Love him or hate him, Donald Trump can probably teach you a few things about success in life, business and property.
Of course he can also teach you just as many things that you should not be doing.
Now this isn’t a political blog, so I’m not going to debate whether he is a suitable candidate to be President or not.
Instead I thought I’d look at some of his famous quotes and give you my take on them:
1. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”
Long before he became famous for the catch cry “You’re fired” Donald Trump’s famous saying was “Think Big!” In fact, it was the name of his first book.
Since we become what we think about all day, and as it takes just no more effort to think big than it does to think small, you may as well think big.
2. “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
Successful people see failure very differently to the average person, they see it as a stepping stone to their eventual victory.
Every successful person I know has had more than their share of failures, but each time they’ve gotten up, dusted themselves off and tried again, having learned some valuable lessons from what happened.
3. “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.”
Experience teaches you lessons you can’t learn any other way.
While experienced investors will benefit from this advice, beginning investors don’t yet have the perspective to follow their gut feel which is often driven by fear or greed – both inappropriate emotions to help you make financial decisions.
4. “You’re generally better off sticking with what you know.”
That’s because you become an expert by doing one thing a hundred times, rather than one hundred things once.
5. “Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”
I’ve often said that I’ve made more money by saying “no” to things than by saying yes to perceived great investment opportunities.
If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is; yet the lure of a quick return traps many beginning investors.
However, with experience you learn how to weigh pros and cons and make a judgement based on careful analysis.
6. “I don’t make deals for the money. I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it.”
Here Trump clarifies the difference between loving money and loving the process of making money.
7. “I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s were the fun is.”
We all make mistakes and you can’t change the past.
Part of being an investor involves taking responsibility for your mistakes, learning from them and not making the same mistakes again in the future.
Clearly Trump is flawed (even though considering some of his recent comments you’d wonder whether he realizes it) but rather than dwelling on the past he focuses on the present and future.
Similarly, he is not worries about the future.
He knows that if you worry too much about the what’s ahead, you can’t possibly take steps today to ensure that your future success.
Yet I see so many investors concerned about the future of our property markets that they’re holding back today. Instead they should focus on what they can do today to ensure they reach their goals sooner.
8. “Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”.
Trump understands that life “is just a game, and we are all here to have a good time while we can.”
9. “Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser.”
While many see Donald Trump as arrogant, it takes a confident person to be to lead others effectively.
Whether it’s in business or investing – a strong, healthy ego helps you travel the bumpy road toward your success.
10. “If you’re interested in ‘balancing’ work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead, make your work more pleasurable.”
Work life balance is an essential part of long term success. One way to achieve this is to love your work and Trump is clearly passionate about what he does. In fact, it’s this passion that motivates others around him.
11. “What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.”
Winston Churchill said much the same thing in a different way: “Never give up …. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”
Clearly you can learn many things from Trump about what not to do, but hopefully you’ve also been able to gain some insights from him into some of the things you should be doing to become successful in business or investment.
How can you achieve success?
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Also published on Medium.