Summary of It's Not Where You Start, It's Where You Finish

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Let the pink Cadillac ladies jumpstart your sales career. When Mary Kay cosmetics salespeople succeed, they drive off with a big pink car. Mary Kay executive Gillian Hennessy-Ortega, one of those drivers, offers tips about goal setting, customer development and personal growth in an excellent career manual with an insightful mix of advice and examples. The book excels when delivering inspiration about setting goals. Hennessy-Ortega provides a spirited discussion about finding the right balance among home, work and spiritual growth. The author does make a heavy push for Christianity, so if you’d rather get sales advice without religious counsel, this may not be for you. But if old-time inspiration is part of your motivational package, getAbstract believes this book can serve as a productive tool for personal and career growth.

About the Author

Gillian Hennessy-Ortega is one of Mary Kay’s leading national sales directors. She is also a popular speaker at company events and other sales meetings. As a mentor, she works with a sales team of more than 2,000 women.



The Irish Immigrant

Sales executive Gillian Hennessy-Ortega’s life story at first sounds like an Irish folk tale. Her mother, a classic Irish beauty, married a charming, wealthy beau named William L. Hennessy, who had impressive family connections in Ireland. After a fairy-tale wedding, the newlyweds sped off in a fancy Bentley. Their friends cheered, but that is where the fantasy stops. The love story ended quickly. After a difficult pregnancy, the new mother suffered a disabling stroke. Despite her physical limitations, she bore several other children. Hennessy began drinking heavily and abusing his wife. Ultimately, he died with his business in tatters and his family in poverty.

Although she grew up amid this unfolding domestic nightmare, Hennessy-Ortega found strength in two role models: her nanny and her mother. They encouraged her to keep dreaming and achieving. During a school trip to America, she met a U.S. family who hired her to care for their children. With only $20, she emigrated from Ireland to America in 1979. Hennessy-Ortega refused to be a victim of her difficult childhood. She became a wife and mother, and then started to work as a Mary Kay sales ...

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