A Lesson From Martha Stewart

““Productive work is the process by which man’s mind sustains his life, the process that sets man free of the necessity to adjust himself to his background, as all animals do, and gives him the power to adjust his background to himself. Productive work is the road of man’s unlimited achievement and calls upon the highest attributes of his character: his creative ability, his ambitiousness, his self-assertiveness.”” -Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

Martha Stewart has had an amazing career, one that might inspire you.

A one-time stockbroker and caterer, she got her start in the early 1980s by publishing how-to guides on home making and entertaining. At that time, she was an editorial contributor making maybe $50,000 a year. Today, she heads up a huge business enterprise and is worth more than a hundred million.

Martha is not brilliant (if I can judge from her TV appearances), but she was ambitious and willing to do what it took to succeed. She has been described as “zealous” or “pushy,” depending on the source. She works nonstop and claims to love what she does. And when it comes to promoting herself, she takes a back seat to no one.

In short, Martha Stewart does a lot of what we’ve been saying you should do.

Success Can Happen So Fast And So Dramatically If You Keep Pushing.

Back to Martha’s career . . .

She began as an editorial lackey, but she worked so hard at developing a commercially appealing style and selling it that by 1991 a unit of Time-Warner Inc. was promoting a Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Not content with what to most would be great success, Stewart contracted to do a daily television program, a newspaper column, and a mail-order catalog — all within a 24-month period!

In 1997, the industrious style guru bought her business from Time-Warner for $53 million. That same year, she started a syndicated radio show called Ask Martha. Today, she has her own line of home and garden goods at Kmart that produces over a billion dollars a year in merchandise sales. Recently, she brought her company (Martha Stewart Living) public, increasing her already considerable fortune.

It’s amazing to think that it all began 20 years ago as an ordinary publishing job. The difference between Martha Stewart and the hundreds of others who were working at her level in publishing in 1980 is her ambition and determination. Sure, Martha Stewart has style. But so did (and do) thousands of others.

Just think of it . . . 20 years ago, she was making a salary – about 50 grand a year. Today, she is worth more than a hundred million dollars.

What are you doing now? What would you like to be doing in 20 years?

What are you going to do about it?