When to Listen

I always ask other people what they think. Whether it’s in my real-life boardroom when I’m making a multi-million dollar business decision or whether it’s on the set of The Apprentice in my famous boardroom, I like to know what people think. After all, I surround myself with talented advisors for that very reason. I value their opinions and want to hear them. But that doesn’t mean I always do what they say.

Even more frequently, I get loads of unsolicited advice. Everyone has an opinion on what you should do and how you should do it. Although most people mean well, and often even offer you sound advice, they don’t necessarily know what’s best for you.

When I decided to develop properties in Manhattan years ago, my father couldn’t understand why. He had been very successful in Brooklyn and Queens and thought I should work there too. However, moving to Manhattan was a major goal of mine; it was center stage and it was where I wanted to make my name.

I trusted my father and listened to what he had to say, but in the end I chose to make up my own mind. And I was obviously successful with the path I chose.

For me, a major joy of my business is being able to exercise my own vision and creativity and to express myself. Often this means going against the advice of everyone around me and taking lots of chances. Certainly I lose some, but most often I win.

I advise you to do the same. Listen to those you trust and weigh their advice. But in the end, go with your gut. It works for me.


Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story. He has continually set new standards of excellence while expanding his interests in luxury residential real estate, world-class hotels, office buildings, championship golf clubs, gaming, merchandising and entertainment. Mr. Trump is committed to personal and direct involvement in everything that his name represents. This commitment has made him the preeminent developer of quality real estate known around the world.

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