Donald Trump has certainly been in the news lately. The man appears to lead a charmed life. He has managed to be successful in business and then in the media. He enjoys the company of supermodel quality girls decades younger than him and has promising children too. Now he seems to be performing well in politics under difficult conditions, and may be in the running for being the most powerful man in the world. Watching his political performances from far away, in Australia, it seems impossible that any man could face such opposition and still be a viable political candidate.
In politics it only takes a couple of slip-ups to remove a candidate from consideration, especially if he is an outsider. The usual response is to be extra careful about every word, even to the point of simply reading out pre-packaged speeches. Somehow Trump does the opposite and makes it work. He appears to do most of his speeches and other appearances off-the-cuff. Meanwhile almost every political and media figure is gleefully watching every move and every word just waiting for the slightest opening to plunge in the knife.
How does he succeed?
Sorry, but I can’t tell you how to do it. The man is obviously a master. What we can do is watch how Trump does things and identify some of the easier habits that support his more impressive, hard to match acts.
1. Set out to do big things without apology
It seems like an obvious point, but people who set out to do big things are more likely to successfully do big things. Perhaps the main reason people don’t try is the inevitable negative responses from others. Trump shoots for big goals, makes no apologies, and just pushes forward.
2. Lead a clean, healthy life
One interesting habit Donald Trump has is that he doesn’t like to shake hands and avoids it where possible. It might seem like an eccentric quirk, but it also helps to avoid the spread of germs which cause illness, damage, and downtime. He extends the cleanliness habit to his food, not pushing lift buttons, and no doubt many other areas. Trump acts for his health and reports indicate it is excellent for his age.
3. Build a brand
Donald Trump understands the value of reputation and fame in making people want to deal with him and be associated with him and his name. Trump has reached the point where people will pay simply to put his name on products and buildings. That’s normal for celebrities—for a businessman it is amazing.
4. Steer clear of degeneracy
Intelligence, good judgement, excellent memory and motivation are vital to success. Taking drugs is one easy way to get distracted or damage these capacities. Trump has never taken any recreational drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. He doesn’t have a lot of other known vices.
5. Publicly punish people who try to interfere
Trump is famous for publicly hitting back at people who do him a bad turn. It must be a satisfying thing to do but the real reason is to demonstrate that there is a cost to this kind of behavior. That is why he is completely open and public about it. Over time people in the media and politics have become noticeably hesitant to take him on.
6. Understand the importance of family
Some readers will be thinking that Trump succeeded partly because he got a leg up from his father who was also a successful businessman. That is true, but it misses the point. Family cooperation, continuity, and team spirit is vital to enduring success. Trump obviously understands this and looks to be returning the favor by passing that advantage to the next generation. Like Trump they are grasping the opportunity with both hands and running with it. That’s the way to do it.
As for the other things
Publicly facing up to a powerful establishment and succeeding politically is not an easy task. Creating buildings, businesses, and brands is not an easy task. Succeeding at the game of celebrity and starring in a successful television show is not an easy task. Picking from a wide selection of supermodel quality girls is not an easy task. To pack them all into one life is a hard act to follow. It seems impossible to believe that Trump could make it and become the most powerful man in the world too and yet…
We can’t all act on the same stage as Trump or on the same scale as Trump. Looking over those six points, though, it is hard to argue that following them to the hilt wouldn’t improve our chances at a successful life too.
Published as a guest post on Return of Kings here