20 Career Lessons from Celebrities
Tania Khadder and Zac Frank
#19: Ellen Degeneres
Lesson: Be yourself.
Ellen DeGeneres rose to fame as a standup comedian and eventually secured her own sitcom in 1994. While the show did well, DeGeneres was not content. In a speech to the graduating class of Tulane university in 2006, DeGeneres described how hard it was to have to hide her sexual orientation from the public.
Finally, in 1997, she came out on Orpah Winfrey’s show and her character on her show followed suit. The coming-out episode garnered the shows highest ratings ever, but then the quickly tailed off and the show went off the air in 1998.
Did being honest with herself and her audience ruin her career? Not in the least. DeGeneres returned to television on a daily basis in 2003 with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a day-time talk show that consistently gained in the ratings and won 25 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons.
Now she has both a successful television show and personal happiness.