Back in 2002, Nate Berkus received a call that would change his life. In a recent one-on-one interview he took us on that journey from owning a design business to being one of Oprah Winfrey’s experts to becoming a syndicated talk show host to his latest sit down with Oprah’s on Super Soul Sunday.
The 41-year-old reflected on the experience of being asked to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, saying, “I was sitting in my offices in Chicago and I’d met one of Oprah’s producers and become friendly with them about a year and a half prior, but I’m not the type of person that’s particularly strategic when it comes to friendships. After a year and a half I received a phone call from a different producer who was at the show, who asked if I wanted to makeover a small space.”
It’s the invitation that any entrepreneur would have dreamed about. As Nate recalled, “I remember thinking that it was going to be a lot of work and I remember thinking that it would be an incredible opportunity and how much preparation I would need to go into it. So of course I said, ‘Sure, of course, I’d be happy to. When is it and where is it?’ And they said it would actually be this afternoon and it’s in Boston.”
Certainly it was a demanding request. But the ambitious young businessman jumped at the challenge. He confessed, “I sort of panicked and then I started thinking about it and I said, ‘Let me think about how to achieve this and give you a call back.’”
Never one to pass up a challenge, Nate figured out a plan. “I sat and I thought about it and I thought the only way to make a makeover like that work with all this construction is to pair up with a national company that has local crafts people and trades in each town. So I called the producers back and I said, ‘I think we can do it but I certainly can’t bring my electricians and carpenters and mill workers and plumbers with me from Chicago. But if someone from ‘The Oprah Show’ can call a home improvement chain and find out if we can work with one of them then I think we could get a whole group of people there tomorrow morning by 10 o’clock and I’ll just do the design on the fly. And it was exactly that. It’s exactly what we ended up doing.”
The rest is history, after three whirlwind days and a trip to the emergency room from exhaustion, Continue Reading