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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business | [Josh Kaufman]

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real business.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

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lester San Jose, Costa Rica 11-15-13
    Lester San Jose, Costa Rica 11-15-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over simplified and derivative"
    Would you try another book from Josh Kaufman and/or Josh Kaufman?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Josh Kaufman again?

    No


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Josh Kaufman?

    Mike Chamberlain


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this after someone recommended it to me and was rather disappointed. The book glosses over most of the topics without going in to much detail. It is also extremely derivative - more of a collection of quotes from other books than a new creation by itself.

    Half way through it turns from business to self help and pseudo social psychology, with the author mainly handles by quoting extracts from the works of others.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim san diego, CA, United States 06-13-13
    Jim san diego, CA, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well I'm an hour into it, and..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Okay, so I'm only an hour into this book. . . But here's the issue. I've now listened to an HOUR of a guy state how evil business school is. He is presenting very redundant circular thinking. He made the point, made his feelings clear the first 5 minutes you don't need an MBA to do well in business. At this point I feel he must be either really bitter at colleges, or couldn't actually get into the one he want. Now take what I wrote and read it over and over for an hour. Yeah .. not fun, no information, useless.

    Maybe he gets better, but an hour of whining is more than I can take. DELETE, next book.

    One note, with my minor in business, everything I was taught was not remotely close to these generalizations he makes. Fear all those who try to sum up the many into one idea, one stereotype.. My college covered everything modern, it was not out dated, and it is useful. Listen to this yahoo, and you will think all these places teach you is 1920's studies, out of context, and whose sole purpose is to teach you how to be petty CEO that destroys lives.. Or just trendy pop psychology. I think he is talking about himself, not business school. Then again I didn't go to a posh school, or would even want to go to one. Harvard? YOUR MISSING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. If you took a marketing class at state you would have seen this :)

    I really hope hour 2 is better, but I will have to be in a very bored mood to bear any more..


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 06-07-13
    Ken Eagle Rock, CA, United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some good, a little bad, a lot of other."

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Green Kentucky 06-06-13
    G. Green Kentucky 06-06-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, Terribly Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but I think in this case it would be better because some of the information and concepts he teaches really need to be written down or viewed to fully understand them.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was terrible. I saw one review that said that the author sounded like a robot before I bought it, but I got in anyways. After awhile I just couldn't listen to it anymore. Even thinking about it makes my shoulders tense up and makes me feel irritated.

    Not only is his performance completely robotic, lacking any emotion or inflection, but it is also extremely nasally. It's almost as if he's holding his nose while reading. At some point his voice changes to be slightly more human, but it seems to go back and forth in different chapters. I just cannot finish the book, which is unfortunate because there is a lot of good information.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Desrosiers PA, USA 05-21-13
    M. Desrosiers PA, USA 05-21-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simplistic, rambling waste of time -OK for 18y old"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, not my intelligent ones.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    The book rambles with multiple analogies and stories when one will do. For example, do I really need 5 reasons why sometimes more is not better? Most adults can handle 1 reason/story. Also chapters about diet and brain chemistry are not his expertise and a waste of my time. I fast forwarded through much of the second book. I expected more useful knowledge about business - too simplistic. Fine if you're 18-20 years old, but if you're halfway intelligent, you know most of this. Could have been condensed into 1-2 hours of useful information.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Saskatoon, SK, Canada 04-11-13
    Evan Saskatoon, SK, Canada 04-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Needs improvement"
    Would you try another book from Josh Kaufman and/or Josh Kaufman?

    Maybe


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Good start with the work down of the problem with MBA programs which was helpful, although a bit long. When he started getting into the nuts and bolts of the different types of business structures and such he lost me. I was bored. It was like being in a real MBA program I guess. I think he is well researched and has good ideas, but not the best book overall.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer St Lucia, Australia 03-06-13
    Amazon Customer St Lucia, Australia 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very beneficial in multiple ways"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very beneficial and well researched with useful, thoughtful and high quality information not only on business topics but also on human issues


    What did you like best about this story?

    Thorough topics covered, lots of useful info, I will listen numerous times more


    What does Josh Kaufman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ease of revision and lively reading that creates more interest, excellent read


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Get a lot out of this


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Wellington, New Zealand 02-02-13
    Luke Wellington, New Zealand 02-02-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Audio Book"
    Would you listen to The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business again? Why?

    I intend to listen to this book regularly, it had so much great information in it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt this book included parts of many other business and psychology books I have listened to recently. It presented them in a short but easy to understand manner.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, this is my first review after having listened to dozens of audiobooks, this one has really stood out for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 121-128 of 128 results PREVIOUS11213NEXT
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  • Stephen
    London, United Kingdom
    2/11/13
    Overall
    "Buyer Beware."

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Nicolai
    Denmark
    11/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waste of time"
    What disappointed you about The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • peter
    SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom
    4/17/13
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Graham
    Dublin 6W, Ireland
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Khaled Al Marei
    London, United Kingdom
    10/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple still very resourceful!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dan
    COBHAM, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real resource worth listening to"
    What did you like most about The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Josh Kaufman – was your favourite?

    N/A


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It reaffirmed what I'd suspected - and potentially saved me a £££s of money in fees.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the few business books worth reading, given that it provides practical and common sense advice, but in a crystalised / useful form.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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