4 out of 4 stars
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BURN ZONES: PLAYING LIFE'S BAD HANDS by Jorge P. Newbery
The author Jorge P. Newbery, describes "burn zones" as relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separated the winners and losers. These zones test the limits of our bodies and minds. He goes on to narrate his journey in life from being a paperboy to a real estate mogul. At age seven, Newbery became a paperboy. He was self-motivated, even selling for two competitors. Earnings from this venture were invested into an ice cream sales business, using the power of persuasion to negotiate a deal on the cart. He later became a busboy at 13. All these he did with the vision of owning a record company.
Newbury's love of music motivated him to have a record company. He embraced the punk movement which was the rave at the time, from interviewing them to producing albums for them. He went as far as renting halls and promoting shows for upcoming artists, even housing them with the parents' permission. His parents were very supportive, especially when he decided to drop out of high school at 16 in order to concentrate on his business. As long as he was able to convince them of the reasons for his decisions, they gave him the necessary support.
At 19, he developed an interest in bike racing where he trained relentlessly to compete in many races. Soon after, the motivation for bike racing diminished and he wanted a bigger challenge. He got introduced to the real estate business. He got the necessary certification and became a loan originator. He soon moved up the ladder and started acquiring properties. He renovated these housing complexes, even when the odds such as possible prosecutions for slum violations, are stacked against him. As he moved from one burn zone to the next, he felt increasingly confident that he could excel at anything he set his mind to do.
Though he seemed to have the Midas touch and also to excel at every venture he undertook, he was soon to encounter a great loss. The biggest housing project he had was hit by an ice storm which caused extensive damage that resulted in a huge debt. The insurance was not enough to cover the damage, he had to borrow on other properties and eventually could not meet his financial obligations as at when due. So many factors were against him, he soon realized that the city officials for one had always wanted him to fail right from when he purchased the property. The media had a field day at his expense, no one wanted to work with a loser. His was a story of grace to grass as he lost everything and became penniless. He had to start from scratch to survive everyday living.
There are lots of reasons why I like this book. First, the author was direct and candid about his experience. He went as far as including pictures of different phases of his life, his story is such that anyone can relate to. Also, I enjoy his detailing of the real estate business, it is quite simple and easy to understand. I will rate it 4 out of 4, it seems to have been professionally edited as I did not notice any error. Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands is an inspiring book, I wish everyone who is going through difficult situations in life could read it. As the saying goes "tough situations don't last, but tough people do".
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