Book Review: The Martha Rules

Subtitle: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as you Start, Build, or Manage a Business. Written and published in 2005 by Martha Stewart.

The narrative for this book starts while Martha Stewart is in prison. She talks about some of the very determined ladies she met who wanted to get out of prison and start their own businesses. While in the clink, Martha wrote some business training for them that turned into this book.

It’s interesting to read a business book written by a gracious, driven, vicious, visionary entrepreneur. Anyone who had model, stock broker, caterer, CEO, and felon on her resume makes for a good read.

I found the business principles rather obvious and unsurprising, but no less solid for all that. She makes liberal use of examples from her constellation of business friends and associates. Case studies are always interesting to me. And, of course, she frequently referred to lessons from her own business experience.

In the end, any of us can only speak from our own experience. And that’s what I found so limiting about reading Martha’s rules for business. They work very well if you’re building a company like Martha has built. But like every product Martha produces that has her name on it, ultimately it’s just Martha and some very nice window dressing.

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