Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sitting Next to Donald Trump

Doreen & Carolyn
While I haven't had the pleasure of sitting next to the Trumpster and getting business tips (yet), I did have the honor of the next best thing. I got some great business strategies and life advice from the woman who did sit next to Donald Trump - Caroyln Kepcher.
Carolyn is the former COO for The Trump Organization and she is also the woman who sat at his side for 5 seasons on The Apprentice.  I met Carolyn at theNorthern Virginia Women's Business Conference.  There, she shared insightful tips on what it takes to succeed while being true to yourself and being there for your family.
Her book, Carolyn 101: Business Lessons from The Apprentice Straight Shooter, also offers some valuable lessons on how to get ahead in the business world. I wanted to share some of my take-a-ways from her with you.
  • You're the one in charge of your learning curve. In this day and age, we don't always have the luxury of having someone walk us through something step by step - holding our hand every step of the way.  You may get the basics, but the rest is up to you.  Take responsibility for your own education, training, and learning.  Be proactive within your organization, in your industry, and with your career.
  • When someone hands you an opportunity, don't be afraid to take it. At 25, Carolyn had never run a golf club - or even knew much about golf, but when the opportunity presented itself, she jumped on it and suggested to Trump that he give her the job of General Manager for the Blair Hall Country Club. He said yes.
  • Balancing work and home life is not a moral issue.  No one but you has any right to say whether what you are doing is good or bad.  You have got to decide what will work best for you and your family. And always talk with your boss about what that is.  Don't expect people to read your mind about what you need to live a "balanced" life.  
More of Carolyn's insights, as well as how she managed to rise through the ranks of the Trump Organization at such a young age, can be found in her book.