4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery is an inspiring memoir. The memoir focuses on overcoming burn zones, or life struggles, to test the limits of your body and mind. In his journey, Newbery talks about his childhood, career successes, career failures, and family.
Newbery starts his memoir at the beginning of his life. His entrepreneurial spirit began as a child. At a young age of seven, he found his first job as a paperboy. Even though the newspaper’s manager was skeptical of giving the job to a child, Newbery was confident and determined to do well. With the money Newbery earned as a paperboy, he bought an ice cream trike to start his own business. He renovated the ice cream trike and sold ice cream around his neighborhood. Both these endeavors are impressive for a child.
Newbery went on to become a record mogul, a professional cyclist, and a property owner. As a cyclist, he trained and placed high on the leaderboard. Anytime he won a race, he would think back to the insults people told him to remind himself that he won in the end. I found this positive reframe satisfying to read. However, he soon faced his doom. At the Tour of Mexico, Newbery experienced a major cycling defeat. He had eaten something before this race that upset his stomach. With the lack of energy and exhaustion, he fell off the leaderboard to 95th place. He accepted defeat and focused on a new dream. His next goal was to conquer the real estate field. Over the next few years, Newbery would own over 4,000 housing units across the U.S. and lose it all with $26 million in debt. During this time, he didn’t file for bankruptcy. Instead, he searched for a solution to overcome this ultimate burn zone. How he managed to move on from the loss and create a new beginning will inspire you.
In this memoir, the author talks about his life accomplishments and failures with a genuine voice. He doesn’t exaggerate his accomplishments or reduce his struggles. His accomplishments can easily be presented in glory, yet he chooses to show the reader how his hard work helped him meet his goals. You notice the sacrifices, the grit, the determination, and work ethic Newbery had as a child that contributed to his success. Even in his failures, these traits helped him. Newbery is candid about his failures and shows how he overcame burn zones.
I liked how Newbery tackled his failures. Even though the challenges brought him down, he tried to move forward. He took his failures as learning lessons for his next success. While sharing his downfall, he didn’t sugarcoat the failures or difficult times. He kept an optimistic attitude. This perspective is evident when he describes the ups and downs in his life. Rather than talking about a fast track to success, Newbery walks through the sacrifices and risks he took to achieve greatness.
While Newbery described his real estate experiences in detail, the jargon was confusing. I had to research on my own or use context clues to figure it out. I didn't enjoy this aspect when reading the memoir. While reading, I noticed the diverse vocabulary the author has. I barely found any spelling or grammar mistakes. The book was well edited. Overall, I can tell the effort Newbery put into creating a valuable book. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
I would recommend Burn Zones to teenagers, young adults, and experienced entrepreneurs. Teenagers who want to start a business could benefit from learning about the trials and triumphs of a business. Anyone who is seeking an inspirational book to read will have a blast with this one.
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