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Lesson #1: Be Fierce
When Trump was first getting his feet wet in the Manhattan real estate market in the 1970s, he immediately took a liking to the property at 56th Street and Fifth Avenue and began designing plans for its renewal. The eleven-story building was owned by Genesco, which had also bought out the adjacent Tiffany store. Trump knew that especially in light of the depression that the market was facing at the time, it was going to be a difficult task to acquire this property.
Repeatedly told that his grandiose plans were unrealistic, Trump refused to give up. “I was relentless, even in the face of total lack of encouragement, because much more often than you’d think, sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure,” said Trump. His persistence paid off and his property would soon be home to the now-famous Trump Tower, a 58-story building, which with its elaborate décor and indoor waterfall has become a New York City landmark.
Trump understood that in order to be successful, he had to ignore his critics and remain headstrong. Unwilling to ever back down, Trump advises that, “When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough, Just go get them.” He attacks all his deals with similar ferocity, refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer.
“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward,” says Trump. “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”
In the face of your competitors, Trump warns that it is detrimental to show any fear. “You can’t be scared,” he says. “You do your thing, you hold your ground, you stand up tall, and whatever happens, happens.” And, part of doing your thing, is getting your goals met at any cost. Whether it is denigrating the competition or remaining firm on an original bid, Trump refused to let anything stand in the way of his real estate dreams. He was going to make a name for himself in New York City no matter what.
“My experience is that if you’re fighting for something you believe in – even if it means alienating some people along the way – things usually work out for the best in the end,” says Trump. He put himself on the line with every business transaction and indeed, things seemed to have worked out for the best in the end for Trump.
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