Book Review: THINK BIG – Make it Happen in Business and Life

THINK BIG – Make it Happen in Business and Life by DONALD TRUMP, and Bill Zanker

This is a non-fiction authored by Donald Trump, and supplemented by Bill Zanker, President and Founder of the Learning Annex.  If you have read, Art of the Deal, previously written by Donald Trump in late 80s, you may consider this book a sequel to it.   It builds on the same stories as examples to the philosophy of believing in yourself and thinking big to realize your goals and dreams.   I thoroughly enjoyed reading the sequel and related to the stories and examples because I had read the earlier book. My  reading of both books seems to complete the theme of “Making it Happen”.with the right mindset and approach to life and business. 

One can think of these tips of wisdom as an afterthought to having made it big by being at the right place at the right time.  But I took them as the characteristics and his personality traits speaking out in a sincere effort to help the reader to the secret to making it big.  

The book provides the success story of the Learning Annex as a resource to skills building and motivating learners in realizing their dreams.   Through inviting well known successful people as guest speakers to share their wisdom Bill Zanker establishes a business relationship with Donald Trump.   After several attempts and offering $1.0M to speak for one hour, he succeeded in securing Trump as a speaker subject to at least 10000 participants hearing him out.  With this goal in mind Bill Zanker went on a quest of publicity and promotional efforts to bring large audience.  The end result was more than 30000 people signing up to hear Donald Trump.  

At the start, the reader has to take a quiz to assess his/her attitude and disposition to “thinking big”.  Generally only 2% of the people score high enough in the quiz to be considered ready to deal with the subject and adopt the suggested measures.  Even if one scores lower, this enlightenment opens up your mind to possibilities of making it big with the right attitude and mindset.  

Without thinking about making big money to start with one has to find their true passion on what excites you and what you are really good at doing.  It is a self-feeding and circular process, in loving what you do to excel at it, and you will excel at it if you love it. And if you love what you do and give your best to it,  success follows in terms of monetary gain and broadening your horizon.   Once you find your true passion, you have to maintain your focus and keep your eyes at the ball all the time.  

The stories and examples from his real-estate ventures demonstrate the importance of making informed decisions and following your gut instincts.  One should see every goal and desire as a problem.  All problems have a solution.  A solution oriented approach to tackling problems as they appear clears your path to keep moving forward without being bogged down by the negativity.  The fear factor brings in negativity and lethargy and may become a key obstacle in your path.  

My take from this reading reinforces my belief in positive thinking, believing in yourself and determination to achieve your ambitions.   As you achieve success, you must continue to strive.  Being successful in a venture does not mean you have achieved your destination and slack off.  You must continue to strive and expand your enterprise. In the face of setbacks, one must continue momentum to keep going. Even in rough times and bad market conditions, keep busy with plans to execute when the market improves.  Learn from mistakes and setbacks.  Setbacks are expected and a perfectly normal occurrence in life.  They help you become strong and eliminate the fears.  

With success comes jealousy and negative publicity.  People who cannot achieve success in the same manner will make you a target of their undue criticism and attempts to bring you down morally.  Keeping your spirits high and giving a befitting response to criticism and defamation tactics are well demonstrated with anecdotes and real life incidents.  Donald Trump certainly is not forgiving to the accuser or anyone who would try to malign his reputation.  

He includes tips for a healthy personal life and relations.  Unforeseen things happen in life, marriage and business.  Being prepared for the worst, having safeguards is crucial to withstand the blows life might inflict upon you.  

A lot of these tips may seem like common sense or relevant to big business deals and ventures but I see them as relevant to all.  Staying positive, believing in yourself, knowing your self- worth and having the right attitude are some of the necessary ingredients for making it big.  

Each chapter focuses on a specific motivational topic with stories and examples of personal experiences.  Each chapter ends with Zanker’s take on the topic and tips with his inspirational stories and examples.  I mostly agree with each of Donald Trump’s points of views and opinions, but I don’t always agree with Zanker’s take at the end of chapters. As successful as Bill Zanker may be, he projects an image as a flaunter riding on flashing the glitter of money and using pretense to impress others.  

The testimonials in the form of interviews with Donald Trump, real letters received from participants following the Wealth Expos are genuine manifestations of the type of impact the Learning Annex and the philosophy of Thinking Big has had on pointing people in the right direction.  

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