Saturday, November 10, 2012

Secrets of Donald Trump Revealed

If you're like most of the television-watching public, you're hooked on Season #2 of "The Apprentice" and the flamboyant entrepreneur in the "starring role."
Love him or hate him, you can't deny that Donald Trump is one of the world's most intriguing success stories... arrogant, conceited, and an absolute lightening rod for wealth of the largest magnitude. Trump is a billionaire! His accomplishment speaks for itself.
I like the man a lot.
One of the "big guns" leveled at "The Donald" is that he's boastful and egoistic. But while his attitude may or may not make him good company in a lifeboat, I think a "super" ego is a great characteristic to have in business.
I'll admit it: sometimes I have a big ego myself. My "ego strength" comes naturally out of the fact that I absolutely, positively believe 100% in what I do.
I have a little gadget on my desk saying, "I might be wrong, but I am never in doubt."
If that makes me an egoist... so be it. Because if you show me a person with low self-esteem, I'll show you a loser.
Self-esteem is the foundation of all achievement. You gotta love yourself. You gotta stand up for yourself. You gotta believe in yourself. And don't be afraid to toot your own horn!
Many people are conditioned that "bragging" is unseemly. But seriously, if you don't shine the spotlight on yourself, who will?
In most businesses, the owner is the "face" of that business, and he must sell himself as well as his products and services. Trump understands the concept, and what's why you see his brand "Trump" on everything.
"The Donald" knows that you've got to be your own full-time marketing campaign 24 hours a day...because nobody else will!
Especially if you're an entrepreneur.
Starting a new business is like having a new baby. In the first weeks and months, you're surrounded by support and from friends and family eager to help you with your "newborn."
But how long does that last? Not very. Suddenly you're out there on your own, and you've got to trust yourself. If you don't have confidence in yourself and in your decision-making abilities, you'll be paralyzed...unable to move.
Here's something huge: you have to believe that you'll be able to bounce back no matter what comes your way. Trump certainly has! And you can bet it was his unshakable ego that made the difference.
So, before you judge "The Donald" for being arrogant and full of himself, consider how having an over-developed ego can be a real asset.
One of the most important lessons I've learned in business is - don't criticize the negative traits of super-successful people. Instead of looking at their flaws and mistakes, say...
"What can I learn from this guy? What are some of his characteristics? How can I adapt this concept to my business?"
Frankly, if you can't pick up at least a good idea or two from a billionaire, you're pretty hopeless.
OK, enough of this "appetizing" chitchat. Let's get to the meat...
What I'd like to do is share some of the key insights I've learned from Donald Trump and successfully applied to my own life.
I'll give it to you Trump's way... then, I'll "Lok and load" it with my own personal spin.
Fasten your seat belt, because this first insight is probably THE concept that completely changed my life.
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Trumpism #1: Making It Big
"I like things big. I always have. To me, it's very simple: if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big."
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Several years ago, I set a goal for myself: to make a 6-figure annual salary as a copywriter. What a small thinker I was!
Today, I've more than achieved my goal, but I didn't get the fulfillment and satisfaction that I expected. It's more like, "OK, I've achieved my goal, now what?"
What if I had set the goal to become a millionaire copywriter?
What if I set the goal to utilize my marketing and copywriting and build a $10-million company?
Would that make a difference? Would I be even more successful?
I think so.
As motivational speaker Les Brown said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."
My mother didn't raise any ignorant kids, and you don't have to tell me something twice. I've learned my lesson and adopted this philosophy in both my business and personal pursuits.
My long-term goal is building a $100 million-dollar company.
Isn't that pretty outrageous? Does it sound 'impossible'? Well, I've got a lifetime to work towards it!
And if I reach that goal, I'll set a new one!
You'll experience a paradigm shift when you think BIG. You'll look at things differently. You'll look at yourself differently.
And most of all, you'll approach your business differently.
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Trumpism #2: Accentuate the Negative
"It's been said that I believe in the power of positive thinking. In fact, I believe in the power of negative thinking. I happen to be very conservative in business. I always go into the deal anticipating the worst. If you plan for the worst - if you can live with the worst - the good will always take care of itself."
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More success, more wealth and more money are created out of knee-knocking, nail-biting desperation than out of "touchy/feely" positive thinking.
Positive thinking alone won't get you anywhere unless you combine it with practical plans, well-defined goals, follow-through, action, knowledge and persistence, etc.
I'm living proof.
I got into the copywriting business out of desperation. I still remember when I was to the world of business and no one would hire me. Feeling helpless and hopeless, I was motivated to become my own boss.
It was do or die for me...and I sure as hell wasn't about to die. And I found out that if I used the power of "negative thinking" in a good way, it was an extremely powerful motivator.
I always like to put myself in situation where I HAVE to grow, I HAVE to adapt, and I HAVE to change. I am constantly pushing the envelope and stepping outside of my comfort zone because...
The success that you want can only be found outside your comfort zone!
Any time you have a decision to make, ask yourself this, "What's the worst possible outcome? Can I handle it? Will it kill my business?"
Expect the best, but plan for the worst. Don't assume things will go smoothly because 9 times out of 10...they won't!
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Trumpism #3: Hiding Your Light Under A Bushel
"You can have the most wonderful product in the world, but if people don't know about it, it's not going to be worth much."
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I've pitched this concept until I am blue in the face to clients who stubbornly say, "I have a great product, so I don't have to advertise it."
That's insane!
No business can survive without a constant stream of qualified prospecting coming to your business. So it doesn't matter what industry you're in or what product/service you make available, whoever you are...
Essentially you're in the marketing business!
Having a good product or service is NOT enough...although it's certainly mandatory! Quality and value what brings your customers back for more.
But how the heck do they do how "wonderful" your stuff is if they haven't even bought from you yet?
In order to make a sale, you need someone you can sell to. To achieve that you need effective marketing systems to get these people in your "funnel" in the first place.
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Trumpism #4: Show Me the Money
"Don't believe the critics unless they love your work."
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I have a reputation for being blunt and aggressive. It's well deserved.
I am tough on my clients. I slap them around (figuratively, of course!). I use swear words when I write. I use even more "colorful language" when I talk.
I could be a real SOB sometime. I don't sugarcoat stuff and I definitely don't care about hurting someone's feelings. I've even fired clients on more than one occasion.
Because of my straightforward and tell-it-like-it-is style, I get a lot more criticisms than other marketing experts. Do you think I care what other critics say or think or about me? Not for a microsecond.
Because my clients either love me or they hate me. But regardless of how they feel about my style, all my clients put up with a manic like me because I make them rich, enormously rich.
And it's my satisfied clients that pay me... not dissatisfied critics.
The world is full of "naysayers" eager to find fault and point to the negative. You can't avoid them. They're a fact of life. Elbert Hubbard said it best, "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
I am a firm believer that the best way to fail is to try to please everybody. So the only criticisms I take to heart are the ones from my mentors, my closest associates, and my advisors.
Your critics aren't buying from you
Your critics don't want to see you do well
Your critics probably aren't qualified enough to criticize you!
Okay, I've "distilled" the essence of the four most intriguing concepts I've learned from Trump's books that have put money in my pocket. If you're motivated to go deeper "The Donald" has written seven incredible books (and you'll notice that each of them has "Trump" in the title!)
  • Trump: How to Get Rich
  • Trump: The Way to the Top
  • Trump: Surviving at the Top
  • Trump: The Art of the Deal
  • The America We Deserve
  • Trump: The Art of Survival

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Planning Your First Business Meeting

Are you planning your first business meeting and want to ensure you cover all your bases? Don't run around like a crazed wedding planner. Have a strategy and stick to it.
First, set the date and establish the agenda. It's important to prepare the agenda well in advance. You want to ensure everyone has a chance to look it over to get prepared and give you feed back on areas that might need to be included. In preparing an agenda, envision the purpose of the meeting. How long will it last? How many speakers/presentations will there be? How will the meeting progress? How will you reach your goal for a successful and productive meeting?
Second, set a time for the meeting to begin AND end. It is imperative that you keep the meeting on schedule. You can always go back and revisit unresolved issues as time permits.
Third, find out who needs to be invited to the meeting. Identify people who must be there to accomplish the purpose of the meeting and include people you may need to invite because of their status. Make this step easier by setting up a meeting notification procedure whether is by email or regular mail. Attach the agenda to the note so everyone is on the same page from the start. Be specific if there is homework or advance preparation for the attendees. Ask all participants to respond to ensure everyone has received the communication.
Finally, pay attention to the details and logistics. This is where a checklist pays off:
Selecting the room and accommodations
Where is the meeting being held? Is it readily accessible (wheelchairs or disability access, comfortable room with plenty of sating?
Check the temperature. There is nothing worse to dampen a meeting than a comfortable room.
Identify where the rest rooms are. Locate a place where people can store briefcases and luggage should they be traveling to attend.
Make sure there are plenty of seats with room to spread out especially if this is a "working" meeting.
Will you need a translator/s?
Will you need AV and presentation equipment at the meeting? Will the presenters need the same? (Check about microphones and podium preferences.) Be sure to find out this information well in advance so you can make the appropriate arrangements.
Test all equipment prior to the start of the meeting. If at all possible have a techie ready to handle any snafus that might occur.
Have name badges, pencils, pads of paper and other necessary meeting supplies available.
Are documents required? Will there be handouts and materials that need to be prepared?
Have them done well in advance in the event of errors.
Have a person sitting outside the room for the check in.
Distribute materials or documents at check in and register attendees.
Secure someone to take notes before the meeting starts.
If you plan to tape the proceeding tell everyone up front that you are recording.
Have water, juice, coffee and tea available. If the meeting covers a mealtime, you will also need to provide food. Make the arrangements in advance and have it delivered to the meeting so as not to interrupt the flow. Keep special dietary requests in mind. It's always best to order a couple of vegetarian items.
Depending upon the length of the meeting one or more breaks may be required. Be specific about the time allotted for the break and resume the meeting on time whether all the participants have returned or not.
No matter how well prepared you are there is always some unanticipated problem. Don't let it get you flustered. Roll with the flow. If you have used these guidelines, you can feel confident that you have done your homework. If something does go wrong, be on the ready to fix it quickly and quietly. And remember, anything can happen even to the most seasoned meeting planner. Use the event as a building block to future successful meetings.