4 out of 4 stars
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Life brings challenges that test our limits; physically and mentally. But, when do you know it is time to accept failure, learn from the experience, and move on? Burn Zones, written by Jorge P. Newbery, is a memoir that takes us through the details of each challenge he had, as a serial entrepreneur, from paperboy to real estate mogul. He shared what he learned from each experience, his triumphs and failures, but also, he reflects on what he could have done different in other circumstances.
Despite of being a top student, at the age of 16, Newbery dropped out of school. He felt unchallenged, and he believed he would only get valuable experience from real-life challenges. His parents supported his decision, convinced that he was going to work hard, learn from his own experiences, and return to school if he changes his mind. Focus on starting a record company, he spent most of his time at a recording studio, and soon, he started taking bigger challenges, promoting several bands. This was his first test to prove himself that he could do anything he sets his mind to; like bike racing, competing with high profile riders; or real state, managing a net worth of tens of millions. Despite the financial stability he reached, he never changed his lifestyle, spending only to live comfortably. Little did he know that this will help him to go through his most difficult test in life. Real estate will teach him the most valuable lessons, but at a very high price.
I appreciate that the author shared each of his ventures from the business standpoint, but also, how he related each of them with the way he sees the world, life, and himself. He realized his customers had different backgrounds and interests, but usually with the same struggles he had, not fitting anywhere, being targeted for prejudicial reasons, skin color, race or ethnic background. I found very interesting how he approached each of these topics without losing the flow of the narrative. I also liked the practical and sincere way he describes himself, his family, and his relationship with his parents. I really can’t find anything that I dislike about this memoir, it is one of those few books that made me cry, smile and self-reflect through all of its chapters.
Because of the picture and the title of the book, I thought the main topic was going to be cycling, but in reality, the author is only taking one of his learning experiences from this sport, and applying it metaphorically through the rest of his challenges. It describes how success and failure look with such a clear and real content, that it could be very helpful for anyone who wants to know more about the journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it is exceptionally well written, a page-turner that I really enjoyed, easy to connect with the author, and I would say, a very good memoir to learn about grit, emotional intelligence, ethic, and humility.
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