Oprah Winfrey Harpo Productions Inc. and The Oprah Winfrey Show

Start at an Early Age

At the age of just 6 years old, Oprah was reading the Bible at her local church in front of an entire congregation. She was taught how to read by her grandma. It is important that she began speaking to crowds and presenting herself to the public at such a young age.

Work within an Existing Business

When she was 21, Oprah hosted a TV chat show called People Are Talking, with great success.

Work to Perfect Their Own Ideas/Skills

At the age of 27, Oprah hosted a talk show called AM-Chicago. She took over the show, and the ratings soared higher than any other talk shows on air. She had an edge that no one else had.

Oprah was able to begin her own show, The Oprah Show, by time she was 32.

Identifying Population Trends: The popularity of TV talk shows began to rise in the 1970's, so she took the opportunity to become part of a rising industry.

Improving a Process: Oprah did what other talk show hosts did not do; she related to her audience and talked about a wide range of topics that intrigued them: health, relationships, jobs, trends, and achieving happiness which is something that everyone wants. She was very skilled at writing, acting, publishing, and producing. She could basically do it all!

Obstacles as an Entrepreneur

Competition: Because the talk show industry was growing rapidly, Oprah and her team had to make sure they had an edge to keep up with competitors. She had to focus on being the best of the best in order to not hide in the shadows of other shows.

Opposition: Some of her viewers, after a few months of the airing of her show, started to complain that the show was becoming too taboo; they watched the show to hear from Oprah, not other celebrities' stories on guest appearances. Oprah needed to make her intent of the show more clear and defined.

Race: Oprah was the first African American to start a production company, and I am sure many with racial stigmas shared their harsh opinions on this.

Huge Spending: To maintain such a large talk show and her own reputation, just imagine all the time and money Oprah invested into HARPO Productions. Being a one man show, the success was all dependent on Oprah herself.

Advantages of Being an Entrepreneur

Own Boss: Oprah was in charge of The Oprah Show, so she was able to decide everything she talked about. This made her job fun and entertaining. She was able to do what she loved.

$$$: Because she started the show, she made more profit from it than anyone else involved. After the first year, her show made $123 million, and she pocketed $30 million of that.

How Oprah has been Impactful

Advanced Society: Oprah related with people from any background. She talked about topics that others were too afraid to speak up about, like racial and sexist issues. She taught and continues to teach society how to deal with negative situations and turn them into positive ones. Her focus on self-improvement is motivating and inspiring to everyone.

Advanced the Economy: Being such an exemplary figure in society, Oprah could persuade her audience very easily. Products, books, foods, etc. mentioned on her show would always become more popular after talked about by Oprah, which benefited many other entrepreneurs and therefore money flow in the economy.

Entrepreneurs and businesses today look to Oprah's success and approach to her audience as an example. Her outlook on life is the reason for her prosperity in business. Valuable entrepreneurial lessons we can learn from Oprah Winfrey include: embrace who you are, respond to negativity with positivity, accept mistakes because you learn from them, challenge ordinary ways of thinking, be a go-getter, help others, and have fun with what you do.

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