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He’s Hired, You’re Inspired: A Review of Apprentice Winner Bill Rancic’s Bookby Betsy Wasser -- 10/05/2004
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Want to win a copy of Bill Rancic’s book, You’re Hired? Read Betsy’s review and at the end of the article, click over to the Contest Page to find out how!
Fans of NBC’s The Apprentice know who Bill Rancic is. He’s the one who beat out all of those other candidates to win the coveted job running one of Donald Trump’s companies, the only one who instead of hearing the words, “You’re fired,” heard, “You’re hired!” But how did Bill get to the place where he is today? And what can other business people learn from him? Bill answers those questions in his new book You’re Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life.
In the introduction to the book, Bill writes, “I never went to business school. I don’t have that kind of mind. I’ve never even read a book on business or marketing or negotiating strategies, because I don’t believe good business instincts can be taught. That’s why they call them instincts… I’ve yet to come across a textbook situation that could be gotten through with any kind of textbook solution.” Upon reading that, I thought, “Well, great, Bill. Then why am I reading this book?” He goes on to explain that while he doesn’t believe business instincts can be taught, he does believe in the benefits of learning from successful mentors, role models, or peers. That’s the reason Bill wanted the opportunity to work with Donald Trump, and that’s the reason he has written this book – to give his readers the value of his perspective.
Throughout the book, we learn about Bill’s business experience. It’s clear from the beginning that he is an entrepreneur born. He tells about how, as a kid, he learned he could make money by cooking meals for his grandmother’s friends. As a teenager, he wasn’t satisfied to just save up his money and buy a car. Instead, he bought a car, invested more money in fixing it up, and sold it at a tidy profit. He shares with us the lessons he learned even at an early age, all of which drive the decisions that he makes today.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is Bill’s description of an epiphany that he had when working his first job out of college. Bill was selling commodity metals, and he describes it as a decent job with a good salary, not one that really challenged and inspired him, but a comfortable living, especially for a young kid just starting out. But one day, another salesman who’d been a superstar for thirty years with the company was suddenly let go. The logic was that his salary had gotten so high that the company could hire two or three younger executives for what they were paying him. It made Bill realize something important: “There is no such thing as job security when you work for someone else, so why not work for yourself?” After that, it was just a matter of time before Bill found a partner and founded his Cigars Around the World business. While working for himself might have seemed risky, he realized that as long as he worked for someone else, his job would never truly be safe.
Throughout the book, Bill tells the readers about his experience with Cigars Around the World, as well as the other jobs he worked throughout his life. Most of the business lessons he learned along the way aren’t exactly earth-shattering. He tells us, for example, about the importance of thinking outside the box. We’ve all heard that before, right? I doubt anyone will read that and think, “Oh, here I’ve thought thinking inside the box was what would make me successful. Thanks, Bill!” But Bill does tell many interesting stories about how he changed his thinking and perspective, and the stories he tells might just inspire a reader to approach a challenge a little differently.
Bill’s personal experiences are the most interesting and useful part of the book. The book is structured into chapters that tell the story about his life in business, then are followed by “Lessons Learned.” The “Lessons Learned” sections were, to me, the weakest part of the book. It’s one thing to just read, “Give the customer what he wants.” It’s much more interesting – and useful – to read how Bill has personally followed that rule and been successful at it.
Fans of The Apprentice will especially enjoy Chapter 6, “Playing the Game,” in which Bill describes his experience on the show. Bill gives some interesting insights, for example, into the Trump Ice water challenge. Ereka, who you may recall was the project manager in that task, was, according to Bill, “all caught up in the glitz and glamour associated with the Trump name,” causing her sales pitches to focus on the “great buzz” that would be generated by the Trump Ice brand. Bill, on the other hand, was able to understand that to their customers, all bottled water was the same, so he focused on competitive pricing and was much more successful. Bill then describes how, when his team lost the task, Ereka’s personal relationship with Katrina clouded her professional judgment in choosing the right people to take into the boardroom. Ereka’s desire to protect her friend, according to Bill, wound up costing her the job. Bill gives similar anecdotes about other crucial tasks, how he helped his team, and how other candidates failed. By the end, it’s clear why Donald Trump hired him.
If you have a head for business, reading Bill Rancic’s You’re Hired probably won’t teach you anything you didn’t know before. But reading about Bill’s personal experiences may very well motivate you to take more risks, try new things, and to hone your natural instincts. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to fans of the show or to people in business who need a little bit of inspiration.
Now that you’ve read Betsy’s review, click here to go to the You’re Hired contest page and find out how you can win a free copy of the book!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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