Submitted by Rickey with Juniques Multi Cultural Connections
Micore Intl Independent Consultant
Why buy hair when you can Start your own Hair Business for $19.95
Please, subscribe to get an access.
Love Her or Hate Her, What You Can Learn From Her Journey
Once upon a time, as a small child growing up in the south, Oprah Winfrey had few financial resources. But that was then. Today, she is one of the world’s wealthiest people. This wealth extends far beyond her bank account, for Oprah seems decidedly rich not only in a financial sense but also in terms of her life. So many people love Oprah. So many people hate Oprah.
Whether you're on one side of the fence or another, or are straddling it, if you're Indie, you can learn a lot about business by studying Oprah's career choices. This post outlines the three main things Oprah has done to create a lasting empire -- things Indies can do to manage and sustain our own piece of the American dream.
1. Oprah Owns Her Business and Herself
Earlier this year, Oprah and Discovery Communications announced the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, a multi-media platform joint venture. If all goes according to plan, OWN will launch Oprah into the next phase of her career. The name OWN is no accident of course, and the concept of brand ownership runs deep with Oprah.
When she was hired as the host of AM Chicago in 1984, it was hard to imagine Oprah owning anything, at least if you compared her with the people in America who owned most everything at that time. She grew up poor. She was a brown skinned black American. She was overweight and short. He hair was a little out of control, her lips were beautifully full and her nose was distinctively wide.
By typical American standards, she possessed little outward beauty. But she had an ability to attract women from all walks of life to her talk show, which beat out the Phil Donohue Show within months of its debut. In 1985, when we saw her in The Color Purple, we knew there was something special there. And Oprah knew it too. From the very beginning, she set out to create an empire. And today, she owns all of it.
Oprah owns a variety of profitable ventures. With Hearst Magazines, she launched O, The Oprah Magazine in 2000. Today, the publication boasts a circulation of 2.3 million monthly readers and an advertiser base that most publishers can only dream of. The Oprah Winfrey Show airs in 134 countries and is seen by an estimated 46 million US viewers a week.
Her new series of church-like online seminars and discussion groups, based in large part on one of her Oprah's Book Club choices, has drawn both praise and criticism. Either way, there's no denying that Oprah is a master at using technology to spread her message far and wide.
Unlike many other well-known entrepreneurs, Oprah is not for hire. While people like Paula Deen and B.Smith, popular cooking and lifestyle hosts, attach their names to brands like Bed, Bath & Beyond (Smith) and Smithfield (Deen), the only way you’ll find Oprah’s name on someone else’s product is if she just purchased it or if her name is being used without her permission.
Oprah owns her business and the many brands associated with it in every imaginable sense of the world. There are investors. No multi-million dollar bank loans. No favors. It's all hers. Oprah owns her own brand and maintains tight control over every aspect of them. Do the same in your Indie Business to enjoy maximum profits, flexibility and opportunities.
2. Oprah Knows Her Value
Oprah exerts tremendous control over everything she touches because she knows her value. When her name is associated with something, she wants it to be “just so,” and she wants to profit from it at least as much as everyone else involved. Oprah seems to have understood early on that she had a personality and other assets that would draw people to her in droves. She knew that, if she could draw people, she could also draw advertising dollars. And she knew that if she could draw advertising dollars, she could become a very wealthy woman, and use that wealth to duplicate herself, and make even more money. Hence, her syndicated television show, the “after the show” show, the magazine, the book club, the retail store, the Angel Network, the website chat rooms and the Oprah & Friends satellite radio show.
Oprah seems to have decided that she is not for sale to the highest bidder. Instead, she creates all the outlets she needs to be profitable, and essentially bids against herself. Oprah has created a brand. Not only that, Oprah is the brand. She draws so many people that she does not have to settle for a salary. She knows what she’s worth and she has structured her business ventures so that she can command what she’s worth in whatever situation she finds herself.
Oprah knows her value and every business decision she makes seems to be focused on earning a return on that value. No matter what you sell – be it product or service – acknowledge the value of yourself as nothing less than your businesses’ greatest asset, and seek out and create new and innovative ways to command and keep more of the money you make. Oprah knows her value and she capitalizes on it every chance she gets.
3. Oprah Shares Her Blessings
Oprah says that she knows what it’s like to be poor. By all accounts, that is true. But she is a long way from that these days. Still, Oprah finds inventive ways to use her wealth to make positive contributions to the world. A few years ago, just a few days after launching a child predator campaign on her show, two of the profiled child predators were captured after being recognized by her show viewers. Oprah then offered $100,000 to anyone who provided information leading to the arrest of any of the predators on her list.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah committed $10 million dollars to launch Angel Lane, an Angel Lane, an online gift registry where site visitors buy everything from a picture frame to a house to help hurricane survivors. Oprah’s Angel Network has raised several million dollars to establish scholarships and schools, support women's shelters and build youth centers. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa, which opened last year, is playing a vital role in the shaping of the next generation of woman leaders from southern Africa.
Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine estimated Oprah's net worth at $2.5 billion. At this rate, she is poised to become one of the most prolific philanthropists in the history of the world. And perhaps this is the best way to conclude this post. With a reminder that sharing our blessings with others is something all of us can do.
Oprah works with what she has. She has always done that, even when she was an overweight talk show host who couldn't stop talking about how Steadman wouldn't marry her. Oprah is a planter. She plants seeds, sows them and reaps a harvest that benefits millions of people. Do what you can with what you have to achieve the same results on a scale that appropriately reflects your resources, your business and your own life missions.
What do you think?
In my experience, business success boils down to these three things: (1) own it; (2) value it; and (3) share it. If you embrace those three concepts in business, you can't go wrong. Is that your experience? I'd love to hear if your journey is consistent with them, and whether you have anything to add based on your own experience.
You can read Oprah Winfrey's official bio here. The information in this post is widely available through public records, but I found many of the details at Oprah.com. I hope she doesn't find it and unleash her legal staff on me to take it down.
For more Indie Business success tips, subscribe to Indie Business Blog today.
If you like Indie Business Blog, please share the home page with your friends using this link: http://tinyurl.com/6l5h79.
Please, subscribe to get an access.