Oprah Winfrey went from wearing potato sacks to a media mogul worth $2,500,000,000.
Here's the story and 3 lessons worth your time
Vernita Lee gives birth to Oprah as a teen.
And Oprah grows up in rural Mississippi and lives with her grandma til age 6.
Her grandma is a maid and has low expectations for Oprah.
"I just hope you become a maid someday too."
Oprah has other plans...
But life starts brutally tough for Oprah.
She is beaten and "not allowed to show emotion".
She sleeps in the outside porch with potato sacks for clothes.
She is sexually and psychologically abused as an early teen.
Oprah has a talent for talking.
At 17, Nashville's WVOL radio station pays her to read the news on air.
And she loves it.
Then in 1973 Oprah gets her big break.
She's a sophomore at Tennessee State and gets a call from Chris Clark at Channel 5 CBS.
"Can you run a camera? Can you write a news story?"
Oprah: "Sure I can"
Oprah has no idea if its true.
But she doesnt care.
Oprah eventually becomes the youngest anchor in the station's history.
Here's how Oprah felt the first time she is on television:
"It felt like breathing.
It felt like this is where I'm supposed to be."
But it wasn't all rainbows and roses
Oprah almost gets fired.
Because shes not a good news reporter.
Reporters detach from the story.
Oprah only could empathize with it.
So the station is paying her $25,000 a year and want to fire her.
But her contract still has 1 more year.
So to avoid firing her they put Oprah Winfrey on a crappy talk show.
And its the best thing that ever happened.
Oprah loves the talk show.
She then moves to Chicago and takes over a failng AM Chicago Show.
In a few months, it is the top rated talk show in Chicago.
Soon, Oprah is the top talk show host in the country.
And in 1986, they rename her segment "The Oprah Winfrey Show".
This starts the greatest run in television history.
From 1986 to 2011, she records 4,561 episodes.
She wins 47 daytime Emmy's.
And she has the highest rated daytime talk show in American history.
And The Oprah Winfrey Show is just the start.
Oprahs empire includes her own TV network, magazine and production studio.
OWN - Oprah Winfrey Network
Oprah's Book Club
Oprah's Favorite Things
Today, shes worth $2.5 billion and has built the most powerful personal brand in the world.
Here are 3 lessons you can learn from it:
1) Authentic Empire Building
Oprah's grandma teaches her to read at age 3.
40 years later she launches Oprah's Book Club.
This is a smashing success because we are trained bullsh*t detectors.
Creator-led brands only work as extensions of the person.
Not following a fad.
2) What feels like breathing?
This is not generic hogwash telling you to follow your passion.
This is what comes easy to you.
Because what comes easy gives you the best chance to be great.
For Oprah, its talking on camera.
Find what feels like breathing.
3) Death to Confrontational TV
In the 1990s, TV focused on confrontation.
Stories centered on cheating spouses and scandals.
Oprah refuses to do this.
And she rises quickly by opposing mainstream TV.
What is mainstream today that you can position against?