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Old 07-12-2014, 12:25 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 8,258,145 times
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I posed this question in the Education forum, and did not get a worthwhile result.

What book(s) do you think provide a good business education? I'm in my mid-40s and have no intention of going to work for someone half my age, but I really want the Finance & Entrepreneurship knowledge that I've always thought an MBA could provide.

So - - in lieu of dropping $100k and a few years on schooling -- what are some books on these topics that you think might fit the bill?
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
135 posts, read 155,273 times
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You will not be able to replace the experience of getting a quality, full-time MBA with a few books - so much of that experience consists of interaction with classmates and immersion in a community focused on studying business. It is almost an education in "intuition" as opposed to technical knowledge (it is especially important for some people who "get" entrepreneurship to learn from people who have done it and are doing it). Unlike Medical or Law school, you do not leave an MBA program with a professional license do to something, and I think the experience (and the people they let in) is orientated accordingly. I would also argue that at good schools, the "network" you earn is a more tangible and powerful thing than almost any other program, and it extends between good schools. That cannot be circumvented with a few books and a long weekend.

That being said, many of the technical skills that you would also learn and benefit from can be learned individually - the curriculum at most business schools is not terribly "hard". I rifled through a book recently called "the 12 day MBA", and while thinking of it as a replacement would be laughable, it is not a terribly inadequate primer to some of the things you would otherwise learn. In general, I would build on that with some moderately specific texts about financial analysis, strategy (good luck finding a good text there) and perhaps a few on an industry you find interesting.

Aside from that, just go out there and do it. Your goal should basically be to know enough to understand the big forces around you and not get B.S.'ed easily.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:20 AM
 
3,806 posts, read 8,258,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Treehorn View Post
You will not be able to replace the experience of getting a quality, full-time MBA with a few books - so much of that experience consists of interaction with classmates and immersion in a community focused on studying business. It is almost an education in "intuition" as opposed to technical knowledge (it is especially important for some people who "get" entrepreneurship to learn from people who have done it and are doing it). Unlike Medical or Law school, you do not leave an MBA program with a professional license do to something, and I think the experience (and the people they let in) is orientated accordingly. I would also argue that at good schools, the "network" you earn is a more tangible and powerful thing than almost any other program, and it extends between good schools. That cannot be circumvented with a few books and a long weekend.

That being said, many of the technical skills that you would also learn and benefit from can be learned individually - the curriculum at most business schools is not terribly "hard". I rifled through a book recently called "the 12 day MBA", and while thinking of it as a replacement would be laughable, it is not a terribly inadequate primer to some of the things you would otherwise learn. In general, I would build on that with some moderately specific texts about financial analysis, strategy (good luck finding a good text there) and perhaps a few on an industry you find interesting.

Aside from that, just go out there and do it. Your goal should basically be to know enough to understand the big forces around you and not get B.S.'ed easily.
I don't think that's true.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
135 posts, read 155,273 times
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Originally Posted by Pfhtex View Post
I don't think that's true.
Great. I'm sure you will have no trouble figuring it out on your own, then.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:11 PM
 
1,392 posts, read 1,861,870 times
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J_Treehorn summarized
"I'm still stuck on the ancient, corroded model of schooling, and haven't kept up with the news on the subject matter where everyone is agreeing that the 4-year college and such is bull**** that doesn't teach you any specific skills, and can't grasp that what people really need to do any kind of thing is skills and knowledge."

What book? An accounting book, since that's one of the few actual needed skills for business?

I really wish someone knew a good book and would post it
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:44 AM
 
1,475 posts, read 2,336,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfhtex View Post
What book(s) do you think provide a good business education? I'm in my mid-40s and have no intention of going to work for someone half my age, but I really want the Finance & Entrepreneurship knowledge that I've always thought an MBA could provide.
The answers to your questions about business are not in a book. They are out in the world where people are doing business. The first and most important thing for you to do is to sell something. If you can sell it you have the *need* for a business. If you can't sell it what will you use a business for?
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Denver
898 posts, read 835,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfhtex View Post
I posed this question in the Education forum, and did not get a worthwhile result.

What book(s) do you think provide a good business education? I'm in my mid-40s and have no intention of going to work for someone half my age, but I really want the Finance & Entrepreneurship knowledge that I've always thought an MBA could provide.

So - - in lieu of dropping $100k and a few years on schooling -- what are some books on these topics that you think might fit the bill?
Maybe you can find out what books they're using in B-School and buy them for cheap on Amazon. You can't really replace the MBA experience with learning from a book. One of the greatest benefits of getting the MBA is building a plethora of future professional networks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Denver
898 posts, read 835,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuttree View Post
J_Treehorn summarized
"I'm still stuck on the ancient, corroded model of schooling, and haven't kept up with the news on the subject matter where everyone is agreeing that the 4-year college and such is bull**** that doesn't teach you any specific skills, and can't grasp that what people really need to do any kind of thing is skills and knowledge."
Not exactly. If school is not for you, that's one thing. But to absurdly and broadly paint the entire experience as an utter waste of time is a stretch.

I suppose after you read your books, you can put it on your resume that you "Read such and such book on XYZ subject". Surely, that'll get your foot in the door at most places and demand a $100k+ salary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuttree View Post
What book? An accounting book, since that's one of the few actual needed skills for business?

I really wish someone knew a good book and would post it
Maybe you can find out what books they're reading in the top B-Schools and buy them on Amazon.

Last edited by 4DM1N; 07-15-2014 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
135 posts, read 155,273 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuttree View Post
J_Treehorn summarized
"I'm still stuck on the ancient, corroded model of schooling, and haven't kept up with the news on the subject matter where everyone is agreeing that the 4-year college and such is bull**** that doesn't teach you any specific skills, and can't grasp that what people really need to do any kind of thing is skills and knowledge."
Great points. Please don't forget them when I need you to hire me, and don't hesitate to remind me when you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuttree View Post
What book? An accounting book, since that's one of the few actual needed skills for business?

I really wish someone knew a good book and would post it
Another good observation. In the absence of that pesky schooling and the process of being taught by a teacher, I would recommend "Accounting for Dummies: A Reference for the Rest of Us" by John Tracy, an actual CPA. I have no doubt you will learn a lot about credits, debits, depreciation and amortization, deferred taxes and perhaps even delve into cash flow statements. That should make you (or anyone) imminently attractive as an employment candidate and should help you "do any kind of thing is skills and knowledge". From there, just watch a lot of Youtube videos of Donald Trump and Larry Ellison (and maybe some reruns of Dallas from the 1981-85 seasons) and it should come together nicely.

And I do have a soft-spot in my heart for "The Innovator's Dilemma" as a really great business strategy book, but it was written by a professor at Harvard Business School, so it is suspect at best.....
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:48 AM
 
1,392 posts, read 1,861,870 times
Reputation: 743
Quote:
If school is not for you, that's one thing. But to absurdly and broadly paint the entire experience as an utter waste of time is a stretch.
Yeah, you jerks sold that for 30+ years. Now there's an entire generation of young people in massive debt and no skills to show for it.
UNLESS YOU LEARN A SPECIFIC SKILL OR KNOWLEDGE BASE, THAT CAN BE CONCISELY DESCRIBED, YOU HAVEN'T LEARNED ANYTHING.

Quote:
I suppose after you read your books, you can put it on your resume that you "Read such and such book on XYZ subject". Surely, that'll get your foot in the door at most places and demand a $100k+ salary.
Just because the same generation that sold college* is still being stubborn and refusing to actually train anyone, lobby to change the school system, or enact any kind of actual judgement and/or testing to find the best people, and instead relying on simplistic letters after people's names, ALL THE WHILE CONSTANTLY COMPLAINGING ABOUT HOW NONE OF THE PEOPLE THEY HIRE HAS ANY SKILLS, doesn't men that they're right. What can't go on forever, won't.

Target plies the same BS. They hired an MBA woman (smacks of trying to look good through affirmative action), who had no computer skills or experience as their Chief Information Officer, then they had a huge security breach of customer data. How many times does that **** need to happen before they put two and two together?

*college is fine if you're learning actual skills like programming, networking, medicine, engineering, accounting, law etc.
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