That Special Time of Year

07-09-2009 1:54 PM

I always know when it's getting close to one of my favorite times of the year when the mercury tops 100 degrees in Dallas, Texas.  No, it's not that I like the heat so much, but it means that it's time for the annual Mary Kay Seminar.  It recharges my batteries like nothing else I've ever experienced.  It always reminds me of why I love this company so much and gets me motivated for another year of challenging work.  It's the time that I reconnect with women that I haven't seen for a year, get updates on their families, see the new hairdos, and find out who is breaking records and setting audacious goals for new ones.

So what exactly IS this thing called Seminar?  Well, what it IS NOT is another stuffy, boring workshop that someone sends you to where you're supposed to learn something, but you usually don't.  What it IS can best be described as the Academy Awards, Broadway, and the Miss Universe pageant all rolled up into one, with a dose of business education and mentoring on the side, and a pep rally and family reunion thrown in for good measure. There's recognition, motivation, inspiration, education, and entertainment.  There's food, and fun, talking and sharing, lots and lots of sharing.  There's lights, cameras, and action, lots of action.  There's sparkle and shine and fashion.  Did I say there's lots of sparkle?  There are limousines and flowers, diamonds and crystal, exotic vacations and big bonus checks.  Yes, all these are some of the things you will SEE when you attend a Mary Kay Seminar.  It's the celebration of success for our Independent Beauty Consultants and Sales Directors who have worked hard all year to build their businesses.  It's their time to shine!

While all these THINGS are wonderful, they are just things.  And, while Seminar just wouldn't be Seminar without them, it's the things you DON'T SEE at the Mary Kay Seminar that are the most meaningful to me.  Like the dedicated Mary Kay staff, that give up their July 4th holiday each year to move into the Dallas Convention Center and begin the weeks-long process of setting everything up.  Like the well-trained catering staff that make feeding 10,000 women at a time look like a cakewalk.  Like all of the contractors who come back to work with us at Seminar year after year after year, and are just as committed and dedicated to the event as any Mary Kay employee.  Like the local Dallas hotels and restaurants that roll out the red carpet when the Mary Kay women are in town.   It's the sharing that happens when there's supposed to be sleep back in the hotel room.  It's the "I had an AHA moment, and I can't wait to get back home and get to work" feeling.  It's the hugs, and the tears, and the laughter.  It's the photos, and the autographs and the dreams being formed.  It's the tradition of getting a hot dog every Awards Night around 9 p.m. (even though you've had dinner, because you need something to sustain you until midnight).  It's watching the makeup artists work their magic backstage before the reveal of the makeover winners.  It's seeing the smiling faces of the convention center security staff, who are back again this year, and still remember your face.  It's about everyone pitching in to do whatever it takes to pull off a spectacular event for the women who are our reason for being.

I LOVE SEMINAR!  And I have since my very first one in 1984.  My first Seminar was the first year we went from holding 3 to holding 4 back to back, in order to accommodate all the women who wanted to attend.  Then by 1997, we had grown so much that we had to add another, and Seminar became a three-week long event.  I sat down to do the math on exactly how many Seminars I had attended in my career, and before we even get started this year, I've attended 112 Seminars (4 for 13 years, and 5 for 12 years).  And I still look forward to it beginning again, next Wednesday, July 15th.  That should tell you something about just how great it is!

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