Some time ago, I ran across Dreamers Into Doers, a website created by the Martha Stewart franchise with the goal of helping women turn their dreams into careers they love. I signed up simply because I get a thrill out of seeing new business ideas and how people got them started. This is also why I subscribe to Fast Company magazine.
Recently, while reading a story about a woman who turned her dream into a reality, I learned that she was influenced by Martha Stewart’s The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as you Start, Build, or Manage a Business. (Let’s face it; given that Dreamers into Doers is a Martha Stewart-run website, I did notice many women reporting how this book helped them. This must be one of Martha’s smart marketing tactics.) I decided to check this book out of the library and give it a whirl. I must say, the information she presented was quite helpful! It’s certainly not rocket science, but Martha conveys in her ever-so-popular straightforward, concise manner some very important things to keep in mind to have a successful venture. She provides several examples to help explain her points, and most importantly, if you are a dreamer, she gives you a good reality check on what it takes to run a business. It is true that many examples are around how she built her own empire. Some may take this as her being egotistical, but I say she is brilliant! It is clear she knows how to market her brand!
Reading her book reminded me of another book I recently read: Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming Obstacles between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky. The author takes a a behind-the-scenes approach to understanding the secret recipe for some of the most successful businesses out there. At the end of the day, he says it’s all about execution. Specifically, he says, “You just need to modify your organizational habits, engage a broader community, and develop your leadership capability.”
What I’ve realized in running Second Tuesday and in reading these books is that taking an idea and making it into a business is not necessarily easy or glamorous. There is a lot of hard work needed to make your idea into a success, however it is you choose to define success. Additionally, there is no magic formula or novel method for this success. Instead, it is about basic business principles and processes, and both of these books do a great job in helping one understand what they are.
I thought I would close with a few resources Martha suggested that one take a look at:
- US Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov
- Score.org: www.score.org
- SBA’s Women’s Business Center: www.onlinewbc.gov