Whether or not you agree with Donald Trump’s politics or hairstyle choice, there’s no denying that the man is successful. This is a man who has learned how to avoid the traps that sabotage a business. I look at some of his more famous quotes and can identify the lessons he has learned over the years, and see where it could all go tragically wrong if we didn’t heed the same lessons.
“If you don’t have the motivation and the enthusiasm, your great idea will simply sit on top of your desk or inside your head and go nowhere.”
Be lazy or be a flake and you won’t succeed. You might have the best idea, but if you don’t follow through, you will not be taken seriously. Call or show up when expected and keep your word. Otherwise, clients and colleagues will stop taking you and your ideas seriously.
“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”
Act small and you’ll stay small. If you keep thinking you’re just a small solopreneur or business owner, that’s how you’ll be perceived. To get out of this mindset, read the E Myth.
“I have made tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line.”
Ignore your finances and you will end up with no money to ignore any longer. Cash flow is important. There will be times when you have to make difficult decisions, ones that you worry might hinder your creative process, because you need to keep focused on finances. This will be temporary. It’s better to slow down than to end up coming to a screeching halt. Big ideas can wait if you need to refocus on cash-generating ideas for the moment.
“In the end you’re measured not by how much you undertake but by what you actually accomplish.”
Focus on too many things at once and nothing will be accomplished. At the end of the day, small things don’t matter. Organize your days so that you target the big picture and don’t get distracted by petty or unimportant issues.
“I’m a bit of a P.T. Barnum. I make stars out of everyone.”
Ignore the contributions of others and you will find yourself playing in your own sandbox. Trump may not be a paragon of courtesy, but he understands that even in a dog-eat-dog world, you should include others and highlight their assets. Be considerate of others and you will find the road to success better paved.
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
Take business too personally and you will lose perspective. Don’t get too attached to holding on to every piece of your business, even if you feel it’s your “baby.” Look at it this way – owning 51% of a 5 million dollar company is better than 100% of a $100,000 one. Sometimes you need to give some to get more.
The one quote I would adapt of Trump’s is “you’re fired” – learn the lessons above and it can be amended to “you’re fired UP!”