How to Think Like a Champion by Donald Trump

By | July 9, 10


How to Think Like a Champion by Donald Trump

Donald Trump needs no introduction. His name is already a brand almost of equal level as Coca-Cola as a result of his monumental success in business.

If you are aspiring to go into business, or you are in business already in business, hearing or reading from Donald Trump about business is actually priceless.

In this book, Think Like A Champion: An Informal Education In Business And Life by Donald Trump, you will be able to reach into his mind and tap his profound business acumen and principles that have brought him the massive success he is living today. In this book, he shares fifty short essays on his experience on business and life, to help you also become successful – you will learn how to think like a champion.

Below is an excerpt from the book, enjoy it. Don’t forget to share it with your friends by using the “share this” button below.

I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
– Abraham Lincoln

Experience teaches only the teachable.
– Aldous Huxley

Building Connected Thoughts

Comprehensive education dissolves the line between knowing too much and knowing too little on a variety of subjects – subjects that are necessary for success. I was reminded of this recently when I interviewed a young man who was very well versed in his field of expertise and almost uneducated in every other subject that was brought up. It was like he had tunnel vision, and although I admired his knowledge of his field, I had to realize that, considering the scope of my enterprises, he might not be a great fit because of his limited interests. This gave me the idea for this article, and I think it’s something all of you should consider as you are furthering your education and/or entering your careers.

Aldous Huxley, the great thinker and author of Brave New World, wrote an essay in 1959 titled “Integrate Education” that is still pertinent today. He emphasized the importance of building bridges in knowledge and thought, and the word he mentions for this is pontifex, or bridge-builder. It’s an interesting image to keep in mind as we study and learn. By doing so, we increase our learning capacity to include and connect ideas and subjects that may not specifically pertain to our area of interest, but that may serve us well to pay attention to.

Oddly enough, as I was thinking of this situation, I was looking through the February 5, 2007, issue of Time magazine, which featured a letter written by Huxley in 1954, under the heading of “Classic Letter.” This letter is so right on that it could be contemporary. It addresses the misinterpretations by critics and the press in their reviews, and while he admits their footnotes are “snappy,” he goes onto say that, “Snappiness, alas, is apt to be in inverse ratio to accuracy.” This guy knew what he was talking about on a variety of levels and subjects, and whether you agree with him or not, his ideas are well presented.

We’ve all heard the saying “connect the dots.” I see it as having enough knowledge to be able to connect the dots in a reasonable and informed way. The young man I interviewed could not do this. I wasn’t asking for an in-depth review of each topic presented, but an awareness of at least what the topic was. I’ve mentioned before the importance of keeping up with global events on a daily basis if you are planning to get anywhere in this world. Considering the availability of news, blind spots can’t really be rationalized anymore, no matter where you might be living. Information is available to everyone, and if you aren’t plugging into it, it will eventually work against you-maybe on your first interview. Don’t learn this the hard way!

Another tactic for being your own bridge-builder is to visualize how much time is saved when you cross a bridge, versus fording a river or traversing a canyon. It’s also a safeguard for falling into a gap that might take you weeks or months to get yourself out of. We are not omniscient, and sometimes things work out for a reason in a different way than we had planned, but take the time to prepare yourself for your goals. I work at that every single day. I’ve learned that things don’t just automatically fall into line because I want them to. Be proactive in your pursuit of knowledge.

As I write this, I remind myself that if you are reading it, you are most likely someone intent on improving your intelligence quota and someone who is already motivated. So I want you to ask yourself What is it that you are aiming for? What precisely is your motivation? What’s the point of building a bridge if you’re not sure you want to get to other side, or if you don’t know what you’ll do once you get there? A bridge must serve a specific purpose, and your goals have to be just that specific. Visualization is a powerful tool for bringing your intentions into focus.

I was having a conversation a few years ago with a few people when one guy mentioned that the Trump name had become a famous brand around the world and then added, “What’s in a name?” He then sort of laughed and said to me, “in your case, a lot!” I noticed that one guy seemed out of the loop about the quip. So I said “That’s Shakespeare. ‘What’s in a name’ is a famous line from Shakespeare.” So he still looked perplexed and asked “From what?” And although I knew it was from Romeo and Juliet, I said, “Look it up. You might learn some interesting things along the way.”

I’m not proposing that you spend years studying Shakespeare, but a topical knowledge of certain things will greatly enhance your capabilities for dealing in the major leagues with people who are well educated in a variety of subjects. Don’t be left out! Take a few hours a week to review the classics in literature or history or something outside of your usual range of interests. Limiting yourself is not the best choice. Many topics come up in the course of a business discussion or interview, and while we can’t know everything, we should know as much as we can.

Abraham Lincoln’s statement at the beginning of this essay sums up what I’m trying to get across to you. It also incorporates Huxley’s statement about being teachable. An added bonus to this attitude is that it will keep you young. Being a know-it-all will age you before your time, in addition to making you unteachable, so avoid those pitfalls. And building connected thoughts? Whoever thought that Abraham Lincoln and Aldous Huxley could be so connected? This essay proved that they could be, and we didn’t need any dots to help us-just brain power and the attempt at building bridges between eras, cultures, backgrounds, and civilizations. Let that be an example of how to bridge your own gaps and to get yourself where you want to go. Creative thinking is a must these days. Make it work for you.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem.

Confronting Your Fears

Recently, an interviewer asked me what my greatest fears were. I said I didn’t have any. He seemed surprised, but this is how I see it: If you label something as a fear, then it creates fear when sometimes it’s not a fear but a concern. For example, I know just as well as everyone else that New York City experienced a major terrorist attack and the thought of that is a concern for all of us, because it affects all of us. It’s happened in many places, so it’s a worldwide concern. But if we let it become a firmly rooted fear, the terrorists will have won.

The same applies to business. Do you fear owning a business? Translate that for yourself as asking: Are you concerned about owning a business yourself? Why? What specifically are those concerns?

It’s much easier to break down a concern than it is a fear. Fear creates a block that will only hinder your creative thinking. Objectivity will remove that block and allow for creative ideas to flow.

An antidote to fear is as simple as problem solving. Whether you have investing, estate planning, or running a business on your mind, or all of those things, they can be broken down into units of thought and dealt with in an orderly manner. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle–you need to find the right place for each piece of the puzzle until the whole is apparent.

When I began to construct Trump Tower, for example, I had several things in mind that I knew I wanted. I wanted a certain kind of marble called Breccia Perniche, which was expensive, beautiful, and rare. It was also irregular and had white spots and white veins, which bothered me, so I went to the quarry itself and marked off the best slabs with black tape. Action turned this concern into a problem solved. I got exactly the marble pieces I wanted, and sitting around worrying about whether those pieces would be right or wrong was getting me nowhere. As a result of deciding to go to the quarry myself, the pieces of this puzzle fell into place and the finished product was perfect.

Know that if you want to own your own business, you will be doing a lot of the work yourself. That’s just the way it is. It isn’t all about giving orders or having other people do the legwork or brainwork for you. That comes into the picture, but you should always be ready to go at it yourself. If that idea bothers you, maybe you’d be better off being an employee. If responsibility comes naturally to you, or if you enjoy that challenge, owning your own business is a good fit.

Fear has a way of making things bigger than they are. There’s an old German proverb to the effect that “fear makes the wolf bigger than he is,” and that is true. But the opposite of fear is faith, which is one reason you’ve got to believe in yourself and see yourself as victorious. You will know you are capable of dealing with any discouragements, bullies, or problems along the way.

When I was faced with some huge debts in the early 1990s, it was widely reported that I was finished, done for, gone. Looking at the numbers alone made that seem clear to the media. However, I never believed I was finished. I simply saw that situation as a problem I had to solve and went about doing that. I’m not saying it was easy, because it wasn’t. It was a big problem. But I refused to give in to fear or to believe what was being said about my so-called demise. I came back to become more successful than I ever was, and that’s why I believe business is very much about problem solving. If you can learn to deal with and solve problems, you will have a much bigger margin for success.

Do not allow fear to settle into place in any part of your life. It is a defeating attitude and a negative emotion. Recognize and zap it immediately. Replace it with a problem-solving attitude, faith in yourself, and hard work. Put that formula into working order for yourself and you’ll b~ dealing from a position of power, not fear. That’s winning.

People with vision master the ability to see through to the heart of issues and investments. They value transparency.
– Robert Kiyosaki

Imagination: A Key to Financial Savvy

I have the great advantage of having graduated from the Wharton School of Business, which is probably the best in the world. They made sure we were well versed in everything having to do with business. This is not always a guarantee of success, but at least we were well equipped for it.

Having had this advantage, I will explain a few things for those who haven’t. Finance and business is a complex mix of components that embraces a large spectrum of enterprises. It’s like having a technique and then being able to apply it to different mediums. As a builder, I instinctively saw the different aspects of finance fitting and falling into place in a large blueprint-and as I learned more, those blueprints became larger and larger. When I look back, I realize I was thinking big way back in school.

This might sound simplistic, but I’m a firm believer in visualization, and it worked for me. A blueprint might not work for you, but they are something I was familiar with. It might be a Mira painting or some other design or sculpture that works for you. I’ve heard some interesting stories of what people visualized on their path to success. One person used a photograph of bread and salt as his inspiration, and he became vastly successful. To each his own on this one.

Some financial courses are dry-but necessary. I was able to handle them by making them more interesting in my own mind by applying the principles immediately to some imaginary project I would come up with. By doing this, I was already working in the real world while I was in school, which I think saved me a lot of time when I actually got started on my own. I had been multitasking before I knew what multitasking was.

In reviewing my career, I think this aspect of my approach, on top of having the foundation of great schooling, is largely responsible for my success. I didn’t realize I was doing it until much later, when I would somehow know how things worked or where things went in the big picture of any project I might be considering or actively involved in. I had already been working on it years before, and while I still encountered problems, things would somehow fall into place as they should. It’s one way of being prepared.

A lot of people have imagination, but it doesn’t help them because they can’t execute. I’m able to execute with the imagination. Make sure your foundation is there to begin with and then grow from there in your imagination. That’s how vision and transparency work together-and results can be remarkable.

Recommended Resource

This is a great book by all standard, and I very much gladly recommend it to you.


Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life

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