From his hair to his quirky mannerisms, you can't help but be intrigued by Donald Trump. Whether telling celebrities they're fired on The Apprentice or making a mockery of his fellow presidential candidates, Trump attracts attention regardless of his actions. While you might question his potential actions as President of the United States (world leader conferences would certainly be interesting), you can't overlook his savvy moves as a businessman.
Whether you're an entrepreneur building a startup company or a small business owner attempting to increase your market share, there are valuable entrepreneurial lessons to be learned from Donald Trump. Review the following Trump quotes to see which ones speak to your entrepreneurial struggles as you attempt to outwit and outlast your competitors.
“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”
From Uber's Travis Kalanick to AirBnB's Brian Chesky, entrepreneurs who are willing to think big stand to reap the largest rewards. Just because you're entering a crowded vertical or attempting to unseat a major competitor, you can't let impending challenges influence the way you think. If you're willing to bet on yourself and look for ways to go around, over, or under obstacles, you'll achieve far more than if you let small thinking impede your progress.
“Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
The challenges you face as an entrepreneur can often lead to your greatest successes. From product launches that don't go quite the way you had hoped, to investors choosing not to fund your startup, each battle scar toughens you as an entrepreneur. If you learn to appreciate those learning opportunities and extract as much knowledge from them as you can, you'll become a far more resilient business person in the end.
“What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.”
In the same way you have to value your battle scars as an opportunity to learn, you also need to understand your reactions to failures and setbacks. Learning from challenges after the fact is great, but you need to monitor your maneuvers in the moment too. How you react to business challenges greatly impacts those around you. From your team members or co-founders to investors and mentors watching your business grow, all will be watching your reactions to see how you perform under pressure. Master your in-the-moment maneuvers; you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll become revered as a strong leader.
“Without passion, you don't have energy; without energy you have nothing.”
There are plenty of entrepreneurs with passion. There are also plenty of budding startup founders who believe they have a great business idea. The ability to parlay that passion into opportunities will set you apart as an entrepreneur. If you're able to attack each day and each impediment with the energy of a marathon runner, you'll outperform your competitors and impress potential investors too.
“It's always good to be underestimated.”
Most people love an underdog. Customers want the little guy to win over the big corporation. Tech reporters love when an entrepreneur takes on an established player and comes out as the surprising victor. If you happily embrace your underdog status, you can stealthily creep up on the competitors who don't take you seriously. While other entrepreneurs or startup founders are focusing their efforts on becoming part of the startup Twitterati, you can rack up revenues and engage customers. Being underestimated can be a powerful aphrodisiac; learn to embrace the intoxication and use it to your full advantage.
While some of Donald Trump's utterances leave you shaking your head and questioning his ability to lead the country, there are many instances where his thought processes are spot on. If you're willing to look for the treasures among questionable quotes, you'll be surprised at how many entrepreneurial lessons you can learn.
Don Dodds is the Managing Partner and Chief Strategist of the Atlanta Web Design & Marketing firm, M16 Marketing. He is an innovative marketer and strategist with more than 18 years demonstrating an idiosyncratic combination of creative, technical and business acumen.