Books Business Marketing

How to Grow Your Small Business: A 6-Step Plan to Help Your Business Take Off

Author: Donald Miller

My Rating: 3/5

Summary: A tactical book explaining different frameworks works that’s newish entrepreneurs can leverage to grow their small business.

My Takeaways

Think of building a business as building a plane

You want to build a business proportional to the other areas of your business similar to how you engineer a safe plane

Craft a compelling mission statement for your business that includes 3 specific economic outcomes that are measurable, timebound so the business can know if they achieved the mission and reasons why the mission is important to build connection to the business.

Humans like transformation.

Create 3 key characteristics that are more specific than core values. This guides the business and informs who to hire.

Continue to find ways to bring the mission front and center in everything you do. All hands meetings, posters, shoutouts etc

Survive and thrive for marketing messages.

Create simple messaging

Put your customer at the center of the story where they are the hero. Humans are evolved to survive and stories are the way to get your attention.

4. Create a 3 step plan.
5. Call your customer to action. Buy now button on your website is like a cash register

6. Make the hero avoid failure

Give the customers stakes. The stakes are what the customer will do if they fail to buy the product or succeed if they buy it. What negative consequences will my customers avoid.


7 Experience success. Tell them about the positive ramifications when the customer buys a product.

Start with the problem
Position your product as the solution
Offer a three step plan to alleviate any fears and transition them into a better future life. Build a bridge from the customer’s problem to your solution.

Create a sense of urgency. And the state states.

Give the customer a clear call to action with that offer they can except or reject so that they don’t have to think about next steps.

Sales isn’t about pushing, it’s about clarity.

Schedule 5 different meetings

Have 5 different business bank accounts for daily operations, taxes, profit, investing.

Books Business

Sell to Anyone

Author: Brian Tracey

My Rating: 4/5

Summary: A short book combining many of Brian Tracey’s sales tips and tricks.

My Takeaways

Record your presentations / pitches

Understand price vs quality

Embed vocal inflection 

Every price is negotiable. It’s plucked out of thin air.

The higher you go up in an org, the more authority they have to change the price. 

Ask for what you want. 

Business agreement. All parties have to win. ‘Chinese contract’

People don’t sell unprofitable businesses. 

Know who has the power. 

Own the terms

If you negotiate on price, ask for a concession.

Make your offer time bound, but when you are pressured into a timeframe, delay as much as possible

Don’t show emotion.

Be prepared when it comes to negotiating. One extra piece of info can make the difference.

Be prepared to walk away. Use this as a negotiating tactic

Body language is a way to communicate trust and can be used as a tool of communication when selling.

Books Business Hacks

The Way of the Wolf:  Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success

Author: Jordan Belfort

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: A crash course in selling from one of the most interesting salesmen on Wall Street.

My Takeaways

In generally, humans buy things to make their lives better

The “Straight Line” technique to closing a sale

There are 3 core elements that need to line up in order to have the best shot of closing the sale at that specific moment. This is called the “The 3 Tens” (0-10 scale of certainty). The prospect must have a high degree of certainly (10) in the following 3 areas:

  1. The product, idea or concept.
  2. They trust and connect with you 
  3. The prospect must trust and connect with the company 
  4. Lower the action threshold
  5. Raise the pain threshold  

There are 2 types of certainty that are very different:

  1. Logical Certainty.
    1. Based on the words used and what you say. 
    2. Long term value proposition. 
    3. Does the product truly fit a prospect’s needs
  1. Emotional Certainty.
    1. Based on a gut feeling that something must be good. 
    2. Painting a picture of the future. 
    3. Playing out the post purchase movie of the fulfillment. 

Looping allows a salesperson to handle each objection. 

Each objection creates the opportunity to loop. 

Action threshold and pain threshold 

Pain creates urgency that helps close the sale to push a prospect to lower the action threshold. 

The first 4 seconds are crucial to make a good impression. You need to do the following. 

1 be as sharp as a tack

2. Enthusiastic as hell

  1. Expert on your field.  

Person worth listening to in order to help the prospect achieve their goals or allivuate pain

Take control of the sale from the beginning to the end. 

5 sensory modalities to anchor to intensify your state. 

Steps to properly anchor. 

  1. Chose a state (certainty)
  2. Set anchor. Wait for a specific moment and spray boom boom

Need to concsouly focus on the emotional state you need to be in at a specific moment using NLP

Apply the proper tonality to the words you say during the sale. 

It’s your words that move a prospect logically and your tonality that’s moves them emotionally. 

Address a prospect as a friend instead of a formal introduction. This takes control of the prospects inner dialogue

Phrase your statements as questions so that the prospect has micro-agreements. 

Use scarcity as a tonality. 

  1. Verbal scarcity strictly by the use of words
  2. Tonal scarcity.  Lower your voice. 
  3. Informational scarcity
  4. Create a sense of urgency

Straight line rules for prospecting:

  1. You are a sifter. Sift through products vs trying to magically turn water into gold 
  2. Always ask for permission to ask questions. “Name, let me ask you a few questions so I can best serve you,”
  3. You must always use a script for prospecting. Need to be asked in the right order for each industry. 
  4. Go from less invasion questions to more invasion questions. This helps build repore. 
  5. Ask each question using the right tonality. 
  6. Use the correct body language as the prospect responds. 
  7. Always follow a logical path
  8. Make mental notes, don’t resolve their pain. (if anything amplify their pain)
  9. Always end with a powerful transition
  10. Stay on the straight line

Every sales person must have a script to follow. (Brave heart acting example)

You need to have strategic preparation when developing your script so that you can be prepared for all outcomes:

  1. Script should not be front loaded.
    1. Need to frame first. We need to move bit by bit 
  2. Focus on the benefits, not the features.
    1. Briefly touch on the feature and expand on the benefits on a personal level. Want to know if it resolved pain
  3. Script must have stopping off points.
    1. Pause points that keeps the prospect engaged and keeps repore. 
  4. Write in the spoken word, not in grammatically correct English.
    1. Balance to be struck when sounding like an expert. 
  5. Script must flow perfectly.
    1. Sentences must be in balance. 
  6. Scripts must be honest and ethical.
    1. The truth we’ll told 
  7. energy in, benefits out.
    1. Bebofys must outweigh the energy of to receive them. 
    2. Restate benefits every time the expensive of energy. 
    3. “Getting started is simple…”
    4. Use the word “only” as a minimizer 
    5. Use the word “cash outlay” instead of cost. 
    6. Use question “does that sound fair”
  8. Try to collapse the number of phone calls in your sales cycle as much as possible

In terms of order to increase certainty for a prospect, start with product first, then you, then company. 

Build air tight logical certainty first to satisfy BS detector, then emotional certainty after. 

Language patterns for logical and certainty. 

Basic rules for outbound calls. 

  1. Be enthusiastic from the start
  2. Speak in the familiar 
  3. Introduce yourself and company in first sentences then restate company shortly after. 
  4. Use power words like dramatically and explosive, fastest growing 
  5. Use justifier words like “only”
  6. Ask for permission to begin the qualification process. 

Example questions for the intelligence gathering phase of the sale:

  • what do you like are dislike about your current supplier?
  • What is your biggest headache with your business?
  • How long has this pain been going on? Make prospect talk about pain 
  • Of all the facts we talked about, which one is most important?
  • Anything that I missed?

Main body of script:

  • Name product
  • Leverage credibility by linking to something or done one familiar 
  • Transition
  • Create urgency
  • Transition to how simple this is to purchase 
  • Ask directly for the order at the close (3-4 times)
    • “Give me one shot and believe me, sound fair enough?”

10% of communication are the actual words, 90% tonality and body language. 

3 expected outcomes from a prospect 

  1. Prospect says yes 
  2. Prospect says no
  3. Prospect says maybe. (All common objections)
    1. Let me think about it
    2. Send me info
    3. Bad time of year
    4. Need to speak with someone else

Step-down sales: where the salesperson can easily ratchet up or down the price of a product after asking for the purchase the first time at a higher price. 

Wording for Standard objection response in the sales cycle. Deflection of objection:

“I hear what you’re saying NAME, but let me ask you a question – does that make sense to you? Do you like the idea?” 

“Exactly it really is a great buy at this level, in fact, one of the true beauties is…”

This leads you into a new tonality of where your prospect is. Pace, Pace, lead to create emotional certainty. 

Need to have at least an 8 on the certainty scale in the back half of the sales cycle


“You see what I’m saying here NAME, you like the idea?”

Language patterns that move prospect to 10 on certainty scale for you:

Need to convince prospect that’s they can trust you. 

“Now let me ask you a question”

Forrest Gump language pattern. 

“Now that I can understand. You don’t know me and I don’t have a track record, let me introduce myself, the company and who you are. Tell them about ethics and integrity. 

Increase your level of certainty for your company:

“And as far as my company goes, it’s one of the best….”

Write out best version of your company with tertiary versions to loop back on. 

Move into a close:

“So name, why don’t we do this”

Possibly suggest a stepped down version or trial

“If you give me 1% trust, I’ll eat the other 99%”

“I’m not getting rich here, but want to build a long term relationship.”

When prospect hits you with the second objection, answer it directly and loop back to the beginning of the sale to build an air tight logical and emotional certainty. 

Prospects run 2 parallel movies in their kind. What’s the upside potential and downside risk?

If the prospect does not purchase even after level 10 certanty across the threes, then Lower the action threshold by doing the following tactics. 

  1. Money back guarantee
  2. Offer a cooling off period (Resicn period)
  3. Use key phrases that run counter to worries of high action threshold prospect.
    1. “ I’ll hold your hand every step of the way”
  4. Infuse a language pattern that rewrite their rewrite their positive and negative parallel movies. (Step down approach)
    1. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Introduce pain in the intelligence gathering phase and re introduce at the end by doing the following 

“Let me ask you a question, what would happen if you didn’t do this.”

I care and I feel your pain tonality

Books Business Marketing Product Management Technology

Steve Jobs

Author: Walter Isaacson

My Rating 5/5

Summary: A candid biography of one of the most influential innovators in technology.

My Takeaways

Steve refused to accept automatically perceived truths and wanted to examine everything himself.

“Pretend to be completely in charge and people will assume you are.”

Steve Jobs was incredibly persistent 

Jobs and Wozniak had completely different personalities and skill sets that complimented each other perfectly. 

Apple did not have this glorious start to their business in the mid 70s that people assume.

Jobs cared about craftsmanship and paid attention to the details others didn’t. 

It seems like Jobs looked for people to work with that had a chip on their shoulder. 

Jobs was instilled with the belief that you should never start a company with the goal of getting g rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last. 

They wrote a philosophy that stressed 3 things:

  1. Empathy: an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer
  2. Focus: in order to do a good job of the things we decide to do, we must remove all unimportant opportunities. 
  3. Impute: emphasized the people form an opinion about a company or product based on the signals that it conveys.( people do judge a book by its cover, so we need to present in a creative and professionally manner that will impute the desired qualities. This translated into every aspect of the product experience including packaging. 

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

In the early days, Steve would only hire people who were passionate about the product. 

One of Jobs’ management philosophies was that it was crucial every now and then to roll the dice and “bet the company” on some new idea or technology.

Lasting companies know how to reinvent themselves. 

One of Steve Jobs’ strengths is his ability to focus. Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. 

Steve hated powerpoints and said that people who know what they’re talking about don’t need powerpoints. 

Apple had tons of products and Steve simplified it. 

“Skate to where the puck is going”

Apple has deep collaboration across departments 

‘A’ players recruit and like to work with other ‘A’ players. 

The hiring process involved candidates meeting with hire ups on different departments. 

Apple made the iPod for themselves because they love music. If you love something, you’re going to go the extra mile and challenge the status quote. This is why the Microsoft Zune failed. 

The reason Sony and othe companies failed to compete with Apple in making a portable music player is because their were silos in division with they’re own bottom line and didn’t work together

Apple doesn’t have divisions with its own P&L, just one. 

“Jobs stressed that if you don’t cannablize yourself, someone else will.” iPhone vs iPod. Other companies such as Sony were worried about cannibalization. 

Jobs demands end to end control of the user experience hardware software and content.

Steve Jobs was brilliant at turning down the thousands of opportunities that wouldn’t make an impact and only focusing on the two or 3 that are important.

Steve’s genius is that he knows how to make things simple, and that requires controlling everything. 

Apple believes that technology alone isn’t enough. It’s technology married with humanities that yield results. 

Steve Jobs personality was mean. He did not sugarcoat things. This hindered him in many relationships but did serve a purpose. Polite leaders are generally not as effective at forcing change. It forced people to do things they didn’t think were possible. 

Jobs was a master at seeing the big picture and focusing on the details. 

Jobs created Apple to build great products, not pursue profit. John Scully flipped this around which had huge implications in what was discussed at meetings and who was hired.

Apple’s approach is to figure what people want before they do. 

Steve’s theory on why successful companies decline is because sales people run them and not product people. (Steve Ballmer at Microsoft)

Steve wanted to build a lasting company that would stand generations from now. 

Steve does not sugarcoat things and created a culture of honesty at Apple.

Companies need to keep evolving like musicians (Dylan and the Beatles)

Books Business

Secrets of Closing the Sale

Author: Zig Ziglar

My Rating: 4/5

Summary: A book of practical tips and advice for improving your sales skills.

My Takeaways

Have a good mental diet.

Be confident in yourself.

Remember that you are self employed, even at the company you work at. 

Act as the owner of the company you work at. 

Know what you want and work harder than anyone else to get it. 

Top salespeople are highly empathetic and think about long term selling over a long period vs average sales people who think about 1 sale. 

Sell something you believe in, because the customer will never believe it more than you do.

The best sales people review what they did well in a sales call, not dwell on what they did wrong. This affects you consciously and subconsciously. 

Use silence to help close the sale. Don’t be the first to respond.

Move quickly through the close by making it easy to say yes.

The prospect is always right

Let the customer keep talking

Rejection is not personal. 

No such thing as failure, just feedback

Write the letter yourself and have the customer approve it, for customer testimonials.

Don’t overpromise what your product can do.

When closing the sale, give the invitation close. Ask your prospect. 1. How do you like this so far? 2. Why don’t you give it a try?

If they so no, then ask.  Why not?

Also ask, if we could take care of that, would you give it a try?

What customers eat is a fair price, not the lowest price. Respond by saying “you are getting a good deal”

Follow up with the “just suppose” close. 

Make a list of all the objections that you think a prospect would say and cluster them into categories.

I invite you to give it a try is a way to get prospects to buy your product.

Do not bring up price at the beginning of your talk. Always emphasize the value that the prospect will get before discussing price.

Use the sandwich close by discussing the value than price than value that the customer will receive.

Compare the price of your product to something your prospect purchased regularly like a coffee. 

Make a list of all the various price objectives. 

Write out a series of yes questions that get you from the general to the particular to help close the sale. 

Features arouse interest. Benefits arouse buying desire. 

Puppy dog close 

Ben Franklin close

Tell a story of a happy customer or a story of a customer who had a bad experience buying other products. 

Ask for referrals and send thank you notes. 

Instead of asking a customer how’s it going? Ask how can I improve the product or service?

Build a referral process onto your prospecting and customer followup

Ask for the order. 

Use the 80/20 rule for calling on prospects. 

Do the 100 phone call challenge

Books Business Technology

No Rules Rules

Author: Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: A book that examines the revolutionary management philosophy of Netflix. It shows how the company’s culture of radical honesty, freedom and responsibility has been the key to success in the digital age.

My Takeaways

Netflix has a culture of people over process, emphases innovation over efficiency and had very few controls. 

Honesty always. 

Reed’s policies he put in put in place became stifling as the company grew, which lead to people leaving and people getting promoted who colored within the lines.

Reed wanted to promote innovation, flexibility and freedom. Not rule adherence. 

If you give employees freedom instead of more processes, to prevent them from exercising their own judgement, they will make better decisions. 

Increase the rate to density and candor (honest feedback habit) in order to remove policies and controls.

Don’t seek to plead your boss. 

Reed realized that culture is what shaped the company’s success. He wanted to build a culture where people connect the dots differently

Increase talent density. Talented people make one another more effective. High performers thrive with other high performers. (Steve Jobs a players attracted A players}

Performance is contagious. (Actor experiment)

Number one goal as a leader is to develop a workplace of stunning colleagues – highly talented people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives who are creative and can collaborate effectively. 

Say what you really think and give candid honest feedback, but with positive intent. 

At Netflix, it is tantamount to being disloyal to the company if you fail to speak up when you disagree with a colleague or have feedback to give. You could be helping the business but are choosing not too. 

People don’t like negative feedback in groups because it naturally triggers a fight or flight primal reaction in the brain that there is danger. 

Positive feedback releases oxytocin a feel good hormone that makes a mother happy when she nurses her baby.

Feedback loops are the most effective way to improve performance. 

Put feedback as an agenda item for 1:1 meetings if you’re the boss. 

Feedback must be given properly – aim to assist with positive intent. Clearly explain how a behavior change will change the individual or company not you. It also needs to be actionable. 

When receiving feedback. Appreciate it and accept or discard. 

Don’t confuse candor with being a jerk. 

Taking time off allows employees to see their work in new light. New innovations at Netflix came when people went on vacation, such as how content is suggested to users. 

Leaders at Netflix need to know that they are the models of behavior for their teams, and need to set the example of taking long vacations so their teams do. Avoid burnout. 

Leaders must set the context in which they should take vacation for the rest of the team

Netflix gives employees lots of freedom like removing expense approvals and travel polueces. The argument is that it’s worth it to pay a little more on that if it means that employees can work faster. The key is to clearly set context and reiterate that you must act in Netflix’s best interest. (Samsung 4K Tv example)

As companies grow from startup to more mature businesses, departments are created to monitors employeees and create policies that slow down innovation and creativity. 

“Rockstar principal” 1 great software engineer is better then 20 average software engineers. Netflix will pay top dollar to hire 1 great software engineer because they are 10x more impactful than multiple average engineers. 

Applying the rockstar principal to creative job rather than operation jobs (ice cream scooper) will yield 1Kx the results for Netflix. 

Operational roles give a cap to how much they can yield. Creative roles (like the majority at Netflix do not.}

Netflix does not pay bonuses because that method of compensation assumed that you can reliably predict the future and set an objective at any moment that will continue to be important down the road. 

Bonuses incentivize employees to focus on a target instead of supports what is best for the company in the present moment. 

Creative work requires that your mind require a level of freedom. People are more creative when not stressing about bonuses. Big salaries, not merit bonuses are good for innovation. 

Netflix openly encourages employees to know their worth by talking to recruiters and interviewing with other companies. This allows Netflix to collect the latest salary data and give the company a chance to match or raise an employees salary before they leave. It should be a choice to stay at Netflix. 

Reed doesn’t have an office and goes to where the work is of his employees. 

Sharing company information such as P&L statements empowers employees with a sense of ownership and removes the need for them to ask question which results in faster work. 

Netflix is transparent about why people get fired if the incident happened at work. If it’s personal, then they leave it up to the individual to decide how much to share. 

Reed talks about sharing his mistakes more than his wins. The Pratfall effect. 

A leader who has demonstrated competence and is liked by her team will build trust and prompt risk taking when they widely sunshine their own mistakes. 

“ Don’t seek to please your boss. Seek to do what’s best for the company”

Netflix has a dispersed decision making model that is not top down. This sense of ownership empowers Netflix employees to motivate them to do their best work. 

Netflix is not in a safety critical market like medicine but rather in a creative one. So the biggest threat is innovation and failing to come up with new ideas. 

Netflix employees think of the jobs as bets. You don’t get fired for taking the wrong bets, but rather not taking bets that will move the business forward or consistently displaying poor judgment over the long term. 

Employees don’t seek approval from their boss

For improving the outcome of your bets, Netflix employees follow the “Netflix Innovation Cycle”

  1. “Farm for dissent” or ”Socislize the idea”
  2. For a big idea, test it out
  3. As the informed captain, make your bet 
  4. If it succeeds, celebrate. If it fails, sunshine it. 

The Quickster debacle made Reed realize that by withholding your opinion, you are implicitly choosing to not help the company. 

When farming for dissent about big ideas, Reed writes a memo (Google Doc) and asks everyone to add feedback and rate from -10 to 10. 

If a bet fails, follow this approach after

  1. Ask what learning came from the project
  2. Don’t make a big deal about it
  3. Ask to “Sunshine” the failure. 

Yearly meeting to review bets that went well, bets that failed and open bets. This excersize encourages employees to implement bold ideas and be comfortable with bets that don’t pay off. 

Netflix is a team, not a family. 

Netflix implements the keeper test. 

Netflix does not stack rank employees because it reduces collaboration and enables employees to focus on competing against each other instead of the competition.

The keeper test examples don’t make Netflix look like a fun place to work at all. This book is written by the CEO and doesn’t shed (“sunshine”) the best light. Talking about the strengths and weaknesses of  person that was fired to his team when he’s not there seems cruel and adds insult to injury. 

Live 360 dinners are an effective way for Netflix employees to give honest actionable feedback to peers and bosses. Use the start stop continue method with 25% positive and 75% developmental. 

Lead with context. Not control. 

  1. Know the talent density of your staff and whether they have displayed good decisions in the past. (Teenage drinking example for parents)
  2. Know what industry you are in and whether to lead with error prevention or innovation. 
  3. Know whether your company is loosely or rightly coupled. Loosely coupled systems don’t affect the entire system if a change needs to be made. This manifests itself in decentralized decision making. 
  4. Know that everyone’s aim for the organization needs to be highly aligned. “Highly aligned, loosely coupled”. (Build a plan that pays for flexibility in the future, not error prevention)

Manage the org like a tree not a pyramid. 

With less direct cultures, Netflix sets ups formal feedback moments. 

Put formal feedback on the agenda. 

The 4 ‘A’s of feedback.

  1. Aim to assist
  2. Actionable
  3. Appreciate 
  4. Accept or decline 
  5. Adapt (your delivery and reaction to the culture)
Books Business Technology

The Four

Author: Scott Galloway

My Rating: 4/5

Summary: The Four reveals the dark side and monopolistic practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. It presents a thought-provoking and insightful analysis of how these companies have become the most powerful and influential forces in our society

My Takeaways

Amazon’s core competency is storytelling

Amazon has replaced profits with vision and growth

History favors the bold. 

Amazon is not afraid to try and fail at their 2 initiatives. 

Failure and invention are inseparable twins

Apple is in constant pursuit of making products simple. 

Apple is different from other tech companies because it has positioned itself as the first luxury brand in tech

It’s easier for Facebook to target the outliers then it is for Facebook to recommend content for moderates calm and reasonable content. 

Products traditionally target the brain, heart or genitals

Luxury brands are easier to speak to others. 

Apple promotes its products as making you better than your computers. 

The t algorithm help companies evaluate how to spend their capital

  1. Product differentiation: More value in removing steps than adding value. 
  2. Visionary capital: The ability to attract cheap capital with a bold vision that’s easy to understand 
  3. Go global – grow at scale
  4. Likeability
    1. The less likeable the company, the quicker to antitrust lawsuits and dragging companies into court
    2. Perception is reality
  5. Vertical integration: Control the consumer experience and distribution.
    1. Bad distribution is a bad customer experience, so companies should control the point of purchase.
    2. Apple moving into retail as an example
  6. AI: Technology from human input to improve the offering – making it personal and improving the product for current and future customers.
    1. Behavioral targeting is crucial to marketing
    2. Data is the fuel for big business
  7. Accelerate a company’s ability to attract top talent. For every 4 things your asked to do, propose one crazy idea that hasn’t been asked. Play offense

Four companies – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – pervade modern life, and their presence isn’t purely benevolent.

Amazon appeals to our natural stuff-gathering instincts, but it’s also killing competition and decimating jobs.

Apple makes its own rules and, as a luxury brand, appeals to our desire to be special.

Facebook capitalizes on our need for social relations, selling our data and denying responsibility for its content.

Google is the modern-day God – omniscient, omnipotent and completely trustworthy.

The Four Horsemen are cunning thieves, and they rob us by appealing to our hearts, brains and lusts.

8 factors will combine to create the first trillion-dollar company.

Companies like Alibaba, Uber or Microsoft could well become the fifth horseman.

To succeed in the world of the Four, develop your personality, educate yourself, move to a city and pimp your career.

Books Business

Your Next 5 Moves: Master the art of Business Strategy

Author: Patrick Bet-David

My Rating: 4/5

Summary: A very tactical and practical way to think about becoming a successful entrepreneur.

My Takeaways

Great business leaders think like chess grandmasters. 

5 moves is the right amount because it’s the sweet spot for thoughtful strategy with action and thinking too many moves ahead can lead to analysis paralysis. 

The 5 Moves

  1. Master knowing yourself. 
  2. Master the ability to reason
  3. Master building the right team. 
  4. Master strategy to scale
  5. Master power plays


To be the best you can be, you must first know who you want to be, where you wish to go, and what factors should drive your decisions. Bet-David breaks this down into 3 parts:

• Knowing who you want to be (including your deepest desires, core beliefs and values) and start behaving as if you were already that person.

• Knowing where you are now, by being totally honest with yourself on your strengths/weaknesses, what motivates you, and what you truly want (not what you think you should want).

• Knowing your ideal path. Does entrepreneurship really suit you? Or are you better off striking out as an intrapreneur within your company?


To achieve success and fulfillment, you must handle thousands of problems and decisions. Hone your problem-solving skills to get better outcomes and pre-empt problems in the future. This requires that you:

• Learn how to process issues rigorously. Bet-David shares the “Investment-Time-Return formula” you can use to optimize your resources, and how to take full responsibility for your desired outcomes.

• Learn to “Solve for X”, i.e. find and address the root causes or underlying issues behind a problem or situation.


No matter how brilliant you are, you can’t do everything alone. Surround yourself with the right people who can address your weaknesses and blind spots, multiply your strengths, and help you and your business to grow.

This move probably warrants a book all by itself. Bet-David addresses several key aspects, including:

• How to hire and retain the right people. This involves attracting the right talents and advisers,  having a robust recruitment process, and developing an attractive compensation plan to retain people.

• How to build a winning culture. This involves establishing common values, principles and beliefs, translating them into concrete behaviors in your daily work, building trust, developing a succession plan, encouraging constructive conflict, and  tailoring your approach to each team member’s love languages and motivators.


There are several strategic elements that determine if your business will grow, stagnate, or even collapse. To scale up and achieve exponential growth, you must:

• Raise and use capital wisely, to generate both linear and exponential growth.

• Grow your people alongside the company. Demand the best from people, hold them accountable for their own career or life goals, role-model the expected levels of rigor and accountability, and track the key metrics in your business.


Power plays can determine if you emerge a winner or loser. Master your strategic maneuvers to beat established incumbents, frame your story, and leverage social media. This move is about:

• Finding the right levers so you can beat the giants (i.e. the huge, established market leaders in your industry) who have much more resources, experience and capital than you. Bet-David advocates using social media as a key marketing tool to engage your audience, shape your story and influence public opinion.

• Learning to negotiate, sell, and influence. This requires that you do your homework before every major meeting, build strategic partnerships, and progressively develop your negotiation skills and power

Be of value to others, in order to get value from them. (Example. Patrick visited the son in prison of a person he wanted to leverage contacts.)

Don’t be afraid to promote yourself on social media and sell yourself, because nobody else will

Successful people use pain as a motivator 

Create a clear picture of future state. 

Act consistent with your future truth. 

Act like a great company long before you become one. 

Know what drives you. Common reasons are advancement, madness (having an enemy) individuality, lifestyle, purpose 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

Create a company culture that fosters intraprenuership and creative thinking. (.I.e. Google %20rule)

Blue Ocean Strategy / New category 

Don’t try to beat competitors at their strengths since that is a losing game. 

Identify the competitive edge

Know how to process issues. Life is always throwing out issues. 

People who process info badly play the victim and don’t take responsibility, good processors take responsibility 

Deep level processors look be north the surface for the root causes, as opposed to the quick fix. 

Going silent during a crisis is the easy choice. 

Know your all in risk. 

People are curious 

Prevent problems before they become big. 

Need to develop a system for making decisions and a methodology that will increase the probability of success

5 why’s 

Think about how you can benefit others 

Have employees think like owners and structure an incentive plan so it’s a win-win for the employee and company 

Build a company with principles. (Cites Ray Dalio’s book several times)

Establish a company code

Build a company culture that not only embraces friction, but creates it (with love).

The reason to develop trust is to speed up every element of conducting your business 

Figure out indemnification so that you can’t be sued

Document everything 

Seek advice from people who know the theory, witness and application 

Build processes to scale your business 

Build speed into everything you do. 

Look for strategies to compress timeframes. 

Use data analytics 

Stay paranoid

Books Business

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Author: Liz Wiseman

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: A book that explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results.

My Takeaways

There are 2 types of people: Multipliers and diminishers

Multipliers look beyond their own genius by extracting the genius from others. 

Multipliers get 2x more from people because they extend and grow intelligence from others. 

People reported that they got smarter from multipliers 

Diminishers believe their genies is a rare bread and that they need to solve problems. 

Multipliers believe intelligence can be cultivated. They find ways to stretch the individual and bring the right people together in an environment that lets them figure it out. 

Multipliers challenge people and consult with others.

  • set a safe environment 
  • Are debate makers that generate buy-in
  • Hold people accountable with high standards
  • Assumes people are smart
  • Talent magnet and that leverages people’s contributions at their highest point 
  • Liberator who creates a safe environment for people to do their best work. 
  • Challenger that defines an opportunity that challenges people to stretch
  • Investor who gives other people ownership and invests in their success 

Diminishers are

  • micromanagers
  • Assumes people won’t figure it out with me
  • Tyrant who creates a tense environment 
  • Know it all 
  • Decision maker

Multipliers have a hard edge that expect great things

Multipliers don’t play small and have a great sense of humor. See comedy in error. Puts others at ease and allows others to be them selves. Use humor to create comfort 

Diminishers don’t know they are diminishers. 

Multipliers get 2x more from their resources compared to diminishers.

Multipliers are genius makers

Diminishers are empire builders who hoard resources

Multipliers bring out the best in others by creating an environment that brings out people best. 

Liberators create space, pressure instead of stress

Multipliers demand peoples best work by defending the standard, distinguishing best work vs outcome 

Multipliers generate rapid learning cycles. They admit and share mistakes. 

Peoples best effort must be given not taken

Liberators have soft opinions. Soft opinions are perspectives you have to offer and ideas for others to consider. 

Hard opinions are perspectives that are clear and emphatic. Offer these sparingly. 

Multipliers play the role of the challenger if they don’t know the answer. As opposed to diminishers who believe their team’s capabilities stop at the leader’s knowledge. 

Multipliers set a challenge by asking tough questions, and then give the team space to come up with the answer. 

Multipliers stretch and test their team

Multipliers make goal setting collaborative so it makes the goal more tangible for the team. 

Multipliers argue all sides of the decision 

  1. Frame issues. Find the right issue to formulate the right questions for others to solve. 
  2. Spark the debate. Make the question engaging and fact based and educational
  3. Reclassify the decision making process

Multipliers are investors who give their people ownership they need to produce results independent of the leader by doing the following. 

  1. Defining ownership. (Name the lead, give owners for the end goal and stretch the role.)
  2. Invest resources. Do this by teaching and coaching 
  3. Hold people accountable. Expect complete work and the consequences.  

Be an investor by giving others 51% of the vote and asking for the solution to a problem. 

Micromanagers get people who expect to be told what to do. 

Investors get people who take initiative.

Multipliers can become accidental diminishers.

Multipliers get 2X more out of their teams compared to diminishers. This equates to more output from the same number of resources instead of additional additional resources to get more output.

Effective multipliers generally have at least 3 of the 5 multiplier traits outlined in this book. They neutralize a weakness and top off a strength.

You can run mini experiments within your organization to adopt a multiplier mindset and build a multiplier culture..

Spotlight multiplier moments and integrate business metrics to achieve a multiplier mindset.

Books Hacks

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World 

Author: Cal Newport

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Practical tips for being more focused in an age where there are distractions everywhere.

My Takeaways

Deep work helps you quickly learn hard things

Adam Grant batches his work on multiple levels

When you switch from task A to task B, your attention residue still sticks.

Our economy increasingly values depth, not shallow work

Being busy is a proxy for productivity

Deep work is systematically becoming more rare

Skillfully managing attention requires the brain to help cultivate a good life.

Knowledge work is more ambiguous than most type of work that has been around. This ambiguity makes it unclear as to what a knowledge worker does and how it differs from other types of knowledge work.

Deep work can generate satisfaction in an info economy vs craftsman economy.

Our brains construct our worldview on what we pay attention to – Gallager’s Grand Theory.

What you choose to focus on exerts significant leverage on how you move forward.

Your world is the outcome of what you pay attention to.

A work day drive by the shallow work implies that you had a better day.

Humans are at their best when they ar immersed in something challenging.

Current psychology suggests that To Build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction.

Rule #1 integrate deep work into schedule.

Simple Rituals such as planning when, where and what success looks like when doing deep work takes the mental friction away from planning deep work and allows you to think clearer. (Charles Darwin example)

In order to maximize success you need to systematize the efforts that support deep work so you don’t waste mental energy on what you need. 

Zagarnic effect: incomplete tasks will dominate your attention throughout the day, which is why it’s important to turn off work at the end the day and have a planned shutdown ritual. 

Embrace boredom. 

Must train the ability to think deep as it is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed. 

Our minds are rewired to be constantly distracted which is something you crave. 

Practice productive meditation during times when your body is physically distracted but not mentally such as walking the dog

Structure deep thinking process. 

Schedule every minute of your workday

Fixed schedule meta habits can help orient your time to deep work instead of shallow work. 

Become hard to reach by setting up sender filters, do more work when you send and reply to emails and don’t respond. 

Send ambiguous responses to email so that you avoid long email chains. 

Make people do more work to contact you so you avoid distractions.