The Unfair Advantage Summary & Review

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What’s in it? Quick Summary

The book “The Unfair Advantage” explores the different factors that contribute to success in business, including intelligence, hard work, and luck. It emphasizes the importance of finding one’s unique unfair advantages and leveraging them to maximize success. The book also discusses the MILES framework and how it can be used to identify and maximize one’s advantages in business. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of mindset, location, education, and networking in unlocking new opportunities for growth. Overall, it is a valuable read for anyone looking to succeed in the business world.

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About the authors

The authors of “The Unfair Advantage” are Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. Ash Ali is an entrepreneur and a speaker on innovation, growth, and marketing. Hasan Kubba is a business strategist and consultant. Together, they have written a book that explores what really makes a business successful and how to find and leverage your unfair advantages.

Bullet Summary: The Unfair Advantage

  • Find your unfair advantages in business instead of playing victim.
  • Use the MILES Framework to identify and maximize your advantages in business.
  • Embrace reality and your personality to keep learning and growing.
  • Smartly use your money to leverage your business.
  • Position yourself and your business in the right place at the right time to increase the chances of success and good fortune.
  • Formal education is not everything. Learning can occur anywhere and at any time if you have the right mindset.
  • Growing your networks helps you unlock new opportunities for growth.

The Unfair Advantage Summary (Detailed)

We have all heard phrases like “If you die poor, then it’s your fault.”

But the question is: Is hard work enough for success?

Why is it that many men work hard all their lives, but still do not live a lavish lifestyle like billionaires?

In this book, the author explores what really makes a business successful. And how much role do intelligence, hard work, and luck really play when it comes to success.

The biggest question of all: What can we do as normal people if others have unfair advantages?

Let’s find out in this book summary.

Alright, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Lesson #1: We should accept the reality that some people on the planet have unfair advantages, and it’s so unfair.

In the first chapter, the author talks about how society teaches us the value of meritocracy. It tells us to work harder. It shows us heroes who have worked hard and achieved great success.

Which is not a bad thing.

Hard work is rewarding when you finally achieve your goals.

Imagine achieving six-pack abs after working hard at the gym every single day for months. Nothing feels better than that, right?

However, in the business world, your success depends on numerous factors.

Working hard does not guarantee that your business will be successful or become significantly large.

Just think about it.

Who is more likely to become successful: a founder whose entire family is in the business profession with many connections, or an average guy who isn’t wealthy and has little knowledge of business?

Nothing can be said for sure. However, many people have built big businesses even when the odds were not in their favor.

That being said, the first person in our example is more likely to succeed.

Imagine how different our lives could be if we were born into different families, received different educations, and lived in different environments.

No matter how much we celebrate hard work, life is unfair.

This has always been true for many people, including those who are often considered privileged. They too often believe that their life could be better.

If you receive education from a top-tier institute, you are likely to earn more compared to a student who graduates from a random institute. Even investors will give funding more easily to someone who is from a top institute because most of them are biased.

If you are jacked, rich, and popular, you’ll attract more women compared to your friends.

In short: The formulas we have been taught to become successful don’t really work in reality.

If you are just working hard and not thinking much with your brain, you might end up wasting a lot of your time and energy — and even your hard-earned money.

Imagine trying to sell something that nobody wants to buy. In that case, the odds will be against you.

The good news is that we can all find unfair advantages and play to our strengths instead of our weaknesses.

The key is to become smart and then work hard.

This way, our probability of becoming successful will be much higher compared to those who are just working hard and wishing that their efforts will reap the results.

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Lesson #2: Find your unfair advantages in business instead of playing victim.

We all get to make choices.

Either, you can play victim and complain about how unfair the world is.

Or you can find your unfair advantages and play the game based on your strengths.

The question is: How do we find our unfair advantages?

To find your unfair advantages, you should know their properties first.

Your unfair advantages must be unique to you. And most important of all, they can’t easily be copied by other people.

People who only work hard don’t realize their unfair advantages. And despite working very hard over years, they fail to achieve success.

Smart people find their unique unfair advantages.

In the book, the author talks about MILES FRAMEWORK.

M = MONEY

I = INTELLIGENCE

L = LUCK

E = EXPERTISE

S = STATUS

Think of these five components as the tools.

You can play the game however you want.

Not all people have all of these tools in abundance.

You have to find out where you can max and get advantage.

Can you have more money than others?

Can you have more status than others?

Can you have more expertise than others?

You won’t have all these initially.

So, whatever you have, leverage it.

Usually, people with more money and status find it easier to attract more opportunities.

This doesn’t mean that smart people don’t work hard.

They work hard. But they smartly go with the strategy where their hard work brings maximum output.

Smart work happens when think how you can gain the max output with the minimum input.

You can’t always control external circumstances, but with practice, you can always control your mind.

It is not easy, though.

In fact, most people will never even bother to master their own mind.

If you understand this well, you already have a leverage of intelligence.

Lesson #3: Mindset is important for success, but just a strong mindset isn’t enough.

Mindset is everything, provided you are also doing smart work.

The author discusses fixed mindset and growth mindset in this book.

Fixed mindset is when you think that you can’t grow any further. People with a fixed mindset never bother learning new things. And they are usually less open to feedback.

Growth Mindset is when you realize that you can always grow if you put your mind to it. People with a growth mindset are constantly upgrading themselves by learning new stuff. They don’t get offended by different opinions and always seek feedback.

Kindly note that when we say “growth mindset,” we are not talking about motivation.

Motivation is temporary.

You grow when your actions are based on reality.

Many people dream big after hearing motivational speakers. Although it looks positive, it isn’t something that you should blindly follow.

Always make sure that your dreams and motivations are grounded in reality.

There are many things that you can’t change.

For example, you can’t change your genes.

There is only so much can do about how you look.

You can’t change how many hours are in a day.

You can’t stop the sun from rising.

There are many business industries that if you enter without experience, chances are you’ll fail terribly and lose all your confidence and money.

There are many people who have so many unfair advantages. And no amount of hard work will get you ahead of them.

Many billionaires have been very lucky. And it’s alright if you don’t have the same luck as them.

You see, when you do a reality check, suddenly you start losing hope.

It looks so negative, doesn’t it?

When we hear the “growth mindset,” we assume that there is nothing negative.

However, reality isn’t always what we expect it to be.

So, you see, if you want to grow faster, you have to embrace reality.

You have to embrace your personality.

Eventually, you always have to keep learning and make sure that you are not getting delusional.

So many people achieve delusional success.

We must not make the same mistake.

Work on your mindset and keep learning.

Now that we have understood what the growth mindset really means, let’s understand how we can use the MILES Framework to our advantage.

Lesson #4: Money can give you an advantage, but it is important to avoid mindlessly spending it on frivolous things.

Money is a great tool to leverage.

If you have more money, it’s easier for you to make even more.

In other words: It never hurts to have more money in your bank account.

Does this mean that money is everything?

Not really.

You see, so many founders these days, even if they get a decent funding, they fail.

Just because you have more money, it doesn’t guarantee the success of any startup.

The world isn’t magically going to favor you more just because you have more money in your bank account than your competitors.

Smart people know how to use their money wisely.

Many founders make the mistake of becoming careless when they get a big funding.

They think just because they have got funding now, they don’t need to worry about how they will spend their money.

They start burning money on useless things.

In the initial stages of any startup, you must know how you are going to generate profit.

And it’s worth noting that startups take some time to become profitable.

That’s why having a clear strategy is a must.

If you don’t have a clear, grounded strategy, you’ll fail eventually —even with the funding.

It’s recommended that you know how much money you are burning to keep your startup running, and also know how long will it take until it starts generating profit.

Smart founders try to minimize their expenses in the beginning.

But keep in mind, if you put too many financial constraints, it can limit your creativity in business decisions.

So, you have to think and then decide based on your unique situation.

Every startup is different.

What works for one startup might not work for another.

Ultimately, founders who understand their unfair advantages and use them smartly win the race.

Lesson #5: Intelligence is made of so many things. But people measure it with IQ.

Intelligence helps you solve problems.

People with high IQ solve problems more easily compared to average people.

However, this is where most people go wrong.

They think that just because they don’t have a high IQ, they can’t do business or solve big problems in their lives.

The author discusses that business isn’t like a school exam.

There is so much more to it.

Even if you have an average IQ, you can still gain an advantage over your competitors.

For example, if your competitors are not providing good customer support, you can try to understand why their customers are not satisfied and conduct research.

By doing the right things, it is possible to defeat a person with a high IQ.

Being more creative than others can give you an advantage.

Scoring high marks in exams does not guarantee success in the real world.

Many people may not possess high levels of intelligence, but they often develop skills to compensate for that.

There are many people who don’t have a reputable degree, but are street smart. They can confidently talk to strangers and close deals.

While a person may have a reputable degree from a top institute, but they may not know how to close deals if they are afraid of talking to new people.

Furthermore, some people have the unique ability to see below the surface.

They can observe unique insights that other people can’t.

This gives them an advantage.

Now, after knowing all this, you might ask: How to develop these skills?

Well, to achieve that, you need knowledge.

First, you have to stop thinking that you are a victim of your situations.

Seconds, you must get rid of the idea that you have to settle with whatever you are born with.

Humans can develop skills. That means you can develop any skill you want. And with practice, you can become good at it.

Creativity isn’t any different.

When you gain knowledge from diverse fields, become more curious, and become interested in experimenting with your thoughts, you become more creative.

You just need to keep an open mind.

That’s how you become more creative.

To put it another way, don’t fret over your IQ too much.

Lesson #6: Position yourself and your business in the right place at the right time to increase the chances of success and good fortune.

Many businessmen do not consider the location of their business carefully.

They randomly pick a location and start doing business.

That’s the wrong approach.

You must spend a significant amount of time deciding where you are going to do business.

Choosing the right location can increase your chances of success.

Imagine that you have a high-priced product, but you are selling it in a location where people are unwilling or unable to spend a lot of money.

If that is the case, even if your product is amazing, not many people will buy it.

You would want to launch your business in a location where people have deep pockets, right?

If you’re lucky, your shop can become the most popular one there.

Additionally, be mindful of the types of businesses that already exist in the area.

If you are too similar to your competitor, customers may become confused and your sales may suffer as a result.

Just like all the components in the MILES framework, location isn’t the only factor to consider.

You must be equipped to handle any unplanned situation effectively.

Let’s understand with an example.

Imagine that you are looking for a girlfriend for dating purposes.

Let’s say you put yourself in a situation where many girls hang out and are open to communication with interesting guys.

Technically, you are in the right place at the right time.

But if you lack good communication skills, the chances of your success will decrease.

You should have a good understanding of how to initiate conversations with people you don’t know.

Merely being in the right place at the right time is not enough to guarantee success.

It’s also important to have the right mindset.

And how will you build that?

By consuming the appropriate content like this one.

Taking action is critical.

If you have unfair advantages but aren’t taking action, you’re simply wasting your time and potential.

Lesson #7: Formal education is not everything. Learning can occur anywhere and at any time if you have the right mindset.

Just because everybody is after formal education, it doesn’t mean that formal education is somehow superior to informal education.

We must realize that education is education, regardless of where it comes from.

Educational institutes often promote themselves as the exclusive providers of education, but this is a misleading claim.

You can learn as long as you understand what you’re learning, and the person teaching knows what they’re teaching.

However, there are still certain reasons why many people choose to attend universities.

For instance, universities offer access to experienced professors and provide a conducive environment for learning.

However, this does not mean that formal education is everything.

It’s always best to learn directly from people who know what they’re doing.

You must not go to a certain university just because your other friends are enrolling there, and you don’t want to feel left out.

Education is important for you to succeed in any aspect of life.

Successful businesspeople who enjoy an unfair advantage over others are always educating themselves, whether through formal or informal means.

Usually, people learn more from networking with the right people than from formal sources.

You must keep the correct mindset first.

Always be open to learning.

Just make sure that the person teaching you actually knows and practices what he is teaching.

If your business is struggling, ask yourself what knowledge can help you resolve the problems. Seek mentoring from people who are already doing well in their business.

Lesson #8: Growing your networks helps you unlock new opportunities for growth.

In simple words: The more people know you and the more they feel that you can add value to their lives, the more status you will have.

Having more status in society is a natural desire within all of us.

But status can be of two types actually: Inner and Outer.

Outer status is made of how many people know you and see you as a valuable person.

While, inner status is made of what you think about yourself.

If you don’t think very highly of yourself, it will affect your outer status.

What you think about yourself affects how other people perceive you. Because your inner world (means your mind) creates your reality in the outer world.

If you are high status, closing deals and making relationships with other high-value people will become easier for you.

“Your network is your net worth,” we have all heard this before, haven’t we?

Having high status isn’t always helpful, though.

For instance, you might feel that you are not getting enough privacy.

There is a great joy when you are building things in silence.

Status can sometimes a double-edged sword.

Another thing you should keep in mind that high-value people never scream they are of high status. Your personality and actions should reveal that you are high-status.

And there is only so much you can control what other people think about you.

So, always do your best and stay open to forming new connections with new people.

The more you work on yourself, the more you will see that other people would want to connect with you.

Business relationships bring more business.

That’s why you see business people participating in social events and doing things that involve other people.

The more high-status people you know, the more your own status is likely to improve.

The Unfair Advantage Book Review

Written by Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba, the book explores what really makes a business successful and how to find and leverage your unique advantages.

The book is well-written and engaging, with practical advice and real-life examples that make it relatable and easy to understand.

Overall, “The Unfair Advantage” is a valuable read for anyone looking to succeed in the business world.

Who should read this book?

  • Business owners looking to gain an edge over their competition
  • Entrepreneurs seeking to start a new business
  • Individuals looking to improve their mindset and leverage their strengths
  • Investors interested in identifying businesses with strong potential
  • Anyone interested in understanding the factors that contribute to success in business

You can buy the book in your preferable format below.

Get the Audiobook: Listen free with Audible Trial

Get the Paperback version: View price on Amazon

Get the Hardcover version: View price on Amazon

Now It’s Your Turn

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Thanks for reading.

Shami Manohar


The Brain Behind Wizbuskout.com

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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