Rating: 8/10

There is much I liked about The personal MBA and a smattering of some I didn’t...

The personal MBA begins like a politician on a campaign trail. You are subjected to about forty minutes of being told why you shouldn’t vote for the opposition (the opposition in this case being years spent at a university to get a business MBA). This as opposed to self-education through reading such books as the personal MBA.

Personally, having taken the self-education route, and having heard many many anecdotal stories about how redundant significant chunks of a university education are in the real world, my vote goes to the self-education side.

Once the author gets his disdain for university education and associated debts off his chest this book gets started in earnest with an overview of the twelve business models for making money then neatly breaks each one down into their respective steps. From here it goes on to discuss many aspects of business, obviously, from researching your market and developing a product to investing.

What I love about this book is the range of information it covers, some anecdotes that illustrate certain concepts, but not so many anecdotes that it becomes obvious they are being used for padding instead of a genuine aide to understanding, (Josh Kaufman is not the only one that needs to get things off his chest ok?), and the amount of quotable phrases the author comes out with…

“What you are doing must be more interesting than your subject’s current subject of attention”

 Now it is a long time since I had enough time to actually read a book, so thank god for the advent of audio books. The personal MBA is over ten hours long and clearly you cannot condense four or more years of a university MBA into such a time-frame, therefore you can only really get an overview of all the different aspects of business.

If you are a global thinker, i.e. you like to get the bigger picture on any subject first before going into detail, and you want a broader range of awareness about business then the personal MBA is definitely for you. Having discovered a concept you want to learn more about, you could then find a seminar or course

dedicated to that area. *take note, if your area of interest is more specifically about setting up business on the internet and SM marketing etc. then there are other books you should consider before this one.

What I didn’t love about this book is that, given its title, and the ten hours of unabridged content, you would think it would dedicate every minute of that time-frame to business, but most surprisingly it does not. Instead, it breaks off approximately half way though and begins down a completely different route.

The second half of this book dedicates itself to talking about how to improve your mental productivity. Now don’t get me wrong, much of this material I found fascinating, and in a away it was relevant, but I bought the personal MBA based on the title, and I am not sure if anything in the second half of this book would be included in a university MBA course.

Indeed, what I would have liked was if the second half of this book went into more depth about the concepts introduced in the first half of this book. Then all the mental productivity material could have been used for a book all its own which, on the quality research, and demonstrated knowledge of the personal MBA, I would no doubt have gone out and bought.

So why stitch two seemingly independent topics together into one book? Lets face it, the author is using his own knowledge of market forces to sell this book. All you have to do is ask yourself, which business book are you more likely to buy, one that is five hours long, or one that is ten hours in length?

In conclusion, whether you consider the issue I have highlighted as a positive or a negative, I would entirely recommend adding this book to you reading or listening list. I personally probably listen once more as it gets thrown into the mix with other books but at ten hours, not the multiple times the author recommends.

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