Growing Up in the TRUMP Family
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know both Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump over the years. They’ve had advantages few of us will ever have, yet their lives were not easy. Their dad had both boys working on the docks and on construction crews as laborers when they were young. Not quite the life of privilege you’d expect for sons of a wealthy man.
On occasion, I have spent time with both young men. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that they are rich young men, but not spoiled brats. They are more down to earth than most of my friends’ kids, who have been given everything.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Eric Trump on an episode of The Rich Dad Radio Show and we discussed what it was like to grow up with the last name Trump and what his thoughts were on family, loyalty, and business.
He and I are so aligned on how we approach and conduct business. Below are my thoughts on what we spoke about.
Trust Yourself, Not Others
One of the more simple, yet powerful, parts of my plan to have a life of great wealth was to make sure I had the integrity to be true to my words and respect the power of words by matching my words to my actions. Over the years, my rich dad made sure I kept my word on my small agreements. He said, “If you will keep your small agreements, you will keep your big agreements. A person who cannot keep his or her small agreements can never have their bigger dreams come true.”
There are many people who have big plans, but their big plans never come true. The reason is that too many people have big plans, but fail to keep their small agreements. As rich dad said, “People who do not keep their small agreements are people who cannot be trusted. If you cannot be trusted with small agreements, people will not help you make your big dreams come true. If you cannot keep your word, then people fail to trust you and have little confidence in you and your words.”
I have watched the wisdom of both dads’ advice on the power of words unfold. I have seen so many people show their core behavior when the pressure is on.
I have one friend who will not keep his time appointments with me, and then he wonders why I don’t want to do business with him. He also breaks his agreements with other people such as his partners, employees, and bankers, and often legally cheats them. Although he is successful, he must always look for new people to do business with. Instead of building upon his relationships, he destroys them and has to start again with completely new people. He has no problem finding new people, but his wooden nose keeps getting longer and it’s getting harder to hide.
The Importance of Loyalty
The motto of the Marine Corps is Semper Fidelis. The verbal version is often abbreviated to Semper Fi and translated from Latin, it means: “always faithful” and conveys loyalty and commitment to their fellow Marines.
Semper Fi signified the dedication that individual Marines have to “Corps and country”—and to their fellow Marines. It is a way of life. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is trust your team. It’s a lesson I’ve had to relearn quite a few times.
Eric Trump described a loyal employee of The Trump Organization who started off driving the siblings to school. He told the story about the time as the Trump Organization was preparing to build a new property in Las Vegas, NV, they needed someone that could be onsite managing the construction of the property. The former driver raised his hand and volunteered to manage the project.
Then, as they were looking for someone to manage the hotel once it opened, that same employee raised his hand again.
Twelve years later, the employee is still running one of the most successful and profitable hotels in Vegas.
No amount of money can be placed on that type of loyalty. When you have a team you can trust, and who step up to the plate when they’re needed, but when you find a team of loyal people, life and business become that much easier.
Fight for What You Believe In
It takes guts to stand for what you believe in, even if it is not popular.
I’m not trying to be too political, but the upcoming election came up during the interview and it was really apparent that President Trump is fighting for what he believes in—his country.
I believe if you have something you truly believe in, nothing should hold you back from working hard to achieve it.
I joined the Marine Corps to fight for capitalism and against communism, but when I returned from Vietnam I came home to find an America with a dying spirit and a growing entitlement mentality.
I’ve found that the principles of my military training are the same principles that are essential for being a successful entrepreneur. The men and women in the military have an incredibly strong spirit. The same as entrepreneurs.
The Power of Discipline
During my interview with Eric, he described what it was like spending summers as a kid with his grandparents and being raised by a very strict mother.
What he described is the discipline that they instilled within him to grow up and be a great husband, father, and business leader.
I chose a military academy because I knew I lacked discipline. I knew that without discipline I would never graduate and receive a college degree. And although I knew I lacked discipline, I did not learn what discipline really was until I got to the Academy.
At first, I thought discipline was what someone did to me. For example, an upperclassman chewing me out—in my face, in front of the world—when I did not follow orders, clean my room, or study at night.
After a while, I came to realize that discipline is what I did or did not do to myself. It slowly dawned on me that I would never become a leader if I could not discipline myself. I knew people would keep yelling at me until I became more self-disciplined.
Improving one’s life requires discipline. Change often requires that a person be uncomfortable, learn new things, meet new people, and become a better person… before the quality of their lives improves. Life does not improve until the person improves.
This is why learning discipline—the discipline of discipline—is an extremely important subject.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily