Living Her Purpose

To be great is to know pain…to know disappointment. To be succesful is to know failure…to know rejection. To finally know your purpose is to know yourself. To truly know who you are and what you are meant to be in life is a blessing. Not only is it a blessing, but it is a testament to others who are trying to find their purpose; reminding them that without pain there can be no gain; without hard work there can be no success.


Gloria [Mayfield Banks] has shared her secrets of success with national media audiences appearing on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, ABC-TV, and CNBC with Donny Deutsch on “The Big Idea.” She has also appeared in Fortune, Black Enterprise, Glamour, Working Woman and PINK Magazines.


While many have already heard her name…listened to her voice and challenged themselves with her teachings, Gloria Mayfield Banks is the epitome of success, dedication, determination, willpower, and integrity. Of course there’s more. Not one word long enough or harder to pronounce can sum up who this amazing woman is. Before I knew who she was or watched some of her videos and read up on her bio, I knew that her message would be emotional, yet strong. Just a feeling or I guess it was my sixth sense kicking in.

Behind her infectious smile there is a story in which she’s swallowed her pride or maybe even embarrassment to tell once or twice before. Let me tell you… I was too excited to talk to this woman. Why? She’s pure inspiration. After you read this visit her site! You can feel the energy. That’s how you know the passion and the purpose is infused greatly with what she does and that comes so easily to her.

A beast in her own way, “Gloria is just Gloria.” She told me that more than once. All that was going through my head was lady… you’re ordained! I could really go on and on and on, but just to give you a little background…


Gloria Mayfield Banks has consistently beaten the odds to achieve phenomenal success in her life and business. She defied Dyslexia to earn a college degree and a Harvard MBA, left an abusive marriage and a corporate career at IBM 20 years ago to sell lipstick – quickly ascending to Elite Executive National Sales Director with Mary Kay, Inc. Today, Gloria earns millions in a worldwide networking sales business and travels the globe from her Baltimore home to speak with audiences seeking her People Building advice on how to create a better life for themselves.


My first question to Gloria was simply, “where in the world did you come from? Who is the woman behind the name, Gloria Mayfield Banks?” Gloria paused a moment before speaking. And then spoke. Her response was poised and clear as she said, “I learned how to become departmentalized – the ability to handle life as it happens…as challenges happen. I know when I’m getting ready to go through something and when I’m coming out of it so I know how to deal with it.

I think I’ve shown how not to stop the momentum – life, career, things happen. Decisions are made. People talk about personal challenges all day. I work hard on what I’m focused, making me clearer. The other thing about me is that I’m a ‘stop and go’ kind of person. Either it’s going to be done now or not at all. I work with a sense of urgency or what I like to say- working in passion is critical. Not all people can do that. You have to know what fuels your passion. Not all people know what fuels their passion.”

Allowing her words to soak in the brief silence before asking my next question, I naturally thought about myself and wondered if I knew exactly what fueled my passion. I wondered if I had the ability to handle life as it happens- regardless of whether I would be successful or if I were to fail, would I really know how to handle it and turn the situation around. Instead of answering my own question in my head I cut straight to the beginning of her departmentalization…straight to her testimony of her past abusive relationship and how she walked away. “My goal isn’t talking about it. It’s the easier it is for me to open the gate, the easier it is for people to learn from my situation. I was in denial. I admit it, I was in denial. My thinking was, I can handle it. You see, no one knew what was going on. They, meaning my family and friends had no idea what was happening. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t show it. The first time I mentioned it publicly was at a Mary Kay event. All eyes were on me. It gave me power. Ultimately my passion is to be a role model – I’m talking about it to tell women they can get through it – not while going through but after it. I talk about it with my children. It helps me…it helped me.”

That’s where I chimed in. How was she able to keep her abuse a secret from family, friends, and coworkers? How did she find her strength? She simply said, “God changed me. If you had seen me in another arena, you might not have thought I had been abused. I was quick to get therapy! I remember it well. August 4, I married. September 8, I was in therapy. My relationship with his family and my family never tarnished – you see like I said, they didn’t know…they didn’t know about the abuse. And my parents, well, my parents were not about getting in my business.”

“My ex-husband was intimidated by me. I have Dyslexia and yet I received a college degree and MBA and went on to make a good living in corporate America,” she said.

Makes perfect sense to me. Clearly Gloria is stronger than most. She realized she was in a situation that was not going to change and removed herself from it. She didn’t allow the title of abuse to hang over her head. She knew she needed help and not only that she sought after the help she needed to get over it. Amazing. And then there was change. Gloria decided that IBM was not where she wanted to be. I know what you’re thinking; great career and excellent pay…leave? Why? Well a lady always know when to exit and after 20 years of hard work and still not being appreciated, Gloria packed up her 20 years and left.

“I don’t get moved by others opinion of me. I’m not saying that’s the smartest thing, but partly because I acknowledge I’m smart. That’s why I’m excepting of my Dyslexia. To tell you the truth—discouragement came from people telling me that I do too much…”

PAUSE- I’ve heard this a million times for the past few years and it has really driven me crazy. I mean, if it’s something that I enjoy and it’s not running me into the ground then who cares how much I’m doing, but then again…thanks for noticing. PLAY

“You’re doing a lot makes them feel uncomfortable.” PREACH!

“I only started selling lipstick for Mary Kay to increase my income. Period. I wasn’t thinking about making a difference in the lives of other women. I just wanted to make a few dollars. But then, I fell in love with the joy, the energy, women supporting other women! It wasn’t corporate, it was fun! I was able to just be Gloria Mayfield Banks- to be great. I loved the recognition- it fueled my passion. I love to compete, races, to challenge myself and it is challenging. I can come back from a ‘no’ and still was like ‘yes’… I can! It was amazing. I kept at it and soon I won a car – yep, that pink Cadillac and I would do more! Mary Kay allowed me to be a cheerleader for others!


Over her career with Mary Kay, Inc., Gloria has earned several cars, numerous trips and jewelry; and had broken company sales records. She is among the top 10 sales in the United States and the number one African-American Sales Director in the world.


Now to the women and even men who are out there selling Mary Kay products…I totally understand why working for Mary Kay, Inc. is really like working for yourself and having fun doing so. Gloria talked about the free atmosphere when walking into a Mary Kay event and how the women are all laughing shouting encouragement to each other. Women working together… now that’s something special! I was intrigued by Gloria’s excitement so I continued questioning her about her career with Mary Kay, the opportunities and freedom that have come of it.

“Key word – freedom. Because I had worked all my life. My goal was to climb the corporate ladder and be on the cover of Black Enterprise. I had a job as a marketing manager [IBM]. When I worked then the job wasn’t clear, even with a Harvard degree. I had reached a level of frustration that moved me to tears. This fueled that no one would ever make me feel that way again. I do work hard. I do. I’ve never met anyone as busy as I am. I make time to do what I have to do. The number, 6…5…4…3…2…1 is the number I’m running to. I have set goals for myself to get there.”

“I learned along the way…I’ve learned a lot from Mary Kay herself. I took what I learned from my Harvard degree, Howard degree, my three successful sisters and I embraced that this is my calling. Now I know I am an example and I know it came from hard work.”


Gloria’s success is all the more phenomenal considering that she has Dyslexia, a learning disability. She has demonstrated by her own example, determination and hard work, that any goal can be achieved.


It’s truly astonishing to see the amount of success and confidence in any one person who not only suffered, but handles a disability, be a woman and overcome abuse. Gloria touches people all over the world with her enthusiasm and life lesson advice. As a teacher, trainer, coach, mentor and motivator, Gloria becomes even more powerful, even more dedicated because of her growth and gift to inspire. Yet she still has more to come. A supporter of The LSherie Alert, Elise R. of Mississippi wanted to know if there was anything that Gloria would do differently…

“I want to help people become successful in whatever they’re passionate about. As for myself, I’m living a lot of the dream. I’m working on a book, How to Make a Quantum Leap, I wish I had done early on. I wish I had started my public speaking skills and the value of good eating earlier on in life.” When asked if she had ever imagined her life as it currently is, she said, “Oh no! Absolutely not! I’m just Gloria! There’s certain things I want on a higher level. I don’t vacation where Oprah vacations. There’s a much bigger sphere – I want to motivate people.”


Banks began selling Mary Kay products to supplement her income. Within a year she set the company sales records and within a few years, her business had grown to over $24 million in retail sales with a sales group of over 6,000 consultants.




Elise R. of Mississippi is also a Mary Kay consultant. She asked Gloria what was or is her favorite way to meet other women. Gloria gladly responded stating, “It has nothing to do with where you live. For me, when I teach people I tell them it’s not a question of whether or not Mary Kay sells, but it is whether Mary Kay will sell from me. I tell people it depends on what you’re scared of. You have to ask that lady if she would allow you to give her a facial. Ask questions. Don’t try to figure it out just do what Mary Kay says to do. It will all work out.”

It’s just that simple. Ask questions and follow the Mary Kay steps to success and the rest is history. While I agree with Gloria, I believe that confidence and an engaging and fun personality plays a big role as a consultant. But as the Elite Executive National Sales Director, she must be doing something right.

This leads me to another question from a TLSA supporter and Gloria Mayfield Banks follower, Mary Kay Director, Linnette M. of Mississippi. She asked Gloria what tools or technique does she use to get African-American women and young girls to embrace regular skin care regime. Gloria gasps then responded with an answer that seems easier said than done. “The more you know, the better you embrace. Educate them. Keep doing it until it becomes a part of their everyday lives.”

After building an entirely different career with selling lipstick to mentoring, motivating and teaching women to be women of good health and wealth – Gloria shows leadership in all that she does. Whether it’s in a speech, this interview or even a one-on-one conversation with a client, leadership stands out undoubtedly. It wasn’t hard to ask her what it means to be a leader.

“I think it’s the women I hang around. You know the video on my site captures me saying, ‘If you hang around tired people, you’re gonna be tired. If you hang around broke people, you’re gonna be broke. If you hang around ugly people…look to the left!” First, I think you have to lead yourself. Second, leadership is very important. You must be passionate about that position, what you do and say. Be ever growing. Always strive to be a better leader.”


Known for her high energy and skill as a motivator and trainer, Gloria’s message of what it takes to succeed is in demand by audiences from Main Street to Europe, Russia and China. Gloria’s enthusiasm is contagious and her message is strong. Success is a choice that once committed to can be achieved!


So there you have it. Just a piece of inspiration and motivation to begin this New Year. Gloria Mayfield Banks continues to inspire in turn fueling her passion and making her stronger. I believe God works through people. I believe that you finally begin to live when you find your purpose and it’s no secret that Gloria Mayfield Banks is doing just that…living.

– LSherie




Gloria Mayfield Banks is married to Kenneth R. Banks, President/CEO of Banks Contracting that provides construction services on some of the largest projects in the Baltimore region, including the New Clinical Building at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is currently the largest hospital project in America.  The Banks Family includes four adult children.  They reside in Baltimore, MD.




Twitter | @GloriaBanks


  1. Tara Eckwood

    April 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Great article and so much truth. I had the privilege of being in her space several times. Up close in her mansion in Baltimore. Very very loving and caring. So appreciate her

    • LSherie

      April 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Tara! Gloria is every bit of a superwoman! I enjoyed talking to her. It’s a pleasure to share her story.

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