How to Get an MBA Education for $1.50 (video and downloadable guide)

Written by Scott July 3, 2012

Josh Kaufman Personal MBA

“See the sad thing about a guy like you, is in about 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don’t do that. And two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.”

– Matt Damon as Will in Good Will Hunting

**Important note: Today we’re talking about one of my favorite topics: practical education. Be sure to read to the end for two free tools I created for you all to download and use. They go hand in hand with this post and video. Enjoy!

To Go to Business School or Not?

It’s a question I used to ask myself a lot. And one I’m constantly asked by others.

About seven years ago Josh Kaufman was faced with that very dilemma. He felt like he wanted (and perhaps needed) to get an MBA in order to move his career forward. The problem was he didn’t want to spend two years and over $100k in debt to do it. He also doubted how practical such a solution would be.

So instead, he went Good Will Hunting-style and proceeded to spend the next two months living at libraries and book stores. In those first two months he read over 200 business books. Since then he’s gone through closer to 1,000. He then tested and cherry-picked the most fundamental and useful content.

He also estimates he saved himself about $150,000.

As a result, he created The Personal MBA and published a book under the same name.

It soon became the #1 International Business Training Bestseller.

I’m not surprised.

His material is now one of the more powerful tools available when it comes to creating your own practical business school curriculum.

I’ve written and ranted on this topic at lot at Live Your Legend. Aside from whom you surround yourself with, nothing is more fundamental to doing work you love, and unfortunately there may be no system more in need of fixing.

What I covered in The Self-Guided Education Manifesto (you can download that at the end of this post) and How Business School Killed the Entrepreneur, Josh takes to an entirely new level.

I’m thankful that a reader brought his work to my attention and even more grateful that he was able to spend some video time covering his solution to creating an education that actually empowers you to build a career around work you love.

For the hundreds of thousands of you out there facing the same dilemma Josh was, I hope this shows you that there is in fact a more practical and efficient option.

Take a few minutes to watch my video interview with him.

I warn you, some of his advice might be a little intense.

All the topics we cover are listed below the video. Enjoy!

Video Interview with Josh Kaufman of The Personal MBA


(if you can’t see the video, please click here to go to LYL or view it directly on Youtube)

Discussion Topics:

Here’s what we covered, in chronological order…

  • How The Personal MBA came to be
  • Realizing that all the well-educated business school grads around him didn’t know anymore about business than he did
  • What to do when intimidated by others’ credentials
  • How Josh got an MBA for $1.50 instead of the $150k people were paying at Harvard
  • Reading 200 books in two months
  • Sorting through the 11,000 business books published every year
  • Josh’s first real business in college
  • What working at Proctor & Gamble did (and did not) teach him
  • How a personal project turned into a movement
  • Stories of the people who did it on their own
  • Can a book and self-managed movement actually replace the traditional MBA?
  • A Stanford professor’s study on whether business school yields real results- this will surprise you
  • The only two jobs a typical MBA helps you get
  • The debt trap people don’t realize they’re falling into
  • Why it’s more beneficial to learn this stuff on your own than from a professor
  • The misunderstanding of what people will and will not get from a formal education
  • Why business school will not tell you want to do with your life
  • The qualifications trap
  • How opportunity cost kills entrepreneurship & The Sunk Cost Fallacy
  • Prioritizing doing over learning
  • Trading a law degree to become a personal trainer
  • The comparison to traveling the world and why buying the plane ticket is usually a better option
  • Contrasting the value of entrepreneurship vs. corporate employment
  • Creating a side-project
  • Josh’s upcoming book: How to rapidly acquire usable skills
  • Why the 10,000 hour rule is extremely misleading
  • Mental models and the most important first step
  • The danger of paying someone to tell you what to do & the 99/1 Principle

It’s on you – and always will be

When we’re lost, we often get desperate for answers and direction. We look for people to tell us what to do. The problem is, when it comes to ourselves, they know less than we do.

No one will give you the answers. No school will tell you what your passion is. No professor will give you the golden ticket. This stuff can all help, but not until you do your homework.

Spend the time on yourself to know what excites you. Then take it into your own hands to learn the things that you actually want and need to know to build a career around it. Josh’s Personal MBA site and book are powerful places to start.

Let the learning begin!

-Scott

Two Free Tools to Start Learning What Matters: 

Not long ago I created a couple totally free downloadable resources for our Live Your Legend Community. I have added them to the Passionate Work Toolkit, that all email subscribers get access to.

The tools are:

1. The Full Self-Guided Education Manifesto and Poster (PDF) – The core tenets to teaching yourself anything, plus a fun poster graphic.

2. Self-Guided Education List of Online Resources (PDF) – A list of over 30 of the top online tools and resources for constructing your own practical curriculum.

As a thank you to our community, I’ve made these available for free. To get access and download the tools just enter your email below. If you are already a subscriber, you will not be double subscribed – you will just be taken straight to the download page. Enjoy!

(don’t see a form? – click here)

P.S. I’m off to the World Domination Summit in Portland this weekend. I’d love to cross paths out there. I’ll also be speaking on How to Connect with Anyone on Sunday afternoon. If you happen to be in the audience, make sure to come up and say hi!

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  • New Tools added every few weeks...

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