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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  7,982 ratings  ·  385 reviews
A world-class business education in a single volume.

Getting an MBA is an expensive choice-one almost impossible to justify regardless of the state of the economy. Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real busin
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jakey Gee
I’m a sucker for silver bullets like this.

It’s a pretty decent, digestible glossary of the most prevalent business terms de nos jours – he says ‘models and concepts’ but I think that’s an overstatement. It’s readable by virtue of no subject extending beyond a handful of paragraphs and it’s a pretty good reference, really. The sections on value and marketing are the best.

Its tone is also pretty likeable too – and I salute anyone who can tell me that any MBA is a waste of money (though I still do
If you're thinking of going back to school to get your MBA, read this book first. Kaufman's premise is that MBA programs are very expensive and teach outdated material. Unless you're going to a top tier school where its name on your degree will yield connections and ins to high finance, you don't need to accrue all that debt to learn what you need.

Kaufman started by compiling a reading list of the top 100 business books on his website, His book takes all the best pieces he learn
"Risks are known unknowns...... Uncertainties are unknown unknowns." p.357

Do I believe, after having read this book cover to cover, that I have earned the equivalent of a MBA from a state college or university or amassed the same knowledge as one who has graduated with a MBA? No.

Do I believe I will grasp what the recent B-school graduate is saying as he/she begins spouting MBA-speak in the next meeting? Maybe.

Do I believe this book is a valuable beginners guide which arms me with the necessary i
د.أمجد الجنباز
كتاب رائع يلخص لك كل ما تريد أن تعرفه عن إدارة الأعمال في كتاب واحد
وقد لخص لي أشياء كانت صعبة أو غير واضحة
كما أعطاني أشياء ليست موجودة في برامج ماجستير إدارة الأعمال في الجامعات
David McClendon, Sr
The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman is one of those “have to read” books. The whole premise behind The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business is the same as for the Redneck MBA. That is, one does not have to go to a business school or even takes courses on-line to have the equivalent of an MBA.

Kaufman provides explanations of many different concepts and defines numerous terms in a simple, easy to read, format. The only problem I saw with the book was that 8% of the bo
Someone told me about this book and said that reading it was the equivalent of learning everything they teach in an MBA program, without going hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt. That’s exactly what the author touts in the first section entitled “Why Read This Book?”

I can definitely see his point. I found the format excellent: sections with clear goals and chapters illustrating one concept after another in an interesting and straightforward manner. As each concept was being explained I t
Dave Bolton
I'm studying an MBA at the moment (actually, for the last few years, almost done!) so I feel qualified to discuss this book.

To the book. It's a nice high level overview of a lot of the topics that an MBA will touch on, and quite a few that an MBA won't touch on at all. It is likely to be very helpful to all sorts of people. Anyone, even someone with an MBA, would be able to get something from this, particularly as it also covers "soft" subjects like personal development.

But be clear, this is no
Daniel Clausen
I took this book out of the library and spent the afternoon with it. For a long time, I had been a fan of Kaufman's website. I have personally referred a number of business students to it as a tutor for a professional college. The book was just as easy to read and reference as the website. I was able to obtain everything I wanted from the book in about two to three hours of reading.

For me the most useful parts of the book were on managing one's self, analyzing systems, and marketing. More impor
I love this book. It's shallow and there are not exercises, but it's a wonderful reference book. I say "shallow" in an innocuous sense. I don't think this book is meant to be deep, but one certainly wouldn't "master" business by just knowing the basic definitions of business terms--which is the gist of this book. So don't read this thinking it's THE textbook on an MBA education. His rant on the pros and cons of an college MBA program are spot-on and remind me of a book I read called "The Art of ...more
Heavy on terms and aphorisms but light on detailed case studies or dissections of different management processes. The whole thing feels fluffy; each chapter is broken down into one- or two-page segments, with an introductory quote providing some borrowed authority.

It's not a bad book. The opening section is persuasive in arguing against assuming the debt of an MBA program (although that's not something I was considering anyway). The examples can feel slight, but Kaufman is good at harnessing the
I don't know what went wrong with this book. I think I had my expectation way too high.

I was disappointed with the lack of depth of information. The entire book is about a list of concepts with some definition and a small example. This kind of information is completely useless. I'm a developer and it taught me the different types of marketing which does not help me in any way.

I think it's okay if you're into business and going to delve further in each topic discussed in the book. The book is lik
Dmitry Loktev
Книгу купил по наставлению друга, который её прочитал и остался очень доволен секцией про работу над собой.

Произведение понравилось своей легкостью написания, его действительно приятно читать. Большие разделы разбиты на главы не длиннее 2-3 страниц. За вечер можно проглотить до 10-30 таких глав. Правда, не факт, что при таком объеме чтения в голове останутся хотя бы примерные воспоминания о том, что читал, так, чтобы можно было пересказать. Не говоря уже о глубоком понимании и внедрении предложе
Книга = тезаурус ключевых бизнес-понятий, которые хорошо бы знать каждому предпринимателю и применять для лучшего понимания/развития своего дела.

На всякий случай напомню :) что "тезаурус" - это словарь, но который содержит не только термины и их определения, но и раскрывает смысловые связи между ними.

Книга "Сам себе MBA" - это такой своего рода букварь :) для предпринимателей, не имеющих какого-либо специализированного образования (не обязательно MBA, даже обычного вузовского по экономике, мен
Carolina Esteves de Andrade
This week I Just finished reading this great book called The Personal MBA written by Josh Kaufman, where the author explores the pros and cons of investing in an MBA course since even elite schools like Wharton and Harvard offer outdated programs that teach more about Power Point Presentations and unnecessary financial models than about what it takes to run a real business. The first part of the book is all dedicated to this discussion. I thought it was very interesting and an eye opener, since ...more
Alex Timberman

The book is quite ambitious. The author says if you want to save money on that expensive MBA education and if you are not going for the connections to get you your dream office job, that he will tell you everything you need to know about an MBA in his book.

I think he achieved a lot of what he set out to do. Of course, you can’t get that deep assimilation of knowledge without all the advantages of being around smart classmates and professors and with the added benefit of 2-3 years of continuous
Chris Bumpas
I bought this book mainly for the finance section, so the rest was somewhat boring to me. Too much "self help" for my taste.
Even the section I was interested in was sort of elementary.
This book is marketed towards those who want to skip business school. However, I plan to get my MBA and still found parts of the book helpful for a general idea of things to know.

Edit: Will graduate with my MBA from Texas Tech in December 2015 and this book just doesn't have enough substance for anyone to really
Leonard Houx
Cheesy and shallow.

To be fair, I was attracted to the prospect of a 400-page book that summarizes the most important ideas in business. But this was too thin and too soft. Think of a 400 page crêpe.

Worse – and despite the shallow familiarity – it read like something the author was pushing to finish as quickly as possible, which I gather he was. A case in point are the quotes with which he begins each passage: it's obvious that he hadn't collected these from his supposedly extensive readings bu
Rosie Nguyễn
The author made his effort to include most of the essential fields of business into a 400 page book, which may be long and heavy to capture all. But he managed to keep the business terms as understandable as possible. The examples are plain and mostly refer to his previous work at P&G, which can be tedious to some readers, as the author didn't have diversified working experience in business corporations. However, I appreciate his huge knowledge and his advocacy for lifelong learning, a good ...more
I won this book in a giveaway. I thought it was going to be a book on MBAs and what they can teach you. It was yet another book on being a "Business Thinker". I've worked in retail for almost 20years and nothing in this book is a substitute for common sense and treating your employees with respect. CEOs, Business Leaders, Managers and College Graduates need a course in listening to ideas regardless of where they come from and admitting mistakes. Having a successful business depends more on those ...more
Hesham Barakat
Covers a lot of diverse topics in a very definite and to the point style, its the kind of book that i know i'd always come back and refer to in the future.
There are a lot of great things in this book. Thousands of great ideas and things to think about, but unfortunately none of them are given the space to actually be discussed. This book feels more like a glossary of business terms and productivity advice, rather than a thorough business education. Although I enjoyed the writer's voice, I thought the format style of hundreds of very short "posts" was distracting and didn't allow for enough substance.
Greg Santos
Great reference for Artists or anyone not wanting to drop 100K and 4 years to understand the fundamentals and high concepts of business.
Jonathan Fouch
If you're like me and never took a business class in college - but want to learn more about business - this should be the first book you read in the genre. It's a great introduction to all the critical fields of business: value creation, marketing, sales, finance, working with yourself, working with others, and systems. The subchapters, which are centered around specific concepts, are bite sized and can be consumed in a relatively short amount of time - perfect for the busy, working adult. The w ...more

I came to this as a non-business owner with very little exposure to business related knowledge, but curious to get an overview.

I listened to the audio book version and found it fascinating. It was divided into sections with
a sound effect to indicate when a section finished or started. Each section was easily digestible and you can almost feel yourself getting smarter as you listen!

Particularly, the section on dealing with yourself.The section, gave
a brief outline of the issue, some examples t
I completely agree with the author and this is an excellent book. It's good to keep as a reference and reminder as well. I'm only going to point out a couple mistakes the author made.
One mistake is to tell readers to use and trust the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a pay to play organization that rife with fraud. A business can con their customers and then simply pay the BBB to give them a high rating. This makes the BBB completely useless when deciding whether or not to buy a product or se
Luke Starbuck
Apr 03, 2015 Luke Starbuck rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: top-shelf
One of the best general business books I have ever read.

Rather than present the author's theory, hypothesis or learning on a certain subject (like many business books do ie Crossing the Chasm, Lean Startup, etc), this is in fact more of a fact-focused book, that covers the full spectrum of fundamental business.

An amazing primer for anyone who wants to have good quality conversations at a business, and be recognized as knowing more than just their focus area of specialization.
Khuram Malik
Sep 21, 2011 Khuram Malik rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: startups, entrepreneurs
Recommended to Khuram by: Derek Sivers
As an Entrepreneur it's important to know a little bit about everything, what i call the dots, and just as important is to know how to connect those dots together.

Most business text and material specialises on a core subject and the entire book tends to be a discussion around the core chosen subject. This book is exactly the opposite in that it gives a high level overview of what it takes to create a successful business in modern times.

I'd love to say i wish i had seen or read this book sooner,
Pete Roome
A genuinely interesting read.

The title of this book makes it sounds very dry indeed but the author does a great job of keeping his description of each concept brief and to the point. There is more than enough information here to whet the appetite. This has left me with lots of questions and intrigue which i will hopefully answer by reading the authors book recommendations in his notes.
Mahbub Zaman
I am in Chapter 11 out of total 14 chapters. So I think it's fair to predict my review for this book won't change a whole lot from what it is now.

The author claims this book summarizes the knowledge gained from a typical MBA degree. If this is true, MBA is the most worthless degree I have known to date. But I am doubtful an actual MBA will be so much useless.

In the end, I feel the rate of return (time spent vs knowledge gained) for this book is very low. Not that I disagree with the content, but
I am impressed with the idea and premise of this book. If you can finish the first chapter and maintain any respect for the academic institution you are a stronger person than I.

More importantly I do think that the book does a great job of addressing all the different aspects of business in a way that is simple and easy to understand. He also continually gives references to other books and resources if the reader wants to go deeper into specific topics. This is a book that isn't long just for t
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Josh Kaufman is an independent business teacher, education activist, and author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

Josh's unique, multidisciplinary approach to business education has helped hundreds of thousands of readers around the world master foundational business concepts on their own terms, and his work has been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, and Fast Company, as well as by
More about Josh Kaufman...

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“Every successful business (1) creates or provides something of value that (2) other people want or need (3) at a price they're willing to pay, in a way that (4) satisfies the purchaser's needs and expectations and (5) provides the business sufficient revenue to make it worthwhile for the owners to continue operation.” 14 likes
“Business schools don't create successful people. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success.” 11 likes
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