5 Business Lessons from Donald Trump

The Top Five Business Lessons From Donald Trump

Undoubtedly, one of the most successful business owners in the world, Donald Trump has built a vast empire that touches multiple industries. With high end real estate, a network television show and world class casinos, Donald Trump has mastered the art of gaining success in the world of business. The top five lessons from Donald Trump will teach anyone to get rich by making the right financial decisions.

Build a Personal Brand


The name “Trump” alone signifies luxury, wealth and decadence. This is true whether you are looking to book a hotel or test out the newest addition to his men’s fragrance line. Trump has built up a name that is so recognizable that it is automatically associated with the gold standard of service or quality. Trump plasters his name on everything he touches, from the Trump Building on Wall Street to the towering Trump Towers in Las Vegas. Even his network show, “The Apprentice” is synonymous with his high class style. In the opening credits, he is filmed stepping off his private helicopter, an indicator of wealth and class.


While your own personal brand may not be as huge as his, it is no less important. Your brand should spell out who you are and what you do, so that you are instantly recognized by your followers. If you are a photographer, your website, business cards, correspondence and mailings should reflect this. Keep things uniform and simple for your customer. When they see your brand name, they will know exactly what to expect.

A brand does not have to be intricate or overly complicated. If you walk into a bookstore and see, from a distance, a book with Donald Trump featured on the cover, you don’t even have to read the jacket to know what the book will be about. Whether he is talking about his latest business venture or simply an autobiography, his picture alone will indicate that this is a book about gaining success financially.

The other reason Trump’s brand is so successful is because he has credibility. This is key to building your brand. If a man walks into a store and sees a suit from the Trump Collection, he can be sure that it is a high quality suit. You are not likely to see Trump’s brand in discount retailers. Build up a reputation for your brand and your customers will reward you with loyalty.

Don’t be Afraid to Fail…Repeatedly

“Many people are afraid to fail, so they don’t try. They may dream, talk, and even plan, but they don’t take that critical step of putting their money and their effort on the line. To succeed in business, you must take risks. Even if you fail, that’s how you learn. There has never been, and will never be, an Olympic skater who didn’t fall on the ice.”

Dont be Afraid to Fail

-Donald Trump

Despite all of his business and personal successes, Donald Trump has also seen his share of failures. As a matter of fact, he credits his failures as an integral part of his success. Throughout each of his flops in real estate, business and his personal life, Trump has found learning experiences that he can use to make wiser decisions in his next venture. Trump is not afraid of failing, he is afraid of not trying. He understands that it may take many misses before you get a hit, and he is more than willing to take as many misses as it takes to crank out a winner.

Many people are not aware that Donald Trump has filed for both personal and business bankruptcy several times. This has not hampered him one bit, and to date, he is one of the most successful business owners in the world. His empire only continues to grow, with his television show, pageants, hotels, casinos and real estate holdings. Donald Trump has often said that most entrepreneurs fall into the trap of being afraid to dream big, attempting to be realistic and failing to let their visions take flight. By dreaming big and thinking big, Trump is able to achieve greatness, even if the path is not always a straight line.

Donald-Trump3Trump is not afraid to let go of past mistakes. He does not allow those mistakes to hinder his current progress. If he made a bad investment five years ago, he uses it as a learning experience but it doesn’t stop him from making an investment decision today. Business owners often get stuck on what did and didn’t work in the past, and this can be crippling. What worked yesterday may not work today. What failed last year may be a wild success this year. Trump’s philosophy on not letting failure stop progress is one that many business owners can adopt to enjoy maximum business success.

Among his failures are his commercial airline, that went under in the late 80s, his own brand of vodka that suffered lackluster sales and his mortgage company, that could not withstand the housing bubble of 2008. The company only lasted 18 months. Despite these “failures,” Trump has gone on to be one of the most powerful brands in the world, and the real estate magnate has authored 18 books, has his own men’s clothing line, owns the Miss America pageant and has a popular ABC network television show. His determination is living proof that even the biggest failures can serve as learning examples that can pay off in spades later.

Another principle that is central to Trump’s success is not holding back. Trump gives his projects 100 percent of his time, energy and efforts, and because of this, he is able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. In business, there are times when it seems prudent to hold back your cash, spend a little less time building the company or put a little less effort into keeping the operation going. Give it your all and treat your business like a baby that has to be nurtured and cared for day in and day out. Only then will you enjoy the achievement that Trump so easily attains.

Look and Act the Part

Think about a time when you have seen Donald Trump in a pair of tattered jeans and a ratty t-shirt. If you are like most people, it will be hard to imagine him dressed in anything other than a finely tailored suit and shined shoes. When it comes to making the sale, Trump knows that presentation is everything. That means that presenting yourself as the best person for the job is key to getting what it is that you want. If you are meeting with an important client, make the best first impression possible by wearing clothes that scream “success.” People are more likely to do business with people who look like they are already successful, so if you want people to hand you their money, you have to look the part.

Act and Look Part

Nobody knows this better than Trump. His whimsical hairstyle aside, Trump knows the value of a polished exterior. His brand is that of luxury, so it makes sense that his clothing would follow suit. His line of menswear accentuates this and is an extension of the “Trump” style of high-class elegance. Spare no expense when it comes to selling yourself. Make your packaging as attractive as possible.

From his trademark line, “You’re Fired,” on the Apprentice, to his over the top personality, nobody will ever accuse Donald Trump of being a shrinking violet. He is one person who doesn’t check his ego at the door, and he makes sure that everyone knows that he has big ideas that deserve a listening ear.

Shyness and business don’t mix. No business owner has gotten to the top levels of success without shameless self promotion, a brazen and somewhat arrogant attitude and overwhelming confidence in themselves. Take one of the best lessons from Donald Trump and learn to toot your own horn.

“What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts with each new twist of fate.”

Have an Internal Focus of Control

Most people who fail in business have an outside focus of control. They believe that things just happen to them, and that there are outside forces that are in control of their success. If they suffer a setback, they believe it is because of luck or some other form of outside influence. Successful people, on the other hand, have an internal focus of control. They believe that if they gain the upper hand in a transaction, have high sales or make good investments, it is because of their own efforts. They don’t allow temporary setbacks to doubt their abilities. They know that they are excellent business people who are able to keep their businesses afloat despite any twist of fate.

Business Focus

The only consistent thing in life is change. Your ability to adapt to these changes will make all of the difference in your success in business, and it is essential that you are able to roll with the punches. One of the things that Trump has always done is use his failures as learning tools, seek to make the right adjustments and keep going.

Do What You Love

It is no secret that Donald Trump loves what he does. Doing what you love will make you passionate about it, and that passion will translate to real success. Passion is what keeps you working long after everyone has gone to bed and will encourage you to spring out of bed, ready to tackle the day before the sun comes up. Donald Trump will tell you that life is too short to do things that you hate. If there is something that you are good at, it will spur you on to work harder and make it a success.

Businessman Crossing the Finish Line

There is no doubt that Donald Trump has more money than he can spend in a lifetime. It doesn’t stop him from continuing in his work and business ventures. Trump makes millions off each episode of his popular television show, yet he still works hard each day building his brand and his business. Being passionate about your work will drive you to the upper reaches of success, and will carry you through when things are going wrong or it seems like your goal is out of reach.

Donald Trump will tell you that he loves real estate. As a matter of fact, he credits real estate as being the core of any business. Because of this love of real estate, Trump was willing to study the markets, learn all he could about buying property and make the best investments. Even when some of his real estate ventures failed, Donald Trump was willing to keep working hard to build up his businesses because he simply loved the industry.

When it comes to your business, it is essential that you love what you do. It is not enough to get into a business simply because it is profitable. If you hate it, there will be little incentive for you to stick around when the going inevitably gets tough.

This is also the reason why many business fail before the five year mark. Without the passion needed to drive innovation, many business owners simply give up and close up shop when the profits stop rolling in. This is why Trump only invests in businesses he loves. For many business owners, simply investing their time and resources into their passion would mean the difference between success and failure.

When it comes to embracing the top business lessons for success, few pieces of advice will be more valuable than lessons from Donald Trump. A self-made multi-billionaire, Trump has mastered the art of self-promotion, sales and business acumen, making him one of the most successful people in the world. Donald Trump is a household brand name and and a worldwide sensation. From humble beginnings, he has mastered the art of the deal and continues to be a positive role model for business owners both small and large.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl is the Author of Red Means Go! and founder of Business Builders Academy. He invests in and runs a number of businesses, and regularly teaches business skills through online training and live speaking events.