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

239 customer reviews

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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

"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

"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

"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, Wired, and author of What Technology Wants

"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 Safa vi, executive director of international sales and distribution, The Walt Disney Company

"An absolutely amazing book! I'm highly recommending this to all creative types, for the best overview of the modern business mind-set they need."
-Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby, sivers.org

"Josh has synthesized the most important topics in business into a book that truly lives up to its title. It's rare to find complicated concepts explained with such clarity. Highly recommended."
-Ben Casnocha, author of My Start-Up Life

"An enterprising and thrifty way to hack business school. This is a fantastic resource for motivated autodidacts looking to get into business."
-Gina Trapani, founding editor, Lifehacker.com, and author of Upgrade Your Life

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: the personal MBA master art of business
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781591845577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845577
  • ASIN: 1591845572
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

240 of 268 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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50 of 55 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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57 of 70 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Ha on January 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides good insight into how one can better their business education without going into lots of debt to get a MBA. It also has lots of sound business knowledge/concepts that can help you grow and learn. Yes, you won't get a certificate even if you finish all the books on the reading list (currently it's at 99) but you'll be more educated so this is something each of us has to consider. I enjoy the flexibility of reading at my own pace and not taking on more student loans. For me, it's about further educating myself and prior to learning about 'The Personal MBA' program I had no direction of what to read. This program is like a filter to the millions of books out there and helps me decide what to read for each business topic. Even if you do decide to enroll in a traditional MBA program, reading the books on this list will only help increase your business knowledge.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adam on May 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...But, I suppose The Personal MBA is a snappier and more relevant title. The truth is, I think anyone and everyone living in our modern world would be well-served by reading this book. Not to sound trite, but this book should be read by every high school freshman, as it would provide so much contextualization for their studies and really get them thinking about how the world works, their desired place within it and how to get there by creating their own offering of value. I got the Audible edition, bought the Kindle edition to read along with, and just ordered the print copy so I can make lots of notes and refer to it often! If buying the same book three times isn't compelling evidence of this book's value, then I don' t know what is! Read it. Now.
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