How Far Do You Want to Go?: A book review by Bob Morris

How Far Do You Want to Go? Lessons from a Common-Sense Billionaire
John Catsimatidis
Matt Holt Books/An Imprint of Ben Bella Books, Inc.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

I knew nothing about John Catsimatidis until I read this book. He explains how far he has traveled in several different directions (business, community service, politics, and philanthropy) and in each instance acknowledges the importance of countless other people to the successes achieved thus far. Long ago, Casey Stengel observed, “it ain’t bragging if you’ve done it.”

At least some of those who read this book will become weary of the relentless self-references, most of which are complimentary…and could be viewed as self-flattery. I have no reason to doubt the truth of Catsimatidis’ claims. The so-called “bottom line” is that he has lived an interesting life thus far, associated with hundreds of celebrities, achieved varying degrees of success (both personal and professional), and offers not only vicarious inclusion to his reader but also several quite sensible rules or lessons he has learned from both success and failure.

Presumably Catsimatidis agrees with the African proverb. My guess (only a guess) is that he recommends both going fast to achieve short-term goals (when that is necessary) and using what is learned from those developments to achieve long-term goals in collaboration with others.

Pogo the possum once announced, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” I agree that most wounds are self-inflicted. Henry Ford offers a less dramatic observation: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” John Catsimatidis asks a question that only his reader can answer. He also offers an example that some people need to overcome their self-doubts. He wrote the book for them.


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