I fell prey to the Martha Stewart Living craft a day and recipe a day email newsletters. I started clicking on the recipes and the crafts and ending up on her website more and more. Well I started reading about her more… then I started picking up back issues of her magazine at the library (and devouring them in one sitting). I was faced with the fact that, sure she has a great staff working for her… but they are her staff and she does play an active role in her company. Then I came across this back issue that showed her craft studio and it talked about her many many filing cabinets of ideas… all cataloged for later use….. Damn! I want to catalog all my ideas efficiently in my beautiful studio in my beautiful house on a beautiful hobby farm. Still not quite willing to admit I like her….
Then while looking through the entrepreneur books at the library I came across The Marthat Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as you Start, Build, or Manage a Business. Her “10 rules” are the core things I strive for in my business, just articulated. As I continued to read the book I came to realize that she is smart, funny, amazingly talented, driven, and creative. I’m not sure if she is nice and I can’t defend her personality because I don’t know her personally. I think of her more of a figure head of a huge company bent on domestic bliss. Her company, her corporation actually, is bringing good food, crafts, and products to woman every day in a way that has never been done before.
Reading her book has helped me to refocus on the small things: attention to detail and quality of products and the larger things: growing over time, long term goals, etc. I haven’t been able to finish it all the way and need to get it back to the library today (I have renewed it to my limit) and am thinking about just picking it up from amazon. It’s a book I can honestly say that I know I’ll read again to get reinspired.
In the intro she starts the book out by saying:
“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. I see evidence of that fact each and every day. And because so mnay budding entrepreneurs have so many questions about how to take a idea and make it happen, I decided to write The Martha Rules as a practical and inspiring manual. My hope is that you will use it as a recipe book to make your own success.”
So what are her rules?
1. Build your business success around something that you love — something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.
2. Focus your attention and creativity on basic things. Things that people need and want. Then look for ways to enlarge, improve, and enhance your big idea.
3. Create a business plan that allows you to stay true to your Big Idea but helps you focus on the details. Then remain flexible enough to zoom in or out on the vital aspects of your enterprise as your business grows.
4. By sharing your knowledge about your products or service with your customers, you create a deep connection that will help you learn how best to build and manage your business.
5. Use smart, cost-effective promotional techniques that will arrest the eye, tug at the heart, and convey what is unique and special about your business or service.
6. Quality should be placed at the top of your list of priorities, and it should remain there. Quality is something that you should strive for in every decision, every day.
7. Seek out and hire employees who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism, and generosity. Search for advisors and partners who complement your skills and understand your ideals.
8. When faced with a business challenge, evaluate or assess the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind and move on. Focus on the positive. Stay in control, and never panic.
9. In a business, there’s a difference between a risk and a change. A well-calculated risk my very well end up as an investment in your business. And when an oppertunity presents itself, never assume it will be your last.
10. Listen intently, learn new things every day, be willing to innovate, and become an authority your customers will trust. As an entrepreneur, you will find great joy and satisfaction in making your customers’ lives easier, more meaningful, and more beautiful.
We could all help ourselves by staying focused on these 10 things that she has outlined in her book. Each chapter goes in depth with her own experience as well as those she has mentored. There is so much good advise and many interesting and inspiring stories. A good read for sure.
The kind of funny thing about this is that after starting to read this book I became more interested in her show. I started watching it last week and now look forward to it every morning. I have actually been getting up at a decent time every day now, just so I can watch it. Haha. Just about every show has a great guest, a wonderful story of her in her home (beekeeping today, that’s right she keeps bees!), another guest, a recipe or craft or two. She has all sorts of guests and projects too. From Bill Clinton (rerun of a show last year) to famous chefs to people just like myself.
Today these two links came up in my Whole Living newsletter (from the Body+Soul mag that is also under her name) and I thought they would be good to share after mentioning my issues with waking up in the morning:
And speaking of links. I saw these over on the Craftzine blog. I’ve been woefully behind in blog reading and was a little overwhelmed with the amount of feeds to read. And completely inspired by all the amazing projects that just Craftzine along featured! What have you all seen lately that’s inspired you? Post a comment with a link and I’ll do a round up of this past week’s best posts (as I totally missed out on everything it seems like, haha).
Tutorial Monday: Embroidery on Knitting over on Pimp Stitch (I love their stuff! I have such bad embroidery envy)
I’m going to work the rest of the day on taking pictures of the kits I’ve been making for the shop this last week. I’m going to start adding them tomorrow (hopefully) as well as dye up some new yarn for Green Prairie Fibers.
Have a good day and happy crafting!
++ Kristin Roach ++