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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business

Written by: Josh Kaufman
Narrated by: Josh Kaufman
Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Business & Money, Careers
4.5 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Business and Educational, 2013

Getting an MBA is an expensive choice - one almost impossible to justify regardless of the state of the economy. Even the elite schools like Harvard and Wharton offer outdated, assembly-line programs that teach you more about PowerPoint presentations and unnecessary financial models than what it takes to run a real business. You can get better results (and save hundreds of thousands of dollars) by skipping business school altogether....

Josh Kaufman founded PersonalMBA.com as an alternative to the business school boondoggle. His blog has introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the best business books and most powerful business concepts of all time. Now, he shares the essentials of entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, negotiation, operations, productivity, systems design, and much more, in one comprehensive volume.

The Personal MBA distills the most valuable business lessons into simple, memorable mental models that can be applied to real-world challenges.

True leaders aren't made by business schools - they make themselves, seeking out the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to succeed. Read this book and you will learn the principles it takes most business professionals a lifetime of trial and error to master.

©2010, 2012 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC (P)2012 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A great distillation.

Great condensed overview of the important concepts in business, with a reading list to consult if you want to dive deeper. Kaufman does a great job of distilling complicated ideas into memorable lessons. No complaints with the material or performance. However, I found myself want to take notes, which I couldn't do while listening to this in the car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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just terminology

this book has nothing to do with MBA. it is just a terminology of words commonly used in business.
it tells nothing about business but an advertisement of writer's own business.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A book about business and about life

This book is a little gem. It can qualify as both an excellent business book, and as a useful "self-help" one.Kaufman treats business as what it is: a system of systems that's part of a greater picture. To articulate his vision, he draws on a number of disciplines and sources, from finance and psychology to science and systems theory, without ever being shallow or superficial. From start to finish, this book is easy to listen to and to follow. Kaufman's performance, as narrator, is also up to par.

The Personal MBA provides the reader with a toolkit of ideas, skills and know-how to successfully create and manage a business. It covers the basics of accounting, financial ratios, cash flow, data analysis, HR management, etc. without getting complicated (it clearly references its sources for those who want to dig deeper-something I really appreciated). It also provides the reader with takeaways about the human side of business: managing stress and time efficiently, making sound decisions, coping with success and failure, and staying the course through thick and thin.

Readers looking for a handbook on how to navigate their way to the top of a large business may be disappointed. Kaufman's personal MBA, I believe, is better suited to present and future small business owners. Those already working on an MBA may find the book's "out-of-the-box" approach to business, and its use of disciplines not usually covered in traditional business courses or programs, an excellent complement to their studies.

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Beyond Exceptional

I will be listening to this for the rest of my life. Take notes as there is fantastic, practical, information throughout.
Enjoy.

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Une introduction de choix au domaine des affaires

Très bonne introduction aux différents concepts du monde des affaires. Il a clairement développé l'art de la vulgarisation.
Ce livre à lui seul ne remplace certainement pas la formation qu'offre les programmes MBA, mais est définitivement un incontournabke avant de se lancer dans une telle aventure.
J'aimerais que M. Kaufman, inclut un peu plus d'exemple et d'exercices, ce qui en feraitun outil beaucoup polyvalant.
Bref, je le recommande sans hésitations!

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A bible of business and life

As a young entrepreneur and university student I believe this book has in it not only the keys to a successful business but to a life that is productive and of meaning.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Very general, there is no Mastering of any kind.

I have read this book 3 years ago and I downloaded just to refresh the memory, it's good book but just the heads up here there is no learning of anything unless your knowledge of business is zero, goes against the schools and it doesn't learn you anything at all. For example I have had my Final exam on The elasticity of the supply and demand, it's big topic and the book dedicates 10 seconds to it. If you like to hear all the economic in one book go for it.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonny
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 2013-01-20

Not an MBA, But A Damn Decent Experience.

If you're expecting this to be a substitute for an MBA course, you'll be disappointed, and rightly so. If, however, you are looking for an excellent summary of a great deal of critical business, psychology and marketing concepts, that any aspiring entrepreneur or successful business owner should know, then this is the audiobook to get your hands on.
It's 13 hours, but i'll still be giving it another listen in a few months or so, a testament to it's quality. Highly recommended.

97 of 102 people found this review helpful

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  • Al
  • UK
  • 2013-05-29

After a slow start there's some good stuff

What made the experience of listening to The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business the most enjoyable?

Minuses - 1) The author starts off with an attack on MBAs and a justification for the book. That is not necessary and doesn't resonate well. I very nearly gave up on it for that reason, so skip the first chapter. 2) This is not anything like an MBA, which is fairly obvious, but I think the title is unnecessarily misleading and should be changed to 'Shortcut to an MBA' or something like that.

Pluses -1) The author has done an enormous amount of good research. 2) He covers a large amount of ground 3) He has some good insights on the topics he covers 4) The author narrates and it comes across really well. 5) There are ongoing online resources.

Overall a good purchase - I bought it on audio and kindle

80 of 86 people found this review helpful

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  • M. R.
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • 2012-10-01

Good Business Education

Where does The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I bought this for my daughter, but I decided to listen to it and I was suddenly flooded with business ideas!! I'm 53 years old and I am now on the cusp of some great ideas!! Excellent "read"

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business?

For me, it was the author's prologue on how he got to this point in his own journey. It was inspiring.

What about Josh Kaufman’s performance did you like?

Sounded a bit robotic, but nonetheless, a good narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's 13 hours, so I could not. Plus it's something you need to listen to and then digest.

Any additional comments?

This information is rich; it's valuable. The most important component to any MBA is the student. How hungry are they? You can have all the Harvard and Yale MBAs you want, but unless the individual is proactive,....

93 of 101 people found this review helpful

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  • ERF000
  • Moncton, New Brunswick Canada
  • 2012-12-02

Very Good Business Basics Overview

Would you listen to The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business again? Why?

Yes. Plenty of relevant material to educate the business owner (and there staff) with no formal business education.

Very well arranged progression of topics and concepts.

Any additional comments?

Only reason I gave it a 4 star was the completely unnecessary and relevant beginning which goes on much much much too long about how useless a regular MBA is. Skip this, it adds nothing to the content.

The real meat of the book is excellent. I will be buying the hard copy for visual reference to accompany the audiobook.

Would make and excellent base for the developing staff basic business training.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Riaan
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2012-10-31

This is a must Listen

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business?

Chapter 1 first 10 Min, Amazing

Any additional comments?

After the Intro is done and dusted, WOW amazing wealth of knowledge.
Must Listen. I really Enjoyed it.
Skip the Intro! It is an hour of moaning about MBA programs.

76 of 85 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron
  • Glenwood, IL, United States
  • 2012-10-01

Great Book that Covers the Basics & Provides Refs

This audio book is packed with plenty of useful information on critical business concepts. Additionally, Josh provides a wealth of references that can be used to further investigate a particular concept in more details. Great resource for anyone who runs a small business or is seeking to understand the fundamentals of running a business.

40 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 2012-11-12

Good but grating...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend this book for it's functional information.

Would you be willing to try another book from Josh Kaufman? Why or why not?

I would hesitate to try another book by Josh Kaufman, unless it had a different narrator.

Would you be willing to try another one of Josh Kaufman’s performances?

Unfortunately, his clipped voice and unusual pronunciation made it difficult to concentrate on the otherwise interesting subject matter.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Listening to this book is a personal battle between loving the content and trying to tune out the talker.

Any additional comments?

I probably should have gone old-school and bought the printed version, or at least the ebook.

57 of 67 people found this review helpful

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  • avoidthelloyd
  • Poteau, OK
  • 2013-02-07

Good Information Overload

I really got a lot of good practical stuff out of the first part of the book. That part of the book seemed relevant to daily business practice... then most of the rest of the book had good information, but it was about human behavior and behavioral science... this was good info, but not what I wanted the book for. It almost seems like he should have done a separate but related book to cover all that. All of the scientific experiments and results mentioned were interesting, but it was way too much information for what the book implies. However, too much is better than not enough in this case and I would use a credit & recommend to a friend just because of the practical value of the first few hours alone. Hope this helps someone.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • ROBERT
  • Rochester, NY, United States
  • 2013-01-20

A great reference with a distracting narration

It's rare that I listen to audio book and then run out and buy the dead-tree edition. But I will with this one. This is a reference book that should be on the desk of every entrepreneur or business owner. In clear, simple terms, devoid of buzz words Kaufman lays out everything you need to know about business. It truly is an MBA-lite.

However, as a reference book, it's really not a great listen on your daily commute. Think dictionary-on-tape. Maybe that's a little harsh, but it's not exactly a pot boiler that makes you miss your exit.

My only other complaint is the narration. Ever since listening to William Gibson read "Neuromancer," I've avoided books read by the author, but I decided to make an exception in this case. That was a mistake. Kaufman is no Frank Muller or Scott Brick.

Fantastic content and very useful. I'll be referring to this title again and again.

51 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2013-11-20

A very basic intro to business

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Too much of the book is spent justifying the books existence, arguing against MBA programs, detailing trivia from the author's life, etc., and not enough on solid business analysis and advice. There is a long section of the book dedicated to personal improvement that is irrelevant to the main topic. Some good business advice and parables, and definitely not a total waste of time.

Any additional comments?

Production values are not as high as most other audio books, with cheesy chimes throughout and several parts where there appears to be audio errors resulting in the repeating of passages.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David Savidan
  • 2015-02-06

Un livre incontournable pour reussir son business

Merci Josh pour ce concentre de conseils de qualite pour reussir son business . Tous les aspects sont traites et les idees de Josh vous permettront de mieux comprendre les elements cles qui meneront a bien votre projet..

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Damien Thouvenin
  • 2018-07-03

Exercice délicat et réussi de synthèse

Le propos du livre est assez ambitieux : délivrer l'essence des concepts qu'on apprend dans un MBA en un seul livre.
Je ne suis pas certain que la valeur d'un MBA soit dans les concepts (mais plutôt dans les réseaux qu'on s'y crée) mais en s'en tenant à la synthèse des modèles et concepts clés de la pensée business, ce livre est très réussi.
C'est un exercice délicat de vulgarisation sans tomber dans le simplisme. Je ne peux pas juger pour tous les modèles exposés mais pour ceux que je connais, ça me semble assez réussi.
En tous cas Josh Kaufman rend tout ça vivant et intéressant. Narration très agréable par l'auteur.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • j.k
  • 2017-11-10

Great audio book

A lot of useful tips to apply. Easily understandable even for a non english person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Burri Julien
  • 2019-06-14

Bonne synthèse

Ce livre reprend des chapitres interssants des ouvrage "classique" que l'on peut trouver dans les programmes de MBA les sujets importants sont bien mis en relief. Si vous hésitez a faire un MBA commencez ici Josh amène de bons arguments contre des études à prix d'or.

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-04-13

livre complet

Sur comment créer et gérer son business. le livre traite de pleins de sujets sur cette problématique. Certains chapitres, notamment les derniers , sont moins pertinent. Le livre est une bonne base de réflexion pour tout entrepreneur ou futur entrepreneur !

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  • Anis
  • 2019-03-18

Bon livre mais un peu flou

Je trouve que c’est consistant et plutôt destiné pour les entrepreneurs. Ça reste un peu flou pour les non entrepreneurs et pour ceux qui sont en train d’apprendre et de se former pour démarrer un business.

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  • Jakub Gutkowski
  • 2018-11-21

Nice summary if you haven’t read anything else

I’m not from US, I do not leave in country that I need to pay more than a mortgage to have title at the uni, and I do not believe we need to pay soo much to have that title. So my perspective of the book is different.

It’s a nice summary of lots of books, and if you haven’t read anything about management and brain it will give you a good start. If you did, you will find yourself skipping sections as you already know this, read this, heard of this. This was my case. I did not expect to get a summary of books. The thing that was interested took like half of one of the chapters. This was a knowledge I was seeking - description of different kind of shortcuts and business keywords.