Bill Rancic has worn a lot of hats since he won the first season of “The Apprentice” in 2004, including entrepreneur, TV personality, husband and father. In the 11 years since his big victory, he seems to have learned the importance of two things: small business and family.
Now, he’s adjusting his life to spend more time on those things. The businessman sat down with International Business Times in New York City to discuss his plans to settle down with his wife and son. Rancic was in town to promote his latest project, QuickBooks' “Small Business Big Game” competition. The competition is open to anyone and everyone in the United States who can classify him or herself as a “small-business owner.” Rancic and some professionals at Intuit QuickBooks will narrow down all of the applicants, and a live crowd will eventually choose the winner. That small business will receive the coveted prize: a fully produced and fully paid commercial during the Super Bowl.
“The small-business owner is such an important part of the fabric of our country,” Rancic explained to IBTimes. “They employ more people than any other sector of business out there. They rebuild main streets. And they’re the ones sponsoring the football and baseball teams. They’re an important part of our economy, and if you look at most of the big businesses out there today, they started out as a small business.”
Rancic is focused on the competition at the moment, but his main priority starting in August will be settling down with wife Giuliana Rancic and their 2-year-old son, Edward Duke. Giuliana revealed to People Magazine in April the couple is planning to permanently relocate to Bill's hometown of Chicago from Los Angeles.
“It’s harder than I thought it would be. When he was real little, it was a lot easier," he said of Edward. "He’s 2 1/2 now and he’s saying, ‘Don’t go Daddy. Don’t leave,’ even when I just go to the store. It just rips my heart out. It’s definitely slowed me down, but that’s a good thing. I always knew that I wanted to slow down and always be there like my dad was.”
Meanwhile, the move also affects his wife. The “Fashion Police” star went through a rough couple months, including health issues and a very public backlash to her comments about singer Zendaya’s look on the 2015 Oscars red carpet. For that, she was public enemy No. 1 for a short time among some entertainment-industry watchers.
“My wife, she’s a warrior,” Bill says in the video below. “She’s had cancer and a lot of health issues, and she’s an inspiration to me. She just looks fear in the eyes and goes after it and she’s climbed a lot of mountains in the nine years we’ve been together.”
As for the comments she made on "Fashion Police" that got her into trouble, he says they're both ready to put the incident behind them.
“It’s done. It’s ancient history,” he said. “That was an unfortunate incident. You learn from it. You grow from it. Certainly I would have handled it a little bit differently if I was running the show over there. I would have released the unedited footage that set the joke up as a hippie joke. Unfortunately, that wasn’t released, and that would have changed everything.”
While he waits to settle down in the city he loves with the people he loves, Rancic is encouraging every small-business owner to sign up and try to win the Super Bowl commercial.
“It’s going to change the life of one small-business owner. It could possibly have a generational effect. If they seize this opportunity and take advantage of it, their kid’s kids could benefit from it.”