started Mary Kay with almost nothing after having lost her husband. Along with her son, she worked from the bottom up to make the company one of the most well-known and successful.

The most important element to her success as a person and an entrepeneur was her ability to connect with people, as far as I can tell, nearly all people. Every day in her life was filled with getting to know others and going out of her way to make them feel important and valued. Rumor has it that she treated her Mary Kay representatives with the same respect as she did her friends and family. It is said that when a Mary Kay representative had a birthday, an anniversary, or even a tragedy, Mary Kay Ash would pick up the phone and call them herself.

The character of Mary Kay Ash has been an inspiration to me for a very long time. I strive to make my life as worthy as hers and I hope that in some way I leave a positive impression on every person I meet or talk to. After all, you can’t put a price or value on human life and happiness.


3 responses to “Me and Mary Kay…sorta

  1. First of all, Karen, happy anniversary! Secondly, what a lovely tribute to a lovely woman. Learning from those we admire, then emulating their behavior, has to be one of our greatest tools in becoming the people we hope to be. Great post!


  2. First, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! I love your comment that he didn’t try to change you, but he made you want to change. That’s true of all great relationships.

    One of the first things I remember about you is you trying to drill a favorite Mary Kay quote into my head. “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.” 7 years later, I’m still struggling with that, but getting better!


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