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Adversity Builds Character (But I Prefer the View from the Top)

by Donald J. Trump
Chairman, Trump University

My greatest respect is for people who have experienced adversity and then come back. I was one of those people, in the early nineties. I went through a tough period and learned a lot about myself, and then came back bigger and better and stronger. It wasn't unlike what happened to Frank Sinatra in the early fifties. Like me, he lost focus. He took his eye off the ball and he made some bad decisions. (Also like me, it was the fairer sex that had a little something to do with his troubles, but that's another story for another time.)

There's a wonderful story in Sammy Davis, Jr.'s Yes I Can, where Sammy, who's on the way up (due in no small part to Sinatra's patronage), sees Frank walking down Broadway all by himself, looking utterly dejected. At the time, Frank was on the skids, having gone from being the biggest singer ever known to a laughingstock, reduced to singing novelty songs.

It's a familiar scenario to me, because one night at 3am, when I was more than $9 billion in debt, I was summoned to Citibank for a conference call with a bevy of international bankers to whom I owed money. It was pouring rain and I couldn't get a cab, so I had to walk to the bank, 15 blocks from Trump Tower. By the time I got there I was soaked. I felt then like I had reached my lowest point. But we worked things out, and the rest, as they say is history. They also say it's darkest before the dawn. You know what I say: Never ever give up.

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Comments | Add Comment
Posted By: Thomas J Supri (9/9/2005 6:06:07 AM)
Comment: This is a secret to success I think, though I have not as of yet attained greatness. The bulldog mentality,the rainy downcasted,humility. I can sure relate to this. I am after the Silver Lining myself-thats why im here reading all this at 5AM and I didnt just get up for the day! You have role models or heroes that you admire-thats a key to success also. I like Batman for one. Not the goofey one either.
Posted By: Rene Calder (7/20/2005 7:31:00 PM)
Comment: Sammy, Frank, and Donald: A triumvirate for the ages. Come fly with me, Mr. Trump, we'll soar above your gilded towers.
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