Josh Kaufman's
Current Projects & Interests

Here are a few of my most significant projects and active interests. I'm interested in many different fields, so this list is eclectic and evolving. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Personal MBA is a project designed to help you educate yourself about advanced business concepts. This manifesto will show you how to substantially increase your knowledge of business on your own time and with little cost, all without setting foot inside a classroom.

The Personal MBA is more flexible than a traditional MBA program, doesn't involve going into massive debt, and won't interrupt your income stream for two years. Just pick up one of these business books, learn as much as you can, discuss what you learn with others, then go out into the real world and make great things happen.

If you're interested in educating yourself about business, the Personal MBA is the best place to start.


Learning and Rapid Skill Acquisition

Learning new skills fascinates me. Learning how to learn new skills even faster is even better. My new book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast!, examines this topic in detail, and proposes a new method of learning anything as quickly as possible. The book became an instant international bestseller on publication, and reached #3 on overall.

Digital Publishing and Online Teaching Methods

Publishing is clearly changing. A few short years ago, the most effective way to reach new readers / learners was to trade publish a book. No longer. My book came out at what might very well prove to be the last gasp of traditional publishing.

Digital publishing tools are making it easier and easier to find an audience for your work. Websites, blogs, ebooks, online courses, and other tools are capable of making information available just as effectively, but more quickly and with little cost.

Aside from trade publishing my first book, I'm constantly experimenting with blogging, online newsletters, online courses, and social media. I don't expect to stop anytime soon.

Programming - Ruby / Sinatra

My first major adult interest was programming and computer systems. Discovering business put that interest on hold for a while, but now I'm returning to my roots. Previously, I've taught myself enough system administration to be able to set up my own VPS servers for my websites. I prefer to program in Ruby via the excellent Sinatra DSL. My entire business now runs on software I wrote myself, using a few well-selected APIs like Stripe and Mailgun for critical services.

Sketch Notes / Visual Thinking

By nature, I'm a very verbal person. Writing isn't easy, but it comes more easily to me than drawing. Improving my drawing and sketching skills, as well as becoming more comfortable with these forms, would be hugely beneficial in my line of work. I'm currently making my way through Sunni Brown's Visual Notetaking 101 course.

Resilience, Preparedness, and Flexibility

I believe resilience is a very underrated quality. A bit of foresight and preparation can go a very long way. While I'm not a survivalist by any means, I do believe most individuals are woefully underprepared for unexpected events, and I'm interested in learning techniques that will help make difficult and challenging events easier to handle.

I also do not believe in accurate forecasting. Accordingly, I try to make as few predictions about the future as possible, and favor maximizing flexibility, freedom of action, and experimentation instead. This leads to a few counter-intuitive approaches to common life situations:

By making small systematic changes, our resilience, preparedness, and flexibility increase. These basic forms of preparation are a valuable and inexpensive form of self-insurance.

Unschooling / Homeschooling / Early Childhood Education

Kelsey and I plan to unschool/homeschool Lela. We're planning on some variation of the Robinson Curriculum, which in essence is a simple daily structure of (1) a daily math lesson, from the Saxon math series or similar, (2) daily reading, based on their interest but with a few recommendations, and (3) daily writing about any topic that interests them, which is then proofread by the parent and corrected by the child.

The key to unschooling seems to be striking a balance between a clear and simple structure and letting your child follow their interests. It also requires some self-control by the parents - it's better to let your kids struggle at times when they find hard problems than immediately jump in and help them. The parent isn't doing the teaching - they're helping the child learn to self-educate, which is a major difference.

I want my children to be able to think clearly, learn essential skills, and be able to teach themselves anything they're interested in learning. I don't believe the structure of the US public school system is currently capable of doing that, which is why we're looking to do it ourselves.

Photography / Cinematography

Photography is currently my most developed artistic skill. While I'm not fantastic by any measure, my eye is decent, and shooting a lot usually produces a few good captures. I'm also intrigued by DSLR filmmaking, which can produce fantastic results with very inexpensive equipment.

I usually shoot with a Nikon D600 with a 50mm or 85mm 1.8 prime lens. If you're getting started, it's hard to find a better value in equipment. Shooting with a prime lens has made me a much better photographer.

A few years ago, I studied with Mark Cafiero, the photographer who shot Kelsey and I's wedding a few years ago. I learned a lot, and I'm looking forward to taking more photography classes in the near future.

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Did you know both of my books are available as audiobooks? Think of them as very inexpensive course versions of the book. They're perennial bestsellers on, and The Personal MBA was recently honored at the Audie Awards, the "Grammys" of the audiobook industry.

Even better: you can get one of my audiobooks for free if you don't yet subscribe to Audible. Click here for details.

Personal MBA book

Master the Art of Business

The #1 International Bestseller, Revised & Expanded. A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then go out into the world and make your own. More →

First 20 Hours book

How to Learn Anything... Fast!

A practitioner's guide to rapid skill acquisition. Accelerate your learning by deconstructing complex skills, practicing the most important elements first, and removing barriers to deliberate practice. What do you want to learn? More →