You know you have ice in your veins when Donald Trump -- whose advice to engaged couples is "Get a prenup" -- calls you a "cold, cold woman." But that's exactly what The Donald called Amy Henry when she was summarily dismissed toward the end of NBC's The Apprentice last season.
But it was hardly an insult to the 31-year-old native Texan. When Henry applied for the show, she described herself as a "cold-blooded businesswoman with a Southern sense of charm." And as the reality show constantly reminded us near the end, she was "the last woman standing" in the final three out of 16 contestants. Tall, blond and never afraid to show some leg, she was often the most requested team leader on the show and quickly became a dark-horse favorite to beat Bill Rancic (who eventually won) and Kwame Jackson for the $250,000-paying gig in Trump's empire.
Henry even engaged in what's now become a reality-show staple: a hookup with another cast member, or, as it's rumored, two cast members. She allegedly romanced teammate Nick only to recommend his termination later, prompting The Donald's "cold" tag. Later, she dated Rancic -- and recent gossip columns have them "canoodling" yet again. Even more fodder for the gossip columns was her decision to pose in lingerie with three other female cast members in FHM magazine, after turning down $250,000 to bare her assets in Playboy.
But what's often lost in all the media coverage, says Henry, is that she actually is a cold-blooded businesswoman. "This is a business show," she says. "I had ten consecutive wins; I think I was one of the strongest team players. I was a great team leader and had all these fantastic ideas. And yet when I get fired, the only thing people ask me about is my personal life." What's not usually reported is that after completing her MBA, Henry shot up the corporate ranks in every high-tech company she worked for, earning a reputation as a task master, a deal closer and a young woman who could hang with the big boys.
Now, she's sharing the secrets of her success in What It Takes: A Modern Woman's Guide to Success in Business. An entrepreneur since her early days at the neighborhood lemonade stand, Henry built her chapters to focus on networking, risk taking, "sexy versus sophisticated" dressing, negotiating, "stealth" bragging to share accomplishments and even "work goggles," which, like beer goggles, can create an ill-fated attraction to a co-worker. The book is a how-to for gals in the business sector.
"I think women steer away from the business world because they feel it's a man's world," she says, "and they don't think they have what it takes to compete." Henry hopes The Apprentice offers a different perspective: "Business is for women," she says, "business is sexy, business is exciting."
Currently traveling the country for speaking engagements, fielding six-figure offers from Fortune 500 companies and mulling TV hosting opportunities, Henry says she's content to use her fame as a platform to encourage other women to explore a career in business.
As for her decision to pose in FHM, Henry claims to regret it -- but not too much. "I think they're completely tasteful," she says of the photos. "I'm actually quite glad I can look back someday when I'm 60, 70, 80 and say, 'Hey, I looked like that once.' "
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