Did you know that Oprah Winfrey is the only black woman in a list of 400 of the richest Americans? That’s according to Forbes. But, being the only black woman is more impressive because she literally started with nothing.
In fact, her family had so little that they often couldn’t afford clothes, Oprah wore potato sacks instead
The Journey From Poverty To Billionaire: A Missed Childhood
Winfrey didn’t have a conventional childhood, that is what makes her journey from poverty to billionaire even more special.
From when she was born she spent most of her time at her grandmother’s farm while her mum looked for work. But, at the age of six, her grandmother became ill.
Oprah was sent to live with her mum at a boarding house. The family had nothing and she was raped for the first time at age 9. It wasn’t the only time it happened.
Fortunately, her journey from poverty to billionaire took a turn for the better when she was aged 14. That was when she moved to Nashville to live with her father and her life was transformed. Her dad guided her and instilled a sense of discipline, allowing her to become the most popular girl in her class.
The Rise Of Self-Made Billionaire Oprah Winfrey
While at East Nashville High she became passionate about media. Despite winning a scholarship to Tennessee State University, she opted to quit college at 19 and pursue her media dream.
Winfrey managed to get a job as a local anchor although it was temporary it got her in the door, helping her to get a co-anchor role in Baltimore. Unfortunately, she was sexually harassed while working as a co-anchor. Although she chose to stick it out, she was fired just eight months after she started.
This was actually the break she needed to become the self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey that everyone knows today! Her search for work found her a role as the host of AM Chicago. At the time it was the lowest-rated show on the network. Three months later it was the highest.
Earning The First Million
In 1986 it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and helped Oprah earn her first million.
Of course, one show doesn’t turn you into a billionaire. Oprah Winfrey has done an impressive array of things since to become the self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey that is so loved and admired today.
She has tried her hand at acting but perhaps the real turning point to becoming a billionaire was when she was the first African American television host to be nationally syndicated. At the time she was just 32.
This was also when she started Harpo Inc, a television production company. This was followed by Oxygen Media; a programming company aimed at women. She also launched her own magazine in 2000.
Social Media Is Key
However, she still didn’t become a self-made billionaire until the 21st century. This was when she adopted social media, launched her own website, and started a 24-hour channel on XM Satellite Radio.
Alongside this, she created the Oprah Winfrey Network with Discovery Communications, the company now creates streaming content, they even supply Apple.
Oprah has also written five books and created her own podcast, proving that she never rests.
Secrets of Oprah Winfrey’s Success
If you are wondering what the secrets of Oprah Winfrey’s success are then you may be surprised to find that she was directly asked this question in 2017 when delivering a college commencement speech.
Her answer to the secrets of Oprah Winfrey’s success was three simple steps:
1. Decide What Your Unique Talents are
Oprah often refers to this as ‘being in service’. She is referring to understanding what you are good at and focusing on that, that is the thing you are in service to.
2. Commit To Using Them, Being Confident That You Are Doing Something Worthwhile
For you to be successful at anything you need to believe in what you are doing and that you are good at it. It is important to work on this every day.
3. Look After Yourself First
Oprah doesn’t mean put your needs first, she means looking after yourself. Self-care is the cornerstone of her principles and the reason she has become a self-made billionaire.
Of course, Oprah Winfrey believes that success is fulfillment in life, not everyone needs to be rich to be fulfilled.