Growing up, my dad used to give me books to read.
Not the usual chic lits I like to indulge in, but the hard covers with scary balding men on it, asking you things like “Do you want to be a millionaire?”
Like duh, I would answer to their ever-smiling faces.
And thus, I read every last page of the books my dad had.
You name it, I’ve read it; The Google Story, Starbucked, One Minute Manager, Warren Buffet Books, Trump 101, Rich Dad Poor Dad Series, Success Built To Last, The Millionaire Mind.
Now ask me what I learned from those books.
I will answer you…not much.
Now ask me what I remember from those books.
I will answer you….not much.
Not because I didn’t read it. In fact, I read the prologue, the credits, the synopsis on the back, even the year of publication, everything!
Why I didn’t benefit much from those books is because I simply didn’t understand business yet. I was interested, but most of the business deals didn’t apply to me (When will I ever start my own online search engine??) so I was quick to discard it from the memory box in the top of my head. Especially if the books had a lot of analogies with big figures and pie-charts and complicated graphs.
I guess I was just too young to understand what my dad wanted by me reading those books. He wanted to me to see how successful business people think, how they analyse deals, how they solved problems, how they managed their staff. He didn’t care much about the figures or the specific line of business these people were in. He just wanted me to be more exposed to the reality of business, in a more general way. To prepare me for this day.
What my dad didn’t realise was that 15 year old girls are still reading Sweet Valley High, and if it didn’t involve boys or make-up, then you can bet the books were better served as mouse pads.
Now, I’ve tasted a sip of working life and the reality of business. A tiny weeny sip. But I’m hungry for knowledge and I don’t want to leave everything to experience. So the only thing to do for a fast track education is READ. I’m starting to re-read the old books my dad has in his library, and am beginning to understand better what these balding men are talking about.
Recently, I read Ivanka Trump’s book.
The book is so inspiring for young women who want to be successful in their line of business. Being a young lady herself, she can better relate to us in terms of emotions so her book reaches out to all young women out there.
More so for me because she talks about property development a lot in her book. Since I am also in that line and I too will be expected to head my dad’s company one day, her book was very useful for me.
A year out of college, she joined the Trump organisation as the Vice President of Real Estate. Fresh, inexperienced, it was all a bit surreal and unfair in other people’s eyes that she didn’t have to climb the career ladder like everybody else. Her answer to all this; Get over it. People come to anything in different ways and shapes and methods, and this just happens to be hers. She knows she’s lucky, but she doesn’t want to be seen as an undeserved being.
My dad too, has promoted me to a very high level at work now, and I am playing an integral role in eight projects all at once at the moment (Ivanka had 70 property projects in just 2 years, I can’t quite imagine that!) . So, obviously I need assistance, but I’m torn when giving instructions to those senior than me, because I don’t want to seem pompous and impolite. Or as if I forgot that I’m only there because I’m the boss’s daughter. Ivanka Trump addresses these issues, the problems she faced from people, the mistakes she made, and it taught me a thing or two (or ten!). Of course, her magnitude of work is a gazillion times mine, but it is the same concept; dealing with people who think you’re only there because of your last name, and how to get and stay ahead even at a very raw age.
I tabbed so many useful tips
What struck me as interesting is how similar my dad and Donald Trump are in terms of values. My god the way they raise their kids are soooooo alike I couldn’t believe it. Like Donald Trump, my dad too likes to put me on the spot in front of people, likes to call and check up on me, likes to cut out newspaper clippings for me, likes to introduce me to his contacts and leaves us alone with me having no idea what to say, how he’d get pissed off if he’s talking to me and I have my Blackberry in my hands. The only difference is my dad has a better hairstyle *ahem*.
Although Ivanka Trump seems to be a little more uptight than I would want to be (she doesn’t tolerate emoticons and shorthands like LOL or TTYL…and answering “I want to look for other opportunities out there” during an interview is a deal-breaker for her….and she no longer befriends her old friends who she thinks are lazy and ungrateful), I realise there are many values that Ivanka Trump talks about, which I myself am already practising and believing in.
So I would like to believe that maybe, just maybe, I am on the right track.
I would really recommend this book for ambitious and driven young women, especially those working in family businesses.