3 out of 4 stars
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Breaking the Mold: Remodeling Your Way to Success, written by Fabian Videla, is a practical and engaging self-help book that pushes readers forward on their quest for success in the corporate realm. By way of personal stories, lessons learnt, and pragmatic advice, he provides relatable and thorough steps for the creation and thriving of a company, particularly with regard to navigating the construction industry.
From Argentina to the United States, throughout his childhood and into his adult life, Fabian Videla has always displayed an aptitude for business. Through his experiences as a juvenile garlic bulb seller to owning a multi-million-dollar corporation, he was able to gain insight to key lessons of success. Videla demonstrates the procedures and systems for the creation of a business and not a job—the key difference lying in their functionality with or without the owner’s (you, the reader) presence. The COVID-19 pandemic comes with its own challenges, sending many businesses into bankruptcy or forcing them to close. Videla confides how he was able to stay afloat, even going as far as to work on and completely launch a new enterprise, Smarter Remodeling 360 Solutions, in a time when most businesses crashed. Learn how to pick yourself up to after a business failure, price your products or services by value and still retain customers, network and build connections, and achieve monumental success by reading this book.
In terms of its format, Breaking the Mold had an appealing setup. Each chapter is titled in a straightforward but attractive manner. Lessons of success, as little as one and sometimes up to six, rounded off these chapters, briefly summarizing the contents of said chapter. There were often barcodes following these that invited readers to press on for more content. Doing so would direct them to Videla’s website. Only, the fact that getting access to this content requires the creation of an account would probably be a deterrent to some readers.
The anecdotes within the book made for a relatable setting. I especially loved tales from Videla’s childhood. A favourite starts off the book. Young Videla, trying to get out of showering, tries to trick his mother into believing that he already washed up, egged on by a little demon on his shoulder. Wise to his ways, his mother launches her chancla attack on him. With this as the basis, the third lesson of success in the book, be careful who you lend your ear to—in this case, a bathing shoulder-demon—is wonderfully illustrated. This manner of imparting words of wisdom is employed quite well throughout the text. Along this same vein is the humorous cant adopted by Videla. Laughable, sometimes hypothetical scenarios with a tongue-in-cheek delivery, like the one between Mr. Homeowner and Mr. Jones, also exemplify the lessons to be gleaned in the book.
Another source of interest was the inclusion of actionable steps to be taken by readers in their own professional journey. Of note are the mathematical formulae in Chapter 13. This is preceded by Chapter 12: How to Start a Construction Business, which lists all the requirements for forming a business in great detail. I appreciated the practical advice that supplants mere “you can do it” messages often found in self-help books.
Videla’s most repeated statement revolves around the differences between a job and a business, identifying which one should be any businessperson’s end goal. He stressed that the latter will allow for more opportunities. These include more time with one’s family and friends, less pressure to carry out the tasks within a company on an individual level, and the ability of the company to function without this individual’s presence. This is optimal; empowering your employees through established systems and procedures that prepare for both successes and crises prevents business failure.
Commonly occurring errors led me to assume that this book has not been professionally or thoroughly edited. I saw a lot of sentences without periods to end them, incorrect punctuation was used in some instances, and words were not written as they should have been. These all warrant a removal of one star from my final rating.
I give Breaking the Mold a score of three out of four stars. A host of tips, plentiful, practical resolutions, actionable tools, and more await readers in this book. For those with a special interest in creating a business in the construction or remodelling industry, this book is for you. Readers who simply wish for lessons of success in business might also find this book useful. While profanity is present in the book, it is on a minor scale.
Breaking the Mold
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