Who is Oprah Winfrey?
It’s not uncommon to see people rise from poor and terrible backgrounds, despite all forms of hurdles and obstacles thrown at them, into unquestionable wealth and stardom. Oprah Winfrey’s story is full of hope, faith and lessons to learn. Born in the slimiest of slums, surrounded by poverty and lack and confronted by the evilness of sexual abuse by those whom her family trusted, she rose to become an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, philanthropist and first black multi-billionaire in North America.
She disregarded her family instability during her early years. She learnt to read before the age of three and was remarkably noted for her ability and passion for speaking. In her childhood church, she was referred to as “The Preacher” because of her ability to remember and flawlessly recite memory verses. She lived with her father during a period of her childhood; he made her education a priority and encouraged her. At age 17, she won the “Miss Black Tennessee” beauty pageant and also attracted the attention of a local black TV station, WVOL, where she was hired to do part-time news. Later on in her career, she started her own TV show, The Oprah Winfrey show, which became a home for most of its guests. Oprah’s story offers lessons to as many as are willing to learn.
Lesson 1: Passion
Growing up, Oprah had a passion for speaking. Her grandmother once referred to her as a child who had been on stage ever since she could talk. Oprah played games of shows by interviewing her dolls and crows on the fence of her family’s property. Oprah recognised her passion for speaking and pursued it. The first step to being successful is to recognise one’s passion. If you identify what you do best with much joy, you will be able to choose a path in life easily. This is an important lesson to pick up from Oprah’s story. There is a higher chance that you will make more money doing what you love doing and have passion for than any other field. Identify your passion!
Lesson 2: Consistency
Consequently, passion breeds consistency. To be consistent is to keep at it, not diverting, firm, solid and fixed. The second lesson we should consider from Winfrey’s story is her ability to keep going. She rose out of the slum, made her way to the top despite the criticisms and obstacles that came along, and her show became America’s most-watched TV show. Consistency gradually helps you build up until you achieve your aim. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean; consistent little efforts are the little drops of water that will make your mighty ocean of money. The difference between a man who succeeded with his endeavour and a man who stopped halfway is consistency. If you keep hitting the giant tree, one day it will fall. There is no road to success that would not require consistency.
Lesson 3- Calve your niche
Furthermore, Oprah’s story proves the Yoruba (a tribe in South-Western Nigeria) adage; “the sky is wide enough for all birds to fly”. The business of entertainment is not new; it is a largely populated field, however, Oprah was able to carve a niche for herself. So many people get discouraged even before starting. We know of excuses like; “Everyone is into fashion now”, “there are a lot of artistes in the world”, “education is my passion but the world is full of teachers…,” All these are ways to escape the insecurity of trying something new. The fear of what if I end up as just another person in the industry has left a lot of people handicapped. You can beat all kinds of competition with the right mind set and effort irrespective of how competitive and populated that field is.
Lesson 4: Target
In regards to your target audience, most upcoming businessmen or women would rather choose a celebrity-filled population. Oprah’s story has proven how unnecessary this may be. Despite being in a celebrity industry, Oprah manoeuvred her way into the hearts of the common people by creating a show with them. After sending invites to interview several celebrities on her show and was rejected, Oprah turned to the common people. She brought them on her show and gave them a voice to express. This gained her popularity among the middle-class members of American society. Your target audience could be determined by the services you hope to render, however, you should not limit yourself to the game of “most popular”. Who knows? Your profit might be coming from the house of the common men.
Lesson 5: Customers Engagement
The fifth and last lesson to pick up is the key of engagement. Oprah could engage her audience; she hosted giveaways and even formed a book club on her show in which she prescribed books to read for her audience and discussed those books on her show. Her audience could relate with her and share life experiences. You might want to ensure that whatever service it is that you hope to render is relatable. A relatable service is an easily referable service. The common men could relate with the issues that were discussed on Oprah’s show because they were issues of the common men. And you know how it is when you read a book, eat a meal or watch a movie that you can relate with? You want to recommend it to the next person you meet, hence, the game of referral.
Conclusively, a rough start in life is not a restriction from greatness; such is the message of Oprah’s life. Our past experiences can limit us but the truth is they should not limit us. Identify valid opportunities that can spur you to greatness. Disregard your obstacles! Be consistent and determined to succeed, make wise business decisions and you’ll be writing a story of success like Oprah’s. Remember, do not give up.