4 Things Reality TV Can Teach You About Succeeding in Business

by Editor

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Yes, I watch TV.

And don’t lie.  You know you do, too.

It’s likely that it’s one of your secret guilty pleasures.

And why not?

Television makes for great writing material! When there is nothing better to do or the need to get “inspired” arises, many people do turn on the TV sets to see what’s “new.”

TV also makes for a conversation piece. Did you know that television shows drive social media content? Did you notice that when the Super Bowl and the Oscars were on TV, they were also on Twitter’s trending topics?

It does and it did!

People talk about what they’re watching on TV while watching it. It all seems a bit counterintuitive I’m sure—but hey… that’s technology for you.

Despite the gimmicks of the cheese-fests known as reality TV, you’ll be surprised to know that there is actually a lot you can learn from these shows. After all, they are extremely popular and they make huge profits—they must be doing and showing something right.

Right?  Just say yes. 😉

But you need to learn to get past the racy scripts (they’re not entirely “reality,” you know!), gratuitous half-nudity and attention-seeking characters to see what lessons they can teach you.

Luckily, if you just can’t get past all that craziness, today you’ve got me to spell it out for you.

I know, I’m amazing.

I’m saving you from watching all that dirty lovin’ reality TV sex and sin.

I think God just smiled at me.

Lesson #1: It’s about forming—and maintaining—the right alliances.

If there’s one thing that doesn’t change in Survivor, it’s that each “castaway” understands that to outwit, outlast and outplay everyone, you need to align yourself with the right crowd.

If you’re not with the right company, being written off or even blind-sided by the competition becomes a very distinct possibility.

It’s the same with business.

It’s been said over and over again—your network is everything. Your network can teach you what you need to know about your trade or your industry. Your network helps get the word out about you and your brand. Your network helps you grow your business.  It’s just that simple.

Think of it a bit like parenting.  They say it takes a village to raise a child and I totally agree.  By the same token, it takes a network to raise a business into something great.

Dang, how’s that for a monster analogy!?

Lesson #2: Keep it fresh—because one day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out.

Project Runway’s catchphrase applies not just in fashion. It applies to almost everything.

There are two lessons here.

One, you need to keep up with the times. You need to keep yourself updated on the trends in your field. That means constantly training yourself so you don’t fall behind. You also need to keep up with the technology—because it affects (now more than ever!) the way we, and our competitors, do things.

Two, learn how to change the rules (or break ‘em)—but play nice!

Why do you need to always follow the leader? Why not be a leader yourself?

If you want to be on top, you need to learn how to set the tone of the game so that everyone follows you.

Be an innovator.

Be a thought-provoker.

Have a voice and a stance.  Have a frickin’ opinion already!

In any business, you need to learn not only how to adapt but also how to drive the trends, because that’s how you get ahead of the competition.

Lesson #3: Choosing the right song (niche) makes all the difference.

In American Idol, the right song choice can clinch you the title.  By choosing the right song and killing it each week, you can become “The Next American Idol”.

In business, being in the right niche spells the difference between earning pennies and earning big bucks.  It doesn’t pay to focus on the masses.  It pays to focus on a niche and grow from there.

You also need to be unique.

What is it that you can offer to your clients that no one else can? What is it that will set you apart from your competition? What is it that the market wants or needs that nobody else is offering?

You need to be original and you need to offer that unique value proposition. You need to rise above the noise to get you noticed.  Do something crazy.

OK, maybe not crazy crazy.  But you know… a little crazy.

SOMETHING that makes you stand-out from the mediocrity of the rest of the world.

Lesson #4: Sometimes, “The Situation” calls for a unique name or catchphrase.

While I’m not a big fan of Jersey Shore, I must admit, it’s hard to miss the character named “The Situation.” It’s hard to miss the name.

Seriously, who goes around calling themselves something like “The Situation”?

Hmnn… maybe I should go around calling myself “The BlogStar” or “The Situmucation”.

No?  Daminit!

OK, done with the silly words now.

Seriously though, what’s in a name? It’s everything! Your business name—and tagline, too—must capture the essence of what you do and can do.

It’s what gets you noticed and remembered.

But I do have just one piece of advice.

Please, please don’t choose a cheap and tacky name.

Or boring, that blows too.

I don’t actually have any ideas for GOOD names at this moment in time, I just know that cheap, tacky, and boring are lame.

So none ‘o that, please and thank you!

Warm regards,

AKA k0zm0zs0ul

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