Starting Out – A Business Education with Josh Kaufman

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There are many people out there who know they want to be an Entrepreneur from the moment they start secondary education. Everything has a clear path and the next business goal is always on their mind. These are the kind of people who may be born with a business mind, who have always had the extra ambition to achieve or who simply have always had a profound interest in the complete workings of business. I’m sure there are many people like this, who grew up learning new business concepts and processes almost every day.

I am not one of those people.

Until the age of 16, I was simply concerned with doing my GCSEs  and had absolutely no interest in business, economics or any of the myriad of sub-categories within. It was fair to say then, that it was overwhelming to realise I wanted to pursue a career in business and that I knew next to nothing on the subject. I decided just towards the end of my A-Levels that I wanted to learn more about this fascinating subject, with the aim of one day potentially starting up my own business. But the biggest question for somebody uneducated in business knowledge, is “where do I begin?”

It was on my quest for information that I came across Josh Kaufman’s book, “The Personal MBA, a World Class Business Education in a Single Volume”.Personal MBA book 190x300 Starting Out   A Business Education with Josh Kaufman I have to say, it’s probably one of the best books that a budding entrepreneur with a lack of business knowledge can read and thoroughly recommend it.

Having previously worked in brand management for Proctor & Gamble, Kaufman details in this book the main pitfalls that face those deciding to study an MBA at University, and claims that in his book is contained all of the knowledge that one might need when starting – or joining – a business. I must admit that after reading it, I had a much better idea of how businesses work, without things being too unnecessarily complicated. The various chapters encompass Value Creation, Marketing, Sales, Value Delivery, Finance, The Human Mind, Working with Yourself (and others), Understanding, Analysing and Improving Systems. Yes there’s quite a bit in there and yes you’re never going to get a completely full idea of those just from reading the chapters, but I find that it really ignited my passion for learning how to start and run a business. One of the most useful tools included is the passage entitled: “Ten Ways to Evaluate a Market”, here he discusses the need to figure out whether your product or service is viable, before you take the plunge and leave your job and start a business. Below is the passage from the book:

Key Ideas:

  • These ten points help identify the attractiveness of a market:
    • Urgency: How badly do people need this right now?
    • Market size: How many people would purchase this?
    • Pricing Potential: What’s the highest price people would be willing to pay?
    • Cost of Customer Acquisition: How easy is it to acquire a new customer?
    • Cost of Value Delivery: How much does it cost to create and deliver the offer?
    • Uniqueness of Offer: How unique is your offer versus the competition’s? How easy is it to be copied?
    • Speed to Market: How quickly can you create and sell?
    • Up-Front Investment: How much do you have to invest before having an offer ready?
    • Up-Sell Potential: What related offers could you present to purchasing customers?
    • Evergreen Potential: Once the offer is created, how much work do you have to put into it to continue selling?
  • You should rate them from 0 to 10, with 0 being extremely unattractive, and 10 being extremely attractive.
  • When you’re done with the rating you should add it up, and depending on the score, you’ll have an idea of how promising your idea is.

Questions for Consideration:

  • How attractive is the market for your idea?

  • Are there other markets that may be more promising?

  • Can you alter the idea to appeal to a more attractive market?

(taken from http:/

Overall, I would wholly recommend this book to anybody  who wishes to start their journey into the world of business education, below are some videos of Mr Kaufman for you to peruse.

Leading @ Google: Josh Kaufman

The First 20 Hours, How to Learn Anything

Expert Enough Show Episode. 4 – The Personal MBA with Josh Kaufman



James McClaren

James McClaren is studying Arabic & Spanish at the University of Manchester and loves learning, writing and keeping up to date with upcoming technology and gadgets.