Martha Stewart truly achieved the American dream. She started her life off as a simple child in an ordinary family, but eventually became the first female self-made billionaire. That’s quite the story of success! Read on to see how she did it and what obstacles she had to overcome along the way…
Following Her Desires
As a child and teenager, Martha Stewart had no idea that she would one day become one of the most popular and richest women on planet Earth. However, from the beginning, she knew the value of a dollar. “I was one of six kids and two working parents. We were taught to work, we were encouraged to pay our own way, and we all did,” Stewart once said.
After attending college, which she paid much of herself, Stewart first actually went into the high stakes world of stocks and trading! There, she followed her passions and became an institutional stockbroker. Along the way, Stewart also learned how to be a successful entrepreneur and how to build a strong company. Of course, these valuable skills would help her later on…
As time went by, Stewart decided to leave Wall Street, settle down, and raise a family in Connecticut. But shortly after leaving the business world behind, she realized she wasn’t ready to quit working! So, instead, Stewart opened a catering business. Within a year, she was making thousands. From there, she earned a spot on CVS. Then, before anyone knew it, Stewart had her own show and was making millions as a television personality! “Her expertise has earned a level of trust with consumers that transcends category. This credibility continues to resonate across generations of consumers,” said Doug Howe, a chief merchandising officer for QVC Group.
Curious About Everything
During an interview on the show Shop the Stars with Jill Martin, Jill Martain asked Martha Stewart how she managed to create such an incredible empire. The answer is a relatively simple one: curiosity. “I’m curious about everything. I’m always looking for new things, new ways to do things — that’s my business,” said Stewart.
By 1999, Stewart had become the first female self-made billionaire in America, according to Forbes Magazine. While she had hovered in the high millions for years, when Stewart took her company public, she finally became a billionaire. Meanwhile, because of her Wall Street background, her public offering went incredibly well. All the employees spoke well of the transition, and the company had no debts. She also said that her secret was… not knowing how to spend money. Stewart only knew how to make it!
Another reason Stewart is a billionaire? She loves her work, and she loves her colleagues. “My biggest break really was starting a fine company with a fine staff and a fine bunch of colleagues. That, to me, really meant the most,” Stewart said.
Up and Downs
Of course, Martha Stewart’s career has had its fair share of ups and downs, just like everyone else. In fact, she’s probably had a few more than the average person! You likely remember Stewart’s very public separation from her husband and subsequent, even-more-public arrest and jailing. Yet, she’s overcome it all. “It’s all about what you are and who you are. And I never lost my customers because my customers believed in me. That gave me the wherewithal to just continue along my happy path,” Stewart stated.
Martha Stewart proves that a fierce spirit and hard work ethic will always win out. Today, she has multiple streams of revenue, including a podcast and a cooking show with Snoop Dogg! Also, look for her new book, Martha Stewart’s Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routine, which came out recently.