“You know, we have to be out there, we have to be experimenting, we have to be looking for that which makes us tick.”
“I think when people start to get lost, it’s when their lives are grossly inconsistent with their value set.”
“I think about that a lot, people say: ‘Does it bother you when people underestimate you?’ And I say, ‘I welcome people to underestimate me.'”
Evan: She’s an entrepreneur, former reality TV personality, and model.
She’s currently Executive Vice President in charge of development and acquisitions at the Trump organization, and sits on the board of 100 Women in Hedgefunds.
She also has her own line of fashion items, including clothing, handbags and shoes which are available in major U.S. department stores.
She’s Ivanka Trump, and here’s my take on her top 10 rules for success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite, and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. Also, as Ivanka’s talking, if she says something that really resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below, put quotes around it as well, so other people can be inspired as well. Enjoy.
Rule #1: Do What You Love
I look around at my girlfriends and my guy friends and they’re in jobs that they don’t really have a lot of growth potential in, that they’re not passionate about. And I think if we’re ever going to make bold decisions, it has to be at this point in our life.
“I can’t imagine working the hours that I do, if I didn’t fundamentally love it.” – Ivanka Trump
You know, we have to be out there, we have to be experimenting, we have to be looking for that which makes us tick. And I think a big part of that evolution for me was really summer jobs, and working. And making sure to actually, you know, get into the world and try different things, and eliminate those which is as useful, eliminating those career paths that you’re not interested in, as it is, you know, doing things that do interest you.
But I think just being bold and taking risks when you’re young, is so important. Because I can’t imagine working the hours that I do, if I didn’t fundamentally love it. And I think that’s the difference between somebody who’s successful and somebody that’s extremely successful. Somebody that’s good, and somebody that’s exceptionally good. Is the level of drive which directly stems from passion.
Rule #2: Get Out And Do Things
I think the only way to build confidence is through trial and error. I think when you’re young, one of the challenges is that you’re insecure about knowing nothing, and you think people expect you to have all the answers. Now, as a 34 year old, I’m okay with not having all the answers.
“To all of you young people, just get out there, start doing things, take risks. Just try.” – Ivanka Trump
I recognize there’s a lot I don’t know, and I own that, and I love that, and it makes me curious and it helps me continue to grow. That’s why I always tell people just get out and do things. You have to learn through trial and error. You have to just try. And every time you try something, you get a little bit more experience, a little bit more wisdom, you build in a little bit more confidence. So to all of you young people, just get out there, start doing things, take risks. Just try.
Rule #3: Go Step By Step
You have successes, and they start out small. You’re given something to do, and you do it well. And then you do the next thing well, and the next thing well, and the next thing well, and suddenly you feel good about yourself. And you have the confidence to set the bar higher, in terms of next steps and goals.
“It always starts with the little things that you do early in your career that lay the foundation for you ultimately to achieve those bigger dreams.” – Ivanka Trump
And, you know, I think that’s part of why I’m very ambitious, I’m an entrepreneur, I think first and foremost, having my own business, obviously growing the Trump footprint around the globe. But I think it always starts with the little things that you do early in your career that lay the foundation for you ultimately to achieve those bigger dreams.
Rule #4: Architect Your Life Around Your Priorities
Woman Interviewer: I ask all the women that I interview: “Can women truly have it all?” Because when someone looks at your life from the outside in, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, you’re a real-estate developer, you have a full time job. But you have another full time job, because you also have a very successful clothing and accessories business. So it seems like you have it all, but you think women really can have it all?
“People start to get lost, it’s when their lives are grossly inconsistent with their value set, and their core priorities.” – Ivanka Trump
I think it’s a very difficult question. And it’s one that I try not to answer for other people. Because I think by its nature, what does “having it all” mean? It means different things to different people. You know, for me it’s very important to have a family, but it’s also very important to be professionally fulfilled. For some people, one of those is important, and the other isn’t. So, you know, I think you have to figure out what your priorities are, in life are, and then architect your life around those priorities.
I think when people start to get lost, it’s when their lives are grossly inconsistent with their value set, and their core priorities. So for me, you know, at the end of every week, I sort of do a self-assessment of: “Did I spend my time in the right way? “Was I where I needed to be?” You know, it’s…there are some days it’s okay to not be home for dinner. If I have a big deal, my priority may be that, for that moment of time, but I also know if my child ever gets sick, if anything happens, well, there goes every other priority. So I think it’s always a balance. And you just have to do the best you can do.
Rule #5: Set Expectations
I think as a leader, I think you, um I think you want to be a benevolent one. I think you want to inspire your team. And obviously having them respect you doesn’t mean that they think that, you know, you’re soft or weak. But I think being kind and thoughtful is important.
“I believe 100% in terms of transparency of goals, and creating very clearly articulated goals for each member of my team. And having very high expectations for people accomplishing those goals.” – Ivanka Trump
And I think you get a different level of collaboration and engagement when people feel that you genuinely and authentically care about them. And their well-being. And see them for more than just the value they add to the company.
So I believe 100% in terms of transparency of goals, and creating very clearly articulated goals for each member of my team. And having very high expectations for people accomplishing those goals. And I don’t have a lot of leniency for not accomplishing those goals. That doesn’t mean I’m not nice about it, but I think it’s much easier to be nice when you’ve also, sort of, created clear roles and designations for people to work in a company. Then it’s not, there’s no… There shouldn’t be much of a disconnect when people are failing to live up to expectations.
Rule #6: Aim For Exceptional
Well, I think attention to detail is critical when you’re developing projects at the caliber that we are. And Holburn is exceptional in this regard. The attention to detail… I mean, we were walking through the project today, and the stuff we were debating, most people wouldn’t believe. They’d say: “Come on. “With a, you know, $360 million project “are you really talking about these things?” But it’s that level of interest. It’s that passion, it’s that energy.
“Attention to detail is critical when you’re developing projects at the caliber that we are.” – Ivanka Trump
And it’s really that last 5% that makes something exceptional. You can build something great, but it could have been amazing, phenomenal, the best, if somebody had really cared about that last 5%. And I’ve seen this time and time again, as a personality trained education, and you can’t fake that. You either love what you’re doing, and you’re deeply passionate about your vision, or you let somebody else deal with the 5% and assume that they may or they may not figure it out.
Rule #7: Find Your Advantages
Sometimes being a negotiator is knowing you’re not the best person to negotiate. If somebody won’t respond favorably to you, you’re not serving your own interest by, you know, continuing that line of dialogue. And that’s why, you know, my brothers and I work so well together. There’s certain people I do much better with. And sometimes being a woman is an advantage, you take people off-guard.
“Does it bother you when people underestimate you?” I say, “I welcome people to underestimate me.” – Ivanka Trump
Interviewer: Are you saying you employ female charms to disarm people?
No, well, not female…well, maybe! No, but you know, when somebody is either unprepared, expecting less of you, I think that’s a great advantage. So, you know, I think about that a lot, people say: “Does it bother you when people underestimate you?” I say, “I welcome people to underestimate me.”
Rule #8: Always Be Prepared
So I think the key for negotiation and successful preparation is really getting your ducks in a row. I think confidence is so critical. And so much of one’s success, while they’re negotiating, is how to present themselves, how they present the material, and the conviction with which they relay their viewpoint. So preparation is everything. If nothing else, even if it’s a quickie, it’s a fast negotiation, if you’re well researched, and you know what you’re talking about, it’s much harder for somebody to argue against your viewpoint.
“When you’re prepared, you can feel a lot more confident.” – Ivanka Trump
So, I like to go into a major negotiation, really understand my facts, really being up to speed. I’ve found it’s been an incredible competitive advantage for me. I actually find that as people get more successful, they end up doing a little bit less of the work, because they have people under them who are doing some of the preliminary research. And a lot of that information isn’t communicated to them. So sometimes it’s actually an advantage, when you’re younger, a little less experienced to negotiate with somebody who’s more formidable, because a lot of times, they’re not quite as up to speed on the topic as you are. But preparation is incredibly important. And then I think just taking a deep breath.
I think when you’re prepared, you can feel a lot more confident. But, you know, I see people, and they’re waiting to go into a really important meeting, whether it’s a job interview or an important transaction negotiation, and they’re sitting in the waiting room, and they’re hunched over, and they’re on their iPhone, and they’re checking Instagram. And I think one of the more important things you can do is sort of sit up straight, breathe deeply, sort of center ourselves for a second, and then start the process. So, those are just some little tips. But I think they’re pretty important.
Rule #9: Keep Things In Perspective
I want my daughter, Arabella, to grow up thinking that the phrase “working woman” sounds as odd and superficial and forced as the phrase “working man.” My husband is my greatest source of motivation.
Jared:She always has it in her to accomplish whatever she puts her mind to.
He’s the person I lean on the most.
Jared: I always tell Ivanka, don’t worry about the things you can’t control. Just worry about how you react to and deal with the circumstances and situations at hand.
In the moments of highest anxiety for me, I will think about Jared and the kids, and realize that no matter how poorly I performed, I will come home that night and my kids will not love me any less. And my husband will love me just as much. Maybe even a little bit more, because he’ll know I’ll need it.
Jared: But I’m still waiting to see the time that she doesn’t perform very well.
Rule #10: Drown Out The Noise
Interviewer: Are you concerned though about your reputation? Because someone like you would be in the spotlight, given half the chance, if the media could be in your house and in your business all of the time. So does it concern you, what you see on social media, or what people write about you, or Twitter, or anything like that?
“At some point you just have to live, and you have to drown out the noise.” – Ivanka Trump
Well, I think early on I developed quite a callous to the opinions of others. Ultimately I live in a way that I would never want my children to be embarrassed of something their mother did, so, first and foremost, I’m, you know, hopefully not doing things that would be all that interesting to somebody from a scandal perspective. But, you know, I think you just have to, at some point you just have to live, and you have to drown out the noise.
You know, I grew up in a climate where, you know, from when I was 14 years old, people would say, “Well, you know, I wonder what she would ever accomplish “if it wasn’t for her last name.” And, you know, “Would she ever be able to “achieve great things if she didn’t have the name Trump?” And the reality is there’s no point fighting that. Because I myself don’t have an answer. I know I was given a tremendous advantage. I have a name that is globally recognized. But it’s what I do with it. And it’s how hard I work in my own life. So, you know, fighting that is a zero sum game.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Brenda Whiteman asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below. And I’ll see what I can do. I’d also love to know, what did you learn today from Ivanka that had the biggest impact on you, on your life, on your business? What are you immediately going to do to make a change, to make your life or business better? Leave it in the comments below. I’m going to join in the discussion.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Noah Sachs. Noah, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and doing that awesome review on your YouTube channel. I really, really, really appreciate it.
This book really focuses on one core principle throughout, in terms of developing your one word, or your guiding idea that should be in the forefront of every business decision and branding decision you make.
Thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself. And whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see you soon.
When I look at my friends who have been incredibly successful entrepreneurs, obviously you have to have an idea, and it has to be a good one. Timing may be even more important than the idea. Because many great ideas have been too early, they’ve been too late, or they’ve come about at the wrong time in a cycle that really renders everything else irrelevant. You have to be supported by an incredibly strong team.
So, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs talk about how lonely it is, because they’re making decisions by themselves and really spearheading the growth of an organization. But you’re not alone. You have a team. And you have to build, sort of, a family around you that can support and align with, ultimately, the vision that you set. And I think for me it’s about understanding where I can uniquely add value. Understanding what I’m really good at, versus capable at, versus not so good at. And making sure that I have the right bench to fill in, in those lower end of the spectrum. And being a young person myself, that’s sometimes a challenge. Because through trial and error, you learn where you excel, and where your core competency is.
Boost Your Energy
Interviewer: How do you keep your energy levels high?
Coffee. I caffeinate. A lot of it. But you know, meditation is actually really helpful for me. So when I can do it, and when I’m disciplined about doing it I do find it helps spike my energy, and increase my productivity. And exercise, I find that when I run, I feel great. And I’m exhausted for 10 seconds, and then it spikes my energy throughout the course of the day. I don’t do enough of that these days, but it is a helpful boost when I’m able.
Stay Open For New Opportunities
You know, each day looks very very different, and truthfully that’s part of what I’m so passionate about. I think more than being a developer, more than having my own fashion brands, I think of myself as an entrepreneur who keeps my eye open for exciting opportunities. And you have to have bandwidth in your schedule, despite how busy you are, you have to have a little bit of space to be able to take that meeting, that’s not as strategically relevant to everything on your plate. So it is important to be surrounded by people that you trust and it’s important to spend your time wisely, to enable you to find that next opportunity.
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