There are a few ways you could describe Oprah Winfrey; it all depends on your noun choice. CNN has called her one of the worldâ€™s most powerful women and Time magazine tagged her one of the most influential persons of the 20th centuryâ€”impressive superlatives for a woman who came from nothing and became one of two black billionaires in America (the first was Robert Johnson).
If Winfrey wears many hats, her primary one is host of the critically acclaimed The Oprah Winfrey Show, which has run in continuous national syndication since 1986. From on-air book clubs to Oprah's 'favorite things', whatever she features on the show has almost instantaneous acceptance, trust and desirability in society. Case in point: When Winfrey included self-help book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle in her book club, nearly half a million people logged on for a live Web cast. It would be recorded as one of the most watched events on the Web had the site not crashed from the overwhelming traffic.
She's ventured into film as an actress and producer, made her mark as a publisher and, in creating her production company, Harpo Productions, became only the third woman in the American entertainment industry to own her own studio (after Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball). Winfrey has added humanitarian to her rÃ©sumÃ© with three principal philanthropic endeavorsâ€”the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which opened in 2007; Oprahâ€™s Angel Network; and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation. Most recently, Winfrey helped make philanthropy into reality TV with her show, Oprahâ€™s Big Give.
What makes Winfrey a great entrepreneur is her ability to capitalize on her best assetâ€”the trust she's garnered from the American public. She knows that any book she recommends will become an instant best-seller and any topical expert on health, fitness, relationships or even interior design will become a household name. As far as the public eye can see, she's used her influence for good and kept that covenant well.
Quote: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."