America's Only Black Female Billionaire Shares 3 Keys to Success

Oprah Winfrey

This is an easy one. In 2003, Oprah Winfrey became the first African American female to make the Forbes list of billionaires, and she is still the only African American female billionaire on the list. She is considered by VH1 to be the No. 1 Pop Culture Icon in history -- more popular than Superman or Elvis! So, what is it about Oprah that makes her so popular, and successful?

Key to her success

If you read enough about Oprah, you'll find the keys to her success. This is one tough cookie who not only doesn't give up but also does not forget those who helped her along the way. Here are three of the basic keys to her success:

#1 - Know what you want and go for it: Oprah was only 16 and still in high school when she began her broadcasting career at WVOL radio in Nashville. By the time she was 19, she became the youngest person and the first African-American woman to anchor the news at WTVF-TV in Nashville. Her advice to others is to know what you want and go after it.

#2 - Work hard: you just can't ignore this one. Oprah certainly didn't. She went from radio to television to news and talk shows. She didn't stop when The Oprah Winfrey Show became the number one rated talk show in history in 1986. She was the third woman in America to create her own entertainment studio, Harpo Studios, in 1988. She created the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2008, created her own magazine, The Oprah Magazine, has appeared in films, and the list goes on. Her advice to other women is to be willing to work as hard as you can to get where you want to go.

#3 - Be generous: Oprah's generosity was apparent as early as 1986 when she gave $10,000 of her own money for staff bonuses because management refused to do it. Since then, she has given millions in grants, charities, schools, scholarships, women's shelters and more. As Oprah once stated, "I gave to someone else what had been given to me." "Every gift is your way of expressing how you feel about another person."

Although Oprah just turned 60 last year, she shows no signs of slowing down.
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