By Josh Kaufman, Portfolio, $27.95, 416 pages

10“If you’re an entrepreneur, designer, student, programmer, or professional who wants to master the fundamentals of sound business practice, this
book is for you.”

This is a wonderful book that even an English major (like yours truly) can start a business with. Josh Kaufman breaks the fundamentals of business down into its simplest components. He explains the Iron Law of the Market, the Twelve Forms of Value, and Four Methods to Increase Revenue in understandable chunks, sections that are easily read in ten minutes. The dry field of finances and marketing are blended with the livelier topics of marketing, consumer psychology, and neuroscience. Kaufman synthesizes a great variety of resources so the amalgamation of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business is accessible to the layman, quick to read, to the point, and highly valuable to the self-educated small-business owner or entrepreneur.

Written for the individual for whom business school is not an option, The Personal MBA offers a valuable alternative to understanding the concepts of business without the $40,000+ price tag. Kaufman’s argument is that leaders are not formed in business school; they make themselves by seeking their own information and pursuing their own success. While there isn’t a diploma enclosed at the end, the principles remain true, regardless of the economy.

Reviewed by Axie Barclay