I graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School with a degree in Business Administration in 1994. You leave business school with some core concepts about how business works, an academic understanding of marketing, sales, finance, strategy, and management. Unfortunately, the only thing an MBA will get you is an interview, the rest is down to you.
But what if you could understand all the key concepts taught in the leading MBA programs, including Harvard, Wharton and others without spending $100,000 on an MBA.
Well, you can, and what is even better is that you could actually do it with 8 hours of reading.
Even better than that you could do it with 8 hours of listening to Audiobooks.
Who is the 1 Day MBA for?
The Do It Yourself One Day MBA is for those of you who:
Do not have the time to study an MBA
Do not have the $80,000 to study for an MBA
Run a business and want to key concepts to scale and improve it
Want to Start Your Own Business and Need Key Marketing and Entrepreneurial Skills
Want the best business reading list possible
How I Created the DIY 1 Day MBA
I spent over 100 hours sifting through leading business school websites to see which books were on the core curriculum and recommended reading lists for their MBA’s.
And when I say I listened to every book, I mean I listened to the Audiobook summary of every book.
I conquered 30 books with 8 hours of listening. Of course, I did not listen to them all in one day but you could if you wanted to.
How Is It Possible to Listen to 30 Books in 8 Hours
A typical book takes about 6 to 8 hours to read or 10 hours to listen to in Audiobook format. But there are companies specializing in summarizing books down to 15 minutes so that you can get the most important ideas, messages, and knowledge from that book in a short time.
30 Books Multiplied by 15 Minutes Equals 7 hours 30 Minutes of Listening.
There are two excellent book summary services, Blinkist and GetAbstract. They are both excellent in their own rights, GetAbstract is targeted at corporations and Blinkist is targeted to individuals. Interested, read the article GetAbstract vs Blinkist.
I used Blinkist for the 1 Day MBA, as I have a yearly subscription with them. If you want to read all of these books in short format summaries, you will also need a subscription to Blinkist or with GetAbstract. With a subscription, you get unlimited access to their huge audiobook and eBook libraries. If you do subscribe to either of these services, greatworklife.com will receive a small fee, this in no way affects the price to you.
Can You Tech Yourself an MBA?
Well the answer is yes and no. A significant part of studying for an MBA are the case studies, classwork and presentations you need to complete. You will learn from professors and your classmates. However following the reading list below and enrolling for a book sumary service you can indeed get the key principles and messages that are highlighted during an MBA course.
DIY MBA Reading List – The Top 30 Best MBA Books
Audible Audiobook (5-10 hrs)
1 Day DIY MBA Books List
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends & Influence People is considered the quintessential self-help book. Many prominent people point to its techniques as one of the secrets of their success. The stories and lessons changed my life, and I am sure will change yours. Carnegie’s advice concrete enough for you to easily implement it in your own life.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
This book focuses on why the job of a CEO is among the toughest and loneliest in the world. Insights into leadership and how you can survive all the stress and heartache involved.
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
A true classic, Capitalism and Freedom (1962) is one of the most influential books on the relationship between economic and political freedom. Written at the height of the Cold War between Soviet socialism and Western capitalism, Milton Friedman argues that only free markets can guarantee liberty. His theory remains every bit as relevant and thought-provoking today as when it was first published.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) – a recap of the decades of research that led to his winning the Nobel Prize. He contributed to our current understanding of psychology and behavioral economics. Kahneman and his colleagues have significantly contributed to a new understanding of the human mind. We now have a better understanding of how decisions are made, why certain judgment errors are so common and how we can improve it.
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is a marketing legend and he explains why traditional marketing no longer works, and why to be successful you need to build Purple Cows. These are remarkable products and services that stand out from the crowd. They also explain how you can reach your target market once you’ve found your own Purple Cow.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris
The 4-Hour Workweek (2009) describes the life of the New Rich, people who’ve emancipated themselves from the slavery of office work and built a life centered around happiness in the here and now. If you want to lead such a life too, you’ll have to start by being more productive, outsourcing most of your work to third parties and finding a source of continuous, almost entirely passive, income.
True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George
True North (2007) is a guide to discovering your inner compass and staying true to yourself, while developing the skills you need to be an authentic leader. By uncovering your values and motivations, you’ll gain the tools you need to build a professional life that remains true to who you are.
Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao
Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business publication that deals with how leaders can effectively spread exemplary practices in their organization. Covering the latest research in the organizational behavior field with lots of insightful industry case studies, and many helpful practices & strategies. Leaders and managers can understand major scaling challenges and show how to identify excellent niches, spread them and cultivate the right mindset within their organizations.
The Wisdom of Crowds - Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few by James Surowiecki
The Wisdom of Crowds examines why, and under which circumstances, groups of people derive better solutions to problems than any one person, even if that person is an expert. By analyzing the way individuals and groups make decisions, the book gets to the bottom of the wisdom of crowds and shows how this wisdom can be used to make reliable decisions.
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy dissects good strategies by using historical examples from a variety of fields and offers insight into developing your own effective strategies through practical advice and a clear blueprint.
Pour Your Heart Into It - How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz & Dori Jones Yang
Pour Your Heart Into It takes you on an interesting journey of how Starbucks came to be a success. It sheds light on its beginnings, reveals how the quick growth rate was possible and sets out to explain how businesses can learn from its strategies and principles.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup (2011) helps start-ups and tech companies develop sustainable business models using continuous rapid prototyping and focusing on customer-feedback data. The method is based on the concepts of lean manufacturing and agile development, it backed up by insightful case studies from the last few decades.
Tribes We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
Seth Godin reveals the most powerful unit of social organization: the “tribe,” a group of people connected to a cause who together drive change in society. It shares how we can harness the power of the internet to form and lead our own tribes. Tribes also advocates the need for change and leadership, so we can grow as a company or as a society.
How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth & Karen Dillon
As a leading business expert and cancer survivor, Clayton M. Christensen provides you with his unique insight on how to lead a life that brings both professional success and genuine happiness. Christensen touches on diverse topics such as motivation and how you can harness it, how to strengthen relationships with loved ones, and how to build a strong family culture.
Think and Grow Rich - The secrets of 40 millionaires' wealth by Napoleon Hill
The timeless classic, Think and Grow Rich (1937) investigates the methods of the 500 most successful people of this time, including the world’s richest men, politicians and famous inventors. Published amidst the Great Depression, Think and Grow Rich has sold over 100 million copies.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Learn the habits of those who achieved everything by Stephen R. Covey
Required reading for nearly every MBA, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) is the influential self-help guide that teaches principles of effectiveness. Once you make these principles into habits, you’ll be well on your way to more success, both in your personal and your professional life. Change your habits and your life with this must-know self-help method beloved by millions.
Mastery - The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard
Mastery reveals how you can shift your mindset to achieve long-term success in new activities. Drawing on real examples from sports, psychology, and mindfulness, this book explains the five essential elements for achieving mastery in any discipline and give us the tools we need to bounce back from pitfalls.
The War of Art - Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
The War of Art helps you identify your inner creative battles against fear and self-doubt and offers advice on how to win those battles. An inspirational book for anyone who’s had trouble realizing their passion, it offers an examination of those negative forces that keep you from realizing your dreams, and shows how you can defeat your fears to achieve your goals.
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Rework (2010) throws out the traditional notions of what it takes to run a business and offers a collection of unorthodox advice, ranging from productivity to communication and product development. These lessons are based on the authors’ own experiences in building, running and growing their company to a point where it generates millions of dollars in profits annually.
Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Made to Stick is an excellent book that explains why some ideas become popular, while others wither and die. The book lays out the most important characteristics of what makes ideas “stick” in the mind, and how to make them work for you.
Blue Ocean Shift Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Blue Ocean Shift (2017) is a step-by-step guide to overtaking the competition in an overcrowded industry. Based on decades of the authors’ practical experience, the books explains why you should drive to make competition obsolete and how you can open up new worlds of opportunity.
The Tipping Point - How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point discusses why certain ideas, products, and behaviors spread like epidemics and what we can do to consciously trigger and have control over such viral growth.
First, Break all the Rules What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
First, Break all the Rules shows how great management differs from conventional approaches. The books covers how some commonly held notions about career and management are actually misleading. Based on a large survey of successful managers the book introduces the key strategies that great managers use in their jobs.
Good to Great Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins
Good to Great (2001) presents the findings of a five-year study by the author and his research team. The team identified public companies that had achieved enduring success after years of mediocre performance and isolated the factors which differentiated those companies from their lackluster competitors.
Now, Discover Your Strengths - How To Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage by Marcus Buckingham
Now, Discover Your Strengths (2004) provides insight into our strengths, where they come from and why we should focus on them. Essentially, tips and techniques for detecting natural talents and using them to put yourself or your employees on the path to excellence.
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got - 21 Ways You Can Out-think, Out-perform, and Out-earn the Competition by Jay Abraham
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got (2000) is a guide to spotting new opportunities, securing new clients and succeeding, no matter what your area of business. The book discusses how to make more out of what you already have and how best to use it to your personal and business advantage.
What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There - How Successful People Become Even More Successful! by Marshall Goldsmith
Your people skills become increasingly important the further you climb up the ladder of success. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There (2007) describes some of the bad habits that hold back people and explains how to change them.
The Long Tail Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More By Chris Anderson
The Long Tail challenges existing notions of the market and the entertainment industry by looking at the massive influence of the internet on the economy. Due to new modes of content creation and distribution, it can be more profitable to offer a large number and wide variety of products that appeal to niche consumer groups rather than one product aimed at the masses.
Digital Darwinism - Survival of the Fittest in the Age of Digital Disruption by Tom Goodwin
Digital Darwinism (2018) provides critical insight into what makes a business disruptive and what executives should be focusing on in order to stay successful in today’s fast-changing global markets.
Business Model Generation - A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
Business Model Generation (2010) is a comprehensive guide to building innovative business models. From empathizing and connecting with customers to finding inspiration for products and learning from some of today’s most game-changing platforms, these blinks will help you kick-start your business thinking. This book you will want to by in print.