Oprah Winfrey is an Entertainment Executive. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Harpo (Oprah’s name spelled backwards) Productions, Incorporated. According to the article, Academy of Achievement: Oprah Winfrey (2010), at the tender age of 17, Oprah was offered an on-air job at WVOL in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1976, she became a co-anchor on Baltimore, Maryland’s WJZ-TV News. While in Baltimore, Oprah co-hosted a talk show, People Are Talking, in addition to her being an anchor.
This show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, which expedited to being the number one nationally syndicated talk show. Climbing the entertainment broadcasting ladder, Oprah Winfrey received numerous of awards for The Oprah Winfrey Show in its first year, specifically, the Broadcaster of the Year award. Winfrey was the youngest person to be granted this award. Not only did Oprah dominate the broadcasting side of entertainment, she also made a name for herself in film. Oprah became a Golden Globe and Oscar Award nominee for portraying the role as Sophia in the 1985 movie, The Color Purple. If this was not enough, Ms. Winfrey demanded her place as a businesswoman and entrepreneur in 1986 by founding her own production company, Harpo
Productions, Incorporated. Time Magazine also named Oprah as one of the “100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century” in 2004. With that being said, Oprah has been measured as the highest-paid television performer, America’s self-made richest woman, the 20th century’s richest African American, and “the most powerful woman in the world” (Forbes, 2004-2011).
Jada Koren Pinkett-Smith is a multi-talented actress, producer, wife and mother. Born in Baltimore, Maryland to Robson Pinkett, Jr. and Adrienne Banfield who divorced after a few short months of marriage, Jada was destined for stardom. “I just want pieces of the world”, Pinkett-Smith expressed about her career. Determined to acquire those pieces, Jada attended Baltimore School for the Arts where she majored in dance and choreography and built a close friendship with her classmate by the name of Tupac Shakur (2Pac).
She also attended the North Carolina School of the Arts; however, she dropped out after one year in pursuit of a career in acting. Jada started to acquire some of those pieces, as she made her big break by being casted as Lena James, a college freshman at Hillman University in A Different World, a television sitcom. She also made her movie debut in Menace II Society two years thereafter. Continuing to add to those pieces, Jada was casted as opposite of Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor, opposite of Allen Payne in Jason’s Lyric, and found her way behind the camera, as she began directing music videos, just to name a few. Showing her many talents as an actress, director, and producer, Jada Pinkett found love and became Jada Pinkett-Smith, as she married Will Smith in 1997. To their union came two beautiful and talented children, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (son) and Willow Camille Reign Smith (daughter).
Both Jada Pinkett-Smith and Oprah Winfrey believe that in order to be successful at anything, you must have a plan; more specifically, a business plan. In order for Oprah to become such a powerful entrepreneur and businesswoman, she had to have a successful business plan.
According to Ms. Winfrey, a business plan gives you a vision to build a foundation. She stresses the importance of having a vision and that is what she looks for with every business idea brought her way. Although, Jada feels the same way, her business plan is slightly different. She and her husband feel that it just as pertinent to have a Family (Marriage) Business Plan.
“ We are two big beings that came together, and I had my vision and he had his [Will]. So, we had to join them”, Jada said during her interview with Oprah Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The couple actually has a Family Business Plan laid out in their home. Although Ms. Winfrey and Mrs. Pinkett-Smith both speak the importance of business plan whether it is with a business or a family, the one common denominator between the two is to have a vision; more specifically, a clear one.
If you too, feel that a good business plan starts out with having a clear vision and too, admire these two powerful African American women, why don’t you Share In The BlogLedge, and share your sentiments about this topic.