Not only is she a media powerhouse, she’s one of the most iconic brands of all time. Oprah’s net worth is estimated at $2.6bn and her influence has been rising exponentially since she set her mind to it back in the seventies.
As a former talk show host, she’s done a lot of talking. Many of her anecdotes and nuggets of advice mark solid wisdom for entrepreneurs at all stages. Here are five things entrepreneurs can learn from Oprah Winfrey.
Know who you are
Once you know, truly know, who you are and what you are here to do, everything else falls into place. The passion leads to purpose. Motivation comes easily and procrastination is easy to resist. Find out who you want to be in this world. For Oprah, it’s not about being successful or having a legacy. It’s fulfilling the highest, truest expression of herself as a human being.
Moving past the money and the fame and the accolades, who are you? What would you do if you were the last person on earth and what is your unique gift that hasn’t yet been realized? Are you living that reality right now, or does something need to change? From Oprah herself, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Let excellence be your brand
In every situation, every conversation, and every crossroads; Oprah has chosen excellence. She’s chosen to do the right thing when it wasn’t the easiest choice. Her name has become synonymous with excellence and it builds her tribe and opens the doors that are hardest to go through.
Oprah said, “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” Let every minute and every word that you say set you up better for the next conversation or encounter. Commit to excellence and never slip. Notice everything, improve constantly and watch as you completely embody the concept.
When there is no struggle, there is no strength
Oprah once said, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Learn how to overcome adversity, move past obstacles and thrive in a crisis. She came from struggle and turned it around; exceeding all expectations of her and setting new records as well as becoming a benefactor for others. If it’s possible for her, it’s possible for you.
Which struggles are you grateful for? Which battles have built you and which misfortunes taught you to work harder and never take no for an answer? Without hard training you can’t build muscle. Without sparring you can’t win a boxing match. The source of your strength is the mountains you summited, so look forward to when the next one appears.
There’s a price that comes with success
With great power comes responsibility and with great success comes criticism. Oprah’s realization is that “people don’t always like you” because your success reflects back to them, something they do not recognise in themselves. Having the audacity to follow your dreams and the favourable circumstances to win big brings about friends and fans along with enemies and envy.
Make the choice. Would you rather resonate with millions and rub a few up the wrong way, or do nothing at all and receive no comment? From Steven Pressfield’s War Of Art, “That’s the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines.” Know the price and gladly pay it. What’s the alternative?
Service plus significance equals success
In a 2019 commencement speech, Oprah quoted Martin Luther King in saying, “’Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service.” Insignificant service means adding the value that isn’t relevant. It means providing a fix for something that isn’t broken. A helping hand that isn’t needed. Oprah believes, “the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service.”
Significant service means your actions and words finding people exactly when they need to hear them. It means resonating profoundly and being able to solve someone’s exact problem with what you have created. Focus on service and significance relies on determined and prolific output and quiet confidence that what you’re onto is truly game-changing, for you and everyone it touches.
When you know, without a shadow of a doubt, who you are and what you want to give the world, you can find a way to serve and be significant. You can let excellence be your brand and overcome any adversity thrown at you to build strength. You know there’s a price that comes with success but your calling is too clear and you’re making too much progress to care. Every entrepreneur can learn from Oprah.
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