Donald Trump and 9 lessons I learnt from his victory

Donald Trump and 9 lessons I learnt from his victory

Sunday, November 13, 2016 12:40 pm

Bayo Adeyinka

Bayo Adeyinka

By Bayo Adeyinka

I never hid my support for a Donald Trump Presidency even when so many close friends of mine thought it was weird. I had engaged so many people on why I believed Trump should be the next President. Even when the ‘locker room’ scandal broke out, I had told some friends that America was not electing a pastor but a president. Such was my support for him and I’m extremely glad he won. You can click this link for my earlier article titled “Why I Want Donald Trump To Win” written on July 29.

We now have a Trump Presidency- against all odds. I learnt some very valuable lessons during this period:

Trump has an incredible self-belief. He took himself seriously when others didn’t. I remember what Mahatma Ghandi said- ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’. That’s the story of Donald Trump. He was grossly underestimated and dismissed by many. According to Trump, “It’s often to your advantage to be underestimated”.

Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim dismissed Trump as a ‘clownshow’. Huffington Post stated that it would cover Trump’s campaign in its entertainment section. “Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow,” they wrote. “We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.” When Ryan Grim was asked about Trump’s chances of becoming Republican Presidential nominee, he said, “He will not. I’m as likely to get it as he is. He’s only where he is because of the big field. When the field winnows, he fades.” Noah Millman of The Week called him ‘sad clown’ in an article. In the said article, he wrote, “Trump’s greatest weakness as a candidate has always been the utter ridiculousness of the proposition.”

And talking about endorsements: the country’s most-circulated newspaper, USA Today, which had never before taken sides in a presidential race, urged readers not to vote for Donald Trump. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post endorsed Hillary Clinton. By the end of this campaign season, of the 100 American newspapers with the largest circulations, Clinton scored 57 endorsements while Trump got just two major endorsements. Twenty-six major newspapers did not endorse a candidate. And celebrity endorsements? Hillary got Jon Bovi Jon, Katy Perry, Cher, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jay Z, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Kardashians, Pharrell Williams, Robert De Niro, Leonardo di Caprio and even Oprah Winfrey. Donald Trump showed that the greatest endorsement anyone can have is self endorsement.

And who did Donald Trump have in his corner? He had Hulk Hogan, the wrestler turned sex-tape star. He had Charlie Sheen, the man who claims to have slept with thousands of women. He had Mike Tyson, the convicted rapist. He had Katie Hopkins who once compared all migrants to cockroaches. Trump did not have a single endorsement from any of the top 100 highest paid celebrities. At least 20 endorsed Clinton. One of them, Kim Kardashian, who boasts 48.9 million Twitter followers, wrote an essay on Clinton on her website and app explaining her choice. A few days to the election, Beyoncé and Jay Z performed in Ohio-a swing state- in support of Clinton. Trump still won the state. The most powerful celebrity endorsement is your own.

Even politicians within Trump’s party refused to support him- both Bush Presidents, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Colin Powell, John McCain, Condoleeza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger and so many others. Trump believed he could and so did he. Let me end this with a Donald Trump quote: “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will”.

No army can defeat an idea whose time has come. Donald Trump had considered throwing his hat into the ring in 1988, 2004 and 2012 but he never did. It’s very unlikely he would have won against Barack Obama in 2012. Coming on the heels of Brexit, this was a perfect moment for him. Timing is everything. Taking advantage of an opportunity is the greatest pathway to success. Even more important is recognizing an opportunity when it presents itself. In Think Big, Donald Trump wrote, “When luck is on your side it is not the time to be modest or timid. It is the time to go for the biggest success you can possibly achieve”. That’s timing. In an interview, Trump also said, “Money, like comedy, is all about timing”.

Here’s how the Good Book puts it in Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV- “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all”. The Living Bible translation says it’s by “happening to be at the right place at the right time”. You may have all the money, all the skills, say the right things, get endorsed by the right people and even get some leverage due to experience but if you miss the timing, you miss everything. According to Rick Springfield, “If the timing is right and the gods are with you, something special happens”.

Timing is the most crucial ingredient to success.

Trump was reported to have spent $1m researching before he decided to gun for the Presidency.

In the Art of the Deal, Donald Trump wrote about his strategy, “The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you. I’ve always done things a little differently, I don’t mind controversy. The result is that the press has always wanted to write about me.” He also wrote about exaggeration-calling it hyperbole. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.”

Trump’s strategy was to target one voting bloc-the ‘left-behind’- the white middle-class and working class who were dissatisfied with the way jobs were shipped abroad, evangelicals and conservative Americans who cared deeply about the moral fabric of the society and the fearful public who were concerned about the rising insecurity around the world. He never deviated from this audience segment throughout his campaign even when people were concerned he wasn’t reaching out enough to the Hispanics and African Americans. His theme “Make America Great Again” reflected his strategy. He targeted blue-collar workers across the critical swing states in the South and Midwest America. There were 4 states won by Obama in 2012 that Trump concentrated on- Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania account for 46 electoral votes. He won all of them. Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin had not voted for a Republican presidential nominee in decades — including Pennsylvania, which last voted Republican in 1988 and Wisconsin, which had been a Democrat stronghold since 1984. Clinton had hardly bothered to campaign in Wisconsin, where almost every poll gave her a solid lead.

Strategy will always defeat energy. It’s not just about activity- it’s about the right activity.

Your past can haunt your present. A casual event that took place in the past can make you a casualty in future. Beware of that mis-step, that wrong talk, that improper visit and that casual dalliance. A casual fling can fling away your destiny. Little decisions taken in a moment of indiscretion can suddenly take centre-stage in the future- with destiny as casualty. The sins of the youth could have come full circle in old age.
Not many people will have another chance like Trump after the locker room talk was made public.

If your life is controlled by raw data and statistics, there is the possibility of you being wrong once in a while. Don’t live your life based on opinion polls. Almost all the polls put Clinton ahead of Trump. One poll showed Clinton would get 352 electoral votes. Usually, the candidate who leads the polls as the Election Day approaches normally wins the election. It was meant to be a shellacking. Some election forecasters put Clinton’s chance of winning at anywhere from 70% to as high as 99%. A major betting website PaddyPower was so certain Clinton would beat Trump that they paid out more than $1.1m to those who bet on Clinton before Election Day. In Nigeria, a popular ‘seer’ predicted that the election will be won by a woman. However, Trump defied all odds. PaddyPower and the Nigerian seer were both wrong.

Remember, statistics are just numbers. You can rise against the odds even if the odds are against you.



When Trump discovered the press was for Clinton with all the endorsements, he turned to social media-especially tweeter, though he has profiles on facebook, Instagram and snapchat also. He has more than 11m followers on tweeter. Since he announced his intention to run for the Presidency, he has been retweeted 3.5m times. He tweets about 11 times in a day and there was a particular day he tweeted 59 times. According to a video released by The Telegraph, between January and July 2016, Donald Trump was mentioned on tweeter 130m times while Hillary Clinton was mentioned 37m times. His social media engagements helped him to amass $3.4b of free media coverage over 12 months during the campaign. You can watch the video here

Almost everything Trump posted or shared went viral. He knew exactly how to create shareable content. If you want to create shareable content, you must awaken some emotion in the mind of your reader. Analyze your audience and understand their needs. Pay attention to current events. Embed some sense of urgency. Whatever you post must be for a desired result. Social media is ineffective without engagement. To get your audience commenting, liking, sharing and clicking on your posts, you need to entertain them, inspire a reaction and spark intrigue. The better you do this, the more engaged your followers will be. Donald Trump understood this perfectly. (You can order for my CD “ABC of Social Media” for more on this).

Be a bit unusual. Dare to be different. If you’re going to be outstanding, you shouldn’t care about political correctness at times. It takes crazy people to change the game. In a world full of ordinary people, only crazy people stand out. Don’t blend in. Don’t worry if you don’t fit the mould. Don’t go with the status quo. Stand out!

Here’s what Rob Siltanen wrote, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Donald Trump doesn’t fit into the mould of the average politician. You don’t have to also.

As of late October, Clinton’s campaign spent about $141.7 million on ads, compared with $58.8 million for Trump’s campaign, according to NBC News. Clinton’s campaign had about 800 people on payroll at the end of August versus about 130 for Trump’s. Trump’s campaign committee spent about $270m compared with $521m by Clinton’s. That equals about $859,538 spent per Trump electoral vote versus about $1.97 million spent per Clinton electoral vote. That implies that Trump spent less than $5 per popular vote and half as much as Clinton. However, Trump got billions of dollars in free media ads. Trump’s $270m was just a little more than a third of what Obama spent on his re-election in 2012.

Throwing money at problems is not the solution. You can have all the cash in the world and still fall behind someone with only bright ideas. The man with ideas will always lead the man with the cash. A lean budget engaged by a sound mind will work wonders. A sound mind with a lean budget will go farther than an ordinary mind with a fat budget. Stop getting worried about how much you have but put your mind to work.

I’ve watched a video showing how Paula White, Kenneth Copeland and about 40 other preachers prayed for Trump and laid hands on him. Messianic Rabbi Kirt Schneider, as he began to pray during the meeting, noted that only two nations in world history have been in direct covenant with God: Israel and the United States. The rabbi reached over placed his hand on Trump’s forehead and pronounced Aaron’s blessing on him. “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift you up with His countenance, and The Lord give you His peace…”

David Jeremiah, who has a popular nationally syndicated radio program, said: “We pray what he has heard today by those who have spoken into his life, he will consider…We ask you to give him direction and give him hope and Lord thank you for allowing us to be here for this special moment. Perhaps we will look back on this day and remember that we stood together and prayed over the next president of the United States.”

In 1970, Christian leaders including Pat Boone had formed a prayer circle as they gathered at the then California Governor Ronald Reagan’s home. As they prayed for Reagan and his wife Nancy, one of the participants, George Otis prophesied: “If you walk uprightly before Me, you will reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Ten years later Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States.

One may want to ask how God can be on the side of such a man who said some of the darnedest things? Could it be anything that had to do with his very beginning- his foundation? Trump is a longtime disciple of “the great Norman Vincent Peale,” as he calls him on the campaign trail, the famous twentieth-century evangelist who preached positive thinking and reached millions through his television and radio programs. Growing up, Trump’s family attended Peale’s church, Marble Collegiate in Manhattan. He married his first wife there, hosted Peale’s 90th birthday party at the Waldorf Astoria in 1988, and embraced his message of positive thinking.

I believe the answer can be found in Romans Chapter 9 verses 15&16- “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy”.

-Bayo Adeyinka is a banker, life coach, author, blogger and public affairs analyst. He can be reached on his twitter handle @greaterbayo or e-mail


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