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If you like Martha Stewart's story, you might also like:
Michael Eisner,
Quincy Jones,
Naomi Judd,
Thomas Keller,
Fred Smith and
Oprah Winfrey

Martha Stewart also appears in the video:
Changing Lanes

Teachers can find prepared lesson plans featuring Martha Stewart in the Achievement Curriculum section:

Related Links:
Martha Blog

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Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart
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Martha Stewart Interview (page: 3 / 3)

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  Martha Stewart

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What are the most important characteristics for success?

Martha Stewart: For me it's a dedication to your real interests. It's an ability to be open-minded. Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success. The great artists have been open-minded, even though they may seem, like Picasso, to be very directed, you can be directed and open-minded at the same time. I think you have to be really intensely serious about your work, but not so serious that you can't see the lightness that may also involve your life. You have to have that lightness too. You have to not be so heavy-handed and so ostentatious. It's very important not to be.

I live in the same house I've lived in for 25 years. I haven't gone off and bought mansions. Even though my subject is living, living in a mansion wouldn't do for my readers. I have to keep my credibility alive with my readers, so we're in the same place. I just make that place nicer and nicer. And that's a secret. People don't know that. People think, oh, she lives in this fabulous place, but it's the same old place. It started out like a farm, it got to be a farmette, then it got to be an estatelet. I built a wall; it helped a lot. But it's the same place, the same grounded nature.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

As I evolve, I hope my readers evolve, I hope my viewers evolve. And also, I think it's very important that whatever you're trying to make or sell, or teach has to be basically good. A bad product and you know what? You won't be here in ten years. You might be rich, you might be famous, but you're not going to be here in 10 years.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

That means integrity.

Martha Stewart: Total integrity. A work ethic, and an ethic about work.

What does the American Dream mean to you?

Martha Stewart: For me, an American Dream, if you read Theodore Dreiser, or you read other people who have written about what they consider the American Dream, it always has to do with monetary success, or poor boy makes good, or that kind of thing. To me that's not what it's all about. It's about, actually, when you get to be my age, having kind of a serenity about your life, and a good feeling about what you have done and what you can still do.

[ Key to Success ] The American Dream

Martha Stewart Interview Photo
And also, believing all the time that there is the freedom to do what you want to do. The ability, in your walking existence, to go out your front door and not be obstructed in any way. But there are always limitations, and there are limitations that are set by geographical boundaries, territorial boundaries, political boundaries that you have to live with and you have to understand those.

We're not so free that we don't have to listen to rules, and laws, and regulations. Those are important. But the spirit, the freedom of the spirit, that's what I think of American Dream, that we are free here to do what we want to do, what we set out to do.

Looking ahead 10 years, what will you be up to then?

Martha Stewart Interview Photo
Martha Stewart: Well, I'm real interested in technology, as is probably every one of those kids out in the audience. The technology of the future really interests me. The dissemination of information as quickly, and as thoroughly, and as well as possible, really is fascinating to me.

Looking at it from my viewpoint as a homemaker, as a tastemaker, I think that I have a lot now to help people with. I want to get that information to them in an easy fashion. So I'm working now with computer manufacturers, with computer technology, to help develop some sort of system where we can get that information across in a sensible, usable, friendly, non-talking down fashion, like our magazine.

To what do you attribute the success you've had?

Martha Stewart: When I was growing up my mom was home. She wanted to go to work, but she waited. She was educated as a teacher. The minute my youngest sister went to school full-time, from first grade, mom went back to work. But she balanced her life. She chose teaching which enabled her to leave at the same time we left, and come home pretty much the same time we came home. She knew how to balance.

When I got married and had a child and went to work, my day was all day, all night. You lose your sense of balance. That was in the late '60s, '70s, women went to work, they went crazy. They thought the workplace was much more exciting than the home. They thought the family could wait. And you know what? The family can't wait. And women have now found that out. It all has to do with women, or the homemaker leaving the home and realizing that where they've gone is not as fabulous, or as rewarding, or as self-fulfilling as the balance between the workplace and the home place.

So, I think that that's what's happened, all of a sudden. Women are wanting to spend more time at home, men are wanting to spend more time at home. They want to garden, they want to do all that stuff. And they want to see their kids grow up, and that's what's happened. That's why this intense interest in how to polish a floor, how to wash a car. You know, all that stuff is coming back. And you know who likes it the best? The kids. They're so happy. Many viewers of my TV program are three-year-olds, because they're learning, learning, learning.

That's wonderful. Thank you for speaking with us.

Martha Stewart Interview, Page: 1   2   3   

This page last revised on Sep 28, 2010 10:32 EDT
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