THE 4 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS | Chosen by Personal MBA author Josh Kaufman

Business Books

Personal MBA author Josh Kaufman discusses his top picks for business books

The business books mentioned in the video :

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Hello! My intelligent rebels.

Today, I’m sharing with you an interview I did with Josh Kaufman.

Now, Josh Kaufman is quite famous for his book “The Personal MBA” which is a worldwide bestseller. But back in the day, when I met him at the end of 2010 in Scottsdale Arizona, his book was not published yet and I’m very happy to share that he gave me this advance uncorrected not for sale copy of the book and also that I’m the recipient of the first autographed copy of it. Yeah, I’m super proud of that.

And I was quite excited to meet him because even before he published his book, he was already quite famous for his blog where basically he shared a list of the best business books in the world. And when I stumbled upon this list and I started to read them and to write summaries for my French blog, that’s what started my new journey as an entrepreneur, and it was this blog about great business books that allowed me to become a professional blogger in the French-speaking market. And now, I’m offering a translation of this blog in my new blog “Books that can change your life.”

So, without further ado, here is this interview with Josh Kaufman at the end of 2010 even before he published his first book.

Olivier Roland: So Josh, hi!

Josh Kaufman: Hi! Nice to be with you.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, nice too. So my first question is, there are a lot of books in The Personal MBA.

Josh Kaufman: Yes, 99.

a lot of books personal mba

Olivier Roland: 99, wow. So, can you tell us what, in your opinion, are the three or four best books for people that want to create their own business.

Josh Kaufman: Sure. For entrepreneurs, if you’ve ever started a business, you know that sometimes the hardest part is not finding an idea. Ideas are everywhere. It’s finding an idea that actually has customers to sell that idea to.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Josh Kaufman: That’s the biggest challenge, right.

Olivier Roland: Absolutely.

Josh Kaufman: So, there are a couple of books that I really love, that help you do that. The first is a book called “The New Business Road Test” by John Mullins. And, it’s a systematic process of where you have an idea that could be the next billion-dollar company. It’s a list of questions that you can go through in advance, it’s very systematic. But, it helps you dissect the idea into the parts that you really need to understand, to figure out whether you’re going to be able to actually sell that idea or not.

So, “The New Business Road Test” by John Mullins would be the first place to start.

The second book is a book called “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” by Steve Blank.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Josh Kaufman: And the insight that Steve has about the product development process is, you don’t really have to focus on developing the product so much first. You actually have to develop a market around the product, if you’re ever going to be able to sell it.

So, if you focus not just on the product development like throwing a million dollars into launching your new big thing, spend that first amount of time and money actually learning about the market that you’re going to be selling to. And, Steve calls this customer development.

So, you develop your customers first, you create something for them.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Josh Kaufman: And then, you sell a gazillion and you’re great. And so, it’s really about how do you test? How do you experiment? How do you learn as much as possible during those early stages to create something really, really successful the first time?

Olivier Roland: Oh, that’s good.

Josh Kaufman: Instead of the fiftieth time.

The third book which is quite popular is a book called “The 4-Hour Work Week”. And the thing that I love is, you don’t necessarily have to practice business the way that Tim Ferriss recommends. It’s the approach and it’s the mindset that is the most useful.

And so, what you’re really trying to do when you’re going into business, when you’re trying to learn a new skill, you’re trying to find those critical components that are super, super important. Hone in on those and find different ways to do the same thing. Maybe a little bit of a different approach or in a way that gets a lot of attention.

But, a lot of times you do that by breaking the rules or by looking at these existing assumptions and trying something different. And so, as a book on a great mindset of going into business, testing new things, I think it’s a really great place to start.

Olivier Roland: Great. Do you have a fourth book?

Josh Kaufman: Yes, I actually… my book “The Personal MBA” mastering the art of business has been written, I’ve spent the past six years researching. Really with business, there are only a core set of things you really need to know in order to succeed.

And, if you’re going to do well particularly if you’re starting out, it makes at least to me, it makes the most sense to learn those critical things first. And then, every book you read, every seminar you go to, every person you talk to, every idea you look at, is going to make a lot more sense if you already know the important things to focus on first. It helps to spend your time and money more effectively.

And so, my book “The Personal MBA” is the results of all of my research, talking about the critical things every single business person needs to understand and how to look at every business that has ever existed or ever will exist and focus on the critical parts that will actually help you succeed.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, someone who wants to create their company can just read your book and have all the core concepts.

Josh Kaufman: Yes.

Olivier Roland: That can help them to build their company and have a lot of success with it.

Josh Kaufman: Absolutely.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Josh Kaufman: So the book is in three parts and the first part is how businesses work. How every business is structured. What every business has to do in order to succeed. The second part is the people. You know, businesses are built by people for other people. So, if you don’t know how human beings work, you’re at a very severe disadvantage.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Josh Kaufman: And the last part, and this is the part that most people skip, but it’s critically important, is systems. Businesses are systems and if you understand how systems work, how to deconstruct them, how to analyze them, how to focus on changing the parts that will make a difference without blowing the entire system up. That’s a very useful thing to know.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. I totally agree with you on that point. So, it was my first question about, actually about your book. So, I think I’ll skip it. My second question is, a lot of people read books but have a really hard time to take action.

Josh Kaufman: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Do you have advice? What is your greatest tip to really take massive action after reading a book?

Josh Kaufman: Absolutely. When you’re reading a book, you should always be reading a book with a notebook. Never just have the book by itself.

reading a book with a notebook success

And as you’re reading through the book, you’re looking to create a list of three things. I do this on an index card that I just kind of stick into the book. Handy has a bookmark and then you have a pen to write on it.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Josh Kaufman: But, you’re looking for three things from that book that you can immediately apply to the business or project or experiment that you’re running and you circle the top one.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Josh Kaufman: And, you do nothing else. So, you have three ideas of how to apply it, you circle the top one and within the day, you take the first step to actually applying that thing to your business.

Olivier Roland: Within a day.

Josh Kaufman: Within a day, yes. Within 24 hours, you should be applying the most important thing that you learn from that book. And if you do that and if you read a lot and you do this consistently, you’ll be amazed at how much reading and applying these things can change your business.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, that’s an amazing tip. So the first day, you apply the first thing from the book that you choose. Okay.

So, last question, you are really famous for your Personal MBA.

Josh Kaufman: Thank you.

Olivier Roland: So, what do you plan for the future with it?

plan Josh Kaufman future

Josh Kaufman: I have a lot of really big plans.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Josh Kaufman: You know, my business is teaching business and helping entrepreneurs and business owners to succeed. And so, in addition to the book, I have an online course that teaches all of the fundamentals in business, and in an interactive format.

So, you know, we can discuss how to actually apply these things to your business. I’m actually also in the process of teaching live seminars where you can learn all of the essentials of business in three days and really get you started on your path to entrepreneurship and business success.

Olivier Roland: Okay. So, thanks.

Thanks, Josh, for this interview. It was great to have you.

Josh Kaufman: Thank you Olivier, I really appreciate it.

Olivier Roland: Bye.

Thanks for having watched this video My intelligent rebels, I hope you enjoyed it. You’re also free to receive an extract from my upcoming book “The 3 principles to succeed in life”. So to receive it, just click on the thumbnail that appears here. Don’t hesitate to also watch these complementary videos and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss any future videos.

Thank you for watching, see you soon. And meanwhile, don’t forget: be intelligent, be rebellious and be part of people who read amazing books.


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