4 out of 4 stars
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“Others around you are hurting just as much as you. Focus on enduring the pain until the pace slows. The effort will get easier soon," Jorge P. Newbery would counsel himself whenever he entered a 'burn zone' as a cyclist, and it would pay off, but at one time, just once, he almost failed to endure the pain through one of his life's worst burn zone.
Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands is Jorge P. Newbery's autobiography, especially as an entrepreneur.
Jorge started working at a tender age of just seven as a newspaper delivery boy in Brentwood, seeking financial independence even though he was still a child.
He then moved through a series of other jobs after that; from ice cream monger to busboy, punk-stage owner and renter and then bicycle racer, until he ultimately became one of the biggest real estate managers in the U.S.A.—always business minded and upgrading, which also led to his early school dropping out.
Jorge always took business serious and made it his first priority. He never was content with lack of challenge and always searched for new challenging ventures in business, which led him to take a lot of risks.
His risks always paid off in one way or another and by 2003 he had took up some of the US's most troubled housing complexes and turned them into hospitable and affordable rentals especially for the less privileged.
He took pride in his achievements and was almost, after all, contented, although still pushing limits here and there, trying to do good, but he eventually took a risk too many.
In 2004 an ice storm washed over one of his housing complexes and triggered his life's hardest burn zone—one that left him almost bankrupt, deep in mess, and publicly shamed while he tried to restore his business' former glory.
I found this autobiography to be almost all life's lessons bound together into a book.
In the first half of the book, Jorge narrates his rise from a seven year old boy making his first dollar to a big entrepreneur, and throughout his story one can't help but see and learn how great business men, like him, are made.
Jorge was a shy young boy, but that never stopped him from chasing his dream; whichever it was.
Many times potential employers doubted his ability because of his age when he first showed up before them, but once given the job, he always proved himself one of the most hard workers they had ever had.
Jorge always took up extra hours of work even when everyone else didn't.
He was always on time and almost did anything, even if not that high paying, as long as he was paid something he would save.
Many of us, after long droughts of having nothing, of poverty, are always content with the little we get once we make a little break through, not for Jorge.
Jorge always sought greener pastures even when he would have passed for accomplished.
He always saved from his current methods of earning for a new start in future ventures, and although a hard-to-copy lesson, I couldn't help but take note of such a simple and effective way to become rich.
But also, apart from all those positive attributes of his, one can't help but learn a bit from his mistakes too.
Jorge was often too trusting.
He wished to do good and always hoped and thought others wished that too, and by the time he learnt otherwise, it was almost too late.
He also always took to many risks in hopes that the greater the chances of loss, the greater the gains, that also almost destroyed his life as a business man, and although those were mistakes that brought him great misfortune, he had inadvertently left a lesson for many, and am glad he was willing to share.
Apart from the many lessons in the book, I also liked it for its conversational tone and humor of the author.
The story was serious and business-like, but presented in a way even one looking for fiction would like.
The author didn't drone on like a troubled and failed man looking for help, but instead used jokes and an optimistic tone to loosen the mood.
There were things I didn't like though, but I think they are more about my personal preferences.
I didn't like the author's use of too many technical terms pertaining to business in the last chapters; he tried to explain them, but I still never understood them, and I just let those parts slip as it would have killed the flow of my reading trying to look them up all on the web; but that impaired my understanding of those few chapters they appeared in.
I rate this book 4 out of 4
It lacked any errors and was well written.
I recommend it to whoever loves knowledge, whoever would one day wish to be a great business man and those that just love a nice autobiography—of a business man.
It has less than five borderline profanity, and I think it's safe for minors too, as long as they can understand it well.
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