Monday, September 15, 2014

Please Get a clue Martha, try to be helpful

Image from
On this Mentoring Monday, I want to once again address Martha Stewart.  Yes that queen of all things lifestyle living and telling everyone that it is “a Good Thing”.  I have no problem learning from her.  Martha’s ideas are wonderful, and she makes some valid points on how to clean, throw a dinner party, or providing a punch or two to cut out paper shapes (to which I own two).  She has an empire that is second to none in her field.
So why is it that Martha feels threaten when a blogger or a celeb like Gwyneth Paltrow steps into her territory?  In a world with population of over 800 billion people, I am sure there is plenty of room for both Ms. Stewart and Ms. Paltrow to give us their tips on how to make the perfect peach pie (although I say that my mamma make the best one).  The only difference is one is in her early 70’s and one is in her early 40’s.
So why is it that when we are experts in something, we feel threaten by another person who has that same knowledge?  Martha went off on bloggers last year for the same reason.  She said both in the interview with Porter magazine a few days ago about Ms. Paltrow and an interview about lifestyle bloggers last year that people should not quit their day job and stick to what they do best.  She said last year that bloggers should not make their family and friends become guinea pigs when creating a new recipe, then putting it in their blogs.  “Now Martha, isn't that how you started out?” “How would you have liked it, if the late Julia Childs said that about you when you tried to make Coq Au Vin for the first time and served it to your guests?” 
Instead of finding fault with a person who just want to give helpful hints on their blog, a person like Martha Stewart should be in a mentoring mode.  If there is something that isn't right, go to that person and say something like, “congratulations on your new venture.”  “I know that people will like your insight on the
subject.”  “I have noticed a couple of things on your site, and if you do not mind me saying, these are hints on what would help your site become better in the long run.”  Once that is said, give the advice, if they give you permission to do so.  If not, move on, and do not criticize.  They will find their way.   This is how you mentor, NOT tear down.  Encourage someone who admires what you do, enough to help them along the way.
I am sure that if Ms. Stewart would have done just that for us and Ms. Paltrow, the Paparazzi and others would steer away from that line of questioning. 

My wish for you this day forward is to give helpful and healthy criticism to others and not wishing that person to keep their day job.  There is room for everyone and plenty more.