Oct 24, 2005

Martha Stewart's "Mini Me"

I picked up the new Martha Stewart book the other day - THE MARTHA RULES. The first chapter nearly reduced me to tears - I could have written that chapter. I don't know if they were tears of JOY because it was MY business philosophy as written by a successful business woman and it validated my views, or if they were tears of SADNESS because I am so much like Martha - LOL!

I have been called "negative" or "mean" more times than I can count whenever I challenge people on their business ideas. Guess what? I'm not negative! I'm "mentoring"! Martha talks about mentoring a friend to expand her salon. She said that as they discussed the plans, people around then might have assumed that Martha was a "nay sayer". But, actually, Martha was doing what any mentor SHOULD do - challenge the idea. And, any TRUE entrepreneur should be able to put on her big-girl panties and answer those challenges without resorting to "wound licking"! If she can't, then she has no business being on that path. Starting a business is HARD!

Throughout the chapter, I kept inserting "Scrapbook store" or "Scrapbook Business" when she talked about starting a particular business. It was a perfect fit of my philosophy every time. I don't mean to sound negative; I mean to be the voice of reason. In all cases, I am NOT emotionally attached to the decision.

From Page 19 of THE MARTHA RULES: “I am troubled when I hear about otherwise intelligent people who have made the mistake of risking their hard-earned savings or leaving a good job to pursue a brand-new venture about which they know almost nothing. They become enamored with an idea and talk only to people who will encourage them uncritically, instead of seeking out mentors or advisors who will objectively analyze their idea. This is natural, but it is actually heartbreaking to see smart people rush into a situation without the proper preparation or research. At the earliest stages of a venture, sometimes entrepreneurs get their priorities mixed up. They mistake enthusiasm and impatience for the more basic passion that inspires people to want to learn and become expert and make good decisions.”

Honestly, I could have written every word of that. It’s 100% me! I can’t tell you how many people come to me with a “dream” to open a scrapbook store, but have absolutely no idea or even any drive to do any of the research. Most of them have the excuse that “my friends all say, ‘go for it’ so I’m going to!” Easy for them to say, they will probably expect a discount. Ask them if they want to become an INVESTOR and suddenly, their tune will change.

Martha also says to “write the book you want to read” if you need to. That’s how she came to write her book, ENTERTAINING; the first book to outline HOW to entertain. Again, that’s ME! I couldn’t find a good book on HOW to start my own scrapbook business, so, I wrote one. I wrote one from the angle of what I would have liked to have had when I started. Martha did the same with her book. It helped others avoid the mistakes SHE made in the beginning. What ENTERTAINING does for hostesses, I hope the
ScrapBiz Start-Up Guide does for scrapbook entrepreneurs.

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 1 at
www.themartharules.com. Take the quiz – I did and got 10 out of 10 and I am only on Chapter 3. Scary…

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