You gotta have a business plan to build a business. Some things to think about…
The following business plan (plan objective) for Seminar (Year)
Monthly retail sales will be:$(Enter retail amount)
Annual retail sales will be:$(Enter retail amount)
The process of generating the established business revenue goal requires consistent monthly activity. It also requires honoring the client/consultant relationship and working with the highest of integrity for repeat business and accelerated revenue growth.
Revenue is realized in a number of different ways: Facials, Skin Care Classes, “On with the Show” Appointments, “On-the-Go” Appointments, Reorders, Web order and Dovetailing.
1. (enter number) Facials booked per month.
2. (enter number) Facials HELD per month.
3. (enter number) Skin care classes per month.
4. (enter number) Skin care classes HELD per month.
5. (enter number) Reorder calls per month.
6. (enter number) On-the-Go appointments per month.
7. (enter number) PCP calls per quarter at new catalog issue.
8. Total customer base will grow to (enter number) in (enter year).
9. Total new customers added to my business in (enter year) will be (enter number).
10. Other: (other)
11. Other: (other)
12. Other: (other)
Marketing and Sales Incentives:
To achieve my sales goals I will market the following sales incentives to existing and new customers:
1. Referral Incentives: Detail your referral program or none if not applicable
2. Hostess Program: Detail your hostess program or none if not applicable
3. Booking Offer: Detail your booking incentive program or none if not applicable
4. Chamber Discount: Detail your chamber program or none if not applicable
5. Special Events: Detail your special events program(s) or none if not applicable
6. Christmas Gift: Detail your Christmas program(s) or none if not applicable
7. Birthday: Detail your Birthday program or none if not applicable
8. Mascara Club: Detail your Mascara program or none if not applicable
9. Free Gift with Purchase: Detail your Gift with Purchase program or none if not applicable
10. Other: (other)
11. Other: (other)
I will obtain customers through targeted advertising and by expanding and by growing existing customer relationships. The following brief outline consists of various advertising opportunities that will be employed.
1. (Enter your advertising plans)
2. (Enter your advertising plans)
3. (Enter your advertising plans)
Can someone please explain to me where the naysayers (and if im wrong Ill admit it) get some of the numbers from that you are only making 6.00 an hour when all is said and done?
If you have a 300 skin care class 2 hrs 40 percent profit comes to 120.00 you made 60.00 an hour and then you take out maybe 20.00 for hostess gift at the max..you made 50.00 an hour for that period of time. I know people who make 50k a year (granted they have benefits)and some of them work 13 hours a day! Unless they are hourly they dont get overtime..there are some places do pay overtime. Anyway the point is when I hear people say you have to pack and prepare and everything for the class..your gas to go to work is not tax deductible or your mileage. When you are a successful director or consultant your gas and cell phone and mileage is deductible and whether it be GP, Vibe or Caddie you dont have to pay but what 15.00 a month for car insurance! If someone is making 2000-3000 a month on a unit in MK and not having a car payment and does 3 facials classes or whatever a week and is only working 20 hours a week that is GOOD money! If you are single and are working a pt job and doing MK (I knew a girl who did that and now she is a TOP Director) that is still good money. There are directors who have this thing down to a science and Im told they make their business so important that they
only have classes and facials in their home!
The women come to them! Anyway I still dont see
how if you are at this level or even consultant how you cant make money. I have seen the numbers and in some instances I agree some are
not making money but when you have no car insurance and no payment I dont see how you are
not making money
Dahlin – I have no idea where they come up with those numbers. I don’t know about you but it does not take me 8 hours to prepare, drive, hold, clean-up, fill orders and write thank you’s for my classes/appointments. Soooo… whatever.
I think part of the challenge is that there are so many variables. Some people have car payments. I don’t. Some people have regular charge-backs. I don’t. Some people have low sales. I don’t usually. So I don’t know.
Oh, and full coverage for my husband and I to drive the car that I have NEVER made a payment on is $22 a month. Hmm.. according to the “other” math that just ate up the $6! EEK!
fuchsia may be a better girlie for this question. She does the math thing. 🙂
I have seen that the other expenses are Leader-
ship, Seminar and the Director Suit. IF and WHEN I become a director Leadership I would go to and Career Conference is an hour away from me and Seminar I just dont see the big beef. Meetings will be held in my home unless I had 30 consultants a week coming. If I had 10 coming a week its in the house or at a church…LOL
I was also told the prizes eat up at a directors check.
ah – prizes can eat up a check to, but the way I work prizes is I select higher quality prizes and I do not order them until they are earned. So I do not have a closet full of “stuffs” like a lot of Directors do.
The suit is not that bad. Yes, it is expensive, however I have more expensive suits in my closet (heck… my current bag cost more than the suit… the last two combined) so that is relative. PLUS you only pay 1/3 up front and then they take the next two payments out of your commission check. Which seems easier to me.
Leadership. Well I am not going this year. Actually I have never gone. I seem to survive without it.
Career Conference is sooooooo affordable – puhLEASE.
So like with anything. If you do not budget or manage your money you will get into trouble.
Pynky- What percentage of a Director’s income should be spent on prizes for her Consultants. Is there some kind of formula, such as a certain percentage of the Consultants sales or wholesale order? Thanks!
I believe the naysayers use every conceivable expense there is in making their calculations.
I don’t think postage and telephone bills are all that high in MK.
Here’s a statement that may ruffle feathers: I don’t really believe that Directors have expenses that differ much from consultants. There are a lot of the expenses that both directors and consultants do have.
But think about it, those expenses that a director DOES have that are different from a consultant, well, the directors do receive commissions and bonuses that the consultants do not receive. Does it cost more to be a director than to be a consultant? Not really, because (as I said) the director receives more commissions and bonuses. The director ends up with more income than a consultant.
A director does not have to buy all pieces of the director suit.
A director does not have to lease anything for her unit meetings.
A director does not have to have a unit web site. (On this point, considering how these web sites get invaded, maybe it would be better for a director to have a private, members only Yahoo group. And these are free.)
Both consultants and directors have Seminar, Career Conference, and an NSD retreat.
Directors have Leadership and maybe Director Meetings once a month or so.
The cost of Unit newsletters should be minimal. You can get a lot into a newlestter that takes only a 39 cent stamp. Additional postage is not required. Yes, I know, that’s still $39 in postage a month to mail 100 newletters. So why not poll your unit and find out who wants the newsletter in the mail or via e-mail? (Yes, I know it can be posted on a unit web site, but again, considering how these are invaded, why not avoid that?)
Housekeeper and Assistant: not all directors have these.
Day care/babysitter: If a director was working as an employee somewhere instead of doing MK, she would still have this expense.
Not all directors need day care/babysitters. Some work their schedules so this is not necessary. Some don’t have kids.
Medical Insurance: some have this through the spouse’s employment. Not all directors have this expense.
Any time I have seen a list of expenses put out by the naysayers, I have always been able to decrease the expenses significantly.
Rebecca you are so right, Here’s something else that’s also bothered me. Ridiculous figures given for gasoline expenses. Yes, you will drive to get to your classes and Unit meetings, but that mileage is a tax deduction. You will ALSO drive to get to your Corp.job. In fact, at my husband’s firm there are people that have a 2 hr round trip commute in order to get to work. How much does that eat into their Corp. salary? When they brag about how much better their Corp paycheck is, do they qualify it by subtracting:
Transportation/ Car maintenance/ Gasoline expenses/ Parking
Cleaningperson/Housekeeper- ( everybody knows that FT working women don’t have the time or energy to clean their homes -right?
Corp Wardrobe allowance/ Dry Cleaning- Gotta present a professional appearance, even if you wear a pantsuit, it’s got to be a nice one
Cell phone/ pager bill- Must be able to keep in touch with family at all times
Meal allowance- For lunches and family meals out when you are too tired to cook.
“…….. evaluate how much the second income is really contributing after work-related expenses are deducted. To do this, make a list of every work-related expense you can think of, no matter how trivial.
Some Examples of the Cost of Working
Total the monthly cost of these and any other work-related expenses and subtract them from your monthly NET income (after taxes and payroll deductions).
You know Rebecca, I really think the bottom line is accountability. I see so many Directors that fall “in LOVE” with the idea of a housekeeper, assistant, virutal assistant, website, all the events, etc. etc. It is crazy! Since it is tax time, I will take a look at my average expenses and post them in a couple weeks.
The thing that I find so amazing is that people list bills as expenses that are so excessive when they would have them regardless of whether or not they had a business of their own – Mary Kay or otherwise.
Prior to Mary Kay I still paid for cell phone, telephone, car insurance (but it was a lot more than $22 a month), internet, mortgage, etc. etc. I still paid for those “expenses” but none of it was tax deductible. Soooooo I get both sides… heck maybe later (once I get newsletter printing I will come back and write about some “money management” training I received at my first seminar as a new director… oy… yeah… think that will be my next topic.
Hi! I just joined the company and I was wondering if any of you knew of a good program to keep track of finances and inventory. I can totally see this area going a little haywire in my business, so I need to find a way to keep control of it all. I’ve thought about Quickbooks, but it seems a little too much for this. Any ideas?
I’ll second the Boulevard program. It’s paid for itself many times over in the last 10 years. The training DVD and customer service are excellent.
The only thing Blvd (or any other program) won’t do is force you to keep your business money seperate from your family/personal money. You’ve got to do that yourself. 🙂
Read the tax guide on InTouch, then go buy a box of #10 envelopes to keep your receipts in after you’ve entered each one into Blvd. (I put a check-mark by the total after I’ve made the entry, so that I know I’ve done it.) Even though Blvd will make doing year-end taxes easier, it does not remove the requirement to keep your business records for at least three years after you file. We’ve been audited twice in 20 years, and both times it took less than a hour. I attribute that to having the receipts well organized, so we looked professional.
Mk Honesty what is your take on what some of the naysayers say about certain things not being tax deductible? Anyone can chime in on this by the way. I knew a lady who said years ago (and she is still a director) that the IRS (and she kept receipts and everything) only taxed 20 percent of her income on MK and she made 65k a year
Regarding software for managing your business.. there are quite a few options and I have tried a few… here are my thoughts:
Beauty Advisor – I tried this back in 2001 and got so frustrated that I tossed it and bought Boulevard. Now that was 5 years ago which is a couple of lifetimes in the software world so I am sure that they have made improvements. I like that if you check out their site they have screen shots and videos. For details see http://www.creativecs.com
Consultant Companion – this is not a bad program, when I signed up for it I was consultant and wanted to take advantage of the lifetime membership mainly for the community boards and file downloads. They now have a desktop version that I have not tried. The biggest pro is that they are very affordable, the con is that the very affordable version is web based only. It is user friendly though and I did not notice any huge bugs.
Boulevard – I have used this since 2001. Now for the most part it is great program but I have outgrown it. It is “ok” for contact management but there are a lot of things it could do better. Cons include the expense tracking and not being able to view client notes easily. Pros are ease of use and the easy quarterly product updates. I am not thrilled with their reports function.
Ascend Financials – Oy was this a lesson in frustration. Don’t bother… unless you KNOW you have the discipline to reenter all your financial transactions and work through the bugs. To be fair they are relatively new on the market, however the platform they chose to build on is old technology… I do not recomend this to my consultants.
So what am I using now? Well after a lot of research I decided that I was going to upgrade my office to real software – I know that sounds kinda snotty.. but hear me out..
I am using Quickbooks Pro for my Accounting… it downloads from my bank, reconciliation is easy, invoices can be modified, reports are amazing and REAL FINANCIAL REPORTS – you can run a REAL P&L an KNOW where your money goes. (www.intuit.com)
I am using Quickbooks Customer Manager 2 for my Contact Management, now this is not perfect application and is pretty new however it does a few things I love, for example I can be in my contact manager and click to create an invoice it opens an invoice in Quickbooks and once it is save the invoice is recorded into the customer manager, I can also submit a payment from Customer Manager and same thing, now how this is better/different IMO from the other apps is that I can see all the notes, appointments, calls, emails, and financial transactions from the main screen of the Customer Manager… I can simply click the email I sent to remind myself what the discussion was… oh and it syncs with MS Outlook. So check it, enter the client in one place and sync it with accounting app & MS Outlook which then sycs to my smart phone…. ok ok ok… so we identified the geek in the room 🙂
The main reason I upgraded to Quickbooks Pro was for accounting purposes… my numbers are getting bigger and it was NOT making sense to download bank/expense information into MS Money, keep client data elsewhere and then rekey into email groups in MS Outlook. I wanted real financial data and I was not getting that from any of the other apps… including MS Money (although I was NOT running the small business version).
Hope that helps ya’all. Probably really stirred up the mud… 😀
Colleen – You do have to watch your deductions… I know a lot people want to deduct things like hair, nails & clothes… unless you want a matching Martha Stewart prison ankle bracelet.. I would not be doing that kind of thing! 😉
I don’t know what the naysayers are saying, but I know what my CPA (an “Enrolled Agent”)says. Example: a consultant can deduct the cost of the Red Jacket (after the $50 reimbursement) and dry cleaning, because the IRS classifies is as a “uniform”, but a director cannot deduct the cost of the director’s suit and dry cleaning because it is not identifiable as a uniform.
I have no idea what is meant by “only taxed 20% of her MK income”, unless it means that her deductions shielded 80% of her profit. While it’s certainly possible, deductions are only worth it if they help you make more money. I’ve have seen consultants spend a grand on office furniture because they heard that “it reduces your taxes”. True, but only to the extent of your overall tax bracket (i.e. 20%).
There are some things that you can deduct that an “employee of a business” cannot. EX: mileage/vehicle expenses used for business, all of your cell phone bill, all of your ISP monthly charges, the total cost of a separate phone line used exclusively for business, any business long distance charges on a residential phone line, any interest charges on business loans, any interest charges on a credit card used exclusively for business, any monthly bank charges for a business account including the cost of ordering checks, the ProPay credit processing fees, MK freight charges, postage, cotton balls and Q-tips, all Section II, etc. How about this: any sales/time management books that you buy, plus any subscriptions to “beauty/fashion” magazines (You ARE in the beauty/fashion business, aren’t you.), but I would not deduct your subscription to Shape, Forbes or Dog Fancy. Some things, usually major purchases, have to be spread over several years. (ex: computer is three years, however, if you buy a new printer or monitor separately, you should be able to deduct that all in one year.)
For Section I taken for personal use, my tax man says to charge 1/2 the tax rate (essentially the tax on the wholesale) and add the other half to the “non-recovered tax” line. I set Blvd up to do this automatically by creating a customer for “personal use” with a default tax rate of 1/2 our local rate.
Up until about 5 years ago, taking the “office in a home” deduction was like waving a red flag in front of the IRS “bull” … it practically guaranteed an audit. I think that all changed when some law made the IRS “kinder and gentler”, but you must have a profit before taking the office-in-home deduction. In other words, this deduction cannot be used to make a loss bigger.
Speaking of losses, the IRS expects small businesses to have ramp-up periods. I believe the rule is that a business must have at least two profitable years in seven. MK being a low-investment business (i.e. no leasing of property/equipment, employee costs, liability insurance, etc), this should not be a problem. The purpose of this rule is to prevent expenses from a “hobby” from being deducted as a “business”. (A hobby is something you spend money on, a business is something you make money from.)
A good reference is the Tax Guide on InTouch. Before MKC came out with that, and when I did our family taxes, I used JK Lasser’s Tax Guide (about $20) for reference. If you have a tax man, he (or she) should be well-versed in small business tax prep. I would not trust someone from H&R Block, etc to know more than the basics. I have no experience with tax software.
I’d say the key criteria on whether something can be deducted is whether it is used in your business or not.
I hope this helps. I kind of got into just typing away. 🙂
I like boulevard because it will insert your sales right on to the weekly accomplisment sheet for you and there is the ability to email it to your director as well. I have tried using the my customers on in touch and I know that corporate is trying to give us the option of using this, but to me it doesn’t have all the features that other software has.
I would stay away from Consultant Companion software. It is not supported technically and the owner(s) of the site have been MIA for well over a year now.
The forums are still moderated by two very faithful and long-suffering women who take a lot of abuse from people who cannot get the software to do what they want. Those women are not in control of the software and have no way to offer refunds to those who deserve them.
The software has not kept up with the many MK product changes in the last 24 months, all changes have to be entered manually, and while the structure of the site will still TAKE your money for this software, you will not get much for it, and absolutely NOTHING in terms of support.
Thank you so much for your suggestions! I like your idea of moving to Quickbooks Pro after you grew into your “big girl panties”. Was it hard to move everything over from what you were using before? Or did you wish you had started with QBP from the beginning?
Well… I have to admit, I do personally wish that I had started with QuickBooks Pro – BUT… and this is a BIG BUTT… I think that it could overwhelm people.
So.. here is my caveat… because I knew when I started that I was going to do this as a business and I have a business background (and accounting software is not a new territory for me) I think I would have been fine starting with QBP. It is certainly not as easy to implement as Boulevard. 🙂 The data from QBP is FAB though.
It is nice that Boulevard has all the inventory and parts already in there with quarterly updates. 🙂
Perfect sense! Thank you all so much for your insight! I know how much of a pain it is setting up QBP for an already established business, so I’m considering saving myself the headache. What are some of the cons about using Quickbooks Pro instead of Boulevard, Pynkmyst? Is there anything you miss since switching?
Also, here are a few ways to save money. For QBP they have it at Costco for $149 or you can download the Simple Start trial (great idea anyway to make sure you like it) and then the upgrade from Simple Start knocks about $30 off the price listed on the intuit.com site which was the 2nd lowest price. I found Customer Manager on Buy.com for about $20 less than retail listed on intuit.com… hope that made some sense.
Together there are no features I miss – that I know of. Obvioulsy it is kinda nice to have the Blvd updates for inventory but there are so many other perks and I can handle adding 12-15 new products each quarter. 🙂
I really can not think of anything I miss from Blvd. Oh! The search engine in Customer Manager is not so great… but I finally figured a work around for the thing I needed which was birthday’s. (I just enter the month and day – no year.) Great thing about intuit is that they want to make the product better and I think I mentioned in a previous post, V2 is a very new product so I imagine it will only get better and better. 🙂
Okay Pynkmyst. I need help and have a question. I have been with MK for almost8 yrs. wow. Anyway, I have worked it on and off several times a year, and have a nice customer base. Enough that I keep a pretty full inventory.
However, after doing my taxes again this year, I still see I am not netting alot (maybe $100 a month) So, other than changing my PCP expenses (I keep everyone on for a long time) I am wondering what is a reasonable amount of sales each week that you think is needed, to make this a worthwhile business.
For me, worthwhile would be netting about $300 a month. Sometimes, I feel like it would be better to get a part time job. Which I am looking into. Or going back to school to be a teacher.
Any thoughts you have would be great. As I said in another post, I am struggling a bit. Thanks!
ok, I don’t have a full picture, but hopefully I can help a little.
Now you say after taxes you figure you made about $100 a month. Now, are you paying bills with Mary Kay that you are able to write off that you would have whether or not you had a Mary Kay business? For example, phone, cell phone, internet, etc? These would be bills that you would also be paying even if you had a part-time job instead of Mary Kay?
If so, then you have to factor that in as well.
So let’s talk about getting from $100 a month to $300 month net.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is consistent effort. Consistency builds momentum and keeps your tools sharpened. I would always rather see a consultant with smaller consistent effort than bigger inconsistent effort. In other words, 1 appointment held per month is better than 1 month with 4 appointments held and a 3 month break. That will make a bigger difference that you know.
Regarding increasing sales, we know that means increasing activity in some way.
Do you have a business plan?
Now that you know your goal, it is time to sharpen the pencil and sit down with paper to map out how you are gonna get it. Now get creative! This does not mean that you have to do classes if you don’t like classes… but what specials & programs are you going to offer? Do you do a birthday club, mascara club, referral program, etc.
Please know that your goal is very attainable. If you are willing to put in the time, consistent time, to work a part-time job then you could easily net $300 a month, even more, with our Mary Kay Business.
I have a question about a posting I saw on “another” blog about non-recovered sales tax. The writer of the post recommends getting our own tax ID # and filing quarterly sales tax rather than paying MK sales tax on our orders. This way we are actually paying what we recover.
Ok, that makes some sense to me, but I always take everything I read on the “other” blog with a grain of salt since I know that some people who post there have never been in MK.
But here’s my question . . . what do you think? And also do you recommend taking the tax deduction or filing the paperwork with MK to get the non-recovered sales tax back from them?
Ok, I asked my sales tax question too early . . . it seems that filing for a refund from MK isn’t so easy. This is partly because in filing for the refund, we have to show proof of the sale and where it was made. It also seems that we can’t get a refund on sales tax for product we’ve given away (e.g., donations we’ve made or hostess credit???) or if we don’t collect any sales tax (e.g., selling product and not charging tax). And finally, the form says that they will only refund sales tax for sales made within the last 12 months, so at this point, I can’t file to get a refund on non-recovered sales tax for all of 2006, only for the last 12 months. Ugh.
Filing for a refund of “non-recovered sales tax” seems like too much work too me.
So let me revise my question: Pynkmyst, what do you think (as a working Sales Director) about getting our own tax id # and not paying the sales tax to MK, but paying it to the state on a quarterly basis instead vs. taking non-recovered sales tax as a tax deduction?
I would recommend being very careful with getting your own tax id and paying sales tax. I would discuss this with a tax professional.
Most every mlm I have dealt with handles the sales tax for you. I used to do corporate paralegal work and I often filed for corporate ein nos, as well as paying federal estimated tax and opening up trusts, ect. but unless we are talking about HUNDREDS of dollars here I would leave things as they are. The internet is full of a lot of advise–some good, some accurate and some inaccurate.
Pynkmyst is a lovely person and runs a good MK blog, but I think she’ll agree if you are considering this to seek professional advice!
Hi All! Well.. I actually do have my business license and pay my sales tax quarterly. There are pros and cons to both sides. I have a pretty large tax bill every 3 months… this being one of them… on the other hand, I don’t pay tax until I sell it. Kinda nice. Well… except for the end of each quarter….
I take the deduction at the end of the year, for my hostess giveaways, business promotions, etc etc etc. Even though I pay quarterly I still pay “use tax” on personal use, business promotions and business supplies. No getting out of tax really! LOL
Each state is different when it comes to sales tax so you might want to research it a little. Talk with a CPA or just call your Department of Revenue and ask questions. 🙂
Ladies, I am practically in TEARS having found this beautiful, positive pro-MK site! That “other site” immediately deleted my positive MK stories!!
When I was a Consultant, every time my Director said something about taxes, she prefaced it with: “Consult your tax accountant…” Some expenses are worth it. Depending on what state you’re in, a Tax ID may or may not be worth it. I was advised at the beginning NOT to get a Business Account for my MK account…Business Accounts cost more, etc. As was said above, things change as your business grows. As for what can and cannot be deducted (for demos/suits/personal use, etc.)…the general rule of thumb is: can it be used generally or is it a uniform? You can wear your makeup anywhere; but you can deduct that product you use for demos or displays. The Red Jacket (the part you pay for) is deductible, the Director’s suit is not because it doesn’t have a logo on the outside. I wear mine for YEARS after the official year…for the most part, they are stylish and well-made. Only other Directors know it’s a Director’s suit.
Unless you have a part-time assistant, I would recommend that you use a program where you do only ONE data input…who has time?
I personally love outsourcing newsletters, welcome letters, postcards, etc. to those companies that specialize in MK and they don’t charge that much. When you think of how much your people time is worth…sometimes, I’d just rather knit and watch Law and Order than put together a newsletter!!
Please dont leave the blogging world even if its
three or two days a week..we wont take you away from your business we promise I know its addictive!!! WOW my average face is not 99.00
more like 60-80.00 a face.
Even $60 to $80 a face is pretty good. Also it depends on how many faces you are seeing. Frankly I think it depends on the enthusiam and energy, too. I met a MK lady who had been in it six years and sold a lot of miracle sets. I think there is a certain “convincing” that comes over from people who really sell well.
Hey Ladies; was wondering, when the next conference is or leadership is. Can I go with any of you as a guest, and try to sign up after speaking with a National? Maybe, maybe not. I know it is presumpsuis ( misspelled ) , but could that help me?
On a wonderful note. I made up several satin hands mini sets, and lip trios, and have sold them all. Ten dollars for the satin hands coffee and cream, and the tulip sale with lipstick, lip gloss, and lip liner for free. I sold those for 26 dollars, and am already out of stock. I ordered more thru my (hope to be) new SSD, and received my inventory in seven days. this evening is our Christmas party, and tomorrow I hit the streets to sell more. I truly have been blessed with this business again even if I have to use another name, and I have truly been blessed with finding the Pynk again.
Have a Great Merry Christmas all and a wonderful new YEAR….a great 2008….
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