I just finished reading Trump: The Art of the Deal. The first chapter, A Week in the Life, was captivating. I couldn’t believe how busy and how hard Donald Trump has worked—every minute of the day. Every half-hour or so he makes another deal, on the phone or in person. You can tell he loves his work.
In the second chapter, The Elements of the Deal, he goes over many principles he uses to make deals. This I think was the best chapter of the book. Here are…
10 Elements of Making a Deal (mostly Trump quotes)
1. Think Big. Trump wrote, “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” I like that!
2. How to Think Big. Trump said, “I think of it as a controlled neurosis, which is a quality I’ve noticed in many highly successful entrepreneurs. They’re obsessive, they’re driven, they’re single-minded and sometimes they’re almost maniacal, but it’s all channeled into their work.”
3. Anticipate the Worst. Trump wrote, “I always go into the deal anticipating the worst. If you plan for the worst—if you can live with the worst—the good will always take care of itself.” Wise advice, especially in these times. It’s always good to be vigilant and to be on our guard against the enemy.
4. Maximize Your Options. “For starters,” Trump wrote, “I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first. In addition, once I’ve made a deal, I always come up with at least a half dozen approaches to making it work, because anything can happen, even to the best-laid plans.”
5. Ask a Lot of Questions. When Trump is thinking of buying a piece of property he always asks people in the neighborhood a lot of questions to get a sense of the market. He wrote, “I ask and I ask and I ask, until I begin to get a gut feeling about something. And that’s when I make a decision.” I’m sure we all saw this as he was choosing his cabinet. He took a lot of time and asked all the candidates a lot of questions. This is great advice for any decision we make in life.
6. Deal from Strength. Trump said, “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead. The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you can have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet needs…you have to convince the other guy it’s in his interest to make the deal.”
7. Give positive answers. Trump talked about when someone would start talking negative about a deal, he would turn the tables and show the positive side of it. Good advice!
8. Fight for what you believe in. Trump said that in his experience if you’re fighting for something you believe in, things will usually work out for the best. Haven’t we all seen this in Trump? He’s a fighter.
9. You must deliver the goods. Trump wrote, “You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press…but if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” I know this to be true in my business. A good reputation is the best promoter we can have.
1o. Have fun. Trump wrote, “I try not to take any of what’s happened too seriously.
There are 14 chapters in the book. Chapter 3 through 5 are about his growing up and getting started in business. Very interesting. The rest of the book wasn’t as interesting to me; it was all about all of his big deals; how things went. If there was an interesting story, that got my attention, but going through all of the details of making deals was kind of boring to me.
The last few lines of the book were quite prophetic. He wrote, “The biggest challenge I see over the next twenty years is to figure out some creative ways to give back some of what I’ve gotten…In my life, there are two things I’ve found I’m very good at: overcoming obstacles and motivating good people to do their best work.
Wow! I see this all happening now. His service as president is what he has been preparing for his whole life. And don’t we see that he is so good at overcoming many obstacles and also motivating good people to do their best work. We can give praise to God for preparing this man to serve in such an evil time as this.