Martha Shares Her Best Advice for Future Entrepreneurs

Speaking at the Create & Cultivate conference in New York, Martha gave her top tips for starting a business—plus, she shared the last text she sent to her Potluck Dinner Party costar, Snoop Dogg.

Martha Stewart at the Create & Cultivate event in New York.
Photo: Courtesy of Smith House Photo

As the keynote speaker at the Create & Cultivate conference in Brooklyn, New York, a gathering for women interested in networking and professional development, Martha shared her thoughts on what it takes to build a thriving business. Her advice, which she shared with hundreds of attendees, was based on her own professional journey, but Martha also shared how she hopes to be seen after nearly 38 years in the spotlight.

In a conversation with Jaclyn Johnson, founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate, Martha was asked if she ever experienced imposter syndrome-otherwise known as feeling like you don't really belong-which Johnson says nearly 70% of women say they go through at some point. "No, no! You shouldn't even know that exists. If you are an entrepreneur, you have to really take the reins and ride the horse," Martha said. "You have to." She went on to recount how modeling prepared her for camera work, and how time as an institutional stockbroker on Wall Street taught her everything she knows about business. After leaving Wall Street, Martha said she began chasing her passion seemingly overnight by launching a catering company with humble beginnings: "[The catering company] was my own investing… I didn't take partners or anything; if I needed a refrigerator, I bought my own refrigerator. But I started off in my basement… and I even got into a little tiff with the town, because they didn't want you to have a second kitchen in your house."

It's this kind of drive and tenacity that enabled Martha to publish her first bestselling book, Entertaining, in 1982. From there, she went on to launch the first issue of Martha Stewart Living in 1990 before moving into television. Nearly four decades later, there's no denying the fact that Martha's accomplished a great deal, and that's what she wants to be remembered for. "I want my legacy to be: a good woman, who is a good teacher, who is fun, and has accomplished a lot," she shared with the audience.

Another key piece of advice Martha had for future entrepreneurs? Don't let problems hold you down. Instead, find solutions and continue to evolve. "You can't dwell on the problem. You have to keep moving around," she said. To that end, she points out a great motto she's picked up from author and politican Bruce Barton: "When you're through changing, you're through."

Johnson asked Martha to share more about how she manages her busy schedule every day. Her secret to a productive morning? A tall glass of her green juice recipe. "You have to grow your own vegetables, but I make this delicious green juice in the morning," Martha says of the recipe, which includes hearty spinach, pear, cucumber, lemon, and fresh ginger. "Everyone's hooked on it in my house and it's really good."

Martha also opened up about her recent work and her friendship with Potluck Dinner Party costar Snoop Dogg. As many fans know, Martha and Snoop have more than just a working relationship-the two have come close friends over the years, which became especially clear when Johnson asked Martha about the last text she sent Snoop. "Well, it was his mother's birthday, so I wished her a happy birthday," she shared, revealing that the pair also keep in touch regularly. Martha recently spotted a snapshot of Snoop and herself in a restaurant bathroom, so she forwarded it along to Snoop for a good laugh.

While Martha had many stories to share about her career so far, she told those at the conference that she also has big plans for the near future. When she's not working on Potluck Dinner Partywith Snoop or filming PBS' Martha Bakes program, our founder is busy ideating in the digital space and is in the process of writing her own autobiography. "There's a couple of really interesting pieces of software that I would like to develop, so I'm working on that. There's a lot to do, I keep very, very busy," she said with a laugh.

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