9 Billion Dollar Lesson by Donald Trump

I read a couple of books carrying Mr. Trumps name: Trump 101: The Way to Success and How to get Rich (after becoming a fan of The Apprentice show I just had to get my hands on a few books of his). While I enjoyed some of the tips, there was one specific story that really hit me. In the book Trump 101, it’s revealed that at one point Trump was having major difficulties in his business. By major I mean that the guy had 9 billion dollars worth debt.

Think about that amount: $9,000,000,000.00 in debt. It’s almost impossible to even imagine that one person can ever achieve that amount of debt.

You would think that 9 billion dollar debt might sound like somebody is in a desperate situation. In the book it was said that Trump remembers seeing a beggar on a street and thinking “That beggar is 9 billion dollar richer than me”.

What did he do? Well, he talked with the bankers. He didn’t give up. He was determined to pay everything back. He started working even harder, and to make a long story short: now Mr. Trump has got up from the hole and doing better than ever.

Beating 9 billion dept requires determinant mind. If at some point you feel like you’ve got a problem, you might as well remember Trump’s example. Never give up and make your way. If somebody can manage to get rid of 9 billion dollar debts, then certainly whatever problem we face can be overcome too.

That’s a good lesson for any business.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Making mistakes ain’t bad. Making the same mistake over and over again is bad :). I invested in a few bad ideas but I also invested in a few bad cars as well. Ever bought a crapy car that falls apart after a year. After I bought that car I researched a lot on my next purchase.

    After I made a badly designed game I looked over the process and learnt from it as well. So for me both the bad car and game have taught me to do my homework first.

  2. What I mean to say, debt isn’t a bad thing if you need the capital and use it as an investment (like Stephen says), if you just spend it on crap though, it is not so wise. Having said that I *did* buy a plasma TV :)

  3. Sometimes if your company makes a few thousand pounds profit you can think “hey my company made more than this massive company or this one” because lots of companies often make huge losses, it’s quite funny really.

    I build up some debt over the last couple of years whilst building up my Indie business but it’s all being paid off nicely now.

  4. There is no bank in the world that would help someone who owns $9 bln.
    Explanations for this go to a very shady area…
    Same goes for Soros and similar “skilled businessman”…
    These success stories would be really nice if they were true!

  5. We have spent a bit of money this year on games and are in the red. However we treat the investment as a learning experience. I could of spent the $5000 on a DVD collection and plasma TV, which would achieve no return as well. I would rather spend my spare time making things and game making is my entertainment. We are also working on a idea to get a few sales from another angle as well.

    If you love making games the time and money don’t matter. As long as you stick to your money and time budget it cab be smooth. I would really like our games to sell a little more but I think we will work that one out in time. The marketing is the boring stuff :). I am ok with my normal day jobs and I really enjoy my hobby/game making job.

    Next year I might go into debt to make the game I always wanted to make. Its just like going into debt for the car you always wanted. Time to splash out on the big one!

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