We recently had the opportunity of working with Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, and Entrepreneur, Donald Trump Jr. on a speaking engagement in Las Vegas. Trump received exemplary feedback on his public speaking engagement, and was kind to accept a phone interview with the BigSpeak team. While Trump has extensive experience in the real estate and business realm, I was particularly interested in his involvement in the campaign trail, how he sees the political climate as it relates to business, and how he manages to balance running a billion dollar business and campaigning, all while prioritizing fatherhood to his five children under the age of 8.
On Family Life
When asked about balancing his many responsibilities for the Trump Organization, his active involvement in the campaign trail, and prioritizing family life, the father of 5 made it clear that family is always number one, claiming that “no business man will look back on his life regretfully wishing that he had made more business deals, but at the end of the day will probably wish he had spent more time with his children and family”. Trump noted that culture has changed over the last few decades, and fathers are expected to attend their children’s sporting events, and performances – he gave an example of how he recently took 2 red eye flights just to see his daughter’s skiing race. He said that businesses are starting to catch onto this notion that if employees can spend more time with their family, they will be happier and more engaged at work.
Naturally, I asked what family life was like growing up, and if his father placed as much value on spending time with them during their childhood. Trump mentioned that cultural norms were a bit different then, so valuable family time didn’t always consist of playing ball, or watching TV, but that his dad would always make time for the kids – if they ever called, it didn’t matter if he was in a meeting with Jack Welch or some top CEO, he would always answer the phone. “I’ve been in the business for 38 years because that’s how old I am,” Trump joked. “I used to play with my toys in my dad’s office while he was negotiating million dollar deals” he said, and attributes that experience of being exposed to business at such a young age to his successes in business today.
On Business and Politics
Trump strongly advocates that real life business experience is key for a position as substantial as presidency. He notes that there are many candidates with far more experience in politics, but that often political experience is more theoretical – those candidates have never been in situations where they’ve had to actually allocate large sums of their own, and others’ money, and don’t have the hands on business experience needed to negotiate and make real life decisions under pressure.
I asked him where he sees risks and opportunities for businesses given our economy’s volatile and ever changing climate during this election. Trump sees biggests risks for business as the tax situation incentivizing businesses to push labor and manufacturing over seas which reduces employment of skilled laborers domestically, as well as excessive waste with taxes, giving the example of governmental organizations employing under qualified workers who can’t be let go due to tenure. Trump optimistically counters, however, saying that there are opportunities for us to greatly improve our education system, reduce fraud and waste within the political system, and create an environment for American businesses to thrive on our own soil.
Trump acknowledges that there is risk in having your business take a political stance, noting that only 50% of citizens will agree with you, and the other 50% will oppose you, but he said it is important to stay loyal to your employees, and be transparent and honest about the positions you advocate.
Trump as a Speaker
Mark McKinnon, Former George Bush Campaign Head and Creator of Showtimes, The Circus, recently attended an event in Elko, NV where Trump JR was speaking and stated that “(Donald Jr) gave a speech today and was terrific” and continued on to rave about how Trump is a wonderful family man and gifted speaker. A talented speaker, businessman, and more recently, political figure, Trump is an ideal candidate to speak to event audiences about business, real estate, or politics.
Amber M. is a Marketing Associate at BigSpeak. If you’d like to secure an expert public speaker like Donald Trump Jr. for your next conference or event, contact BigSpeak at email@example.com or (805) 965-1400. *The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not reflect those of BigSpeak as an agency.