Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is the bestselling author of books on business, entrepreneurship, skill acquisition, productivity, creativity, applied psychology, and practical wisdom. About Josh »

Essays by Josh Kaufman

What are you NOT willing to do to get what you want? »


Strength training is one of the best things you can do for overall health, general fitness, and longevity. »


Exploring martial arts as a way to improve balance, coordination, and proprioceptive skills. »


It's tempting to wait, to hope someone will come up with a simple and easy way for you to get what you want. Usually, you wait in vain. »


I've been exhausted for over a decade. I tested something I've never tried before… and it changed my life. »


Strategic apathy is a way to make sure you’re working on what *you* value long-term, instead of what seems enticing on the surface. »


The greater the potential perceived status increase, the higher the risk of serious error or malinvestment. »


You can't make positive discoveries that make your life better if you never try anything new. Start experimenting, and never stop. »


Say you want to climb a tall ladder. Here's the worst way to go about it: refuse to move until you find a way to teleport yourself straight to the top. »


Of all of the qualities people can develop, wisdom is potentially the most beneficial. It's also difficult human qualities to define, let alone cultivate. »


If it's not true, not useful, or not clear, it's probably best to find another resource unless your purpose is entertainment. »


It's possible to experience pleasure from two very different sources: the misfortunes – or the well-being – of other people. »


Want to *be* somebody? Then *do* something. »


Don't fear failure. Fear not trying at all. »


It's useful to have a short list of low-thought, low-energy things you can do when you're tired or having an off day. »


Who needs the stock market when you have a gold mine between your ears? »


Often, we spend time and money on things that don't work out: unnecessary purchases, bad hires, poor investments, and wasted energy. »


Believe it or not, you can download an audio copy of one of my bestselling books – completely free. Here's how… »


Judge the success of your efforts by whether or not they help you achieve the desired objective. »


Can you really learn a complex skill - like how to fly an airplane - in 20 hours? »


How to save tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on college tuition. »


A few of the essays that had a significant influence on my thinking in 2012. »


downsize-buzzwords »


The psychology of delivering a suit worthy of Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark. »


A lot of people ask me for career advice. Here's what I tell them. »


Let’s assume you want to become a billionaire. How would you go about doing it? »


My office was almost destroyed by two separate wildfires. Here's what I learned. »


The majority of my work is public. It’s been an odd experience. »


It’s easy to have opinions about how something “should" be. What are you creating? »


There’s a strong consensus from independent sources about what it means to be an “educated" person. »


A simple, inexpensive, easy, systematized, automated way to reap the rewards of long-term investing. »


The more accurate information you have about the world, the more clearly you think. The better you manage your internal state, the better you’ll do. »


The power of exposing yourself to as many different positive stimuli as possible. »


Be bold, but don’t be stupid. »


Some things are worth more than money. »


A formal apprenticeship has many benefits for both the apprentice and the master. »


What does it take to start your own business? Less than you think. »


Are you a craftsman? »


Clearing up some of the myths and misunderstandings about the Personal MBA and traditional business schools. »


How to improve every aspect of your life – on your own terms. »


What are you putting off because you “can’t find the time"? »


Re-thinking the MBA means questioning whether or not it’s necessary at all. »


Are you interested in improving your skills, or having a document hang on your wall to impress people? »


Anything can happen at any time, so planning for scenarios is far more useful than pretending to be a seer. »


Think back to where you were this time last year. What were you doing? What did you want? What was your plan? »


Management study is a great complement to strong business skills, but it can’t replace them. »


Experiment constantly, and the “good shots" will come. »


Mike’s story about hacking higher education. »


What to do if you value the status and prestige of an Ivy League degree, but don’t want to play the admissions game and pay retail prices. »


A low-bureaucracy way to graduate with an accredited undergraduate college degree in 1 year for about $4,000. »


What would it look like if you set aside a portion of your monthly income as a personal R&D budget? »


Do you exist to serve your business, or does your work exist to represent you and your values? »


I’m amazed at how much I learned from such a seemingly frivolous past-time. »


Planning for resilience as well as performance is the hallmark of good management. »


People often ask me if I have an MBA. “No," I reply, “but I did go to business school." »


It’s important to support the work you enjoy if you want it to continue to exist. »


It’s impossible to know how much you’re capable of until you decide to push your limits. »


Social proof is a powerful force - it’s easiest to do what everyone else is doing. »


The problem with debt is that it creates huge invisible opportunity costs. »


Businesses revolve around two complementary skill sets: Implementation and Enabling. »


Something is wrong when the ideal of human productivity is acting like a machine. »


Think of all of the things you “have to" do right now. What would it look like if you took away the pressure and performance anxiety and maximized the fun? »


Specialization only works if things don’t change - and things always change. »


Managing your own project will teach you a lot about how to lead, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to get started. »


Improving your skills in many different areas can make you uniquely valuable. »


Are you willing to actually use (and stake your reputation on) what you’re selling? »


There’s a big difference between liking the idea of being/doing something and liking the actual being/doing. »


You can improve your life and work amazingly quickly by making a simple mental shift: treating everything you do as an experiment. »


How much time do you spend reading about what Richard Branson is doing vs. actually doing things? »


Education is great, but education with freedom is even better. »


There's a short list of patterns that describe how the vast majority of businesses make money. »


While profit maximization sounds like a perfectly logical goal for a profit-making entity, paradoxically, it kills perfectly good businesses over time. »


Here’s a curious fact about human beings: we have a really hard time realizing that something isn’t there. »


You can’t delegate if you don’t have someone to delegate to. »


What do you do when you realize you can’t stand an author’s personality? »


Ignore your “brand" - focus on your building your reputation instead. »


Many retail stores offer discounts. Many stores are in the process of going out of business. There’s a relationship between the two. »


Here’s a deceptively simple question: why do people work? »


What should you do in these troubled times? »


To become successful in the field you’re interested in, you don’t need an “aura of destiny." »


If you observe carefully, you can learn a lot about real-life business from watching virtual economies in action. »


Two techniques to start the year off right. »


The biggest cost of TV is the opportunity cost of time that could be put to better use. »


Eleven mental models from the realm of psychotherapy. »


My take: is there any reason why you *shouldn’t* put it on your resume? »


Aristotle's conception of numbers as abstractions from physical objects and their properties was a major advance in the human understanding of reality. »


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Books by Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

The First 20 Hours

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?

How to Fight a Hydra

Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be

A story about summoning the courage to face the beast, fight the good fight, & persist long enough in your efforts to secure a lasting victory.