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The Art Of The Deal

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1822 words Published: 26th Sep 2016

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The Art Of The Deal


“Trump – The Art Of The Deal” written by Donald J. Trump with Tony Schwartz published by the Random House Publishing Group in 1987. This book is not a book for deal making or negotiations. This book is more like an autobiography of Donald J. Trump. Except for the first couple chapters, which talk about his early years, each chapter goes into some detail about different deals, like the Grand Hotel, USFL, Trump Tower and Trump Plaza. Trump talks about some negotiations, licensing, designs, construction and structure. The Book does not give a real insight in the Art of Deal making but gives the life history of Donald J. Trump and how went about making his deals and minute details about it. In Particular I was really impressed by his chapter that was “Trump Cards – The Elements of the Deal”. Overall the book was quite informative and gave some details about the real estate industry which I was not familiar to. But we have to carefully read between the lines to understand the “Art of Deal Making” because in his every deal there is some or the other aspect which helps us realize how should you go about when you are in a deal.

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Summary of Content

Donald Trump allots a couple chapters to his background. He was the son of a successful developer of rent-controlled & low-income housing in Queens and Brooklyn. He was a aggressive kid and was sent to military school during his high-school years. He started college at Fordham in the Bronx so that he could be close to home, but then transferred to the Wharton Business School because he liked its entrepreneurial emphasis he always believed that it is just a part of bringing up and does not relate much to real life of what he is going to do after completing his graduation. Shortly after completing his college, he worked with his father to buy a troubled apartment complex in Cincinnati which he fixed up and managed it for a while and then sold it for a multi-million dollar profit. Hungry for bigger things, he moved to a small studio apartment in Manhattan, and progressed from small deals to bigger ones, from renovating a hotel, to building Trump tower, to building and buying casinos in Atlantic city, along with a many other projects.

Donald J. Trump in his Book gives us deep insights in the real estate business. Donald Trump spent a lot of his teenage following his dad around on sites; he always dreamed of Manhattan and of creating landmark projects that made a statement. He Mentions that his style of deal making is straight forward he tells that he aims very high and then keeps pushing and pushing. He also feels that Deal making is an ability you are born with and it is not about being brilliant yes it requires intelligence. He states that thinking big is very important when thinking about a deal or what you want to achieve. He states that one of the keys for thinking big is total focus and that one quality he has noticed in many highly successful entrepreneurs. That they are obsessive, they are single minded and sometimes they are mechanical but it’s all channeled in their work. He feels if one protects the downside the upside will take care of itself he gives some very good examples from his personal life like the one in Atlantic city where he waited to receive the gaming licensing for the site and after that all fell in to place where he getting a 50% stake without spending a dime.

Donald Trump signifies the point of maximizing options so that one does not stuck with a particular deal as no matter how promising the deal seems at first it always falls apart. He also tells that market is the most important part where one should look at, it is very important to know your market what the people want from the producer or developer, what would be they willing to spend. He gave some useful insights where he says he doesn’t believe in fancy marketing surveys he himself does the survey and believes in it. His style of surveying is simple ask and ask till he is satisfied he has a lot of information and he gets a gut feeling about taking the decision he also points out that take opinions before taking a decision but in the end it depends on him.

Leverage is one of the keys in making a successful deal. It is very important not to show the other party that you are desperate in making the deal to make a deal the best part is having strength and that can be gained by having leverage. He talks about how it is not always possible to have leverage and one requires imagination and salesmanship i.e. to convince the other party that it is in his personal interest to make the deal. He also justifies the fact that it is not necessary to have the best location but it requires to be a best deal he says that location can be enhanced by promotion and through psychology and gives some personal example of trump towers and Trump plaza. In the end an entrepreneur should be able to deliver what he has promised because all the hype, promotion will not be able to hold unless you deliver the goods and create a reputation for yourself.

Patience is one of the important elements for success. As mentioned by Donald Trump in his book. For many years, he tried hard to get the site where he wanted to build Trump Tower. He had repeatedly kept writing to its owners to state his interest in the site but in the beginning he dint get much of a response but somehow he had that intuition of the future and his efforts finally paid off and at last, the site came to his side when the buyers of the site were in a poor financial condition and they sold it to Trump.


The book written by Donald Trump doesn’t excite as one begins to read the first chapter of “Dealing – A Week in Life” where the Author mentions his day to day activities for a whole week the reader tends to get isolated as he does not has a past background about it. The first chapter would have been more interesting to generate interest of the reader.

Donald trump describes some of his deals in details but one need to understand the time as the information provided is all from 80s and since I personally am not familiar with New York or New Jersey as many of his references which are often just streets as New York 42nd Street or 57th Street, Trump also keeps on putting names of people and as I am not from the same area and that time line, the names mean nothing much to me and same will be the case with people who are not of the same area.

From 2nd Chapter onwards the book generates interest and from there on within the book moved with a good pace. Donald trump uses a lot example to make his point. He first states a point and uses his own life experience to prove it right.

Donald Trump has given the key formulas which lead to his success. I personally felt motivated by reading this book and learnt some dos and don’ts while making a deal such as not to be over desperate, and it is not always possible to have leverage and one should be able to generate it to have a right deal, he also broke some myths along the way where he mentions that it is not necessary to have a best location but one needs a best deal.

Language used by Donald Trump is simple and can be understood easily. He makes it a point to begin a certain deal from scratch and tell how he landed up in that deal whether it was his instinct or how he located that site and so on. This helps the reader get a clear picture of how things went during the whole deal.

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Donald Trump writes this book in a very systematic way and grabs the attention on f the reader, he starts by explaining his one week at office and the meetings he conducted which I felt was a bit vague and then describes some key elements of dealing and then tells us about his past his background and slowly chapter by chapter he starts explain different dealings which he made in his life.

Donald Trump mentions that Deal Making is ability you are born with but I certainly disagree with this statement. Yes some may be born with it but the one who is willing to learn and has that instinct and is ready to learn from his mistakes and past experiences would generate that deal making ability.

Donald Trump has given pictures of him going to military school and different picture where he making a deal or promoting his site. These pictures have been clubbed together in middle of the book it would have made more sense if the pictures were posted along the chapters were the deal were being described and probably some more pictures of the complete building or its site would have helped the reader to see Donald Trump’s projects.

One more point to be noted about the book is the fact that it shows people that how things work in the real world. It focuses on how bankers demand a lot when one goes for financing and one has to really fight the government in granting subsidiaries or convincing the party that it is the best deal for him to do. Trump approaches business very straightforwardly. He believes and shows that the art of business can be reduced to the simple formula of buy low sell high.


“Trump – The Art of Deal” by Donald Trump is a must for readers who want to become entrepreneur and not only for the people who want to enter the real estate industry. Donald Trump gives deep insights of how he went about making the deals and also gave some key elements while are essential and should be remembered while making a deal. He tells how ambitious he was when he entered this industry, how he slowly grew from a small budding entrepreneur to a huge developer and constructor. Donald Trump tells how he did it – about himself, his deals, his money, and the people he dealt with. He tells us how the real estate industry really works and about the city he loves – New York. The stories of his deal-making strategies are absolutely captivating. Trump believes that the key to success in business is to balance boldness, caution and flexibility, promotion with patience.

Donald Trump has that larger than life image which goes well with his words. It is one of the national bestseller business books that an individual should read who is interested in money and success. It helps us learn how to fight against all odds to achieve success in life by working hard and dreaming big. Serious minded entrepreneurs may consider this book as it inspires and motivates a lot regarding avoiding failures and reaching the top of the mountain.

In summary, there are a lot of things you can take away from this book, whether you just want to know who Donald Trump is or apply his principles to your own life, there’s something for everyone.


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