Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Success Junkie Interview - Kelly Perdew - Entrepreneur and Donald Trump's Apprentice

After winning the second season of the NBC hit show, The Apprentice, Kelly spent 2005 as an Executive Vice President in the Trump Organization, where he managed several projects. Kelly earned a BS from the US Military Academy, West Point, a JD from the UCLA School of Law, and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. Kelly authored, “TAKE COMMAND: 10 Leadership Principles I Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump,” to provide guidance on how anyone can develop their leadership capabilities and he donates a percentage of the royalties to the USO.

Kelly Perdew is the CEO of www.rotohog.com. RotoHog provides the best fantasy sports platform in the world. The unique RotoHog game solves many of the problems that have plagued the Fantasy Sports industry for years. Currently, they serve as the official fantasy basketball game provider for the NBA, and have created NBA.com's most successful online game, the NBA Stock Exchange. RotoHog also powers a fantasy soccer game for ClicRBS, a major Brazilian media company. In addition to providing fantasy sports games for major media companies and leagues, www.rotohog.com provides fantasy sports games directly to users on their site.

Your background including the military side is very different to the other Apprentice winners, how do you feel this gave you an advantage during the interview process?

Actually, I wrote my book about how my military background assists me in business and how it helped prepare me for any situation – including competing on and winning The Apprentice. Specifically for The Apprentice, my background helped me because I learned how to remain calm and focused under pressure, learned how to lead people, and learned how to solve problems creatively.

While reading your book Take Command I found myself completely seeing how the values instilled in you during through your military time (Duty, Impeccability, Passion, Perseverance, Planning, Teamwork, Loyalty, Flexibility, Selfless Service and Integrity) would serve an aspiring entrepreneur or intrapreneur. Would you recommend some sort of military service for anyone looking to follow that path?

Military service is not for everyone and it is not the only place where those leadership qualities are instilled, but it is one of the best. Every individual must first understand themselves and determine what will truly make them happy. Not their parents, not their kids, not their partner…really understanding what makes you “tick” will help you decide the path to follow.

I'm a big believer that failure and the ability to deal with it shapes many entrepreneurs. What failures have you encountered and what would you change looking back?

My first start up was a "failure". I learned so many important things in that endeavor…

1. Be careful taking investment money from friends and family
2. Make sure to surround yourself with great advisors
3. Raise as much money as you can when you’re raising money
4. Think big
5. Never underestimate the competition

What three books would you recommend all aspiring business people read?

1. The Art of War – Real World Strategy
2. Done Deals – VC Stories
3. The Cashflow Quadrant – What do you want to be?

What were the three things you now see were most vital to your win as the Apprentice.

1. Think strategically all the time
2. Organized planning is critical
3. Keep your head about when all those are losing theirs (stole that from Kipling)

What three things surprised you during your year working with Donald Trump?

1. Donald gets 100 requests a day from people and organizations asking for things.
2. Donald has people that have been working with him/for him for 30+ years. 3. He gets invited to a lot of parties!

I know that you have some exciting new projects including Rotohog.com - what's next for Kelly Perdew and how will your time as the Apprentice contribute towards who you are going forward?

I was very lucky to make it onto the show and I feel incredibly fortunate to have won. One of the best things about winning was it gave me a platform to help some causes I support – Big Brothers/Sisters, The National Guard Youth Challenge Program and the USO. www.rotohog.com is a platform for fantasy sports so come play on www.rotohog.com!

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