Ruth Badger Is Back!
Following her experience on the hit BBC show the Apprentice, the feisty, straight talking 28 year old set up her own Consultancy business, Ruth Badger Consultancy Ltd and has done training and consultancy work for five major international companies, helping improve their staff and profits. She does a weekly column in First magazine and is an Ambassador for both Compton Hospice in the Midlands and for Enterprise North West. To cap off a very memorable and busy period, in November last year, Ruth also won the outstanding Editors Choice Award at Cosmopolitans Fun, Fearless, and Female Awards.
Now, 2007 sees Ruth embarking on her very own six part series entitled Badger or Bust for Sky One, in which she visits six different struggling businesses.First were able to have a chat with this top British performer before she left to roll her sleeves up again and give other firms advice on how to better perform and get results. Find out more of what she had to say below:
Can you tell us more about the Badger sparkle that you bring to the businesses in this new TV show of yoursYeah, well this programme has had a lot of planning, a lot of time and a hell of a lot of money spent on it. Im not the presenter of the show. I was part of the original actually formatted team. Basically when I came out of the Apprentice show, so many production companies approached me and asked what I wanted to do. I decided to go with this idea, because its going into small businesses and actually helping them. Not many people focus on small businesses these days and what I wanted was not just attitude problems and all those things that make divisions but actual problems too. Its not as if it was part of a media plan - it was a show that was agreed the moment I left the Apprentice. The one episode that I didnt like was an estate agents in London. It was actually the only all female business and it was like walking into five Jade Goodys. The problem was that I went in there and this business was bad. I went in there and said all the problems and the lady who ran the business would go "Oh Yeah," "Oh Yeah" "Oh Yeah." However then behind my back she would slag me off. Obviously I didnt see that until I watched the show back. So it went fantastically well and the show was good but I didnt particularly enjoy the continual uphill battle with her. I really enjoyed the second show, which is called "Greentrees." Its filmed in Norfolk and is about a caravan company. I loved that show so much because one of the lads had such bad confidence issues. He was the worst salesman in there and he ended up being the top one in the end. He overcame it and you could actually see an actual change to his attitude - the way he sold and everything. That was very rewarding.
Do you think more women want to become entrepreneurs thanks to programmes like the ApprenticeYeah and this is the reason why I enjoy doing it so much - the fact that you can touch me, Im real. Everything that I have achieved, you can achieve. So I do actually think the Apprentice has highlighted business and women in business. The reason I applied for the second series was because I thought the women in the first were so poor.
In that case as a role model, have you any further tips to offer our readers who perhaps want to start out with their own company and get ahead with itWell the first thing is, its all going to the one thing - which is you. Its all to do with your mind-set - if you want to start your own business it is achievable but you have to know what you want to achieve. If you want to step up in your career I would actually say be prepared for it. Be prepared for the worst; be prepared for all the things that are going to come your way. As long as you have the right attitude and you work hard you can accomplish anything.
Gordon Brown - do you think hes fit for officeIve actually met Gordon Brown and I like him as a person. I dont like his tax rules thats for certain. I do think hes fit for office. Dont get me wrong Im not a raving Labour supporter. I like him more than I do Blair but as I say Im not keen on his tax policies and Im fed up of people trying to link the environment through tax and all it is really is a way for the Government to make money. But I think we should have a vote on whether we want him.
Youve been quoted in the media recently with your thoughts on this years Apprentice candidates. Have you any juicy new information that youd like to leak to us?
Well as you say unfortunately I know a lot more about the Apprentice than most people. Obviously I wont say who will come out on top, thats not because Im awkward, but because I actually know who the final two are. But this year is very different. I wish them all well though.
What do you think about the number of other "business" series that compete with yours, like "Dragons Den" and Channel Fours "Risking It All"Do you know what, Im not a fan of Dragons Den. The reason is not because its been a competitor to any show that Ive ever appeared in but the actual thinking behind the show is wrong. You can go to the bank and get a £100 grand. If youve got a good business plan, you can go to the bank and get the money and actually better it. Why would anybody give an equity stake in their business and then let somebody come in and run it for you. You wouldnt, but its good PR and thats what it is. But I wouldnt stand the humiliation, if I were being honest.
You appeared on Big Brother, Little Brother once. Are you a fan of the Channel 4 reality series thenOh no - to be fair the only reason I did that was because Dermot (OLeary) said hed take us out for lunch. (She Laughs) It wasnt something I was quick to agree to. I turn down about 60% of work.
Michelle Dewberry agreed to go on that Celebrity Hairdressing programme-Celebrity Scissorhands.
Yeah, thats not my thing though. Im a businesswoman first - Im not daft, I know the media generates a hell of a lot of business and its good for profile building. But dont worry, you arent going to see me on Im a Celebrity or Big Brother.
I absolutely wouldnt appear on celebrity version of the Apprentice. (Like Tim Campbell) Absolutely, categorically not. To be honest Ive had my bloody fill of it. (She Laughs) There are only so many times you can sit in the boardroom.
Women often have difficulty balancing motherhood and their careers though - is that a definite concern of yours for the near futureYeah - the thing is if youre a working mum youve already got an advantage as far as Im concerned because when you sit down and interview somebody and say "So How Do You Prioritise?" If you reply by saying that you can get a child dressed, fed and ready for school by 9 clock, bloody hell then you do well by my book. My three-year-old nephew runs rings around me. Do I want kids - absolutely course I do. But its not something that Im consciously thinking about every minute of the day.
The British Press ran stories about your sexuality last year. How do you feel about that nowWell the Apprentice is a business show, you know... Do you know what Duncan Valentines wife is called? No? - Because thats a business show. I thought it was very unfair. You know how mad I am, but even if somebody put a million pounds down and said "Ruth, talk about your private life," the answer would still be no thank you. So - no comment on relationships.
It can be difficult to clamber up the career ladder without clashing with your colleagues. Who have you kept in touch with from the Series 2 group of the Apprentice show since it endedWell Michelle and I do actually keep in contact with each other. I know she was in Brighton yesterday and we tried to meet up with each other, but our paths kept crossing. Sir Alan - not that I see him very often or speak to him but we do maintain contact, yeah. Thats it really. Adam Hosker - well thats news to me, although I know the newspapers say otherwise.
I would never have done anything differently on the Apprentice. Never regret anything. It the decisions you dont make that you regret, not the ones that you do. Its done now anyway, I work on the things that I can control not the things I cant. I mean if I put a camera in front of you and followed you around for three months youd go "Ooh", its self-reflection, but theres nothing Id change.
Besides Sir Alan of course, who else would you say has inspired you to be the person you are todayNicola Horlick - superwoman and Phil Green.
What other projects have you got plannedIt is too early to take about another series of Badger or Bust but Im sure Sky will be discussing it with me. At the moment Im planning on what Im doing with my business life. Im not sure if Id do it again. I loved doing the show, it was fantastic but at the moment Ive got other things on the go.
Catch Badger or Bust on Tuesdays at 10pm on Sky One.