4 out of 4 stars
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In Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery the author shares how he started to deliver newspapers at the age of seven. He did not work because he had to, but because he wanted to. He also decided that since he is already riding the delivery route, he might as well deliver the competing paper. In the book Newbery describes the different types of business he were involved in and his reasons behind taking each one on. His determination and ambition not only took him to the top, but also carried him when he was at the bottom. He always took full responsibility for everything. Even when there were others who should have shared the blame; he never passed his responsibilities to anyone else.
What makes this book so refreshing is that Newbery spends more time explaining what he learned from his failures, real and perceived, than talking about his success. He is honest and candid about how he experienced things and frequently admits what he should have done differently.
The book is not a “how to” guide for entrepreneurs but an honest account of Newbery’s life and the reasons behind his choices. The book is very inspirational, and the guidelines that Newbery lives by can be applied to anyone’s life in any given situation.
This is a book that I recommend everyone to read, there is so much to learn from Newbery that the book should actually be read more than once and will be an excellent addition to anyone’s bookshelves. The book contains quite a number of references to incidents of racism and Newbery is vocal about his believes that racism should not be a part of our society. That every man should be judged by his character, not the color of his skin.
What I liked best about this book is Newbery’s honesty and the way he seems to regard his difficulties in life to be more constructive than his success. He also never gives the impression that he felt deserving of his success but accredited it to hard work and never giving up. His belief in himself and the goodness of others as well as his willingness to learn from the people around him is inspiring.
I give this book 4 out of 4 and really believe that Newbery has a lot to offer and that everybody can benefit from reading this book. If I can teach my children to stick to their values and beliefs the way Newbery does to his, I would think of myself as a successful parent.
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