The Personal MBA will give you the knowledge about MBA that no other university, book, or person will. Josh has explained every aspect of business that will come in handy whether you want to do an MBA, start a business, or just want to understand how Business works.
This is a pure masterclass of MBA, so make sure you take it all in and apply it in your work life.
Let me first say thank you for reading this. This will be a weekly newsletter, hope you enjoy it. Now I will see you every Sunday at 9:00 AM (IST).
The Personal MBA Summary
Josh Kaufman found out that MBA is not cheap, people need to spend a hell of a lot of money to get a degree and he also believes that you don’t need an education degree to start or learn how to build a business.
He did an unusual thing which was, he read almost every single book written on MBA. He went to a popular university and got their books, bought some popular and not-so-popular business and finance books.
The idea was to learn MBA without going to university.
While the Personal MBA is a summary of all the books he read on the MBA.
By the way,
I’m a commerce student and yes, I wanted to do MBA but my parents didn’t have the money back then, so I went with CA because the fees were only Rs 6,999 ($84) for the interface exam.
In short, CA was cheaper compared to MBA.
The hard part was, CA is too hard to crack compared to MBA. So yes, I dropped from the CA in my first year and I opted for B.com.
During b.com, I discovered that I love writing and in my second year, I launched my first website.
So yes, I had the dream to do an MBA but while doing so, I found a love for writing.
I wanted to tell this story because Josh Kaufman has done the same, minus, he read almost every single book written on MBA while I dropped it.
Now, the book has 496 pages which was necessary because it has everything that you ever wanted to know about MBA.
So here, what I have done is, I have packed everything from the book in a compact way, so you get some idea about the book.
The book focuses on five key points, which are
- Value is the most important thing that you need to provide.
- Make things that people need.
- Make a product that people want to pay for.
- Customer satisfaction should be your highest priority
- If not the beginning, your business needs to make a profit.
I know these are basic things but the author has added tons of examples along with a few stories that will give you some idea about what is behind making a successful business.
I’m keeping my promise, this is the mini-ebook of The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman. So download right now and read wherever you want for free. Happy Reading.
Now let’s begin the masterclass.
Important Things in Business
Before you start a business, you need to know what the market needs in the first place, you can’t just launch a random product without any research and think that people will buy it.
That’s not how the market works.
Now, a few exceptions are there, like how Meta (aka Facebook) spends more than $10b on AR/VR projects, and as of now, they’re failing it.
People around the world are like, AR/VR is not the future, how can someone wear VR for hours? Mark Zuckerberg is just wasting money.
This was happening and then, Apple entered the market with Apple Vision Pro and everyone was like, AR/VR needs to be the future otherwise, how can Apple enter the market?
The mindset of people changed due to Apple, they have created that trust that if Apple comes up with a new product lineup then it must be because of reason.
Apple didn’t just launch this expensive product, they must have researched for years, spent a hell lot of money on R&D, and then made their product public.
Now, when you start a new business, you won’t have Apple kind of money, so you can’t lose your money by betting on the future.
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So what you have to do is, you need to find a product category that people want the most or come up with an existing product that is easy to use or has features that no other product has.
Take the example of Nothing (Company by Carl Pei),
Before the Nothing Phone 1, we had tons of Android smartphones from Rs 10,000 to 1 Lakh.
Now, Nothing has to look different and appealing, so what they did is, make a transplant back and clean Android Skin whereas other brands were providing custom skin along with ads within the UI.
They understand what the customer needs and wants, and this is what they deliver.
Yet, Nothing is the perfect company either their product but they’re better than thousands of other Android Phones.
By the way, you don’t have to launch a new mobile brand, you can also launch a product worth Rs 100 and this will do the job if it’s better compared to other similar products.
Now, find that idea.
Once you have the idea, you need to do one more thing, so let’s talk about it.
Whether you have the perfect product at a perfect price or not, it won’t sell by itself. You need to market that product and reach its target audience.
Take the example of the Apple iPod,
Back then people used to buy Disks on rent and needed to carry those disks to play music. This wasn’t a good user experience, it was expensive and it needed an upgrade.
This is where Steve Jobs came in with the idea of the iPod.
He made the product and he knew, this was the future.
What he has to do is, market the way that people want to buy.
At the launch event, Steve Jobs said “1000 songs in your pocket”
This was a bold claim but it was true. Back then it was the best-selling product because it served its purpose.
Just imagine, what if Steve Jobs said, this is a music player that can play music, you don’t need to buy every single song or rent it anymore.
The “1000 songs in your pocket” sounds way better.
This worked because the iPod did what it was supposed to do without any sort of problem.
Nowadays, we’re living in a tech world, so what you can do is, use ads whether you place ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, or even YouTube. Do that because you can target the users that you made the product for.
That is what Josh Kaufman says, you need to market your product to its target audience otherwise, you need to work too hard to sell it which is not worth it at all because the product you have created is already Gold, so don’t lose it.
Trust is the Key
When you’re new, you need some sort of trust to sell your product.
This is the reason why popular or even new brands that have enough money, advertise with celebrities or even sportsmen.
People know Shah Rukh Khan or even Virat Kohli, so they will buy a product because they have enough trust in Shah Rukh Khan or even Virat Kohli, and if the product turns out to be good then it’s a win-win situation for both buyers as well as the sellers.
Now, Assuming that you don’t have money to hire Virat Kohli, here what you can do is, play on local grounds.
Let’s say, you have family products then you can start with your family, your relatives, and even your Friend. This will raise awareness about your products.
You may need to give a few products for free which is fine because this is marketing and if your product is good then word of mouth will bring lots of new customers.
When you sell a few products and if your product is not good then existing customers will never return, only trust can get you new customers or even existing ones.
Take the example of Prasad Vedpathak (aka, Ur Indian Consumer). He has built an audience that trusts him the most.
If he launches a new product then his audience will buy that product because they have trust that Prasad will provide quality and he will never cheat.
He has promoted lots of companies and he has delivered the numbers to those companies, all this happened because the trust has built over the years.
So if your product is not selling then first you need to check whether your product is good and whether you will use your product or not.
If the product is fine then you need to play around with marketing.
Things will be hard but if you do it properly then things will turn out well.
Also, if you’re selling online then make sure you get reviews of your product and put them on the landing page, this will indicate that other people are enjoying your product.
Never Mess This up
Okay, now that you have products, you have even marketed and you also got a few orders too. From here, what can go wrong? The answer is everything…
Just imagine, You shipped 10 orders and somehow, 7 customers got your products on time, and the remaining 3 also got your products but 1 customer got defective peace and 2 customers didn’t get their orders on time.
You will be like, what’s the big problem? At least 7 customers got the products.
The problem is, that 3 customers will give you negative reviews and some will also go on social media and tell their stories about your brand which won’t be positive at all.
3 customers can f*ck your business when you’re new.
So make sure when you deliver, double check everything and make sure those customers got their product on time without any sort of problems.
If you don’t know how to do Texas then hire someone and if you don’t have money to pay someone then learn it, it’s not that hard.
Always find a way to avoid paying taxes, there are many companies that have less or never pay taxes.
Amazon paid zero tax, and in 2018, even after making a whopping $11.2 billion in profit.
How did they do it? by doing math.
Now, you don’t have Amazon kind of money to hire CA but you have the internet and you can at least learn how to avoid paying taxes.
Also, keep in mind, when you’re new, it’s okay to make a loss but when time passes, make sure you make a profit because you’re on your own and if you lose this race then after a few years, you will have to shut down your business.
You will only make a profit when you understand your product better and you know that people need what you have created. Otherwise, you will only lose your money and nothing else.
One more thing, don’t spend your money if not needed.
For example, you don’t need a massive office or even 100 employees. Just hire a few but those few are equal to 100.
The Personal MBA Lessons
- If your products are good then you have already won the half-war, now it’s not to sell it. So yes, always focus on quality rather than wanting to make quick money.
- Customer is always king, take care of them and they will take care of your business.
- Marketing is as important as building products or anything else, so never forget to target your audience.
- You need to learn how tax works, this way you will save a hell lot of money.
- The most important part is, to create a product that people want and need. When you’re new, you can’t create a new category.
The Personal MBA Quotes
“Business schools don’t create successful people. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success.”
“Whoever best describes the problem is the one most likely to solve it.”
“Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good.”
“Ideas are cheap—what counts is the ability to translate an idea into reality, which is much more difficult than recognizing a good idea.”
“College: two hundred people reading the same book. An obvious mistake. Two hundred people can read two hundred books.”
“Learn everything you can from your competition, and then create something even more valuable.”
“People buy because they believe they’re getting more value in the Transaction than they’re spending.”
“Quality, quality, quality: never waver from it, even when you don’t see how you can afford to keep it up. When you compromise, you become a commodity and then you die.”
“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. – REID HOFFMAN, FOUNDER OF LINKEDIN”
“Large companies move slowly. Good ideas often died on the vine because they had to be approved by too many people.”
The Personal MBA Review
Should you read The Personal MBA, the answer is YES because this is not a typical business book, it’s a goldmine, and it’s up to you how far you want to dig it.
I wish I had read this book earlier, Yes I’m late but I hope you won’t do the same. Go grab a copy and read very carefully because this will teach you a lot about a business that no one else.
Talking about myself, did I learn anything new from this book? The answer is No.
The reason is simple, I had read tons of books on finance already, so The Personal MBA felt like repetition minus the stories and examples.
Who should read The Personal MBA?
If you’re someone who wants to start a business or wants to pursue an MBA then this is the must-read for you because it will give you the knowledge that you will spend years to acquire. So why not just read 496 pages, so you can use those years to do some other important work?
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