The 11th edition of the hugely popular show, The Apprentice, returned to our TVs on 14th October. Advisor Baroness Karren Brady and Lord Sugar are accompanied by Claude Littner to test the business acumen of the 18 candidates. The winner will go on to win an investment of £250,000 from Lord Sugar.
The show kicked off with 18 potential candidates for Lord Sugar to choose from, nine women and nine men. The show’s host Rhod Gilbert, along with Matt Edmondson, Hal Cruttenden and Anita Manning presented a light hearted take on the first episode of The Apprentice.
Episode 1 – The Facts
The episode saw the gutsy and super confident business woman Michelle Niziol being evicted. Niziol, a successful woman entrepreneur has successfully launched a mortgage company, an estate agent business and a property letting company all by herself.
However, it looks like her steely resolve and clear cut management style did not go well with Lord Sugar.
In the first episode, Lord Sugar split the participants into two teams, the all male Team Titans and the all female Team Nebula. They were tasked with spotting treasure in trash and sell them for as much moolah as possible at a Wimbledon car-boot sale.
It was a really busy day where they raced against time and each other running round London’s antique shops selling trash for as much money as possible.
Team Titan led by Paul comprised Courtney, Karthik, Dillon, JD, Mukai, Oliver, Sofiane and Samuel. And Team Nebula, led by Michelle comprised Jessica, Alana, Trishna, Rebecca, Natalie, Frances, Grainne and Aleksandra.
The workaholic businesswoman became an easy target after losing the contest against the all male team. Having made £959 in sales in comparison to £1,428 that the Titans made, the steely-resolved Michelle was fired above co-contestants Alana and Rebecca.
As Lord Sugar put it, “Michelle, it’s very easy for the finger to be pointed at you, as the project manager.” Michelle, although disappointed, accepted the decision gracefully. “Thank you very much for the opportunity,” she said.
Episode 1 – The Expert Analysis
Rhod greeted Michelle to the show with, “You got an ‘aahh’ from the audience; when you were fired, they were upset.” To which she accepted, “I am upset. I am still in shock to be honest”.
Like the audience, and the experts, Michelle expected Rebecca would be fired.
“It’s too early in the process for him to really know my skills, and what I’m all about. I think it was really a hard decision for him to make, but he made the wrong one,” she chuckled.
So what went wrong?
Anita said, “If there’s someone who brings stuff along to the car-boot sale, and they know nothing about pricing, then the traders would be attracted to them like bees. Because they did not know the price, they thought everything they sold was their victory, and it wasn’t”
Matt added, “You did take good items. You took better items.”
We all know that running a business is not easy. And nobody make through life, especially, in business without making mistakes. Mistakes are the stepping stones to improving as a leader. It’s evident that Michelle made mistakes, but she accepted responsibility, like a true leader.
What’s important in business, life and even in the show is that people should be able to take responsibility, not people who won’t make any mistakes. She couldn’t have built up an empire of three solid, successful businesses, even through turbulent times for the property market, if she was afraid of making mistakes.
As Hal noted, “I thought all of the candidates were massively over-confident. There was a lot of selling. Basically giving stuff away! I think you were just unlucky.”
We are definitely disheartened to see Michelle get fired from the first show, but we know that that’s not the end for Michelle. This experience, although short lived is for sure going to propel her in the direction of further success for her in her businesses.
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