Posted on : 15-10-2006 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the seventh annual Texas Conference for Women held in Austin, Texas. One of the keynote speakers was Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia). Martha was greeted with a very warm Texas applause acknowledging who she was and all that she had been through over the past few years. She was crisp and polished in a Connecticut sort of way and seemed comfortable in front of the big crowd of 8,000 attendees.
I had the opportunity to ask several women attending how they enjoyed Martha Stewart and their overall reception seemed to be lukewarm at best. My husband, who works for one of the major corporate sponsors of the conference, said that several of the women in his office were downright angry with Martha Stewart because they felt that her keynote address came more from “this is me, this is who I am, buy Martha Stewart products” instead of, “this is me, you can do this too, let’s celebrate together”.
I had a completely different take altogether. When group opinions like this occur, I always like to rise above the caucus to see if there is another way of looking at the situation. One of my favorite quotes is, “there are always more than three options” which I use frequently to steer myself away from black and white thinking. What I remember hearing from Martha as she showed us slides from her childhood on into her business is that she grew up modestly and learned to create beauty in her world which she carried into her marriage and ended up creating the empire she now enjoys. She shared with us how she turned her very humble first home with her husband into a beautiful paradise through her resourceful and creative ideas. She peppered encouraging and inspirational ideas all through her story, letting others know that they could also do what she has done.
I suspect that there is still an eight year old girl alive and well inside of Martha Stewart who sees the world as her canvas and is constantly creating new ways of expressing beauty. If the “eight year old” Martha, was speaking to the conference attendees than Martha was saying, “this is me, you can do this too, come celebrate this with me”.
Billionaires have heart too, I wonder what changes could occur if we considered a positive perspective for them rather than a negative. After all, we are all in this together.