First, confession that I am a Martha Stewart fanatic. I have been in love w her since I first learned about decorating back in high school. IMO, she has only gotten cooler since jail, and it increased her street cred on every level. To survive that media circus and have an even stronger brand is nearly unbelieveable and speaks volumes to her business sense.
In truth, I was more excited when I got the call to be on Martha Stewart Living Radio than when I was featured in the New York Times (no offense Marci!!). Martha to me is the mothership, regardless of the distribution expsoure. So, safe to say that I have some predjudice when it comes to all things MSLO. Because of this adoration, I am selecting her book, “The Martha Rules” as the initiatory (is this even a word?) review on the Fab Blog.
Love her or hate her, there’s no disputing her success or the fact that she is a seriously successful entrepreneur. Several years ago at a DVVAA luncheon, then President @WilsonVA was giving away copies of biz books she had already read, and you know I snagged Martha’s book from her pile like it was life or death!
I read it quickly cover to cover and grabbed tons of notes and insights from the book. Of most importance to my career so far, was the inspiration to reach out to the media about what my business was doing, and the booming VA industry. After wrapping up the book late one night, feeling motivated, I hopped online and emailed a pitch to every media outlet I could think of…. And NBC bit. The rest is history, but the lesson learned is courtesy of serial entrepreneur, Martha Stewart.
- Use a telescope, a wide-angle lens and a microscope when it comes to your business. (Now this is a topic I like to cover in my 1-1 Business Consulting Sessions!). Basically this rule uses the telescope as a reminder to always keep in mind where you are going, your future. Next, use a wide-angle lens to evaluate your competition. Lastly, use a microscope to bore down into the finest details; force yourself to understand the mechanics and nuances of your business. You don’t have to be the only person in business, but you do need to be superior, an expert and care deeply about your customers’ experience. Whatever you do in your business, do it in the highest quality way and then analyze the consequence of the decision. In her example, she references her partnership w less expensive manufactures (like Kmart) as a way to make things happen frugally but with high quality.
- Be generous when working with the media. Give them suggestions for story ideas, view reporters as your customers. Have the courage to put yourself out there. (Note there are lots of stars and stickies in my book in this section!!). This Martha Rule was instrumental in my own media success. And it holds true that once a media contact latches onto you as a person qualified for that particular niche, you become their go-to person. I’m evidence of that with my 3 main media contacts. We’ll talk more about media strategy when we review Shankman’s book “Can We Do That?”
Clearly I’m a huge fan of the book and the writer. As you would expect, it’s written in her voice (need I say more?). But ladies, really if you could pick anyone’s brain when it comes to entrepreneurship and building a brand, is there anyone else you would select over Martha?
Fab Review Rating: 5 hearts out of 5
Pick up your copy in the Fab Reads Store!