Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director Gloria Mayfield Banks started her Mary Kay business with the goal to make an extra $200 each month to pay for her children’s daycare costs. Now, as she reigns number one U.S. Independent National Sales Director, it’s safe to say she achieved her goal.
We caught up with the Baltimore resident to gather her best business advice for all entrepreneurs:
Congratulations on this big accomplishment! About 29-years-ago, you started your Mary Kay business. What attracted you to the Mary Kay opportunity?
Before I started my independent Mary Kay business, I didn’t even wear makeup, but I fell in love with the people. I was surrounded by amazing, powerful women in a great environment, and I found a sisterhood that lifted me up and inspired me to do better. This environment was the number one thing that attracted me to the Mary Kay opportunity. I knew that good business would follow this unique culture.
Before you started your independent Mary Kay business, you attended Harvard Business School and received your MBA. What is something you learned in business school that has helped you succeed in owning your own Mary Kay business?
One of the most critical skills I learned was HOW to become a decision maker. How to evaluate a situation, look at all the options and possible outcomes, how to stop thinking and starting doing.
What is one of your favorite parts about having your own business?
I love that having my own business means I’m able to give back in ways that are meaningful and relevant to me. When I started my Mary Kay business, I was going through a divorce and escaping from domestic violence. Through my business, I’m able to give both my time and resources to help others escape abuse.
Giving back to me also means mentoring others. I’m a believer that you can only grow when you help others. The more you mentor, the more you learn about people. It’s easy to think as an entrepreneur that you don’t have time to mentor others, but it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment. I almost always have time for a 15-minute phone call, and I’m happy to share my time.
Where, or to whom, do you look for inspiration?
Mary Kay Ash is a true inspiration! Her belief that everyone has a sign around their neck that says “Make Me Feel Important” helps guide my business every day. I have worked hard to master people skills so I make others feel better in my space.
I’m a big proponent of reading. Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has been a big source of inspiration for me.
As a business leader, what advice would you give to other women looking to start their own businesses?
Don’t be afraid to fail. I have failed a lot. I’ve missed a lot of goals, and I’ve faced a lot of rejection. It hurts, but I don’t get caught up in it because the only way to get to ‘yes’ is to get through the ‘nos.’
What do you hope to see your Mary Kay business in the next five years?
I am very focused on passing on Leadership Skills. I am sharing these skills internationally because there are ambitious women everywhere and language cannot be the barrier. Since I am in the people business teaching the art of personal growth and people skills under the umbrella of leadership is where my passion is strongest. My legacy will be teaching others how to create legacy of positive influence strong role-models.
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