A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume

The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

"A masterpiece. This is the 'START HERE' book I recommend to everyone interested in business. An amazing overview of everything you need to know. Covers all of the basics, minus buzz-words and fluff. One of the most inspiring things I've read in years."
DEREK SIVERS, founder of CDbaby.com and sivers.org

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#1 International Bestseller

150,000+ Copies Sold Worldwide

#1 in Business Training on Amazon.com

#1 Audible.com Business Bestseller

Audible.com Best of 2012

2013 Audie Award Finalist

Amazon.com readers say...

"The title could have been How to be an All-Around Optimized and Awesome Human Being... I think anyone and everyone living in our modern world would be well-served by reading this book... I got the Audible edition, bought the Kindle edition to read along with, and just ordered the print copy so I can make lots of notes and refer to it often. If buying the same book three times isn't compelling evidence of this book's value, then I don' t know what is! Read it. Now."

A Note to the Reader


The Personal MBA is an introductory business primer. Its purpose is to give you a clear, comprehensive overview of the most important business concepts in as little time as possible. The vast majority of modern business practice requires little more than common sense, simple arithmetic, and knowledge of a few very important ideas and principles.

Chapter 1

Value Creation

Every successful business creates something of value. The world is full of opportunities to make other people’s lives better in some way, and your job as a businessperson is to identify things that people don’t have enough of, then find a way to provide them.

Key Ideas in Chapter 1 →

Chapter 2


Offering value is not enough. If no one knows (or cares) about what you have to offer, it doesn’t matter how much value you create. Without marketing, no business can survive — people who don't know you exist can't purchase what you have to offer, and people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer won't become paying customers.

Key Ideas in Chapter 2 →

Chapter 3


Every successful business ultimately sells what it has to offer. Having millions of prospects isn't enough if no one ultimately pulls out their wallet and says, "I'll take one." The sales process begins with a prospect and ends with a paying customer. No sale, no business.

Key Ideas in Chapter 3 →

Chapter 4


Every successful business actually delivers what it promises to its customers. There’s a term for a person who takes other people’s money without delivering equivalent value: "scam artist."

Key Ideas in Chapter 4 →

Chapter 5


Finance is the art and science of watching the money flowing into and out of a business, then deciding how to allocate it and determining whether or not what you’re doing is producing the results you want.

Key Ideas in Chapter 5 →

Chapter 6

The Human Mind

Businesses are built by people for people. Understanding how we take in information, how we make decisions, and how we decide what to do or what not to do is critically important if you want to create and sustain a successful business venture.

Key Ideas in Chapter 6 →

Chapter 7

Working With Yourself

In today’s busy business environment, it’s easy to get stressed about everything that needs to be done. Learning how to work effectively and efficiently can be the difference between a fulfilling career and a draining one.

Key Ideas in Chapter 7 →

Chapter 8

Working With Others

Working with other people is an ever-present part of business and life: you can’t escape it, even if you want to. If you want to do well in this world, it pays to understand how to get things done with and through other people.

Key Ideas in Chapter 8 →

Chapter 9

Understanding Systems

Businesses are complex systems that exist within even more complex systems: markets, industries, and societies. A complex system is a self-perpetuating arrangement of interconnected parts that form a unified whole.

Key Ideas in Chapter 9 →

Chapter 10

Analyzing Systems

Before you can improve a system, you must understand how well it's currently operating. Unfortunately for us, that’s tricky business: it's not possible to stop the world however long you want while you take careful measurements. Systems must be analyzed as they’re working.

Key Ideas in Chapter 10 →

Chapter 11

Improving Systems

Creating and improving systems is the heart of successful business practice. The purpose of understanding and analyzing systems is to improve them, which is often tricky: changing systems can often create unintended consequences.

Key Ideas in Chapter 11 →