When I first started reading The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman (no, not the singer) I was a little skeptical. I’ve read several books focused around business development and management and even just the title of the book makes a pretty strong claim. A total overview of a business education in one book?
I had no delusions that reading just one book would give me a clear picture of business development, management, sales, etc. I know how large of a topic business is but when I happened across a video talking about Josh Kaufman’s other book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!, which is about rapid skill acquisition, I decided to give it a go and was very impressed. Josh Kaufman’s approach to the deconstruction of learning reminded me a lot of Tim Ferriss who I am a big fan of, so naturally I devoured the first 20 hours.
While I was tearing through The First 20 Hours, I did a little research on the author and found that he had another book that was focused on business, which I am very interested in and since I loved his first book so much I decided to give the personal MBA a shot. I read the reviews and everything seamed to be glowing which didn’t surprise me given the quality of The First 20 Hours
The first section of the book got into the reasoning behind writing the personal MBA as way of side stepping the risky investment and all the pit falls of entering a traditional MBA program, which I thought was very interesting and well thought out.
I suspected that the personal MBA would mainly focus on value creation and general business structure and the first half of the book did just that. Josh Kaufman artfully presents different ways of structuring your business, different business models, value creation, etc. By the half way point I was already thrilled with the level of quality and the amount of research and planning that went into this book.
What I didn’t expect is that for the second half of the book he would dive into the psychology of success, sales, management and much more. I love learning about the human mind and what motivates us, and I’ve read several books focused around just that but none that laid out everything in such an easily digestible way.
All that said, this book is no end all be all and it doesn’t pretend to be. Josh Kaufman constantly harps on the importance of diving deeper into the topics discussed which for me shows a lot of integrity.
The personal MBA will not replace an MBA program on it’s own but it will give you a truly amazing reference for continued self education in the realm of business. I wish I had discovered this book 3 years ago when I first really started absorbing information on business because I have no doubts that it would have fast tracked my education.
All in all I give this book a 9 out of 10