4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newbery’s Burn Zones is an awe-inspiring autobiographical account of a successful entrepreneur, who learns early on that the only way to climb to the top is to “outwork anyone” and persist through the most seemingly impossible situations, or “burn zones.” Newbery enters the business world at just 7 years old, delivering, on bike, newspapers for two companies at once. From there, his vision only grows as he moves to the businesses of ice cream, bussing tables, records, loans, professional cycling, and eventually ends up in real estate, where he endures the crash of a lifetime. When placed in the most arduous situation he’s yet to experience, he’s left with two options: accept defeat or face a major burn zone.
Newbery’s work deserves 4 out of 4 stars. It is easy to read, but incredibly difficult to put down. I found his story lingering in my head even while I was not reading. His life is both admirable and inspiring to all of us out there who are trying to take our goals to the next level.
This book has clearly been proof read to a tee. Likewise, it is never feels like it drags on. It is concise and each word feels intentional. It reads like an autobiography that is not actually about the author. In other words, Newbery allows the reader to place themselves in his shoes, catering to the ambitious part in all of us that strives for success while trying to benefit society.
From the very beginning, readers are pulled in by his light-hearted account of his younger self, hustling to earn some cash. Both his innocence and his genuine, hard-working personality make his character immediately likeable. As the story progresses, readers grow up with Newbery, rooting for his success, and feeling for him in his failures. He seems to belong to a very select group of CEO’s and successful entrepreneurs: those who operate for the good of the people rather than greed.
My only criticism, if one can all it that, is that I’d like to know what sparked his entrepreneurial interests at such a young age. While most other 7-year-olds spent their free time playing with friends and family members, Newbery was already thinking business. Where did this come from?
I believe this book is an especially important read for those in college and just entering the workforce. It teaches critical lessons about pushing to be the best, persisting in challenges, and not losing oneself along the way. Of course, I also believe readers of all ages will have something to take away from this book. As Newbery proves, one is never too young (or old) to pursue something great.
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