Updated: Mar 3, 2021
I don’t usually write book reviews, but like many, I feel compelled when there is something really positive to share and something really…not so positive. This review is of the latter variety.
Recently, I listened to the book, Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy by Patrick Bet-David. As a natural list maker and strategic planner, I thought this resource would provide terrific suggestions for moving my consulting business to the next level. I was wrong.
Where do I start? Perhaps we should begin with the end in mind (a la Stephen Covey) as that is the culmination of the book’s focus, and the conclusion is what compelled me to share my thoughts. After listening to 8 hours of content and waiting for one hidden gem to emerge, he closes with the advice to make your moves in the right sequence and finishes with: “That’s how you end up winning in the war room, boardroom, and bedroom.” SERIOUSLY? Seriously – that is what I said out loud, by myself, in my car. I had to check my hearing by seeing the book in print, and yep, that was the last line of a book for mastering the art of business strategy. I am still irritated (can you tell?).
You might be thinking, ‘OK, Nicole, that’s a little excessive, maybe the rest of the book was useful, and the end was just…odd.’
Fair to think that; however, the rest of the book provided little use for me. Maybe I’m the wrong audience. The book was written more as an older brother advising his high school/college aged little brother not to make the same mistakes partying and chasing skirts, but rather focusing on business and winning at it (Charlie Sheen came to mind numerous times). This is not a stretch as the author discusses his exploits and distractions during his younger years, including when he gave up sex until he met one of his goals. Is that a business strategy?
Now, I do recognize the author overcame a lot of obstacles to establish himself in business and achieve the success he enjoys today; however, I do not feel his advice is as useful and transferable as the book jacket implies.
The next five moves can be found right on his website, and I’ll list them below (I’ll save you a trip) with resources that I think are much better for improving your business or focusing your career path.
Move 1: Master Knowing Yourself
My suggestion: It might be an oldie, but it’s a goodie…the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator stands the test of time and provides insight for better communication, identification of one’s path, and possible interest areas you might not have considered. Visit Myers Briggs for more information.
Move 2: Master the Ability to Reason
My suggestion: Depending on your personality type or past experiences, reasoning might be something second nature to you or something you struggle with. How are your decision-making and deduction skills? With a quick internet search, I found this blog targeting students that has a list (yay lists!) of ways to improve your reasoning skills, and I might have generated a similar list if I wasn’t writing this book review. Like most skills, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.
Move 3: Master Building the Right Team
My suggestion: Jim Collins addressed this topic in Good to Great when he discusses putting the right people in the right seats; a much better take on this concept, and one that you can apply across business contexts.
Move 4: Master Strategy to Scale
My suggestion: A big part of scaling one’s business relates to analyzing the market and relevant data, networking with strategic partners, and raising capital. I suggest working with an analytics expert (email me) and building your connections on LinkedIn in the areas where you want your business to grow as first steps.
Move 5: Master Power Plays
My suggestion: While the book focuses on self-promotion and social media to establish yourself in the world of business, there is much more to brand strategy than social media tools, which hashtags you use, how many YouTube subscribers you have, etc. Connect with experts in brand strategy if you need assistance focusing on this aspect of your growth trajectory (email me).
Lastly, if you decide, ‘I need to hear this for myself’ and you listen to the audiobook like I did, prepare to hear so many lists, you won’t be able to remember where one ended and the next began. I never thought I’d say there is a such thing as too many lists, but I suppose that is the one takeaway I got from this bestseller.
All the best,