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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Paperback – August 28, 2012


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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business + The Ten-Day MBA 4th Ed.: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Skills Taught In America's Top Business Schools + Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less
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Product Details

  • Series: the personal MBA master art of business
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade; Reprint edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781591845577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845577
  • ASIN: 1591845572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A masterpiece. This is the 'START HERE' book I recommend to everyone interested in business. An amazing overview of everything you need to know. Covers all of the basics, minus buzz-words and fluff. One of the most inspiring things I've read in years." 
- Derek Sivers, founder of CDbaby.com and sivers.org


"No matter what they tell you, an MBA is not essential. If you combine reading this book with actually trying stuff, you'll be far ahead in the business game."
- Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired and author of What Technology Wants

"File this book under NO EXCUSES. After you've read it, you won't be open to people telling you that you're not smart enough, not insightful enough, or not learned enough to do work that matters. Josh takes you on a worthwhile tour of the key ideas in business."
- Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

"I've run across few people who conceptually 'grok' how to get things done better than Josh Kaufman."
- David Allen, author of Getting Things Done

"A creative, breakthrough approach to business education. I have an MBA from a top business school, and this book helped me understand business in a whole new way."
- Ali Safavi, executive director of international sales and distribution, The Walt Disney Company

About the Author

Josh Kaufman is the author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, an international bestseller with translations in 12 languages. Josh specializes in teaching professionals in all industries and disciplines how to master practical business knowledge and skills. Josh's unique, multidisciplinary approach to business mastery has helped millions of readers around the world learn essential business concepts on their own terms. PersonalMBA.com hosts over 50,000 readers every month, and has been visited over 2 million times by readers all over the world since its founding in 2005. Josh's work has directly saved prospective business students millions of dollars in unnecessary tuition, fees, and interest by providing an effective, affordable, and debt-free method of learning fundamental business principles.

More About the Author

Josh Kaufman is the author of the #1 international bestseller "The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business," as well as the upcoming book "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast!" Josh specializes in teaching professionals in all industries and disciplines how to master practical business knowledge and skills.

Josh's unique, multidisciplinary approach to business mastery has helped millions of readers around the world learn essential business concepts on their own terms. Josh's work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Time, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and HarvardBusiness.org. The widely-acclaimed Personal MBA manifesto and recommended reading list has been downloaded over 1.28 million times from ChangeThis.com.

PersonalMBA.com hosts over 50,000 readers every month, and has been visited by over 2 million readers since its founding in 2005. Josh's work has directly saved prospective business students millions of dollars in unnecessary tuition, fees, and interest by providing an effective, affordable, and debt-free method of learning fundamental business principles.

Josh's current projects involve ongoing research in the fields of business, education, and skill acquisition.

Customer Reviews

Really, if you could just read one and only one business book; it should be (IMO) this one.
Lucas Yu
Highly recommended that you read this book before you consider an education in business or starting a business.
Michael Sieler
I will need to read and listen to the audible version many times using the book as a reference tool.
Petermit01

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

179 of 198 people found the following review helpful By John Markle on July 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
As someone who is opposed to higher education for the same reasons the author is against it, I was very excited to pick up The Personal MBA to feed my own opinion as well as learn from someone much more informed than me. After coming across the author's blog I wanted to shout "hallelujah amen!" and shake his hand as he went on about the questionable economic sense of an MBA. When I was finally able to pick this book up and dedicate some time to it, I was very excited as I read through chapter one "Why read this book?". However, I was greatly disappointed when I got about a quarter of the way into it and fully realized how shallow/limited of a view we were taking of each topic.

In chapter one the author writes "The Personal MBA is a set of foundational business concepts that you can use to get things done. Reading this book will give you a firm foundation of business knowledge you can use to make things happen." Unfortunately, I would take issue with the author's claim that after reading this you will have a firm foundation in the topics covered. I felt that the book read more like a Spark Notes encyclopedia or dictionary and did not make me equipped to adequately think or apply any of the topics to my own professional life. It was as if there was a machine gun firing off all of these quick topics that followed the outline of casual story or comment and then one paragraph of depth. When I purchased this book, I was looking forward to more detail than the author presented and I think the first chapter does not adequately set the stage for what the author's goal is.

More examples could be given buy my intent here is not to berate the author.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David G. Allen on June 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I went to college and got a business degree, and was offered the opportunity to get a more advanced degree. I turned it down for several reasons:

1. College is super expensive.
2. Nobody seemed to care that I got my first degree.
3. I was getting A's, yet not learning anything and getting bored out of my mind.

As someone who reads several business books a month, I've had a chance to peruse a lot of helpful material. On the top of the pile sits the Personal MBA.

Kaufman makes a clear argument for personal education, which is everyone's responsibility regardless of whether they are in college or not. From there, he discusses all the major points he has found up to the point of publishing this book that have helped shape his thoughts and become more productive in the corporate and self-employed environments.

If you like reading and hate the fact that you can buy only one book to get all this great material, he includes a list of other useful business books so you can keep studying whatever you like.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By K. Rudd on June 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To me, 'The Personal MBA' reads more like a series of blog posts, rather than a book.

It doesn't flow well, because after every point the author asks you to 'share this concept' online. By this, he means to click a link and share a webpage from his website. I find this extremely distracting, and it is interrupting my thought process and enjoyment of the book, to the point where I am contemplating returning it.

I did a count of how many times you are asked to share a concept, and it is well over 100! (My Kindle-for-PC lost count after that.) In my opinion, this is kind of tacky, and something that I would expect from a 0.99 ebook, not a 'real' book for $9.99. It also shows little regard for the reader, by putting the author's needs (promotion) ahead of the needs of his audience (to lose themselves in a good book.)

A more subtle mention, maybe at the beginning and end of the book, would have been plenty.

I've had two goes at reading it so far, and will try again, but unfortunately can't seem to get into it. If I wanted to read something in this style, I would go online and read from blogs, not buy a book.

For what it's worth though, I am enjoying the author's other book The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bert Johnson on February 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend the Personal MBA to anybody who wants to learn more about business. Regardless of what industry you work in or your daily responsibilities, this book will educate and embolden you. Each chapter provides a primer on its subject, adeptly balancing theory and real-world examples. As another reviewer pointed out, the quotations alone are worth the price.

At the end of the book, Josh provides a list of the "99 Best Business Books" covering myriad topics. I recommend reading this book first for foundation in each topic, then working through the list at your own pace. It's full of gems that complement and reinforce the Personal MBA's lessons.
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41 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Brad on January 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will start with the positives:

There is some useful information in explaining the core concepts of some areas of business and this was an easy read. Also I think the idea of presenting a framework of MBA courses was a good idea (in this case it just appears to have been poorly executed).

Unfortunately, that was pretty much it.

As to the negatives:

It is very difficult to listen to someone eviscerating the merits of doing an MBA when they haven't done one. As a premise qualifying all of the author's criticism of formal MBA courses,, the whole exercise descends into a guess at what an MBA course would teach. Accordingly the whole exercise became self-defeating and ultimately, pointless. I certainly agree with the author that there is a lot to be gained by self teaching, but I'm not sure how he makes the leap that formal courses and self teaching are mutually exclusive alternatives.

While I'm sure the shameless self promotion at the start of the book was intended to bolster the confidence of the reader that the author knew what he was talking about, it had the opposite effect for me and I found the claims for qualification to present this content to be completely unfounded.

I went to business school 15 years ago. In reading this book I found myself constantly grateful that I did the full course; I struggled to find anything I was learning for the first time and spent the whole time wondering where the rest was. Explanations of finance and accounting are woefully inadequate. There is no mention of business strategy or economics and you find a lot of the standard management theory content is littered throughout the book, but it is not dealt with as a discrete topic.

If you are interested in business, this is certainly a useful start into the subject at a very basic level, but it is in no respect a substitute for a formal course.

I regret buying this.
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