Say what you will about Oprah, and there will be a lot said as she winds down her television show after 25 years.  Actually a lot has already been said since she announced last year she would be giving up The Oprah Winfrey ShowAccording to Forbes, she is worth an estimated $2.7 billion dollars.  Her company, Harpo Inc, is estimated to have gross revenues estimated at $315 million dollars per year.  She can rightfully claim to be one of the most influential women in the country, if not the world.  Looking at the brand and the company she has built is awe inspiring.  But as I watched one of the advertisements about her last show, I got to thinking.  What is it I really admire about Oprah, besides the fact she is a great television host and interviewer?  Here are a couple thoughts…

Oprah always says you become what you believe.

She had an unfailing belief in her abilities and in her drive to focus on reaching the top. That strong focus helped her channel her energy and hard work into accomplishing her goal.

Oprah doesn’t seem to be afraid to take a chance and to identify and seize opportunities.

She was never afraid to listen to her heart and grab opportunities as they came by. Remember her acting debut in the movie “The Color Purple.” Everybody thought she was crazy to jump into acting while still doing the show.  I think it worked out.  I’m not saying go out and take foolish risks,  but we should all be so willing to take what I would call intelligent leaps in the unknown.

Oprah made a difference.

You can say the television show made a difference and it clearly did by discussing controversial topics and people and forcing the country to confront uncomfortable issues it had been avoiding.  But beyond that, Oprah made a difference by never forgetting those less fortunate.  She built schools in developing countries, donated millions to charities, and made social consciousness cool.

There’s no denying Oprah’s success and the influence she’s gained as a result of it.   I mean, perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think anyone else has the clout to alter the starting date for the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals!

But on a serious note, she’s a hero to many and she deserves all the accolades she receives for her impressive career.   Congratulations on 25 years Oprah!