Friday, 18 November 2016

The Art of the Deal



                 By Bayo Ogunmupe

       The Art of the Deal is the title of Donald John Trump's best selling book which catapulted him to become one of 50 greatest prosperity thinkers in the world. It was published in 1987, a symbol of capitalism in New York City, the United States. Owing to his self promotion, extravagant lifestyle and big business deals, Trump was already famous by the time The Art was published.
       The book's timing was lucky, coming out just ahead of the troubles that beset Trump in the late 1980s. Much to his enemies' chagrin, Trump sorted himself out, coming back bigger than ever. Whoever said  there are no second chances in business did not count on the power of a brand, a large part of Trump's fortune comes down to his name. When in 2003 television producers approached him to be the focus of a new reality television series based on entrepreneurship, a subject that he is an expert in, The Apprentice, he seized the opportunity to cement his fame with a new generation.
       Despite the array of books Trump had published to capitalize on the success of his show, The Art is still the best insight into the man and his philosophy of prosperity for all and life more abundant. Now 29 years on, it contains Trump's essential philosophies, practices and ways of working that have sustained his success for more than forty years. the only difference is that , then he was a brash upstart willing to take on anything and anyone, and now he is a wise, if still very showy, business and managerial guru.
       The scale of Trump's operations may have quadrupled, but the Trump of the eighties is largely the same one that dramatically pulled off a stunning election upset in 2016. Here we look at some of his deals, beliefs and strategies that have seen him thrive and prosper even in the face of malice and denigration.  In a nutshell, in The Art, Trump recommends: To succeed in business, balance boldness and promotion with patience, caution and flexibility.
       Trump's father was a developer of rent controlled housing in New York. Despite it being a low margin and unglamorous real estate business, his tenacity ensured  his success. Though Donald spent much of his boyhood following his dad around sites, he always dreams of creating landmark projects that made statements in Manhattan. Trump's first project was the Commodore, a huge hotel in a low rent Manhattan district. At the time he notes: "I was only twenty-sevenn years old and had never slept in a hotel." But he embarked on building a 1,400-room monster which remained the biggest in New York for 25 years.
       It is a myth Trump observes, that location is everything in real estate. It is important, but to make the most of any property, what you need to create is a sense of worth or mystique that will make people want to buy. He says: "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."
       To get your project noticed, you must be different, even outrageous and being so increases your chances of becoming a story in the media. He does not court publicity for publicity's sake; in fact, he claims to be a very private person. However, he notes that a small article in New York Times will be worth many times more than a full page advertisement costing $100,000, even if its slant is negative.
       Despite his flashy image, a major element in the Trump success is being prepared to wait. For example, for years he prized the Bonwit Teller site that would eventually become Trump Tower; repeatedly writing to its owners to state his interest. He kept up his interest, he notes: "because much more often than you'd think, sheer persistence is the difference between success  and failure."  When the site fell into the hands of new owners who were in a poor  financial situation, it was to Trump they turned to sell.
       Many of his successes came from offering to buy assets before they were on the market. You need leverage, find out what the seller needs , give them this in  addition to the purchase price. One of his trademarks is his hubristic confidence amplified by facts about his article of purchase. Other things we learn about Trump is that while in College, he preferred reading listings of property rather than reading comic or sports. In his biography of Trump: No Such Thing as Over Exposure, Robert Slater said Donald is more forgiving and generous than his image suggest. Indeed, it was the beneficiaries of his munificence who urged him to contest for president.
        Trump was born in Queens, New York in 1946, the fourth of five children of Mary, a Scottish immigrant and his father, the son of German immigrants originally named Drumpf who ran a hotel in British Columbia. At 13, Donald went to New York Military Academy; later he studied economics at Fordham University. Lastly he went to University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance, America's foremost school of entrepreneurship, graduating in 1968. He briefly worked  for his father before venturing out on his own. Trump has five children from three women. The Forbes Rich List if 2006 estimated Trump's fortune at $2.9 billion; making him America's 94th richest person. Donald J Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the USA in January 2017.

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