“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” — Arianna Huffington
What began as a passion for politics became what is now a leading news outlet around the world. Arianna Huffington quickly worked her way to celebrity and influential status as an author, philanthropist, television personality, and founder of the online news magazine ‘The Huffington Post’ (HuffPo). A website that quickly became one of the most visited in the US and this accomplishment makes her nothing short of a Brand Champion. Huffington’s drive for success started when she attended Cambridge University where she studied and received an MA in Economics. Having a strong knack for debate, Huffington took her spoken and written talent to concentrate her focus on political issues and represented an innovated news model which generated most of its content from journalists and bloggers. Despite roadblocks after her divorce in ‘97 and her failed campaign when she ran for governor of Californian, she worked harder and became the founder of The Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books.
In 2005, Huffington took her dream and made it a reality when she founded The Huffington Post website centered around politics and blogging. With the help from investors, like the California based venture capital firm Oak, and a team of talented journalists the HuffPo became one of the top leading politics, sports, and business websites giving Huffington a place in Time magazine’s top 100 list, and was named Forbes’ special ‘the most influential women in media’ in 2009.
Huffington’s career took off in 1973 after writing the bestseller ‘The Female Woman’ which questioned the feminist movement sparking her now prominent political reputation seen in her writing and businesses. Shortly after, Huffington found her niche in writing and debate which landed her positions writing for large companies which included the British editions of ‘Vogue’, ‘Cosmopolitan’, and newspapers such as ‘Daily Mail’ and ‘The Spectator’. It wasn’t long before Huffington made an impact in the world of politics, from opposing the NATO intervention during the Yugoslav wars which initiated the ‘Shadow Conventions’ and appeared at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
Huffington noticed the potential of alternative news reporting other than blogs such as the Grudge Report which inspired the launch of The Huffington Post. From the very beginning, the HuffPo quickly gained in popularity and millions of readers actively engaged within the Huffington community. Huffington ran with her successful news outlet and expanded her site thanks to the $5 million investment by SoftBank Capital. Huffington was able to expand her brand by hiring more staff to ensure everyone was up-to-date and to keep in-house reporters to keep news fresh and current.
Huffington isn’t one to stand idly by, instead, she stayed proactive by keeping up with trends that were helping major websites thrive. She kept her expectations high and discovered that video blogging was trending. The Post succeeded in expanding to include more dedicated journalists, media people, and local news reporters to bring their company to new heights as an authority in online journalism and news. If one thing’s for certain, when there’s and opportunity, Huffington hops on it.
Being a Brand Hero doesn’t mean you need to have gigantic financial background to take a dream and turn in into reality, what it takes is passion and drive. Huffington proved herself capable by attending the school of her dreams, publishing bestselling books, and creating a news outlet that offered an alternative approach to blogs and mainstream media. With her vision, Huffington was able to sell The Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million dollars at a 6.6% stake, and start a new project Thrive Global focused on health and wellness.
Arianna Huffington faced many challenges within her career which could have faltered her dream to entertain and educate the masses, but she didn’t. She persevered and with that her vision became a reality, a reality that not only made her an iconic public figure, but impacted the lives of many- hoping to shed some light on vast political issues. The trick? Face fears, take chances, live, breathe, and be your brand. Huffington’s determination and willpower set her up for success and is a prime example of a true Brand Hero.