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What I Learned Working for Oprah Winfrey for More Than 20 Years (Podcast) Listen to the incredible career and life lessons Sheri Salata learned while serving as executive producer of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.'

By Mike Koenigs

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Capability Amplifier

"A full-blown catastrophe." That doesn't exactly sound like the way you'd expect a super-successful woman who produced TV for arguably one of the most powerful woman on the planet to describe themselves, does it?

On the most recent episode of Capability Amplifier, I had the awesome opportunity to sit down and get to know Sheri Salata, who for more than 20 years held one of the most heralded jobs on the planet as the executive producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show. She dedicated decades to her dream job, and shared the reality behind that dream: "I think that when people hear about a 20-year career with Oprah Winfrey, it sounds like I just left college and sailed right into Harpo Studios and started climbing up the ladder. But the truth is, I did not start at The Oprah Winfrey Show until I was 35 years old -- and it was in an entry-level position."

Related: 24 Quotes on Success From Oprah Winfrey

She was privy to everything that was pitched to Oprah, and Sheri used that knowledge to expand her knowledge around her own business and passions. From diet trends to celebrity drama, fitness crazes and spiritual movements, Sheri had access to many of the secrets that passed through Oprah's studios. On this episode, we uncover what those professional lessons did for Sheri and her business, and what it can do for you, too!

Reinventing herself

Because of Sheri's job at Harpo Studios, a lot of her focus was on makeovers and reinventions for other people. But eventually, she decided to reinvent herself. Not because she had to from a business perspective but because she needed to do it for own personal wellness.

She realized that some of her grandiose plans were a form of self-sabotage: "I'm going to summit the mountain, train for six months, but then do nothing." "I'm going to run half marathons, train for eight months, but then do nothing." Sheri says, "When you make your goals so high and so difficult, oftentimes you're setting yourself up for failure."

It wasn't until she cleared her calendar and mind and took a very honest look at what she had created in her life that she could see that it was the little things that created real transformation. It's a glass of water. It's a walk around the block. It's five minutes of mindfulness that makes all the difference in the world.

Podcast takeaways:

  • How to see a story in someone and how to use that story to teach and connect deeply to an audience

  • What truly made Oprah's show work

  • What running a billion-dollar media company was like, and the secret to producing 100+ shows a year for decades

  • How to intentionally create the most magical moments in your life and how to utilize those to shape your mission

  • The power in taking simple actions to make the biggest moves that produce the most significant results

More from Sheri

Sheri is the author of the best-selling book, The Beautiful No: And Other Tales of Trial, Transcendence, and Transformation, and co-host of the top-rated podcast, The Sheri + Nancy Show.

Check out the whole podcast interview here and don't forget to subscribe, leave me a message, rate, review and share!

Mike Koenigs

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of Superpower Accelerator

Peter Diamandis calls Mike Koenigs An Arsonist of The Mind. He helps entrepreneurs create their “Next Act,” high net, low overhead, high impact, fewest moving parts, lifestyle-compatible businesses they love. Serial Entrepreneur with 5 exits, 17x bestselling author and the secret weapon of founders.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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