The Personal MBA - Summary

Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA Book Cover


In today’s fast-paced business world, having an MBA degree is considered a valuable asset. However, not everyone has the time or resources to pursue a traditional MBA program. This is where Josh Kaufman’s book, “The Personal MBA,” comes in. In this book, Kaufman provides a comprehensive guide to the principles of business, without the need for a formal education.

Overview of the Book

“The Personal MBA” is divided into two parts. The first part covers the fundamental principles of business, while the second part focuses on specific business skills. Kaufman’s approach is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of business concepts, without the need for a formal education.

Part One: Fundamental Principles of Business

In the first part of the book, Kaufman covers the fundamental principles of business. He starts by discussing the concept of value creation and how it is the foundation of any successful business. He then moves on to discuss the importance of marketing and how it is essential to understand the needs and wants of your customers.

Kaufman also covers the concept of sales, which he defines as the process of helping people make decisions that are in their best interest. He emphasizes the importance of building relationships with customers and providing them with value.

Another important concept that Kaufman covers in the first part of the book is the idea of creating systems. He explains how creating systems can help businesses become more efficient and effective.

Part Two: Specific Business Skills

In the second part of the book, Kaufman focuses on specific business skills. He covers topics such as finance, accounting, and operations. He also provides readers with practical advice on how to manage people and how to build a successful team.

One of the most valuable sections of the book is Kaufman’s discussion of decision-making. He provides readers with a framework for making decisions based on data and analysis, rather than emotions and intuition.

Examples and Anecdotes

Throughout the book, Kaufman provides readers with numerous examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points. For example, he uses the story of McDonald’s to demonstrate the importance of creating systems in business. He also uses the story of Southwest Airlines to illustrate the importance of creating a strong company culture.

Kaufman also provides readers with practical exercises and resources to help them apply the concepts in the book to their own businesses. For example, he provides a list of recommended books on business and entrepreneurship, as well as a list of online resources for learning more about specific business topics.


Overall, “The Personal MBA” is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to gain a comprehensive understanding of business principles. Kaufman’s approach is practical and accessible, making it an ideal resource for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and anyone who wants to improve their business skills. Whether you are looking to start your own business or advance your career, “The Personal MBA” is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked.

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