Monday, March 23, 2009

Book Review: I'll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse by Michael Franzese

Subtitle - Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss

This book is not at all what I was expecting. This is a very good book. The "Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss" are totally different than what I expected to read about. I thought it would be one-liners with some short paragraphs but the message is there and it is complete. Michael Franzese is able to take his experiences and give you insightful tips on how to expand your business.

In this book, Michael Franzese begins by detailing out his credentials and his story. He doesn't go completely in depth into his mob live, as he covered that in his previous books. As you read (at least for me) he causes you to think about how you do and deal with your life, job, friends, and yourself. After each chapter he has some "Get the Message" statements and questions that summarizes the chapter and solidifies the main points of each chapter.

He also writes about following a philosopher: Machiavelli (Prince) or Solomon (King), and making sure you have the right idea about success. He followed Machiavelli in his ways to succeed in his gas business. He also says that successful companies follow Machiavelli… Henry Ford and La Cosa Nostra (Mafia) are examples of it.

He says that the Machiavellian philosophy for life is seriously flawed. It has elements that are true and pragmatic. That’s the bait in the trap. But it creates an atmosphere of deceit, mistrust, and treachery—a place where fear masquerades as loyalty. Eventually, any group of people that adheres to such a philosophy will destroy itself from within. You create fear and that is the way other will defeat you by making themselves be more feared.

One of the rules he followed was to swallow all the small companies around that were his competition. The one tenant he says to make sure you follow is to pay your taxes. That is how he was defeated, just like Al Capone.

I was surprised to see how much Franzese despises gambling. He writes about gambling, not from a moral perspective, but from a business (economics) perspective. It can and will destroy your business. He explains how gambling can cause your employees to embezzle time which equates to money, and how stopping the gambling habit can cost you even more. It destroys families, personal and work. The example he uses in this book talks about a relatively small business whose employees wasted $1.5M once the hours used at work for gambling were computed.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. If you are in business then it gives you a good insight on how to deal with your own business. Students can use this book to learn what real life is going to be. I really like that at the end of each chapter, Franzese has a section called GET THE MESSAGE, which summarizes the message in each chapter. The words are clear and to the point. I am planning on reading this book more than once.

A fantastic feature with is book sis the "NELSON FREE" book. It allows you to download a searchable E-Book and a MP3 Audio book of this title. You can read it hardcopy or listen to it or use your computer to read the book.