Saturday, January 26, 2008

Star Struck

A few days ago I was invited to attend an awards luncheon with the web design company who I'll be working with doing some part-time project management and marketing communications work. They were finalists for Business Of The Year from the Better Business Bureau in our area, and they asked me to be at their table during the event. It was a huge honor for them to be nominated, and I was flattered to be included.

The keynote speaker for the event was Bill Rancic. Anyone recognize that name? Any Apprentice fans out there? Bill Rancic was the Season 1 winner of The Apprentice and went to work for Donald Trump following his victory. He recently got married to Giuliana DePandi, who does E! News and various red carpet stuff for E! Entertainment. Anyway, he's an entrepreneur first and foremost, and it was in that vein that he directed his speech to the audience at this event.

I have to admit to being a little star struck. I watched him on the Apprentice and he was my favorite to win the whole time. I think he's very handsome and smart, and that's definitely my type. His talk was very interesting to hear as it was essentially the story of his career through winning The Apprentice. How he was successful in business from a young age (he started a business - a cigar-of-the-month type of thing - with a friend/partner when he was just 23. It's now publicly traded and worth many millions. He's on the Board of that company still. Anyway, as someone who has always had an interest in business (hey! my degree is in business administration - marketing and management, baby!) I listened with rapt attention. I have always flirted with starting my own business. I have an idea of what I'd like to do business-wise, but can't quite convince myself it's a viable-enough money maker to take the risk.

That's what separates me from successful entrepreneurs: FEAR.

Bill (yes, we're on a first-name basis now. Shut up.) talked about this. He made some comparisons between various captains of industry, and they all share a few similar traits. One is a willing to take the risk. In other words, not letting fear of failure stop them. Fear of failure is totally stopping me. I'm too risk-adverse, at least, at this point in my life I am. Perhaps down the road....

After the awards luncheon my hosts were eager to meet Bill and shake his hand. Get a picture with him, etc, which they did. He was very generous with his time and interested in speaking with them about their business. He specifically asked them for a business card because he's currently having a little trouble with a website and said he might give them a call for their help. How cool would THAT be? I wasted no time in telling my host/client/employer I'd be MORE than happy to be the project manager on that account! Ain't gonna happen, but it would be sweet if it did. :)

I totally wimped out and didn't introduce myself to Bill. I hovered in the background like a lame groupie (along with quite a few other lame groupies - I was not alone), but never had the balls to approach him and shake his hand. I always feel like the famous/semi-famous people must get so SICK of that routine that I wanted to stand out by NOT doing it. Not that he noticed me, but still - I didn't want to appear lame and star-struck, as I clearly was. God, I suck sometimes! I missed my opportunity, but that's OK. I was happy to admire him from afar and prevent myself from morphing into a babbling pile of incoherent mush in his presence.

But if he calls the web company and tosses some business our way, you can be sure I'll find a way to speak to him on the phone! That's a promise!

Bill Rancic went to the same high school as my kids will. I had no idea until a friend had told me when he was speaking at a restaurant in town. To tell you the truth, I didn't watch The Apprentice, so I didn't know who he was. My friend had also dated him, and said he was really sweet. I won't reveal more becasue she'd probably kill me! At any rate, that must have been really cool to be invited. You should have introduced yourself! He's known as being really down to earth.
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