ISBN: 1591845572

Well that’s what the author of The Personal MBA insinuates with his book. It’s the distillation of his extensive business reading that focuses more of what he’s learned than applied.

The most helpful chapter for most will be the one on value, where the author describes how successful businesses give people what they want. He reviews the following:

  • The 5 human drives
  • 10 steps to evaluating a market before you start a business
  • 12 forms of economic value that businesses can provide

The ideas put forth in the value chapter should be enough for you to apply the skills and talents you’ve accumulated in life to create a product or service that other people want to pay for. If reading this part of the book doesn’t get you excited about starting a business, then I suggest you put the book down and get to entrenching yourself further in your corporate gig to at least climb the ladder.

The best businesses in the world are the ones that create the most value for other people. Some businesses thrive by providing a little value to many, and others focus on providing a lot of value to only a few people.


The format of the book is essentially a blog, with dozens of topics delivered in bite-size chunks. So many concepts are thrown at you that it’s unlikely you’ll retain most of it, especially since meaningful examples aren’t often used. While this format may be great for those with short attention spans, topics are rarely connected, which leads to a lack of flow. It’s laziness on the author’s part to throw a hundred concepts at you in seemingly random order.

The second half turns into a psychology book and then eventually into a full-blown self help guide about setting goals and finding the root desires behind those goals. Is that what they learn in MBA programs? The psychology content was mostly review for me.

If you really want the equivalent of an MBA, you’ll have to dig deeper, as short sections here can be an entire book or course on their own. A real MBA would laugh at you if this book was your sole business education, especially since it used absolutely no math.

I reluctantly recommend this book if you want to start a business, mostly due to the strong value chapter. I think the book succeeded in its goal on educating readers about the universal fundamentals of business, but you’ll probably need a bit more in applying them.

Read More: “The Personal MBA” on Amazon

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