She was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a single teenage mother. Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school. Her emotional delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena. She's thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue.
By the mid-1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. From 2006 to 2008, her endorsement of Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The viewership for The Oprah Winfrey Show was highest during the 1991–1992 season when about 13.1 million U.S. viewers were watching each day. The power of Winfrey's opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion has been dubbed "The Oprah Effect”.
As she is worth billions of dollars after creating her own very successful business whilst making other people’s lives better, her advice to other people looking to succeed can be very useful.
Success is a process - and that everything you do in life is a building block of that process. For example, the first time you sit down to audition in front of a television camera and casting crew says “read this”, what will allow you to do it so comfortably and be at ease with yourself is practice. Practice of reading numerous books beforehand. It’s like building your skill block by block. If you never read a book before, you will struggle to cold read during an audition. Oprah does not believe in luck. “Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity,” she once said in an interview. Remember that everything that has happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come. You need to embrace those experiences so that you can seize that moment of opportunity.
There is no such thing as an embarrassing moment - even if you fall flat on your face on stage during audition, it is all part of learning process. It’s no big deal. Remember, you are alive human being, and we all make mistakes and embarrass ourselves. You don’t have to be perfect. Learn to laugh at yourself.
Master your craft - become so skilled, so fantastic at what you do that your talent cannot be dismissed. When you are excellent, you become unforgettable. People remember you cause you stand out. Every day aim to be better than yesterday. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” ― Oprah Winfrey.
Love more - do what you love and do it with love. Share the love and it will come back to you.“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey
Remember “You are what you believe you are” - want your kids to be smart, make them feel like the smartest kid in the room. Want them to be successful? Make them believe they can succeed, and celebrate even their tiniest achievement. It's all about what you believe. The fundamental key to success is what you believe is true for yourself. And if you believe there are limitations, you will always be defined by those limitations until you believe otherwise. So don’t put a glass ceiling over yourself or your kids.
Be proud to be yourself - be proud to be yourself and people will begin to recognize you for who you actually are, and that’s how you start to make a proper name for yourself and who you are. It’s very easy to see through all the fakes, and it lowers everyone’s trust in them. “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 once said. So, just be yourself!
Don’t give up - Oprah’s favourite guest on her TV show was Tererai Trent. Trent is a Zimbabwean-American woman whose unlikely educational success has brought her international fame. Born in Zimbabwe, Tererai was not allowed to go to school as a child due to poverty as well as being female, although her brother Tinashe, an indifferent student, was given the opportunity to attend. She later recalled the men in the village including her father "pointing to the boys in the village" and saying "These are the breadwinners of tomorrow. We need to educate them. The girls will get married."
Tererai taught herself to read and write from her brother's books, and eventually started doing her brother's homework. When her teacher discovered this (because the homework was done so much better than the work her brother did at school) he begged Trent's father to allow her to attend school. But father rejected. In 1991, Jo Luck from the global NGO visited her village and asked every woman about her greatest dream. Trent said she wanted to go to America and get a bachelor's degree, a master's, and eventually a PhD. Trent wrote down these dreams, put the paper in a scrap of tin, and buried it. Eventually, NGO helped Trent to move to Oklahoma, USA. Three years later, she earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education. In 2003 Trent earned her master's degree, and later a PhD. After she earned each degree, she returned to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin and checked off each goal she accomplished, one by one. This shows that anyone can achieve their wildest dreams.
We hope you’ve learned from Oprah’s unprecedented achievements. So now you can become the best version of yourself! And then help your children to become the best version of themselves too.
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