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Chapter 1 – Dealing: A Week in the Life

Trump goes through a typical week, complete with new deals in the pipeline, groundbreakings, and calls with highpowered contacts.

“In any case, there’s no way I could avoid depositions, even if I never brought a lawsuit myself.  Nowadays, if your name is Donald Trump, everyone in the world seems to want to sue you.”

“I always take calls from my kids, no matter what I’m doing … as they get older, being a father gets easier.  I adore them all, but I’ve never been great at playing with toy trucks and dolls.  Now, though, Donny is beginning to get interested in buildings and real estate and sports, and that’s great.”

“I tell [my secretary] to call [a senator] … I don’t know [the senator] personally, but he’s one of the few senators who fought hard against the new tax bill.  It’s probably too late, but I just want to congratulate him on having the courage of his convictions, even though it might cost him politically.”

“My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics.  The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs?”

Chapter 2 – Trump Cards: The Elements of the Deal

“More than anything else, I think deal-making is an ability you’re born with.  It’s in the genes.  I don’t say that egotistically.  It’s not about being brilliant.  It does take a certain intelligence, but mostly it’s about instincts.”

  • Think Big
  • Protect the Downside and the Upside Will Take Care of Itself
  • Maximize Your Options
    • “I never get too attached to one deal or one approach.  For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first.  In addition, once I’ve made a deal, I always come up with at least a half dozen approaches to making it work, because anything can happen, even to the best laid plans.”
  • Know Your Market
    • “The other people I don’t take too seriously are the critics – except when they stand in the way of my projects.  In my opinion, they mostly write to impress each other, and they’re just as swayed by fashions as anyone else. … What very few of them have is any feeling for what the public wants.  Which is why, if these critics ever tried to become developers, they’d be terrible failures.”
  • Use Your Leverage
  • Get the Word Out
    • “Sometimes [the press writes] positively, and sometimes they write negatively.  But from a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks.”
    • “… when a reporter asks me a tough question, I try to frame a positive answer, even if that means shifting the ground. … The final key to the way I promote is bravado.  I play to people’s fantasies.  People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do.  That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts.  People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.  I call it truthful hyperbole.  It’s an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.”
  • Fight Back
  • Deliver the Goods
    • “Until then, I’d never understood how Jimmy Carter became president.  The answer is that as poorly qualified as he was for the job, Jimmy Carter had the nerve, the guts, the balls, to ask for something extraordinary. … the American people caught on pretty quickly that Carter couldn’t do the job …”
  • Contain the Costs
    • “… the day I can’t pick up the telephone and make a twenty-five-cent call to save $10,000 is the day I’m going to close up shop.”
  • Have Fun
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