Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American entrepreneur formally known for work as a producer, TV show host, actress, and philanthropist. Oprah has managed to stay relevant along the years through her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she built up a reputation and claimed many accolades, thus becoming one of the most widely recognized self-made entrepreneurs. Today, we know Oprah as a hardworking, kind, and successful woman. However, her success came with many trials and tribulations along the way. From the very beginning, Orpah was faced with obstacles that one would think were impossible to overcome. As a child of a sharecropper farmer, Oprah was raised in poverty, neglected, sexually abused, and faced racism. Her unmarried parents drifted apart and moved elsewhere shortly after her birth, leaving her in with her grandmother, a harsh but loving disciplinarian who she gives credits with fostering her outgoing personality and precociousness. (Entrepreneur, 2008). When she was six Oprah moved to an urban ghetto area in Milwaukee Wisconsin to live with her mother who did not exactly make things easier for her. As her mother was dealing with many problems it left her with little to no room to focus on her own daughter. Oprah was developing her own problems with the lack of parental attention causing her to become vulnerable. When she was nine, Oprah was sexually assaulted by one of her mother’s boyfriends, a family friend, uncle, and a teenage cousin. Not being able to speak to anyone about what was going on only lead her to act out irrationally and. Oprah’s behaviour was just too much for her mother to handle, forcing her to send Oprah to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Which seemed to be the best decision for Orpah. Her strict father only set her on the right track as Oprah states that, ‘My father turned my life around by insisting that I be more than I was and by believing I could be more,’ Winfrey told Good Housekeeping magazine. ‘His love of learning showed me the way.'(Entrepreneur, 2008). With the guidance of her father, she changed for the better. Becoming an honour roll student and rekindling her love for public speaking which posed as an asset, helped her earn a scholarship to the University of Tennessee State.
The entertainment industry is a large and diverse industry that consists of film, radio, and television. Followed by the sub-industries of movies, TV shows, radio shows, newspapers, magazines, and books. Oprah was offered a position as a co-news anchor at Nashville’s CBS affiliate, WTVF-TV. Making history by becoming not only the first female co-anchor but the first black co-anchor in Nashville (Entrepreneur, 2008). This was Oprah left college during her senior year to accept her role with WTVF-TV as co-anchor of the evening news but was fired after being too emotionally invested in the reports she was assigned to. Luckily for her, new management had an idea to make a virtue of Winfrey’s reporting shortcomings. In 1984, The Oprah Winfrey Show formerly known as AM Chicago had come to fruition. She saw major success and became the number one local talk show in Chicago. Due to her success on a micro-scale, her show entered national syndication and became the highest-rated TV show in the history of television. Oprah’s show became a dependable way for many people to become educated while also being entertained. Her competitive advantage with the Oprah Winfrey Show was inclusivity. She achieved this by giving a platform to many diverse topics. The show was an educational platform that had no restriction on its viewers. This seemed to be the stepping stone in her career which allowed her to a branch of into many different positions, including the opportunity to exacting and owning many businesses allowing her to spot the suboptimal opportunity (Bygrave, pg. 66). By building so much fame and leaving such a huge impact on the industry Oprah was able to achieve double-dipping simply by using her name. ‘Fifteen years ago, I wrote in my journal that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold. For me, the launch of OWN is the evolution of the work I’ve been doing on television all these years and a natural extension of my show.’ By demonstrating The 10 D’s and creating a business plan she was able to create her own TV network, OWN also known as The Oprah Winfrey network.Competitors
As she created her own network she also created a new group of competitors for herself. Not just any competitors as well, we’re talking about powerhouses such as CNN, FOX, CafeMedia, Refinery29, June Media, and EBONY. This meant that Oprah would have to face the Status quo competition. When OWN was about to debut, it was unable to meet internal targets set before its debut date. Being that of who she is, Oprah was able to make a come back due to her leadership skills in programming which then attracted talent to join her in her primetime. Receiving help from another known star producer Tyler Perry helped increase her brand awareness. Having another self-made star only help increased her competitive advantage.
Oprah strategies throughout her career were very effective. I believe that through her struggles as a child and with the help of her father she developed a mentality that would allow she Oprah had an idea Business created Assets for herself throughout her life helped in the end.