My earliest memories of Martha Stewart were watching her cooking and lifestyle show at my family’s kitchen table on PBS (one of the five channels at my disposal until college). Little did I know then, the global and mega reach of the well-spoken and polished woman from out East.
Today, Stewart is an Emmy award-winning television host and entrepreneur. She’s also the author of 94 books. The Martha Stewart brand reaches 100 million consumers across all media and merchandising platforms each month, and her branded products can be found in more than 70 million households. Wow!
At the recent Peoples Company Land Investment Expo, Stewart delivered the keynote address. She shared her personal story, as well what’s life is like on her 150-acre farm in upstate New York, which she calls “backyard farming.” Here are a few takeaways from her presentation.
Business fundamentals are vital. After college, Stewart worked on Wall Street as an institutional stockbroker. She says this taught her what it takes to build a real business.
Find your passion. After leaving Wall Street, Stewart discovered her entrepreneurial focus. “I always loved the arts and home,” she says. “I loved ideas. I loved building. I loved creating. I loved making things that would enhance everyday living. And I loved making money as a result.”
Be authentic. Stewart’s empire is built around teaching others. To do so, she says, you must be genuine and realistic. “If you’re not authentic, you’re not a good teacher,” she says.
Share your story. Every day on the farm, Stewart says, she and her team try to photograph something that is happening on the farm. “I’m astonished that people don’t know how carrots are grown, and they have no idea where broccoli is grown,” she says. “Farmers should promote how it happens.”
And, one last quote from Stewart:
“If you’re going to have a farm, it might as well be beautiful. I think a cornfield is beautiful.”