Oprah "The Queen of Television"

It’s so easy to look at really successful people and think they just woke up one day that way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every successful person I know had their share of failures and hardships. The “Queen of Television” was no different…

Born to teenage, unwed parents, Oprah had a lot of things going against her. She was poor, black, a female, and born to parents out of wedlock. Her early years with her grandparents were wonderful, but from age six to thirteen her life was full of abuse and trouble-making. Her mother’s failed attempt to put her in a detention center landed her with her father. He helped her turn her life around and she went on to college and then moved into journalism.

Oprah was fired as a TV reporter because she broke the "cardinal rule" of journalism -- remain objective. Oprah started crying while interviewing a woman who had lost seven children in a fire. That show of sympathy cost Oprah her job.

At age 22 and a new anchorperson she was sitting around a table with men in suits when they suggested she change her name to Suzie. They counseled that it was a "friendlier" and more easily remembered name than Oprah. Oprah rejected their suggestion and decided to stay true to herself.

She knew she was different and liked it that way. So she worked hard to launch her own media career by creating a talk show with heart and a helping hand to people in need. The Oprah Winfrey Show was born. Today Oprah is a one-woman media empire worth billions of dollars.

If Oprah had listened to the "professionals" and followed their advice, I wonder if we'd even know who she is today. But because she rejected the "tested formula" of journalism and built upon her uniqueness, millions of people around the world have been touched and helped because of her.

Each of us is unique, with special gifts and talents. If others recommend you make changes, honestly consider if such changes would diminish who you really are. Some changes might be for the good -- others might cause you to compromise your uniqueness. And your uniqueness might just be what the world is waiting for!

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