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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Hardcover – December 30, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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—James Clear, author of Atomic Habits
“Josh has done more for my business education than my MBA. The Personal MBA walks you through the mental models you need to excel in business. A lifetime of business knowledge in one volume.”
—Shane Parrish, founder of Farnam Street (fs.blog) and host of The Knowledge Project podcast
“The Personal MBA is the single best business book I've read. Most books focus on a single part of business in isolation, but The Personal MBA walks you through every moving part, and gives you the tools to understand how those parts work together to create a complete system.”
—Amy Hoy, founder of Noko (nokotime.com) and Stacking the Bricks (stackingthebricks.com)
“The only business book I recommend. Josh somehow condenses an entire library of crucial knowledge into a short book that's eminently readable, so you can spend less time reading and more time building your business. It's perfect for both providing an overview and serving as a reference. I revisit The Personal MBA more than any other book on my shelf.”
—Courtland Allen, co-founder of Indiehackers.com
“I read The Personal MBA cover to cover when it was first released and it had a major impact on how I view business. It’s incredible how Josh was able to distill hundreds of books and hundreds of years of business knowledge into this succinct and elegant tome."
—Rob Walling, co-founder of MicroConf and bestselling author of Start Small, Stay Small
“10 years ago, I got an MBA education courtesy of Kaufman's book. His practical business insights and mindset techniques haven't let me down since. The Personal MBA is the most distilled, most accelerated MBA on the planet: all of the insights, none of the ego.”
—Joanna Wiebe, founder of Copyhackers.com
“Ten years after reading (and re-reading and re-reading) The Personal MBA, I still refer to it often and use it to make better decisions. Whether it’s building a business plan to launch my writing studio, planning my day, or taking a systematic approach to identify and solve problems, I can’t think of any other book that’s had such a positive impact on my overall productivity and enjoyment of life.”
—Daniel Joshua Rubin, playwright and author of 27 Essential Principles of Story
“The Personal MBA should be required reading for anyone in business. This book exposed me to ideas, systems, and best practices that I had never been taught anywhere else. Even after ten years, I still reference it on a regular basis. Buy it, read it, then keep it close. It’ll be your constant business companion for years to come.”
—Tim Grahl, author of Running Down a Dream and founder of BookLaunch.com
"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
"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
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591843528
- Product dimensions : 6.3 x 1.35 x 9.3 inches
- Publisher : Portfolio; 1st edition (December 30, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #97,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Everything is organized into topic with detailed outlines, so that you can pick and choose as needed. So many books (see any Tim Ferriss book) throw everything and the kitchen sink with no focus or filter just to fill pages and put out another crappy round of sales; they're all fluff and the meat they contain is so basic that the author tries to pass it off as something complicated and essentially passes off mystique as value. Not the case here. I have a very sensitive BS meter and it wasn't triggered at all. Everything included is purposeful, and while there isn't much of any depth, this is more like what you'd get from an actual MBA (minus the network) - a big picture view and the memory/awareness of what to consider and whether to look it up when the time comes around. The only caveat is that this is all meat, so this is a book to study and write notes on a few times and memorize.
As a techie-turned-entrepreneur who likes clear APIs and expects good crunch-bang documentation (think C++ interface guides), this is the perfect format and just what I was looking for. If you want a lot of depth, you'll have to sacrifice scope and go for a book that covers one or two topics. For what it is, this is about as good as it gets (and I've read TONS of books on business, organization, 'self-help', marketing, negotiation, etc.).
Thanks Josh for putting this out.
The book is somewhat divided into 3 parts:
Part 1 talks about the parts of the business: value creation, marketing, sales, value delivery and finance
This is where the book excels in my opinion. As I said it is only a summary, but a very useful one for someone just beginning.
Part 2 is about the human side of the business and is only superficial which is understandable because the subject would take several tomes to be adequatelly covered.
Part 3 is about working systems (analyzing, optimizing) is also superficial. Again it only covers the main topics as a summary.
What I also like about the book is the bibliography which is extensive enough to keep you busy for at least a year or two of reading material.
The title is somewhat misleading. You will not master the "art" of business, but it will surelly get you started. Overall, a nicelly done book for people trying his or her first steps in understanding what a business is.
I'd have given it 5 stars if the footnotes were on the same page cos I dont like going back and forth to the end of the book in search for them, also if there was a hardcover version available and if some topics were more deeply covered (more technical detail), specially the 1st part of the book which deals with the Value Stream.
Cons: none. Pretty good.
Overall: I would buy it again. I don't know that it is a stand-out over the other handful of highly rated MBA books, but it is still a solid overview. You won't go wrong buying it.
I understand the author said that he set out to "not write a 300+ pages long business card", but this is arguably worse.
I expected things like market analysis, financial training on a high level (as in: how to read P&L, break down OpEx), or talk about competitive advantage, what tools to focus on, how & why to master Excel or other things you will be using as a biz owner or analyst, etc - and this book had none of that.
This book is a great overview of many business topics and will help you identify which topics you need to learn more about. It also provides several other resources to learn about those topics more in-depth if you think you're weak in a topic.
My only wish was that the book had more case studies from the author's clients rather than focusing on some examples based on his own life. But that didn't happen too much.
Still a great read and a good reference book on business topics.
It’s on my office side-table. I generally don’t think I learn anything really new in a business book - this one surprised me.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is an excellent choice for anyone looking for business education. The book is divided into small sections and each section takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Due to nature of its format, I found reading it easy and fun. It is easy to understand and digest as well.
Though this book is fun to read, a wide array of information is condensed into it which may be difficult to implement and will definitely require to read author recommended list of books as well as to experiment with learning.
I recommend this book to all professionals working in corporates as well as to anyone planning to launch a business. Thanks for reading my review.
It's organised as super short chapters, each of which gives you a vague pointer in the right direction without really telling you anything. Read proper books and get depth instead!