There aren’t many people in the world who are recognisable by their first names at once. Oprah Winfrey is one of them. In the course of her extraordinary life journey; the queen of talk and media mogul has scored success after success in a range of different aspects. In a nutshell Oprah:
- Is a self-made CEO worth roughly $2.7 billion.
- Has been rated the most influential woman in the world.
- Is one of the greatest philanthropists in American history.
- Has been a Star, not only of the small screen, but also of the big screen.
- Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The list goes on and on. Undoubtedly, Oprah is one of the most successful and influential women entrepreneurs in America. Have you ever wondered what business lessons can you get from Oprah’s entrepreneurial mindset? Well, I outline a few below.
#1 Be True to Yourself
Oprah once said “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier”.
Oprah is just as gracious and charming behind the scenes as she is on camera.
She has been captivating audiences since she was three years old. Her local church had dubbed Oprah “The Preacher” for her ability to recite Bible verses.
Interestingly, the American entertainer had a knack for interviewing too. Back then, Oprah’s favourite game was to ask question of her doll and the crows on the fence of her family’s property. In other words, Winfrey was pretty much born to be a talk show host.
If you feel like your job is a round hole and you’re a square peg, it’s time to make a change.
#2 If You Haven’t Fallen, You Haven’t Walked
Oprah, like most successful people, doesn’t believe in failure. What most people think of as failure, Winfrey considers to be a new perspective, a new lesson, another stepping stone to her destination.
Oprah is not a quitter either. Believe it or not Oprah has endured her share of failure. She was - in her early twenties-fired from her position as co-anchor of the evening news at a major Baltimore TV station. And even though she went through humiliating experiences doing lesser jobs she persevered until she found her true niche. She once said, “Go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground”.
#3Follow Your gut
Oprah believes that “Your gut is your inner compass. Whenever you have to consult with other people for an answer, you’re headed in the wrong direction”.
Oprah believes strongly in her instincts saying they are “where true wisdom manifests itself”. She’s made her big decisions (like deciding to retire from ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’) just based on a gut feeling.
Instinct-based decision making is faster, less stressful, and more genuine. So if you’ve been making all of your decisions based on rational analysis but you’re not entirely happy with the results, try following going with your gut for a change.
#4 Make Your own Luck
You can’t earn $2.7 billion without getting lucky at least once. Oprah recognises that she’s been lucky, but she doesn’t see luck as pure chance: “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity”.
Every entrepreneur hopes to land a huge client or get a sudden spike in traffic, but if they’ve spent all their time hoping (and not preparing) then when that huge opportunity finally does come along, their business won’t be fully equipped to make the most of it.
Instead wishing for luck, think about what opportunity you would most like to receive in your life. Are you completely prepared to make the most of it?
#5 Own Everything You do
Winfrey chose to take ownership of her show when she founded Harpo Productions. Being CEO of Harpo empowered her to have control over every aspect of her show. It also opened the door for Winfrey to produce films, broadcast radio programs, and publish a magazine.
Oprah’s refused numerous offers to endorse other company’s products. Everything that Oprah says, creates, or lends her name to, she owns. And she’s done it with literally no external investment: Winfrey owns 90% of stock in Harpo.
On the whole, Oprah’s success is no accident. These attributes have shaped the person she is both as an individual and an entrepreneur. These values made her one of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. Which of these attributes do you identify with the most? Please comment.