20 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the 2016 Election

Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of the election, there are lessons all entrepreneurs can learn from it. Here are my top 20 lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from the 2016 election.

1.      Know when to keep your mouth shut and when not to.


2.      Stick to what works with your personality.

Only one person can be like Trump and that’s Trump.  He wasn’t acting. He wasn’t trying to be someone else.  Even though he was annoying to half the population and to some even on his side of the isle, he was at least being himself.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton’s team kept constantly trying to change her to be someone she’s not and people could see it.  Hillary is a very serious person who’s determined to win.  They kept trying to get her to be more likable which didn’t work.  Not because she can’t be likable but because no one is likable when they try to act like someone they’re not.

3.      Hard work beats strategy

Trump campaigned four to six times a day and Hillary campaigned once every three days. Trump constantly did Facebook Live in different parts of the country, and people eventually started seeing him more often.

Hillary and her team by far has more experience when it comes to campaigning, but their team tried to follow 100% of the strategy that Obama used that worked for him but not for her.

4.      Experience doesn’t guarantee a victory.

Success is the biggest liar in the world.  It makes you believe you’re invincible which NONE OF US, including Hillary Clinton, are.

5.      Never underestimate an underdog

There are two different types of fans in sports.  One is the group that’s always been a fan since the team had nothing going on and then there are the fans that become fans because the team starts winning. Almost every single supporter of Trump started off as a non-believer.  He converted people with his momentum into believers which would be considered bandwagon voters.

There’s nothing wrong with that because as an entrepreneur you’ll have to do that when launching something that no one believes you’re capable of pulling off.

6.      Avoid grabbing people’s private parts without approval.

This one is pretty obvious.

7.      You never know who to trust and who not to trust.

When you start winning as an entrepreneur you’ll attract groupies.  These are people who just want to be around you when you’re winning but not for the long haul.  It’s important for you to keep a small list of people you trust and not give your trust away to NEW people too soon.

8.      Start early and don’t slow down.  It’s all about momentum.

Trump campaigned for 18 months straight and didn’t stop a single day.

9.      Energy won this election.  You need energy to keep going and going.

Trump may be the real life Energizer Bunny.

10.  Stick to one message and keep saying it over and over again.

Trump started his campaign with Make America Great Again and he stuck to it the entire time until people bought into it.  He spoke about the same issues for 18 months and didn’t allow anyone or any media platform to change his ideas.

11.  You don’t need everyone’s approval.  Some may even HATE you and that’s OK.

This is especially true if you plan on building something that may disrupt an industry.

12.  Social media is more powerful than traditional media.

People made fun of Trump tweeting, but he used it as a tactic.  He knew everyone was watching his Twitter account like a hawk.  Even during the last 60 days of the campaign when the media no longer wanted to bring him on air because they felt it gave him more limelight, he still won because he used social media.

Traditional media no longer has the influence it once had.

13.  Don’t back down from bullies.

Trump was bullied by the media, Democrats, and the Republican party.  He called out everyone and anyone who was tied to them.  They threatened him with many different things but he didn’t back down.  And the reality part of it is that no matter how much we give them a hard time, we secretly follow people who don’t back down.

14.  Don’t wake up old enemies.

Hillary Clinton woke up some old enemies that hurt her campaign and so did Trump which almost cost him the victory.

15.  Take advantage of timing

In one debate, Trump’s comment “Because, you’d be in jail” got 40 million views on Facebook the next 24 hours.  Some say that statement alone created a ton of momentum for him.

16.  Raise great kids.

If everything goes wrong, people will judge you based on how well you raised your children.

17.  People have more power than the media.

Only one channel supported Trump – Fox News and even that could be debated.  Megyn Kelly was never supportive of Trump but let’s just say some of Fox supported him.  Everyone else hated him.  Maybe morning Joe, from MSNBC was on his side, but every other channel couldn’t stand him.

This is for you to know as the entrepreneur that you don’t need everyone to support you.  You need the people that matter the most which are your clients and your team.  If you get support from them, eventually you’ll win support from the media.  But even then you won’t ever win them all.

18.  Facebook new features changed the game.

I’ll make a bold statement.  I believe Facebook cost Hillary Clinton the election.  Facebook came out with the new angry emoji in February of 2016.  This was terrible timing for both candidates because now we can watch a Facebook LIVE and see how the people like the person.  Every time you went on Trumps Facebook LIVE, you would see a ton of happy faces or thumbs up filled with a few angry emojis.  But if you went on Hillary’s Facebook LIVE, all you ever saw was the angry emoji.  The ratios were incredible.  People started noticing this and it affected the undecided voters.  That’s where the election was won in my opinion.

19.  Likability is more important than policies.

Likability is stemmed from being authentic. Obama was liked while MCain and Romney were just respected. Trump was eventually liked but Hillary was disliked by both Republicans and Democrats. I’m not talking about the voters who have never voted the opposite side, meaning they’ve always voted Republican or Democrat. Quite frankly, this is the group that hurts America the most because they’re not willing to be open minded to see the opposite side.  What does matter are the people who are open. That group wasn’t attracted to Hillary for some reason and they were to Trump.

Anderson Cooper, in the one famous debate asked, “What’s the one nice thing you would say about your opponent?” Hillary complimented Trumps kids but Trump complimented Clinton as someone who just never gave up.  That was an opportunity for either to win the people and Trump won some people with his comments.

20.  If you say you’re going to make America great again, you BETTER DELIVER or else.

Trump better deliver or else the world will mock him and even worse, the history books won’t favor him. He will be the laughing stock of the media for a long time, no matter how many billions of dollars he makes.

If you tell your company, your clients, your sales team, your executives or anyone involved in your business that you’re going to do something you BETTER DO IT or else they will leave you for someone else who keeps their promises.





Patrick Bet-David
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