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The Personal MBA Summary

Here’s The Personal MBA summary. Learn the mental models that will help you think better in business and career.


The Personal MBA author Josh Kaufman explains the most valuable lessons that entrepreneurs and professionals can use. He created a comprehensive book that will help people make better business decisions.

He covers value creation, marketing, sales, value delivery, finance, and human psychology. It’s like reading a whole volume of books about business and entrepreneurship.

About the Author

Josh Kaufman founded to serve as an alternative to the traditional and expensive MBA programs. That’s why he distilled the important business concepts so anyone can learn.

He is now the author of two international bestsellers. He wrote The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. He uses a multi-disciplinary approach to business mastery and rapid skills acquisition.

Main takeaways: The Personal MBA Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Every successful business creates or provides something of value.
  2. Learn the core business skills to make yourself more valuable.
  3. Continue learning.

Every successful business creates or provides something of value

No matter what business it is, it should create or provide value to customers. There are no exceptions.

How do we know if it’s creating value? First is it should be solving a problem. That problem might be as simple as someone needs a salt or a client needs airplane parts.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a need or want. When a customer feels either, she has a problem. She will then be looking for a solution. If you can provide that, you’ve got a business.

Let’s say you’re planning to start a business. Ask yourself a few questions. What problem will it solve? Will it fulfill the needs or wants of your customers.

Here’s a simple example. You’re planning to start a food cart business. What problem does it solve? People always need to eat. And they want variety. Your business has potential if there’s not much competition around.

Learn the core business skills to make yourself more valuable

Business is what makes the world go round. We are serving one another in one or several ways. And we render that service by selling our products, time, or skills.

Business is essential. For it to work, a group of people with certain skills must come together. That’s the reason you should learn the core business skills. Without the necessary skills, the business will stop running.

What are the core business skills? Here are some: Value creation, Marketing, Sales, Finance, and Operations. If you have one of those skills, there’s a chance you’ll have a job or you can start a business.

If you’re good in marketing, you can help businesses get the word out. If you’re good at value creation, you can help businesses come up with new products.

The key here is to be helpful to businesses. You can only help them if you have the necessary skills. This way you’ll help yourself in return. You get paid according to the marketplace.

Continue learning

The purpose of Personal MBA is to encourage everyone to continue learning. Whether someone has to go for the traditional MBA programs or self-study, she needs to educate herself continuously. This way she can continue to make herself valuable to businesses.

There are lots of books about anything you can imagine. But if you want a primer for business knowledge, start with The Personal MBA book. It provides the essential mental models that will help you understand business as a whole.

While reading the book, you’ll build a mental framework about business. You’ll learn the different parts and how they work together. At the end of the book, you’ll also see a list of recommendations. This way you’ll enhance your knowledge and go deeper.

Aside from learning what a successful business is, what are the valuable skills, and why you should continue learning, you’ll also learn the following from The Personal MBA book:

  • How to make good business decisions
  • What are mental models
  • How businesses actually work
  • The ways to evaluate a market
  • The list of business books you should read

My personal takeaways

The Personal MBA book is already a summary. Each chapter is full of information I can use right away.

I learned about how businesses actually work. I also learned why some businesses fail or succeed. I learned the principles without being overwhelmed.

I’ve built a mental framework because of the book. Whenever I see businesses doing their work, I think of the concepts. I look at how they profit and how they serve the customers.

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