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Martha Stewart’s Recipe for Success

There is only one — and can only ever be one — Martha Stewart. The lifestyle pioneer is, as writer Jada Yuan noted in her 2021 Harper’s Bazaar profile of Stewart, “the original influencer.” Born in New Jersey in 1941, Stewart has lived many lives and amassed millions of fans for her cheery, can-do attitude and get-it-done spirit.

“There’s no hierarchy in my life,” Stewart told Yuan in the Harper’s interview. “I will wash the floor if I have to wash the floor. I’ll take out the garbage if nobody else has taken out the garbage.” It’s this combination of work ethic and business smarts that has allowed Stewart to build such an impressive lifestyle and media empire, comprising countless cookbooks, TV shows, magazines, home goods and decor, and most recently, CBD gummies and a CBD-infused skin-care line. She is also the head of her eponymous media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and launched a podcast, The Martha Stewart Podcast, in June 2022.

Stewart’s business success and expansive reach is largely due to her willingness to try. In each chapter of her life, she has experimented and risked in the name of trying something new. In 1997, for instance, she launched a line of linens and towels with Kmart and was effectively ostracized for being too “downmarket.” The gamble paid off, however: Martha Stewart home goods are now widely available to consumers at every price point. She has opted to follow her gut and her interests rather than listen to what naysayers might label impossible or off-brand, and has inspired countless other entrepreneurs in turn. Here, we’ve rounded up 16 quotes that pay homage to the enterprising, inspiring spirit that is Martha Stewart.

There is no single recipe for success. But there is one essential ingredient: passion.

I’ve said it so many times, but take your life into your own hands. Don’t let other people direct you. Know what you want. I really believe in that.

The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.

I am a teacher. I think that my real value in this world is to be a really good teacher on a vast subject matter of living.

Seek out people to work with who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism, and generosity.

Life is too complicated not to be orderly.

So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.

I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There’s no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.

My goal is to inspire people of all ages to become doers.

You have to stick up for your own ideas. You have to stick up for your beliefs. It’s like any kind of business. If you have really strong feelings and really strong design sensibilities, you have to persevere in those sensibilities. Otherwise, you will be run over.

Rebuilding is a lot harder than building. I’ve learned that. It’s the excitement of that first success that is so phenomenal that you want to keep building on original successes.

Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success.

Never make a big decision without sleeping on it.

Learn something new every day. If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day.

I learned many years ago never to criticize, only compliment. Even if their home is horrifyingly awful.

The ultimate goal is to be an interesting, useful, wholesome person. If you’re successful on top of that, then you’re way ahead of everybody.

Photo credit: Paul Morigi via Getty Images

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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