Oprah Winfrey is said to be the richest African-American of the 20th century, one of the greatest philanthropists in history, and one of the most influential women in the world. She is host and producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show—the most popular talk-show in America.
On the January 29th , 1954, in Kosciuszko, Mississippi, Winfrey was born into poverty to a single teen mother. She had a difficult childhood, including extreme poverty where she wore dresses made of potato sacks. She was raped, ran away from home, and became pregnant, all by the age of 14. At school, despite her dysfunctional family she became the best in her class and won the title of Miss Black Tennessee at the age of 17. And this is when the greatness started to emerge. She was sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, got a job in radio while still in high school , and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional connection got her upgraded to the daytime talk show arena and, after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally recognized. She soon became the world’s only black billionaire.
This is how the snowball effect is created. By “snowball effect” we refer to Warren Buffett’s famous saying that if you roll a snowball down a snowy mountain, it will become bigger and bigger by the time it reaches the bottom. This is how great ideas create a compounding effect.
Oprah Winfrey once said: “When I was a young girl growing up in Mississippi, I would have never known that anything existed other that the poverty I lived in if it weren’t for the books I read.”
Some of the most important factors to Winfrey’s success are:
- conviction about limitless possibilities, passion to see the results, ambition
- drive to learn, to expand and know the reality that will bring happiness
- the will to help the world and other people
- the will to be loved
It is easy to let negative obstacles ruin our lives, slow us down, and show us the dark side of events, misleading us into the fields of desperation and depression. On the other hand, misfortunes can move us into a world of achievement and miraculous success and wealth. What makes the difference is our choice. We always choose whether misfortune will strengthen our will and character or smash us to the ground. There are examples of both extremes everywhere. Nowadays we have amazing opportunities to learn from the best on just how to become the best in our careers or our lives—and not just by reading books, like Oprah Winfrey used to educate herself. We have examples of greatness everywhere we look: sports, arts, media, business. All it takes to start is to believe that success is within all of us. This was the foundation upon which Oprah Winfrey built her successful life and financial empire.
Take the step. Learn.