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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this more...
Its a pretty good book and an easy read at only 155 pages (even though the Amazon site lists this book at 224 pages, where are my other 69 pages?) I enjoyed the mob stories, and I could understand the connection between mob business and honest business. Although the more I think about that last sentence the more I realize that the so called honest business world seems...
Published on May 4, 2009 by Chris Jaronsky

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the Business Book Readers May Think
In I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse, Michael Franzese, former capo in the Colombo crime family, shares his insight and wisdom in running and making the most of your business. From the basics, like creating a written business plan, to keeping it legal, Michael offers antidotes and stories that describe how he reached success while a high ranking member of the...
Published on July 3, 2009 by Sheryl L. Tuttle


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this more..., May 4, 2009
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Its a pretty good book and an easy read at only 155 pages (even though the Amazon site lists this book at 224 pages, where are my other 69 pages?) I enjoyed the mob stories, and I could understand the connection between mob business and honest business. Although the more I think about that last sentence the more I realize that the so called honest business world seems to have a lot more crooks in many of the top jobs. How does that work?

The book has a printed hardcover which I think is superior to a dust jacket. I also liked that I could download a copy of this in e-book format and also in audio book format. I downloaded the first 5 chapters of the audio book and listened to it on my Crackberry Storm while I watched my sons T-ball game. It was my first ever audio book and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lets me multitask, and that's always a good thing.

The book basically tries to say that some mob guys could run successful legitimate businesses. Maybe. I grew up in an Italian family in the Bronx. I have spent many hours in and around "Italian social clubs", and while there were some pretty sharp guys there, very street smart, I do not think they would be that good running a large corporation. The mentality seemed to me to be more about instant gratification and not directed at long term growth. But then again when I look at the headlines of newspapers and see what most of these CEOs are doing, maybe a wiseguy could do at least as good a job? or better?

The final chapter of the book, "pick your philosopher" is a final test. Machiavelli or Solomon? Do you want to crush your enemies at any cost, or do you want to do the right thing with a clear conscience?

I really wanted to like this book more, but I could not take it seriously as a business/motivational book. Its not a great business book, but it is a good, light read after you have read all the other great business books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breezy, Light Advice Guide From A Wise Guy, May 28, 2009
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I'll admit, I don't read a lot of self-help books and have pretty much avoided the genre entirely. What intrigued me about this book is how the author, a former mob hotshot who got pinched by his bookkeeper, claims he can apply what he learned managing a mob empire to the "legitimate" business world.

On the whole, it works because of the breezy, conversation style of the author, who keeps it light and entertaining with numerous war stories, asides, and bits of advice from King Solomon and Sun Tzu.

If you are looking for simple words of wisdom from someone who has run a huge criminal money-making operation, this is your go-to guide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the Business Book Readers May Think, July 3, 2009
In I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse, Michael Franzese, former capo in the Colombo crime family, shares his insight and wisdom in running and making the most of your business. From the basics, like creating a written business plan, to keeping it legal, Michael offers antidotes and stories that describe how he reached success while a high ranking member of the mob.

But therein lies the problem. There were double standards throughout the book. For example, Michael Franzese tells us to put together a clear, focused, and written business plan. However, not if you are a mobster. A mobster's objective is always to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible, and they prefer not to have paper trails as these can be incriminating. So if Michael Franzese did it the mobster way, without a written plan, why is he telling his readers to do it another way?

The business information contained in the book wasn't particularly unique or fresh. Play it straight, learn to listen, put a lid on greed, don't gamble, and operate with integrity are just some of the significant messages explored in the book, but a lot of the information felt like common sense. Certainly good lessons with moral appeal, but not new, insightful, eye-opening information for most people (perhaps I think too highly of the integrity of the human race?).

One of the best aspects of I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse is its strong message of motivation and encouragement. Michael Franzese devotes an entire chapter to failures. He explains that failure is normal, and that some failure in life is to be expected. But value comes from using the failure as a tool for learning and improving, and the best way to handle failure is to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.

Michael Franzese writes with a strong, wise-guy voice that is easy to read and entertaining, but may not be the business book readers think. He writes, "Life is all about the ingredients." Put in good ingredients and you'll get a good product. I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse is less a lesson in running a business, and more instruction in living a good moral life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stories, same information, May 26, 2009
Overall this book has a lot of good information about how to be successful in business, unfortunetly you can find it in a lot of business books. What makes this book worth reading is the stories Michael Franzese has to tell about his life in the mob. I would much rather it had been completely about that and left it to me to find the wisdom in how the mob does business. To clarify, he does show what the mob does wrong as well.

I find Michael Franzese an amazing person that I really want to learn more about. To walk away from millions of dollars and a lifestyle that he had been in his who life to go straight is truly remarkable.

Even though this effort wasn't fantastic, I look forward to reading more from this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's an offer - but you "can" refuse it., April 4, 2010
I have an incredible amount of respect for Michael Franzese -- for reasons too personal to discuss in this review. I almost didn't buy this book, however, because it's published by Nelson, a religious title publisher. I don't buy that type of book. However, I was curious about it and actually thought it was about making offers. It's not. Nor is it especially religious EXCEPT that up to a point it is.

The bottom line, cut to the chase message is a comparison of Machiavelli and King Solomon. Made men and most all politicians and probably two-thirds of the successful businesspeople in the world follow the former philosopher while only a handful follow the latter.

The author gives us the distinct difference in the two and how they apply to business. It's hard to agree with Solomon when we see a liar and immoral man like ol' Joe Kennedy achieve tremendous wealth using Machiavellian ways. And he's only one of many. But, you have to judge for yourself.

The author also blames the recent meltdown on businesspeople's greed. I disagree. Oh, they're greedy. But the Fed had an awful lot to do with creating the debacle.

This book is well written and well-edited, as you'd expect from Nelson. The author is a wonderful writer and different from the current crop of business writers. He's honest about his life and where he's been and he uses his experiences to attempt to help people and create a better world. He's doing an admirable thing.

This book is probably unlike any business book you've ever read. You may not agree with all or part of it. But you'll enjoy it and it will get you to thinking. You may want to change. You may want to stay the same. But I'll bet you want to look deeper into King Solomon and do some deeper comparisons for yourself. At least that's what it did for me.

Oh, as a bonus, Nelsonfree lets you download the book in audio and pdf and mobile formats! I listened to the audio as I read. It's read by the author and it's just great. This is a wonderful benefit of buying Nelsonfree books and I wish other publishers would do this.

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars old wine in new bottle, but still tasty, May 6, 2009
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While rehashing some of the usual (a bit cliche'd perhaps) management tenets (hard work, learning from failures, need for detailed plans and performance metrics, etc.), the author manages to sustain a readers interest using a narration in a very unusual context (mobs) told in a fairly humorous manner (sometimes forced). Overall, the book seems to be an attempt to build on his earlier book (Quitting the Mob: How the "Yuppie Don" Left the Mafia and Lived to Tell His Story by attempting a more authoritative spin on management skills. Walking a fine line between turning out to be nothing more than an exercise in vanity and a romantic glorification of "organized crime", the author still manages to make some interesting points. To be fair, the author clearly states upfront that it is not his "intent to glorify" and that people who choose it should not be held in "high regard". Perhaps the attempt to convey his thoughts in a humourous manner distracted what could have been an excellent book. The author's use of the context (mob life) does not come close to the success others like Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets were able to obtain to articulate their positions/observations. Nevertheless, the book is an entertaining read with chapters "mastering the art of the sit-down" and "pick your philosopher" as clear standouts and quite unique.

(As others have noted, the format of the book itself is novel, providing an e-book version and a mp3 version for no additional costs.)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book you Can't and Shouldn't Refuse..., April 1, 2009
As a college student taking Business courses in College and with today's business climate this is a great book to read and think about. These "Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss" are totally different then what I expected to read about.

I figured it would be a few quips and snazzy quotes and alot of filler. Boy was I wrong... yes there were the quips, snazzy quotes, but the meat of the book -- was a high quality meal.

It is a look at the business views and teachings of Machiavelli v.s. those of Solomon. And how those can effect and play out in life and business. With alot of stories from his life Michael Franzese fleshes both of these Idologies out. 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 the summarize the chapter. A quick refesher of the main points "The message" of the chapter.

Here are some of the questions he asks us to answer.... A.K.A - "Final Exam Time"

1. Do you believe that a soild bottom line is justified bt whatever means are used to attain it?

2. Do you believe that situations arise in business that justify employing dishonest business tactics?

3. In dealing with your competitors, is it acceptable to do whatever is neccessary to gain an advantage, even if it means driving them out of business?

Another Great FEATURE is because it is a "NELSON FREE" book you also get to download a searchable E-Book and a MP3 Audio book of this title. This is a great extra -- I have downloaded the mp3 and will be listening to in the car.

In the end, seeing the finacial mess our country and world is in and even when we come out of it. I would highly recommend this book to both business men, students, employees, and anyone else. It is truely a book you shouldn't refuse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unlikely inspiring tale., September 17, 2009
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First of all, most of this book is nothing new. You can get dozens of books already existing for business advice, right? So why get this?

Because it's written by a former mob boss. Because it contrasts the wisdom of Solomon to that of Machiavelli. Because it's ethereal in reading, even despite its gruff exterior, and is story wrought with a sad inspiration to be not just a decent businessman, but an exemplary human being.

I can't say how much I loved this book. It's no-nonsense from the get-go, but has so much in it that surprised me. Michael Franzese is a great writer. He's not Shakesphere, but the way he writes is always vivid and entertaining. I can't remember when I had so much fun reading a business book!

Most of the advice is common sense, or repeats what you know already if you've read "all the books". What I liked that was unique, is the emphasis he puts on being a good person. He tells us that Machiavelli's "The Prince" is required Wisy Guy reading material. He contrasts this with the Song of Solomon from the Bible, which he read while incarcerated, and goes on to say, how being a decent and upstanding individual only helps, and indeed flourishes, business efficiency and health.

In short: this book was awesome. Don't pass the chance to read it if you get one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Formidable Foundation of Useful Business Principles, May 22, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Michael Franzese, the notorious mobster who successfully left the mafia life after being one of its biggest earners in history, provides his personal views on what it takes to succeed in business. Having been a success in the mob and now in more ethical environments, Franzese is able to offer a first hand comparison between the philosophies of Machiavelli and Solomon. Franzese is clear that he is not offering a secret, just practical advice derived from his experiences that should form the foundation of any business career.

Franzese offers a no nonsense approach to business success. Much of the advice is neither new nor profound; however, Franzese provides an abundance of background with examples from his Mafia days to illustrate both good and bad principles. This backdrop, which is not typically available to the public nor found in personal achievement books, provides some fascinating content.

This book is not lengthy, but the message is weighty. Franzese does not purport to have the answers that assure success, just guidelines that will help improve the chances, a refreshingly realistic message. I recommend this book to anyone looking to get ahead in business as the book offers a formidable foundation of useful principles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, informative, and NelsonFree rocks!, May 29, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I usually don't really pay too much attention to who publishes the books I buy, but I will in the future--notably, I'll keep an eye out for Thomas Nelson books with NelsonFree. What is NelsonFree? It basically does what all publishers should do, gives purchasers the choice in how they want to access the material. With the nicely printed hardcover book, you get the option to download an electronic copy (in various eBook formats including PDF) of the book and the audiobook (in unprotected MP3 format) version of the work as well. All without undue complications, restrictions, or other hassles. Way to go Thomas Nelson!

On to the book itself, which is is a refreshing pragmatic quick read, and unlike other books of the genre, doesn't get too wound up in philosophy (despite the endless Machiavelli quotes). All in all, it is what it is, a wise guy's take on business. It never loses that tone or voice, and while there certainly are mob tactics that wouldn't fly in the workplace, it focuses on the universal essentials. Hammering this home are quick bullet point reviews at the end of each chapter.

I suggest going for the MP3 version, as it really read's like dictation, which true to form, sounds better than it reads.
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I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss (NelsonFree)
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