Business Lessons From Reality TV Shows – No, Really!

by Jill Shearer

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This is a guest post by the lovely Jill Shearer.

Since I am a somewhat guilty fan of many reality TV shows (So You Think You Can Dance ROCKS dammit!) I thought this post was a perfect fit for BGB. (Hey, ain’t no shame in my game, how about you?)

Reality TV, business lessons and entertainment, oh my! Read it and like it BGB’ers, and then tell me all about it in the comments below. 😉

Come on, admit it.

You’re hooked on those reality televisions shows, aren’t you? Of course, you don’t admit it to anyone but your mother, but you can’t wait to see who gets kicked off the island (oh, if only we could do that in real life!) or who doesn’t get the rose.

Even if you don’t follow them on television, reality competitions have permeated news programs and become a hot topic on message boards and water coolers all over the world.

They’re quirky, hilarious and shallow, but if you look a little deeper there are lessons to be learned from some of the most popular shows on television which can be applied to any business endeavor.

What am I talking about? Take a look!


There’s a reason this show has been a hot favorite since its inception and why Richard Hatch has achieved immortality as the first winner and most memorable villain. I think the most important lesson from this show, besides pay your taxes, is say what you want about Hatch, he studied his competition.

Business Lesson:

In order to learn what you can do better than everyone else, learn as much as you can about the businesses or people with whom you are in direct competition. Unless it involves eating exotic and disgusting bugs. You’re on your own with that one.

Amazing Race

It’s nerve-wracking and full of adrenaline. Teams of people race around the world for the prize of a million dollars and of course, bragging rights. Two lessons as they can apply to your business are helpful here.

One, sometimes you have to work as part of a team in order to get to the next level. This isn’t always easy, even with people you know well, or maybe especially with people you know well. Second, remain flexible and innovative.

Final business lesson:

You never know what obstacles life is going to throw your way, but by being open-minded and flexible you can handle the majority of them and learn something in the process.

So You Think You Can Dance

Granted, these are young kids who have more talent than I have in my pinky finger. They can move their bodies in ways that makes my bones ache just watching them.

If I tried any of their moves, you’d have to call 9-1-1 and tell them to bring the Jaws of Life. But not only do these dancers perform with ripped-off toenails, bleeding blisters and bruised tailbones, some of them have been back as many as SEVEN times to make the show. Now, that’s dedication.

Business Lesson:

Never give up. Don’t let blood, blisters or bruises stop you from what you really want.

America’s Got Talent

Well, some parts do. Others, not so much. On this show, talents from all over the country (and other parts of the world) compete for a contract to perform in Las Vegas. Everything from kids singing and dancing to magicians to weird contortionists and even a guy who blows up hot water bottles stand on stage and perform their unique talent.

Business Lesson:

Don’t be afraid to try! Even if you don’t make it to the next round, your particular talent is yours and yours alone, and someone out there appreciates it. Even the hot-water-bottle blower received a few people applauding.

American Idol

Who hasn’t at least heard of this show? It’s been running since June 11, 2002 and has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis, although the basic premise has not changed.

The program is focused on finding the next singing superstar as chosen by the American public. There have been ten winners so far, but several of the lower-placing contestants have gone on to great success, as well.

Business Lesson:

You don’t have to win first place to be a winner. Oh sure, it’s nice to have the crown, but there’s no reason to fall on your sword if you don’t end up in the number one slot. Jennifer Hudson did not win her season – she placed seventh — but went on to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy, a BAFTA award and many more accolades.

Plus, placing lower gives you room for improvement. Do not despair! Keep moving on, because there’s a lot more beyond the horizon.

Didja like this post? Didja? Didja? Huh? Huh?

OK well if you did, spread the love will ya? Share it with your pals, email it to your buddies, and post it on your walls. The Facebook kind, not the inside of your house kind. Although… nah, no need for that, keep your pretty paint pretty! Although a nice BGB brand stamp on your rear car window wouldn’t be remiss… 😉

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