Even a stint behind bars couldn't tarnish Martha Stewart's reputation as domestic goddess and self-made millionaire. It all started with a small catering company she launched in the late '70s. Today, she is one of the best-known one-woman brands--she's an author, media personality, and the chairwoman of the $142 million company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. How did she do it?

Stewart's own words offer a glimpse into how she has poured her creativity, energy, and famously perfectionist tendencies into her life as an entrepreneur:

On how to best succeed:

"Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success."

--Academy of Achievement: Martha Stewart Interview

On innovation:

"Whether you're a programmer or a seamstress, it's all about new techniques, simplifying old techniques, and consolidating steps. Making things go faster--but not worse."

--Wired's annual "How To" Guide 

On napping:

"I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it's not a waste of time."

On perfectionism:

"I'm a maniacal perfectionist. And if I weren't, I wouldn't have this company.... I have proven that being a perfectionist can be profitable and admirable when creating content across the board: in television, books, newspapers, radio, videos."

--Oprah's Cut with Martha Stewart

On acquaintances:

"I try to seek out and surround myself with people who just percolate fresh, original, and creative ideas."

Published on: Mar 19, 2015