Why A Drag Racing Show Is More About Starting A Business Than The Apprentice

One of my favorite things to watch on TV these days is a show called Pinks.  It is a racing show where teams “race for pinks” which means ownership of the car.  For the uninitiated, here is the description from the Speed Channel:
Two hot cars. Two proud owners. And it’s winner takes all in PINKS.  Host Rich Christensen travels the country pitting two contestants against one another in this high stakes drag race. The negotiations are heated. The races are real. Emotions run high. And the loser walks home.

Now it’s not just that I love cars.  I do love cars.  I’ve restored a 1967 AMC Rambler Rebel convertible, and most people have never even heard of the car.  It’s not JUST that I love cars.  I also love business.  I love risk, negotiation and come-backs.  One of the things my wife loves is reality TV, and one of the shows she likes to watch is The Apprentice.  The Apprentice is now celebrities, competing for Donald Trump’s approval.  I have to admit that it can be entertaining sometimes, but it is hardly about business.

Seeing famous people argue about the best way to get their friends to donate money to worthy charities is fun, but you’re not going to learn a lot from it.  Seeing two real people, who have built a race car with their own time and money, compete in real time with that very car on the line, can be very educational.  The people on this show are not professional racers.  They are just people who work on cars, and get together at race tracks to race them.  These cars take a lot of time and a lot of money to build, and having that personal stake in the outcome makes the negotiations fun to watch.

The races take part in heats, and each team get a feel for each other and what each car is capable of, with each heat.  The host mediates negotiations between each race, getting a superior car’s team to concede a car length, for example, on the following race, to keep things competitive.  If you are not into cars, and you are still reading this, thanks for bearing with me.   Now to why this show is so awesome, even if you are not into cars.

If you are a student of human nature, and if you are starting a business you had better be, you will love this show.  You get to see how some people never lose faith in their own team, even when they are down,  only to win it all when the other team makes a mistake.   There are always people who believe enough in their own ability and product, that as long as they still have the ability to compete, they know they are still in the game.

You get to see the different way people react to unexpected adversity and challenges.  How some people get creative and solve problems unconventionally while others just can’t get passed the problem occurring. Sometimes this is rewarded with victory, and sometimes it isn’t.

That is another thing I like.  You can just tell that some of the losers are truly defeated, and others know they just had a bad day, and will be back to race another day.  Which would you be?

If you want to compete for the approval of a large successful company, in the hope that they will reward you with a lucrative contract that will change the lifestyle of you and your family, go for it.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that, and many have done this successfully.  Me?  I’ll be here teaching and learning my craft, taking risks and taking my lumps, deserving every win and taking resposibity for every loss.  I like it that way.

1 reply
  1. KP Taylor says:

    While I agree on the idea of passion behind the business,
    The Apprentice shows a different side of business that is true to life
    situations that occur as you are growing your business.

    I personally enjoyed the shows where they had the college educated vs.
    street smart execs, but the lessons are still there with the celebrities.

    My wife and I enjoyed discussing the show with our friends at dinner.
    The conversation was all about the business deal even though the deal
    may have been about a sponsor that was the key focus of the show….

    What the show does not give you a view of a “Start-Up” and what it takes
    to get the business going. That is probably why you like and relate to
    “Pinks” better then “The Apprentice”.

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