Audie Award Nominee, Business and Educational, 2013
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 Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real business.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 PersonalMBA.com 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.
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.
©2010, 2012 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC (P)2012 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC
This book summarizes principles of business in a condensed but effective form. It covers key principles and things you can relate to practically and not theoretically. Especially recommended to those planning on starting their own business.
Just skip the intro or breeze through it. I had thought of returning the book half way in the intro but once the first chapter starts it is quite good.
I did not care much for the presentation
not really, but this author has not helped the market.
It was all personal anecdotes
The mechanics and concepts presented are workable.
This book could have covered the same material in half the time.
First of all, you could tell that a lot of content had been translated out of tables. The delivery was painfully repetitive and would have been nearly intolerable in almost any format. Even if certain points would have been informative in print, they came off as obvious and patronizing in audiobook.But what made it really terrible was the "blonk" noise that they play at the start of every section. Ever get so many emails in a short time that you mute your phone so as not to throw it against a wall? That very same noise is used to punctuate the book every minute or two, driving me into a murderous rage within minutes. I finally had some mercy on myself and shut it off after about an hour.
The terrible "blonk" noise at the start of every section!
Over-simplifies business concepts
No because its too simplistic for someone working in complex and corporate environments,
Good introduction for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Summarises basic business concepts
The ideas are old, recycled and the author came off as egocentric. This book is not really about business, it just uses business as the platform to speak about how lifelong learning is a path to being (important, happy, content, self assured)... not sure which adjective to use.
I believe that entrepreneurship changes the world. Most of my reading is in business non-fiction . I'm a Software Engineering student.
Yes, this is a good book if you plan on only a mild education in business, with little to no background. If you have any knowledge or experience, this book is probably a pass.
This book is simply a glorified reading list. I was hoping for insights on the books and new conclusions and links, however it was more conservative and just summarized a lot of books I've already read. Get the reading list and read the summaries. That's all this book is.
If this is one of your first handful of business books, you may take a lot more away from it than if you've read more than 5.
Densely informative, easily digestible and provides further resources for more indepth study. Fantastic book I will definitely revisit again and again!
Simplicity, Realism, Focus
Josh Kaufman breaks down the essentials of business without getting too caught up in the 'weeds (I'm talking about you, 3" thick macroeconomics textbooks!).' I've thoroughly enjoyed this book, plan to repeat chapters (or the entire book) a few times, and will eventually turn to other books he recommends for in-depth knowledge of certain business concepts. I'm pre-ordering "The First 20 Hours" and look forward to yet-another fantastic publication from Josh Kaufman.
There is good information to be found in this book, but also a great deal of twaddle. The author begins with a "straw man" argument that today's MBA programs are geared to corporate middle managers and not to entrepreneurs, which is quite correct. That is the purpose of MBA programs. Then he touts this work as addressing the needs of the entrepreneur but provides a great summary of the information found in most MBA programs.
Skip the three chapters in the center of the book that focus on personal improvement. Eating right, exercise and meditation are all topics that belong in a different kind of book. Bully for Mr Kaufman that he has gone vegan, this has no relevance to the topic.
The distillation of business concepts are where this book shines, but they are often hidden within the author's endless promotion of his own website, his stories of his failed time at P&G, and his lifestyle guides. Mr Kaufman has clearly done a great deal of reading on the topic of business and has the ability to distill the information to be very useful, but he has trouble unifying this work.
This book provides an excellent overview of business concepts and terminology. The book covers value chains, finance, process modeling, and other universal topics, so it's not at risk of dating itself. The author/narrator's delivery is smooth and easy to listen to, and the information is highly valuable to anybody working in a business environment. His explanations are very down to earth, so you don't really need anything beyond a high school vocabulary.
Though I agree with Kaufman's thesis that a degree is not the same thing as an education, I'm not sure what makes him the expert that he claims to be. Like David Bach or Timothy Ferriss, Kaufman's business is the book. He's not like Guy Kawasaki, who can reflect on his experience marketing the Macintosh in the 80's when people didn't know what a home computer was. Kaufman's experience, when you trim out the fluff, is two mid-management positions at a single company, which he couldn't have held for very long because he was only 28 when the book was published. However, since this is an introductory text, and consists mostly of theory, I don't consider that a major handicap. I'd just be a little wary of any specific advice he offered.
My only serious complaint is that the book takes forever to get going. The Introduction (track 2 of the audiobook) consists of the author describing his personal experience in detail, how he succeeded without an MBA, and why MBA programs are useless and expensive and out to get you. It runs for an hour and four minutes. That's about five times longer than it needs to be. Having been a brand manager, he should know that it's important to make an impression on the customer right away, before they get bored and change the channel.
Probably the worst audiobook I've ever heard.
I thought this was going to be an interesting book - giving an overview of the topics covered in an MBA from a layman's point of view, with references to further reading materials. Instead, it was a 13 hour advert for some guy's blog.
The first hour of the audiobook is setting the scene, with a variety of weak arguments about why an MBA is a waste of time and money, but giving absolutely no evidence that the Author's approach (of just reading lots of books without going to school) isn't also a waste of time and slightly less money.
When he finally gets to the actual topic at hand, the material is covered at a very high level, and is mostly just a list of bullet points to think about. This would probably be slightly less useless in printed format than in audio form. Each brief chapter recommends further reading, and badgers you to go visit the author's blog.
I would recommend anyone interested in this book to just skip the audiobook, go straight to the guy's website and look at his reading list. That will give you a good list of books that are more useful than this one.
I would also caution that this is more of a self-help book than a business book. Many of the books that he recommends for further reading are also more about "motivation", than actually learning about business.
"Definitely worth a read"
Was skeptical about this book because of other reviews. But I found it very helpful. It gives a clear introduction to a variety of areas and provides recommendations for further reading
"A real resource worth listening to"
I liked it's clear structure, which had impact and purpose. Lots of example stories and case studies also make this a book worth getting.
The ongoing analysis and criticism of top flight MBA business schools. The message is clear: if you've got a spare $100k+ to buy entry to an exclusive members club, then these top schools are for you - but don't be under any illusion that you'll learn anything different than any other of the good MBA schools out there. Save your money and learn about the topics explored in MBAs yourself - you'll save yourself a lot of money, which you could put towards your business venture.
It reaffirmed what I'd suspected - and potentially saved me a £££s of money in fees.
One of the few business books worth reading, given that it provides practical and common sense advice, but in a crystalised / useful form.
"Better than expected"
The previous review put me off purchasing this, but I had seen the book and decided to give it a go.
I was glad I did - I found the information very easy to understand and useful: it has helped me to see where I am going right in my two businesses as well as spot where I am going wrong. It is thought provoking and has helped me think about things - for this reason it has been a worthwhile purchase.
The author does mention his website - but not too often and I did not find it particularly self-promoting or distracting. It is certainly far better than many of the charlatans that write books to promote the author's own websites, seminars and tapes.
This book has substance and is enjoyable to listen to.
"Simple, Smart and Forward Thinking"
Insightful and enjoyable read. A simple, smart, forward thinking business book. A must read for everyone.
"Good all round book"
I got used to Josh Kauffmans slightly tinny recording after a while & didn't mind it. The book certainly covers the basics of business and introduces you to some good terms/ lingo. I'd recommend to anyone just starting out in business or interested to find out a bit about running one. Not so much for those who've been in business for a while- although there are some little bits of inspiration in there that might get your creative juices flowing!
"Very useful and full of great advice"
Really enjoyed listening to The Personal MBA; loads of great ideas, advice & memorable illustrations.
"Waste of time"
First 1/3 part of this audio book is mostly a waste of time. It's a very basic overview of some complicated tasks you'll meet in business live.
This can't really serve as much more than a index card for what you need to learn - anyhow that is also the point of the book: don't waste many years in school and spend all your money learning these topics, when you can learn them from books.
"Very useful book"
I really liked this book. The premis is that students of MBA courses all over the world are increasingly getting themselves into serious and sometimes life long debt when everything that they study on such courses is available elsewhere for free - or for a very small relative cost. Having made this point the author goes on to give high level overviews of the major subjects in business, and includes some useful observations on personal management and development. It is easy to listen to, very clearly and concisely written and I would recommend it to both business students and practitioners.
"Simple still very resourceful!"
The book uses a simple way to present what business is about without getting into too much details.Very rich with inspiring examples and very well read.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.