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It's Not Personal--It's Business
by Donald J. Trump,
Author of "Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life"

Business is about making money. It's about the bottom line. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you'll get a grasp about what business is. I'm very often surprised by people who think business is something else. They come in with lofty ideas and philanthropic purposes that have absolutely no place in a business meeting. It's a waste of everyone's time.

I remember when a group of businessmen wanted to build an atrium on the ground floor of 40 Wall Street. It was a beautiful idea. They wanted to make 40 Wall Street the downtown equivalent of Trump Tower, except they forgot about something. What would they do with the steel columns that support a seventy-two-story building? That rather major structural component never entered their minds. I hope they didn't take it personally when I pointed out their oversight.

Business is business. For example, if you get fired, there's usually a number behind it, and that can take the personal affront right out of it. Businesses have to watch out for their bottom line or they won't be in business for very long. Don't get worked up. If you do, you might be taking it the wrong way. It isn't always easy, but try to be objective.

I learned early on that business can be completely impersonal even when you're dealing with human beings. One banker I was dealing with was so indifferent that he was literally like a machine. When a machine says no, it's very tough. There's no negotiating possible. I remember writing that you'd be better off dealing with a killer with real passion than with an institutional type who has no emotion and just wanted to go home at 5 o'clock. Sometimes we run into brick walls like that. Our only recourse is to find another way around it, which I did. But I got a good insight into how impersonal business can be.

I'd rather be personable. It also works better, provides more options for everyone, and allows for more creativity. It can require more energy, but I can tell you the results will be worth it. It still strikes me as funny that I suddenly became very popular after I started firing people every week on national television. People really liked me for that. Or so I thought. What it was is that they were seeing the real person behind the famous name. They see that I can be tough but that I try to be impartial. I'm also a bit of a teacher. I've always been this way, but it was never seen before except by my employees. I'm personable, but I can be all business. Believe me, it's a formidable combination.

I have to be careful not to blow people away, because if you cross me personally and professionally, I'll have a double whammy waiting for you. I don't enjoy being vicious, but sometimes in selfdefense it becomes necessary. I don't like the double standard, as in, whatever I do is okay and whatever you do isn't okay, or vice versa. If you treat me a certain way, then I can treat you that way, too. Some people call that the old "an eye for an eye" approach, but I call it playing fair. Sometimes the only way to deal with a bully is to punch him back. Let them know who they're dealing with. Fair play is fair play -- and once again, don't take it personally.

It's wise to be circumspect, and some people just say "get yourself out of the picture" first in order to see the big picture. Don't take personally what is not meant personally. A lot of times people misdirect their anger, and if you take it personally, you'll become a punching bag for angry darts. I've had people say totally off-the-wall things to me, which I can now deflect, knowing that about 90 percent of the time their comments have next to nothing to do with me. You have to develop a thick skin, and keep your own positive wavelength going at all times.

Be tough, be smart, be personable, but don't take things personally. That's good business.

The above is an excerpt from the book Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life by Donald J. Trump . The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Donald J. Trump , author of Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life

Author Bio
Donald J. Trump, author of Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life, is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting standards of excellence while expanding his passionate interests in real estate, gaming, sports, and entertainment, which include runaway hits The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. He is one of the most recognizable and credible "brands" in the world. Trump is the Number One New York Times bestselling author of The Art of the Deal, Surviving at the Top, The Art of the Comeback, and How to Get Rich, as well as other books that have changed and enhanced the lives of millions of people. An ardent philanthropist for many years, Trump is involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations, and has always felt that giving back adds a sense of perspective and substance to anyone's life.

For more information, please visit www.trump.com


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