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 Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real business.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 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.
It doesn't matter if starting a business or just wanting to learn more about running a business I highly recommend this book. The title put me off for a while as it is a bit cheesy and I figured it was a series brand of the books and the content would be fairly hit or miss but boy I was wrong and it would go in my top 10 must read business books. It is an easy listen and I find things explained very clearly.
There are many concepts you have already known if you are working in corporate for more than 5 years. But, still this is good book to cover most of the topics.
Book nerd for life!
Ch. 1: Value Creation & Ch. 4: Value Delivery
It's always nice to hear the author narrate the book.
It was nice that the book journeyed into other disciplines, such as psychology, since it plays a big role in business. I agree; don't spend tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) on MBA debt. Just get some good books, a good notebook, and learn from experience.
They complement each other and I have shopped both of them. Started of with the audio version that captivated me and then ended up by acquiring the printed version.
Strategy by BCG
Getting an MBA made easy - forget Harvard!
I thought this listen turned out to be better than I expected. It started out with too much focus on running your own business, but in later chapters the author went into details that are applicable for any job.
I'm not sure if it's a true replacement for a real MBA, but it's a lot cheaper and I will definitely be checking out the website.
No, too much information.
A great buy
Here is something about myself.
A lot of complaints have been made on the narrator. All I have to say is: listen to the sample!
This book is literally 'the boot camp of business'. The author clearly hates Harvard's MBA, but that's okay since he's not the only one nowadays bashing the program. The whole book makes sense and is full of insights and good to know information.
What you won't find:
* Detailed formulas or information on a subject in perticular.
* Suggested study path
* The "secret"
This is basically a summary of everything the author read. I am impressed by the amount of knowledge contained in this book. I'm pretty sure you will find at least one thing that will improve your life, or your business.
Most of the information cited is practical and not theoretical. The author also tells us where to look if we want more information on the subject.
I recommend this book.
Personality: Intellectually Driven
I have work for for big corporations, I felt a needed to earn a MBA but why? I already have a MSc, so it didn't seem logical, why go back and down, also I am a business starter and this book has gave me the tools I required. Of course you need to keep on studying but the book references are pristine. It has my highest points.
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.
"Simple, Smart and Forward Thinking"
Insightful and enjoyable read. A simple, smart, forward thinking business book. A must read for everyone.
"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.
"Simplified face of the MBA"
This book is really simply excellent. It explains the most complicated subject areas with a simplified aproach.
"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.
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