With this classic rags to riches story, we hope to inspire your hopes and dreams.
We all know the TV sensation, philanthropist and social leader Oprah Winfrey as one of the wealthiest women in America. But we did a little more digging into her past to find out where she came from and how she became so successful.
We all know the name; she’s known the world over for her incredible story, the TV show which captured the hearts of millions, and her great success as a philanthropist and social leader.
Oprah had a rough start in life, born 29 January 1954 in Mississippi and living between her grandmother, father, and mother. Despite being sexually abused and living in a ghetto for part of her life, Oprah showed great intelligence, reading by the age of two and a half and skipping kindergarten altogether. The magic started in her late teens when she went to live with her father, a man who pushed her to achieve her best.
Oprah always knew she wanted to be “paid to talk” and in 1985 became the talk show host of the Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1986 she formed her own production company, Harpo Inc, in order to produce the topics which she wanted to see produced. She was driven by the need to really connect with others on their journey and this drove the iconic self-discovery discussions her show was so well known for.
Oprah still speaks out, always transparent about her own journey of self-discovery, through weight issues to battling depression and the general challenges of self-care which we all face in such a fast-paced society. She inspires change. Of course, through all of this, Oprah became a self-made billionaire and one of few women to do this from the ground up. Starting with the launch of Harpo Inc and the Oprah Winfrey Show, producing countless movies and TV shows, launching Oprah Magazine and even having her own TV network, Oprah is estimated to be worth an incredible $2.9 billion.
Although she is one of the wealthiest women in America, Oprah is well known for her philanthropy and has made generous contributions to many charitable organizations, as well as heading up some of her own. In 2007 she founded the Oprah Winfrey Academy for Girls and has spent around $140 million in the last ten years keeping the school for underprivileged girls up and running.
Besides all her philanthropic work, Oprah actually does spend some of her hard earned money on herself and definitely loves luxury. She owns a large mansion in California which she lives in and apparently spends her wealth on numerous other properties around the world, totalling over $100 million. She also likes to spend on vacations for herself, friends and even staff. She bought herself a private jet in 1991 for an astounding $42 million after an encounter with a rather rude person at the airport and has invested in a few health and wellness companies across the world, most notably, Weight Watchers and True Foods Kitchen. Oprah also has high-end taste in fashion and interior design.
So what does an average day in the life of such a powerful and rich woman look like? Let’s take a peek:
Oprah has an early start to her day, waking up at around 7am. She says she loves waking up surrounded by nature in her own home. She gets up and brushes her teeth before taking her five dogs out for a walk in the yard. After the walk she makes her favorite espresso, picking five cards from her 365 Gathered Truths box (cards of motivational quotes) whilst she waits for her coffee to brew. She also checks out “Bowl of Saki” on her phone which is delivered to her inbox every day and contains the teachings of the Sufis. Oprah says that she meditates every morning, anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes depending on her schedule. Around 9am Oprah works out for an hour with a mixture of strength and flexibility training, and cardio.
After her workout Oprah potters around, either doing some work or harvesting her fresh fruit and veggies from her very own garden. Lunch is around 12:30 and the general rule is “if we cannot find it in our garden, then we cannot eat it.” Oprah likes to either have lunch in the garden, either with her family or, if they are busy, with friends or people she is interested in meeting and talking to. She has invited over the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Chrissy Metz, and even Princess Ameerah of Saudi Arabia.
Early afternoon is her business time. She often deals with a lot of her financials at this hour, preferring to still have a hand in her own money matters. She said this comes from growing up poor and that she still likes to know how much the electricity bill is or what is coming in and going out. She also checks in with her friend Gayle to see how O magazine is doing, and any other business contacts she needs to keep in touch with. All this usually takes her about only two hours, after which she does some form of exercise again followed by some time in her teahouse, drinking decaffeinated tea and reading. Her latest love is reading poetry as she finds it deeply moving and says it “makes you see the poetry in your own life”.
Around 6pm is supper time and then it’s time to walk the dogs again. Oprah ends off her day sitting around the fire with her family, reading a novel and drinking more tea. She says she barely watches TV and can sometimes go for weeks without turning it on. At around 9:30pm she has a bubble bath, claiming it’s a ritual and talking of her collection of bubble baths, bath salts, beads and oils. She then climbs into bed and has a restful night before waking up refreshed and ready to soak in another day.
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