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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Hardcover – December 30, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,426 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kaufman, a former middle manager at Proctor & Gamble and founder of personalmba.com, argues that those interested in business would be better served by skipping the M.B.A. and focusing on the critically important concepts that really make or break a business. According to the author, much of what is taught in business schools is outdated; you're better off saving the expense and finding other ways to learn about these core principles--which Kaufman synthesizes--in such areas as value creation, marketing, sales, and finance. He also explores the psychological side of business and examines how consumers take in information, make decisions, and decide what to do or not to do. Acknowledging the panoramic overview his approach necessitates, he includes a fairly lengthy list of sources to seek out if more information is needed. While Kaufman's rallying call will not eradicate the need or desire for M.B.A. degrees, he does provide a surprisingly solid alternative full of information that even those already in the workplace will respond to. (Dec.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


“A goldmine of useful ideas and helpful explanations. Every entrepreneur should own a copy.”
—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

Product details

  • 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
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,426 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,426 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for business education
Reviewed in India on March 9, 2019
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Nick Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than my business degree
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 22, 2018
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Andrea Caleo
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to get excited about
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview for amateur business lovers (like me)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of detail
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2018
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