What Donald Trump really meant – Michael Yardney

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump can teach us a lot about success in life, business and property.  We look at some of his famous quotes to get an understanding about what they mean.
Kevin:  Everyone seems to be talking about Donald Trump, don’t they? I’m reminded of a number of quotes that Donald Trump is famous for. We’re going to have a look at those today in the show and get an impression of what they really mean from Michael Yardney, who has also looked at them.
Good day, Michael. How are you?
Michael:  Hello, Kevin. I’m well, thank you.
Kevin:  Michael is a regular guest, of course, from Metropole Property Strategists.
Michael, let’s have a look at a few of these. The first one I want to ask you about is “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, why not think big?”
Michael:  Love him or hate him, Donald Trump can teach you some lessons about success, about life, about business, maybe not about politics – and definitely about property.
Interestingly, long before his catch cry of “You’re fired,” Donald Trump was famous for the saying “Think big.” In fact, it was the name of his first book. So, since we become what we think about all day, it takes no more effort to think big than it does to think small. So, I guess he’s right: think big.
Kevin:  Here’s one that he’d be reminding himself of, I guess – something that happened just recently. “Sometimes by losing a battle, you find a new way to win the war.” He’d be finding that a lot in politics, I would imagine.
Michael:  Yes, and even though this isn’t a political podcast, it’s hard to avoid that, isn’t it?
I guess what he’s suggesting there if you read between the lines is successful people see failure very differently to the average person. They sit it as a stepping stone to the next level. Every successful person I know – me personally included – has definitely had more than their fair share of failures. But each time, they’ve gotten up again, they’ve dusted themselves off, they’ve tried again, and they’ve learned some valuable lessons from what’s happened.
So, that’s a big, big difference between successful property investors, business people, entrepreneurs, and the average Australian. They just get up one more time.
Kevin:  Another one of the sayings from Donald Trump is “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.”
Michael:  I guess what he’s getting at is experience teaches you lessons you can’t learn any other way, so, learn from them. Kevin, I once heard that experience is what you get two minutes after you need it. So, what he’s basically saying is that experienced investors will benefit from all the good and the bad that’s happened to them. It’s gotten you to where you are today. Take advantage of the lessons you learned along the way.
Kevin:  Maybe this next one, Michael, is one that he should have taken into account before he ran for president. He said “You’re generally better off sticking with what you know.”
Michael:  Very much so. To become an expert property investor or at anything else, Kevin, it’s best to do one thing a hundred times rather than try to do a hundred things once. We see a lot of people trying this strategy and that strategy, doing this business or doing that, and they never become good at it. To become an expert, what you have to do is have reproducible results, and the way you get that is by doing it over and over again.
Kevin:  I’ve actually heard you say this next one as well, and I’d love to ask you about this one. He said “Sometimes, your best investments are the ones that you don’t make.”
Michael:  Yes, you’ve heard me say that too, Kevin, that I’ve made more money by saying no to opportunities than to perceived investment opportunities that you get coming in through your inbox and through people ringing you and telling you about things. I guess he’s suggesting to weight up the pros and cons and make a judgment based on careful analysis.
At this stage in the property cycle, for some people, the right thing to do is just nothing: hibernate, wait until the market moves on or the banks lend you some more money.
Kevin:  It is a bit of a luxury. And this next one too is a bit of a luxury, where he said “I don’t make deals for the money. I have enough – in fact, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it.”
Michael:  I guess here what he’s saying, Kevin, is differentiating between loving money and loving the process of making money. If all you’re doing is chasing money, you’re never going to have enough, you’re never going to be grateful, you’re never going to appreciate it. There is a good point there, Kevin.
Kevin:  Yes, good point. We only have a couple to go, but another one he said is “I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is.”
Michael:  Good point, Kevin. We’ve all made mistakes and you can’t change the past. I guess part of being a successful investor involves taking responsibility for your mistakes, learning from them, and not making them again.
Clearly, Trump is flawed like all of us, so he doesn’t worry about the future either. What he’s saying is “I’m going to concentrate on now, I’ll do the best I can, I’ll be the best I can now.” And that’s probably helped all of us get good results.
Kevin:  Another one – and there is a bit of a similarity with a lot of these – it comes down to how he thinks about money. He said “Money was never a big motivation for me, except for the way that I keep score with it. The real excitement is in playing the game.”
Michael:  Interesting, isn’t it? You can actually see some commonalities in what he’s saying, Kevin; you’re right. I think what he’s saying is life is a game, and we’re all here to have a good time, so take advantage of it while you can.
Kevin:  Yes. The next one is very Donald Trump: “Show me someone without an ego and I’ll show you a loser.”
Michael:  Yes, you’re right; it is very Donald Trump. I guess many people see him as arrogant, but maybe what he’s saying is it takes a confident person to lead others effectively. Whether you’re in business or as an investor, having a strong, healthy ego helps you travel the bumpy roads towards success.
Kevin:  I love this next one. Anyone could have said this, but he did say it, Donald Trump. He said “If you’re interested in balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead, make your work more pleasurable.”
Michael:  Well said, isn’t it, Kevin? I think we both are lucky enough to experience that. I know you very much enjoy what you’re doing in your work, so it’s not seen as work. I do also. One way to achieve this love of work is to find something you’re passionate about – it doesn’t matter what it is – and then try to pursue it.
Kevin:  The final one I’m going to leave you with is, I think, very appropriate and a great way to end this little segment with Michael. Donald Trump said “What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.” So true.
Michael:  It is. It reminds me of that famous saying by Winston Churchill, who said the same thing in a different way. He said “Never give up. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” Sure, that’s hard to do, and one way to do it is to surround yourself with good people, other people who are going to hold you up and hold you accountable and look after your back.
Kevin:  I think you said right at the outset, Michael, no matter what you think of Donald Trump, great people we can learn so many lessons from. So, thank you for sharing your thoughts on those eleven pieces of wisdom from Donald Trump.
My guest has been Michael Yardney from Metropole Property Strategists. Thanks, Michael.
Michael:  My pleasure, Kevin.

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