4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery by is an autobiographical account that is inspiring and extremely riveting. Beginning with the authors' childhood when he discovered his calling and swerved from the traditional path, the striking zeal and resilience are characteristics of his that the readers ought to appreciate.
He has a vision and he believes in himself, venturing out to achieve his goals as early as 7 years old. Starting as a newspaper boy, each milestone in his life has been a result of his unrelenting determination, and his refusal to back down when he finds himself in a burn zone. Despite many accomplishments, at a very young age itself, his life was not without crisis. He faced his biggest setback at the age of 39, induced by a natural disaster and was almost close to filing bankruptcy but Mr. Newbery built his empire back from scratch and married the love of his life.
He is a successful entrepreneur, distressed debt and real estate investor, endurance athlete, and author and above all a great human being who values his family, and contributes to the welfare of society. His commitment to his housing projects is outstanding. It is not about exploitative profits for him, rather using innovation to solve problems in a way that is reasonable to both parties. He has made lives easier for his clients. He is a businessman with a conscience who identifies the social and economic inequalities and the whopping disparity between the rich and the poor in his country. He was also a leader in the Occupy wall street movement. He understands the plight of African Americans and other minorities and accepts his privilege as a Hispanic who appears like a white citizen. To be precise, Mr. Newbery is a person whom we should all aspire to be.
I'd rate this book a 4 out of 4 because I loved reading it and there is also much to take away. Although I have no entrepreneurial predilection I was still able to connect with the author as a socially committed individual. He speaks about the misunderstood youth, the so-called "punks" which I can very much resonate with being a college student myself. I would say this book is a brilliant choice for anyone with a penchant of entrepreneurial pursuit.
The book is well structured from the very first chapter and the narrative keeps you interested for most parts except for those that go into the technicalities of his work which can be a tad boring but then again, it is imperative to talk about his professional experiences in his autobiography particularly because it defines him to a great extent. It is also well edited.
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