4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newberry was a driven and persistent businessman. In his book Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands the author describes his astonishing journey from a paperboy to a real estate tycoon. From the beginning, it is evident that Jorge is an active participant in orchestrating every aspect of his livelihood. He describes himself as someone who prefers to be “part of the show instead of just watching”. As a former bike racer Jorge draws relationships between bike racing and running the race of life. The author says he believed he could do anything he put his mind to and he sets out to take readers on a journey that exposes his strengths and weaknesses as well as the power of determination and grit to overcome life’s challenges. In this amazing book the author demonstrates how he continued to rebuild himself and learn from his failures.
What I loved most about the book was the abundant tidbits of timeless wisdom that can be used as a template for success in a variety of personal and professional areas in life. For example, in his younger years there is an underlying message that our work will be as fun or as miserable as we believe it to be. When he discussed his work he described it as his play and his schooling. It is rare to hear someone describe their work as fun and educational, but perhaps this provides insight into how his positive attitude and thoughts allowed him to continue to grow and develop into a successful professional.
I also loved that there was a fundamental message that although success is personal it cannot be achieved alone. The author begins by stating early on that he was a loner and he repeated this sentiment numerous times. Often loners are given a bad rap, but he portrays a loner as a person of introspection and deep reflection. He describes himself as quiet, focused and determined on the outside while simultaneously having deep thoughts on the inside. He described his losses as another opportunity to reflect and improve. Although he said he never felt like he fit in, he spoke highly of his family and close friends. He painted a positive portrait of the values his parents instilled in him and the unending support they imparted to him along his journey. He described his parents as being a “great example” to him. Many other people assisted him along his journey like John Howard, who taught him to “never, ever look back, as this is a sign of weakness”. Despite being a loner, he shed light on many examples of building and sustaining amiable and effective personal and professional relationships.
What I liked least and thought could have made it better was if the author provided additional insight based on lessons learned regarding how to maneuver in todays day and age. Many of the job experiences from the past are not as relevant today and it would have been nice to see what he thinks he would do different in todays society to accomplish a similar goal. Another area I think could have been better was to further develop the ending. It seemed to end rather abruptly.
In general this book was outstanding. I give this book a 4 out of 4 stars because it was well written, organized, motivational, and inspiring. I recommend this book for readers of all ages, who enjoy true motivational stories that gently and naturally encourage personal growth.
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