Book Review of The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

28 Nov 2017

I decided to pick up this book because I was not comfortable with my current understanding of business definitions, practices, and procedures.

Understanding why getting an MBA wasn't for me

I do not believe that getting an MBA is for me. So I needed a quick way to get up to speed. But as I've started to take self education more seriously, I've realized each book gives me more paths to explore.

Josh Kaufman addresses the issue upfront about whether getting a traditional MBA is worth it. I think this chapter is great because it demonstrates the tradeoffs. Obviously his opinion is that you can learn everything on your own, but he shows that getting your MBA has merit for building a network, getting roles that require the degree and so forth.

The part that really got me was that an MBA is equivalent to reading one business book per class. And doing the self study method you can read as many business books you desire without tuition cost.

For those you still wanting to get your MBA, this book isn't for you.

But if you are ready to learn about how businesses work inside and out, you've stumbled upon a great resource.

What I like about The Personal MBA formatting

I like how the book is sectioned off. Josh organizes the book very well. The first time I read the book I read cover to cover. But it is definitely suited as a reference manual.

My second favorite thing about the book is the keyword formatting. All of the terms are bold so you can easily spot them. Once they've been introduced, they appear as Title Case so you know he is referencing a key term. These key terms in the index so it makes it easy to skip around.

The Chapters that really shined for me.

The chapters on value creation really hit home for me. It showed me simple steps to evaluate a market. It talks about 12 different types of value. These are things like products, services, insurance, and audience aggregation. It set the landscape for the different types of businesses possible.

Any of the chapters demonstrating a sustainable business were very eye opening for me. I finally understand that a business has to be self sustaining. It has to bring in not only enough money to pay the bills, but also enough to continue growing and adapting.

The chapters about business systems were very clear. It reminds me a lot about the idea of systems in programming languages and software engineering. The more dependent your systems are on each other the higher chance of a cascading failure.

These sections of The Personal MBA were boring

I thought the chapters covering accounting were going to be exciting for me. I was ready to learn about different accounting strategies and such. But these chapters are plain because while accounting is important, there isn't much new here.

This tells me next time I start a business, I will 100% be outsourcing the accounting. I'll have enough general knowledge to make sure things are flowing well. But I'll let a passionate specialist handle the details.

The Personal MBA Book and Courses

Overall this was a great read. I really enjoy Josh's voice and opinions throughout the book. Here is a link to the book on Amazon. And Josh also did a video course version of the book on CreativeLive.

If you are interested in learning more about the personal MBA checkout these links. I do get a little commission if you decide to purchase. Thanks for reading my review!

  1. Hard back copy
  2. The Personal MBA: Foundations with Josh Kaufman from CreativeLive.comThe Personal MBA: Foundations with Josh Kaufman Creative Live course
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