Ivanka Trump describes her life as the daughter of a potential US president, running the Trump empire, and building her own brand

Melania Trump And Ivanka Trump Tell Donald To Be More Presidential

You saw her introduce Donald Trump when he formally announced his presidential candidacy last year, and since then you've seen her at his side on the campaign trail.

But Ivanka Trump has a lot more going on in her life than politics.

As executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization, she's taken over running Donald's real-estate empire with her brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, while her father focuses on campaigning.

And as head of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand, she's aiming to inspire women with articles about #WomenWhoWork while promoting her clothing, jewelry, and accessories line geared toward young professional women.

See photos of Ivanka through the years:

Ivanka Trump through the years
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Ivanka Trump describes her life as the daughter of a potential US president, running the Trump empire, and building her own brand
Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, and guest (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Donald Trump and Daughter Ivanka Trump at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Donald Trump and Daughter Ivanka during Grand Opening of The Harley Davidson Cafe at Harley Davidson Cafe in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Fabio, Ivanka Trump, Ivana Trump, Eric Trump, and Riccardo Mazzucchelli (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Donald Trump, Robert Trump, and Ivanka Trump during Donald Trump 50th Birthday Party at Trump Tower in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Low-angle portrait of American businessman Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, as they pose together under a tent at the Mercedes Benz Polo Match, Bridgehampton, New York, 1997. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 05: Ivanka Trump backstage on cell phone at the Jill Stuart Fashion Show at Chelsea Piers. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump during Valentine's Day And Birthday Party For Ivanka Trump at Chaos in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Ivana Trump and Ivanka Trump (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: Ivana And Ivanka Trump At Ascot Races In Berkshire (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
395848 01: *** EXCLUSIVE *** (ITALY OUT) Super model Ivanka Trump walking her dog Tyler on Madison Avenue October 14, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 08: Ivanka Trump at the World Premiere of 'The Sweetest Thing' starring Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Jason Bateman and Parker Posey in New York, United States on April 08, 2002. (Photo by David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Ivanka Trump, wearing a Douglas Hannant gown, poses for a portrait June 23, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Richard Greene/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump and Ivana Trump (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
Director/producer Jamie Johnson and Ivanka Trump during 2003 Sundance Film Festival - 'Born Rich' Outdoor Portraits at Main Street Park City in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by Randall Michelson/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump during 2003 Park City - The Village at The Lift at The Village at The Lift in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump during Born Rich - New York Premiere at The Screening Room in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - APRIL 26: (U.S. TABLOIDS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Ivanka Trump attends the 'Dangerous Liasons: The Art of Seduction' The Metropolitan Museums Costume Institute Benefit Gala April 26, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: Socialite Ivanka Trump and guest attend The Paris Review Foundation Presents Fall Revel Honoring William Styron at Cipriani November 10, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump during American Museum of Natural History Annual Winter Dance at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump during Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2006 - Carolina Herrera - Front Row and Backstage at Bryant Park in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Ivanka Trump during The Cinema Society and The Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition Host a Screening of 'Babel' at Tribeca Grand Screening Room in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jason Kempin/FilmMagic)
Ivanka Trump (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage)
PALM BEACH, FL - JANUARY 27: Junior Chairwoman, Ivanka Trump attends the 50th Annual International Red Cross Ball at Mar A Lago on January 27, 2007 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: Ivanka Trump attends The American Museum of Natural History's Annual Winter Dance on February 13, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 07: Ivanka Trump attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 'Poiret: King Of Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 4: Real Estate developer Ivanka Trump walks in stunning style to the Regis and Kelly Show at ABC Studios on the Upper West Side on March 4, 2008 in New York City, New York. The daughter of billionaire Donald Trump and Ivana Trump looked very chic as she walked through New York City. (Photos by Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto.com) ***FEE MUST BE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE *** Buzz Foto LLC http://www.buzzfoto.com/ 1112 Montana Ave suite 80 Santa Monica CA 90403 1 310 441 4464 1 310 980 8822
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Ivanka Trump attends Town & Country celebration for the July 2008 Cover with Ivanka Trump at Hearst Tower on June 26, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 19: Ivanka Trump attends the Brian Reyes Fall 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in the Promenade at Bryant Park on February 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: Ivanka Trump promotes 'The Trump Card: Playing To Win In Work And Life' at Barnes & Noble 5th Avenue on October 14, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 133 -- Airdate 10/15/2009 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jimmy Fallon plays beer pong with Ivanka Trump on October 15, 2009 (Photo by Tracy Leeds/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Ivanka Trump appears on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the 'American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity' exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 in New York City.
Kai Madison Trump,Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. attend the 4th annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 14, 2010 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 23: Ivanka Trump sighting on June 23, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: TV personality Ivanka Trump films an interview at the 'Celebrity Apprentice' set in Madison Square Park on October 31, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Ivanka Trump and Kristin Cavallari attend the Dennis Basso Fall 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the The Stage at Lincoln Center on February 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/WireImage)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 08: Ivanka Trump looks on after the announcement of the purchase by the Trump Organization of the Doral Hotel & Country Club prior to the start of the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 8, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the Vanity Fair Party during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the State Supreme Courthouse on April 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
ALL-STAR CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Episode 1301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Piers Morgan, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of billionaire real estate developer Donald J. Trump and executive vice president of development and acquisitions for Trump Organization LLC, center, attends the annual benefit of the Gracie Mansion Conservancy at Gracie Mansion in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Gracie Mansion Conservancy raises funds privately to support the upkeep of the house. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PALM BEACH, FL - JANUARY 05: Ivanka Trump, Arabella Rose Kushner, and Jared Kushner attend the 2014 Trump Invitational Grand Prix at The Mar-a-Lago Club on January 5, 2014 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images for 2014 Trump Invitational Grand Prix)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21: Pregnant Ivanka Trump sighting on August 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Ivanka Trump attends the 2015 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Anna Wintour, Anthony Weiner and Ivanka Trump attend the 2015 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Ivanka Trump speaks during the Donald Trump presidential announcement at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/Getty Images)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trumps wife Melania Trump (R) and daughter Ivanka look at a smart phone after the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox Business and the Republican National Committee at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in Charleston, South Carolina on January 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pats his expecting daughter Ivanka Trump while celebrating victory in the South Carolina primary in Spartanburg, South Carolina, February 20, 2016. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump grabbed a big win in the South Carolina primary, capturing about a third of the votes, according to early counts, but all major networks projected Trrump the winner. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Business Insider recently spoke with her about her life, what it's like running the Trump empire, and the challenges of building her own brand.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Rachel Gillett:This must be an exciting time in your life. What is it like to be Ivanka Trump at this moment?

Ivanka Trump: It is rather busy, although that seems to always be true, or at least has been for the past several years, having two kids at home. We now have one on the way that's due literally any day now so we're all very excited about that. And then obviously in a work capacity I've been tremendously busy running The Trump Organization now that my father's on the campaign trail and my own company and the growth of that. So it's been an amazing time, a wild experience, and an incredible one.

Gillett: You've also been campaigning with your dad. What's that been like?

Trump: Well, in the capacity of a very proud daughter. Obviously to be able to see this transpiring, to watch him achieve so much as a politician — and we're certainly not a family of politicians, and politics is certainly not our family business — it's been amazing.

So it's exciting for me to be able to be with him for major moments and stand by his side, and I'm very proud of him as a daughter and as somebody who's worked beside him for the past decade at The Trump Organization.

Gillett: What does a typical day look like for you?

Trump: There is no typical day, and that's especially true these days and part of what is exciting about my life, both personally and professionally.

Having toddlers always means that there's a fair amount of chaos at home, but that's part of the fun. And from a work perspective, we have projects under construction all over the world, including many right here in the US.

We have the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue — the most sought after hotel and redevelopment opportunity in the country, which we were awarded a couple of years ago — that's under construction and opening in the next six months in September. So that is a project that I am very, very focused on.

For me professionally as well I've built an incredible business that I'm very proud of that is my own brand and that is both creating incredible content to empower and inspire this next generation of working women through a digital platform, mainly through my website, ivankatrump.com, our email newsletters, and our social-media platforms.

We're generating an enormous amount of content geared at this young professional woman, which has been resonating strongly. We also have been creating solution-oriented products for that same person that will help her transition in life through her many roles, whether they may be mother, girlfriend, professional, and really everything in between.

So there's no typical day, but I transition through the course of my business day by doing everything from construction meetings on the development project under construction to design meetings for an upcoming apparel delivery to acquisition meetings about projects we're looking to acquire. It's very diverse in terms of content, substance, and what I address on a typical day.

Gillett: Do you have any productivity hacks that help you balance everything?

Trump: From a productivity perspective, prioritization is key. And it's very easy to focus on clearing the decks of minutia, especially when one's very busy. It's almost easy to want to sit down at your desk when you have a free five minutes and try to clear out some of the incoming emails rather than strip things strategically and foundationally and ask about what the most important objectives for you and the company are. To the extent I can, I try to maintain a laser focus on what needs to get done from a priority standpoint.

And not just from an urgency standpoint, but from a value-added standpoint. So where can I add the most value? Where is my time best spent?

Part of being able to make great decisions around that and to really grow a business and scale a business, it also comes down to people. I spend a lot of time building teams at both businesses — both The Trump Organization and my own — and thinking about who to hire to supplement the team and allow us to best achieve our goals.

Hiring great people is almost the most important thing you can do as a leader because they enable you to scale, and they create better leverage for you and your time.

Gillett: How do you find great people to hire?

Trump: We want self-starters. We want people who are optimistic, who see challenges as opportunities. People who are dedicated, who really are accountable to one another and toward achieving shared goals, who are ambitious. I like people who aren't shy about the use of that word.

Traditionally women have been more reticent to acknowledge their ambition and to say it with pride. So I like having people who work for us who are ambitious, engaged, respectful.

Mis-hiring is a huge mistake. It's a tremendous opportunity cost throwing the position to the wrong person.

If there's one single thing that I do every single time, it's require references and, ideally, at least one reference from every company they've worked at. It's always a huge red flag for me when somebody's reticent or reluctant or a little slow in providing thoughtful references that are a testament to them as a person and their professional accomplishments.

Gillett: How would you describe your leadership style?

Trump: I set very bold goals. It's how I've always been. I'm definitely somebody who swings for the fences, and I expect very high performance.

Gillett: You've worked with your family most of your life. What do admire about them and what have they taught you along the way?

Trump: Working in a family business, which obviously The Trump Organization is, is an incredible thing, but it's complicated. It's complex.

I've seldom met somebody who is merely satisfied working alongside siblings. You typically have a binary outcome. They either are miserable and everyone starts to hate each other, which is an unfortunate outcome that we see too often, or it is really incredible, and there's tremendous energy and mutual respect, and the parties work really well together. I've found that the middle road typically doesn't happen.

Working in a family business, you just have to be cognizant of being respectful to one another, treating each other in a professional way when you're in an office environment, because it's very easy, especially with siblings, to let down your guard and say exactly what's on your mind when maybe that doesn't serve the situation well and can create ill feelings. It's important to be honest with and respectful of each other and deal with issues as they arrive, as opposed to letting them simmer.

I have the good fortune of working with two brothers who are very accomplished, incredibly smart, and very capable. So thankfully there is not an issue in that regard where somebody isn't pulling their own weight.

We collaborate all the time. We tend to take different paths, but we tend to reach very similar conclusions. It's actually great because it allows us to be much more creative in the process of getting things done. We all have different perspectives but we tend not to disagree with each other very often in terms of where we want to get or where we want to be. So it's been amazing working with my brothers.

And my father is incredible. He's an amazing leader. He's built an enormous business. He's employed tens of thousands of people over the years. It's incredible to watch how he is able to inspire people. He has a very clear vision for each of his businesses in terms of what he wants to accomplish. He will lay out bold goals, and then he will enable people to work very hard to achieve them. And he'll encourage them and he'll support them in those efforts. So he's taught me a tremendous amount about how to be an inspiring leader and how to try to do that as well.

Gillett: If your father wins the presidency, what will the new Trump Organization look like? Will one of you become CEO?

Trump: We're taking it one day at a time. But right now my adult siblings and I run the business. My father is very focused on the campaign and his goal of making this country great again. So that is his primary focus, and we're running the business.

In terms of the logistics of that from a title perspective, we have not talked about that nor do we typically care very much. We're not large on bureaucracy. My brothers and I said to each other when we started in this business that as a collective we can do far more than any one of us can do individually. And that's really what guides our relationship — this sense of camaraderie. And it is a family business, and we work together collaboratively as a family.

Gillett: How does the Donald Trump brand affect your brand?

Trump: My father has created an enormous business and he's created an enormous brand for himself, and I'm contributing to the business that he's built every day at The Trump Organization.

But I've also built my own business, and obviously it's a brand that I've built and it's wholly owned by me and something that certainly my experience observing him and working with him and for him has informed how I make business decisions around my brand. But it's my company.

Gillett: For all the supporters your father has, he also has detractors. What are your strategies for dealing with the backlash that comes your way?

Trump: I don't have a strategy. I am my own person. So if people disagree with the opinion of my father and want to dislike me because I'm his daughter, then I'm probably not going to be able to discourage them from that.

I haven't seen too much of that, though. And people respect the fact that my father is very honest with his opinions, and they respect the fact that I am my own person and I have my own opinions. So I don't give a lot of thought to what detractors might say. And I'm a human being who stands on my own two feet.

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