Like him or hate him, The Art of the Deal shows Trump knows how to do business!
Here is Trump in action – how he runs his business and how he runs his life – as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and changes the face of the New York City skyline. But even a maverick plays by the rules, and Trump has formulated eleven guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest deals; shatters myths; names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks – really talks – about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur and an unprecedented education in the practice of deal-making. It’s the most streetwise business book there is – and the ultimate read for anyone interested in making money and achieving success, and knowing the man behind the spotlight.
One of the early chapters discusses Trump’s upbringing. This is interesting as it becomes clear that his strong personality was evident even from a young age. Even as a child he didn’t seem to care what people thought of him. He talks about how he’d get into fights with kids and afterwards they would either stay away or follow him.
The books discusses how his father was in the real estate business and was also very successful. Trump’s father didn’t create large and luxurious buildings but built apartments for low to mid-income families in the boroughs of New York. As his father was successful, I have heard that people say that Donald Trump was born into money and that is why he is now a billionaire. I’m not sure I’d fully agree with that statement. Granted he did have an advantage as his parents had money. He was also able to gain some hands on business experience via his father’s business, however, to make as much money as he has done meant he had to work very hard. This book gives examples of deals he was involved in and the work he had to do in order to make these successful.
Each chapter covers different deals that he was involved in before 1987 (when the book was published). These include his Trump Tower in NYC, The Commodore Hotel (now Grand Hyatt) in NYC and a casino in Atlantic City as examples. Trump clearly paints a very rosy picture of these deals and of himself as well. It doesn’t take much research to find out that not all of his deals were successful. For example, one of his casinos in Atlantic City went bankrupt after he wrote the book. This shows you can’t apply his strategy or tactics and expect great outcomes all the time. Trump has had a lot of luck but as they say “you have to be in it, to win it”. He certainly isn’t afraid to be “in it”.
Is there anything that I can take from this book?
Like other autobiographies I’ve reviewed, such as Grinding it out (Ray Kroc, McDonalds) and Shoe Dog (Phil Knight, Nike), the thing I took the most out of the book was about the type of person you need to be in order to be very successful in business. That’s not to say you have to act like Donald Trump. The key to success, in my mind. is not being afraid to take risks.
Donald Trump made a lot of money as he did things that other people simply wouldn’t have had ‘the balls’ to do. Trump certainly didn’t try to find the easiest way to make money. He had to find good opportunities and then work hard to convince people to let him buy what he wanted to buy, get the permissions to build, get funding from someone and then get people to buy his apartments. At each stage there were hurdles. There were people from the government, other developers, banks and the public that tried to stop him but he kept going.There are not many people in the world who have that level of determination to overcome those challenges. In the end he was rewarded for it and is now a very rich man.
Is it possible for anyone to take these risks?
I believe so! One of my very close friends recently left his job to go and work for a new start up company. He is taking a risk as he no longer has a steady income and is dependent on the success of the new business. His role means he is much more involved in the business and plays a key part in how successful it will be. I have a lot of admiration for this friend for taking this risk. This is particularly risky as he has a new family. I’m glad to say that the new business is going well. No doubt I’ll be reviewing his autobiography in years to come!!
Would I recommend this book?
I have to admit, I did really enjoy reading the first part of this book. Although my interest waned near the end.
If you are interested in Donald Trump, then I would recommend this book. It does give you you some insights in to his background. If, however, you are looking to make money from reading a book, then I don’t think you are going to get much out if it unless you have a similar personality to Donald Trump.
Joy of reading = 7 (out of 10)
Thought provoking = 7 (out of 10)
Money making = 6 (out of 10)
Read again = Doubt it
Overall score = 6.6