Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t” by Donald J. Trump and Robert T. Kiyosaki is an interesting, fairly light read about how entrepreneurs can differentiate themselves and put themselves on a road to business success. Politics aside, Trump’s and Kiyosaki’s books are frequently good reads for real estate investors. This one is a bit generic and anecdotal. But it shares some business truisms that a growing real estate entrepreneur should include in his/her personal growth priorities. I’ll touch on some of their main points here.

Per their usual writing style, they intersperse stories from each of their backgrounds. Many of these have already been shared in their previously authored books, but they still remain interesting. From those stories of personal learning, they derive their entrepreneurial lessons.

A major theme throughout the book revolves around the development of personal brand. Trump is of course a poster child for that, riding it all the way to the presidency of the United States. Kiyosaki also has the Rich Dad brand, though it is more content-based and less personality-based than Trump’s brand. Their main thesis is that real estate (and other) entrepreneurs should differentiate themselves by how they represent themselves to the world. How can you be different from every other real estate investor? What is your special sauce? What do you bring to the table that an investor, lender, seller, buyer, broker, and others will want to work with you more than others, and help you build your portfolio while helping them in the process?

Personal relationships are also important. In this age of the Internet, the lack of personal interaction and genuine connection can help determine who gets access to a good deal and who does not. Get out there. Use the Internet to make connections, and then deepen them beyond having contact info on each other’s phones.

Similarly, surrounding yourself with good, successful, knowledgeable people is also essential. The often shared idea that you become the average of the 5 people you hang out with most applies to this principle. Raise your own self through the strength of character and expectations of your closest comrades.

Your own character is essential, and one of your most valuable assets. It will get you into real estate deals and the use of funds that others with lower character will not have access to. It is intangible, yet a huge business asset. It must be perpetually protected and grown.

The power of leverage is essential. Using OPM (Other People’s Money), shared knowledge, and efficiency-magnifying systems will enable you to build your real estate portfolio exponentially instead of incrementally.

Learning from personal mistakes is an important trait as well. This helps ensure they won’t be repeated, of course, but also helps set the stage for future business process improvements. Sharing your experiences, and learning from the experiences of others, accelerates paths to successful transactions being completed and managed over time.

Expanding upon that, taking the attitude of a lifetime of learning is essential to staying current, thinking ahead, and growing the business instead of stagnating with old static ideas. Although the authors advertise their own coaching services with this, it remains an important trait independent of that. Graduation from college does not end one’s education. It starts it.