Why Oprah's Exit is Good News for Authors, Businesses & Entertainers

The Oprah Winfrey Show is over. While many have shed tears at her departure, this is great news for authors, businesses, experts, entertainers, and charities around the world! Before you go thinking I'm an Oprah hater, I am not. I am actually a huge Oprah fan. I think she's done a tremendous amount of good in her 25 years hosting the show. Oprah created stars and best-sellers. An appearance on her show changed people's lives forever. But when you spend all your time focused on the near impossible, you cheat yourself and others of your message and gift. So why is it great news Oprah is off the air?


It means you can get back to work building fans, followers, and as Seth Godin calls them, Tribes. It means if you want to build a business, sell books, create raving fans, or be a successful entertainer, you've got to put in the work. The Oprah lottery is no more. Hoping, wishing, praying, and waiting for Oprah to spread your message and make you or your product famous is over. Now comes the hard part. It's getting out there and doing the work. Writing that book and taking it into local bookstores. Negotiating a killer licensing deal on your latest invention. Singing at every open-mic night you can find. Nurturing loyal fans that want to spread the word about your amazing company. And begging your family, friends, and others for donations to a cause you believe in.

As an author of a couple of books, I can tell you first-hand the intoxicating pull of Oprah. When my first book came out, I daydreamed of getting on the Oprah show. I was obsessed with it. I bugged my publicist nearly every day about it. When I was writing my second book, The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose, I'd daydream about walking onto the Oprah stage and sharing my wisdom with an intrigued and impressed Oprah. "This book's message is perfect for Oprah," I'd constantly tell myself. My loved ones shared their support. "She'd be crazy not to have you on!" they'd counsel me.

When I talked to other professionals, authors, and entertainers, I started to get nervous. Everyone was saying the same two things: (1) I've got a great message for the Oprah Show and (2) Oprah would be crazy not to want me on. After hearing this over and over and over from authors, musicians, start-ups, charities, and others, I got a terrible sinking feeling. Everyone thinks they have something that is perfect for the Oprah Show and they are counting on an appearance for their success.

Here's how the marketing plan looked for millions of hopeful authors, musicians, businesses, and non-profits: Get on Oprah Show. That's it. This was the extent of their plan. "All I need to do is get on "Oprah" and the world will see how great my [fill in the blank] is!"

Everyone wants the quick fix and to take the easy route (myself included). Why struggle and toil when Oprah, the big-shot in your field, the popular blogger, the powerful agent, or business reporter can make your life so much easier? It's because every moment you clamor to get their attention, you're not getting the attention of the people who really matter -- your clients or audience. There's nothing wrong with swinging for the fences sometimes, but it can't be your only path to victory.

Oprah is over. Now the real work begins...

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