4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge is an entrepreneur-minded person who started working at the age of seven by delivering newspapers in his neighborhood. He dropped out of school when he was fifteen to focus more on his business, convinced that he can surpass real-life challenges. This led him to become a loan originator and eventually transitioned into real estate. Having owned 4,000 units across the country, he challenged himself to risk buying apartments with slum conditions and then turn them around. When an ice storm happened in 2004, everything started falling apart. He began losing money, getting bad press, criminal charges, and finally ended up in debt.
Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is a non-fiction and inspirational book written by Jorge P. Newbery. It is written like an autobiography wherein he narrates his business ventures leading to his downfall and how he coped with its aftermath. He starts the book by enumerating his flaws and his strengths, which were reflective of his relationships with other people when doing business. He uses the term “burn zone”, from when he used to race bicycles, to define instances when a person induces extreme effort to win at something.
The book was easy to read. It didn’t have a lot of technical terms, and the narration flowed smoothly. What I liked most about it was that it didn’t give clear-cut instructions on what one should do when one ends up failing at something. Instead, the author simply told his story of what happened to him, what he learned from it, and how he was able to manage. I thought this was good because not everyone has the same kind of failure and you cannot push one specific method that will work on everyone. He also indicated out his burn zones so that the reader could recognize them and pointed out that a reward will come once you get out of them. I also liked that the author focused only on his business enterprise and did not include any unnecessary events that might be distracting.
There wasn’t anything I particularly disliked about the book. I thought that 200-plus pages were just enough to tell his story and inspire without it getting dull. I didn’t find any errors, so the book seemed professionally edited, and I also only found one swear word in the entire narrative.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book was written very well and I cannot find a reason to deduct a point. I think anyone can benefit from it even if one just needs pointers on how to interact with people. I would recommend it to readers who like inspirational books or to those who have their own business venture, especially people who are working in real estate.
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