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This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Art of the Deal" by Donald J. Trump. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you looking for The Art of the Deal quotes? How does Donald Trump describe his business philosophy?

The Art of the Deal is Trump’s autobiography of his early life and career. The following The Art of the Deal quotes reflect his business philosophy and approach to deal-making.

Keep reading for The Art of the Deal quotes by Donald Trump.

The Art of the Deal Quotes by Donald Trump

“One of the keys to thinking big is total focus. I think of it almost as a controlled neurosis, which is a quality I’ve noticed in many highly successful entrepreneurs. They’re obsessive, they’re driven, they’re single-minded and sometimes they’re almost maniacal, but it’s all channeled into their work. Where other people are paralyzed by neurosis, the people I’m talking about are actually helped by it.”

One of Donald Trump’s life maxims is to dream big. Many people limit their goals because they’re afraid of making big decisions and, ultimately, afraid of success. In order to think—and achieve—big, you need total focus. Many successful business people possess a “controlled neurosis,” an obsessive drive and single-mindedness that they channel into their work. 

“good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.”

When it comes to publicity, Trump endorses what he calls “truthful hyperbole,” or harmless exaggeration. The media wants a good story, and you can make a good story even better if you exaggerate it by adding an element of novelty, boldness, or controversy. As for the negative press, use it to your advantage if it occurs. Bad publicity brings more attention and, if you leverage it, that can help business. 

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”

Trump says that he is not motivated by money. He sees money as an undeniable bonus, but the pleasure comes in the sport and the art of deal-making. 

“I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first.”

Always have a plan B, plan C, and even plan D—and don’t get too attached to any one of them. The majority of deals fall through, so your long-term success depends on your ability to be flexible and change course if need be. When you need to pivot to your backup plan, you won’t waste valuable time coming up with an alternative and figuring out how to approach it—you’ll have had it in mind the whole time. 

The Art of the Deal Quotes by Donald Trump

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  • What Donald Trump says about his early life before the White House
  • The 11 principles Trump says guided his business decisions
  • How the West Side rail yards project proved to be a challenge for Trump

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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