Book Review, Summary & Notes

Your Move by Ramit Sethi

The Underdog's Guide to Building Your Business

Your Move by Ramit Sethi
Ramit Sethi
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Your Move by Ramit Sethi

Your Move by Ramit Sethi is the underdog's guide to building a business. It's an essential read for beginners providing you with a solid introduction to business. The author has a unique voice and perspective that will help you better understand modern business principles.

In this book, you will learn how to validate your business, where to put your focus on and how to make sales without feeling sleazy.

Biggest lesson: It's easier than ever to start a business but you must focus on the right thing and make sales from the very beginning.


Your Move is a comprehensive guide to taking control of your finances by Ramit Sethi, the New York Times bestselling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Your Move is a playbook for young, ambitious professionals with high expectations and a desire for more freedom, flexibility, and spare time.

Notes & Quotes

What those people don’t realize is they’re losing money every single day, thanks to inflation. They never took even a single weekend to read a good book about personal finance, so they don’t understand that by not investing, they will absolutely, positively run out of money.

But the biggest failures aren’t things you did. They’re things you didn’t do. Playing it safe is one of the biggest failures possible. The first step is learning to recognize it in every facet of our lives.

The longer you wait, the more demoralizing it is to see other people soar — and the harder it gets.

You can’t help people who are too smart for their own good. Which is exactly why I want to remind you that the very best in the world are relentless at mastering the fundamentals. Kobe Bryant spent hours working on dribbling drills every day.

If you don’t have your psychology right, it’s 100x harder to succeed. It’s true about fitness. And it’s also true about money.

It took me years to be able to say, "You know what? My stuff is really good, and I’m going to charge for that and if you are not ready to pay, or you can’t afford it, that’s OK."

Money is an emotional topic. It makes us feel guilty. It makes us feel alone. Who else can we talk to about it?

People with a scarcity mindset believe there’s a limited pie, and if you take one piece, that’s one piece less for everyone else.

When you can connect and really solve their problems, the price is a mere triviality.

Just remember that if you create value for others, they’ll happily pay for it.

By taking the money I make and reinvesting it back into making my business even better.

The more money you make, the more value you can create.

But it takes a lot of trust for someone to actually pull out their wallet and pay you money, because they believe you can help them solve their problems.

Rule #1: People pay me for the value I create. In other words, if I create value, people will be more than happy to pay me for it.

Rule #2: The more I make, the more value I can create. I can invest back into the business, by building systems, creating technology, and hiring new people.

Rule #3: Money is a marker that I’m doing the right thing. We’re going to avoid fake proxies of success, like how many people like my Facebook page. Instead, we’ll focus on the ultimate sign that you’ve created something the world wants: Sales.

Whatever your idea is, it has to be something somebody wants. Otherwise, you’ll invest money and time building a business that only attracts looky-loos: Those people who come into your store, browse for 20 minutes, and NEVER buy anything. This may be the most important idea in business. If you only take one thing away from this book, it should be this: Create something that people WANT to buy.

Here’s the most liberating part of coming up with business ideas: You have permission to suck. There are no bad ideas in the beginning stages.

Actually listening is the critical differentiator between a successful business with happy customers… and everyone else.

In real life, when you’re talking to your family, friends, or colleagues, your ears should perk up whenever you hear the words "I want," "I wish,” or "I don’t know."

Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s top executive coaches, put it to me this way: "Your biggest challenge [is] customer selection. You pick the right customer, you win. You pick the wrong customer, you lose. Focus on helping great people get better."

Ultimately, this is your business. It’s up to you to run your business as you see fit, and serve the customers you want to serve. In our experience, business is the most fun (and most profitable) when you focus on helping great people get better.

Focus more on being decisive and less on trying to make the “right” decision. You’ll never know until you try, and if you’re wrong, you can always try again.

In a world full of websites and e-books and apps, the moment you look and sound like everyone else, you’re dead.

When we let ourselves and our businesses become vanilla, when we try to appeal to everyone, we instantly become a commodity.

There are a million different ways to approach any topic. The key is: Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on your audience.

"So I'll write a post and drop a few extra few fucks, just so that if someone is easily offended by that stuff, they effectively opt out of visiting the blog because I don't want to deal with their mom - like scolding."

But don’t be different for the sake of being different.

People value what they pay for.

Understand that people value what they pay for. You’re not doing them a disservice by charging them, you’re actually doing a profound service for the people who want to take action.

That’s the thing about fears. Most of them are stories we tell ourselves. And no matter what you do, there are always going to be critics. Maybe they don’t like how much you’re charging. Maybe they can’t afford it. Maybe they don’t like the color of your hair. It doesn’t really matter.

You can only focus on the people who are taking action. You can only try to change the world one person at a time with your business.

If you are solving a problem that’s important to people, AND if you have the credibility so that they believe you can solve it, then price becomes a mere triviality.

I set up weekly, monthly, and quarterly "to-dos” for things like reviewing my systems, planning strategy, even to find fun things to do in New York City.

I batch most of my meetings for the afternoon, but try to include at least a 5 - minute buffer between them. I found when I stacked too many meetings in a row, I’d really lose my energy, and that’s when bad things would start to happen.

Finally, within each task, I include the URLs of any necessary documents. I click the URL, and I’m instantly taken to the right place in the document — down to the paragraph I need to start working on.

In this first email, you’re going welcome them to your list, thank them for joining, and close with this question: "What are you struggling with today?” And when your potential customers start emailing you, telling you about their biggest pains, you have to email them back and dig deeper.

The key is, the system creates a virtuous cycle. The better your product is, the more testimonials you’re going to get. The more testimonials you strategically use, the more people you’re going to get in your program, and on and on and on.

Sam Carpenter, literally wrote the book on systems called Work the System.

According to Sam, an effective system "focuses our limited attention and willpower on the things that matter."

To sell, you need to know four key things about your customers: their hopes, dreams, pain points, and fears.

Here are some questions that gave me amazing insights that’ll work for you:

  • What do you want for yourself [in specific topic]?
  • What are you doing now?
  • How does that make you feel?
  • What’s your alternative?
  • How does that make you feel?

Learn about your audience:

  • Amazon reviews of similar products and books
  • Reddit or other online posting sites
  • Facebook groups

At the start of your business (anywhere from 0 to $ 100K revenue/year), every day you’re fighting to live another day. You have to be scrappy. It’s a game of survival, not perfection.

Instead, we have to get comfortable with the idea of creating something imperfect.

Live to fight another day, and trust that your future self will be able to solve problems later on.

But eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t running a charity.

Time-on-site won’t pay your rent.

Money is the marker that you’re doing the right thing because money is the ultimate value to people.

We all tell ourselves stories. We’ve created narratives of our lives, some of them so deep, they’re actually invisible scripts that guide our decisions and we don’t even know it. We can change most of these narratives, but it takes a lot of work.

It’s the psychology that separates the winners from everyone else.

Busy, important people LOVE helping others who take action.

Remember, when you’re looking for a mentor, it’s not about asking them, "Will you be my mentor?” That basically disqualifies you immediately. You’re showing what a novice you are with this one question.

A friend once gave me some great advice at a tricky time in my career.

She said: "Ramit, nobody cares what you did. They only care what you’re doing."

What helped shift my mindset is something Jay Abraham calls being your client or customer’s "trusted advisor.” If you view yourself as their trusted advisor, and you have a product or service that will truly help them, then you should be doing everything in your power to let them know about it and offer it to them.

What would happen if you started to offer your best stuff to potential clients/customers sooner and more often than you currently do?

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