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|Donald J. Trump - HOW TO GET RICH (Complete)|
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From: USA Comment <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:14:53 -0200
Subject: BOOK] Donald J. Trump - HOW TO GET RICH (Complete)
Five Billion Reasons Why You Should Read This Book
A lot has happened to us all since 1987. That's the year The Art
of the Deal was published and became the bestselling business book of
the decade, with over three million copies in print.
Business Rule #1: If you don't tell people about your success, they
probably won't know about it.
A few months ago, I picked up The Art of the Deal, skimmed a bit,
and then read the first and last paragraphs. I realized that after
seventeen years they still rang true. I could have written these words
First paragraph: I don't do it for the money. I've got enough,
much more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art
form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful
poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my
Last paragraph: Don't get me wrong. I also plan to keep making
deals, big deals, and right around the clock.
It's now 2004, I'm still making deals around the clock, and I
still don't do it for the money.
I don't think you should do it for the money, either. Money is not
an end in itself, but it's sometimes the most effective way to help us
realize our dreams. So if you've got big dreams and you're looking for
a way to make them happen, this book is for you.
How to Get Rich.That's what I decided to call it, because whenever
I meet people, that's usually what they want to know from me. You ask
a baker how he makes bread. You ask a billionaire how he makes money.
Sure, there have been countless how-to-get-rich books written by
millionaires. Billionaire authors are harder to find. Billionaire
authors with interests in real estate, gaming, sports, and
entertainment are rarer still.
And billionaire authors with their own Manhattan skyscrapers and
hit prime-time TV series are the rarest of all. I'm pretty sure I'm
the only one, though Oprah could give me a run for the money if she
ever decides to write another book and get into real estate.
Business Rule #2: Keep it short, fast, and direct. The following
pages will be straightforward and succinct, but don't let the brevity
of these passages prevent you from savoring the profundity of the
advice you are about to receive. These stories and words of wisdom
have been distilled from almost thirty years at the top.
So here it comes: The Scoop from The Donald. After you make your
first billion, don't forget to send me a thank-you note. You know the
Business Rule #3: Begin working at a young age. I did.
In The Art of the Deal, I mentioned my nemesis and mentor at New
York Military Academy, Theodore Dobias, here on my left. Major General
John Brugmannis on my right.
Be a General
I am the chairman and president of The Trump Organization. I like
saying that because it means a great deal to me. There are almost
twenty thousand members of this organization at this point. I did a
print ad once in which I declared, I only work with the best. That
statement still stands.
More and more, I see that running a business is like being a
general. Calling the shots carries a great deal of responsibility, not
only for yourself, but for your troops. Your employees' lives, to a
large extent, are dependent on you and your decisions. Bad strategy
can end up affecting a lot of people. This is where being a leader
takes on a new dimension. Every decision you make is an important one,
whether there are twenty thousand people working for you or just one.
If you are careful when finding employees, management becomes a
lot easier. I rely on a few key people to keep me informed. They know
I trust them, and they do their best to keep that trust intact.
For example, when I need to know something about my casinos and
hotels in Atlantic City, I know I can call up Mark Brown, my CEO, and
get a fast and informed answer. If I call Laura Cordovano over at
Trump Park Avenue and ask about sales, she'll give it to me exactly as
it is. If I call Allen Weisselberg, my CFO, he'll tell me what I need
to know in twenty words or less. My senior counsel and Apprentice
adviser, George Ross, can do it in ten words or less. Find people who
suit your business style and you'll have fewer problems to deal with
as time goes on.
Good people equals good management and good management equals good
people. They have to work together or they won't work together for
very long. I've seen good management get by with mediocre people, and
I've also seen excellent people get stuck in the mires of bad
management. The good managers will eventually leave, followed by the
good workers, and you will be left with a team that gets along because
they're all mediocre. Save yourself time by getting the best people
you can. Sometimes this can mean choosing attitude over experience and
credentials. Use your creativity to come up with a good mix.
Creative people rarely need to be motivated—they have their own
inner drive that refuses to be bored. They refuse to be complacent.
They live on the edge, which is precisely what is needed to be
successful and remain successful.
One of my former employees was in charge of a new project. He had
done a thorough and acceptable job, but I felt that something was
missing. It wasn't fantastic, which, knowing his capabilities, it
should have been. I decided to challenge his creative ego by
mentioning that it was fine but seemed to lack inspiration. I politely
asked him whether he was genuinely interested in the project and
suggested that perhaps that might be the problem.
Well, the guy went ballistic on me. He was deeply insulted.
And, as you can probably guess, the revision he turned in was
terrific. The difference between the first draft and the final version
was incredible. I didn't slam the guy because he was usually demanding
of himself and had never let me down. But I had to give him a jolt.
Generals motivate their soldiers; they inspire them when it is
necessary. They do the same for their highest-ranking officers. We all
need a boost now and then. Learn how to tailor your method to the
personalities you are managing.
Keep the big picture in mind while attending to the daily details.
This can seem like a balancing act, but it is absolutely necessary for
success in running a company.
In the 1980s, I was riding high. After learning the essentials of
real estate development from my father, Fred, a builder in Queens and
Brooklyn, I'd become a major player in Manhattan, developing Trump
Tower, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and many other top-tier properties. I
had a yacht, a plane, a bestselling book.
One magazine headline said, EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES TURNS TO GOLD,
and I believed it. I'd never known adversity. I went straight from
Wharton to wealth. Even in down markets, I bought properties
inexpensively and made a lot of money. I began to think it was easy.
In the late eighties, I lost focus. I'd fly off to Europe to
attend fashion shows, and I wasn't looking at the clothing. My lack of
attention was killing my business.
Then, the real estate market crashed. I owed billions upon
billions of dollars—$9.2 billion, to be exact. That's nine billion,
two hundred million dollars. I've told this story many times before,
but it bears repeating: In the midst of the crash, I passed a beggar
on the street and realized he was worth $9.2 billion more than I was.
I saw a lot of my friends go bankrupt, never to be heard from again.
The media had me for lunch. Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, The
Wall Street Journal, The New York Times—they all published major
stories about my crisis, and a lot of people seemed to be happy about
I'll never forget the worst moment. It was 3 A.M. Citibank phoned
me at my home in Trump Tower. They wanted me to come over to their
office immediately to negotiate new terms with some foreign
banks—three of the ninety-nine banks to whom I owed billions.
It's tough when you have to tell a banker that you can't pay
interest. They tend not to like those words. An ally at Citibank
suggested that the best way for me to handle this difficult situation
was to call the banks myself, and that's exactly what they wanted me
to do, at three o'clock on a cold January morning, in the freezing
rain. There were no cabs, so I walked fifteen blocks to Citibank. By
the time I got there, I was drenched.
That was the low point. There were thirty bankers sitting around a
big table. I phoned one Japanese banker, then an Austrian banker, and
then a third banker from a country I can no longer remember.
In The Art of the Deal, I had warned readers never to personally
guarantee anything. Well, I hadn't followed my own advice. Of the $9.2
billion I owed, I'd personally guaranteed a billion dollars. I was a
schmuck, but I was a lucky schmuck, and I wound up dealing with some
understanding bankers who worked out a fair deal. After being the king
of the eighties, I survived the early nineties, and by the mid-to-late
nineties, I was thriving again.
But I learned my lesson. I work as hard today as I did when I was
a young developer in the 1970s.
Don't make the mistake I did. Stay focused.
Maintain Your Momentum
William Levitt, the master builder of Levittown, taught me the true
meaning of momentum.
In the 1950s, he was the king. No detail was too small for his
attention. He would personally collect stray nails and extra chips of
wood from building sites to make sure his construction crews used all
He sold his company in 1956 to ITT for $100 million, which is
equivalent to billions today. Then he made some terrible mistakes.
He married the wrong woman.
He moved to the south of France and lived on the Riviera with his
new boat and his new wife.
One day, ITT called. The executives in charge of the conglomerate
had no aptitude for home building. They had bought huge tracts of land
but didn't know how to get them zoned. So they sold it back to Levitt,
who thought he'd gotten a great deal.
He went back into business. And he proceeded to go bankrupt.
I saw William Levitt at a cocktail party in 1994, two weeks before
he died. He was standing by himself in a corner, looking defeated. I
didn't know him well, but I approached him, hoping to acquire some
wisdom from the master. Mr. Levitt, I said, how are you doing?
Not good, Donald, not good. Then he said the words I'll never
forget. I lost my momentum. I was out of the world for twenty years, I
came back, and I wasn't the same.
No matter how accomplished you are, no matter how well you think
you know your business, you have to remain vigilant about the details
of your field. You can't get by on experience or smarts. Even the best
surgeons need to be retrained regularly, to stay current on the latest
research and procedures.
No matter what you're managing, don't assume you can glide by.
Momentum is something you have to work at to maintain.
My loyal assistant, Norma Foerderer.
Get a Great Assistant
Surround yourself with people you can trust. I often say it's good
to be paranoid, but not when it comes to your home team.
Ask God for a great assistant. No joke. A great one can make your
life a whole lot easier—or, in my case, almost manageable. Norma
Foerderer has been with me for twenty-three years. If you want to know
what a great guy I am, just ask her. But not on a Friday.
Handling me, the office, and several hundred calls a week isn't
easy. She's as tough and smart as she is gracious. She's also
indefatigable, which helps a lot if you work for me.
My phones are so busy that I require two executive assistants, and
they never stop. They alone handle, on the average, more than 1,250
calls a week. They are not only efficient and fast, but also very
pleasant and beautiful young women.
You don't have to be beautiful to work for me—just be good at your
job. I've been accused of admiring beautiful women. I plead guilty.
But when it comes to the workplace, anyone who is beautiful had better
have brains, too. You need competent people with an inherent work
ethic. I'm not a complacent person and I can't have a complacent
staff. I move forward quickly and so must they.
Once, I wanted to know how fast a new employee could work, so I
told him I was leaving in fifteen minutes and needed something done
within that time. I wasn't actually going anywhere, but, sure enough,
I had what I needed in fifteen minutes. Machiavellian? Maybe, but both
of us learned something that day.
One final piece of advice on assistants, which I learned from
experience and which, I admit, may not be as relevant to your career
as it's been to mine: Find a receptionist who can speak English. We
had a breathtaking European beauty out front who could easily rival
Ingrid Bergman in her heyday, but I discovered that her ability to
recognize well-known people in the United States was limited to myself
and maybe President Bush. She wasn't so familiar with the likes of
Hugh Grant, Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Jack Welch, Paul
Anka, Mohamed Al Fayed, Regis Philbin, or Tony Bennett. Their calls
never got through to me and their names were placed on her psycho
But you should have seen her. What a knockout. She's since moved
on to better career opportunities, but we'll never forget her. Neither
will anyone who ever called in. Or tried to.
Remember: The Buck Starts Here
Set the standard. Don't expect your employees to work harder than
you do. In my case, I don't have to worry about that, because I work
seven days a week and love almost every minute of it. But also realize
that your company will sometimes function as an extended and
dysfunctional family. It's only natural, considering that people often
spend more waking hours with coworkers than they do with their
A visitor in my office once mentioned that the goings-on there
reminded him of a family fight in progress. I will admit that the
volume level gets high now and then, and he wasn't far off in his
assessment. But if you want smooth sailing every day, move to the
Winners see problems as just another way to prove themselves.
Problems are never truly hardships to them, and if you haven't got any
problems, then you must not have a business to run.
Regard your company as a living, breathing organism, because
that's what it is. Those figures you see on your spreadsheets will
reflect the health of that organism. Watch out for bad cells while
allowing good cells to flourish.
Growth is an indication of life, so keep your organization moving
forward at all times. Having a passion for what you do is crucial. If
you can't get excited about what you are doing, how can you expect
anyone else to? If your employees can see and feel your energy, it is
bound to affect them.
Don't intimidate people. If you do, you'll never get a straight
answer from anyone, and you'll be defeating your own purpose. I keep
my door open, and my people know I'm available as well as
approachable. We don't have chat-fests, but whatever needs to be done
gets accomplished, and quickly.
Remember that your organization is your organization. That sounds
simplistic, but, bottom line, it's your ball game. The strategy is up
to you, and so are the results. Remember Harry Truman's famous words,
which he kept on his desk in the Oval Office? THE BUCK STOPS HERE. I
keep a similar quote on my desk. It reads: THE BUCK STARTS HERE.
If you equivocate, it's an indication that you're unsure of
yourself and what you're doing. It's also what politicians do all the
time, and I find it inappropriate, insulting, and condescending.
I try not to do it. Fortunately, I don't have to try too hard at
this one, because I've been known to be on the blunt (and fast) side
at times, which is good.
I once asked an executive in my organization to give me a synopsis
of a new development we were considering. He'd been to the city in
question, had spent some time there, and had done some careful
investigating. He went on to describe the merits of the site, the
pitfalls, the good things, the bad things, the pros, the cons—on and
on in great detail. He must've talked for ten minutes straight.
Judging from what he was telling me, there were just as many reasons
to drop the project as there were reasons to jump right in and get
going. It was like a tied game with no overtime.
I asked him more questions, and we ended up exactly where we were
before. He was on both sides of the fence at once and didn't seem to
want to take a stand either way. This guy had a lot of experience and
a good track record, so finally I asked him what he thought of the
project in ten words or less.
It stinks, he said.
He had eight words left, but he didn't need them.
Ask Yourself Two Questions
1. Is there anyone else who can do this better than I can?
That's just another way of saying: Know yourself, and know your
competition. If your competition is better than you are, you need to
offer some quality they lack.
2. What am I pretending not to see?
We can all get swept up in the euphoria of a creative moment, or
what former president Richard Nixon's speechwriters used to call the
lift of a dream. Before the dream lifts you into the clouds, make sure
you've looked hard at the facts on the ground.
Bullshit Will Only Get You So Far
I think it's funny that the phrase most closely associated with me
these days is You're fired, because, the truth is, although I've had
to fire people from time to time, it's not a big part of my job. I
much prefer keeping loyal and hardworking people around for as long as
they'd like to be here. There's a wonderful lady in her nineties, Amy
Luerssen, who worked for my father and still reports to work every day
at our Brooklyn office. Here at The Trump Organization, Helen Rakotz
has worked for me from the day I moved to Manhattan, and she still
puts in long hours every week. She is eighty-two.
Once I delayed firing someone for two years because this guy
always had such a great line of bullshit every time I came close to
the topic. No matter what was going on, he had some huge deal lined up
that was just about to come through.
He managed to string me along for two solid years, and I believed
him every time—or wanted to. Finally, I was forced to realize that his
claims were bogus, but I gave him every chance before finally axing
Unless your boss is a total sadist, he (or she) doesn't want to
fire you or cause hardship to your family. If you think you're in
danger of being fired, take control of the situation and ask your boss
for a meeting.
Make sure you ask for the meeting at the right time. Tell your
boss you want to make sure you are communicating and doing your job to
Of course, if your boss is a sadist, or just a lousy communicator,
you've still got a problem. In that case, fire your boss and get a
better job. There's no sense in trying to cope with a bad situation
that will never improve.
I never try to dissuade people from quitting. If they don't want
to be here, I don't want them to be here, either. No one has ever come
to me with an ultimatum. People see how it works here, and if it
doesn't suit them, they move on. Sometimes it happens quickly. A
qualified and experienced receptionist worked here for a grand total
of six hours. She realized right away that the pace just wasn't suited
to her, and she very politely told us so and left. I appreciated her
quick thinking and efficient decision-making skills. She'll have a
successful career somewhere else.
Every New Hire Is a Gamble
Some people give such great interviews that you're ready to make
them vice presidents on the spot, until you realize that their true
talent is simply giving a great interview. That's why, in a sense,
every new hire is a gamble.
Impressive credentials don't always add up to a great performance
or a good fit. Nonexistent credentials don't necessarily mean a
no-talent. Being circumspect helps a lot and keeps you from being
surprised. People can offer an interesting mix of pros and cons. Time
will do the weeding out for you. All you have to do is pay attention.
What I look for in employees is a sense of responsibility that
goes beyond what is merely sufficient. Some people do the bare
minimum, and some people will actually be concerned about the
organization as a whole. They see themselves as having a direct
relationship to the success or failure of the company they work for.
They believe they are important, and their work shows it. If you can
instill this sense of worth in your employees, you will have a tip-top
team working for you. People who take pride in their work are the kind
you want to have around—and the kind I like to keep around.
I especially like employees who spend—and, more important,
save—the company's money as if it were their own. Companies suffer
when employees don't make enough of an effort to control costs. The
employees who feel a personal responsibility for their budgets, who
view the company's bottom line as an extension of their own personal
savings account, are often the ones who get the best results. If you
let your boss know that you're watching out for his or her bottom
line, you'll always be appreciated.
I respect employees who can think on their feet. So does George
Ross, my senior counsel. His assistant, Carole Berkowitz, was helping
out at the front desk one day when she received a call from a stranger
who said she was about to commit suicide. Carole deemed the call
credible and took a few moments to listen to the distressed woman.
Carole asked her where she was from, and the woman replied that
she lived in Southern California, not far from the beach. Carole
responded, You live in California? Near the beach? Do you know how
cold it is in New York today? It's eight degrees outside! And that's
without the windchill. I almost froze just getting to work. If I were
you, I'd go out right now, take a long walk on the beach, and sit in
the sun for a while. That's what I'd do if I were you. The woman
instantly calmed down and thanked Carole for being so nice to her.
That's the kind of person we like to have around.
A certain amount of personal ambition is necessary, but not to the
point where it undermines the common goal of the company. If your
group can't work together, you won't accomplish much. I don't like
backstabbing. It's not necessary, and it's insulting to me. I have
eyes and ears and instincts, too. I can assess people and situations
for myself. If people have time to be petty, it's an indication
they're not busy enough with their work.
You can't expect to be a valuable employee if you don't make
yourself valuable. Think about it: What do you contribute to the
welfare of the organization? Are you instrumental in keeping it
humming and moving forward? Do you work wholeheartedly or
halfheartedly? Are you just going through the motions and hoping no
one will notice? The only person you ever fool is yourself. You can't
fool others, even though you mightthink you can.
A lot of people say they're going through the motions because
their position isn't challenging or rewarding and there's no room to
grow. It's a dead-end situation. That might very well be. If so, look
elsewhere for a company that could offer you a promotion in your
particular area of interest or expertise. There are times when you
should move on, and situations in which the only way up is out.
Ideas Are Welcome, but Make Sure You Have the Right One
If you run a company, make yourself accessible to your employees.
If they feel they can bring ideas to you, they will. If they feel they
can't, they won't. You might miss out on a lot of good ideas, and
pretty soon you might be missing a lot of employees.
I allow people to run their ideas by me. I don't have a lot of
time, so they have to be prepared and succinct. I'm sure that's the
protocol of any busy CEO. So if you're going to be bold enough to
present your idea, make it as clear as possible, and don't take it
casually. Think of it as a presentation that could cost you a lot of
money if you were to lose the client. Your boss's time is important,
and you won't win any points by wasting it.
Learn to recognize the fine line between being pushy and being
intelligently assertive. It can be an issue of timing—pay attention to
what's happening around you and pace yourself according to that
rhythm. I try to develop a tempo when I'm working. Someone who
interrupts it is not going to receive a warm welcome.
Also, remember this: The boss has the big picture; you don't. So
if your idea doesn't meet with hurrahs, it could very well be that a
similar idea is already in development or that your idea is not in
step with plans that have already been made. This shouldn't discourage
you, because your initiative will always be noticed. But recognize
when not to press an issue, and don't expect a lengthy explanation of
I like people who don't give up, but merely being a pest is
detrimental to everyone. Once again, fine-tune your discernment. Know
when to ease up. Keep your antennae up for another idea and a more
appropriate opportunity. Sometimes we hesitate with good reason.
There was one former employee who I liked a lot, but he reminded
me of a jumping bean. He couldn't keep still for more than three
seconds at a time. Even riding in the car with him became an ordeal,
because being in an enclosed space seemed to warm him up even more and
then he'd really get going. I finally learned to avoid him as much as
possible, and that's too bad, because he was a great guy. But enough
is enough. Too much will cause people to tune you out—or wish that you
would move to another state. Last I heard, the jumping bean was living
in Montana. I only hope they have enough space there to contain him,
and every time I hear about UFO sightings in Montana, I have to laugh.
I know who it is.
One last thing: If your boss says no to an idea, pay attention.
Most likely, there's a good reason. No one disregards a terrific idea.
It just might not be the right terrific idea for the company you're
with. Maybe you're meant to go off on your own as an entrepreneur. Let
that be an indication to you. It could be the beginning of your
career, rather than the end of it.
Focus on the Talent Instead of the Title
People who work for me know there's a lot more to me than my public
persona. I'm not one-dimensional, and if you realize that the people
around you aren't either, you'll be utilizing the hidden potential
that just about everyone has. Whether they want to use it or not is up
to them to a certain extent, but it's also up to a leader to recognize
it or at least to give it a chance to unfold. Most people don't like
to stagnate, and if you want to keep your company moving forward, look
around you now and then for fresh possibilities within your
organization. Never let someone's job title be the sole indication of
People at The Trump Organization have transcended their positions
on many occasions. Matthew Calamari, the executive vice president of
operations, started as a security guard. After getting to know
Matthew, I realized he had a lot more to offer than his job title
warranted, and he has proven me right. He's a dedicated and
trustworthy worker, and any CEO in his right mind would want to have
him around. As an executive VP, he is in charge of building operations
and runs my entire security organization. He is in charge of major
building projects, with his brother Michael and Andy Weiss. Their most
notable recent accomplishment is the new building on the site of the
former Delmonico Hotel at Park Avenue and Fifty-ninth Street. I'm
calling it Trump Park Avenue. Catchy, right?
Vinnie Stellio, who was hired by Matthew Calamari, started as my
bodyguard and is now a vice president. He has just what it takes to be
an effective executive, which was clear to me, if not immediately to
him. Vinnie would often drive executives, architects, and contractors
up to Westchester to look at developments I was building. Now they
report to him. I am perhaps the largest owner of land in Westchester
County, and now it's Vinnie who keeps his eye on it all.
With Matthew Calamari, an executive vice president at The Trump
John Tutolo, president of Trump Model Management, our modeling
agency, started as a booker and now has what many guys would consider
a dream job.
Meredith McIver, who made the writing of this book a pleasure
instead of a headache, started out as a media assistant. I recognized
that her talents encompassed much more. Of course, it takes talent to
deal with me and everyone else every day (but especially me). I could
have hired an outside collaborator to help me with this book, but why
spend time looking outside the organization when you have all the
people you need right beside you?
Very often, your resources are greater than you might think. I
don't like it when people underestimate me, and I try not to
underestimate anyone else, either. People are multifaceted, and it's
important to let them function in a way that will allow them to shine.
Most people would rather succeed than fail, but sometimes the leader
has to be the catalyst for putting success into their personal
In other words, try to see beyond a person's title. You can find
talent in unlikely places.
Meredith McIver, Rhona Graff, and Norma Foerderer of The Trump Organization.
Manage the Person, Not the Job
I once heard a story about a guy who owned an advertising agency.
There was one writer who drove the other writers crazy because he
would appear to be doing nothing in his office. He made no attempt to
Finally, his colleagues complained to his boss about his laziness.
The boss suddenly perked up and asked, How long has he been this way?
One of the other writers answered, For weeks and weeks! He sits
there and does zip. It's like he's in a coma.
The boss said, I want all of you to be quiet and not to disturb
him, and every now and then ask if you can get him some coffee or some
lunch or run some errands for him.
Needless to say, the employees were deflated and started
grumbling. Then the boss explained his rationale: Listen, the last
time he was acting this way, and the time before that, he came up with
ideas worth many millions of dollars. So when I tell you not to
disturb him, I have a reason for it.
People have different ways of achieving results. I enjoy figuring
out how each of my key employees excels. If people are your resource,
you'd better try to learn something useful about them. Being able to
do so is what makes a good manager a great one.
Some people respond well to the fear factor. Ever hear this ex-change?
Question: How long have you been working here?
Answer: Ever since they threatened to fire me.
Well, it applies to some employees. Fortunately, I seem to attract
people who enjoy working, but now and then a few slugs will show up,
and the loss of face (or job) can be a good motivator for many.
That said, it will always work against you to demoralize your
employees in any way. I can be tough, but most people will admit I'm
fair. You can crush people if you don't weigh your words carefully.
Your power as a leader should be used in the most positive way, which
sometimes calls for a great deal of restraint as well as patience. I
have to laugh when I hear people say, I can't wait until I'm the big
shot so I can order everyone around. It doesn't quite work that way.
Abraham Lincoln made an appropriate remark that is pertinent to
management: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to
test a man's character, give him power.
Keep Your Door Open
I'm always taken aback when people say, Oh, he's got it made, as if
that's the end of the conversation about a person. They seem to be
saying that the person can just check out and coast because he's
To me, arriving means something is about to begin. Graduation from
college is a beginning, not an ending. Each success is the beginning
of the next one.
Learning is a new beginning we can give ourselves every day.
A know-it-all is like a closed door. Everyone who knows me knows I
keep the door to my office open. It's symbolic of the way I choose to
think, and it's the way I operate. My father was much the same. He
once said to me, You know, the more I learn, the more I realize I
don't know. I think that has kept me young at heart more than anything
else. It was an offhand comment, a quiet realization he mentioned to
me one day while he was reading, but it has stuck with me for decades.
Every day is a reminder to me of how much I don't know. Everything
I learn leads me to something else I didn't know. Fortunately, I don't
pride myself on being a know-it-all, so every day becomes a new
challenge. People ask me what keeps me going, and this is probably the
closest answer to the truth. If I end the day without knowing more
than I did when I woke up, it makes me wonder: What did I miss out on
today? Am I getting lazy? I am a disciplined person, and this thought
alone can get me going.
Looking for a raise? Come on in.
We've all heard the phrase creature of habit. That can be good or
bad, depending on your habits. I've cultivated the learning habit over
the years, and it's one of the most pleasurable aspects of my life.
Everyone in my family knows I'm big on education—not just Ivy League
education, but all education, and for people of all ages. That also
applies to me, and while I got very good grades at school, I do not
have time to be a scholar. Still, it's something I aspire to in my
quiet time. Possibilities unfold. The world opens up.
My sister Maryanne introduced me to the writings of Aldous Huxley.
He was such a learner that when he was faced with near-total blindness
as a young man, he learned braille and continued his studies anyway.
His description of this predicament had not a trace of self-pity. In
fact, he mentioned that it had offered some benefits: He could now
read in bed at night and his hands would never get cold because he
could read with his hands under the covers.
Learning begets learning. I'd rather be stimulated than passive.
You can't wear a blindfold in business. A regular part of your day
should be devoted to expanding your horizons.
We live in a big world, and it is important for us to be aware of
cultures other than our own. I have always lived in the United States,
but I make an effort to be informed about other cultures. That's easy
to do in New York City, the most diverse and exciting place on earth.
Someone who had been living abroad for a few years told me, upon
returning home, that a frequent comment about Americans is that you
always know exactly where we're coming from. The flip side of this is
that we rarely know where anyone else is coming from. We're very much
up to snuff about our own national events, but we are less aware of
what's happening in other countries. All of us need to pay more
attention to events outside our own realm. We are connected to each
other in so many ways—politically, commercially, socially. Perhaps one
of the reasons I've been able to sell and rent apartments to people of
so many foreign nationalities is that I've made an effort to
understand where they're coming from.
Learn something new, whether you think you're interested in it or
not. That's the opposite of having a closed mind—or a closed door. I
can thank my father for the example he set. It was the key to his
remaining young and dynamic into his nineties. It can do the same for
you, if you make the effort.
Think Big and Live Large
This is the final rule of the Donald J. Trump School of Business
and Management. Once you have mastered it, you are ready to graduate.
It's a big world. There's a lot we don't know, which means there's
still a lot to be discovered and a lot to be accomplished.
The possibilities are always there. If you're thinking too small,
you might miss them.
In some ways, it's easier to buy a skyscraper than a small house
in a bad section of Brooklyn. Either way, you'll probably need
financing, and most people would rather invest in a great building
than a dilapidated duplex on a dangerous street. With the skyscraper,
if you hit, at least you hit big. And if you don't hit, what's the
difference between losing $100,000 or hundreds of millions of dollars?
Either way, you've lost, so you might as well have really gone for it.
I've read stories in which I'm described as a cartoon, a comic
book version of the big-city business mogul with the gorgeous
girlfriend and the private plane and the personal golf course and the
penthouse apartment with marble floors and gold bathroom fixtures. But
my cartoon is real. I am the creator of my own comic book, and I love
living in it. If you're going to think, think big. If you're going to
live, live large.
Take Control of the Job Interview
I've had some interesting experiences with job interviews over the
years. Norma Foerderer is a good example. I wasn't too sure about her
after her first interview. It had nothing to do with her skills. But
she seemed a little too prim, like she belonged on some family sitcom
as the ever-so-proper type. I didn't think she could handle it here,
or that she would fit with my style.
Norma persisted, seeming to recognize a good match better than I
did. Little did I know how deceptive first impressions could be. Norma
was actually as far from fluff as you could get. So, I thought, Okay,
maybe. Her abilities were superior to those of anyone else I had seen.
As it turned out, I called her back on the same day her mother died,
but Norma gave me an offer I couldn't refuse: She'd work for me for
one month at a low salary just to see whether we clicked. No strings
I thought,Aha! She'll never last anyway, and I can decide on
someone else in the meantime. After one month with me, she'd be outta
here for sure. The hoity-toity type just won't fly, except out the
Needless to say, I underestimated Norma completely. I was duly
humbled and, I must add, grateful for being so. She was persistent and
committed to getting the job, and she did it with elegance.
Ask for Your Raise at the Right Time
When it comes to your career, certain moves should not be made
without careful consideration of the old and very apt sayingTiming is
For example, if you've decided to ask for a raise, look around
first. So many times, employees who I like very much do the dumbest
things when it comes to conversations about their salaries.
Jason Greenblatt, a young and brilliant lawyer who works for me, is
terrific at everything he does, but one day, I swear, he must have
been wearing blindfolds—and earplugs.
I was having an especially tough, vicious, terrible, miserable day
that seemed never-ending to me and to everyone else. It was a
grand-slam rotten day. No one could possibly have mistaken it for
Late in the afternoon, by which time I had had enough, I heard a
polite knock on my door. I yelled out WHAT? in my most exasperated
tone. Jason nonchalantly entered my office, completely ignoring my
angry welcome, and proceeded to ask me for a raise.
I could not believe a lawyer as smart as Jason could make such a
dumb move. I use his real name only because Jason knows how much I
like and respect him, despite his incredible faux pas. But I have to
tell you that I was ready to kill him. Was he joking? It's amazing,
but he wasn't. He was dead serious. I couldn't believe it.
Did he get a raise? Not that day. He almost got fired for
stupidity, except that I told him to get out before I really lost my
temper. I also told him that although he might be brilliant, his
timing for certain things needed work—and that maybe he ought to start
paying attention to what was going on around him. I remember thinking
to myself,Did I really hire such a person? But as I said, it had been
a rough day.
Jason is still with me, and he gets lots of raises because he's
great at what he does. But now he always waits for sunny days, blue
skies, and puffy white clouds on the horizon before approaching me. I
told you he was smart.
The best way to ask for a raise is to wait for the right time. It
also indicates to your boss that you have a certain amount of
discernment and appreciation for what he might be going through
himself. I need my people to be plugged in to what's going on with me.
What impresses me most about people is their work ethic. A certain
amount of swagger is okay—it's just another form of enthusiasm—but,
bottom line, I look for results. When I mentioned to a salesperson
that I had to cut her salary because she'd made no sales in nine
months, she just about went nuts. But some things are common sense.
What would she do if she had a nonproductive salesperson on her own
If you knew your company was scheduled to give a major client
presentation at 3 P.M ., would you approach your boss at 2:45 to ask
for a raise?
Money, like comedy, is all about timing.
The Art of the Deal contained a chapter called West Side Story,
about my acquisition of the West Side yards, a hundred-acre property
fronting the Hudson River from Fifty-ninth Street to Seventy-second
Street. The chapter title was a deliberate double entrendre, as I knew
that the popular musical West Side Story had taken ten years to put
together. Its creative team had included no less than Leonard
Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, so
whenever I experienced setbacks or delays on my West Side project, I
would remind myself that I had some very illustrious company.
It's now seventeen years later and it's still a work in progress,
but the example set by the architects of West Side Story has served me
well. You don't create a classic overnight.
I'm calling it Trump Place. It's a $5-billion project, the biggest
development ever approved by the New York City Planning Commission.
When it's done, Trump Place will have 5,700 residential units and more
than five million square feet of commercial space. So far, four towers
have been completed and are occupied, and two additional buildings are
under construction. When we're done, there will be a total of sixteen
buildings on the site.
Trump Place is a good example of why tenacity is crucial in
business. I bought the property in 1974. We've hit snags along the way
and made many changes over time, but for more than thirty years, we've
persisted. At times, just about every executive will appear impatient,
but to build something that endures, you have to take the long view.
Recently, an employee told me that the pastor of her church had
used Trump Place as an example of what a firm foundation should be,
whether it be in faith, family, or, as in my case, buildings. The
pastor, whose church was near the construction site, would watch each
building go up and marvel at the immensity of the work. Each building
could be a hundred stories high, he said, considering the meticulous
My publisher sent me an inspiring book by Bill Shore called The
Cathedral Within, which celebrates the commitment and hope necessary
to build something that endures. It might be a cathedral like the one
in Milan, which took five hundred years to build, or it might be a
community organization or a business.
Paul Davis, the man developing Trump Place for me and my partners,
is a true cathedral builder. I have rarely seen anyone work so hard or
so diligently—Saturdays, Sundays—he's there at all hours, paying close
attention to every impeccable detail of the layouts, room sizes, and
the quality of the fixtures. He's one of the big reasons for our
Some things are worth waiting for. For me, Trump Place is one of
those things: Sixteen beautifully designed buildings on the Hudson
River. A twenty-five-acre park. The Upper West Side as a backyard.
This could prove to be my finest contribution to the city of New York.
Time will tell, but I'm in no rush, and I won't stop until I'm done.
Golf is a brain game, and practice makes perfect.
I made a lot of money on the golf course before I ever went into
golf as a business. I found solutions to problems, new ideas for
ventures, and even a new career. Golf has a way of giving you an
equilibrium that you can't always find in the office.
Doing what you love will always make you a winner, and after
spending many happy hours on golf courses, I decided to build some of
my own. I am now one of the busiest golf course developers in the
United States, with two award-winning, internationally acclaimed
courses fully operational and two more in the works.
My first course, the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach,
Florida, has been home to the ADP LPGA championships for three years.
When I first decided to develop the most beautiful golf courses
possible, I did some research and got in touch with the most respected
designers in the business—the Fazio family. Just as Michelangelo had
an affinity for sculpting marble, some people have an affinity for
sculpting land. In this case, Jim and Tommy Fazio designed a dream
come true for any golfer, not only visually, but in terms of
The course opened in 1999. With its waterfalls and landscapes
unique to Florida, Trump International Golf Club is already a landmark
course in the state—and the best course in Florida.
My second course was Trump National at Briarcliff Manor in New
York. We moved three million yards of earth, the largest land
excavation ever in Westchester County, and it was worth it. We were
also dealing with stone, which was used for walls and a spectacular
waterfall on the thirteenth hole—a 101-foot cliff of black granite
quarried from the property—which pumps five thousand gallons a minute.
The walls were built by my very talented stone mason, Frank Sanzo.
Membership costs $300,000. I think it's a bargain.
My third golf course is Trump National Golf Club, in a sumptuous
area of New Jersey known as Bedminster. It is being designed by the
master golf course architect himself, Tom Fazio. Three times,Golf
Digest has named Fazio the Best Modern Day Golf Course Architect, and
when you see this course, you'll know why. It will be long, big, and
beautiful, and I am involved daily in the design and construction.
Additional plans for this property, formerly owned by automaker John
DeLorean and located in the heart of New Jersey's horse country, will
include a second course and a world-class clubhouse designed in the
colonial mansion style.
I don't want to limit my golfing to the East Coast, so in 2002 I
bought a course along two miles of the Pacific Ocean. What was
formerly known as Ocean Trails in Palos Verdes will now be known as
Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles. The course had fallen into
disrepair under its previous owners—the eighteenth hole fell into the
ocean—so I'm rebuilding it with legendary golf course architect Pete
Dye. We're also planning to build luxury estate homes on the property.
When completed, this course will be the best in California.
Dave Anderson, Joe Kernen, me, and Ron Howard at the opening of
Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
When we announced the deal, the Los Angeles Times reported, As he
has so many times before, Trump has spotted a trend to tap. True, but
mostly I was following my instincts and my interests.
Building golf courses is not a big business for me and it's
unlikely that I will ever do another one. I want only the best.
Sometimes I will sell memberships while I am hitting balls on the
practice range. People approach me and hand me checks. One recent day
at my Florida course, a group of four wealthy friends came to me with
checks of $300,000 each. I said to myself:Not bad; I'm playing a game
I love and going home with $1,200,000 in my pocket.
I realize that some of you don't care much about golf. Golf is one
of those things that has aficionados, just as opera has diehard fans
who will fly around the world to catch a certain performance. To
people who don't know or like opera, that seems absurd.
I can't make you love golf, but, believe me, once you've had the
opportunity to play on a beautiful course, it could turn you into an
enormous fan, or even a passionate player, no matter how poorly you
hit the ball.
If anyone had told me twenty years ago that I'd become a dedicated
golf course developer, I would have sent them out of the room for
being ridiculous. But golf has a transforming power. It's a brain
game. Yes, there is skill and technique involved, but, just as
important, it requires concentration and assessment.
It's a great way to improve your business skills, to learn how to
maneuver. It can even be equated with learning how to negotiate, which
is an art in itself.
Golf is also, in essence, a solitary game. Being an entrepreneur,
even within a large company, is a solitary game.
Ultimately, the rule here is not just to visit one of my golf
courses (though you would be wise to do so) but to turn your passion
into profit. The results of that passion will reward you in more ways
than you ever could have expected.
Passion is enthusiasm on a big scale. It is all-encompassing and
consuming. People with passion never give up because they'll never
have a reason to give up, no matter what their circumstances may be.
It's an intangible momentum that can make you indomitable.
Take out the passion and you will have a fizzle or, perhaps, an
okay product at best. Add the passion and you will be in a rarefied
realm that every other passionista will recognize—and one that every
person would like to enter.
A friend of mine is a member of what I call the lucky sperm
club—born into a wealthy family. He followed his father to Wall
Street, but he was a total failure. He didn't like it, and he couldn't
do it. Meanwhile, he became increasingly involved in his Connecticut
country club. He was named the head of the greens committee and took
on the lead role in rebuilding the golf course. He loved it and was
great at it. The club held a dinner for him out of gratitude for his
volunteer work. I asked him, Why don't you do this for a living?
You're not for Wall Street. You're getting eaten alive there. He told
me his family wouldn't understand if he quit a serious job to work on
Well, two years later he took my advice, quit the Wall Street job,
and is now working full-time at renovating golf courses. He says he
loves getting up in the morning, and he is doing better than ever.
Of course, you don't have to learn how to play golf to have a
satisfying career. But no matter what you do, you must be passionate
There's no place like home.
Brand Yourself and Toot Your Horn
I was originally going to call Trump Tower by another name—Tiffany
Tower, for the famous jewelry store next door. I asked a friend, Do
you think it should be Trump Tower or Tiffany Tower? He said, When you
change your name to Tiffany, call it Tiffany Tower.
We've all seen the power of a brand name, especially quality brand
names. Coco Chanel became world-famous eighty years ago by naming her
first perfume Chanel No. 5, and it's still going strong in a fiercely
competitive market. Her fragrance, as well as her name, has become
timeless. She proved that the right ingredients can create a legend.
Trump has become a great brand name, due to my rigorous standards
of design and quality. We all admire Rolls-Royce cars, and I see every
one of my ventures as being just that elite. Being a stickler has paid
off, because my buildings are considered to be the finest in the
world. That may sound like bragging, but it's also a fact. I've never
been one to confuse facts with fiction. In 2003,Chicago Tribune real
estate columnist Mary Umberger attributed the sales for Trump
International Hotel and Tower in Chicago to The Trump Factor. Umberger
reported: The sales velocity surprises even experienced real-estate
players, who told me at the sales inaugural that they doubted Trump
would gain enough momentum because Chicago's luxury market was—and
is—in a lull.
Some people have written that I'm boastful, but they're missing
the point. I believe in what I say, and I deliver the goods. If you're
devoting your life to creating a body of work, and you believe in what
you do, and what you do is excellent, you'd better damn well tell
people you think so. Subtlety and modesty are appropriate for nuns and
therapists, but if you're in business, you'd better learn to speak up
and announce your significant accomplishments to the world—nobody else
When I'm setting the price for a luxury apartment, I consider a
lot of factors—the market, the location, and the competition. Then I
set my own standards. Once, when some top-of-the-line apartments
weren't selling, I upped the prices, way over the competition. They
started selling immediately.
I view my work as an art form and approach it with the same
intensity and ego as any ambitious artist would. I never planned on
becoming a brand name, but the fit of my aesthetic nature with each
product I became involved with has resulted in an expanding network of
interests. The success of the Trump name worldwide has been a
It's been a good surprise. For example, using my name on a
building carries with it a promise of the highest quality available
and at least a $5-million price tag. That's just for the name, because
it will be worth it to the developers, and they know it. That building
will be up to my standards. When I remember the line from
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet—What's in a name?—I have to laugh.
What's in a name can be far more than either the Bard or I ever could
We've all noticed the ascendancy of brand names and the power they
have, from Levi's to Louis Vuitton. Some people are against this
widespread branding, seeing it as another form of labeling. I see it
as a viable outlet for creativity.
If you're on the brink of success in your career, some snob might
ask you dismissively, You don't want to become a brand name, do you?
Anyone who asks you that does not have the big picture in focus—and
they are usually just envious.
I can get a project off the ground in no time now, whereas an
unknown developer would require many months, if not years, to get
something going. The number of people I employ to get a project
finished reaches into the thousands, and those people would not have a
building to work on without a developer to give them a job. Commerce
and art cannot function independently—they must work together. That is
the beauty of a successful brand name.
If there is a downside to being a well-known name, it is that you
become an easy target. The media needs to tear down what it builds up;
that's just part of journalism—stories are about heroes and villains,
or success and failure. If you're a brand name, they're going to take
a shot at you. It comes with the territory, and I've learned to live
with it. As we say on The Apprentice: It's not personal. It's
Fortunately, if you have the critics who matter on your side,
reading the newspaper can be a lot of fun. Herbert Muschamp, the
architecture critic for The New York Times, is a scholar and an
authority when it comes to buildings. To receive a compliment from him
has an intrinsic value that will never diminish. When he wrote an
article on Trump World Tower and described it as a handsome hunk of a
glass tower, I was very honored. Here's more of what he wrote:
Although Donald Trump prefers to publicize the aggressive side of
his nature—it's the manly thing to do—he is also the only beauty freak
at large in New York City real estate development…. It's not
surprising that unofficial approval of Trump's building should come by
way of the Museum of Modern Art. The tower embodies the Miesian
aesthetic through which the Modern's design department's taste was
initially formulated—I hope Trump sticks with this material. Trump
does better when he ignores his critics than when he pays attention to
So don't be afraid to toot your own horn when you've done
something worth tooting about.
And don't believe the critics unless they love your work.
Go with Your Gut
Being an entrepreneur is not a group effort. You have to trust
yourself. You may have superb academic credentials, but without
instincts you'll have a hard time getting to—and staying at—the top.
This is one of those gray areas that remain an enigma even to
those who have finely honed business instincts. There are inexplicable
signs that can guide you to or away from certain deals and certain
For example, within a few seconds of meeting Mark Burnett, the
creator of The Apprentice, I knew he was one hundred percent solid,
both as a person and as a professional, which is a remarkable
accomplishment in the entertainment industry.
On the other hand, I've met people that I have an aversion to for
no particular reason, and while I try not to be judgmental, I have
reason by now to trust my gut. Carl Jung said our conscious minds use
only five percent of our brain power for daily functioning. If we can
learn to tap into that unconscious, subconscious, and dormant
ninety-five percent, the results can be amazing.
Be Optimistic, but Always Be Prepared for the Worst
There are a lot of ups and downs, but you can ride them out if
you're prepared for them.
Learning to expect problems saved me from a lot of wasted energy,
and it will save you from unexpected surprises. It's like Wall Street;
it's like life. The ups and downs are inevitable, so simply try to be
prepared for them.
Sometimes I'll ask myself why I want to take on some new, big
challenge. A substantial loss is always a possibility. Can I handle it
if it doesn't go well? Will I be asking myself later,Why did I ever do
that? What was I thinking? I'm actually a very cautious person, which
is different from being a pessimistic person. Call it positive
thinking with a lot of reality checks.
Look Closely Before Changing Careers
In 2000, I thought about running for president of the United States
as a third-party candidate. I proposed some sensible ideas: tax cuts
for the middle class, tougher trade deals, a ban on unregulated soft
money in campaigns, comprehensive health care reform. I formed an
exploratory committee and met with Reform Party leaders, but in the
end I realized I was enjoying my business too much to run for office.
Remember the rule I mentioned earlier about how you shouldn't
equivocate? That may work for business, but in politics, you usually
have to watch your words. I'm too blunt to be a politician. Then,
there's my long-held aversion to shaking hands. (More on this in a
moment.) Had I entered the race, I wouldn't have been very popular.
Even during the few months I was considering candidacy, I noticed that
people began to treat me differently—in a more reserved, less friendly
way. Before, I had been The Donald, someone they would wave and smile
at. Suddenly, it was a different ball game, and it didn't seem like
much fun to me. One guy I had been friendly with for years saw me at
Le Cirque and for the first time in my life called me Mr. Trump. He
had always called me Donald. That was a real heads-up.
A lot of successful businesspeople think they can apply their
management skills to politics, but I've noticed that only a select
few, like Michael Bloomberg and Jon Corzine, succeed. Most others lack
the temperament for it.
There's a larger point here, beyond the obvious ones about not
confusing your talent for office politics with a gift for electoral
politics. Anyone with more than a little curiosity and ambition will
at some point be tempted to try a different challenge on new terrain.
Take the risk, but before you do, do everything you can to learn what
you're getting yourself into, and be as sure as you can that you've
got the right mind-set for the job.
Avoid the Handshake Whenever Possible
Some business executives believe in a firm handshake. I believe in
no handshake. It is a terrible practice. So often, I see someone who
is obviously sick, with a bad cold or the flu, who approaches me and
says, Mr. Trump, I would like to shake your hand. It's a medical fact
that this is how germs are spread. I wish we could follow the Japanese
custom of bowing instead.
The worst is having to shake hands during a meal. On one occasion,
a man walked out of the restaurant's bathroom, jiggling his hands as
though they were still wet and he hadn't used a towel. He spotted me,
walked over to my table, and said, Mr. Trump, you're the greatest.
Would you please shake my hand?
I knew that if I didn't shake his hand, he'd be saying terrible
things about me for thirty years. I also knew that if I agreed, my own
hands would be loaded with germs or whatever the hell he'd carried out
of the bathroom. I had a choice.
In this case, I decided to shake hands, because I was a little
overweight at the time and knew that if I shook his hand I wouldn't
eat my meal—and that would be a good thing.
Pay Attention to the Details
If you don't know every aspect of what you're doing, down to the
paper clips, you're setting yourself up for some unwelcome surprises.
I once read about an esteemed brain surgeon in San Francisco who
was known for being fanatical about detail and organization. He would
go over the components of an upcoming surgery in his head as he jogged
every morning. He'd visualize every detail, as if to remind himself of
everything he'd learned, every difficulty and complication he might
He wasn't known for his bedside manner, but he was the best. If I
had to have brain surgery, he's the kind of surgeon I'd choose. But
you don't have to be a brain surgeon to pay attention to the details.
Connect with Your Audience (The Art of Public Speaking, Part I)
One of the problems with my schedule lately is that I am unable to
accommodate most of the requests I receive for public speaking. I
happen to enjoy giving speeches. I know some people dread the thought
of having to give a presentation in a boardroom, let alone appearing
before thousands of people. Not me. I get so much energy from my
audiences that it is always fun.
I'll bet a lot of you are wondering whether I'm making that up to
sound like I'm not afraid of anything. It's possible I'm forgetting a
few stressful moments. Years ago I was probably nervous about facing
an audience, but I got over it. Being afraid of speaking in public is
something you can conquer. The following pointers can be applied by
people who find presentations, whatever the size of the audience, to
be a roadblock on their highway to success.
It helps if you are a naturally gregarious person. My driver,
Tony, recalls a time when I was going to deliver a speech. When we
were about five minutes away, I asked Tony what I was supposed to be
talking about that night. Tony couldn't hide his shock. He said, Boss,
don't you know? There are twenty thousand people waiting for you.
I said, Yeah, but I've been busy. I'm sure it will be okay. I was
trying to reassure him.
No go. He said, Where are your notes? Didn't you make any notes?
I said, I'm making some now.
Tony was looking at me through the rearview mirror with an
expression of astonishment. I think he was checking to see whether I
was kidding. I wasn't.
I'd been asked to give the speech by Anthony Robbins, the
bestselling author and self-help guru. I had been paid a great deal of
money for the speech, but I'd never asked how many people I would be
speaking in front of. As I was leaving the office to go to
Philadelphia, my secretary told me I would be speaking at a basketball
arena, the Wachovia Center, and that there would be approximately
twenty thousand people there. I said, You've got to be kidding. I've
never spoken before twenty thousand people before!
Telling it like it is.
That situation could cause panic in some people. Instead, I
thought about my audience not as a massive group of people just
waiting to judge me, but as individuals who might be there because
they're interested in something. Then I started thinking about what
people are interested in and the kinds of questions people like to ask
I was ready. I suddenly had a gut feeling that we were all in for
a great time.
Leaving an ashen-faced Tony in the car, I hopped out, ready to
embrace the experience. Somehow the audience picked up on my energy
and got much more than a speech. They got give-and-take that no one
who was there will soon forget. We had a hilarious time, and we walked
away having learned a few things as well.
Tony Robbins turned out to be a terrific guy. Until I met him, I
didn't believe in him or trust him, but that was only because I was
getting my information secondhand. Having gotten to know him and his
wife, I now wholeheartedly endorse him—he is out to do good and help
people. His seminars are absolutely a happening, and after our
successful experience in Philadelphia, I agreed to make ten more
All in all, it was a valuable lesson in public speaking: Think
about your audience first. The rest will fall into place.
Granted, having useful information to convey will help, too. But
tuning in to people is the first step. I'm good at that, and I don't
have to try too hard. Even in my office, with a few people around, the
conversation will never be one-sided. I like to involve everyone and
hear what they have to say.
So: Involve your audience. They will appreciate being included.
Cover These Eleven Bases (The Art of Public Speaking, Part II)
When you're speaking, it helps to be prepared. That may sound funny
after what I've just told you, but if you read every day, you will
already be prepared—maybe not for the fine points you are specifically
speaking about, but usually we are asked to speak about something we
are experts at or at least familiar with. Cover your bases mentally.
Imagine yourself being in the audience. What are you looking for?
Being able to trade places with the audience can open you up to a lot
of ideas. Have examples and references in mind to back up your
statements, and make them as vivid as possible for your listeners.
Notes can sometimes function as a useful reference point,
especially if you're speaking to a large audience. If you're prepared,
no one can tell that you're using them. Ideally, you don't want to
read a speech. For some reason, no matter how good your delivery is
when you read a speech, it's usually boring. Everyone sees that you're
reading it and it's never quite the same as delivering it off the
cuff. Notes offer the best of both worlds: They keep you focused and
moving in the right direction without turning you into a stiff.
Be a good storyteller.
People like stories, and they'll remember them. A speech shouldn't
become a lecture. Humor goes a long way, and it will remind you and
everyone else that we've all got a lot of things in common.
Storytelling is a skill, so work on it. It's helpful to listen to
comedians. The good ones can teach you the art of great timing.
Think about the common denominator.
How can all of us relate to one another? How can you enable your
audience to relate to you and to what you're saying? People see me as
a rich and powerful person, but like most people, I also have a daily
routine and a family. I get stuck in traffic jams, too. I've known
some real gems and some real wackos. I have cranky moments and bad
days like everyone else. A lot of your experiences can be understood
and appreciated by your audience because they've had them, too. Look
for what you have in common and lead with it. You will create an
immediate bond, because they will realize they can relate to you.
When you are on the podium, you are the entertainer.
People are there to learn something, but also to be entertained.
One reason Elvis Presley was such a great entertainer is that he made
every effort to tune in to his audience—it was give-and-take all the
way. Wayne Newton does that, too. Even people who thought they
wouldn't like Liberace became big fans after experiencing his live
shows. And nobody did it better than Sinatra.
Some people call it charisma. I call it tuning in and delivering.
Study Regis Philbin.
He is relaxed and funny, and he always relates to his audiences.
They love him. He's a perfect example of the give-and-take that's
necessary for successful public speaking. Regis doesn't just speak—he
shares. He's as magnanimous a performer as he is a person. Watch him,
pay attention, and you'll learn a lot.
Be able to poke fun at yourself.
This will make you accessible to people even if you are up on the
stage and in the spotlight. We've all had disasters in our lives,
major and minor. To be able to laugh at them in retrospect is healthy
and helpful. Use the blips that we all encounter in our lives to your
advantage. I remember a particular question-and-answer period that
followed one of my speeches, during the time when Ivana and I were
going through our divorce and the tabloids were having a field day.
The first question was from a guy who asked, You don't mind if I call
youThe Donald, do you?
So I responded, Not if you don't mind if I call you Ivana.
We all had a good laugh and then proceeded to his real question.
Learn to think on your feet.
Memorable public speaking involves a good deal of spontaneity. It's
a lot like negotiating—you have to focus on your goals but remain
flexible. A lot of people are terrific writers but not so great at
getting their ideas across orally. Writing is a form of thinking, and
so is speaking. The difference is that you don't have time to go back
and correct yourself when you're on stage. It's not a first draft and
it's not a rehearsal. Be prepared for the performance, because that's
what's expected of you.
Listen in your daily life.
Every day can be a preparation for a speech or a presentation. Have
you ever said to yourself, I'll have to remember that one after
hearing someone say something particularly clever or unusual? Even
offhand comments that you overhear can be useful. Remember them. Make
notes if you must. Everything and everyone can become material. I was
in the back of an elevator once, behind a group of guys. Their
conversation was so vivid, so real, that I tuned in and tried to
figure out why they'd captured my attention. Aside from the fact that
they had a captive audience for a short amount of time, I realized
that their speaking rhythm was syncopated, quick, and to the point.
What they were saying wasn't all that fascinating, but their delivery
was. They made a normally mundane subject—what they were getting for
lunch and how they were getting it—seem interesting.
Have a good time.
It's contagious. If your audience believes you are enjoying what
you are doing, they'll enjoy being in your company. If it's an obvious
chore to you, forget it and find someone else to speak for you. If
you're a busy executive, there's probably someone within your
organization who can speak effectively in your place. Sometimes when
I'm asked to speak and my schedule won't allow it, I will ask someone
who works for me if they'd be interested in filling in. Charlie Reiss,
executive VP of development in my organization, was a professor at
Columbia University before he came to work for me. He's a dynamic
speaker, but I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't asked him to help
out when I was in a bind. He has a gift for public speaking because he
enjoys teaching and is enthusiastic about what he does. At first I
worried he might turn out to be a bit pedantic, considering his
background, but he wasn't. Everyone had a good time.
Another important aspect of having a good time: Before you speak,
remind yourself that it doesn't matter all that much. Don't feel that
the weight of the world is on you. Most of the people in the room
don't care how well or poorly you do. It's just not that important.
It's merely a speech—not an earthquake or a war. You'll have a better
time and be a better speaker if you keep it all in perspective.
That said, public speaking and presentations may be a necessary
step on your ladder to success. For quick reference, here's my
procedure for discovering a talent you thought you didn't have:
1. Think about your audience first.
2. Get your audience involved.
3. Be prepared.
4. Be a good storyteller.
5. Be aware of the common denominator.
6. Be an entertainer.
7. Be able to laugh at yourself.
8. Think on your feet.
10. Have a good time.
And, of course…
11. Study Regis Philbin.
Change Your Altitude
When I sayaltitude, I'm not referring to my jet. It's my own
interpretation of the wordattitude. I like flying because it gets me
where I'm going, fast. Likewise, if you have the right attitude, you
can get where you're going, fast.
What's the altitude of your attitude? Is it high frequency or low
frequency? Having a high frequency will attune you to a wavelength
that exudes confidence and clear-sighted enthusiasm. I'm a firm
believer that this is half the battle of any enterprise.
I'm a tough-minded optimist. I learned a long time ago that my
productivity was increased by a large percentage simply by learning to
let go of negativity in all forms as quickly as I could. My commitment
to excellence is thorough—so thorough that it negates the wavelength
of negativity immediately. I used to have to zap negativity mentally.
By now, it just bounces off me within a moment of getting near me. As
you may have heard, I don't like germs. I'm still waging a personal
crusade to replace the mandatory and unsanitary handshake with the
Japanese custom of bowing. To me, germs are just another kind of
Negativity is also a form of fear, and fear can be paralyzing. On
the golf course, I've heard great athletes tell me that they can't
putt. They can hit a ball three hundred yards right down the middle of
the fairway, but they can't finish the hole by putting the ball three
feet into the cup.
Recently, I played with a man who is terrified of putting. He hit
a magnificent 235-yard shot and was seven feet from the cup. Then he
looked over at me and said, Now the hard part begins.
Another friend, also a great golfer, is paralyzed by his fear of
losing his ball. Each time we played a hole near a lake, he would look
down and say to his ball, I have a feeling I'll never see you again.
I have told these two guys that they must start thinking
positively or they will sabotage themselves.
Very often, negative thinking stems from low self-esteem. You have
to work on this yourself. Maybe you've received a lot of hard knocks.
I've learned to deal with them because I get knocked a lot. Quickly
see them for what they are—knocks. But you don't have to open the door
unless you choose to. I've gotten to the point where I see knocks as
opportunities and as an insight into whoever is doing the knocking.
One way to chase low altitude away is to think about how fortunate
you already are and how much you still have to look forward to. You
can better your best day at any time. Very surprising things can
happen, but you must—and I repeatmust— be open to them. How can you
fly if you've already clipped your own wings?
I don't have time to encourage as many people as I would like to,
but whenever it seems appropriate, I recommendThe Power of Positive
Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, one of my father's favorite books,
and mine, too. Some people may think it's old-fashioned, but what
Peale has written will always be true. He advocates faith over fear.
Faith can overcome the paralysis that fear brings with it.
I can remember a time when I had a choice to make, when I was
billions of dollars in debt. I had to take one of two courses of
action: a fearful, defensive one or a faithful, riskier one. I
carefully analyzed the situation, realized what was causing the uneasy
feeling of fear, and immediately replaced it with blind faith, simply
because I had nothing else to go on at the time. Then I resolved that
as long as I remained positive and disciplined, things would work out.
There was not much more I could do. I didn't know how it was going
to go, but I was determined to move forward, even though it wasn't
easy. Within a relatively short amount of time, the situation was
settled positively. I learned a lot from that and have since had a
better understanding of what courage really is. Without facing my own
fear, I would not have known.
When I think of someone who is tough, I also think of someone who
has courage. People who persist have courage, because often it's a lot
easier to give up. Some of the bravest people I've met are children
with handicaps. I'm active with United Cerebral Palsy. What those kids
deal with is humbling, but they are enthusiastic and thrilled with
every day they've been given.
You've been given a day, too. When you're down, look at it that
way. Another day can equal another chance. Sometimes, as obvious as it
sounds, we really do have to take things one day at a time.
Immediately after the events of September 11, we didn't know what was
going to happen, but we all kept going, one day at a time, and we're
still moving forward.
Maybe you've gotten to the point where you think you can't get
through another day. That's shortsighted of you. You're missing the
big picture. You're on the runway, but your fuel supply is the
problem. You won't get off the ground without it. Feed yourself some
positive thoughts and you can take off at any time.
Ever wonder what makes certain people keep going? I do. Abraham
Lincoln encountered a steady procession of setbacks, but he just kept
at it. Nothing deterred him. He must have had a lot of faith, because
he didn't receive much encouragement along the way. He's an excellent
example of someone who never gave up.
The other extreme is the person who seems to run into obstacles
with the unerring aim of a marksman. I knew a guy who was remarkably
accident-prone. If there was something to run into, he'd find it. If
there was a hole in the ground, he'd break his foot by stumbling into
Once, he was in such a slam-bang accident that he was hospitalized
for six months before being completely patched up. Finally, the day of
his release from the hospital arrived and it was decided that he
should get an ambulance ride home, just to be on the safe side. As the
ambulance was taking him home, it crashed into a car—another
spectacular slam-bang accident. My friend was immediately brought back
to the hospital, in a new ambulance dispatched to the scene of the
disaster. What can I say? Maybe he's just a really unlucky guy. Or
maybe he's a loser. I know that sounds harsh, but let's face it—some
The altitude level of losers is so low that they should walk
around in scuba gear all day. They are below sea level on the altitude
map. We all know people like that, and they might make great comedians
because they have so much material—but first they'd have to learn to
be funny. Honestly, I've known people who are such accomplished losers
that I think that's what they devote their time to:
• How can I be the biggest screwup possible?
• How can I prove theborn losertheory to be correct?
• How can I defy the law of probability to make it
anabsolutedisaster every time?
• How can I achieve a perfect record of total wipeouts?
• How far can I get at zero miles per hour?
• How can I reach the lowest frequency possible?
• How can I operate so that radar could never possibly find me
even if I get lost, which I probably will?
These people need a new speedometer.
Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan for a takeoff. Don't just
sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the
airplane. It simply won't happen.
Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll
love it up here.
Start Visualizing Positively
Positive thoughts will create positive visuals. Have you ever heard
someone say I can justsee it! when they are enthusiastic about
something? I know from experience that if I can see something as a
possibility, it has a much better chance of happening than if I can't
see it happening.
Give your higher self a chance once in a while by giving your
possibility quota a boost.
Keep a book of inspiring quotes nearby, so you can change a
negative wavelength the moment it descends on you. Here are some of my
Know everything you can about what you're doing.
—MY FATHER, FRED TRUMP
I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an
unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
—FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
A leader has the right to be beaten, but never the right to be surprised.
Let's avoid subtlety on this one.
—CHARLIE REISS, Executive Vice President of Development, The Trump Organization
He who looks outside his own heart dreams, he who looks inside his
own heart awakens.
Exciting is a dull word for the business we're in.
You're the only guy who can wear a cashmere overcoat to a baseball
game and get away with it.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to
unlocking our potential.
I remember whenI was the Donald.
Cartoon in The New Yorker
(© The New Yorker Collection 1993, Lee Lorenz from
cartoonbank.com. All Rights Reserved.)
Read Carl Jung
I find reading psychology and self-help books useful. Carl Jung's
theories fascinate me and keep my mind open to my own—and the
Reading his books can also be a good form of self-defense.
There's a lot we don't know about ourselves. Likewise, there's a
lot we may not know about everyone else. Jung used the word psyche to
refer to both the conscious and the unconscious processes. (That's
where the word psycho comes from, by the way.) I first became aware of
Jung through an acquaintance who had endured some extreme ordeals, yet
he remained calm. I couldn't fathom where he got this sort of grace
under fire demeanor, so I asked him, and he told me that Jung's ideas
kept him centered.
My friend put it like this: Donald, I've learned from my
experiences. As a safety factor, I very often see other people as a
revolver that could be pointed at me. They are the gun. I, however, am
the trigger. So I speak and tread carefully. It's an effective visual
aid to avoid conflicts, as I was unwittingly among people who were
actually psychos underneath their dignified personas. We never know
what will trigger another person's killer instinct. It can be
something that happened when they were five years old. So avoid being
the trigger, and the revolver will not be a threat.
This synopsis of his philosophy made such an impact on me that I
immediately started reading about Carl Jung. I'm glad I did, because
it helped me in my business as well as in my personal life. We are all
evolving human beings, and being aware of this gave me a big boost
toward maturity. It also made me less inclined to be surprised by
so-called aberrant behavior. I have to stress that I am not cynical,
but I am aware. I hate being in situations where I'm asking myself,How
could this have happened? This reminds me of my favorite quote from
Napoleon about being surprised: A good leader shouldn't be.
You have to know yourself as well as know other people to be an
effective leader. For me, reading the work of Carl Jung was a step in
the right direction. If someone had told me in business school that
studying psychology would be important for financial success, I would
not have believed it. My friend's story changed that, and I am
grateful to him for such cogent advice. The relatively small number of
hours I've spent reading Jung have been more than worth it. Start with
his autobiography,Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and you will be in
for a fascinating time while simultaneously fine-tuning your intuition
and instincts. You will also gain a technique for seeing into—versus
reading into—the people around you. Believe me, this will serve you
well on many levels.
The word persona has an interesting root. It comes from the Latin
word meaning mask. This, however, is not derogatory. It's necessary.
Each of us has a persona. We need it for survival. It's the face we
put on for public use, and it can be intentional or unconscious. For
example, a salesman who has lost his entire family in an accident is,
naturally, devastated. But to work effectively with his customers, he
must appear cheerful and confident. That's part of his persona. It's a
The only danger is when people become their personae. That means
something has been shut off somewhere along the line, and these people
will end up hiding behind the false personality that works
professionally. As I am very much in the public eye, this hit home and
I gave it considerable thought. Fortunately, I am aware of my public
side as well as my private side, and, while I'm not one for hiding
much, I know there are several dimensions in which I operate. That's
one reason I feel at home at The Trump Organization. The people I work
with day in and day out know I'm not entirely a glam guy. They see how
hard I work. One person said I am very much like a Mormon, which I
took as high praise.
Anyway, reading Jung will give you insights into yourself and the
ways in which you and other people operate.
Have an Ego
As you know, this rule has been easy for me to follow. But hear me
out—I've got a good reason for it.
Having a well-developed ego, contrary to popular opinion, is a
positive attribute. It is the center of our consciousness and serves
to give us a sense of purpose. I remember saying to someone, Show me
someone with no ego and I'll show you a big loser. I was trying to
stir things up and provoke a reaction, but I later realized the basic
idea is on target.
The ego works to keep our conscious and unconscious aspects in
balance. Too much either way can be detrimental. No ego means very
little life force, and too much means a dictatorial personality. Keep
your ego in a healthy balance, for your own well-being as well as for
those around you. Strive for wholeness. It's an intelligent approach
to life and business.
Understanding how egos work can be a great tool. Did you ever
notice how you can deflate an opponent by simply saying, Yeah,
whatever you say …? By doing this, you are gently assuming a no-ego
position, which disarms the other person while at the same time taking
the wind out of their sails. It gives you the peace of mind necessary
to allow you to concentrate on something more important than dealing
with someone who is playing God.
Sometimes, rather than confronting a tyrant or a psycho directly,
it's more effective to keep the knowledge to yourself and proceed
accordingly, behind the scenes.
We've all heard the saying that knowledge is power. The
intelligent use of that power is crucial in the business world, and
it's just as important in your personal life. Your mind can build
castles—just make sure the foundations are in place first. You, and
the people around you, will be grateful for that.
Keep Critics in Perspective
In any job, you will be criticized at some point. Let's face it:
Nobody but a total masochist wants to be criticized.
There is constructive criticism, and then there is destructive
criticism. Here's how to assess both types:
1. First of all, consider the source. Should this person's opinion
even matter to you?
2. If it does matter to you, take a few minutes to consider
whether anything helpful can result from the criticism. Others can
often see things that we have overlooked. Use their keen eyes to your
3. Critics serve their purpose. Sometimes they serve a larger
purpose, and sometimes they serve their own purpose.American Idol
judge Simon Cowell can be critical of the performers on the program,
but he's fair and he's honest, and I don't think American Idol would
work without him. Simon was nice enough to compliment The Apprentice
in an interview. I think it's absolutely fantastic, he told the Daily
News. I think [Trump] is superb on the show. He's not hamming it up.
He's just playing himself and that's very hard to do on television. As
I said, Simon is a fair and honest critic, and I am a fan of his.
4. Everyone has an opinion. In most cases, it's not worth the
paper it's written on.
5. If the opinion is worth the paper it's written on, and it's
written in a paper people are buying and reading, then realize that if
people didn't find you interesting enough for public consumption, they
wouldn't be taking the time to criticize you. Think of their criticism
as a compliment, proof of your significance.
Homework Is Required and There Will Be a Test
People who think achieving success is a linear A-to-Z process, a
straight shot to the top, simply aren't in touch with reality. There
are very few bona fide overnight success stories. It just doesn't work
Success appears to happen overnight because we all see stories in
newspapers and on TV about previously unknown people who suddenly
become famous. But consider a sequoia tree that has been growing for
several hundred years. Just because a television crew one day decides
to do a story about that tree doesn't mean it didn't exist before.
In 1955, Glenn Gould, the classical pianist from Toronto, rocketed
to international fame by recording Bach's Goldberg Variations. He was
young and unusual, but he had already been practicing the piano for
close to twenty years. He may have seemed like an overnight sensation
to the general public, but anyone who's been working at something for
twenty years isn't likely to agree with that assessment.
I have to admit that my knowledge of classical music is limited,
but from what little I've read on the subject, I know that the process
of becoming a classical musician is a long and demanding one. The
amount of practice hours required to master an instrument is
astounding, and also never ending. How do they do it? I'm not sure,
but I would guess that passion plays a large part.
Every industry and profession has its bottom line for what is
required to succeed. If you can't stand to practice every day, being a
musician is out of the question. If you hate to exercise, being an
athlete is not for you.
In business—every business—the bottom line is understanding the
process. If you don't understand the process, you'll never reap the
rewards of the process. You'll never last long enough to achieve your
Part of the process is doing your homework. You have to know what
you're getting into first. That was one of my father's strongest
beliefs. We've all heard the phrase You're barking up the wrong tree.
It brings to mind a funny image, but in reality it can be
embarrassing. Not doing your homework can result in something
analogous, so do a few things first to avoid this.
We can learn from our mistakes, but it's better to learn from our
successes. When I hear people say, Well, it was an interesting
experience, I can usually safely assume they are referring to
something that didn't work out the way they'd planned. I don't find my
goof-ups to be amusing or interesting.
Can you imagine hearing a surgeon say, Well, it didn't go quite
right, but I sure learned a lot? I wouldn't want that guy operating on
me. The same applies to anyone in business, because if you're in
business, it's not just your money involved, but very often the money
and well-being of others as well. In my business, I can't take
chances. If something is not quite right with the design or
construction of a superstructure, a lot of people could be injured or
killed. I've got to know what's going on. Bottom line, it will be my
People see the finished product. Wow, a skyscraper! What goes into
it is another story. Construction isn't glamorous. It's a serious and
often dangerous endeavor. Fortunately, I understood this from my
earliest days in the business, so there's a certain gravity in my
approach to the construction of any building.
That's where having learned to do my homework comes in handy. It's
a necessary requirement, not an extracurricular course to enhance my
productivity. Not only do I have to know exactly what I'm doing, but
I've also got to make sure I find contractors who know exactly what
they're doing as well. That's why I'm tough on them, and that's why
I'm equally tough on myself. A lot of lives are at stake in our work.
We don't want any interesting experiences!
We all know what it's like to pretend to study. There are some
courses in school that just don't hold your attention. If you are
choosing a career, keep that in mind. What most holds your attention?
Consider a pyramid. Did you ever notice how large and solid the
foundation is? Did you notice the carefully graduated levels that
eventually lead to the pinnacle? Now turn the pyramid upside down.
That's a representation of topsy-turvy thinking. You don't start at
the top. You start with the foundation—the stronger, the better.
The world moves along at such a fast clip that we have little
patience when things are slow, whether it's the line at a supermarket
or Internet access. We've become intolerant of those things that
cannot be accelerated or skipped entirely. I can't speed up the
foundation work for a building, nor can I expect to play piano like
Glenn Gould just because I want to.
Know the limitations as well as the possibilities of everything
you do. Find out as much as you can yourself about what you plan to
do, and don't expect anyone to act as your favorite grandmother in
wanting what's best for you. Most people want what's best for
themselves, not for you. If those people have already spent a great
deal of effort on their homework, why should they share it with you?
Listen to a Ping-Pong Game
I learned a long time ago to listen, but to listen judiciously. You
can learn a lot from the people around you—you just have to be
discerning about the information that comes your way. A lot of the
so-called information I receive turns out to be someone's personal
opinion. We're all entitled to our two cents' worth, but sometimes
that's all it amounts to.
Be aware of the marketplace. Know what's going on now. That's one
reason I devote several hours a day to reading. That's how long it
takes to both keep up with current events and learn from the greats in
history. How can you expect to be successful if your idea of what's
happening in the world is vague or nonexistent? That's like saying, I
know that September 11 happened, but I choose not to acknowledge it.
It gets in the way of my positive outlook on things. That approach is
fine if you're a professional fairy-tale writer.
There's another side to everything, so develop your ability to see
it—or even hear it. I once met a young woman from Hong Kong who worked
on Wall Street in emerging markets. She had an uncanny ability to
predict certain events in the marketplace—it seemed almost like a
psychic gift to me.
One day, I asked her how she could be so on target in her work and
she likened knowing and predicting the global markets tolistening to a
At first, I thought she was joking, or perhaps just being evasive,
but she went on to explain her theory.
I'm not kidding you, Donald. When I was growing up, we had a
Ping-Pong table in the den, and I could hear the games my brothers
would play, sometimes for hours, when I was studying in my room. I
discovered that I could discern the tilt of the paddle, and the
outcome of the volley, just by the sound of the Ping-Pong ball being
hit, and the sound of it landing on the other side of the net. I knew
the results, the repercussions, and the recovery that would be
required to successfully handle what had been dealt.
Later, I applied this to my work in emerging markets and found I could
often predict what would be happening just by concentrating on world
events and thinking of the sound of Ping-Pong balls being hit around
the globe. Ping-Pong is really the reason behind my success.
I was astounded.That's my idea of tuning in.
I must add that this young woman had all the education in finance
that her position required. She was a bright student. What set her
apart from everyone else was the way she applied her knowledge and her
keen analysis of the game of Ping-Pong to her work. She may even have
done this on an unconscious level initially, but tapping into this
resource gave her an uncanny edge. The lesson I learned from her story
is never to underestimate the power of awareness.
Find out what other people have done to succeed, and then be
prepared to do ten times more. There are no guarantees.
Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time. I've heard
people say, Well, Mr. Lucky had a million dollars before he was thirty
and I've worked just as hard as he has. Well, Mr. Lucky has nothing to
do with you, your possibilities, your success, or your failure. Don't
let anyone else be your yardstick. That's taking power away from
yourself in a big way.
You've got your own personal blueprint to attend to. We can't all
be Tiger Woods, J. Lo, Bill Gates, or whoever it is you would like to
be, and sometimes that's a hard fact to face. You may have already
experienced defeat. That happens. It happens a lot! But the fact that
you have aspirations to begin with is putting you on the road to
success right now. No matter how defeated you may feel, you've still
got a chance. But it won't happen by itself. Get to work!
I'll sum up with two of my favorite quotes:
There are no short cuts to anywhere worth going.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Reflect for Three Hours a Day
I read an article recently in which European exchange students
living in the United States all agreed on one aspect of American life:
The noise level here is very high. We seem to avoid quiet moments.
Even lapses in conversation are quickly filled with banter or some
kind of interference.
It made me realize how much I need a certain amount of quiet
time—usually about three hours a day—in order to stay balanced. It's
time I use to read and reflect, and I always feel renewed and
refreshed by this. It also gives me material to feed my extroverted
For me, the early morning hours are best for this kind of
reflection. I'm an early riser, usually up by 5 A.M ., which gives me
a few hours to read newspapers and magazines of all sorts—local,
national, and international.
In the evening, after a black-tie dinner, I'll unwind by stopping
at my local Korean grocery for snacks—potato chips and pretzels. That
will be my dinner. I rarely get to eat at those black-tie events, and
I'd rather have the junk food, anyway.
Once I'm home, I read books—usually biographies. Now and then I
like to read about philosophers—particularly Socrates, who emphasizes
that you should follow the convictions of your conscience, which
basically means thinking for yourself, a philosophy I tend to agree
with. It may not make you too popular, but it's essential for lucid
thought, and it's a good way to avoid being part of a herd mentality
of any sort.
I read as much as I can, but not as much as I'd like, because
there are so many constraints on my time. I am grateful for the
contribution Oprah Winfrey has made to our country in regard to
reading. In my book The America We Deserve, I wrote about the
deplorable state of reading in this country. Since Oprah decided to do
something about it, there has been a noticeable upswing in book sales,
and writers are once again considered to be cool people rather than
dinosaurs. I cannot thank Oprah enough for what she has done, and I
hope every person in this country realizes the positive influence she
has had. We all owe Oprah a big thank-you, and I'd like to lead the
crowd in saying so.
I like movies and television as much as anyone else, but reading
is a form of replenishment for me. The potato chips and pretzels help,
Dress for Your Culture
I used to pride myself on buying very inexpensive suits and other
clothing. It just didn't make sense to pay thousands of dollars for
great clothes when you could buy something for a hundred dollars. Who
would know the difference?
Over the years, I've learned that this is wrongheaded. I now buy
very high-quality shoes, and they seem to last forever, whereas the
cheapos used to wear out quickly and always looked as cheap as the
price I'd paid for them. The same is true for suits. These days, I go
for Brioni, whose service and attention to detail is second to none.
They supplied most of the clothing for The Apprentice, so I have
tremendous loyalty to them (and I got a good deal). They also make
The way we dress says a lot about us before we ever say a word.To
me, dressing successfully means understanding your environment:
knowing the culture and making an effort to reflect—and respect—it.
The look in Beverly Hills may be attractive, but that same look
may be met with scorn on Wall Street. Success is hard enough to
achieve without showing up on casual Friday in a three-piece suit.
Don't put up unnecessary hurdles for yourself.
Make it easy for people to take you seriously. I would wonder
about someone who arrived for a meeting or an interview and was
dressed inappropriately for the culture of that particular
workplace—for example, a guy showing up at Trump Tower in a cowboy
hat, boots, and a fringed cowhide jacket. It's more about culture than
style. Be aware of your surroundings and dress accordingly.
Some people can get away with anything. Most people can't. Micha
Koeppel, who works at The Trump Organization, usually looks like a
Canadian Mountie in full regalia. To look at him, you'd think he was
about to lead an expedition through the Rockies. Then again, my
buildings are tall, and he scouts the right locations for them, so
maybe there's a reason for his getups. It works for him, and he does a
good job, so I don't mind.
It's certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by
the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on
their sex appeal. The fact that sex sells is nothing new. However,
women are judged harshly when they go too far, so be careful in how
you present yourself. If you want to be acknowledged for your
intelligence as well as your beauty, don't stand in your own way. Not
everyone can tune out a knock-em-dead appearance. Think of how you
would like to be perceived, and proceed from there.
I tend to notice what people are wearing only if they look
exceptionally well put together—or exceptionally badly put together.
It has more to do with style than which designer they may or may not
be wearing. As I said, expensive clothing usually looks like it was
worth the price.
Have you ever noticed how we tend to pigeonhole people in certain
professions by their appearance? It's a form of shorthand to just be
able to say your basic accountant type or a typical advertising type
when describing someone. Every profession has a certain look or
standard. Just say banker and you've saved yourself a hundred words.
It's not always fair, but that's how it works.
However, you don't have to be a typical anything.
For example, Frank McKinney looks like a cross between a rock star
and a surfer dude. You would never guess by looking at him that he's a
real estate entrepreneur who sells ultra-high-end residential real
estate in Florida. When he speeds by you on his motorcycle in his
Versace vest with his two feet of blond hair blowing in the wind, you
can bet he's on his way to a business meeting. But that's Frank's
style, and he's very successful.
I'm a conservative dresser due to business considerations and to
save time. I enjoy flamboyance in other people—I'm more interested in
what a beautiful woman might wear than in anything I might ever put
Be aware that your attire can literally become a costume. I've
known a lot of terrific-looking scoundrels and a lot of well-dressed
Being tasteful is being tasteful, no matter what line of work
you're in. Sure, it helps to have the money to buy great clothes, but
a little style can go a long way.
Here I am on top of Trump World Tower at the United Nations Plaza.
I like to check up on things, even without my helicopter.
Be Your Own Best Financial Adviser
Many people go out and hire financial advisers, but I have also
seen a lot of those advisers destroy people.
Athletes, in particular, make a great deal of money at a very
young age. Too often, some manager squanders the athlete's fortune and
they wind up in their thirties with nothing left but their past
glory—and are forced to get jobs just to survive.
A good friend of mine and truly one of the greatest basketball
players who has ever lived, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was in the NBA for
over twenty years, only to find that some bad advice had destroyed
much of his wealth. I don't know whether it was theft or stupidity,
but it was a shame.
Herschel Walker is an athlete who signed big contracts, with both
the USFL and NFL. One day, he came to me and told me he was going to
invest in a fast-food franchise. I told him, Herschel, you are a
friend of mine, but if you do that, I will not speak to you again.
Because of the relationship we had (and continue to have), he decided
not to make the investment. The company went bankrupt two years later.
Herschel is now a wealthy man, and he thanks me every time I see him.
When it comes to picking a financial adviser, rely on your own
judgment based on what you read in reliable publications like The Wall
Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, and Fortune. They are usually
terrific, even though, on occasion, they say some negative things
about me. I'm angry at Fortune at the moment—and for good reason—but
even Fortune sometimes manages to awake from its stupor to report
something worthwhile. I'm particularly impressed with an editor there
named Geoffrey Colvin, who is also the host of Wall Street Week on PBS
and has written perceptively about corporate restructuring.
The New York Post has developed a truly great business section—and
one that is fun to read. Lately, The New York Times's coverage of
business has gone right to the top!
If you read these financial publications for a while, you will
start to pick up on the cadence and get a feel for what's happening in
the market, which funds are the best, and who the best advisers are.
Stay with the winners. Often, you will read about somebody who has
made money quickly and then relies on one of his friends to invest his
fortune. That friend has no track record, and if it weren't for his
connection to a rich investor, he wouldn't have any money. Beware of
instant stars in the world of finance. Trust the people who do it
again and again, and who are consistently ranked high by the four best
institutional business media outlets. But trust your own common sense
There are numerous firms that provide comprehensive charts and
other information on the best returns from certain financial advisers
and funds. Study those charts, not over the short term (maybe they
just got lucky) but over a fifteen- or twenty-year period.
Invest with the help of a major firm like Goldman Sachs, Morgan
Stanley, Bear Stearns, or Merrill Lynch. These are your hard-earned
savings at stake. Don't take unnecessary risks.
Generally there is a reason for success. When you look at legends
like Alan Ace Greenberg and Warren Buffett and marvel at how good they
are, you will likely see that what makes them so successful is the
same quality you should apply to every one of your own
I've read many of Warren Buffett's annual reports. In every case,
what fascinates me is that he is able to reduce things to the simplest
Many accomplished Wall Street gurus can make you dizzy with talk
of intricate financial maneuverings. They might impress you with their
sophisticated computerized trading results, their fifty percent
returns from options on products that may not even exist yet. Fortunes
are won and lost every day in these markets, but as far as I'm
concerned, those folks would be just as successful if they ditched
their hedge funds and put all their money on their favorite roulette
number at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City.
You paid good money for this book, and I know you're expecting
sophisticated investment advice. The wisest thing I can tell you is to
invest only in products you understand, with people you know you can
trust. Sometimes the best investments are the ones you don't make.
Get a Prenuptial Agreement
I've said it before—I even wrote a chapter on the art of the prenup
in one of my other books—but I'll say it again for anyone about to
propose: A prenuptial agreement doesn't mean that you won't always
love your spouse. It doesn't mean that you have doubts about the
person's integrity or questions about the relationship. All it means
is that you recognize that life, especially the parts involving love
and business, can be complicated. People have a right to protect their
assets. If you own your own business and you're facing a difficult
divorce without having secured a prenuptial agreement, your negligence
could jeopardize the livelihoods of your employees. I know plenty of
women who are supporting their husbands, and this advice applies
equally to both sexes.
If I hadn't signed a prenup, I would be writing this book from the
perspective of somebody who lost big. We needed a bus to get Ivana's
lawyers to court. It was a disaster, but I had a solid prenup, and it
A friend of mine is married to a woman who stands only
five-foot-two, but he's petrified of what she will do to him in court,
all because he didn't get a prenup. Before he met this woman, he'd had
four unsuccessful marriages, yet he told me, Donald, I'm so in love
with this woman that I don't need a prenuptial agreement. I didn't
have the courage to tell him what I was thinking to myself: Loser!
A year later, the marriage was over and he was going through hell.
When I saw him, he looked like a frightened puppy.
There's nothing wrong with common sense. Be like Thoreau and simplify.
Cut Out the Middleman
Wayne Newton is a great friend of mine, and he made a lot of money
over the years. Unfortunately, given terrible advice, he lost his
money and was forced to declare bankruptcy. Meanwhile, his lawyers
were eating him alive.
He called me and said, Donald, I heard you owed $9.2 billion to a
hundred banks in the early nineties and you never went bankrupt. How
did you do it? Because I just can't seem to get out of this mess. My
lawyers are making a fortune and the banks are impossible.
I asked Wayne how many banks were involved. He told me it was
three. You're lucky, I said. I had ninety-nine banks and I made a
point of becoming best friends with everybody at every bank. You have
to do the same.
I gave him some more advice, which he has generously acknowledged
in many interviews. I told him, Wayne, you are a major celebrity. Have
your secretary call the three banks and get the person who is really
in charge, not the figurehead, and personally talk to all three
people. Arrange a meeting with them, ideally a dinner with them and
their families. Get to know them. At the end of this period of time,
they'll like you. They'll be impressed by you because you are a
celebrity. They may control a lot of money, but they don't control
fame, and people are impressed by fame. Forget your lawyers. They are
never going to want to settle the case, because then their legal fees
stop. You must do it yourself. Call the bankers. Become friendly with
the bankers. And make a deal.
Wayne called me three weeks later. He'd had dinner with all three
bankers and said they were among the nicest people he'd ever met. They
brought their wives and children. Later, he cut deals with every one
of them. The banks were taken care of over a period of time, the
lawyers didn't get any richer, and today Wayne is doing fantastically
You're probably wondering how this rule applies to your life if
you are not headlining a major Las Vegas show. Here's how: Wayne took
control of the situation. He appealed to the people in charge. Most of
us need lawyers at some point in our lives, and we all have to deal
with large bureaucracies. But sometimes you need to go right to the
top, and you need to do it yourself. You don't have to sing Danke
Schoen to make a sincere personal approach.
Of course, there will be times when lawyers are essential. Some
people are scoundrels. In those instances, sue the bastards. But
whenever possible, settle. It saves a lot of time for everyone
Teach Your Children the Value of a Dollar
My kids know the value of money from example. They see how hard I
work. I don't talk about it with them because I don't have to—they
They see the way I live. I turn off the lights whenever I leave
the office. I'm always happy to get a good deal, whether I'm buying a
building or buying supplies at Duane Reade. (Trust me: You can get a
good deal on shaving cream there.)
I always remember the example my parents set for me. I could see
their determination and discipline. They didn't have to harp on it. I
try to be the way they were.
With my mother at New York Military Academy.
My parents were frugal in the sense that they knew it wasn't easy
to make money, and that it should be treated with respect. They lived
well but simply, and were not flamboyant in their spending. We rarely
went out to eat. We took relatively few elaborate vacations.
With my father, Fred Trump, in the early days.
They emphasized schooling and education. We had a solid family
life, and I remember feeling very fortunate. Each of us was expected
to contribute something not only to the family as a whole, but to
society. That is a Trump family value that is ingrained in me, and one
I've tried to live up to.
My children have benefited from affluence, as I did, but it's
surprising how unspoiled they are in many ways. They have budgets and
live within them. They have limits on their credit cards, and they
have them more for protection in an emergency than for anything else.
When they were growing up, both of my sons earned extra money during
their summer vacations by mowing lawns, cutting trees, moving stones,
and doing landscaping work at the Seven Springs estate in Westchester.
Ivanka attended the School of American Ballet, which requires an
enormous amount of discipline and training.
College kids today are more money savvy, perhaps, than kids from
earlier generations. They seem serious about their money. This is a
good sign, because the sooner you understand the value of money, the
more likely you are to possess large amounts of it.
If your children see you being careless with money, they will
assume it's okay for them to be careless. Children watch. That's how
they learn. Your priorities will often become their priorities. Any
family can have a wild card or two, but on the whole, it's been proven
that children will learn from what they see.
If you obviously enjoy going to Las Vegas to gamble, it's likely
they'll think this is a good thing and will follow suit. If you like
going to Carnegie Hall and bring the kids along, they'll think this is
an exciting event because you do. Children inherently like to please,
so think about the values you exhibit. Sooner or later, kids will form
their own tastes, but the initial exposure is important.
With my three eldest children—Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric—and Barbara
Walters for an appearance on 20/20.
(© 2004 Virginia Sherwood/ABC Photo Archives)
I spent a good deal of time with my children—Don Jr., Ivanka, and
Eric—when they were growing up, because we all lived together. We
remain very close. I spend less time with Tiffany, as she lives in
California with her mother. I do try to include them in my travels and
activities as much as possible.
With my youngest daughter, Tiffany.
They know they are always welcome to join the family business. Don
Jr. began working full-time at The Trump Organization in September
2001. Trumps are builders, he told Barbara Walters in a recent
interview. I hope Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany might also consider a
career with us, but it's their decision entirely.
I have very high standards, but so do my kids. They're all high
achievers who enjoy working and are not goof-offs in any sense of the
word. I wonder why I'm so lucky.
Not teaching your kids about money is like not caring whether they
eat. If they enter the world without financial knowledge, they will
have a much harder go of it. Make sure you let them in on your way of
thinking about money—how you manage expenses, how you save, where you
Let them know that having money isn't necessarily a sign of greed.
It's an important element for survival. Just getting a first apartment
can be a lesson for your kids: They suddenly learn about security
deposits! Equip them for life as best you can. Buy them a subscription
to Money or some other personal-finance magazine. Give them incentives
for saving their allowance.
If they don't learn about money from you, who's going to teach them?
Negotiations, anyone? Here I am with George Foreman and Lennox Lewis.
If You Have Them by the Balls, Their Hearts and Minds Will Follow
In this part of the book, I want to tell you about some of my
favorite deals and the essential rules of negotiation they exemplify.
First, though, here's my basic philosophy of how deals are done:
It's all about persuasion, not power.
Power is merely the ability to convince people to accept your ideas.
Just because I am a successful businessman doesn't mean I always
get my way. It's true that I don't have to be as vociferous about
things as before. I don't have to act like a bulldozer to get
attention. But I have to coax and make my case just like any other
An interviewer from Brazil recently asked me what the best parts
and the worst parts of having so much money and success were. I had
the same answer to both questions: the effect it has on people. Anyone
in a position of power will probably agree with me. There are pluses
The plus side is that people will listen to you more readily than
if you aren't on the map financially. The minus side is that they will
reduce you to one dimension and keep you there.
Power is not just about calling all the shots. It's about ability.
You can call all the shots, but if they're bad ones, no one will take
much notice after a while.Know what you're doing. That's where the
real power comes from.
Convincing others has a lot to do with understanding negotiation.
Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding of
its profound value across all aspects of life.
Don't expect people to believe your blarney simply because you're
good at delivering it. The boardroom is not the pub down on the
Make it easy on the people you are trying to convince. Give them
readily accessible metaphors and analogies. If you are too far over
their heads, they'll feel frustrated or, worse, inferior. Let them
know you're all on the same level in some way. Use humor. It's a great
icebreaker. I sometimes tell people that I wish our meeting had been
yesterday, because I was having a great hair day and they missed it!
Convincing other people of how wonderful you are and how lofty
your ideas are is a good way to convince them to tune out or, better
yet, to escape from you as soon as possible. We all need to have a
healthy dose of confidence to be convincing, but don't bulldoze. If
you do, you may see a lot of people in front of you at first, but the
room will soon be empty.
As the adage goes, There's a fine line between acceptance and
resignation. You want people to accept your ideas, not merely be
resigned to them because they think they can't fight back or are just
plain exhausted by you. Don't browbeat them into believing you. Let
them think the decision is theirs. It will give them a feeling of
Here is the golden rule of negotiating:
• He who has the gold makes the rules.
• If you walk into a negotiation and know nothing about the other
party, let them talk, listen to their tone, observe their body
language, and determine whether they really want to make a deal or
just show you how smart they are.
• Most negotiations should proceed calmly, rather than in a
hostile manner. However, sometimes a negotiation works best after a
few screams and some table pounding.
• The best negotiators are chameleons. Their attitude, demeanor,
approach, and posture in a negotiation will depend on the person on
the other side of the table.
• If the other party to the transaction wants to acquire something
you own, let them convince you that you really don't want it or need
it. In doing so, they'll convince you of just how badly they want it.
• Money is not always the only consideration for exchange in the
sale of an asset. Think beyond the traditional boundaries.
• Learn the value of saying no. View any conflict as an opportunity.
• Most important, know the party on the other side of the table
before sitting down with them. Research who you're dealing with, how
they negotiate, and what they want from you.
Now you're ready to deal. The following stories illustrate these
The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.
Consider What the Other Side Wants
One of the best deals I ever made was the acquisition of the
tallest building in lower Manhattan, a 1.3-million-square-foot
landmark known as 40 Wall Street.
I got it for $1 million, and the negotiation was all about timing
In the 1960s and 1970s, 40 Wall Street was truly a hot property—a
fully occupied building. Then in the 1980s, it was bought by Ferdinand
Marcos, who was busy dealing with a revolution in the Philippines. The
skyscraper at 40 Wall Street fell into decline, proving once again
that a business should never be run by a dictator, especially a real
one about to be booted from power.
Then the Resnicks, a prominent real estate family, descended on 40
Wall Street, but after a long period of negotiation, it became clear
that the Resnicks and Citibank weren't going to make a deal and that
40 Wall Street would be back on the block. I wanted very much at this
time to make my move, but this was in the early 1990s and I was in no
position to do so. The real estate market was terrible, and my own
financial straits were woeful.
The next buyer was the Kinson Company, a group from Hong Kong.
They made a great deal, and after the purchase was complete, I
requested a meeting with them to discuss a possible partnership. They
weren't interested in a partnership, but they did want to make 40 Wall
Street the downtown equivalent of Trump Tower, including a public
atrium. It sounded like a beautiful idea. However, what they would do
with the steel columns that supported a seventy-two-story building
never seemed to enter their minds. I was dumbfounded.
As you can probably guess, the Kinson group proved to be
relatively clueless about renovating, running, and leasing out a New
York City skyscraper. They weren't in the real estate business to
begin with—they were mostly in apparel—and they were in way over their
heads. They poured tens of millions of dollars into the building but
were getting nowhere. They had problems with tenants, contractors,
suppliers, architects, even the owners of the land, a prominent family
from Germany, the Hinnebergs. Eventually, Kinson wanted out, and they
It was now 1995 and the market still wasn't so good. Kinson had
every reason to want to get out, and they wanted to do it quickly and
quietly. So the negotiations began, with me offering them $1 million
in addition to assuming and negotiating their liens. I also made the
deal subject to a restructured ground lease with the Hinneberg family.
They accepted my terms without question.
Why? Because they wanted out—and fast. They knew it and I knew it,
and because I knew it, the negotiation was easy.
There was another crucial aspect to this deal, which proves the
importance of knowing what the other side wants: All of the prior
leaseholders had dealt with the agent of the Hinneberg family. The
agent insisted on increasing the rent and raised other financial
obstacles that he said the owner insisted upon. I had to see for
myself what the Hinnebergs wanted—was it money, or something else? If
you want the truth, go to the source and skip the translation by the
I flew to Germany with Bernie Diamond, my general counsel, for a
face-to-face meeting with the owner, who seemed impressed by the fact
that I would travel across the Atlantic to see him. I learned that
what he really wanted was peace of mind in connection with his
ownership of the land, but all he was getting was aggravation and
litigation. I told him I would agree to turn the present disaster into
a first-class office building if he would forgo all rent during the
renovation period and revise the lease to permit rental to quality
subtenants and bank financing for part of the building improvements.
He agreed—and it was the first of many instances that confirmed my
belief that Walter, Christian, and Walter Hinneberg Jr. are among the
finest people with whom I've ever done business.
Very soon after acquiring 40 Wall Street, the markets turned for
the better, and the downtown area experienced a renaissance in terms
of both commercial and residential properties and developments.
I make a great deal of money from 40 Wall Street. Aside from
owning the most beautiful building in lower Manhattan, I have the
added attraction of owning a particularly lucrative one, all because I
watched the property carefully for decades, waiting for my moment, and
knew what the other side was thinking.
Be Reasonable and Flexible
A good negotiator must be flexible to be successful.
When I bought 40 Wall Street, it was virtually vacant. I told the
existing leasing broker, a friend of mine, that I was going to
renovate the building and get tenants. I offered him the chance to be
my exclusive rental agent. The broker had been the agent for the
previous owners of the building, who had been having big problems
getting tenants. He was so sure I would fail that he said he would
take the job only if I would pay him a retainer of $60,000 per month,
starting immediately. He said he would deduct his future commission
from that guaranteed fee.
His offer was impossible for me to accept. I owned a vacant
building with existing losses, and the broker, who had been unable to
produce in the past, was asking me to pay cash up front. I told the
broker that his offer showed a total lack of faith in my ability to be
successful—a broker getting paid without producing a tenant was
The broker remained inflexible in his position. We parted company.
I hired another high-quality broker, who willingly accepted the
opportunity on the usual terms—no lease, no commission. I renovated
the building. The broker made millions in commissions in the next two
years. The original broker's inflexibility cost him a small fortune,
plus he lost any future business from me.
Trust Your Instincts
When I took over 40 Wall Street, my associate Abe Wallach, who
orchestrated the purchase, was certain that the only viable solution
was to convert the building to a residential cooperative apartment
house. His reasoning made sense, given the depressed market for office
tenants and the incentives the city was giving for residential
development downtown. All of the real estate brokers shared his view
that leasing to office tenants wasn't feasible. They said the floor
sizes were either too small or too large for renting. They complained
that the lobby, elevators, and building systems required extensive
renovations with questionable results.
I was leery of their recommendation because the cost of
residential conversion was high, plus the five floors occupied by a
law firm would have to be bought out for megabucks and that would
screw up any construction timetable. My instincts told me the building
could become the prime office location it once had been, and that
there had to be a way to make it work.
I asked George Ross to see whether he could devise a workable
scenario, and he came up with an interesting new approach. He
suggested we envision the 1.3-million-square-foot building as three
separate structures on top of each other:
• The top 400,000-square-foot tower had small floors with
spectacular views, and he was convinced it would quickly be rented to
boutique tenants who would pay higher rent for the prestige of being a
full-floor user on a high floor.
• The middle 300,000 square feet could be rented for less per
square foot, but those rents would still more than cover the purchase
price and the cost of renovation.
• The bottom 400,000 square feet might be tougher to rent, but
even if those floors were completely empty, the building would still
be profitable, assuming our projections about renting the top 700,000
square feet were correct.
Emboldened by George's plan, I discarded the idea of residential
conversion and relied on our construction expertise to turn 40 Wall
Street into a successful office building. We redesigned and modernized
the lobby and building systems, and when the rental market improved,
we were ready. Now, the building is worth hundreds of times what I
paid for it.
I guess my instincts were right.
Know Exactly What You Want and Keep It to Yourself
If you're careful about what you reveal, you'll have more
flexibility as you gather more information about the contours of the
In order to complete Trump Tower as I envisioned it, it was
necessary for me to control an adjoining site on Fifty-seventh Street
owned by Leonard Kandell and leased to Bonwit Teller, a dying
department store chain. Len Kandell was a shrewd real estate developer
whose ultimate desire was to own land in strategic locations forever.
I tried to gain a long-term lease, but Kandell was asking for too much
in rent, and we were stalled.
Meanwhile, during negotiations to buy air rights from the
adjoining Tiffany store, which would allow me to build a larger Trump
Tower, I learned that Tiffany also had an option to buy the Kandell
property at a fair market price. This was news to me, and a crucial
piece of information, but I didn't let anyone know how important that
news was to me.
I led Tiffany to believe I was interested only in air rights,
without calling any special attention to their option to buy the
Kandell property. They sold me their air rights and basically threw in
the option as part of the deal.
Then I told Len Kandell that I was no longer interested in a lease
on the land. I was going to buy it, using the Tiffany option.
Kandell didn't want to sell, and I really didn't want to buy. With
my new leverage, I suggested reconsideration of a long-term lease.
This time, Kandell agreed, and we quickly closed on a mutually
acceptable lease, beginning a friendship that continues to flourish
with his heirs.
Don't be confined by your expectations. Sometimes, what we think
we want and what we actually want are two different things.
On more than several occasions, I have discovered in the middle of
negotiations that what I had wanted was the wrong thing. Sometimes, my
negotiating partners have given me ideas I hadn't thought of. Even
adversaries have given me new ideas. Sometimes, a big question
suddenly comes into my mind and I begin to think in a new direction.
Cut yourself some slack. It's okay to change your mind and suggest
a different approach—as long as you haven't made any commitments to
the other side.
Some people, while admitting I'm a good negotiator, have said I'm
devious. I'm too busy to be devious. I just assimilate new information
quickly and move forward in unexpected ways—unexpected to the other
party as well as to myself. That's one reason I find negotiating
Perhaps because I'm a Gemini, I believe there is a duality to
negotiating. You have to balance reason with passion. Reason keeps you
open. Passion keeps your adrenaline going.
Before you begin any negotiation, write down your objectives. Then
try to anticipate what the other side might want. Find a way of
talking about the deal and setting up parameters that will keep either
of you from getting locked into an impossible position.
Know what you want, bottom line, but keep it to yourself until a
strategically necessary moment. Once all of the issues are on the
table, you'll have a better approach to navigating your way to your
Make Sure Both Sides Come Out Winning
In The Art of the Deal, I described how I acquired the Hilton
property in Atlantic City, now known as Trump Marina, for $320
million. It was the biggest gamble of my career at the time, and it
became front page news because the property was also sought by Steve
Wynn, the largest casino owner in Las Vegas, who launched a hostile
takeover bid before Hilton chose me as its white knight.
I like all of my Atlantic City hotels, but Trump Marina is where I
prefer to stay when I'm in town, because acquiring this property was a
victory to savor. It reminds me of an essential negotiating skill: Let
everyone come out a winner. There was no rancor in this triumph.
There was drama, however—especially when Steve Wynn got involved.
It became a competition of heavy hitters, and I loved every minute of
it. I'll bet Steve did, too. To this day, we are good friends.
Interestingly enough, we are now both fodder for an HBO movie in
development about Atlantic City. I got a copy of the script and it
takes plenty of shots at me and Steve. It is highly inaccurate.
Steve, in essence, provided a catalyst for both the Hiltons and
myself to get what we wanted. Was Steve the loser? No. I got the
property I wanted, but Steve is thriving. The battle for the property
enlarged his reputation and probably helped him move on to even bigger
If the HBO movie ever makes it to the small screen, don't believe
what you see. You'll get a better view of reality from other TV shows
on the air. In a good negotiation, all sides win.
Let Your Guard Down, but Only on Purpose
Offer a calculated nugget of information, or a provocative opinion,
to see what the reaction is.
If you say something seemingly off the cuff, you may get a
revealing response. I might make an outrageous comment in a meeting
just to see whether the other people play along or take a stand and
disagree. It's a good way of assessing the mettle of the folks across
the table. Do they want to be liked? Are they comfortable with
unpredictability? Are they capable of candor?
Know that your negotiating partner might bluff, too. But when it
comes to serious endeavors, you don't want bluffers of any sort. Study
the person's history.
I'm always surprised when newcomers to the real estate industry
think that talking big and fast will get them somewhere with me.
Construction of a big building is painstaking work and that's the kind
of person I want doing it—someone who will take the time to do it
right. I don't want people who think they can get it done in record
time. That can spell disaster.
I remember one contractor who tried every angle to convince me how
fast he was. His time estimates were so far off that I couldn't take
him seriously, but I let him keep trying to pitch me just to find out
how full of it he really was. He must have thought he caught me on a
bad day or with my guard down, but my guard wasn't down—I was just
incredulous. Finally, I told the guy that what he was saying was
exactly what I never wanted to hear. He was the first person whose bid
was ruled out.
Being Stubborn Is Often an Asset
My first big deal, in 1974, involved the old Commodore Hotel site
near Grand Central Station on Forty-second Street in New York City.
The hotel was vacant, except for a sleazy club called Plato's Retreat
and some rundown street-level stores.
The land was owned by the Penn Central Railroad, which was
bankrupt and owed New York City $15 million in back taxes that the
city desperately needed. The city was about to default on its bonds,
and banks would not consider real estate loans in Manhattan.
My idea was to transform the Commodore into a state-of-the-art
hotel. I had a six-point plan:
1. Buy the land from the railroad.
2. Induce the railroad to use the purchase price to pay the City
of New York the back taxes it owed.
3. Convince a New York State agency with the power of eminent
domain to accept a deed to the land to condemn all existing leases.
4. Persuade the city to accept a fixed rental and a share of the
profits in lieu of taxes.
5. Find a big hotel operator to join me in the project, since I
had no hotel experience.
6. Convince a bank to loan me $80 million to build the hotel.
When I first told my lawyer, George Ross, of my plans, he told me
I was crazy to attempt something so bold in such a bad economic
environment. I told him I was determined to get it done. He agreed to
For two years, I stuck to my guns. Eventually, it paid off.
The railroad sold me the land for $12 million and used the money
to pay the city its back taxes.
The Urban Development Corporation accepted the deed to the land
and agreed to condemn all existing leases, provided I would pay all
damages to the displaced tenants.
The city agreed to the lease from UDC with a fixed rent and a
share of the profits.
Hyatt became my partner in the deal and funded half of it.
I got a loan from the Bowery Savings Bank to cover the cost of
acquisition and construction.
The hotel became the Grand Hyatt.
The fact that I was stubborn and had achieved a result others
deemed impossible jump-started my career as a developer.
I like to move quickly, but if a situation requires patience, I
will be patient. The speed depends on the circumstances, and I keep my
objective in mind at all times. This alone can be a patience pill.
I've spent from five minutes to fifteen years waiting for a deal.
One good tactic for speeding up a deal is to show a lack of
interest in it. This will often make the other side rekindle their
efforts to get something going. I was very interested in a deal once,
but I had a hunch that it wasn't a good idea to look too eager to
these people. I would put off their calls and do my best to appear
aloof. Then I said I'd be traveling for a couple of weeks and would
get back to them after that. While I was traveling, they used the time
to modify their position and present to me almost precisely what I'd
been hoping to get. It saved us all a lot of negotiating time.
A good tactic for slowing down a deal is to distract the other
side. One way is to drop hints about whether a certain aspect of the
deal should be looked into further, or to mention other deals and
properties as examples. That will set them off in a direction that
consumes their time and focus. While they're off on a tangent, you'll
still be on target.
One time, I was in the middle of a negotiation that seemed to be
speeding out of my control. I suddenly asked the other side if they
knew the history of a particular development, implying that their
understanding of it might be crucial. They figured the development
must have had some bearing on what we were trying to accomplish
together, so they backed up a bit, took some time to investigate it,
and gave me control of the negotiations with enough time to assess
everything at my leisure. I got the upper hand.
Life at the top means the phone calls never stop.
Be Strategically Dramatic
In 1999, I began construction on the tallest residential tower in
the world, Trump World Tower at the United Nations Plaza.
The location was terrific—the East Side of Manhattan, close to the
United Nations, with both river views and city views. It was hot
stuff, but not everyone was happy about it, especially some diplomats
at the United Nations, who didn't want their thirty-eight-story
building to be outclassed by our ninety-story tower. According to CNN,
UN secretary general Kofi Annan acknowledged talking with New York
City mayor Rudolph Giuliani about the project and how to stop it.
It will not fit here, the Ukrainian ambassador, Volodymyr
Yel'chenko, told CNN, because it overshadows the United Nations
When the protests became vocal, I used my own brand of diplomacy
and refused to say anything critical of the United Nations. I
predicted that many ambassadors and UN officials would end up buying
apartments in the building. Sure enough, they have.
But as soon as we were in business, the city hit us with an
enormous tax assessment, costing us over $100 million more than we
thought we should pay. We decided to take the only action possible. We
sued the city for $500 million.
For four years, we fought this case. The city lawyers held their
ground, and we held ours. We could have given up. It's not easy to
take on the government and win, especially when the issue is taxes,
but I knew we had a case.
Finally, after many conversations, we reached a settlement. The
city agreed to cut our taxes seventeen percent and give us the
ten-year tax abatement that we sought if we would agree to withdraw
our lawsuit and subsidize two hundred units of affordable housing in
The lawsuit saved us approximately $97 million. We never would
have gotten any of it if we hadn't taken dramatic action.
Sometimes You Still Have to Screw Them
For many years I've said that if someone screws you, screw them
back. I once made the mistake of saying that in front of a group of
twenty priests who were in a larger audience of two thousand people. I
took some heat for that. One of them said, My son, we thought you were
a much nicer person.
I responded, Father, I have great respect for you. You'll get to
heaven. I probably won't, but to be honest, as long as we're on the
earth, I really have to live by my principles.
When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as
violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye.
Be paranoid. I know this observation doesn't make any of us sound
very good, but let's face the fact that it's possible that even your
best friend wants to steal your spouse and your money. As I say every
week in The Apprentice, it's a jungle out there. We're worse than
lions—at least they do it for food. We do it for the thrill of the
Recently, I've become a bit more mellow about retribution and
paranoia. Although I still believe both are necessary, I now realize
that vengeance can waste a lot of time better spent on new
developments and deals, and even on building a better personal life.
If you can easily dismiss a negative from your life, it's better to do
so. Seeing creeps as a form of corruption that you're better off
without is a great time-saving device.
Still, sometimes you've just got to screw them back.
For example, a while ago I agreed to invest a small amount in a
new restaurant venture. I did this with the full expectation that I
was throwing this money down the drain, because most of these clubs
are not successful. I liked the two young guys who approached me to
invest and figured I'd give them a break—plus a good friend of mine
had asked me to help them.
When the restaurant opened, it was a smash hit. Crowds of people
lined up to get in. Money was pouring in. It was incredible.
About a year later, I realized that I hadn't received a single
dollar from the owners—no repayment of my initial investment and
certainly no profit. I called two of the guys who got me into the deal
and said, Fellas, come on, I know success when I see it. You ought to
pay back your investors.
One of them said, Oh, we're working so hard, and the money just
isn't coming in fast enough.
My response: Bullshit! I don't believe it. From my perspective,
they seemed to be living like kings.
Eventually, I received my first equity distribution from them, for
a fraction of my investment. I was furious and sent an angry letter to
the managing partner, in which I asked for a public investigation of
I'm an instinctive businessman and I hate being screwed. I can't
prove they did anything wrong without spending more money to
investigate them than my investment is worth, but my hunch is that
investors like me should have been repaid six times their initial
investment by now.
Now whenever I see the guys I tried to help, they wave to me and I
just turn my back. The sad thing for them is that had I felt that they
treated me (and their other investors) fairly, I probably would have
backed them for millions on their next deal.
Maybe I'll sue them anyway, just to prove my point. Business can
be tough, but you've got to stay true to your principles.
Sometimes You Have to Hold a Grudge
For years, I supported the governor of New York Mario Cuomo. I was
one of his largest campaign contributors. I never asked for a thing
while he was in office. For my generous support, he regularly thanked
me and other major contributors with a tax on real estate so onerous
that it drove many investors away from the city. It became known as
the Cuomo Tax.
After he was defeated for reelection by a better man (and
governor), George Pataki, I called Mario to ask for a perfectly legal
and appropriate favor involving attention to a detail at the
Department of Housing and Urban Development, which at the time was
being run by his son Andrew.
Mario told me that this would be hard for him to do, because he
rarely calls the Secretary on business matters.
I said to him, Mario, he is not the Secretary. He's your son.
Mario said, Well, I think of him as the Secretary, and I refer to
him as that—he's got a very serious job to do.
I understood Mario's concern about impropriety, but I wasn't
asking him to do anything even slightly questionable—this was a
simple, aboveboard request, the kind of favor that takes place between
friends in the private and public sectors all the time. Finally, I
asked Mario point-blank, Well, are you going to help me?
In a very nice way, he essentially told me no.
I did the only thing that felt right to me. I began screaming. You
son of a bitch! For years I've helped you and never asked for a thing,
and when I finally need something, and a totally proper thing at that,
you aren't there for me. You're no good. You're one of the most
disloyal people I've known and as far as I'm concerned, you can go to
My screaming was so loud that two or three people came in from
adjoining offices and asked who I was screaming at. I told them it was
Mario Cuomo, a total stiff, a lousy governor, and a disloyal former
friend. Now whenever I see Mario at a dinner, I refuse to acknowledge
him, talk to him, or even look at him.
I will say this, however. Mario's wife, Matilda, is a fine woman
and was a terrific friend to my mother. It's not her fault that her
husband is a loser.
Another failed politician who disappointed me is a man named Pete
Dawkins, sometimes referred to as General Pete Dawkins. He led a
charmed life—West Point cadet, Heisman trophy winner, Rhodes scholar,
but as I found out, Pete was also a stiff. When he was running for the
U.S. Senate in New Jersey against Frank Lautenberg, a magazine
calledManhattan, Inc. published a damning profile of him, and Dawkins
folded up like a broken umbrella.
One day, Dawkins came to my office and asked me to help him build
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in lower Manhattan. He asked for a
million dollars (or more) because he said he was having bad luck
I decided to help because no soldiers have ever been treated worse
than the courageous people who came back from Vietnam, wounded and
maimed, attacked physically abroad and psychologically at home. I
provided over a million dollars in matching grants, and, almost as
important, I helped get it built by using the best contractors in the
city, along with unions who made sure it was constructed swiftly,
properly, and cost-effectively. At the opening, Pete Dawkins took the
Many years later, he was working as a high-ranking executive at
Citibank and I phoned him to ask a small favor, to find something out
for me. He didn't respond for a while, so I called him two more times.
Finally, he said, I really can't do it for you, Donald, and I really
don't want to get involved. I told Dawkins that theManhattan, Inc.
article about him had been true. I consider him to be one of the most
overrated people I have ever dealt with.
Sometimes you have to hold a grudge.
The hugely successful Miss Universe Pageant. From left to right:
Charles Gargano, Stephanie Seymour, Evander Holyfield, Miss Universe
Wendy Fitzwilliams, me, and NFL great Bruce Smith. Also pictured:
Kylie Bax (third from right) and Sirio Maccioni (far right).
Learn the Value of Saying No
I purchased the Miss Universe Organization in 1996 and immediately
sold half of the company to CBS; so not only were they our
broadcaster, they were a co-owner as well. This kind of arrangement,
where the network actually owns the end product, was a fairly new
concept and should have been a win-win situation, since CBS would
actually be able to eliminate the middleman and pay a lower license
fee while, in theory, the network, as an owner, would look to maximize
all promotional opportunities.
The partnership was a great concept, but after five years, it had
not gone as planned. CBS was not willing to promote the shows to my
satisfaction. As more and more cable competition ate into the
network's market share, on-air promotion became all the more important
to sustain viewership, but it just wasn't happening. To make matters
worse, CBS tried to change the shows drastically by making them
MTV-style music specials and dramatically cutting the time allotted to
show the women competing. I am not a network programmer, but it seemed
to me that people might be tuning in to a beauty competition to see
I am not saying a television musical performance is a bad thing;
there have been some great ones over the years. A perfect example was
the 1999 Miss Teen USA pageant: A year earlier, the teen show had
introduced a little-known boy band called 'NSync. By 1999 they were
the biggest band around. As a sign of appreciation, they agreed to
appear on the Miss Teen USA pageant again. In the middle of their
summer tour, 'NSync rented a jet and flew in for eight hours the day
of the show, performing two songs. They were terrific. Unfortunately,
no one knew about it because CBS had chosen not to run a single
promotion for the show.
So in February 2002 we were all reevaluating how we wanted to
approach the network license renewal. Citing the current ratings,
which were caused by the lack of promotion and the fact that CBS would
always air the pageant against the toughest competition, Les Moonves,
the head of the network, said he was not willing to begin negotiations
until the end of the season. Obviously, with the season ending in
August, the network schedules would be set and there would be
absolutely no room for negotiation with any other network.
I sent a letter to Les telling him I wanted an option to buy CBS
out of the partnership, exercisable up until a week after the
broadcast of the Miss Universe pageant in May. I feigned disinterest
in continuing with the pageants and told him if I did not exercise the
option, we would commence with selling or dismantling the company. A
few days later, I believed we had a deal.
I immediately signed with Jim Griffin of the William Morris Agency
to begin shopping the pageants to other broadcasters. I also called my
good friend Bob Wright, chairman and CEO of NBC, to tell him the
pageants might become available. I knew that NBC had recently acquired
Telemundo, and the pageants are huge in Latin markets. It looked like
a great opportunity for cross-promotion.
In the meantime, CBS had given up and allowed us free rein to get
back to the basics on the production and put more emphasis on what had
worked in the past: beautiful women. We also convinced them to
schedule the pageant for a night outside of the all-important ratings
sweeps, which would ensure more on-air promotions.
As a result, our 2002 Miss Universe pageant hit ratings gold.
Overall, it was number seven for the week and number one in
demographics. The pageant even trounced the NBA playoffs on NBC. The
Miss Universe pageant quickly became a very hot property.
I immediately sent a letter to Les Moonves telling him I was
exercising my option to buy out CBS. To my shock, Les took the
position that we had never agreed on an option. NBC was waiting in the
wings, and after a weeklong bidding war I bought out CBS and created a
new partnership with NBC.
At the first meeting of the new board, I asked the Miss Universe
staff to dust off some of the cross-promotional ideas they had pitched
to CBS over the years. Within minutes, Jeff Gaspin of NBC approved the
production of a Miss USA Fear Factor to lead into the Miss USA
telecast. In addition, the Today show agreed to do five-minute live
shots from each pageant location. The results were amazing. For years
the pageants had tried to get a plug on the third-rated CBS Morning
Show and couldn't get as much as a returned phone call. Now they were
getting major promotion on the nation's number one morning program and
an Internet tie-in through NBC.com.
The Miss USA Fear Factor was the highest rated in the series and the
2003 Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants received the highest ratings
since I had bought the company. Additionally, the Telemundo simulcast
of the pageant was one of the highest-rated programs in the network's
The cross-promotional concept I visualized in 1996 was finally
realized in 2003, and it never would have happened if I hadn't been
willing to walk away from CBS, say no, and pursue a better opportunity
The art of the hair.
The Art of the Hair
Over the years, I have been criticized for the way I comb my hair,
but never so much as since the opening show of The Apprentice. New
York magazine wrote that I'd perfected the pompad-over. The New York
Times called it an elaborate structure best left to an architecture
David Letterman and Jay Leno regularly do quips about it. Matt
Lauer, who with Katie Couric has taken the Today show to new heights,
told me I should just give up the ghost and shave it off or give
myself some kind of buzz cut like the one he has. Likewise, Pat
O'Brien, the star of Access Hollywood, told me he had heard about Matt
Lauer's comment and totally agrees with him.
Personally, I think it looks good, but I've never said my hair was
my strongest point. I told Pat and Matt that I'm just not ready to
change my style. I've been combing it this way for a long time and I
might as well keep doing it. The ratings of The Apprentice are
sky-high, and maybe they would drop if I changed the look at this
I'm amazed by how often people ask me whether or not I wear a
hairpiece, a wig, or a rug, as it is affectionately known.
The answer, for the record, is emphatically and categorically no:
I do not wear a rug. My hair is one hundred percent mine. No animals
have been harmed in the creation of my hairstyle.
However, I must admit that the day may come when I will wear a
hairpiece, wig, or rug—but only if I go bald, which I hope never
happens. The reason for this is because I, like most men, am very
vain. Many times over the years, I've heard people say that men are
vainer than women, and I believe it. Guys don't like to talk about it,
but Random House is paying me a fortune for this book and specifically
requested a chapter on the art of the hair, so I will admit to my
I will also reveal some of my hair-related secrets.
The reason my hair looks so neat all the time is because I don't
have to deal with the elements very often. I live in the building
where I work. I take an elevator from my bedroom to my office. The
rest of the time, I'm either in my stretch limousine, my private jet,
my helicopter, or my private club in Palm Beach, Florida. If Matt
Lauer had my lifestyle, he might not have changed his
hairstyle—although his hair looks great now.
If I happen to be outside, I'm probably on one of my golf courses,
where I protect my hair from overexposure by wearing a golf hat. It's
also a way to avoid the paparazzi. Plus the hat always has a big TRUMP
logo on it—it's an automatic promotion.
I will also admit that I color my hair. Somehow, the color never
looks great, but what the hell, I just don't like gray hair.
I wonder how much longer my hair will be a national topic of
conversation. Letterman and Leno have been funny, but one person I
don't like is Joy Behar, a woman who works for Barbara Walters on The
View. For weeks, she was attacking me, insisting that I wear a wig, so
Barbara and her staff called me and asked if I would surprise them and
appear on the show. I did, and when I ran my hand through my hair and
proved that it was real, everybody laughed and that was the end of
After The Apprentice premiered, Joy Behar was on The Tonight Show
along with the rest of the cast of The View. Out of the blue, Jay Leno
started talking about the great success of The Apprentice. Star Jones
raved about it, as did the others—except for Joy Behar, a woman with
no talent and a terrible accent, who again attacked my hair. I've
always said that show would do better without her. I did her a favor
by going on the show, and it was not appreciated. Being nice to some
people never pays off.
I suppose it's possible that I could rethink my look for the
second season of The Apprentice. But probably not—it seems to be
Whether you're building a luxury apartment or producing a beauty
pageant, you've got to give the people what they want.
In a book like this one, that means some good advice, some wisdom,
a little bit of gossip, and a glimmer of fame.
I've done my best to give you some wisdom and advice. Now, here's
a Palm Beach morality tale about gossip and fame:
I had a friend who was rich and successful and very married. For
months, I kept hearing a rumor that he was having an affair with an
equally successful businesswoman who was also very married. It was
hard to believe. She was drop-dead gorgeous and could probably have
had any guy she wanted. My friend was not a likely choice.
The rumors persisted, and then one day my friend invited me out to
dinner with the gorgeous woman and her husband. I told him the
invitation seemed strange to me. For a long time, I've been hearing
you're having an affair with her. Wouldn't you find it a little
uncomfortable having dinner with her in front of her husband?
Surprisingly, my friend confirmed that he was having the affair,
that the woman's husband didn't know, and that he (my friend) was
totally in love, something which he felt his wife, who was as tough as
nails, would not exactly appreciate or understand.
Without revealing any of my friend's secrets, I told my
girlfriend, Melania, to prepare for a wild evening.
We had dinner at a restaurant. Normally, I would have been
watching the scene with great amusement, but the businesswoman's
husband was also a friend of mine, and so I was in a precarious
position. There we all sat, as though nothing was happening, but we
could all feel tension in the air. As we left, I watched my friend
grab the businesswoman around the waist in a more than familiar
fashion. Her husband was out of sight when this happened, but it was
clear to me that, despite my disbelief and amazement, there was
something going on between the two.
Over the next few weeks, my friend called me incessantly,
proclaiming his love for the woman. He said he would do anything to be
with her, and that she was also in love with him. His calls became so
frequent that Melania asked, Why does he keep calling you? What's
going on? When I told Melania about the affair, she also found it hard
to believe. As I said, this businesswoman is an amazing beauty and my
friend is not exactly Brad Pitt—although he is very rich and some
women find him handsome.
Finally, after a number of phone calls, I said, Look, are you
bullshitting me or is this for real?
He said, It is! It is! I want to come over and see you and I'll
prove it. He didn't have to prove anything to me. What difference did
it make? But I invited him over anyway.
When he arrived, he told me how they'd met, how the relationship
was going, all the sordid details. I still wasn't sure I believed him,
but then he played an answering machine tape of a call she had made to
him. She said the kind of intimate things only a lover would say. It
was truly down and dirty, and I definitely recognized her voice. There
was no longer any doubt in my mind about what was taking place.
For a while, my friend continued to call me to say how much he
loved this woman. If I was in Palm Beach when he called me, I would
just watch the television and politely listen to what he was saying. I
felt more like his psychiatrist than anything else.
Then the shit hit the fan! The woman's husband had found out,
phoned my friend, and threatened to kill him. But what really bothered
my friend was the next call he received—from the woman, saying she
would never see him or talk to him again, and that if she did, her
husband would tell my friend's wife everything about the affair. My
friend was devastated. Afterward, he repeatedly tried to reach his
ex-lover, but she refused to respond.
As usually happens, my friend's wife found out. Probably, the
businesswoman's husband had called her, but who knows?
About six months later, I saw the businesswoman at a gallery and
she confronted me. Donald, she said, I hear you've been spreading
rumors all over town about me. It's terrible what you've done, and the
rumors about me and [X] aren't true. Can you imagine me going out with
him? After listening to her accusations and denials for fifteen
minutes, I realized she is one of the greatest salespeople I have ever
known, because if I had not heard her voice on that answering machine
tape, I would have completely believed her. She told me she couldn't
believe people would even think she would go out with my friend. Why
would I want to? What did he have? Give me a break!
I figured that was the end of it, but then I realized that my
friend had not called me in some time. I was wondering how he was
doing, so I phoned him to say hello. He wasn't in and didn't return my
call. I phoned again, and again he didn't call back. I was worried, so
I called a third time and a fourth time. No response.
Later, I found out that his wife had blamed me for the entire
affair. She thought I had introduced him to this woman. Apparently,
she told him that if he ever spoke to me again, she would divorce him.
It turns out he had used me as a scapegoat. The funny thing is, I
wouldn't have minded and would have helped him out and played along if
he'd had the decency, as a good friend, to call me and say, Look, I
have a problem. Can I blame it on you? Even if it meant he wouldn't
have been able to see me or speak to me again, I would have accepted
it and been glad to have helped keep his marriage together. But he
never made that call to me. He did everything without an explanation.
Now when I see him at a restaurant or an event, nothing is said.
But he knows, and I know.
I heard he was still suffering through his marriage. As a means of
reconciliation, he bought his wife some tremendous jewelry.
Apparently, she made him return it because it wasn't big enough or
expensive enough. He had to go back and buy her something even bigger
Page Six, My Way
The New York Post is a popular daily newspaper in this city. I read
it every day, as do lots of other people. It contains a two-page
spread called Page Six, which is not located on page six but is a
must-read. Over the years it's been edited by a highly talented guy
named Richard Johnson. He's got insight into everything, and he knows
more about what's going on in New York than anyone I know. For better
or for worse, I make Page Six a lot. I hope the day never comes when
they don't find me interesting enough to mention. Meanwhile, here's my
version of Page Six for my readers, so you'll be up on the latest.
With Richard Johnson of Page Six fame.
I'm sure a lot of you have heard of Ivana, my first wife, who
christened me The Donald and launched a thousand missiles—I mean
smiles—in my direction. Well, I'm happy to report that she's doing
well and at this moment is in the south of France, having, I hope, a
great time. We are on good terms and speak often. We are still
neighbors in New York City, and with three incredible children to
share, we consider ourselves to be very fortunate people and good
Marla,my second wife, is living in Los Angeles and is as beautiful
as ever. Our daughter, Tiffany, is now ten years old, and continues to
charm everything and everyone in sight. I don't see her as much as I'd
like, but every minute is worth a bundle when I do.
With the exquisite Melania Knauss.
I've spent the last five years with the exquisite Melania Knauss,
a model from Slovenia. Anyone who has ever met her will never forget
it. She's just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
Despite her great beauty, she is a very calm and soothing person who
has brought a sense of stability to my very turbulent life. I am lucky
to be with her!
My eldest son,Don Jr., joined The Trump Organization in September
2001 and has already proven himself to be a valuable member of our
team. He, like me, graduated from the Wharton School at the University
of Pennsylvania, and has since decided to join the family business and
see what he can learn from his father. He's a good guy and will be a
successful one, too.
Ivanka, my eldest daughter, is currently attending the Wharton
School. She has already had a successful modeling career and is a
heartbreaker in every way. She will do well no matter what she does.
With my daughter Ivanka and my son Eric at Georgetown University.
Eric,my youngest son, is at Georgetown University and doing well.
We have great expectations for him, and since he's already six feet
six inches tall, that shouldn't prove to be a problem. He, like Don
Jr., is an avid outdoorsman.
With Don Jr. and Eric at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
I remain very close to my brother Robert and to my sisters,
Maryanne and Elizabeth. All are thriving, successful, and productive.
My parents, Fred and Mary, passed away in 1999 and 2000,
respectively. The void they left will never be filled. But what each
gave to me, by way of example, will remain with me every day of my
I love my family. They are very much my motivation. They always
have been, and they always will be. Am I a rich man? Yes, very rich.
I also feel blessed to have some terrific friends and business associates.
Barbara Corcoranis a wonderful woman who did a tremendous job in
creating the Corcoran Group. She then sold it for a substantial profit
and has done well ever since. I will never be surprised by how well
she does. A friend of mine recently sent me an article about Barbara
in which she was asked about my influence on the residential market.
She said, Donald Trump has had singularly the greatest possible
influence on Manhattan luxury real estate, simply because it was his
marketing chutzpah that changed the perception of living in Manhattan.
It's always nice to be complimented by pros, and Barbara is a total
Another good friend is Mohamed Al Fayed, chairman of Harrods in
Knightsbridge, London. Mohamed has gone through quite a rough time
over the last several years—it was his son Dodie who was dating
Princess Diana. To many of us, it looked like they would be getting
married at some point in the not-too-distant future, until their lives
ended in that tragic car crash in Paris. Mohamed is an extremely loyal
father who has fought so hard for his son and the memory of him. I
wish people understood him better. He is a truly good man.
Jack Welchis a particular favorite of mine. Now he's writing a
book, and I'm going to be the first on line to buy it. Few people, if
any, have ever done a better job of running a corporation.
I always enjoy being with George Steinbrenner. Quite honestly,
there's no one like him, and he hasn't been appreciated to the extent
he should be. I remember the Yankees when they couldn't win a game,
when nobody went to Yankee Stadium, and the team was a total disaster.
George puts a championship team on the field every year and does what
it takes to win, whether people like him for it or not.
When we were taping The Apprentice, I told NBC that I would love
to get George to give the candidates a lecture on winning. They looked
at me and thought I was crazy, because the scene had to be shot that
day and the World Series was beginning the following day. Knowing what
a good friend George was, I was sure he would do it, and when I called
him at Yankee Stadium he immediately picked up the phone and agreed.
We were at Yankee Stadium thirty minutes later, and even the top
people at NBC were impressed. The kids walked into this legendary
office with its pictures of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle,
and many other Yankee greats on the walls, and their eyes were wide
open, as though they'd never seen anything like it before. George was
incredibly nice. He sat with the kids for a long time, until I finally
had to be the one to say, George, you're busy as hell—let me get them
out of here. He's really a great guy. People will appreciate George
Steinbrenner only when they no longer have him, and when the Yankees
are wallowing in last place.
Another sports owner who is one of the great winners is Bob Kraft,
who helped lead the New England Patriots to a second Super Bowl
victory. I've gotten to know Bob over the last two years, and there is
no finer gentleman. He and his wife, Myra, are totally unassuming.
With his sons, Bob has methodically and brilliantly built a strong
franchise in New England that was a total disaster before Kraft's
ascent.Tom Brady is the best quarterback in football. There are other
quarterbacks with impressive stats, but when you need someone to throw
four or five completions in the final minutes of a game, there is
nobody better than Tom. With all of their upcoming draft choices and
the great players they already have, this team is only going to get
better over the next few years.
Two other terrific team owners are Jerry Jones, owner of the
Dallas Cowboys, and Bob Tisch, owner of the New York Giants. Tisch has
done so well in every capacity, whether it's business or sports. He's
in his seventies, but he's got the attitude of someone in his
twenties, thirties, or forties.
Larry Silverstein,the developer of the new World Trade Center
complex, is a good friend of mine, but I really hate what's being
designed for the site. It resembles a skeleton, and I can't believe
Larry really wanted to evoke that image. In actuality, Larry is being
forced to do certain things that he would not do under normal
circumstances, but he has to go with the flow. Nevertheless, I'm sure
he'll do a terrific job.
Finally, since Page Six often takes a few digs at people, here are mine:
Dan Ratheris not one of my favorite people. A few years ago, he
wanted to profile me for 60 Minutes. As we toured Mar-a-Lago and Trump
International Golf Club in Florida, he couldn't have been nicer or
more respectful. I was sure the interview would be a total home run.
When the interview aired, it couldn't have been nastier. He showed
me giving a speech to an empty room at a poorly planned event, when
the day before I'd given the same speech to a standing-room-only
crowd. But 60 Minutes didn't air that speech. They just wanted me to
look as bad as possible.
Dan Rather is an enigma to me. He's got absolutely no talent or
charisma or personality, yet year after year, CBS apologizes for his
terrible ratings. I could take the average guy on the street and have
him read the news on CBS and that guy would draw bigger ratings than
Dan Rather does. When I see Rather at Yankee games, I stay away from
him. However, I will say one nice thing about him: Recently, he was
the emcee at a Police Athletic League dinner for District Attorney
Robert Morgenthau, one of the great men in the history of New York
City. Dan called me and told me he felt very uncomfortable being the
emcee of a dinner for which I was the chairman. I told him I
appreciated the call and that it would be fine with me if he was the
emcee. He did a nice job, but I'll never forget what he did to me on
60 Minutes. People don't change their stripes.
I'll conclude this with a story about Howard Cosell, a spectacular
sportscaster who I got to know during the last ten years of his life.
People either loved Howard or hated him—there was no in between—but he
was really the best at what he did. As Howard grew older, though, he
became nastier, even toward the people who loved him and had helped
make him a success. He always felt that being a sportscaster was
beneath him. He longed to run for the U.S. Senate.
Howard could sit on a dais with sports figures he hadn't seen for
thirty years and quote their exact statistics. His memory was amazing.
Then he wrote his final book and knocked almost everyone he knew, from
Roone Arledge to Frank Gifford, one of the finest people around. It
did a lot of damage to him, because all of his friends turned against
him. I remember saying to him, Howard, you can knock twenty percent of
the people, maybe twenty-five percent or thirty percent of the people,
but you can't knock everybody. You didn't say anything nice about
anybody in the book. It was the wrong thing to do. I believe in
knocking people, but you can't knock everybody.
That's a rule I try to follow, in this book and in my life.
A Week in the Life
In The Art of the Deal and in my other two memoirs, I included a
chapter about a typical week in my life. When I met Mark Burnett, the
creator of The Apprentice, he told me it was his favorite chapter in
the book, and a lot of other readers have told me the same thing. So,
back by popular demand, here's an example of what an average eventful
week was like in the fall of 2003.
This chapter doesn't have any specific advice on how to get rich,
but it will show you how I have fun, and I doubt I'd be as successful
as I am if I weren't having such a good time.
9:00 A.M. I have a meeting with architect Costas Kondylis, an
elegant way to start the week. Costas and I have worked on several
very successful projects together, including the Trump World Tower at
the United Nations Plaza, Trump Park Avenue (at Fifty-ninth Street and
Park Avenue, just completed), and, together with Philip Johnson and
Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Trump Place, my sixteen-building
development along the Hudson River. Some of you might remember that
site as the West Side yards, which I have been involved with since
1974, when I first secured the option to purchase them from the Penn
Central Railroad. That was my first major deal in Manhattan. Close to
thirty years later, here we are discussing the fifth and sixth
buildings under construction. (Never give up.)
My eldest son, Don Jr., is also at the meeting. We are on schedule
with construction, and the first three condominium buildings have
proven to be very successful. However, neither Costas nor myself is
likely to ever rest on his laurels, and we are troubleshooting, going
over every detail. If Costas hadn't been an architect, he'd have made
a very good surgeon—he's just that meticulous. We get along famously,
and I'd put him up there with Philip Johnson as one of our most
We are also discussing the reaction to the city park I developed
and donated to the city, which is on the West Side yards property. I
hate to disappoint people, but my detractors were not pleased about
this twenty-five-acre gift. What can I say? Except that you can't be
all things to all people, no matter how hard you try.
I look over some kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and we decide to
go with the top of the line. My name and work have become synonymous
with quality, and there's a reason for it. We don't skimp on anything,
ever or anywhere. Don Jr. mentions looking forward to the topping-out
party for Building #4. That's a big day for builders, and it's a
celebration when the frame of the building, the superstructure, is
completed, and everyone involved meets at the top for a party.
9:30 A.M. Norma comes in to tell me that Oscar de la Renta is on
the line, and Costas and I decide to meet again in a couple of weeks.
Our new Miss Universe, Amelia Vega, is from Santo Domingo, which is
also the birthplace of Oscar de la Renta. He wants to meet her, and I
don't blame him. She's a beauty, all six feet of her. We're proud not
only of her, but of the Miss Universe contest, which has become
extremely successful since I bought it seven years ago. We beat out
the competition in television ratings and we are highly regarded
internationally as well. Ecuador has paid millions of dollars to host
the 2004 contest, and we're looking forward to a great time there.
Back to Oscar—he's a class act all the way. His impeccable work
speaks for itself.
9:45 A.M. I make a call to some wiseguy contractors who've been
trying to cheat me. This can be a crummy business because of the scum
of the earth it attracts, but you have to do what you have to do.
Screaming at them is what I have to do.
10:00 A.M. I have three calls waiting: Mark Brown, the CEO and
president of my three casinos in Atlantic City; Woody Allen's office;
and Mayor Bloomberg. I take the mayor's call first, much as I respect
Woody Allen and Mark. I think the mayor is doing a great job,
considering he's got one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Running a
corporation is one thing; running a city is another, especially this
Our wonderful mayor, Mike Bloomberg.
With another great mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, in 2000.
Woody Allen may go down to Florida and stay at the Mar-a-Lago, my
club in Palm Beach. I've been in one Woody Allen film, and I never
miss any of his movies.
10:30 A.M. I have my first Diet Coke of the day. I know I should
drink mineral water, and I do sometimes, but I really like Diet Coke.
Irina Dvorovenko calls in; she's a ballerina at the American Ballet
Theatre. She's not only a sensational dancer, but also an incredibly
beautiful woman. I'm not exactly a ballet fan, but because of Irina,
that might be a possibility.
The television crew from Neal Cavuto's team is ready for an
interview. I ask what it's about, and then we're ready to go. After
decades of interviews, they are easy for me to do, especially with
someone like Neal, who is not only personable but also very
knowledgeable. He and his team are pros all the way. And he gets the
best business ratings on cable TV.
11:00 A.M. I received seventeen calls during the interview, and I
begin to return them, in between the incoming calls. After so many
years in business, knowing how to prioritize is second nature. It's
also a key factor in keeping up your momentum, even during a typical
workday, which is crucial if you intend to become or remain
successful. Everyone's heard of the New York minute, but by now that's
outdated—it's become the New York second. That's no exaggeration.
Seconds count when you have hundreds of phone calls a day to handle.
One bogged-down conversation, and your momentum could be interrupted
for an hour. So when I say momentum is crucial, I mean it. You'll know
when you've got it, and you'll know when it's being disrupted.
I return Joe Cinque's call; he's an executive with the American
Academy of Hospitality Sciences, which presents the coveted Five Star
Diamond award. My properties have received several of them. Joe is a
high-spirited and generous man, but he's difficult to please and
discerning when it comes to giving out awards. He's just returned from
Sardinia and mentions that he still thinks the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm
Beach is the most beautiful resort he's ever seen, worldwide. Coming
from him, that's saying something. I always liked Joe, and now I like
him even more.
I return Regis Philbin's call. He and his wife, Joy, are among my
closest friends, and he's even more fun off-screen than on-screen, if
you can imagine that. I always look forward to spending time with
them—they are both solid-gold people. We're on for dinner at
Jean-Georges Restaurant, which is in the Trump International Hotel &
Tower and is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in the
world. With Jean-Georges Vongerichten in charge, how could it not be?
I take a call from Mark Burnett, the brilliant creator and
producer of the reality show calledSurvivor. It was his idea to doThe
Apprentice, and we are busy working on the details.
11:30 A.M. I take a call from Sony; they'd asked me to be a
sponsor for the 150th celebration of Central Park in July, featuring
rising opera stars Salvatore Licitra and Marcello Alvarez. The event
was a huge success, with many thousands of New Yorkers turning out to
hear some magnificent singing on a perfect night under the stars in
the park. On nights like that, you have to thank your own lucky stars
just to be alive. We were all proud of how successful the evening was,
and I was equally proud to be a sponsor.
Mike Donovan, my trusted pilot, calls in to update me on the
checkup of my 727 jet. I have both a helicopter and a jet, and they
get a workout throughout the year. With my schedule, they aren't
luxury items, but necessities. Turns out the jet will be ready in two
Norma comes in to go over the media requests of the morning thus
far, which include two from Holland, three from Germany, two from
Canada, one from France, one from England, and seven from the United
States. Handling media requests alone can require negotiation skills,
and we do our best to accommodate them.
11:45 A.M. I have a meeting with Charlie Reiss, Jill Cremer,
Russell Flicker, and Don Jr.—my development team. We are busy with a
building in Chicago, and Don Jr. has been working very effectively and
in many capacities on Trump Park Avenue. We have a lot on our plates
already at The Trump Organization, but, not being a complacent type, I
know there are many opportunities out there and this team tends to
that. They do a great job and have some interesting projects to brief
12:30 P.M. I order lunch from our terrific new restaurant at the
Trump Tower atrium, which is doing great business. Some of you may
have seen the commercial I did for McDonald's. I didn't have to act—I
like McDonald's and am a loyal customer. Some days I have pizza,
sometimes a ham and cheese, some days nothing, but I rarely go out for
lunch. I still consider it an interruption in my workday. I review
news clippings and articles during my lunch minute.
12:35 P.M. I speak to Bernd Lembcke, the director of the
Mar-a-Lago Club. As you might remember, Mar-a-Lago was once my private
home, and I restored it and turned it into a breathtaking private
club. Anything that beautiful should be shared, and it has been an
immense success. Bernd has tended to it, and I've been named to the
Benefactors Board of Directors by the Historical Society of Palm Beach
County. It's nice to see painstaking work being noticed and rewarded.
We discuss the upcoming season and the latest improvements to the
12:45 P.M. I walk down the hall to visit George Ross. George will
always tell you the way it is, which I appreciate. His thoughts are
sharp and insightful, and we have a longish conversation of, perhaps,
three minutes. I am thinking about putting him on The Apprentice.
12:50 P.M. Back in my office, I take a call from Hugh Grant. I had
a brief role, as myself, in his movie with Sandra Bullock,Two Weeks
Notice. Hugh's an avid golfer, and my course in Westchester is at his
disposal whenever he's in New York. He's a nice guy on top of being a
gifted actor. In fact, I'm glad he lives in another country—he's got
too much on the ball to have around all the time.
1:00 P.M. Norma comes in to go over the invitations to parties and
openings, and for speeches. I don't have much time available. I decide
on a party at Le Cirque.
1:30 P.M. I put in a call to Trump National Golf Club in Los
Angeles. This course is on the Pacific Ocean and has the potential to
be better than Pebble Beach. Spectacular will be an understatement.
It's a gem, and we're working hard on it. All is going well, but every
detail is important and there are a lot of them to take care of.
2:30 P.M. I make a call to an expert on trees. I saw some
beautiful ones and would like to have them on my golf course in
Bedminster, New Jersey. I ask a few questions and find out a lot. When
I want to know something, I go for it, and only on rare occasions will
I take a secondhand opinion. This tactic has served me well over the
years—there's nothing wrong with knowledge, whether it's about trees
3:00 P.M. Allen Weisselberg, my CFO, comes in for a meeting. He's
been with me for thirty years and keeps a handle on everything, which
is not an easy job. He runs things beautifully. His team is tight and
fast, and so are our meetings.
With Allen Weisselberg, my CFO.
3:30 P.M. I return the fourteen calls that came in during the
meeting, which include those from lawyers, publishers, reporters, and
friends. The only thing worse than having so many calls is not having
any calls, so I'm not complaining.
I take a call from the concrete contractors, who have completely
screwed up and are trying to tell me they haven't screwed up.
Everything they've done is a mess. So instead of having the nice
conversation they expected, I tell it to them the way it is—that
they've made a mess of everything and they'd better get it right. The
amazing thing is that they act like they know what they're doing. When
people hear me yelling, believe me, there's a reason why.
4:30 P.M. I go to the conference room for a photo session with
Platon, a young and very accomplished photographer. The photos are for
Forbes magazine. He is fast and efficient, very much like Richard
Avedon was when I did a shoot with him last year. I look forward to
seeing the prints.
5:00 P.M. I return the seven calls received during the shoot,
including one to my sister, Maryanne. She's still a judge and as wise
as ever, and she has just returned from a trip to Rome.
5:30 P.M. Norma comes in to go over more invitations and media
requests, and I read a few letters. There's one from a nine-year-old
boy in Minnesota who has a business proposal for me. After describing
his business idea, he makes me a very tempting offer: And what's in it
for you, Mr. Trump? A chance for you to make millions, just by
becoming my partner! He also adds that I can call him anytime, as long
as it's before 9:00 P.M. I'll keep that in mind.
6:00 P.M. I decide to return to my apartment upstairs, where I
make more calls, until 7:30 or so. At 8:00 P.M ., Melania and I meet
Joy and Regis at Jean-Georges Restaurant for a perfect meal.
At the Mar-a-Lago Club with Joy and Regis Philbin.
8:30 A.M. I arrive at the office. I read between five and seven
newspapers every morning before I get into the office. One thing I
enjoy doing is clipping articles of interest, whether they're about me
or not; then I either save or distribute them. I also receive between
ten and twelve magazines a day, which I review in my apartment at the
end of the day. Keeping up on things worldwide is of great importance
if one is to keep the big picture in mind. Yes, I'm a New Yorker, but
there's a big world out there and I try to stay informed about it. If
you see the entire planet as an emerging market—which it is—you'll
discover that you've got a lot of homework to do every day. It's not
an indulgence, but an absolute necessity. So I spend the next fifteen
minutes of relative quiet assessing world developments. Call it
multitasking, call it whatever you will, it works and it focuses me
for the day ahead.
8:45 A.M. I take a call from the guy trying to jack up the prices
on the fixtures for a new building. Doesn't he know I know the market
prices for everything I'm doing? These jerks think I don't do my
homework—that's what it boils down to. Which means they're all in for
a big surprise, and if I have to yell to get my point across, that's
what I do.
9:00 A.M. I ask Rhona to call Bob Wright, the chairman and CEO of
NBC. In addition to being a great admirer of his business acumen, I am
friends with Bob and his wonderful wife, Suzanne. We've done some
deals together, and in the seventeen years since he went from General
Electric to NBC, the network has seen enormous improvements in quality
control as well as growth in the right directions. Bob takes my call
and we chat about a lot of things. Have you ever noticed that some
people have a knack for enlightened conversation? Bob is one of those
people. He's never been boring for one second of his life. I'm glad he
takes the time to talk to me, and, considering his schedule, it's a
good sign that maybe I don't bore him either.
Norma comes in to remind me that I have a Police Athletic League
Board of Directors meeting next week. I am active with the Police
Athletic League and have been for many years. They do a great job in
New York and benefit many people and neighborhoods.
9:15 A.M. I take a call from Alfons Schmidt, who is someone I hold
in very high esteem, not just because he's a great golfer and
businessman, but because he's a remarkable person. Those who know him
will agree with me. We'll meet on Friday for a round of golf at Trump
National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor. It's a high for me to play on
the course with someone like Alfons. We'll be joined by former
president Bill Clinton as well, who is a member. He lives nearby and
likes the course, and we welcome him at any time. He's managed to
become a good golfer, and, considering the schedule he had for so many
years, that's saying something. If he keeps up this rate of
improvement, he'll get really good very fast. Joining us will also be
David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, a dapper guy on and off
the golf course. It's a rare occasion that I take an afternoon off,
but considering the company I'll be in, it will be worth it.
9:45 A.M. Ivanka, my beautiful daughter, calls to tell me about
her most recent trip. She's on holiday and is taking off for somewhere
else tomorrow. Keeping track of her isn't easy, but she's good about
keeping me informed, and I'm happy she's enjoying herself. I'm a lucky
guy with a daughter like this.
10:00 A.M. I have a board meeting in the conference room with Mark
Brown and Bob Pickus from my Atlantic City team. John Burke and Scott
Butera join us. We have these meetings every three months, to iron out
any problems, to go over numbers, and to keep an eye on the future.
Considering how large our operations are in Atlantic City—I have three
casino hotels—our meetings are relatively brief; they rarely last more
than two hours. My team knows the value of time and exactly how not to
waste it. People often comment on the brevity of my meetings, but if
everyone knows what they're doing, they don't need to be long or
long-winded. Fortunately, I have experienced people on my teams, and
they know how I operate, so they get to the point, and quickly.
With Bill Clinton at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
12:00 P.M. We have sandwiches from the Carnegie Deli in the
boardroom. Ever had one of their ham-and-cheese or corned beef
sandwiches? They're great. When you visit New York, try one.
12:15 P.M. I'm not antisocial, but to me, fifteen minutes is a very
long lunch. So I'm back in my office, getting back to business,
perusing the thirty-seven phone calls that came in during the meeting.
These are the phone calls that have already been screened, first by
the receptionist, and then by my assistants. I get hundreds of calls a
day from around the world from people who just want to say hi or to
tell me something. My security team takes some of the calls as well,
because the number of calls can be overwhelming. But these are
thirty-seven legitimate calls that must be dealt with, and I begin
returning them. First I return Bob Kraft's call. He'd invited me to a
private Elton John concert, which was terrific. Elton John just gets
better and better; he's amazing. Bob Kraft is a first-class act all
the way and always a delight to talk to. It's a good way to start the
12:30 P.M. Joe Torre stops by for a surprise visit. He's the
manager of the New York Yankees and always a welcome guest. He takes
the time to sign autographs on his way in and on his way out. A real
12:45 P.M. I return Rudy Giuliani's call. He was a great mayor,
and he saw New York City through some difficult times. In addition to
my respect for him professionally, we are also friends and we keep in
touch. I will always wish him the best—and his wife, Judy, is tops!
1:00 P.M. The TV team from the National Geographic Channel are
here for an interview. They've done great work, and I decide we should
go up to my apartment for the interview. I don't often do that, but
they are pros, and it goes very well. For the most part, I get along
very well with media people. I respect them and the jobs they do, and
they usually respect me and my time limits. It works both ways, and
it's a rare occasion when we clash.
1:45 P.M. I take a call from Mohamed Al Fayed, the owner of
Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, and the Ritz in Paris. He's one of a
kind, a gentleman all the way, and I always make a point of visiting
him when I'm in London. He's remained a kind and loyal person despite
the tragedies in his life, and I am honored when he calls.
2:00 P.M. I call my brother, Robert. He's a great guy, and a good
brother to have. We keep in close contact, and I consider myself lucky
to have the brother and sisters that I've got.
Melania calls to remind me that we are going to see Chicago on
Broadway tonight. I've seen it before, but Melanie Griffith is
currently starring in it, and we want to see her. I already know
she'll be terrific—she's a natural.
I return twelve calls in rapid succession, most of them concerning
my different properties in New York and Florida. Each time, I ask what
the problem is, and we get to it immediately. I like to keep a handle
on all my properties, and the problems are to be expected. The time I
worry the most is when there aren't any problems. That's usually the
result of misinformation or wishful thinking on someone's part.
Here's one of my greatest wishes: I would like a computer chip
that I could attach to the brains of all my contractors so they'd know
exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it, and at what price. This would
save me a lot of time, a lot of phoning, and a lot of yelling.
3:00 P.M. I take a walk over to Trump Park Avenue, my new
superluxury building on Park Avenue and Fifty-ninth Street. This was
the former Delmonico Hotel, which has historical merit, and the
location is about as prime as you can get in New York. It's a prize
building, and I make almost daily visits to see how it's progressing.
I visit Laura Cordovano in the sales office, then check out the
construction. They are taking too long, and the lobby doesn't look up
to my standards yet. They get an earful, and they deserve it. When my
name is on something, it'd better be great. Could it be any simpler?
It's funny, the reaction I get from people when I walk down the
street and get recognized. Sometimes it's a double take, sometimes
there's no acknowledgment, but often it's a wave and a familiar and
friendly Hi, Donald! from total strangers. It still takes me by
surprise. Once I was stuck in a horrible traffic jam in my limousine,
and I had a few members of Mark Burnett's team with me, so I decided
to try an experiment. It was one of those traffic jams where we hadn't
moved an inch in ten minutes, and tempers were red-hot, with taxi
drivers yelling and everyone else as well, and every car seemed to
have its horn on permanent full blast. I decided to step out of my
limousine and just stand there in the middle of this chaos. The
reaction? At first, dead silence. Then the fuming drivers and
passengers started waving and shouting Donald! It's The Donald! Hi,
Donald! I had to laugh. At least we had some relief from the honking
horns for a few minutes.
4:00 P.M. Back in my office. I make a call downstairs, as I'd
noticed some of the lobby door handles weren't as polished as I'd like
them to be. I want my buildings to be impeccable, and the people who
inhabit them appreciate that, even if I might seem a bit extreme at
I receive a letter from a U.S. serviceman overseas, Terry Simmons.
His morale-building idea for his unit is to receive an autographed
photograph from me. I am very touched by this request, and we send it
off right away. These men and women are putting their lives on the
line to protect something I cherish, which is this country. One of the
great moments of my life was being honored, along with General John M.
Keane, by the USO in 2002. In my speech I mentioned that accepting
this honor put me in the finest company imaginable, because every
member of the United States armed forces was being honored alongside
me. I meant it then, and I still mean it today. We send our best to
4:30 P.M. Giuseppe Cipriani, who has one of the best restaurants
in New York, calls. As someone who goes out to dinner a lot, I have
very particular tastes, and Giuseppe is someone who will never let you
down. I am trying to get him into my Park Avenue building.
The mysterious Jeffrey calls in. As mysterious as Jeffrey is, he's
one of the few people I know who can get by on just a first name. My
staff never asks for a last name in his case, which in a way puts him
up there with Elvis. Not that Elvis calls in much these days, but you
never know. That's why I have a floor for security. Sometimes we need
it. We've had some calls you wouldn't believe.
Norma comes in to tell me she's had it with The Apprentice TV crew
looking like ragamuffins and that if they show up tomorrow in their
usual gear she's going to send them back to their hotel to dress
properly for a change. She means business and I know it, so I try to
explain that they're from California and working on a TV-show set, not
in our corporate office, but she'll have none of it. I think they're
in for it, and I don't envy them.
I call Vinnie Stellio, a longtime employee whose wife has just had
a baby boy. Vinnie could've been a movie star with his looks and
swagger, but, fortunately, he works for us. He also could've written
his own scripts, but he's busy enough as it is.
5:00 P.M. I call Arnold Schwarzenegger to congratulate him on his
recent decision to run for governor of California. I've also received
several media calls asking me for my opinion on his decision. I've
always liked Arnold, and I think he'll make a great governor, not just
because I like him but because he's got the smarts and energy to run a
state like California.
I read an article by a journalist who spent a day with me a few
months ago. I remember him saying that he felt one day wouldn't be
sufficient, and I remember telling him that most people felt that one
day with me was enough. At the end of the article, he admits I was
right—that one day with me was enough—he was completely exhausted.
It's funny, because to me it seemed like a more relaxing and low-key
day than I usually have, and I was certainly on my best behavior.
Anyway, it's nice to be right.
5:30 P.M. Norma comes in to review media requests, charity
requests, and invitations. Since September 11, requests for charity
have increased sharply, and we do what we can. We comment on how we
receive a consistently high number of letters from Canada. One letter
is from two ladies in Saskatchewan who have invited me to have a cup
of coffee with them at their local coffeehouse, which has two tables.
If I decide to accept, they will do their best to reserve a table for
me. Due to my schedule, I have to decline, but their offer is genuine
and kind, and if I had the time, I'd go.
Sometimes I answer media requests myself, when I have time. Once I
called a guy named Phil Grande in Florida. He has a small radio
program,Stock Trading & Money Talk, and he had faxed me an interview
request. I picked up the phone and called him myself. When he asked
who was calling, I said, Donald Trump, and he said, Yeah, and I'm J.
P. Morgan. It took some convincing on my part, but he finally believed
me, and we chatted for some time. Afterward, he called my assistants
to verify that I had indeed called him, and to this day he sends them
flowers every Christmas. People like Phil can make our jobs a lot of
6:00 P.M. Asprey, the jewelers who occupy the corner of Trump
Tower on Fifth Avenue, are expanding, and they've invited me down to
see the renovations. They will have three floors, and it will be
stunning—much like their jewelry. They are the jewelers to the royal
family in England, and their new space will reflect that status when
it's done. I also decide to check on my new tenants, Mark Burnett
Productions, on the way down to the lobby, to see that everything is
up to par. I have a great management team, but I like to check things
out for myself as much as possible. I make a quick call to Melania to
check on dinner plans before the theater, and I leave the office.
9:00 A.M. Melanie Griffith was terrific inChicago last night, and
we visited her afterward to tell her so.
I take a call regarding placing antennas on The Trump Building at
40 Wall Street. Since the World Trade Towers are gone, 40 Wall Street
is once again the tallest building in lower Manhattan. It's not a fact
that particularly appeals to me, but it is a fact. Whatever will best
serve the Financial District is fine with me.
I have to say one thing about New Yorkers, and that is that after
September 11, they just continued to move forward and do their best.
That took courage, and I think it shows what makes New York City such
a great place.
I place a call to Governor Pataki, and take a call from John
Myers, president of GE Asset Management. We've done some deals
together and he's a great guy—and a very smart one.
9:30 A.M. Kevin Harris, a supervising producer for Mark Burnett,
is ready to take me on a tour of the sets built in Trump Tower forThe
Apprentice. He has on some sort of a new vintage bowling shirt,
deconstructed jeans with more holes than fabric, and some very
original footwear that I can't begin to describe. This guy could make
Helmut Lang look old hat, but we make a quick getaway before Norma can
The construction site also includes living quarters for the
sixteen contestants, which is an incredibly stylish
ten-thousand-square-foot loft, probably the only such living space in
midtown. I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of the work, and my
trust in Mark Burnett is again confirmed.
10:00 A.M. Back in my office, I begin returning calls. People are
surprised at how many hours I put in at my office each week, since I
seem to have a busy social life as well. I also like to plan my
business trips for the weekends whenever possible, to avoid missing
office time. I love what I do, so it doesn't seem like I'm missing out
on any fun. Last year I took a transatlantic weekend business trip
that included breakfast in London with Mohamed Al Fayed and dinner in
Slovenia with Melania's parents before flying back to New York. We
were back in time for me to be in the office by 9:00 A.M. Monday.
I talk to Jay Goldberg, a brilliant lawyer and an old friend. He
and his wife, Rema, will join me in my box at the U.S. Open.
This is a good one: The pushiest broker in New York calls in for a
chat about the availability of some of my prime apartments, as if I
couldn't guess why she was calling me in the first place. She tries to
tell me what my apartments are worth, and I try to control my temper,
but she's full of bullshit. Finally, I ask her if she realizes who
she's talking to and, surprisingly, she immediately becomes
reasonable. Almost every day, I have to remind someone that maybe I
know what I'm doing, and while that may sound like I'm tooting my own
horn, believe me, it saves a lot of yelling time.
10:30 A.M. The German TV team is ready for an interview in the
conference room. They'd done a wonderful job in covering Mar-a-Lago a
few months ago, which I appreciate, and so we're doing a New York
interview. They are professional and enthusiastic, and all goes well.
You see, I've done so many interviews that at times they can be boring
for me, so if the people are interesting, it helps a lot. Just this
year, both of my sons did their first TV interviews, and that was
exciting. TheToday show did a Father's Day program, and Matt Lauer
interviewed Don Jr. and myself, which was great fun. Both Matt Lauer
and Katie Couric have a knack for making anything entertaining, and I
enjoy them tremendously.48 Hours interviewed my younger son, Eric, and
myself, and aside from some slumping on his part, Eric did a great
job. The media really isn't anything new to my kids, although they've
been protected from it to a certain extent.
11:00 A.M. I receive an invitation to attend the show of Oscar de
la Renta's new collection, and I call Melania. We decide to attend.
I've never gotten tired of fashion or fashion shows. To me, it's an
unbeatable combination—beautiful women and beautiful clothes,
My agency, Trump Model Management, has managed to put itself on
the fashion map in a relatively short time. I started it about five
years ago. We've got some top models, and I enjoy watching this
business become more and more successful. I call John Tutolo for an
update, and we discuss a few things that we think could be improved.
I call Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization,
to go over a few things with her. An interviewer recently asked me
what motivated me to buy the rights to the Miss Universe pageant. My
answer was that I love beautiful women and I'm also a businessman, so
it seemed like a good idea, which it has turned out to be. Sometimes
things are that simple. I realized early on that I was an aesthete by
nature, being attracted to beauty in both people and buildings. My
work has shown that some early self-knowledge was right on target.
I take a call from Ricardo Bellino, a businessman in Brazil. We
are working on the Villa Trump together in Brazil, and he's also
asking me some questions for his upcoming book on the power of ideas.
I mention that ideas are door openers, the first step. Without a first
step, there won't be any other steps to take you where you want to go.
It's a visual process. Perhaps that's why I'm a visionary, but a
well-grounded one. When it comes to great ideas, the first questions I
ask myself are:Yeah, but is it possible? Will this be feasible? If I
can see something being accomplished, I know it is a possibility. I
guess that's why I'm a builder. I start from the ground and go up from
I write a congratulatory note to Kitty Carlisle Hart for her
ninety-third birthday. In addition to being multitalented, she's been
a true philanthropist, and New York is lucky to have her. I always
liked to watch her on television. Those of you who remember the
television showTo Tell the Truth will know what I'm talking about.
I write another note to a high school that has asked me for
advice, and also asked who my favorite U.S. president might be. I
decide to start with a quote by Abraham Lincoln, who would have to be
my first choice: I will study and prepare, and perhaps my chance will
come. Always humble, always hardworking, always studying, Lincoln is a
great example for high school kids.
11:30 A.M. The Entertainment Channel is ready for an interview
regardingThe Apprentice. It goes quickly and well, and we're done in
12:00 P.M. I call an employee at a large property who has not been
as attentive as his position demands. I tell him that his bad
performance is not his fault, but mine: I simply hired the wrong
person by overestimating his capabilities. I add that if he'd like to
change my mind about my initial mistake, it's up to him. He promises
to take care of things right away, and I think he means it.
I ask Andy Weiss to come in. His office is about 110 feet down the
hall, but he can hear me. The reason we don't have an intercom system
is because we don't need one. This often startles visitors, but, as I
see it, why have more gadgets than necessary? Andy's been with me a
long time, and we get right to the point. The meeting's over in less
than five minutes.
I call Beverly Sills, one of the most wonderful opera singers of
all time, and an equally wonderful person. I may not enjoy sitting
through an opera, but I have always respected opera singers and enjoy
the highlights of opera. Beverly is remarkable in every way, and I
always enjoy talking to her.
12:30 P.M. I decide to have a slice of pizza for lunch, and I read
a few of the letters that have come in. Here's one from a young man in
the Bay Area of San Francisco who writes, This letter is in
appreciation for inspiring us in hard times. Please continue writing
your books and influencing people to live their dreams. He'll be happy
to know that's exactly what I'm doing, even as I eat my pizza and read
his letter. Here's another one from a family in Germany, who thinks I
should run for president and invites me to stay at their home. A
business proposal comes from a group in Wales who would like me to
work on a housing development with them.
12:45 P.M. I call Brian Baudreau, my executive of security, and
tell him I want to go over to Trump Place, my development along the
Hudson River. We go over to the West Side and check out what's going
on with construction. We meet with Paul Davis, the CEO of the Hudson
Waterfront Associates, and take a walk around. I get daily reports,
but there's nothing like seeing things for yourself. Paul has a big
project on his hands, and he's doing a terrific job.
I've encountered a lot of opposition from staunch West Siders
about this development, but gradually they are beginning to see that
these buildings will be an enhancement to their neighborhood. The West
Side is thriving like never before, and even as an East Sider, I've
got to admit that the West Side is a great place to be.
2:00 P.M. Back in the office, I start returning the twenty-two
calls that came in. That's another reason I don't like to be out of
the office too much—the backlog of calls can get out of hand. The
first call I return is to United Cerebral Palsy, as I'm on the
advisory board. One of the biggest perks of being financially
successful is being able to be generous. I like giving money to good
causes like United Way and the Police Athletic League. It really is a
great feeling every time I can be of help, and, for the most part,
that's a private part of my life. Some of my charities are public
knowledge, and some of them aren't.
2:30 P.M. Robin Leach and his team are here for an interview.
Robin is well known for a reason. We have a great time, and it's a job
well and quickly done.
3:15 P.M. I have a meeting with Carolyn Kepcher, executive vice
president and director of Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff. We
are building some magnificent villas on the grounds, and there are a
lot of details to attend to. Fortunately, both of us are
perfectionists, and our meetings never have to be long.
3:30 P.M. I take a call from David Schner, president of Leaders
magazine. I'd been interviewed a few months back and we still keep in
Craig Semandl, the director of Trump National Golf Club, Los
Angeles, calls in. He gives me an update on what's happening, and we
go over some details. I will visit California later this month to see
the progress for myself. It helps to have people you can trust when
you're three thousand miles away.
This is something that still amazes me: Here's another person
requesting my autograph on the March 1990 issue of Playboy magazine,
which featured an interview and a cover photo of me. To this day,
thirteen years later, I receive several requests a month for my
autograph on this issue, and, granted, the girl I'm photographed with
is a beauty, but I never thought this interview would remain so
popular with people who follow my career. I'll have to reread it one
of these days. Meanwhile, I sign the cover and it's sent back to the
owner, and I sign a few books that have been sent in as well.
I make a call to Tiffany, my youngest daughter, who is giving me
an update on her latest activities. She has enough going on for five
people. She must take after me. She is excited about her upcoming
birthday and her plans to have a party aboard theQueen Mary in Long
I write a note to the Veterans of Vietnam of Ward 4CD of Valley
Forge General Hospital. I am cochairman and builder of the New York
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and still continue to do what I can
for these brave people.
4:00 P.M. I take a call from Susan James, director of sales for
Trump International Hotel and Tower on Central Park West. She has a
great job—this is one of the most successful condominium towers ever
built and the top-rated luxury hotel in New York City, all in one
building. This is also where Jean-Georges Restaurant is located. All
in all, it's a gem, and I'm proud of it. It's near Lincoln Center on
Columbus Circle, and those of you who know architecture will find it
interesting that Philip Johnson designed both this building and the
State Theatre at Lincoln Center, home of the New York City Ballet. I'm
sort of young to be considered historical, but some things point in
that direction, and this building is one of those things.
I go over the invitations and requests of the day with Norma. I
decide on an event given by Anna Wintour ofVogue magazine and leave
the other decisions until later, when I can give them more time and
Charlie Reiss comes in and we go over current project developments
in Chicago, Toronto, and London. Bernie Diamond and Jason Greenblatt,
my terrific in-house attorneys, are in on the meeting as well.
Contrary to what people may think, I listen to and take advice from a
lot of people before I make a final decision on anything. I like to be
as well informed as possible. However, when it comes to making a
decision, I am aware that the full responsibility for that decision
is, and will always remain, mine. That is why I proceed with caution,
even if my image may be more flamboyant.
4:30 P.M. I have a meeting with Matthew Calamari, my chief of
operations. He's always a busy guy, but withThe Apprentice starting up
soon, he's busier than ever. I'm not concerned, because after knowing
Matthew for more than twenty years, I am certain he can handle
My son Eric stops by to say hello. He's in college now but is
visiting New York City for a couple of days. He sits in on my meeting
with Matthew and then we chat for a bit. He's got a great grin. I love
it when my kids visit, and we decide to have dinner together tonight.
5:15 P.M. I write a welcome-back letter to the members of the
Mar-a-Lago Club. We are finishing a new ballroom, and it will be
magnificent. One visitor to the Mar-a-Lago Club remarked that F. Scott
Fitzgerald and his friends would feel right at home there. I had to
agree. I'm looking forward to the new season, and I fly down most
weekends during the winter.
I return a few calls, including one to Larry King, one of the
sharpest interviewers of all time; another to a reporter for the
Star-Ledger in New Jersey; and one to a reporter doing a story on the
wonderful and very smart Russell Simmons.
John Myers, the president and CEO of GE Asset Management, calls
in. He's a terrific guy in every sense of the word, and we are active
together with the Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation, along with Dale
Frey, who preceded John at GE and likewise did an absolutely fantastic
job. These are two guys worth knowing. Over the years, General
Electric has been my partner in a number of my developments, including
the very successful Trump International Hotel and Tower at 1 Central
6:00 P.M. I call Melania to see where we should take Eric for
dinner. We decide on the 21 Club.
Norma comes in and we review some details of my deals,
invitations, letters, and media requests, including those from a
surprising number of international television programs and
publications. Last year I did an interview for the number one program
in China, which drew a huge audience. These facts continue to surprise
me, probably because I am so focused on my immediate and daily
responsibilities. I never found myself to be particularly fascinating.
The phones have quieted down, so I decide to go through a box I
keep beside my desk where I put articles and letters of interest to
me. Sometimes I'll keep certain articles for years if I like them. I
also keep letters and quotes, such as Hope is not a strategy. I saved
an invitation from a speech I gave to the Wharton Business School Club
about the future of New York City. I am always honored to speak to
Wharton students and alumni.
I find nice notes from Dr. Jerry Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers,
one terrific guy; Ed Malloy, an old friend I call Blue Eyes; and
Harrison Tucker LeFrak, the next generation in a remarkable real
estate family. Richard LeFrak, the son of Sam LeFrak, has done an
amazing job in the real estate business. Likewise, his son Harrison
will be one of the really great young people to watch. I have no doubt
he will go right to the top.
There's a clipping from Liza Minnelli and David Gest's wedding,
which I was honored to attend, even though I didn't think the marriage
had a chance, and letters from John F. Kennedy Jr. and Howard Schultz
of Starbucks, as well as one from Clint Eastwood, a great guy and
golfer. He was my guest at Mar-a-Lago. He liked my course in Florida
and wrote to tell me that.
I come across a fax from Roger Ailes of Fox Network News. What a
job he's done, taking them to heights they'd probably never dreamed
During the march toward war in Iraq, someone sent me this joke:
You know the world has changed when you realize the best rapper is a
white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, and Germany doesn't want to
go to war.
A review to savor, from Rick Remsnyder upon the opening of Trump
National Golf Course: Trump National's par 3 thirteenth hole, which
features a breathtaking 100-foot man-made waterfall behind the green,
is one of the most challenging and spectacular holes in the world.
Music to my ears.
I love sports. I have one of Shaquille O'Neal's oversized sneakers
on display in my office and a signed baseball from my favorite team,
the New York Yankees. I keep it near Tiffany's drawing of a house.
She's already into real estate.
To Donald Trump—'I wanna be like you when I grow up.' Shaq.
Speaking of real estate: I've saved an article about how I sold
the land under the Empire State Building for $57.5 million in March
2002. New York real estate can be a wonderful business. I've also
clipped a profile of another great success story, developer Steve
Witkoff, who owns the Woolworth Building and the News Building, in
addition to valuable property in London. In an interview with a London
newspaper, Steve described me as the only real estate person in this
world who can brand his name individually. In my opinion, it's not
going to happen again. Donald is a master at marketing. But you can't
market and be a master at marketing unless you've got great product—it
doesn't work like that. They say 'Coke are masters at marketing Coke,'
or 'Nike, they're masters at marketing Nike.' You know what? They've
got the best drink and the best sneakers. Well, Donald develops the
best buildings. It's a fact of life. He's a great developer. No one
wants to give him credit for that.
Finally, I come across a postcard from my gorgeous daughter Ivanka
and an old postcard from my parents. I miss them. I still have
two-thirds of the box to go through, but I'm on for dinner with Eric
and Melania and I don't want to be late.
7:00 P.M. I pick up a large pile of documents to take with me, say
good night to Norma, turn off the lights, leave my office, and head up
to my apartment. It's been a good day. Business tip: Keep a box by
your desk for mementos of the people and events that matter in your
life and career. Reviewing the contents every now and then will keep
you aware of your good fortune.
This book could not have been written without Meredith McIver, a
writer of many talents. She served her apprenticeship with the New
York City Ballet, worked on Wall Street, and for the past two years
has been an executive assistant at The Trump Organization, stationed
at a desk outside my office. As you know, my door is always open, so
Meredith has heard everything, and she's taken good notes. She's done
a remarkable job of helping me put my thoughts and experiences on
paper. I am tremendously grateful to her.
Very little happens in my office without Norma Foerderer, who
oversees my schedule and has been instrumental in keeping this book
project on track in many ways, especially in the coordination of the
I want to thank my editor at Random House, Jonathan Karp, who
asked me to write this book. I first met Jon in 1997, when he
editedThe Art of the Comeback. He spent a lot of time in my office,
and one day I noticed he was staring at the carpet under my desk.
Finally, he said, Donald, what's the deal with the space heater?
I told him that my feet get cold.
Jon said, "We're in Trump Tower. It's your building. Can't you do
something about that?"
It's important to have an editor who asks the tough questions.
I'm also grateful to many others at Random House who worked long
and late hours to produce this book in record time: publisher Gina
Centrello; associate publishers Anthony Ziccardi and Elizabeth
McGuire; executive director of publicity Carol Schneider; director of
publicity Thomas Perry; associate director of publicity Elizabeth
Fogarty; editorial assistants Jonathan Jao (who did an excellent job
with the photos) and Casey Reivich; art director Gene Mydlowski;
managing editor Benjamin Dreyer; production chief Lisa Feuer;design
director Carole Lowenstein; production manager Richard Elman;
production editor Janet Wygal; copy editor Ginny Carroll; advertising
director Magee Finn; rights directors Claire Tisne and Rachel
Bernstein; and everyone in the Random House sales force, which is the
best in the business.
At The Trump Organization, I am surrounded by home-run, grand-slam
people: Matthew Calamari, Allen Weisselberg, George Ross, Bernie
Diamond, Jason Greenblatt, Rhona Graff, Tony Morace, Andy Weiss, Don
Jr., Jeff, Eric, and many more.
Meredith McIver would like to thank Mark Burnett, Richard Casares,
Steve Palitz, the Bosworth Family, George Balanchine, Alain Bernardin,
Christophe D'Astier, Peter Irigoin, and Richard Irigoin. To my family,
you are the best. To everyone at The Trump Organization, it's an honor
to work with you. To my officemates Rhona Graff and Robin Himmler, a
special thanks for your support. To Norma Foerderer and Mr. Trump,
thank you both for making every day an adventure. To Mr. Trump, you
are a writer's delight. I will never be at a loss for ideas. Thank you
THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION PROPERTIES
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The city's most famous contemporary building and its third most-
visited attraction (with in excess of 2.5 million visitors annually),
this sixty-eight-story bronze glass and polished brass structure is
situated on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street. Completed in 1983 by
renowned architect Der Scutt, it is one of the tallest residential
buildings and concrete structures in Manhattan. It also boasts 170,000
square feet of commercial space and 136,000 square feet of retail
space and is a center for business, a mecca of style and high fashion,
and an elite sanctuary to some of society's most famous and
Trump Tower right after September 11, 2001.
Trump Tower, February 2004.
Trump Place (Riverside South)
The pièce de résistance of Donald Trump's real estate empire, Trump
Place is a ninety-two-acre property fronting the Hudson River that
promises to be the most exciting real estate development in Manhattan
since the turn of the century. In June 1994, Mr. Trump entered into a
joint venture with four of the largest Hong Kong real estate
development firms, which have committed $2.5 billion to implement this
project. The project's first five buildings are complete, with a sixth
tower under construction. The overall project will feature sixteen
buildings containing 5,700 residential units and more than two million
square feet of commercial space. The construction of a magnificently
landscaped twenty-five-acre public waterfront park has also enhanced
this property enormously by providing bicycle paths that link Battery
Park in lower Manhattan to upper Manhattan.
Artist's rendition of what Trump Place will look like when completed.
Breaking ground at Trump Place.
With construction workers at Trump Place.
Trump International Hotel & Tower
This fifty-two-story mixed-use structure comprises a superluxury
hotel, residential tower, and world-famous restaurant (Jean-Georges).
Located at the crossroads of Manhattan's West Side on Central Park
West and Columbus Circle, it was designed by the renowned architect
Philip Johnson and completed in 1997. Trump International has broken
all records to date, becoming one of the most successful condominium
towers ever built in the United States and pioneering the concept of a
condominium hotel. The hotel achieved Mobil Five-Star status in its
very first year of operation.
Trump International Hotel & Tower.
Sold out since its completion in January 1988, Trump Parc is an
elegant condominium located on Central Park South. Trump Parc's 347
residential units provide stunning views of Manhattan's skyline from
river to river, as well as unobstructed views of Central Park.
Trump Park Avenue
In 2002, Mr. Trump purchased the fabled Delmonico Hotel, located at
Fifty-ninth Street and Park Avenue. It is now being developed, in
partnership with General Electric, into a state-of-the-art luxury
Trump Park Avenue at Fifty-ninth Street and Park Avenue.
This luxurious Upper East Side cooperative, completed in 1984,
combines 175 residential units with numerous boutiques and privately
owned apartments, each with its own private terrace.
With a majestic facade that commands an entire block of Third
Avenue on the tony Upper East Side of Manhattan, this 283-unit luxury
condominium, completed in 1991, is distinguished by an illuminated
spire that has become a distinctive landmark in the New York City
610 Park Avenue
The Trump Organization, in partnership with Colony Capital,
restored the former Mayfair Hotel into luxurious residential
condominiums. Situated on New York's most prestigious avenue, 610 Park
residents enjoy the ultimate in services, including great dining in
the legendary four-star Restaurant Daniel. They also have the
convenience of the world's most exclusive shops, restaurants, and
The Trump World Tower
At ninety stories, this is the tallest residential building in the
world and is uniquely located across from the United Nations
headquarters. In addition to its prime location and impressive views
of the city, the building contains 376 units, with a state-of-the-art
spa and fitness center, a world-class cocktail lounge, and, within the
near future, a glamorous restaurant. The building was named Best
Residential Building in the World by the International Real Estate
Federation in 2003.
The Trump World Tower at the United Nations Plaza.
The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street
The Trump Building stands proudly in the center of New York's
Financial District, near the New York Stock Exchange. Originally built
in 1930, the building stands seventy-two stories high and offers a
vast 1.3 million square feet of interior space. Under Mr. Trump's
ownership, it has been restored to all the majesty and splendor it
In a unique departure from his forays into real estate, Mr. Trump
and the NBC network entered into a partnership for ownership and
broadcast rights for the three largest beauty competitions in the
world: the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants.
Trump Model Management
Developed by Mr. Trump, Trump Model Management is a modeling and
talent agency. It is managed by the industry's seasoned movers and
shakers and represents some of the most beautiful faces and exciting
talents in the world. It is one of the ten best modeling agencies in
Wollman Skating Rink
Located in the middle of Central Park, with incomparable views of
the New York City skyline, this is a world-class (and world-famous)
ice skating rink managed by The Trump Organization.
BEDFORD, NEW YORK
This lush 215-acre estate is the former home of Katharine Graham,
publisher ofThe Washington Post. The magnificent
forty-thousand-square-foot Georgian mansion was designed by celebrated
architect Charles Platt in 1917 and includes a smaller house called
Nonesuch, as well as two cottages, a ten-car garage, a greenhouse, and
barns. Mr. Trump is currently working with a team of international
specialists to design a world-class golf course, club, and spa on this
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NEW YORK
Trump National Golf Club
Nestled among the hills and valleys of beautiful Westchester
County, Trump National Golf Club is a world-class club that boasts a
7,200-yard, par-72 course designed by one of the leading golf course
architects, Jim Fazio. Currently under construction on the 207-acre
property are eighty-seven luxury golf villas and mid-rise condominium
BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY
Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster
In 2002, Mr. Trump purchased Lamington Farm, in the heart of New
Jersey horse country, once the home of automaker John DeLorean. Work
is currently under way to build a world-class golf course, designed by
Tom Fazio, along with fifteen residential supermansions. Additional
plans for this magnificent 525-acre property include a pool, tennis
courts, and converting the twenty-thousand-square-foot Georgian-style
main house into a spectacular clubhouse.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles
In 2002 Mr. Trump also purchased the Ocean Trails Golf Course, a
magnificent property that fronts the Pacific Ocean for almost two
miles. Designed by legendary golf course architect Pete Dye, it is
being refurbished and upgraded by Mr. Trump to the world-class
standards of his other courses. Luxury estate homes are also being
planned for construction on the three-hundred-acre property.
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences
Mr. Trump has entered into a partnership with Dezer Properties for
an oceanfront development located between Bal Harbour and Aventura.
Upon completion, this project will contain three buildings on eleven
acres and nearly one thousand linear feet of uninterrupted beachfront.
The Trump International Beach Resort was completed in April 2003, with
372 hotel condominium units, ballrooms, a state-of-the-art business
center and twenty thousand square feet of meeting rooms. Currently
under construction is the fifty-five-story Trump Palace, a residential
condominium tower with 267 units. Construction of the third
residential condominium called Trump Royale is expected to start in
the fall of 2004. These buildings are the tallest residential towers
in South Florida.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort
The most luxurious casino-hotel ever built, the Taj Mahal is
Atlantic City's foremost gaming facility. Opened on April 2, 1990, it
has been awarded the prestigious Mobil Five Star award and the AAA
Five Diamond award. It has 125,000 square feet of casino space, making
it the largest casino in Atlantic City, as well as 1,250 guest rooms,
including 237 exotic suites, eleven restaurants, six lounges, 144,000
square feet of convention space, and the
sixty-three-thousand-square-foot Mark G. Etess Arena, which seats six
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino
Donald Trump's first foray into gaming, Trump Plaza is a five-star,
five-diamond casino-hotel located on Atlantic City's famed Boardwalk,
adjacent to the Convention Center. This thirty-one-story, 557-room
luxury property features sixty thousand square feet of casino space,
eleven restaurants, four lounges, and the 750-seat Cabaret Theatre. It
has received worldwide recognition as a favored venue to such
mega-events as the World Heavyweight Boxing Championships.
Formerly Trump's Castle, the newly renovated Trump Marina is
located on the beautiful Atlantic City Marina waterway. It is a Mobil
Four Star casino hotel. Its twenty-six-story hotel tower contains 725
guest rooms, while the principal public area provides fifty-three
thousand square feet of convention and exhibit space, nine
restaurants, two lounges, and seventy thousand square feet of casino
This elegant casino-yacht, which opened in June of 1996, is nestled
in Buffington Harbor, Indiana, just outside of Chicago. Donald Trump's
first gaming venture outside of Atlantic City, it is the largest
floating riverboat in the world at an astounding 290 square feet long
and 76 feet wide.
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Trump 29 Casino
In 2002, Mr. Trump entered into an agreement with the Twenty-Nine
Palms Band of Luiseno Mission Indians to manage the Trump 29 Casino,
his first foray into gaming on the West Coast.
The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, Florida.
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
The Mar-a-Lago Club
This famous and historic twenty-acre waterfront estate, formerly
owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post and E. F. Hutton, was acquired by
Donald Trump in 1985. Designed by the renowned Viennese architect
Joseph Urban, Mar-a-Lago was designated a National Landmark by the
National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1972. It is the only
property to receive this distinction in the state of Florida. It was
converted by Mr. Trump in 1995 to a private ultra-luxury club that
features a world-class spa, renowned dining, tennis, pool, and private
beach. The club also functions as an international meeting place for
world leaders in government, finance, business, and the performing and
fine arts. In 2003, Mar-a-Lago was named by the American Academy of
Hospitality Sciences as the best private club in the world.
Trump International Golf Club
Designed by the esteemed golf course architect Jim Fazio, Trump
International was opened in November 1999 and is already a landmark
course that features waterfalls and landscapes unique to the state of
Florida. In 2002, it was presented with the Five Star Diamond Award
for achieving the highest standards for the greatest golf course in
Florida. A spectacular fifty-five-thousand-square-foot clubhouse was
also built and based on the Moorish style of the Mar-a-Lago Club.
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
Mr. Trump entered into a joint-venture agreement with Hollinger
International, Inc., owner of theChicago Sun-Times newspaper, to build
a luxury, mixed-use development on the site of the currentSun-Times
building. Located along the Chicago River, the proposed ninety-story,
glass curtain–wall building has been designed by the world-renowned
architectural firm of Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM). The building
will contain approximately 2.2 million square feet, with 470
residential condominium units and 200 hotel condominium units, in
addition to 125,000 square feet of retail space, more than a thousand
parking spaces, and retail shops and restaurants, along a three-story
river walk. Residential and hotel condominium sales commenced in
September 2003, and it is anticipated that the project will be
completed in 2007 as the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and one of
the most luxurious buildings in the world.
INTERNATIONAL TRUMP PROPERTY DESCRIPTIONS
Trump World I, II, and III, Seoul, Korea
Mr. Trump and his Korean partners have built three superluxury,
residential high-rise buildings in the heart of Seoul, showcasing the
best finishes, amenities, and services. Mr. Trump and his partners are
now building a magnificent four-building complex in Busan, Korea,
known as Trump World Centum, which will include more than five hundred
Trump Island Villas at Canouan Island, the Grenadines
The Trump Organization has joined with an Italian financier,
Raffles Hotels, American Airlines, and the Moorings Yacht Charters to
create a luxury resort and residential community on 1,200 acres of
this Caribbean island, located near the prestigious island of
Mustique. The resort will open in June 2004 and will contain a Trump
International Golf Club. Ultimately, the island will feature 135
villas consisting of custom-designed estate homes to golf villas.
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Phoenix
This two-building project on East Camelback Road between Phoenix
and Scottsdale (across from the famed Biltmore Hotel and Resort) will
include a condominium hotel and residences. Situated near some of the
most expensive commercial rentals in the area, the project may contain
small retail and office components. The designs and relative sizes of
the components are currently being developed. The project is scheduled
to begin sales in the third quarter of 2004.
Trump International Beach Club, Fort Lauderdale
Located on AIA in Fort Lauderdale, this superexclusive Trump hotel
will be situated halfway between chic South Beach and legendary Palm
Beach. The designs and relative sizes of the components are currently
being developed. Sales for this project are scheduled to begin in the
second quarter of 2004.
Villa Trump International Golf Club, Itatiba, Brazil
Located just outside of São Paulo, it includes 150 golf villas, a
twenty-seven-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, a Cipriani
boutique hotel, twelve tennis courts, 350 residential lots, a Jack
Nicklaus golf academy, a clubhouse, and an events center. It contains
1,659 acres, 800 of which are undeveloped.
Behind the Scenes at The Trump Organization
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
DONALD J. TRUMP is the very definition of the American success
story, continually setting standards of excellence while expanding his
interests in real estate, gaming, sports, and entertainment. In 2003,
he partnered with NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett on The
Apprentice, which became a smash hit, the highest-rated debut of the
season. He and the network are also partners in the ownership and
broadcast rights for the three largest beauty competitions in the
In New York City, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most
prestigious addresses, including the renowned Trump Tower, the Trump
International Hotel & Tower, and the soon-to-be converted Delmonico
Hotel at Park Avenue and Fifty-ninth Street (Trump Park Avenue). In
the gaming arena, The Trump Organization is one of the world's largest
operators of hotels and casinos, most notably in Atlantic City, New
Jersey, as well as Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New
York, and other great courses throughout the United States.
Mr. Trump is the number one New York Times bestselling author of
The Art of the Deal, Surviving at the Top, and The Art of the
Comeback, as well as The America We Deserve. All told, these books
have sold millions of copies.
An ardent philanthropist, Mr. Trump is involved with numerous
civic and charitable organizations. In June 2000, he received his
greatest honor, the Hotel and Real Estate Visionary of the Century
award, given by the UJA Federation.
For more information on Donald Trump and The Trump Organization,
go to www.trumponline.com.
MEREDITH McIVER was a Ford Foundation scholar and is a graduate of
the University of Utah. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan
and is a member of The Trump Organization.
ALSO BY DONALD J. TRUMP
Trump: The Art of the Deal
Trump: Surviving at the Top
Trump: The Art of the Comeback
The America We Deserve
Copyright © 2004 by Donald J. Trump
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright
Conventions. Published in the United States by Random House, an
imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random
House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of
Canada Limited, Toronto.
and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Except where noted, all photos courtesy of Donald J. Trump/The
Random House website address: www.atrandom.com