Oprah is a queen and no one can say a bad word about her. But the story of her last year – the first year when she left network TV to start her OWN network, is instructive.
1. She lost her base. You’d think her loyal followers of 20 years would follow her to cable, but they didn’t. Why? Doesn’t everyone have cable? Is it too hard to switch from Channel 4 to Channel 400 (or whatever)? It doesn’t make sense, but people didn’t follow.
2. She has the world’s biggest platform – 100 percent name recognition and a magazine that keeps her face in front of everyone who shops in a supermarket. But they still didn’t watch her new network. What’s up with that?
3. She’s appearing on other people’s talk shows. She never did that before. She had enough celebrity that she didn’t have to do PR or shill her work. Now she is.
What’s the bottom line lesson?
1. What goes up, can come down.
2. Nothing lasts forever.
3. Don’t take your celebrity for granted.
4. Be nice to the people on the way up because… (you know the rest).
I wish Oprah all the best. She is an amazing person who has helped millions of people directly and indirectly.
If her story can happen to her, it can happen to the rest of us. Oprah has taught us well in the past. Let’s use this lesson to help guide us in the future.