It’s Your Move by Josh Altman, Book Summary

written by Fred Campos

[I]n 2016 I have a goal to read 50 books. This book was given to me by my lovely wife, Karen. It was a perfect read to start a new year! I found this book to be both interesting, motivating, and encouraging. It zeros in on having confidence, taking risk and becoming the very best at what you do. These are my notes from the book. You may have court side seats to what I am read. Enjoy! (Click Here to Buy)

It’s Your Move by Josh Altman

Introduction – Ready, Firm, Aim
– “Calculated confidence” is training yourself in your chosen field to the point that you can trust your gut instincts are guiding you toward the best possible option. p. 3
– You have to create a set of goals and apply a structured plan to achieve them, but if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can achieve them. p. 10

Part One – Ready

  • Readiness is composed of the structures you use to build your life. It’s rhythms, habits, and awarenesses that allow you to maximize opportunities. p. 14
  • Luck isn’t random chance; it’s work. p. 14
  • Achieving your goals requires hard work, quick decisions, and big risks, and you’re only going to be able to manage those successfully if you put structures in place that make you ready to achieve those goals. p.15

Chapter 1 – Know Your Gut
– Calculated confidence is a skill you can learn, and the first step is get in touch with your untrained gut instincts. p. 18
– The first step in training your gut is to understand yourself, your past, and the forces that shape your worldview. p. 22
– Learn what you do, then create a life where you’re usually doing the best of what you do. p. 29

Chapter 2 – Know What You Want
– Inaction is the biggest problem with America today. p. 32
– The first step in doing something is to know what to do, and the first step in knowing what to do is to know what you want. p. 32
– Here’s the simple, hard truth: you can’t have everything. p. 32
– Achievable goals need to be few, true, and intense. p. 34
– Your goals don’t just have to be clear and focused; they also have to be honest. p. 39

Chapter 3 – Fall in Love with What You Do
– The best way to fall in love with what you do is to find a job with major aspects that sync up with your natural skills and gut instincts, then use the satisfaction you get from those activities to fuel your growth in other parts of the job. p. 46
– Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says the best moments in our lives are not the “passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur if a person’s mind or body is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” p. 47
– You also need a job that challenges you, that gives you that Csikszentmihalyi sense that you’re doing something interesting and worthwhile. p. 48
– If you can’t find the perfect job, work to make the job you have more perfect. p. 48

Chapter 4 – Choose to Be Lucky
– Luck isn’t a random act of fate; it’s a choice. p. 56
– That’s how you create luck, by putting yourself in the world where you want to be. It isn’t just about location; it’s also about being the sort of person who succeeds in that world. p. 57
– You need to be open to possibilities. Part of that is being humble enough to pay attention to the world around you. p. 57
– Optimism is a huge part of choosing to be lucky. You need to eel like someone good things happen to. p. 58
– Rules keep people in a herd; you have to be ready to break out and act independently. p. 58
– (Luck) It’s skill, work, good habits, humility, and optimism. p. 59
– You need to be you, and you need to be weird. p. 59
– Luck is moving out of your comfort zone to run into new opportunities for success. It’s making choices nobody else is making, seeing opportunities other people don’t notice, and believing that following those opportunities is worthwhile. p. 60
– The first step is just deciding that you’re lucky. p. 60

Chapter 5 – Let Everybody Know What You Do
– You’re not alone in this world, but you’re the only thing you can really control. p. 61
– A huge part of success is people knowing you and knowing the best of what you have to offer. p. 63
– You should always, always be telling everyone what you do. p. 64
– We’re all human, and we’ve all had irresponsible fun, but you have to make sure that your online persona makes an impression that isn’t at odds with your professional persona. p. 66
– You set your worth. Just like when i would head into a new school, how you present yourself defines how people will see you. p. 68
– The first step in succeeding is just to let the people around you know what you do, then never, ever stop talking about it. p. 70
– Self-promotion isn’t an annoyance; it’s letting people know that you’re there to help. p. 70

Chapter 6 – Wear the Right Uniform
– Calculated confidence isn’t just about an image you present to the world. You have to believe in yourself. p. 72
– You are constantly and consistently the greatest investment you’ve ever going to make, and it’s a long-term investment. p. 81

Chapter 7 – Have a Tough Skin
– Car accidents, baseball bats, and cancer can hurt you. Words, whether they’re insults or rejections, are yours to interpret. p. 91
– At hte end of the day, having a tough skin fundamentally just means being strong enough to decide what the message you’re being sent means. p 92

Part Two – Fire

  • If you want your life to keep evolving, you’re going to need to take some risks, make some changes, and be bold. p. 95
  • You don’t get better at things by thinking about them; you get better by doing. p. 96
  • You’re the CEO of your own life. Stop acting like an employee. Develop a strategy, and get out there and start executing it. p. 97

Chapter 8 – Get in the Game
– The mind-set of a player is key. The right mind-set turns your goals into a set of habits. p. 105
– Calculated confidence isn’t a skill you can learn in a classroom; it’s a life skill. It’s something that can only be shaped by challenging yourself to make hard decisions quickly, then learn from your results. p. 107

Chapter 9 – Screw It, You Got to See What Happens
– Boring choices, may keep you safe and content, but they won’t make you rich, successful, or, in my opinion, truly happy. p. 110
– Sometimes–not all the time–you have to just go with a hunch. If your gut gives you a solid tug in a direction and you can’t see any obvious problems, go for it. p. 112
– If you spend too much time worrying about hidden risks, you may find out that your opportunity is now somebody else’s success story. p. 117

Chapter 10 – Always Have a House to Show
– Whatever you do, whatever contracts or opportunities are presented to you, be ready to pursue them now. p. 120
– You also have to be prepared to prove yourself when you’ve got the opportunity. p. 124
– You may be scared you’re not good at what you do. If you’re someone who works hard and smart, that’s probably an unreasonable, unfounded fear, but you may use that fear to avoid taking risks. p. 127
– There’s no use waiting for a better you to come around. Trust that the skills and instincts you’ve built are valuable and that who you are right now is worthy of respect. p.128

Chapter 11 – Your Gut is the Godfather, Your Head is the Consigliere
– Even in the most abstract, thoretical stuff, you gut can be putting facts together before your brain has a chance to figure out all the details. p. 130
– Your gut is the godfather. It’s giving you the big-picture direction. You brain is the consigliere. It’s there to figure out the strategies to achieve the godfather’s goals. p. 130
– Sometimes my gut sends me messages, and I don’t know exactly what to do with them. It takes time and brain work, but if your unconscious mind is sending you a strong message, it’s worth your while to spend the brain power to turn it into a clear message. p. 133
– That’s the calculation part of calculated confidence: training yourself to trust your better instincts, and being able to pull apart and analyze a gut reaction when it isn’t clear. p. 136
– If you’re not constantly learning from the world around you, your gut’s gonna be dumb. p. 137

Chapter 12 – It’s Not Finished Until It’s Finished
– It’s your job to make sure that when you go after a deal, you close it. If you’re going to fire, you have to do more than pull the trigger; you have to manage the consequences. p. 139
– If you like an idea enough to start it, like it enough to finish it. You have to pick your battles, but once you do, fight. p. 140
– Sometimes execution takes tenacity. Just because you can make a decision quickly doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to automatically get what you want. p. 144
– Great deals usually aren’t easy. They usually take time, commitment, and planning to execute. p. 145
– If you go through your life pursing your decision half-assed, the results are never going to be great, and you’re going to lose your self-respect. p. 145

Chapter 13 – Always Kick the Football the Same
– If I just did my job like I knew how to do it, I’d be fine, but if I let myself become too aware of the consequences, I would lose focus. p. 148
– When you’re doing a job, don’t focus on the variables outside of your control. Focus on execution, do that job well, and trust that this task is part of a larger strategy you’ve already worked out. p. 149
– When you have-ass a job, you’re hurting yourself. You’re hurting your reputation. Your reputation exists outside of you, in the world, informing people about the job you do. p. 152
– The tiny little choices that define your life add up to your character. p. 153
– Calculated confidence is a skill built through consistency. It’s having enough practice under your belt to be able to make big decisive calls in high-pressure situations. p. 154
– The reason you always kick the ball the same is because the ball doesn’t matter. Who’s kicking the ball matters. p. 154

Chapter 14 – Remember the Big Picture
– My professional reputation and character are worth way more than a single deal, and it pays off to conduct all my business in a way I can be proud of. p. 157
– You’re a person, you need to relax, you need to feel love, and you need to show love to the people around you. If you try to live like a machine, eventually you’ll break down. Live like a human being and you can grow, thrive, and be happy. p. 159
– If you want to be able to trust your confident decision-making abilities, you have to keep your job and life in perspective and take care of yourself. p. 161

Part Three – Aim

  • You can’t hate yourself for being human. That’s a waste of time and energy. It’s easy to convince yourself that the people around you don’t make mistakes, and that their lives are unfettered drives toward success and happiness. We all know that isn’t true. We’re all fallible creatures just working to make our way through life and get a little smarter in the process. p. 168
  • If you keep moving forward and refining your aim, nothing can stop you. p. 169

Chapter 15 – Risk Smart, Not Hard
– Look at your mistakes until they stop hurting; only then will you be able to start learning the lessons they have to teach you. p. 172

Chapter 16 – Embrace Rejection
– You’re not failing, you’re learning. Every choice is an experiment, and every experiment gives you new information. p. 183
– Rejection isn’t personal. It’s not that you’re not enough; it’s just that you haven’t reined your message enough to cleanly articulate who you are and what you have to ofer. p. 185
– Every time you get a rejection, aim to learn from it, to grow and be better. If you get to know rejection well enough, you might even be able to over come it, because embracing rejection is the first step in screwing it. p. 189

Chapter 17 – Confront Your Weaknesses
– We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. – John F. Kennedy p. 191
– Delegation can’t solve every situation, though. Sometimes you’re going to have to do stuff that you’re bad at. Do it. Make it a priority. Care about it. Work on it. Get better. Because you will. p. 196
– The reason you have to embrace your weaknesses is because the only other option is failure. If there’s some task you’re scared of, some obstacle that’s intimidating you, you’ll give up. If you’re scared of failing, you’re never actually going to succeed. p. 198
– Get over yourself. Stop avoiding something that probably isn’t that bad to begin with. Embrace your weaknesses. p. 198

Chapter 18 – Shift Happens
– The world is constantly changing. That’s what makes it fun. You can’t just create one plan for attacking your goals and think that’s the answer. You have to have a plan that can change and adapt as you learn from your mistakes but also as you learn how the environment is changing. p. 206

Chapter 19 – Let Mistakes Open Your Eyes
– Everybody’s got their take on what’s going on. You can pay attention to other people’s perspectives or you can ignore them; it’s up to you. I think trying to see through someone else’s eyes always makes me stronger. p. 208
– Every mistake is an opportunity to reevaluate the situaton around you and try to see it in a new light. Aiming is about trying to not just solve your current problem but also see how that problem affects your worldview, and shifting it. You’re not just aiming for one target; you’re aiming to be better at hitting all the targets. p. 212

Chapter 20 – Not Every Failure is a Mistake
– Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein p. 215
– Aiming isn’t about living in the shadow of your latest failure; it’s about being smart enough to know which failures you should be learning from and what you should be learning. p. 216
– When you look at a failed business venture, a fun party idea that didn’t work, or just a networking attempt that didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, look at what you did wrong, but also recognize that the problem might not have been you. p. 222
– You’re not living in the past; you’re aiming for the future. So keep going, keep trying, keep working. Don’t let think about your failures get in the way of giving yourself more chances for success. p. 223

Chapter 21 – Success
– A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the brinks others have thrown at him. p. 225
– Whatever you do, take it seriously, prepare yourself for it, train your instincts to understand it, trust yourself to make key decisions quickly, and when you make a mistake, figure out what the lesson of that mistake is, pick yourself up, and keep at it with newfound wisdom. p. 231
– You don’t have to be brilliant, beautiful, or rich to be tenacious. You just have to start on a project and not let go of it until it’s where you want it to be. p. 232
– If humans can collectively do such awesome things, just think about what you could do if you actually committed to trying instead of wasting your time doubting. p. 232

What is your favorite part of the book? What did you learn from Josh’s book?

Featured image from Amazon & Josh Altman.



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