“I was walking down the street and I said said to my then wife Marla, ‘That beggar over there is worth $900 million more than I am…. Because I’m $900 million in debt.” Think Big and Kick Ass, by Donald Trump, 2007.
“I was walking down the street and I said said to my then wife Marla, ‘That beggar over there is worth $900 million more than I am…. Because I’m $900 million in debt.”
Think Big and Kick Ass, by Donald Trump, 2007. pic.twitter.com/dcQsVMNy7a
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 8, 2019
Journalists should read Trump’s books, they are excellent.
The Art of the Deal inspired me to 10X my life.
Trump, who as a speaker for the learning Annex saw Tony Robbins in action many times, understands the power of focus and framing.
“The more focused I am on doing things I love, the less stress I experience.” – Donald J. Trump
Focus in mentioned 26 times in Think Big and Kick Ass:
- “When I started my career in real estate, I had a problem. I had no money to invest in the properties I wanted. But I didn’t focus on it and let it stop me. I focused all my attention on buying properties without money!”
- “I used the focus on my will and the power of my enthusiasm to build even more momentum.”
- “I focused on my passion, and a lot of money has come to me.”
- “If you want to become successful and stay successful, you must learn how to focus.”
Trump also understands the role of self-talk and focus, writing, “If we were to say to ourselves, ‘I’m so unfocused’ instead of “I’m so stressed out,” I think we could clear things up more quickly.”
I wish I had read Think Big and Kick Ass before writing Gorilla Mindset, as there are many overlaps between the books.
To maintain momentum, you require a lot of energy. To maintain your focus, you must have energy. Each pillar is important.
I am obsessed with ways to increase my energy, as I believe in myself. If I keep moving forward, everything will work out.
Trump talks about energy in Think Big and Kick Ass. “Your belief generates the power, the skill, and the energy to succeed at achieving your goals.”
Trump cites chess player Bobby Fischer as an example of a person with high energy and focus. “He boasted that he gave 98 percent of his mental energy to chess, while others gave only 2 percent. That explains his success. He enjoyed the challenge of focusing his mental energy.
Trump’s Mindset = Push, not permission.
In the Art of the Deal, Trump describes his deal making style. Making deals isn’t only about real estate sales. All of life is deal making.
Trump, a momentum player with intense focus and high energy, pushes: “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.”
When one of Trump’s employer came to him with a problem, Trump’s solution was simple, “‘Keep pushing,’ I tell him.”
Later in the book Trump tells someone else, “‘Well, push, John,’ I say, ‘Push hard.'”
Trump doesn’t ask the media for permission.
He pushes his message.
Once the world became obsessed with Donald Trump, I did what it seems like few others who write about Trump have – I read his books, and this included The Art of the Deal. Although Art of the Deal was entertaining, like most books in the genre, it’s too vague to be applied to real life.
One section that stuck with me was “A Week in the Life.”
Trump kept a diary of his daily and weekly activities, and it blew me away how busy he stayed. It also shamed me. Why wasn’t I working harder?
I had good reasons for my time-management plan. Too many people have spazzy energy and lack focus. The problem most people have is doing too much, and not staying on task.
Most people are busy for the sake of being busy, and aren’t focused on 80/20 (Pareto moves).
I stayed on task, perhaps to a fault, and this slowed my growth. I needed to take a more Trump-like approach, and increase deal flow.
I focused on building up several properties at all once:
- Team took Facebook page to 400,000 likes,
- Produced feature-length film on free speech,
- Funded and produced second film,
- Held Gorilla Mindset seminars,
- Launched an events business,
- Supplement and Lifestyle company,
- Built a media presence,
My productivity increased, and that’s without a doubt because of Trump’s book.
The downside to A Week in the Life is chaos.
A lot of people freak out by what’s happening in Trumpland, and I’m not here to change your mind on that. (Cernovich.com is apolitical and is about mindset, lifestyle, and winning at life.)
Chaos is part of a high deal flow lifestyle. For example, the first manufacturer for Gorilla Mind had to be fired. This set production back by 7 months.
When you have a lot of projects ongoing, you don’t always know every detail about what’s happening, and that can lead to some confusion, and is stressful for most people.
Most people in life want certainty. The irony is that certainty is another word for undiversified. Your one job or business is certain? It seems that way until you lose it. Life isn’t certain, and the way to mitigate uncertainty is to diversify your assets, income flows, and mindset.
Those who demand certainty find it frustrating to work with me. “I don’t know right now,” and “We will figure it out” are mantras I live by.
Where some see chaos, I see an OODA loop:
The OODA loop is the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach favors agility over raw power in dealing with human opponents in any endeavor.
Cernovich does not have any large billionaire backers, yet look at what we have accomplished. This is because we are agile, we move fast, we don’t have fixed plans, we respond to changing battlefield conditions.
To apply the OODA-loop in your own life you need to have the right mindset.
1. Observation. Sharpen your senses. Practice your skills of observation. Go for walks where you simply listen and watch. You will be amazed at what you see. Birds chirping. Couples feuding. Strange chalk marks in alleyways. Listen to your mind when you see something. Pay attention to the world around you.
2. Orientation. This is the big one. It means always striving to improve yourself be it through reading new books, listening to podcasts, or learning new skills. To orient effectively you must train your mind to recognize patterns, understand history and psychology, and even know your enemy.
3. Decision making: this one just comes with time, and with mentorship. This is why training schools exist in the military, or practice for sports teams.
4. Action. You need to strengthen your body. Lift weights. Get in shape. Eat right. Practice breathing. Everything described in Gorilla Mindset. This way your body and your mind will be prepared once you decide to take action.
Be ready to take your lumps and losses.
Trump’s companies plead bankruptcy a few times, although how many times is subject to debate. While some see these bankruptcies as evidence poor business acumen, others seek the bankruptcies as what you’d expect to find on a successful businessperson’s balance sheet.
Here is a basic math problem:
You do three deals of equal value, that is, you invest $100,000 in three businesses.
Deal 1. You lose all of your money and the business files for bankruptcy.
Deal 2. You lose all of your money and the business files for bankruptcy.
Deal 3. You make a 10X return.
“This loser pled bankruptcy twice,” is one way to characterize what happened. Another interpretation is that you have a net profit of $800,000. Both interpretations are true, which is yet another reason that much of what you read is simultaneously true and false.
Human nature loathes a loss, and most can’t take the L and charge it to the game.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy. The Misconception: You make rational decisions based on the future value of objects, investments and experiences. The Truth: Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.
You have to know when to get out. When? (See the OODA loop, above.)
You’re also going to get a lot of hate from critics and losers when you take a loss.
Your mindset must be to take the long view, and realize your life isn’t fixed at any given point. Don’t let the haters and losers get to you, and don’t be seduced by the fans. Keep moving forward!
My favorite quotes from The Art of the Deal.
On responding to haters. “My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want about theirs.”
On instincts. “One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And is the third is sometimes your best investments are the ones you didn’t make.”
On media. “Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don’t enjoy doing press. I’ve been asked the same questions a million times now, and I don’t particularly like talking about my personal life. Nonetheless, I understand that getting press can be very helpful in making deals, and I don’t mind talking about them.”
On self-promotion. “The most successful painters are often better salesman and promoters than they are artists.”
On negotiate. “My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”