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Rule #1: DON'T DO IT FOR MONEY(Interviewer) In your book, “The Art of the Deal,” you said that money really isn’t that important, that it’s just means of keeping score, it’s playing the game that excites you?”
(Donald Trump) “I love the game.
"I like the money and the money is certainly a method of keeping score, but I don’t do things for money, I do things because I enjoy doing them."
"That really sometimes can translate into more money than you would’ve made if you went just after the money.”
Rule #2: NEVER GIVE UP "Never, ever, give up. You can change, and you can move around, but never, ever give up. I know people that are very smart. They went to the Wharton School of Finance with me."
"I know other people, that aren’t as smart, and those people are the top people in industry today. And the top, they just were tougher. They didn’t give up. And the smart ones had everything on their plate, they’d always come in with the A-plus on the tests, and the good boards, and everything else."
"But when they ran into problems, they didn’t know how to solve the problems like the guys that weren’t as good. And it’s very seldom that you see something other than this happen. So never, ever, give up.”
Rule #3: BE INTO DETAILS“A lot of that is all in the details. You’ve got to be into the details, because if you are not, they will come back to haunt you. So, often times life is in the details, well, business also is into the details, you have to be very careful, you have to watch the dotted ‘i’s, because you can really lose tremendously if you don’t watch those details. So, we discuss that, and as Robert likes to say, probably more than I do, that’s the little finger, but it’s all about the details, it’s very important.”
Rule #4: BE TOTALLY FOCUSED“You want to be totally focused, you can’t take your eye of the ball. When I had troubles in the early nineties, a major article came out and it said very strongly, everything he touches turns into gold. And I believed it. So I go out with models at night, instead of working. But that wasn’t good."
"And I remember, I had a big lease coming up, and there was a big show. And I went to the show, and I said, 'Don’t worry fellas, you can handle the lease, you’ll get it done.' When I came back, they didn’t get it done."
"And I would’ve had it done a hundred percent. And then the market crashed in the nineties. So I had trouble, but it was sort of an amazing test of yourself.
Can you handle pressure?
How are you under pressure?
Are you smart when everybody is coming at you?”
Rule #5: GET GREAT EMPLOYEES“You know, the worst employee is a good employee. A bad employee is fine, because you fire that person right away."
"A great employee is phenomenal, you want to keep them, and cherish them, they are fantastic."
"But a good employee, you never sort of fire them, but they never lead you to the next level. They just keep their job. They are sort of too good to be fired, but they are not good enough. You are never going to do great. So I always say, the worst employee isn’t a bad employee, it’s just a good, or average employee.”
Rule #6: WORK HARDGary Player, the great golfer, he was the little guy, very little, but he worked really hard. And he had a great statement, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” And he wins the US Open, and you have all these big handsome guys, these big giant guys, and they hit the ball a mile."
"And you have Gary Player, and Gary Player would win the Open, he would win the Masters, he would win this, and win that. In the US Open, he hit a 5-iron to one foot from the hole, and he ended up getting a birdie and wins the US Open right, and he came off the green, and I know I’ve heard the statement before, but I heard it from him in a meaningful way."
"They said, “What do you think Gary, what is it?” He said, “All I know is, I have been working really hard. And the harder I work the luckier I get.” I thought it was an amazing statement.”
Rule #7: FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTSSometimes in life, to be successful, oftentimes, most of the time, you have to follow your instincts. You have to follow your gut. You have to. Your parents may say wrong, your, whoever may say wrong. But you have to do it.”
Rule #8: BELIEVE IN YOURSELFSo much of success is seeing yourself as victorious. You have to see yourself.
"You have to really believe in yourself."
"And sometimes it’s hard, you had failures, you had weaknesses, you had other things. You have to see yourself as a one man band. Don’t rely too much on other people, because they will let you down. You have to see yourself as victorious. And to be a winner, you have to think like a winner, if you don’t think like a winner it’s just never going to happen.”
Rule #9: HAVE A MESSY DESK "Many people have been asking about my desk, and the fact that I have so many papers on my desk. It’s actually very neat. I know where everything is. But if you look around, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff. The fact is, I’m busy. I always notice that busy people, people that are very successful in many cases, have a lot going on on their desk."
"I have papers from deals, I have papers from just about everything. I like to read up on things. I like to study what I’m doing. So, therefore, you have a lot of action going on your office. Now, some of the writers, some of the ones that aren’t so smart, they talk about the desk negatively. They say, “Oh, isn’t it terrible, Trump has so many papers on his desk, let’s analyze everything on the desk,” and they do the best, and they fail."
But the fact is, I’ve noticed over the years, successful people have a lot going on on their desk. My desk is in my office, my desk is a very important part of me, and frankly it’s a very important part of my success. Everything I do comes right through this desk. So, if it’s not perfectly neat, if there’s a lot of action, I think that’s okay. I actually think that’s a good thing.”
Rule #10: LOVE WHAT YOU DOYou have to love what you do. And I’m not going to go over that long, but it solves a lot of problems.
"Because, when you love what you do, when you really love what you do, you work harder.”
“I have friends that don’t love, and, I tell this story. A Wall Street titan, big guy, but I was richer than him, and I’m richer, according to Forbes, I’m much richer than him, so I like that, you know. I like that. But this big Wall Street titan, he’s a big name. He has a son, and his son is a wonderful human being, which is amazing because the guy is a horrible, a horrible person. But he is one of the biggest guys on Wall Street.”
“So, he wants his son, Alex, I’m going to use the name Alex. It’s not his name, but I don’t want to get this guy in any more trouble with his father than he already is. Alex isn’t the strongest character, the father is a brutal vicious killer. So, the father has a big firm on Wall Street, and he wants Alex to go into the firm, of course, you know, come on Alex, get in there, get in there.”
“In the meantime, all these kids are graduating from Wharton, and Harvard, and Stanford, and they’re just eating Alex’s lunch, he doesn’t have a chance. He doesn’t have a chance. And he doesn’t like it. He’s not liking what he’s doing. You got to love what you do, and he’s not liking it.”
“So, one day, but he can’t leave because of his father. I actually tell him, “Why don’t you leave? Your father is brutal!” The father is just killing the guy, telling him, “You don’t have what it takes!” So I say, “You got to leave the father, you got to leave him.” He said, ‘I just can’t Donald.’”
“So anyway, he’s a spoiled guy, he’s a member of a very good golf club in Westchester, which is a rich place in New York. And he’s on one of the committees, and he’s on the greens committee. And they put him in charge of redoing the course. They are doing this big renovation of the course, it’s a very good club. And he’s there every morning, at five in the morning, he doesn’t leave, he did such an unbelievable job. The contractors respected him, everybody respected him.”
“So, the wife comes up, “He’s doing so great Donald, he’s so amazing.” And they give him an honor, and this is a tough group of people that have this club. You know, they’re club members and they’re difficult. They gave him an honor. The club came in under budget, faster by two months, he did an unbelievable job, and the quality of the work was ten times what they ever anticipated. So they gave him a medal.”
“I said, ‘You know Alex, you ought to go and do this for a living, you ought to be a builder, whether its houses, or clubs or golf courses, renovation.’”
“Oh, my father wo uld go crazy, he would never let me,” he said.
“So, Alex went back to Wall Street where he was miserable. And a year later, he quit. And he started doing renovations of houses, and clubs, and different things, and he’s doing great. So, you got to love what you do.”