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Fame & Fortune: Donald Trump

Donald Trump Donald Trump may not be the richest man in the world -- Forbes lists him at 450th. But he's certainly one of the most famous, and possibly one of the busiest.

With projects ranging from real estate development to his NBC reality show "The Apprentice," Trump keeps a hand in all aspects of what he calls "Trump: The Global Brand." He's chairman and president of The Trump Organization, which oversees everything from the various Trump hotels around the world to the Trump golf courses, and corporate and residential real estate projects. He founded Trump University, which offers coaching sessions and audio courses with an eye to building wealth the Trump way, and he has a slew of books out, including his most recent "Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success," published in 2008.

He's also in the beauty contest business, producing the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, with partner NBC Universal. He has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Then there's the Trump merchandise -- everything from furniture to vodka to bottled water, called Trump Ice.

Trump, 63, got started in business helping his father Frank with real estate deals in New York. And despite his father's assertion that his son has the Midas touch, he's suffered some significant setbacks, including bankruptcies and internecine battles with the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts.

The rough patches don't faze Trump, including at one time a famous feud with former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell.

The real estate magnate also has had a colorful personal life. He's had famous wives (Ivana Trump and Marla Maples), famous divorces (Ivana and Marla) and famous weddings. His 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss-Trump in Palm Beach, Fla., was one of the most talked-about celeb hookups of the year. The couple have a son, Barron William Trump, Trump's fifth child.

His older children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, work with dad at The Trump Organization.

These days, Trump also tweets on Twitter (@DonaldJTrump), blogs regularly (on the Trump University Web site) and has a Facebook page.

It sounds like an impossibly busy life, but Trump said two key habits -- staying focused and making time for his family -- keep him on an even keel.

Trump recently sat down to mull over questions from Bankrate and gave us these answers:

Bankrate: You seem to have really embraced new social technology. You're on Facebook, you tweet regularly on Twitter, you blog. What do you find to be the most valuable about this way of communicating? And how do you find time to do it?

Donald Trump: It's fast, easy and accessible to many people. Those are good reasons, especially as I consider being an educator an important aspect of my business enterprises. The traffic is good so I know I'm reaching people. I'm used to getting many requests each day for comments on many things, so this does not represent a hardship to me nor is it time-consuming as I'm used to working quickly. I would recommend it to other business people provided they keep the time requirements in mind. If they are not fast, it might not be the best thing for them.

Bankrate: You're a grandfather as well as a fairly new father. How do you weave family time into a busy life, and how important is it for a driven, focused businessperson to make time for family?

Donald Trump: Maintaining a balance has always been important to me and with my three eldest children working with me at The Trump Organization, I see them daily. I spend my evenings and weekends with Melania and our son Barron, and family has always been a strong foundation for me. It is important to keep priorities straight. When my children were growing up, no matter what kind of meeting I was in, their calls were always put through. That remains the same.

Bankrate: Your daughter Ivanka is also very busy and she just got married. How will you advise her to figure out the work/family equilibrium?

Donald Trump: I think she's seen it in action, and I've always believed that people learn best by watching. She has a strong work ethic and an equally strong bond to family, so I believe it will come naturally to her.

Bankrate: What's the biggest roadblock you've faced in your business life? And when you do get news that would be considered a major setback to most of us, such as in February when Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy against your wishes, how do you get past that?

Donald Trump: I dealt with being millions of dollars in debt without going bankrupt in the early 1990s, and I had to be tenacious and resilient. But I came back to be far more successful than before. I learned how important focus is. When I get news that is considered a setback, I am circumspect about it. Sometimes it's for the best. Things work out, sometimes in even better ways than we might have expected or planned for, and no one wins all the time in everything. I've noticed things come around as they should and usually to my benefit in the long run. I just keep at it.

Bankrate: Could you name the single biggest mistake you've made in business? And on the flipside, is there any one business decision you've made that you look back on and say, "That's the best thing I've done"?

Donald Trump: The single biggest mistake was losing my focus in the early 1990s. Fortunately, I hadn't lost my momentum and it worked out. Agreeing to do "The Apprentice" with Mark Burnett -- against the advice of many people -- was one of the best decisions I've made. It was a risk and I knew it, but look what happened. We're going into our ninth season, and it had been predicted to be a one-season wonder when it first became a hit show in 2004.

Bankrate: Think about the most enjoyable weekend you've had in the past year. What were you doing that made it so good?

Donald Trump: I spent the day golfing on one my beautiful golf courses and spent the evening with Melania and Barron.

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