As Chairman and President of the enormously successful Trump Organization, how do you see the business evolving over the next ten years or so? For example will you be branching out into other industries to seek growth or stick to your current mainstays?
That’s hard to determine. I’m always open to possibilities, and we have a tremendous potential for growth. For example, twenty years ago I didn’t know I’d become a golf club developer and now I have 18 fantastic clubs around the world. It became a second career, in a way. Same with my TV show, The Apprentice. Everyone said it’d be a one season wonder and we’re now going into our fifteenth season. That was also like a new career. It’s been wonderful.
You considered running for President of the USA again in 2010, what made you want to become President?
I was, and am, concerned about this country. It’s a mess. We don’t have strong leadership and the country is falling apart. I would make sure our foreign policy would be a tougher. China takes advantage of us – because it’s so easy for them to do—and other countries follow suit. Economically this country needs to be run more like a business—the debt is ridiculous at this point. Domestically? The infrastructure is crumbling. When I visit foreign countries, the airports
are sophisticated and beautifully designed. Landing in New York can come as a shock to people. Something has to be done, and sooner the better.
I-MAGAZINE fuses business editorial with politics and life- style – in what ways do you think business is connected with politics and how important is the understanding of the two in terms of your experience as a business man?
Politics and business are connected because they affect each other. Politics plays a part in business in that the laws affect business. It’s very much a balance that needs to be achieved.
In your book ‘’The Art of the Deal’’, you laid out an 11 – step formula inspired by Norman Vincent Peale’s ‘‘The Power of Positive Thinking’’, number 7 in the formula is ‘’Get the word out’’. What does that mean exactly? And how relevant (if at all today) has it been for you in terms of how you operate today?
Or “toot your own horn” is also apt. It’s very relevant. I have a brand that is known worldwide and that is very valuable in business. I do much of my own advertising because it is effective. What’s the point of having a product if no one has ever heard about it? I was already well known when The Apprentice came out in 2004, but it greatly increased my visibility in the world arena. That has been fantastic advertising for the Trump brand.
And I imagine most people get the impression that your organization understands the power of branding – is this something that you pushed for internally during its growth?
Absolutely. I’ve always known how important branding is.
What is your favorite cuisine?
I like Italian and American fare, a good steak.
What does a typical working day for you look like?
get up around 5 AM and read all the papers and watch TV news coverage. I’m
usually in my office by 8:30 AM and work until around 7 PM. I prefer to eat
lunch at my desk. There are usually events
to attend in the evening a few nights a week. It’s a full day.
What do you get up to in your spare time?
I golf and I read a lot, and spent time with my family.
What brand of clothing do you like to wear more than any other and why?
The Donald J. Trump Signature Collection is great—looks good and is comfortable.
What do you think your legacy will be?
I have established a gold standard brand in several categories thus far. I have authored substantially successful books and I consider myself a teacher on that account. I am known as a builder and I consider myself to be one—again on several levels. I have very capable children—and they provide a wonderful legacy. I’m very proud of them.
What is the best book that you have read that you would like to recommend to I-MAGAZINE readers?
I’d like to recommend The Art of War by Sun Tzu. It has valuable lessons for business and life.
This interview was orginally published in the July – December 2015 issue of I-MAGAZINE.