The book “The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman will give you all the theoretical bases to understand exactly what a business is and how to develop it, as well as how to get off on the right foot and take your business to levels you never even suspected.
As with the French edition of “The Power of Less”, I wrote the preface to this book because Josh Kaufman and his Personal MBA concept changed my life completely.
Personal MBA is a reference to a highly prestigious business school diploma – the MBA or Master of Business Administration. In general, it costs a lot of money, between 50,000 and 100,000 euros. It often takes one or two years of your life. It is supposed to be the panacea in terms of business education.
Once you have an MBA, you are supposed to be among the top of the world elite in terms of business understanding. It is on offer in a lot of schools, including prestigious institutions like Harvard, for example.
The concept of the Personal MBA is that you get the essence of the knowledge dispensed in these schools for a tiny fraction of the cost, by reading the best business books in the world.
The idea came from Seth Godin. He is a major American marketing entrepreneur, and Josh Kaufman applied it by creating the Personal MBA list. Today it contains 99 books in 24 different categories.
Josh Kaufman took things further, because he read all the books on the Personal MBA list and hundreds of others besides. He is an extremely fast reader with an extraordinary capacity to summarise. So he decided to boil down everything he learned reading those books into one book of his own because he is also an entrepreneur.
Previously, he was a manager at Procter & Gamble. He has created his own company since then. So he has personal experience.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. It’s big. You’re not going to be able to read it in 5 minutes, but it is incredible.
If there was one book that could allow you to skip two, three or even four years of business school and give you a theoretical basis on which to understand all the ins and outs of a business, then this is the one.
Almost all the most important concepts are summarised in it. They are explained in an incredibly clear way. And it will give you so many ideas for action.
It is not focused on concrete action. Its role is to give you a clear and comprehensive theoretical understanding. Its basis is theory, but not just theory.
It will give you a clear understanding of your business and business in general. By necessity, this will also lead to more clarity when it comes to taking action and better motivation when you take action. This will in turn ultimately lead to better overall action.
Basically, 11 major themes are tackled in this book. Each time, the concepts are very precise for each of the categories.
I’m going to give you the categories because they are extremely interesting.
- First, how to create value, because this is the basis of any company.
If people are prepared to buy your products and services, it is because they offer value. So, how can you create value in the most efficient way possible? This is the first theme. In the end, it is at the heart of what a company is about. It’s very important.
Then comes Marketing: how can you communicate in the most effective way possible to an audience to convince them that you are going to offer them value?
- Sales: this is about convincing people in a more individual way.
- How do you deliver value?
So, you have created value and that’s great. But how can you actually reach your customers?
- Finance: this is an important aspect in company management.
- The human mind: understanding how humans work. It’s very important. In the end, it goes beyond a simple basic grounding in business education.
There is a clear principle in everything you undertake in your life. You cannot fight against human psychology. It is much more effective to accept people’s default behaviour and assume that people’s default behaviour is going to continue to be their default behaviour instead of assuming that people are going to miraculously change the way they operate.
- How to work with yourself. So, how can you be more productive? How can you avoid distractions? That sort of thing.
- How to work with others. This is obviously very important.
- Understanding the systems: here we are in a category that will give you everything you need to automate your company. At the least, it will help you run things as efficiently as possible.
The difference between creating your own job and creating your own company is that if you create your own company, you can remove yourself from the organisational chart and it will still continue to operate. In any case, for a while.
So, understanding the systems, analysing the systems, improving the systems. Three whole chapters that are truly designed to take you to another level.
For example, there are lots of things in “working with yourself”. First off, he explains what akrasia means. It may seem daunting to come across some terms that are quite technical. But once you get over them, it is stunningly simple.
How to implement your priorities, the 4 methods to complete an act. How to have an action state of mind, habits, targets. That sort of thing.
In marketing, how do you make yourself remarkable? How do you make people receptive to what you are saying, for starters. How do you get them to pay attention to what you are saying so that they become receptive?
There are lots of things like that. If you have no business education or you feel that you don’t have enough to start your own company, or if you have already started one, then frankly, I recommend this book.
It will give you everything you need, a lot more self-confidence and much more clarity about everything related to business.
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