The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
By Josh Kaufman

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Product Description

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 Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real business. You can get better results (and save hundreds of thousands of dollars) by skipping business school altogether. 

Josh Kaufman founded as an alternative to the business school boondoggle. His blog has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the best business books and most powerful business concepts of all time. Now, he shares the essentials of entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, negotiation, operations, productivity, systems design, and much more, in one comprehensive volume. The Personal MBA distills the most valuable business lessons into simple, memorable mental models that can be applied to real-world challenges. 

The Personal MBA explains concepts such as: 

  • The Iron Law of the Market: Why every business is limited by the size and quality of the market it attempts to serve-and how to find large, hungry markets. 
  • The 12 Forms of Value: Products and services are only two of the twelve ways you can create value for your customers. 
  • The Pricing Uncertainty Principle: All prices are malleable. Raising your prices is the best way to dramatically increase profitability - if you know how to support the price you're asking. 
  • 4 Methods to Increase Revenue: There are only four ways a business can bring in more money. Do you know what they are? 
True leaders aren't made by business schools - they make themselves, seeking out the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to succeed. Read this book and you will learn the principles it takes most business professionals a lifetime of trial and error to master.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #4003 in Books
  • Published on: 2012-08-28
  • Released on: 2012-08-28
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.43" h x 1.23" w x 5.47" l, .87 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 464 pages

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Kaufman, a former middle manager at Proctor & Gamble and founder of, 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)
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"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 and

"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. 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.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Great Primer Into Business
By D. Velasquez
The short concise sections were great. I'm mid-career professional in business without formal business education and this filled in a lot gaps. Also a good book for a budding entrepreneur. The book is a great segue into deciding what to learn about next.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Absolutely worth my time and money
By trombson
Hands down the best non-fiction book I've read in a long time (I finish about one every two weeks). Concise, actionable and most of the time very easy to read. Some parts are more self-help-ish, but I didn't mind because even those concepts were better summarized than in any other book. Quite happy with the ROI.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5An absolute must-read !
By Foster
This book has no doubt changed my life already. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it, and I can't wait to finish it to go back and reference all of the sections that I highlighted and circled.

He really explains a lot of complex topics as simply and concisely as anyone possible could. The short sections make the book in general less daunting and much more digestible. I love the advice he has to offer, and I can tell already that it's affected my business and habits heavily.

See all 569 customer reviews...

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