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The Personal MBA summary

Josh Kaufman

Master the Art of Business

3.9 (202 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman is a self-help book that explores business concepts, covering everything from sales and marketing to operations. It aims to help readers gain a strong foundation in business without needing to attend business school.

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    The Personal MBA
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    Business school: Not only is it extremely expensive – chances are, it won’t pay off.

    Want to go into business, but have no idea where to start? Business school seems like a tempting prospect, a place where all the knowledge and contacts you need are simply handed to you – but is it really your ticket to success?

    It has to be, right? Otherwise why else would people pay so much for their MBA? Business school is expensive, that’s for sure – the top 15 MBA programs charge up to $53,208 per year for tuition. That’s not even including fees, loan interest or living expenses!

    What if we factor those into the equation, plus the opportunity cost of lost wages too? Turns out there are eight different US business schools where the cost of an MBA exceeds $300,000.

    “Wait,” you might think, “surely not all business schools are that pricey!” True, however, any student who holds an MBA has an average debt of $41,687 (again, without accounting for additional expenses).

    OK, so business school costs a lot. Is this what the educational experience is worth? Short answer: nope.

    In the long term, an MBA does nothing for your career. If it did, a master of business administration degree should correlate with measures of success, like an increased salary, or promotions to higher level positions. And it doesn’t.

    Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington conducted an extensive study into the matter. Analyzing 40 years’ worth of data, they found that there is no correlation between long-term career success and possessing an MBA, whether you graduated with flying colors or just scraped a passing grade.

    So if business school can’t make your entrepreneurial career blossom, what can? Well, you can learn a lot from experience, and from your own research online – or from books like this one.

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    What is The Personal MBA about?

    The Personal MBA contains everything you need to know in business. Today, true business leaders are forged through their own experience and personal research, not in universities. From developing your idea to sealing a deal, these blinks guide you through the entire process of becoming a self-made business success story.

    The Personal MBA Review

    The Personal MBA (2010) is a comprehensive guide to business and management concepts that anyone can benefit from. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With a wide range of engaging examples, it breaks down complex business theories into practical concepts that can be easily understood and applied.
    • By providing a holistic understanding of different aspects of business, it equips readers with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions in various business situations.
    • Its straightforward and accessible language makes it enjoyable to read, ensuring that readers won't get bored while learning essential business principles.

    Best quote from The Personal MBA

    Business school is a big risk...the only certainty is that you will shell out about $125,000. – Wharton School of Business graduate.

    —Josh Kaufman
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    Who should read The Personal MBA?

    • Anyone starting their own business
    • Anyone interested in how businesses function
    • Anyone running a business and seeking a refresher on the basics

    About the Author

    Josh Kaufman is an independent business adviser and the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything, Fast. His website JoshKaufman.net was listed as one of Forbes’ Top 100 Websites For Entrepreneurs.

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    The Personal MBA FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Personal MBA?

    The main message of The Personal MBA is to provide a comprehensive business education without the hefty price tag.

    How long does it take to read The Personal MBA?

    The reading time for The Personal MBA varies, but it takes several hours. The Blinkist summary takes just 15 minutes.

    Is The Personal MBA a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Personal MBA is worth reading for its practical business insights and cost-effective approach to education.

    Who is the author of The Personal MBA?

    The author of The Personal MBA is Josh Kaufman.

    What to read after The Personal MBA?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Personal MBA, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman
    • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
    • What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack
    • How to Grow Your Small Business by Donald Miller
    • Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
    • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
    • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner