Personal MBA Book Review (Is this book really as valuable as an MBA?) by Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA Book Summary

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When Josh Kaufman completed his studies in a technical field, he got an amazing opportunity to work for billion dollar company P&G (Proctor and gamble).which he accepted happily and started working over there.

But when he was working with his colleagues, who all were MBA pass outs from big and well-known colleagues, then he realized a very important thing, that how important business and marketing skills are.
If in future he wanted to start something of his own then he must be aware of those skills.

So, from then on he was so much obsessed about these skills, that anyway, he wanted to learn it. at first, he decided that just like his colleagues he will do his MBA from a famous college. but after analyzing properly, he came to know, that nowadays colleges are just for show off and people go there just for the sake of a degree not for educational purpose. (which is a complete waste of time).

So, he chose a better way to learn these skills and that way was self-education (self-studying).

What he did, he went to his nearby library and started reading books related to the business he read 100 of different books related to business, and because of which his knowledge has improved more than his colleagues, even his professors.

Not just that, continuous reading made him realized one important and interesting thing, that there were some topics which were repeating.
So, he came to know that these topics which are getting repeated are the most important for business.

He gathered all the important repeated knowledge and created a book which is known by the name of Personal MBA. (On which we are going to talk about).

After reading hundreds of different books Josh learned a very important useful knowledge and also came to know about the repeated knowledge, Josh divided all that knowledge into 5 mental frameworks and explained us in this book (The personal MBA).

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  • 1st: Value creation:
  • If there is no value in any business than it's called a hobby.

  • 2nd: Marketing:
  • If there is no proper marketing in any business than it's called a flop business.

  • 3rd: Sales:
  • If there are no sales from the value than it's called non-profit.

  • 4th: Value delivery:
  • If there is non-customer fulfillment than it's called a scam.

  • 5th: Finance:
  • If there is no money in any business than it will be closed very soon.

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Value creation:

Simply in this frame, you just have to know what people are in need. (what they want). And yes it's market research.

Suppose you have a very brilliant piece of the product but unacceptably people don't want to buy this piece of work or product then your brilliant piece is not actually that much brilliant.

It's like you have a party and you have made verities of dishes but no one shows up for the party. in business it's normal.

Dean Kamen was a very famous inventor, he invested over 100 million dollars to make a scooter. which was a two-wheeler auto balancing vehicle, in 2002 when segway launched, they were accepting for selling 50,000 units in the first year, but in 5 years they just sold 23,000 units at all. because people don't want that expensive vehicle.

Same, if you are making a product that no one wants to purchase, then your idea might be a flop. that is why market research is so important for any business.

You can research your idea using these 10 steps and you can give every step a scoring, like 0-10.

  • 1- Urgency:
  • How soon people want you to deliver that product or service.

  • 2- Market size: How many people are willing to buy that product.

  • 3- Pricing potential:
  • How much money people are willing to pay you for that product or service.

  • 4- Cost of customer acquisition:
  • Is it simple to bring a new customer to your product?

  • 5- Cost of value delivery:
  • How much investment your idea requires to make it done.

  • 6- Uniqueness of the offer.
  • What is unique in your offer, and how much time it takes to others for copying this.

  • 7- Speed to market:
  • How fast you can make products and sell that into the market.

  • 8- Upfront investment:
  • How much money you have to invest in starting.

  • 9- Upsell potential:
  • Is there are any more products that you can mention or sell with your main product. (Like is someone bought razers then they also requires shaving cream and extra blades).

  • 10- Evergreen potential:
  • Is your product is evergreen or just for a specific period of time.

Score your idea in above 10 steps, if your total score is less than 50 or 50 then drop that idea.

If your score is 75 or more then you have a great idea.

But if your idea is between 50- 75 then it is fine for short term earnings but it won't help you to be rich or in the long term.

If you got an idea and you know that people want your product then we have to move on to the creating that value.

You can create value in so many different ways. Here are some types of creating value.

  • 1- Product:
  • Make a product and sell it on a cost that is more than it is the manufacturing cost.    (cold drinks, food items, fashion items, devices books, etc)

  • 2- Service:
  • Help people or teach them something and exchange of that charge your fee.
  • (consulting, teaching, training, etc)

  • 3- subscriptions:
  • Give some sort of consistency benefit to people and charge a monthly fee for it.     (Netflix, cable business, membership sites).


Just value creation is not enough. if people don't know about your product than how can they buy. but taking people's attention is not easy.

Marketing is an art and science of finding people who are interested in the product and can buy the product.

Here is a Book on marketing, We recommend you to read. And audio version is Absolutely Free

Here are a few tips on marketing.

1- Remarkable product or offer:

Your product must be remarkable in getting the attention of people.
Your product must be unique in design or in user experience, which can take people's attention to your product.

2- Target probable purchaser:

You don't have to get all people's attention, you just have to get the attention of those who can buy your product.

3- Focus on your desired end results:

People are not interested in your product's science and design they are just interested in what your product can do for them. what your product can bring in their life.

Always focus on these things which can help your customer.

4- Hook:

Use hook in your marketing:
Use a hook sentence that tells a major benefit of your product or service.

Like apple uses a hook for iPod:
1000 songs in your pocket.

5- Cell to action:

Always use a proper and simple call to actions to follow.

Book On Marketing


If you're all business work is done but you can't bring sales, then your business is not profitable. sales are the single most important things that directly benefit you.

Convince people that your product deserves their money. here are a few tips on selling.

1- Build trust:

The sale is the value transaction between two people. You have a product or service that they need and they have money in their pocket that you want. If there is no trust between these two persons then cannot deal.

2- Value Base Selling:

Value-based selling is something that first you realize what your customers need and then you try to tell them why your product is better for them.


If you have software which can save a million dollars for a company then you try to tell them about it, probably they can give you 10% of their investment amount for that software. which is 100k dollars.

3- Reciprocation:

It is like first you give something to your customers for free then there will be more chances that they buy from you.

Many car companies use this tip first they offer a free cup of tea to their customers and just that cup of tea will convince customers to buy from buying them.

Value Delivery:

Every successful businessman needs to deliver value after the process of selling. In value delivery, you have to satisfy your customers.

More your customers are satisfied with you the more it benefits in your reputation.
Here are a few tips on value delivery.

1- Value stream:

Value stream includes on all the steps that are necessary from creating value to value delivery. Making of product, packaging, storage, distributing these all are important for value stream.

You have to aware of every process of your products for making it more efficient and consistent.

2- Distribution channel.

Distribution channel tells us, how you deliver value. there are two types of distribution. 1st is direct to the user. in this process, there is only one channel and company directly sells to customers. 2nd is 3rd party distribution. in this process there are multiple channels of distribution, the company sells its product to a distributor, the distributor sells those products to stores, and then stores finally sell those to customers.


After value delivery, the things you should and must keep in mind is the last part of your finance.
Whether you are generating more income than your expenses in your business?

Even if you follow all 4 parts properly, still if you do not generate income, then you have to shut down your business even if you don't want to.
And to be good in finance, Josh Kaufman suggest you do two things.

  1. Reduce your expense in some of the parts amongst the first 4 parts.
  2. Create a product having a greater value for which you can charge a lot from a customer, and even they happily pay for it.


The book personal MBA is the best business learning book of all, it's a NewYork Times best-selling book. so many great Startups use these principles, rules or tips based on Josh Kaufman's experiences. if you wanna read this book, Here are you offers that we are giving you.
Personal MBA Book Review (Is this book really as valuable as an MBA?) by Josh Kaufman Personal MBA Book Review (Is this book really as valuable as an MBA?) by Josh Kaufman Reviewed by Amir Lehri on March 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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