4 Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Donald Trump
"If I don't win, I'll consider this a total and complete waste of time" -- Donald Trump
Love him or hate him, the Republican candidate and New Hampshire GOP victor Donald Trump can sometimes say something extremely powerful.
The above quote is an example. It sums up the kind of mindset every entrepreneur needs to have: Never set out to do something with hopes of being second best.
So, what else does Trump have to teach us? Politics aside, here are four lessons that every entrepreneur can learn from the controversial billionaire and his presidential run.
1. Winning is everything -- there are no 'participation' trophies in the real world.
The younger generation today is being set up for failure. Its members are being taught at a very early age that participation alone is acceptable, but in fact that is so far from reality.
Trump never sets out to be a participant, in anything. He's going for the win in the election and I guarantee he never opens a Trump resort with hopes of being one of the "top" hotels in the area.
I remember an incident back when my dad was the president of our local Little League. A parent was livid that the first-place championship trophies my team received were significantly larger than the ones awarded to the other teams. And my dad? He just smiled and said, "Welcome to the real world."
I can't help but think how he would have loved this TV commercial from Kia. It addresses a very serious problem head-on. While most companies play the PC card, Kia says it like it is, and for that I applaud them.
Trump is going for the win, and nothing less, which is the kind of attitude that every entrepreneur should adopt.
2. Your product or service will never appeal to everyone.
Trump understands that he doesn't appeal to everyone, and he knows that he never will.
The same could be said for any product or service. There will always be supporters, and there'll always be opponents. Take the iPhone, for example. There are those that absolutely love the device and those that absolutely despise it and will try to convince every person they come in contact with how far superior an Android device is.
What does Apple do?
The company focuses on providing its supporters the best product and service it can. Apple isn't worried about appealing to everyone, because it knows it can continue to appeal to its captive audience, and maybe pick up some new supporters along the way. The company knows it will remain on top.
So, identify the market and audience you appeal to and focus on providing those people with the best product or service you can provide. If you try to appeal to everyone, your effort is going to be a losing battle.
3. Confidence is king.
Is Trump confident? Very.
If you tell him that this or that plan won't work or that he himself will fail, he will laugh. He truly believes that he will succeed and win the election. And part of his success is due to this confidence. Believing in yourself 100 percent is very powerful.
When you ooze confidence and start every day knowing that you will prevail, you are going to win far more than you lose. Mastering the mental game of entrepreneurship will help you tremendously, so the sooner you start overflowing with confidence, the better.
4. You must establish your brand early in the game.
Trump made his message very clear from the beginning. Remember those "Make America Great Again" hats? They played a major role in establishing his brand message right out of the gate.
Were they fancy hats? Not at all. They cost maybe a couple of dollars each, but their impact was priceless. That branding leads to things like this:
A photo posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on Jan 8, 2016 at 7:21am PST
Similarly, you too must have a solid branding strategy at the start if you want to gain traction and establish yourself in your industry. There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, so determine how you can position your brand in front of your target market early in the game and quickly draw eyeballs to what you are doing.
You can't launch and then sit back and ask yourself, "Okay, so how are we going to attract an audience?" Instead, identify a strategy prior to launching and hit the ground running.
This article originally posted Feb. 10, 2016.
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