4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge Newbery began his entrepreneurial career early in life. He went out and found his first job at age 7. From there, he never met a challenge he wasn’t willing to take. He dropped out of high school to pursue his dreams. He was a hard worker and a risk taker and tested out several careers throughout his life, which led him to the real estate business. The real estate path he ended up taking was to purchase and improve apartment buildings. At one point he owned over 4000 apartments all over the country. He made millions of dollars. But to him, it wasn’t only about the money. It was more about challenging himself and helping other people improve their own lives.
He was a great example to people, and he wasn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty. He often lived in the dilapidated and dangerous apartment buildings he was working to restore. He was a smart man, but one day his risk-taking caught up with him.
On Christmas Eve in 2004, his largest apartment complex was hit with a brutal ice storm. This was the beginning of the end for him. Unable to meet the demands and the timelines for a fast recovery from the storm, the media attacked him, the city authorities turned against him and he was even arrested. This all caused him to end up $26 million in dept.
But through his despair, Jorge persevered and decided to work to show others how to overcome crushing debt. This inspirational true story will absolutely inspire you to keep going when life deals you a bad hand.
I found Burn Zones to be a very interesting read. Jorge Newbery is an engaging story teller. He took us through his life from when he was a young child to where he ended up today. He easily showed the reader what a spunky and determined person he was. Whenever he set his mind on tackling a project or job, he was typically met with skepticism and disbelief that he could handle things. But he always knew that he would be good at whatever he tried, and he always ended up convincing those skeptics of the same thing.
From his first job as a paper boy, Jorge takes us on his journey through his many jobs and the careers they led to – from selling ice cream on a bicycle, to racing bicycles, to being a music guru to becoming a real estate mogul. When he set his sights on a goal, he threw everything he had into accomplishing it. He researched, he studied and he basically worked his butt off! He made a lot of money over the years, but he never lived like he was rich, choosing instead to invest that money into his next project. Success was very important to him, but doing things the right way and treating people with respect was more important. He showed us that philosophy with every job he tackled.
What I liked most about this book was how Jorge always felt kind of like an outsider. I think many of us feel that way at times, myself included. But with those around him, he sought to always make the disenfranchised feel that they were an important part of any project. It wasn’t all about him. He genuinely cares about people and his story showed that.
I also got a kick out of what he met with in every new job he attempted. Initially met with resistance and skepticism, he always thought to himself, “This guy sounds just like so-and-so did when I pitched my idea to him!” You could just hear him thinking that every time he met a new person he needed to convince to give him a chance.
I didn’t really dislike anything about this book. There was only once or twice where things got a little dry in his explanations and I found myself skimming a tad. But that was so rare, that I looked forward to picking the book back up every day. I found it very well edited, with only a small amount of profanity, typical of any real life story.
This book and this author did an excellent job of motivating me to not give up on my dreams. Giving up is so easy to do. But when I feel like giving up on things, not seeing a project through, or not even attempting a project, I can hear the author pointing out that I can do this!
I recommend this great book and I give it 4 out of 4 stars. Jorge Newbery got kicked down a lot in his life. And he tried many different paths. And in all of those paths, he gave his all, not only to be successful, but to enable those around him to also be successful. This book and his life shows us that, like Jorge, you can reinvent yourself time and again with hard work, determination and perseverance.
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