I met the LFM Success Story

On Friday, I attended Randal Pinkett's presentation. For those few who dont know, he is tha Donald's latest Apprentice. For the most part, I was impressed. He was articulate and well spoken, infact more well-spoken than a lot of industry heavy-weights I had seen lately. He had afine sense of humor and had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.

I was the envy of my 10 year old who is a big fan of his. After his speech, I asked for his autograph on her behalf. Randal did better. He gave me a signed photo of himself with his latest boss. My daughter slept little that night and claims that she was the envy of her classmates and her teacher!
(This is the second celeb who has addressed her. Two years ago, she emailed Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and belive it or not, he replied.)

He spoke with pride about his heritage and about the challenges on the show. He has founded 5 companies this far, 3 of which have been successful. While it is too early to judge if he will endure or if he's just a flash in the pan, Randal certainly has made a big impression on MIT and the world. (Atleast those of us who watch the Apprentice)

Like most speeches on success, this one had a recipie with it. (Challenge me to write one without a recipie when I get my 15 minutes.)

Here is Randal's recipie:
1. Work with a team but know and play your position. Know what you're good at. Randal watched the show for 3 seasons and figured out that he would brand himself as a 'Strategist'.
2. Take risks but accept uncertainity. (We hear those words about 1o times weekly at MIT.) Failure is inevitable and should not be sactioned. Randall took a big risk proposing to his wife-to-be in front of an audience of more than 1000.
3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes but make sure you learn from them. Randall spoke of his failure with the XM Radio project on the show.
4. It's not what you know but what you can learn. Apply what you know. The show was a crash course on how to learn quickly.
5. It's not who you know but who knows you. No one knows what you bring to the table. Ensure they do soon enough.
Randall spoke at length about his PR efforts after the show.

For now, Randall is involved in three 'Trump' projects:
1. Renovation of the Trump Taj Mahal
2. An IT project. Trump entertainment resorts uses the Lotus office suite. Enough said.
3. In Philadelphia, his hometown Randall is involved in some PR work.

He has 2 books, The Campus CEO due in Feb 2007 and the second book is titled Black Faces in White Places.
He is also planning a commercial for Outback Steakhouse and can eat there for free for a year.
He spoke of making 3 types of networks, Social, Dense and Entrepreneurial newtorks.

Another piece of advice, that reminded my of Kat's words on Sponsorship from the top,

Get management on board on what your plans are. If you can't throw in the towel.

And Finally, the big surprise. Randall does not plan to stick around with the Trumpster. He plans to return to his company, BCT full-time someday.

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