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Oprah Winfrey on Career, Life, and Leadership

Oprah Winfrey, Founder of Harpo Productions Inc., Chairman and CEO of OWN, and Founder and Publisher of “O” The Oprah Magazine is living proof that the American dream includes strong female entrepreneurs. According to Entrepreneur magazine, the illegitimate daughter of a Mississippi sharecropper, overcame poverty, parental neglect, sexual abuse and racism. Further, she went on to become one of the richest and most influential people in the world.

At 19 years old, Winfrey was offered a co-news anchor position at Nashville’s CBS affiliate, WTVF-TV. Not only was she Nashville’s first female co-anchor but also the first black person to co-anchor as well. But Winfrey’s biggest break came in 1985, when producer Quincy Jones offered her a role in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker’s, “The Color Purple.” Soon thereafter, Winfrey made her national debut on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Within five months it became the third-highest rated show in syndication and the number one talk show, reaching upwards of 10 million people daily in 192 cities. After forming Harpo Productions Inc. and purchasing a production studio in Chicago, Winfrey took ownership and production of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

In an interview with Fast Company, Winfrey spoke about one of her big productivity secrets: being focused and fully present. “I have learned that your full-on attention for any activity you choose to experience comes with a level of intensity and truth,” she said. “It’s about living a present life, moment to moment — not worrying about what’s going to happen at 3 o’clock and what’s going to happen at 7 o’clock.” Multitasking, says Winfrey, is a joke. “When I try to do that, I don’t do anything well.”

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