The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA : Master the Art of Business

4.09 (30,236 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Master the fundamentals, hone your business instincts, and save a fortune in tuition.

The consensus is clear: MBA programs are a waste of time and money. Even the elite schools offer outdated assembly-line educations about profit-and-loss statements and PowerPoint presentations. After two years poring over sanitized case studies, students are shuffled off into middle management to find out how business really works.

Josh Kaufman has made a business out of distilling the core principles of business and delivering them quickly and concisely to people at all stages of their careers. His blog has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the best business books and most powerful business concepts of all time. In The Personal MBA, he shares the essentials of sales, marketing, negotiation, strategy, and much more.

True leaders aren't made by business schools-they make themselves, seeking out the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed. Read this book and in one week you will learn the principles it takes most people a lifetime to master.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 402 pages
  • 163 x 236 x 34mm | 590g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1591843529
  • 9781591843528
  • 54,708

Review quote

"A goldmine of useful ideas and helpful explanations. Every entrepreneur should own a copy."
--James Clear, author of Atomic Habits "Josh has done more for my business education than my MBA. The Personal MBA walks you through the mental models you need to excel in business. A lifetime of business knowledge in one volume."
--Shane Parrish, founder of Farnam Street ( and host of The Knowledge Project podcast "The Personal MBA is the single best business book I've read. Most books focus on a single part of business in isolation, but The Personal MBA walks you through every moving part, and gives you the tools to understand how those parts work together to create a complete system."
--Amy Hoy, founder of Noko ( and Stacking the Bricks ( "The only business book I recommend. Josh somehow condenses an entire library of crucial knowledge into a short book that's eminently readable, so you can spend less time reading and more time building your business. It's perfect for both providing an overview and serving as a reference. I revisit The Personal MBA more than any other book on my shelf."
--Courtland Allen, co-founder of "I read The Personal MBA cover to cover when it was first released and it had a major impact on how I view business. It's incredible how Josh was able to distill hundreds of books and hundreds of years of business knowledge into this succinct and elegant tome.
--Rob Walling, co-founder of MicroConf and bestselling author of Start Small, Stay Small "10 years ago, I got an MBA education courtesy of Kaufman's book. His practical business insights and mindset techniques haven't let me down since. The Personal MBA is the most distilled, most accelerated MBA on the planet: all of the insights, none of the ego."
--Joanna Wiebe, founder of "Ten years after reading (and re-reading and re-reading) The Personal MBA, I still refer to it often and use it to make better decisions. Whether it's building a business plan to launch my writing studio, planning my day, or taking a systematic approach to identify and solve problems, I can't think of any other book that's had such a positive impact on my overall productivity and enjoyment of life."
--Daniel Joshua Rubin, playwright and author of 27 Essential Principles of Story "The Personal MBA should be required reading for anyone in business. This book exposed me to ideas, systems, and best practices that I had never been taught anywhere else. Even after ten years, I still reference it on a regular basis. Buy it, read it, then keep it close. It'll be your constant business companion for years to come."
--Tim Grahl, author of Running Down a Dream and founder of 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 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 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, Wired, and author of What Technology Wants An absolutely amazing book! I'm highly recommending this to all creative types, for the best overview of the modern business mind-set they need.
-Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby, Josh has synthesized the most important topics in business into a book that truly lives up to its title. It's rare to find complicated concepts explained with such clarity. Highly recommended.
-Ben Casnocha, author of My Start-Up Life An enterprising and thrifty way to hack business school. This is a fantastic resource for motivated autodidacts looking to get into business.
-Gina Trapani, founding editor,, and author of Upgrade Your Life
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About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman helps people make more money, get more done, and have more fun. His first book, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, is an international bestseller. He lives in Colorado.
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Rating details

30,236 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 44% (13,202)
4 31% (9,492)
3 17% (5,259)
2 5% (1,490)
1 3% (793)

Our customer reviews

I read this book expecting to read more about common concepts in business schools, and instead, I got basic definitions of words like "profit" and "power" and "automation". While this book may be ideal for complete newcomers to business, it doesn't outline any new or (I would argue) any challenging concepts that are unique to business school. In fact, most of the information in this book is common sense. I've started skimming the book because I no longer find it useful to read the details between bold-faced main points. They are irrelevant or unnecessary. The book is an excellent compilation of terms - more like a business dictionary than anything else. But even still, most of the definitions don't need to be researched - they are pretty obvious overall!show more
by Brady Paron
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