I know I'm in a minority when I say this but I like Martha Stewart. In this book, she's brutally honest. In the first line of the Introduction, she mentions her stint in prison. She also mentions her disastrous version of "The Apprentice," which she learned from. Always learning! If you don't want to read the book, here are the rules:
#1 Build your business success around something that you love - something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you.
#2 Focus your attention and creativity on basic things, things that people need and want. Then look for ways to enlarge, improve, and enhance your big idea.
#3 Create a business plan that allows you to stay true to your big idea but helps you focus on the details. Then remain flexible enough to zoom in or out on the vital aspects of your enterprise as your business grows.
#4 By sharing your knowledge about your product or service with your customers, you create a deep connection that will help you learn how best to build and manage your business.
#5 Use smart, cost-effective promotional techniques that will arrest the eye, tug at the heart, and convey what is unique and special about your business or service.
#6 Quality should be placed at the top of your list of priorities, and it should remain there. Quality is something you should strive for in every decision, every day.
#7 Seek out and hir employees who are brimming with talent, energy, integrity, optimism, and generosity. Search for advisors and partners who complement your skills and understand your ideals.
#8 When faced with a business challenge, evaluate or assess the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind, and move on. Focus on the positive. Stay in control, and never panic.
#9 In business, there's a difference between a risk and a chance. A well-calculated risk may very well end up as an investment in your business. A careless chance can cause it to crumble. And when an opportunity presents itself, never assume it will be your last.
#10 Listen intently, learn new things every day, be willing to innovate, and become an authority your customers will trust. As an entrepreneur, you will find great joy and satisfaction in making your customers' lives easier, more meaningful, and more beautiful.
This is a practical guide for anyone wanting to start or grow a business. Martha started this book in prison after she was repeatedly asked for business advice from fellow prisoners who were hoping to start businesses upon their release. If you like Martha, you'll like this book.