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I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss (NelsonFree) Hardcover – March 30, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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About the Author

Michael Franzese was one of the mob's biggest earners since Al Capone, and the youngest individual on Fortune magazine's “Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses.” Then, after dodging the law for years, Franzese pled guilty, accepted a ten-year prison sentence, and quit the mob.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595551638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595551634
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Jaronsky TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Decent read. Nothing fancy, and, the Author goes out on a limb for the reader. Instilling a few things to apply to one's life.
I can say, for those who want a highly technical or super informative or intellectually stimulating book, look elsewhere. But for those
basic folks like myself, who are a bit afraid in this world, it can help steer one's life, and to show that basic humanity is found by not stereotyping.
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Format: Hardcover
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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