Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Build a Reputation

I’ve been building the Trump brand for several decades. But from time to time, landmarks do come along. Two months ago, when Eric joined us, my three eldest children are now with the Trump Organization, helping to expand our brand. Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric are all here now. They are my real Apprentices, and they’re doing a great job. They know that I’m demanding, but they are disciplined and very hard workers, so they are a good fit with the Trump Organization.

Having a quality brand is very much like having a good reputation. It’s important to consider that fact, even when you are just starting out. Remember that everything you say and do is important. Actions matter. You are, literally, your own brand whether you have a business yet or not. If you are serious about what you’re doing, taking responsibility for yourself starts now. We were having a discussion about the Trump brand, and all of us agreed that it has to represent the highest quality available, no matter what the enterprise might be. If I build a golf course, it has to the best. If I build a skyscraper, it has to be the best. If I have a line of suits, they’d better be terrific. I am very thorough when it comes to certain things. Namely, everything. You’d better be too if you hope to get somewhere worth going.

I remember when someone mentioned how impressed they were that I would be so interested in trees when I was building a golf course. I remember being surprised that they were impressed--to me it made sense. You have to know the details yourself! Second hand information will always be second hand. Don’t be a second hand person. Go to the source yourself. That’s a start on the road to a great brand, a great reputation, or both.

My buildings sell out before they are built. Why? People recognize the brand name and know what they will be getting--the best for their money. It’s not a risk on their part. That’s the great thing about building a business based on quality and integrity. It will sell itself. It doesn’t happen overnight, you may have to work awhile to establish your reputation and brand, but the consistency will be the standard to beat in your chosen industry. I can tell you, it’s worth it. Whatever your interests are, get started. As Henry Ford said, you can’t build a reputation (or a brand) on what you are going to do. You have to put some action into your plans, ideas and dreams. That’s why you’re in the right place today. Trump University was set up to help you realize your goals. Becoming a professional is an investment in itself.

Most of us need letters of recommendation now and then. I write them as well as receive them, and I always look for the words ‘responsible, professional and loyal.’ If you can build your reputation on three words, those would be three at the top to choose from. I also think of those words when it comes to the Trump brand--to be authentic when it comes to responsibility, professionalism, and loyalty--to my buyers, clients, students, readers, audiences, and so forth. I’ll be the first to admit it’s not always easy. I am responsible for a lot of people. But high standards are high standards, and that’s what I stand for. I will not accept less from myself. To build the reputation you want to have, you will have to be the same way. Being stubborn has its rewards. Getting to the top and staying there is one of them. Start now, start today, start this very minute. There’s a lot of competition out there, and they won’t be waiting around for you. Build your reputation around getting things done! In the 1980’s I watched the Wollman Rink in Central Park getting renovated for 6 years with nothing getting done. I finally offered to help and had it done in a few months. I suddenly had a big reputation for a guy who gets things done--on time and under budget. People couldn’t believe it could be done, but I knew better. You can know better too. Build your reputation on intelligence, responsibility and results. That’s building the right way - By: Donald J Trump

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