#Book Review

Book review: The personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

Jan 15, 2021, 11:11 AM

This book’s title is perfect in the sense that it’s a great mixture of truth and marketing. Obviously the book is not comparable with an MBA…….. but somehow in a way it is.

Josh Kaufman, the author starts off by explaining something that most entrepreneurial people know to be true, that you do NOT need to attend business school to learn how to do, or build a successful business. Business has quite a few very important ideas and principles, learn these and partner them with common sense then you’re good to at least go and start making a name for yourself. As entrepreneurs, we also know that business schools (and universities in general) are stale, old institutions that don’t provide the value that the claim to.

Attending one of the top three Business schools will leave you in around $150,000 worth of debt, but also according to this financial times article, you’ll also lose $100,000 due to loss of salary or opportunity costs. The reason for this ridiculous price tag is simple, all the top companies hire out of the top business schools. Therefore, it’s an investment, put in some time and $150k, receive a very good paying job for many years, sounds great right?

But what if you don’t want the debt, or the job, or the outdated education? The alternative, which most entrepreneurs understand, is to go out, create a business, learn on the job and spend a ton of time-consuming knowledge. The reason this book has done so well is due to two things, it’s overall comprehension of modern business and the fact that Josh already had a massive audience through his website, that had given value to over 1.6 million unique visitors.

In the author’s words “The Personal MBA is an introductory business primer. Its purpose is to give you a clear, comprehensive overview of the most important concepts in as little time as possible”. Josh’s background was a fortunate one, he was able to participate in the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program, which was essentially an MBA at the undergraduate level, so he received the education, but not the crippling debt due to it being generously funded via scholarships. Afterwards, he landed a job and worked at the fortune 500 company Procter & Gamble for a few years. Josh had always been a avid reader and could consume and distill large amounts of info. He started a blog with key concepts of business based on the books he read. Seth Godin gave his blog a shout out and the rest they say, is history.

The book covers a huge array of different concepts, topics and key terms. It does not, however, gone into a huge amount of detail, but that’s not what the book was designed for. The concepts are clear, based in common sense, extremely practical but also very specific. If you want to read more into each subheading, the author has a link to the specific content and for a large portion of the book, he gives further reading book recommendations.

Overall this book is hugely valuable to anyone who wants to brush up on any weaknesses, strengthen their business knowledge and key concepts and for those who want to branch out to learn new skills. This is book you can easily navigate and jump in and out of because of the way it is divided up. This book should be in arm’s length of any entrepreneur, small business owner or manager.


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