Photo: George Burns
1. Never forget what it's like to be at the bottom.
I started at Harpo as a very junior producer. A few months in, Oprah saw something I'd written for a commercial and said, "Who wrote this? It's really good." She thanked me for my work—and said she liked my shoes. I lived on that moment for two years! I remember thinking, I want to be able to do that for someone someday.
2. The best cure for exhaustion is laughter.
At the end of a long day of taping two shows, Oprah and I usually had no brainpower left. And that's when Oprah would start doing impressions of our fellow staff members, or her spot-on version of Chris Rock. It cracked us up and got us ready to do it all again the following morning.
3. All will be well.
That's my mantra—and it's so freeing when you're facing a crisis. When I began this job, every failed booking or on-air slipup felt like a disaster. But after a while I noticed that Oprah wasn't bothered in the least. She's always open to the next good thing that's on its way.
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