Before I begin, I need to tell you that I didn’t vote for Donald Trump.  By the way, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton either.  This article is not my attempt to persuade anyone of the merits or demerits of having voted for Donald Trump.  Sorry, I’m not going to go there.

The purpose of this article is to try to explain to my readers how President Trump thinks.  Now I’m not talking about his policies.  Again, I’m not going there.  No, I’m talking about why he does what he does.  Many in the media like to reference his book, The Art of the Deal written in 1987 as his magnum opus (Latin, for great work).  This makes no sense as it really doesn’t get into how he thinks.

Surprisingly, he has co-authored at least eight books.  The book that I think is the most insightful of those he’s co-authored is titled, Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life.  This book was written 20 years later than The Art of the Deal and does a much better job of explaining his philosophy of life and business.  And because it’s written much later in his life, he’s had that much more time perfecting how he thinks and what motivates him.

Based on reading this book, Donald Trump has eight guiding principles that he follows unfailingly.  Yes, I know that defining someone this way is way too simplistic but it’s my attempt at getting a handle on how he thinks.  Below are excerpts from his book.

  1. How to Succeed 

    If you want to become successful and stay successful, you must learn to focus. He who focuses the longest wins.  The ultimate winner is the person who has the discipline to focus on their goals every day of their lives, without fail.  Worry destroys focus.  Every successful person sees their problems as a game to be won.  Never give up.  If you want to be successful, you can never, ever quit.  You have to love what you do or you are never going to be successful.  If you want to be successful, you have to handle pressure.

  2. Believe in Yourself

    Show by the way you enter the room that you believe in yourself. Whatever you do, do first class with a big attitude.  You are what you think you are.  Most people think too little of themselves and devalue their own abilities.  Reverse this: Give yourself credit for being smarter than most other people.  Let that be reflected in your attitude about yourself.  Give off the attitude that you are important and worth listening to.  Have a big ego, but do not be egotistical.  Ditch your doubts as doubts lead to failure.  Believe in yourself and you will succeed.

  3. Take Action

    Once you set your goals, start looking for opportunities to start acting upon them. Get out of your comfort zone.  You have to leave your comfort zone in order to challenge yourself to achieve greater accomplishments.  Don’t hesitate when an opportunity presents itself.  Do not wait for the “right time” or the perfect time.  It will never happen.  Be a doer, not a dreamer.  Good luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

  4. Trust Your Gut Instincts

    President Trump prides himself on using his gut instincts to make important decisions.  After you understand the problem by getting all the facts and asking others their opinions, you then go with your gut. Practice listening to your instincts because they are there to guide you.  Instinct has a lot to do with timing.  Be patient and wait for your instincts to tell you the best time to make your move.

  5. Get Respect

    Get people to respect you by knowing your stuff. It is more important to be respected and feared than to be liked by employees.  Don’t give a damn if people like you.  I pride myself on being obstinate, stubborn and tough.  When other people see that you don’t take crap and see you are really going after somebody for wronging you, they will respect you.

  6. Distrust versus Loyalty

    As soon as you succeed they (competitors) are coming after you. Lions kills for food, humans kill for sport.  I value loyalty above everything else – more than brains, more than drive, and more than energy.  Forgive people for their first honest mistake.  Never forgive a crook.

  7. Always Get Even

    I always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.  When somebody hits you, hit’em harder.  If you don’t get even, you are just a schmuck!  When somebody takes a cheap shot at you, do not be afraid to fire back.

  8. Negotiating Agreements 

    You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win. That is a bunch of crap.  In a great deal, you win – not the other side.  You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself.

Instead of adding my own commentary to President Trump’s belief system, I will let his words speak for themselves.  For good or ill, this is how he thinks.  So the next time President Trump does something that causes you to wonder what his motivation was for doing what he did, maybe filtering his behavior through the lens of his eight guiding principles will give you a better understanding of what just happened.  Or, maybe not.

If you would like a four-page summary of the book Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life go to my Recommended Reading List on the Marshall Commercial Funding website.  Scroll down to Professional Growth, Business Development.  Find the book title and scroll over to the right side.  There you’ll find a blue page icon which means a summary of the book is available.  Click on this icon to download the summary.