4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever wondered what inspires people to author memoirs about themselves? When James E. Doucette was asked in a workshop what makes him proud, he stated his children were the source of his pride. His book is dedicated to his grandchildren. In the Amazon, The Not So Great American Novel is described as a realization of the American dream by the Doucette family.
The Not So Great American Novel, is authored by James E. Doucette, Sr. It describes the life of Doucette from childhood to the age of a senior citizen. Jimmy fondly revisits his childhood. The stay at his grandfather’s farm caused a profound effect on his life. At his grandfather’s he compares the pig with the dog. The dog was mean looking though it wasn’t. The irony of this is that the pig was mean even though it didn’t appear so. His stay there may have influenced his later decision to own a ranch in his later stage of life. His childhood was a life of dire poverty. This might have exposed him to search for odd jobs that would supplement his mother’s income. Consequently, one would marvel how this junior boy from such a humble background would later own a bank and a cable television company.
A significant portion of The Not So Great American Novel is dedicated to his career. After leaving the US Navy, he joined the Bank of New York. For a modern accountant, it would be absurd to learn ledger entries were posted using fountain pens while the abacus was still used in calculations. Appreciatively, this was the way of life in the 1960s. At times, I would think that Jimmy was a jack of all trades. One sees the progression at Vikoa Construction and Metromedia Music Companies where he didn’t fit completely. Of course, he was rudely fired in the former and left the latter to their relief. His career breakthrough seems to have taken place in the latter corporations in his career. The experiences gained during his employment would be useful later to him as a director of his company.
The Not So Great American Novel is an impressive book to read. The published memoir is sufficiently detailed on business management and successful acquisitions. This would be beneficial to those who are typically into self-employment. At times, I thought that I was reading a business management book. How about an omission in the tax returns that would earn you a refund after an IRS audit? Even so, the author appreciates the profound influence the church had on him. Since his childhood to his ripe age, he has been faithful to the church. He cautions church ministers to be careful in managing finances and understand their congregations well. For instance, it is pointless to rebuke farmers for their low contributions towards the church projects. Yet at that time, they may not have harvested their crops.
Initially, when I sampled this valuable book, my especial attention was naturally drawn to it because of the tangible legacy of the author. Adequately preparing your children to be better than yourself is not a mean feat. This book has not disappointed. I would however refer to it all over again as there are more profound lessons in life everyone can get from this man. Despite his personal wealth, his children were capable to support themselves without depending on the fund he had set up for them. Any investor would learn a thing or two on business acquisitions and operations. On several occasions, he had to deal with employee matters. To this, he advocated for caution and empathy. He observes;
realize that the next thing you know about a person, after you know their name, is where they work at. Most people take their pride in their work, and it is one of the building blocks of their identity. When you terminate someone, you are destroying part of his or her life. I have read that after the loss of a spouse, the next leading cause of suicide is the loss of a job.
This book is brilliantly authored and professionally edited. Some minor errors didn’t hinder the flow of the book. All in all, I rate this book 4 out of 4-stars . It is strongly recommended for those who have an interest in owning companies. Any person having employees under him would typically receive a profound guidance on how to handle them properly in case there is a apparent mismatch in necessary competencies. It is worth considering that when the book was being written, the author was suffering from serious memory lapses as a result of the side effects of cancer treatment. In spite of that, he still managed to write this remarkable book. One may consider dyslexia a problem that Jimmy passed to his family. In spite of this, they too steered their paths to victories in their careers.
The Not So Great American Novel
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