We want to share with you some valuable money lessons that you can learn from the career of Oprah Winfrey. There is this great podcast that was created about her television career called Making Oprah. It was so refreshing to be able to use this podcast to go back to the very beginnings of Oprah’s career up until the point that she is now, to learn numerous valuable lessons, from all the twists and turns that happened along the way. What she said that’s so easy to take for granted is that we see the outcome but we don’t see the process. We don’t know everything that the person has to go through in order to be great in that area. We were able to pick up seven money lessons that you can learn from Oprah, which you can also apply in your journey to financial freedom.
Watch The Video Version
Listen To The Audio Version
It’s so imperative that you get to the place in life to where you own things and you’re not just making payments on things and you’re not just renting things. In Oprah’s story, there was a piece of her early career where she was working for a particular television station, but she got to the point where she saved up her money and purchased the rights to her own television show. Not only that, she bought her own television studio which was unheard of at the time, not only for a woman but for an African-American woman. It had never been done before and yet she did it. Because she took the steps to become an owner, she had more flexibility and she had more creativity. She had more power to do things her way.
For a lot of you who are faced with various payments and billings – you don’t own, you owe. It’s important to take note from this story of Oprah Winfrey to position yourself properly. Maybe you’re not there yet, but you should be trying to get into position. Oprah didn’t start out as the owner, she began as an employee. However, she slowly and methodically positioned herself to be able to become the owner. For you, you need to continue to make those payments and make bigger ones and get out of debt. Own your cars and own your home, and own investments, because that puts you in a position of power financially.
There were so many twists and turns in Oprah’s career, even in the direction of her show, and through it all she was never afraid to make adjustments. Even at the height of the popularity of her show, she made a major pivot by firing the show’s producer who was also her friend, and replacing her with someone else. That took the show into a more positive direction and then gained more popularity. But this happened as she was at the height when it didn’t make sense to make a change. It didn’t make sense to make any type of adjustment. But she knew what she wanted to be and she knew she had to make adjustments to get there. For a lot of you who have been handling your money in a certain way for so long that you’re fearful of making the necessary adjustments to get your finances into a better place, if you want to win with your finances and you’re not winning currently, then it’s going to be imperative that you adjust your behavior when it comes to your money. You’re going to have to learn how to budget. You’re going to have to start paying off your debt. You’re going to have to start doing what’s necessary and adjusting all the things that you do so that you can start winning with your money.
Invest in Yourself
Oprah invested a lot of money into building the proper team that carried her show to higher heights. She didn’t mind spending money on her set which was her studio. She was very innovative at that time with putting money in certain areas to build her show. She also invested in herself by making sure that she brought all quality people. There was a time in the beginning where she interviewed certain people and there were certain different topics on her show that didn’t really make her feel good, so she made sure that anybody that she brought on the show not only add a value to herself but add a value to the viewers out there. You also have to be the same way – invest in yourself when it comes in the area of money. Some of you may have to invest a little money in yourselves in order to make some extra money. Maybe that’s side hustle, or another business venture. Invest in yourself, whatever it is – that’s the most important thing you can do.
Be Okay With Being Unique
Early on in her career when she was auditioning to have her show, Oprah had to send in an audition tape and the producer liked it. The producer called her and said, “I love this. This show, this is for you. You’re the one.” And her response was, “You do know that I’m a woman, right? You do know that I’m African-American, right? You do know that I’m overweight, right?” And he’s like, “Yeah, so what? Let’s go, let’s get it done.” It’s so easy to look at Oprah today and say she’s amazing. Think about what she had to come from at that time – this was the 80’s when she started. Not only is she from the South, she is an African-American woman and her name is Oprah. It was her uniqueness that made her who she is to this very day. What you have to do is also be willing to be unique. Everybody in your circle isn’t going to understand the fact that you are working so hard to get your finances in order. They’re not going to understand the fact that you don’t think it’s a good idea to always have a car note, to always have a student loan payment, like you really want to get out of debt and that’s going to make you unique. It’s going to make you stand out. For some people, that becomes a little uncomfortable. But don’t let it be uncomfortable for you. Embrace this uniqueness and take your family, take yourself to a place that nobody has been put before that you know. Debt freedom – you lead the charge and people will be coming looking for you for the answers just like people are coming, looking for Oprah for the answers now.
Learn from Your Failures
In the beginning of Oprah’s career, she had certain shows on her show that she didn’t really feel great about. As a matter of fact, there was one particular episode that she mentioned where there was a gentleman on the show along with his wife and his mistress, and the mistress announced that she was pregnant. The wife heard that for the very first time, and Oprah mentioned that to see the pain, the hurt and the shock on his wife’s face made her feel horrible. She said that she will never allow anyone else to be able to use her platform and use her show in that way again. So she started to turn things around in the air of her show. No matter what may be popular and that people want to watch at that time, she was willing to go against the grain and she did whatever made her feel better and that’s when she started to bring on different programs that add a value to others. That is also the same thing for all of you – to learn from your failures and mistakes.
Early in Oprah’s career, she was doing well and her show was becoming popular and popular, she made a bold decision to leave the network that she was on. She just never felt comfortable there. She never felt welcomed and she never felt wanted. Although her show was in a great place and it was going higher, she made the bold decision to sever ties with that network and go to a different one. Another example, as mentioned earlier, she was at another pinnacle in her career and she decided to sever ties with a friend who was also her producer. Imagine that was a tough decision, but she knew that’s what she had to do to get to the place that she needed to get to. So look at your situation right now. There are some people in your life that are holding you back. They’re so negative and so against everything that you’re trying to do positively with your finances that you can’t make any traction. Not only that, there are some habits that you need to sever. Are there some old ways of thinking that you need to get away from? Whatever you need to cut out of your life, sever those ties immediately so you can start to win with your finances.
Be A Giver
When you think about Oprah, she also gives a lot. She gave a lot on the show to a lot of the audience members and she also gives a lot in other areas outside of television. Oprah has a lot of different causes and she is a giver. That’s something that we can all learn. It’s so important that even while you’re on this journey of trying to get out of debt and also trying to build wealth that you don’t hold your hands so tightly closed that you won’t be able to get anything in or give anything out to others. Be a giver. The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We find pure joy in being able to find ways that we can give. Giving may not necessarily always be monetary. It may also mean giving of your time. Can you go and volunteer at a shelter, or volunteer at a food pantry or go and spend some time with elderly people in senior living-assisted homes? Find the time where you can be able to give and be a blessing to others.
Those are the seven money lessons that you can learn from Oprah Winfrey. Now it’s time to apply them. Remember that the only way this knowledge can be powerful is if you apply it. Take these lessons and apply them to your life so that you can get to a place of higher achievement with your personal finances. Where you are today may not be where you want to be. But if you take these lessons and you begin to walk it out, you will get there much sooner.