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It’s a Very Good Thing: Stewart’s Path to Success
Today, Stewart makes an annual salary of $3 million, with her net worth totaling over $1.2 billion. Her brainchild, MSLO, not only encompasses television shows and magazines, but also radio programs, direct-mail operations, Internet sales, a line of interior paint, gardening tools, house wares, furniture and more. How did Stewart turn her passion for homemaking and renovations into a multi-million dollar empire?
She Had Passion: “The delightful secret of the entrepreneurial life is that when you love your work, you rarely get tired,” says Stewart. Since she was a little girl, Stewart knew where her passion lay and she strove to find a way to successfully convert that into a career. Known for her dedication and fervor, Stewart regularly works 18-20 hour days, sacrificing much of her personal life in order to be where she is today.
She Developed Connections: “The reason this company has been so successful is that we connect each and every day,” says Stewart. “If you don’t connect, you are not going to be successful.” By prioritizing and valuing her customers, Stewart was able to early on generate the core client base that would propel her success. Even as the CEO of a multi-million dollar conglomerate, Stewart tries to maintain the connections with her customers in order to get their valuable feedback and sustain their support.
She Was Practical: Her dreams were ambitious, but Stewart never lost the level-headedness it takes to run a successful company. With a big vision in mind and faith in her abilities, Stewart took well-calculated risks in order to realize her goals. “Many entrepreneurs take on too much too soon or address too large a market with their first ideas,” she says. Spending seven years as a caterer before she had the confidence to branch out, Stewart’s success lies in the fact that she did not make it happen all at once.
She Was Determined: “I can almost bend steel with my mind,” Stewart claims. “I can bend anything if I try hard enough. I can make myself do almost anything.” Whether it was a burnt main course or incarceration and house arrest, Stewart not only kept the strength she needed to survive these challenges, but she also tried to learn something from each. She rebounded after each obstacle to become bigger and better than she was before.
She Had a Solid Team: “Without a sense of teamwork I think it’s really hard to build a great business,” Stewart says. Though she made some mistakes along the way, Stewart’s success can largely be attributed the A-team she pulled together around her and her vision from day one. She recognizes the importance of cultivating a great staff and still spends much of her time promoting a hands-on approach with her employees. But, she remains objective enough to know that when workers stop growing with the company, it is time for a change.
Reflecting on her prison experience, Stewart says, “There is no real help, no program to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life ‘out there’ where each person will ultimately find herself,” she says. Much like the business world, success is largely a question of having the courage to venture into the unknown. By examining your skills and your interests, by creating ambitious but practical goals, by remaining strong in your vision and by surrounding yourself by the best, you too can rise to the heights of success that Stewart has achieved.
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