A Few Business Lessons from Donald Trump

Heaven knows Donald Trump has been dishing out advice since I was in high school. And, I appreciate his dedication to wanting to help others. I’ve certainly enjoyed The Apprentice over the years, and love that he has introduced NeNe from Atlanta Housewives to an even bigger audience.

That being said, I think that the fact that he touched on the whole Barack Obama birth certificate issue as a way to gain attention for his possible run for office is amazingly stupid. Now that the “long form” birth certificate has been released by the White House, he’s probably blown his opportunity to become a candidate.

In this fascinating little political/entertainment story, there is much that can be learned – particularly if you have a small business. So, I’m sharing a few nuggets of inspiration that I think are helpful.

It’s Better to Promote What You Can Do rather Than Criticize Your Competition
Perhaps Donald, like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, could have been a contender if he had solely focused on what he could do to make this country better. Surprisingly, he decided to take a cheap shot at Barack Obama by even mentioning the whole birth certificate thing. What Donald Trump didn’t realize is that the majority of Americans don’t really give a damn about the birth certificate. It’s a moot point since he’s ummm like already the President. Now, that the birth certificate has been released, he looks silly and petty.

It’s Wise to Have All the Facts before Accusing Someone of Something
There are those times when, in business, you feel like you’ve been cheated, duped, or slighted. However, before you launch accusations, it’s always good to get all of your facts straight. Donald didn’t know whether or not Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya, or the South Pole, so he should have kept his mouth shut until he knew for sure. Now, if it had been proven that Obama had fudged where he was born, Donald would have had a point. However, that didn’t happen.

One of my friends/colleagues the other day told me that he thought someone had stolen something that he’d been working on for quite some time. He could have instantly hired an attorney and initiated a full-scale attack on him, but he decided to take it slow and find out what had happened. He was able to work it out with the other business owner, and now he has him as a new client! Now that’s classy and far more productive than just shooting out accusations.

Your Customers Are Drawn to the Positive Not the Negative
Donald Trump has forgotten an important business lesson. Customers or voters in this situation want to hear the positive. We want to hear how someone can make our lives better and easier. What we don’t particularly want is negative banter and criticism of others. Sorry Donald, when I hear you bitching about politics, it makes me change the channel, and now, I’m getting so turned off by you, that I’m pondering not watching The Apprentice. You sound like a whiny child who just wants attention!

“Glass Houses”
I’m sorry but the reality is that Donald Trump has been married three times, has repeatedly filed for bankruptcy, and is basically now a reality TV personality. Before he can start throwing stones at others, he may want to consider his personal stats. Yes, we all have our failures and vulnerabilities, but most of us aren’t lashing out at others on CNN. If he does run for office, I’ll be interested to see how he dances around these personal issues when the Christian evangelicals have questions.

The moral of this story is that it’s always smarter to keep your mouth shut until you know what the heck you’re talking about, and even smarter to stay focused on the positive. Donald Trump blew it in a big way over the last few weeks, and now looks like a fool before he’s even left the presidential election starting block.

Perhaps, he needs to reread his books and rethink his strategy. Or, maybe he just needs to focus on being a reality TV star.

Song of the Day: Born in the USA

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