It was reported that last month Oprah Winfrey made anywhere from $42 to 60 million in one day.
Oprah Winfrey purchased a ten percent stake in Weight Watchers in October of this year, which sent the stock rising. This means Winfrey's newly bought stock made her more money than most expect to make in their lifetimes.
There are those who are a bit upset. Does Oprah need another stack of cash? There are those who are proud of her. Yes! Another Oprah win; we knew she couldn't do any wrong. And then there are those who want to know exactly how she did it so we can repeat the process.
If you, like me, are in that last category I have some surprising news. We can do it, too! Yes, there are some key ingredients to Oprah Winfrey's $60M payday, and they can all be found in five of my favorite books.
Now since this is one of my first Huffington Post pieces, let me introduce myself briefly. I am in business with someone who worked with Ms. Winfrey. You can find Paul C. Brunson's post on the lessons he learned working with two billionaires (Ms. Winfrey being one of them) here.
That's it. That's the intro. I work with a millionaire who was mentored by two billionaires and I think that gives me the inside track on how we, too, can make big, bold Oprah business moves ourselves.
So let's get to the books, shall we?
1. Maximum Achievement: Strategies And Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers To Succeed by Brian Tracy. This book is pretty much just like The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, but from one man's experiences instead of in collaboration format. In the book Tracy does give us secrets to using a positive mindset, and proves his point with his own rags to riches story, case studies from being a business coach, and even Bible verses to prove his points.
As it pertains to Oprah Winfrey's success and eventually yours and my success, the part of this book where you need to focus on is positive thoughts and thinking big. Last year at Oprah Winfrey's The Life You Want Tour, Winfrey recounted her early years where she proclaimed she knew she was destined for a "better" life. She may not have seen a day where she made $60M or so, but as Tracy teaches in Maximum Achievement, belief in better for yourself and affirming with words that "it" is out there for you is a very good (and profitable) first step.
Two of my favorite affirmations I've adapted from Tracy are:
"Something wonderful is going to happen today."
And then there's "The universe is conspiring to make me happy."
Telling yourself to expect greatness every day is one of the easiest things you can do to put you on the path to greatness.
Tracy directs his readers in goal setting techniques, too. Writing down your goals is super important and a form of affirmation and envisioning for your life that will help you get to your $60M payday. Based on what I've learned in Maximum Achievement and in Oprah Winfrey's latest move I can guarantee you Ms. Winfrey hasn't stopped thinking and affirming big for herself and we need to do the same.
2. 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene. When I was in college I would fall asleep in honors history. It wasn't interesting or applicable to real life. Greene's book is 48 history lessons and every one of them is an awakening! The storytelling, the application to real life, there are fables; all of these things drive each of his 48 laws home. There are ten I want to point out that are specific to Winfrey's deal with Weight Watchers.
a. Create a cult: play on people's need to believe. Winfrey is the master Pied Piper. I wouldn't say she created a cult; that's Greene's definition of this law. However, she can lead millions to buy her favorite things, read books in a society that has seem to become big screen obsessed, switch television networks - all with one or two words. People need to believe they can lose weight and who better to lead them to that conclusion than Winfrey. This played into the larger goal of creating wealth for Winfrey in that not only did Winfrey's fans buy stock immediately to create this immediate, massive one-day wealth, but they will now buy the weight loss products and subscriptions. Do you have your cult?
b. Enter action with boldness. I've got to admit, I think Winfrey buying stock in a weight loss system is crazy bold. She's often tried to lose weight and succeeded only to gain the weight back. If I were her (and I'm not) I would be a bit too scared that people wouldn't be enthused with this purchase because they may believe I personally am not going to succeed again. Not Winfrey. She's bold and that's what we need to learn from this move. As a side note and I'll mention it again, but her mindset is different and that's what we need to learn if we want such huge payoffs to our endeavors.
c. So much depends on reputation. Going back to Winfrey's reputation for weight loss and weight gain; it doesn't matter. What matters is that she has a bigger reputation for picking winners. Buying Weight Watchers stock is an endorsement not in Winfrey's success, but in the success of the product itself. What are you doing to build the reputation of success?
d. Surrender tactic: transform weakness into power. Again, the weight loss. Winfrey has never hidden from the fact she has an on again off again weight struggle. Buying stock in Weight Watchers embraces this weakness and says she's willing to try again. That's transforming weakness into power!
e. Concentrate your forces. Winfrey has influence, power, finesse, mass appeal, authenticity, and money. Not an exhaustive list, but these positioned her to win and win big even for a billionaire. What forces do you have that you can combine to make YOU win bigger than you ever have?
f. Master the art of timing. We are entering a season where, in the United States, people are prone to overeat. That is followed by a season of wanting to lose weight. Could Winfrey have had better timing in becoming a player in the weight loss game? She's riding the wave and we should, too.
g. Never appear too perfect. Of course, making that much loot in one day screams perfection. Again Winfrey is shining a light on not only her need to lose weight (although I think she's looking great and confident these days), but also on the repeated conversations people have had about her failures in the same arena. Doesn't matter. The law of power says that Winfrey is doing the perfect thing by not appearing too perfect.
h. Make your accomplishments seem effortless. I don't know when I've ever seen someone make so much and talk so little. The part amazing people about this stock buy is we never heard about it. With all the interviews Winfrey does (she was on the cover of Fast Company the week the news of the stock buy went public), there was never any talk about her next move or her trying something new. She also hasn't come on any of the shows to talk about how hard the process was. Nope. This could have been her hardest venture yet, but you won't hear that from her. It's a law of power and Winfrey obeys the law.
i. Play to people's fantasies. Most people think that what Winfrey did this week was something only she or other rich people can do. So with that vantage point this "windfall" of money played into their fantasies. However, as these five books point out, it isn't a fantasy at all, but something we can all accomplish.
3. How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold. I'm about 80 chapters into this 100 chapter book. Don't worry. Each "chapter" is more like a meaty paragraph followed by recommended reading, critical thinking questions, and action steps.
The book focuses on middle class thinking versus world-class thinking; as a matter of fact each chapter title gets straight to that point. As the middle class we've been taught some very limiting things. We aren't taught to think in a non-linear way, and it hampers our success. In a nutshell we are taught hard work will pay off, when in fact physical labor isn't the key. Money follows ideas.
Middle class thinking is to believe working hard or being busy or even sitting at a desk and typing is the key to building wealth, when world-class thinkers, who have usually amassed their wealth from being broke and then having a marketable idea, know that your mind is where your fortune is. Like in Tracy's book which I mentioned earlier, until you know what you don't know about how to think yourself rich is presented to you, you can't even conceive of a move like Winfrey's. Once your mind is opened to thought leaders who I've found to repeatedly talk about the universe and energy and focusing on the big ideas versus the big paychecks, you will immediately see a difference in how big you can dream and how big you can execute. This is why Winfrey didn't just dabble in a stock purchase, but went all in; it's how rich people think.
4. The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets Of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro. Although this book chronicles the secrets of Black millionaires, it is the perfect read for all who hope to aspire to be wealthy. Kimbro shows it is truly a choice to be wealthy as he tells the stories of sometimes broken, homeless, resource-less, network-less people who went on to amass great wealth. These millionaires also were lead to big paydays by big ideas. They didn't give into convention and let their circumstances dictate their outcomes. That's a choice you can make. Those who make it are among the wealthiest of us today. You don't have to be born rich. You just need to make a decision that you want to be and then work towards that goal.
5. Confidence: How Winning Streaks And Losing Streaks Begin And End by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. This book can be summed up with one Amazon, three-star review title: "Great concept! Wish it had been a better read." I'm not going to say this is the best read out there, but the book makes great points and the one that applies here? Winners expect to win so they do. Winfrey has been winning for three or four decades; some would argue all six of her life. She expects to win. How can we do that? How can we gain the confidence of say a Michael Jordan, the New York Yankees, or Duke's basketball team when they are firing on all cylinders and winning championship after championship?
First let me tell you that for the reason listed above - people may see Winfrey as a loser when it comes to weight loss - Winfrey's investment in this company could have yielded in what could be called lukewarm results by regular people standards. She could have invested and the stock not double in price. She could have only slightly moved the needle for the company or not at all. Did you laugh at that last statement? Well, that's because we all have confidence in Winfrey's "Oprah effect," and so does Winfrey.
What's your effect? Do you have confidence, I mean burning, surefire confidence, that when you start something, do something different, create a new product, build a new relationship, write for a new publication - do you do it with the utmost confidence? It is imperative that you do because winners win.
So there you have it, the secret Oprah Winfrey formula for making $60M in 2015 that you can use for a successful 2016. Speak with belief, act with power, cultivate world-class thoughts, choose wealth, and do it all with confidence!
I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm a mom who works at home and my favorite place to think is the shower. Siebold mentions a lot of rich people use the shower as their thinking space. Anyway, I have a habit of doing a power pose and affirming, "I am Oprah Winfrey powerful!" while in the shower. Understanding that the tool she used - her steadfast belief in her abilities - to become who she is is available to all of us is an important step. Take it, affirm it.
Tell me, what book do you suggest for success?