'Neat freak' Martha Stewart on success and waking up before 7 a.m.

Trishia Billones and Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2019 03:53 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2019 09:57 PM

US entrepreneur Martha Stewart gestures during an interview with ANC before the start of the ANC Leadership Forum in Manila on Aug. 20, 2019. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Martha Stewart, who served as lifestyle doyenne for a generation, said Tuesday she embraced her "neat freak" and "perfectionist" sides to build a multimedia empire with a growing audience.

The 78-year-old founder of Martha Stewart Omnimedia told the ANC Leadership Forum that being called a "neat freak" was a compliment, adding, "I love it!"

"Perseverance is very important. Believing in what you are creating. Being a perfectionist, what you learn and what you teach," she told an audience of corporate and government executives.

Asked how she avoided getting into a rut, Stewart said: "You do not start your day after 7 a.m. Don't relax."

To millennials, Stewart is best known for cooking potluck dinners with rapper Snoop Dogg on TV. For Gen X and baby boomers, her books and cable TV specials were the go-to source for entertaining and keeping homes spotlessly clean.

"We don't brag about it," Stewart said when asked about how she reached billionaire status, crediting "hard work, dedication and determination."

On her expanding audience, Stewart said: "Our demographic is very broad now especially with the Snoop Dogg show. From teenagers to people in their 70s."

Home keeping is about being organized, not tidying up, said Stewart, who started as an investment banker. She said the transition to media mogul from money manager was harder than she thought.

"Home keeping is an art form. I love to iron, to take care of things and make things pretty. That is what home keeping is about...Celebrations are my favorite. Whatever event is taking place you can make it even more special," she said.

Stewart has 2.5 million followers on Facebook, 3.7 million on Twitter and 2.5 million on Instagram. A Filipina helps manage her blog, she said.

She said her expansion plans included cosmetics, cures for pet ailments and the "best brownie mix you have ever tasted" in partnership with a cannabis firm.

"You have to embrace opportunities out there to promote your brand... You have to embrace technology, keep ahead of the curve, build a name. It takes an effort," she said.

Stewart said she reserved Thursday this week for shopping in the Philippines. "I think you’re doing beautiful work here, little that I saw of it," she said.