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This is in no way an academic business book, but that's not what it purports to be. The chapter titles are her 10 Rules and they're all pretty much common sense. Her personal examples illustrate how these Rules are used to make decisions -- especially in a start up business. The big take away is when you see how she applied these common-sense rules and how they're manifested in her corporation.
Martha Stewart has been successful. She's overcome adversity, dealt with it, and used it to her advantage. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was able to continue in her absence because she built the businesses in a manner consistent with her 10 Rules.
Sometimes I think her personal examples come across as boasting, but as Sparky Anderson (I believe) said,"It ain't bragging if you can do it." And obviously, the book is read because Martha Stewart wrote it, and she's done it.
I realized the value of paying attention to her philosophy when she wrote early in the book: "I did not start an omnimedia company in my kitchen at Turkey Hill; I started a catering company." And then near the end she summarizes how the elements were combined "To build a brand" and not just to own a business." Keep this theme in mind when you read this book.
I opened "The Martha Rules" with great expectations, but was a bit disappointed. I've put the book down at the halfway point - I will get back to it, but it isn't a "read straight thru" enticement. The book is small in scope, so perhaps she will expand at a later date, but I will continue to rely on Jack Canfield's "Success Principles" instead.
I'm a fan of Martha Stewart, but this book didn't resonate with me.