- Title: Your Next Five Moves
- Sub-title: Master the Art of Business Strategy
- Author: Patrick Bet-David
- About the author: Patrick Bet-David and his family escaped the wars and bombings in Iran and found a home in the U.S. Pat never got a college degree and enrolled in the army. Following that he went from selling memberships at Bally Total Fitness to selling financial services. Since then, he has founded his own agency, PHP, and created the Valuetainment YouTube channel that has over 2 million subscribers. He became a successful entrepreneur himself and has interviewed some of the world’s most influential individuals.
- Pages: 320
- Published: 2020
- Link to book
Your Next Five Moves has an underlying theme of chess having parallels to business. A chess grandmaster sees several moves ahead from his or her opponent. Author Patrick Bet-David argues that you need to have the same skill in business.
The book discusses the art of business strategy in a comprehensive way. The “five moves” referred to in the title are:
- Master Knowing Yourself
- Master the Ability to Reason
- Master Building the Right Team
- Master Strategy to Scale
- Master Power Plays
Patrick wrote this for people in all phases of life and levels of business. For those looking to reach the next level and achieve their full potential, Your Next Five Moves offers the strategies to get you there.
Patrick wants to see his readers thrive and shares his wisdom on the skills and mindset you will need to adopt. He is a successful entrepreneur and has interviewed and worked with successful entrepreneurs, leaders, athletes, and other influential individuals.
Topics covered in the book include:
- Pat’s background and overcoming of obstacles
- How to look inside and find who you actually want to be
- How to create your path once you have decided on it
- Why processing issues is so important
- Methods for effective decision making
- Building a company with the right team, investors, and processes
- Building a large valuation and exiting your business
- How to sell, negotiate, and influence
- The mindset you will need at every stage of the journey
This is an excellent book on business strategy that I would recommend to individuals that work for a business, own a business, or are considering business as a career.
It’s comprehensive and covers topics related to the individual, such as their desires and mindset. It also covers topics that relate to running a company, such as raising capital, hiring and firing staff, and how to negotiate and sell.
Whether you are a business major in college or someone who is already running a business, you can benefit from Your Next Five Moves. Additionally, the book is an easy-to-read and well-structured book that you can zip through in a week.
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Top 25 Takeaways
* In no particular order
1. There are parallels between chess and business. In both, you have to think many moves ahead to succeed. You must think beyond your first strike to execute an effective strategy.
2. Nothing matters unless you understand what makes you tick and who you want to be. The purpose of Move 1 is to identify what matters to you the most and help put a strategy together that fits your level of commitment and vision.
3. Those who can tolerate pain the most—the ones with the most endurance—give themselves the highest chance of winning in business. Make pain your fuel. Use haters and doubters to drive you.
4. Aspire to be heroic. Think about your heroes, and ask yourself how they would act in such situations. Creating a visual of your heroes will challenge you to live up to the ideals of those you seek to emulate.
5. Your vision must align with who you want to be. Your choices must align with your vision. Your effort must align with the size of your vision. Your behavior must align with your values and principles.
6. There are four areas that drive you: 1) Advancement 2) Individuality 3) Madness 4) Purpose.
7. When you study the most important person (you), you will begin to learn how to conquer the most important person who is holding you back (you).
8. In addition to entrepreneurship, look for opportunities for intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship is when you’re part of a company and create a new business unit, lead a new initiative, or work out incentives that reward you for driving growth and innovation.
9. Find your blue ocean in business to succeed. The “Blue Ocean Strategy” entails the following: rather than competing in games where you’re an underdog, find unexplored new markets in which you can win—and ultimately make the competition irrelevant. Don’t try to beat competitors at their strengths.
10. Emotion can get the best of all of us and cloud our judgment. It’s why my answer about the key to success for people at all levels of business is “Know how to process issues.”
11. If you’re going to lose, don’t lose the lesson. Again, you’re going to use experiences to become either bitter or better. To get better, you must reflect on your mistakes. Every master, both in chess and in business, learns more from studying the moves that led to defeat than the ones that led to victory.
12. The ability to solve problems well is the ability to take a complex issue you’re facing and break it down into a step-by-step formula that helps you identify the root of the problem.
13. No matter what your line of work, staying successful means working well with other people, whether they are clients, customers, employees, investors, partners, or outside vendors.
14. Insecure leaders surround themselves with “yes people.” Effective leaders surround themselves with people who challenge them. They also find and hire people who are much smarter than they are—especially in areas in which they are weak.
15. The less your business depends on you, the more valuable it is. The more your business depends on you, the less valuable it is. There’s no exit opportunity if the business relies on your personality. You simply cannot scale your business without creating the systems for it to operate without you
16. Before agreeing to any major business deal, you want the following to be agreed upon: 1. Liability cap: What’s the most we can lose? 2. Indemnification: You can’t sue me. 3. Finite term: Once it’s over, it’s over.
17. If you implement the right innovative campaign and develop leaders, you’ll gain momentum. The challenge will be maintaining it.
18. In business you should be constantly asking yourself: What can I track? Systems help you with follow-through and follow-up, and they also help create a culture in which nothing is ever unclear.
19. The difference between being smart and being wise is that a smart person thinks he knows all the answers while a wise person is comfortable knowing he doesn’t.
20. Recognize how unproductive it is to take things personally. Your ego is your enemy. Building a business is not just ugly; it’s messy. It’s not just a cognitive effort but an emotional one. When you take things personally, you get drawn into the chaos and can’t think clearly.
21. Turn off the noise of negative friends and small thinkers. Turn off the noise of family members who don’t support what you want to do. You also need to cut the fat out of your life. Anything that holds you back from thinking big needs to stop.
22. Break down your goals into small steps. Committing to incremental success will help you outimprove anyone. If you can outimprove others, you will catch up to them and pass them.
23. Networking, negotiating, and selling are power moves that will have a massive impact on your bottom line.
24. To reach your capacity, you’re going to have to “compete up” and not be afraid. Seek to beat your prior best in all areas. The irony is that each time you step up, you have to start at the bottom.
25. Challenges never stop coming, so you’d better learn to love them and thrive on them. Every struggle is an opportunity to grow and improve.
What I Liked
Jam packed with wisdom and value
Patrick Bet-David authored a lean book that is jam packed with value and wisdom. There isn’t a whole lot of fluff and I appreciate that.
If you are looking for a book that is straightforward, this is it. Patrick will introduce a topic, explain why it is important to you, and then he’ll tell you what you need to do.
Lots of lists
Spread throughout the book are many sections that contain blog-post-title type lists. Examples inlcude:
- Three Approaches to Dealing with an Issue
- The Eight Traits of a Great Processor
- Five Questions You Must Answer Before Making Any Big Hire
- Ten Questions to Ask Before Raising Money
I like this for the same reason that people like blog posts: they are memorable and easy to digest. These lists break things down into digestible material you can remember and refer back to.
If you find yourself needing to process a tough situation, you can open up the book, reread “The Eight Traits of a Great Processor,” and refresh your memory.
The strategies shared in Your Next Five Moves are comprehensive. Patrick will show you how to build a solid foundation with topics like learning how to study yourself and deciding who you want to be.
He will also teach you how to approach things when you are further down the road running a business. Studying mobsters to learn how to sell, negotiate, and influence is an example.
This book isn’t one dimensional and no matter where you are in your career, I believe this book can benefit you in some way.
Benefits To Your Life and Career
Material is applicable to life and business
Although the material in the book is geared towards business, most of the advice shared can be applied to everyday life as well. Things like knowing yourself, having the ability to reason, and surrounding yourself with the right people apply to both business and life.
You can take what you read and use that knowledge in a number of ways.
Learn to think steps ahead and see things from all angles
The book is based on the idea that there are parallels between chess and business. Like a chess grandmaster, the business man or woman also needs to see several steps ahead. Your Next Five Moves will teach you how to do this.
The author will explain and give examples that will open your eyes to viewpoints you may not have considered prior to reading this book.
This skill of thinking ahead and considering all angles and possibilities is extremely valuable to have. It also has universal applications.
10 Actions You Should Take
1. Always think beyond your first move. Anticipate how others will respond and deploy additional moves that can’t be counteracted.
2. Subscribe to the Valuetainment YouTube channel for educational content.
3. Take the personal identity audit at the back of the book to learn more about yourself. The goal is to have a breakthrough.
4. Discover what role suits you best and who you want to be. Examples include being an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, CEO/Founder, support team member, solopreneur, influencer, salesperson. Find the path that allows you to use your unique talents with the best odds for the highest possible return, and that also fires you up.
5. Before making a decision, start out with the “rule of three” by creating three different proposals for dealing with an issue. It will allow you to compare them against each other to have some sort of reference.
6. When you lose, fail, or make mistakes, reflect on the situation and learn from it. Don’t lose the lesson. Great processors rarely repeat their mistakes.
7. Look at life as a big list of mathematical problems to solve. For effective decision making, solve for X to isolate your problem.
8. Don’t be afraid of friction. Friction is good. Whether in life or business, it takes both courage and skill to be direct with people.
9. When running your business, do not compromise on speed, execution, or efficiency. Look for ways to compress your time frames.
10. When selling, negotiating, or influencing, instead of thinking only about what’s in it for you, think about how to find wins for those you are working with.