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Lessons From the Apprentice (1.1): Meet the Billionaire

Just for fun I felt like going back and re-watching past seasons of the apprentice. I’ve seen all the episodes but since the show is on such a long hiatus (won’t be coming back until next January) and season five was such a downer, it would be fun to go back and revisit the episodes and see what business lessons we can glean from them.

I’ll try not and do a full episode recap but just hit the high (and low) -lights, discuss the players, etc. While I already have many preformed opinions about the players because I’ve already seen them in action, I’m going to try and give everyone a clean slate from the first episode and opine as the show progresses.

The Task

The teams are given $250 seed money to sell… lemonade. I’ve complained quite a bit about the “small-ball” tasks of season five, but I understand this approach as the first task for the first season. These guys are supposed to be big shot money-makers, but you can often tell a lot about a person on how they handle some of the simplest of tasks.

The guys jumped into action, got the products they need and worked out deals to get free cups, free ice, free cart. They were out selling while the girls were still shopping. Unfortunately a bad location was chosen and they only doubled their money.

The girls had no organization and spent too much time discussing and arguing. but when it came time to sell, they used all of their “womanly” abilities to do so and were able to sell a cup of lemonade at $5 a piece, increasing their investment by 400%.

We were given a brief looking into the business prowess of a few of the players. Some definitely show immediate potential, others failed to make an impact and still others showed themselves to be poor leaders, poor followers, poor communicators and/or poor team members.

The Candidates

Apprentice 1 - Amy Amy:
Apprentice 1 - Bill Bill:
Shows himself to be smart and funny. Addresses flaws in others and the team in a professional/friendly way, doesn’t come off as a complainer.
Apprentice 1 - Bowie Bowie:
Apprentice 1 - David David:
Definitely not a sales person. His tactics are tacky and annoying. Doesn’t seem to know when to quit. When asked if he could have done better by Trump he answered “no”. Not apprentice material!
Apprentice 1 - Ereka Ereka:
Very upbeat despite setbacks. Very positive about her team, despite some of the backbiting and arguing. Seems real solid.
Apprentice 1 - Heidi Heidi:
Apprentice 1 - Jason Jason:
Apprentice 1 - Jessie Jessie:
Apprentice 1 - Katrina Katrina:
Apprentice 1 - Kristi Kristi:
Apprentice 1 - Kwame Kwame:
Gets things done. He may not have chose the best location, but he is the one who arranged all the free stuff.
Apprentice 1 - Nick Nick:
Starts himself off as one of the first naysayer, complaining about the name the guys’ team chose. Nick strikes me as one of those guys that has a negative opinion about most everything.
Apprentice 1 - Omarosa Omarosa:
Starts out taking charge of her team, very forward and aggressive.
Apprentice 1 - Sam Sam:
Seems to be a doer but not necessarily grounded in reality, trying to sell a cup of lemonade for $1000. Sam comes across as more desperate than anything else.
Apprentice 1 - Tammy Tammy:
Even before anything begins Tammy is showing extreme business dysfunction. While nobody should really care about having to impress anybody but Trump, as she stats, in business, you’ve got to get along, and if you want to succeed, you need people who’ll stand behind you. She doesn’t seem to be interested in making friends whatsoever. On the first task she’s not showing herself to be a team player.
Apprentice 1 - Troy Troy:
Despite being team leader, Troy didn’t leave much of an impression other than he’s a good guy.

Fired: David.

Lessons Learned

  • Leadership takes determination, not desperation. Know your goals and know what it takes to get there, but don’t resort to desperate tactics or words.
  • Good people often get off to poor starts. While first impressions are often important, don’t rely on them solely and give everyone a chance if you think they have potential.
  • Think before leaping. Take time considering your options, explore the pros and cons and then make a well though-out and considered decision.
Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

4 Responses to Lessons From the Apprentice (1.1): Meet the Billionaire

  1. Igor M. says:

    Stoney … you’re hooked on the show aren’t you? Yea, me too.

    I also wanted to re-watch the 1st season I have on DVD here. I might just do that. By the way … is it me or are the faces we see in the 1st season were more memorable and had much more character behind them than any other season contestants?

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Addicted? Me? I can quit anytime I want!

    Actually, this gives me something to post about and it’s interesting going back and seeing how the characters interact, especially Bill, knowing that what we already know.

    I might do the same with seasons 2-4 as well, cause each one does have some good business principles.

  3. Igor M. says:

    Stoney … I actually didn’t watch season 2 and saw only few episodes of season 3 as I thought they’d come out on DVD. That never happened.

  4. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    I’m sure they will eventually. They try not to release these things too close together in order to give people a chance to spend less money all at once but more money all together.