Martha Stewart’s American Made 2015

MS2A few months ago, I received an invitation to attend Martha Stewart’s American Made 2015 Summit.  I was a little shocked I received the invite, so I immediately responded and purchased my ticket.  I spent this last Saturday as one of the many guests at Martha Stewart’s HQ for one of the most talked about summits in America.  Let me tell you how this one adventure changed me.

First, I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived down at the Chelsea HQ.  There was such a long line of people to get inside.  After I got upstairs, grabbed my name tag and a cup of coffee, I headed to the back of the long line that was awaiting breakfast.

MS3Right at this time, someone got the brilliant idea that they should take a tray of pastries to the back of the line, so that they could help move the line along faster.  Guess who was at the back of the line?  ME.  I grabbed a chocolate croissant and headed to the nearest table (all standing room only).

Martha Stewart’s HQ is located inside a huge warehouse building located just a few blocks from Chelsea Piers.  Inside, you walk into a huge “ballroom” that can easily fit over a thousand people in it. Her HQ houses the magazine, the test kitchens, photo studios, offices and everything they need to make Martha Stewart Living (OmniMedia) what it is.

Throughout the day, we listened to numerous speakers on how to grow our businesses, as well as the changes we’re seeing from the economic, agricultural, technological, and socio-economic standpoint.  Huffington Post’s Ariana Huffington was the keynote speaker.  She spoke about the importance of rest and sleep.  Many decisions that end up being disastrous for a company are made by people that are lacking sleep.  Ariana understands this all to well.

She was a victim of pushing herself too hard to make her business succeed that she collapsed in a pool of her own blood.  After that, she learned the importance of resting and getting some sleep.  When she goes on vacation now, she doesn’t answer a single email.  Her out of office message tells people to email her back when she returns to the office.  In the meantime, the message that was sent will be deleted.  That way, when she returns from vacation, she has ZERO messages awaiting her.  This is UNPLUGGING and enjoying life without the need for technology.

One thing successful bloggers talk about all of the time is how they work so hard to run their blog.  They lose sleep over it, just to get the content up.  I learned a few years ago that I can’t write immediately after a game.  I wait until I get some sleep and a cup of coffee before I write anything.  I do this only because I know I’m no good to anyone when I’m tired and sleepy.  Why wreck my product by pushing myself to get it done when I need sleep?

I’m also big about unplugging when I’m at home.  I find that by turning the device on, it takes away from the things I really want or need to do.

MS1Did I mention that we were fed Martha Stewart style all day long?  Oh, we weren’t just fed, but everything down to the presentation was on par.  I fell in love with this butternut squash, quinoa and kale dish.  I hate kale and quinoa, but I was absolutely obsessed with this dish.  It was so good {waiting to see if I can get the recipe to share}.

Over the course of this week, I’ll be sharing the things I learned this week at Martha Stewart’s HQ.  Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing the goodies that were in the gift bag (it weighed a ton), as well as announcing a few giveaways.

I walked into Martha’s HQ not knowing what I was going to take from this.  I walked away with a much clearer understanding of what I wanted to do, especially as far as this site goes.  The speakers she selected gave me the idea on how to fine tune what it was I wanted to do.  It’s not just an ideal anymore.  This is a product.

More importantly, what I saw that day was a group of people that were on course to becoming the next Martha Stewart mogul in their own fields.  Each and every single person there had that potential within them.  This summit was there to help further them along on their journey.  It’s understanding that was what I saw in the people around me, that I also had to humble myself so that I could realize…wait…that means me, too.

Before I end this post, one lesson I took from life was a combination of what Martha Stewart and Stew Leonard were saying.  Remember that no matter what seed you plant in life, remember that in the end, you need to enjoy it.

Plant the roses.

Pick the roses.

Smell the roses.

Enjoy the roses.