4 out of 4 stars
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Seven Figure Ami$h from Buggy to Benz by Amos Borntreger is the story of one man's journey from his humble beginnings in an Amish family to his status as a wealthy businessman. I always love reading about different ways of life, so this book piqued my curiosity right from the beginning.
We learn right away that this author didn't have the easiest childhood. Branded stupid in class because of his dyslexia, and called worthless by his own father because of the author's inability to keep up with the hard, physical lifestyle of the Amish, these initial hardships were what later enabled him to succeed.
The style of writing is quite clever. While driving from Missouri to Ohio to speak at an event, the author starts to reminisce about where he came from, and how he ended up where he is now. His history is told in a series of flashbacks that segue nicely into the present day. The switch from present to past and back again is clearly marked, which is good.
Unlike other books by former Amish members (such as Tears of the Silenced by Misty Griffin) which often tend to dwell on the negative side of the lifestyle, this book is different, which makes for a more interesting read. For example, although his father's rejection of him clearly hurt, it was still fascinating to learn about how the author helped his father to make metal wheel rims for buggies. I also found it refreshing that the author isn't bitter or resentful towards the Amish; instead, he credits his success to the work ethic he developed in that community.
When it comes to teaching life lessons, many inspirational books have all the subtlety of an anvil to the head. Thankfully, this isn't the case with this book. The author inserts good lessons about leadership into his own story, making the reader feel like we're learning with him, not from him. He's able to laugh at his own mistakes – such as the first time he tried driving a car – and also admits to reading inspirational books himself, acknowledging that just because he's successful, it doesn't mean that he has nothing more to learn.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys inspirational stories. As the title suggests, the author's hard work and determination took him from an Amish buggy to a Mercedes-Benz in the space of four years. It doesn't get much more inspirational than that.
There are some minor errors in spelling and punctuation, but these are few and far between. The repetitions of "if you want it badly enough, you can have it" get a little wearing, and the final chapter is targeted far more at the reader than the rest of the book, which jarred me a bit. However, it must be said that none of these things detracted from the book as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and so I have no hesitation in rating it 4 out of 4 stars.
Seven Figure Ami$h from Buggy to Benz
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