review of The Cilantro Diaries: Business Lessons From the Most Unlikely Places by Lorenzo Gomez. Available from Amazon here.
Lorenzo Gomez went from the stockroom of a grocery store to the boardrooms of two private companies without a formal higher education. In his inspiring and humorous true story of hope and accomplishment, he shares the steps he took up the ladder and the guiding principles that got him to the top. The direction and motivation he provides in The Cilantro Diaries will help you find a mentor, build a network, establish a reputation, rise above the competition, and move far beyond entry-level jobs into a profitable and satisfying professional career.
Even if you don’t have the interest or the means for pursuing a university education, you can be a success. Lorenzo Gomez did it. Now you can do it, too.
First up, it’s a great cover, which never hurts. Bright, colourful, cheeky, we loved it. Then the title is good, snappy, and engaging, though it did initially give the impression that he might have made his money from selling something illegal. Then we remembered from our time living in Costa Rica that cilantro is Spanish for coriander [LOL]. Moving swiftly on, as the book does also, it’s a good, smart, self-aware account of how he learned valuable business lessons, and yes from ‘unlikely places’. The reality is of course that whatever sector we work in, or perhaps especially in tech, it is still, for now, all about people. People and how you relate to them remains a key, if not the key skill.
Gomez has learned good life lessons, and was willing to listen and absorb advice from people as he went along. The book is well written and is an enjoyable read, moves along briskly and aims to keep delivering useful, actionable insights. He describes the value of building your own board of advisors, formal in name, informal in composition. These are your peers, mentors, and people to go to for advice and honest feedback. It’s a smart resource to build up if you don’t have it already. Throughout the book there are good insights like this, as well as warnings about what not to do too, including who to give feedback to, and who not to – just because something is true it may not be your job to deliver the news to that particular person.
It is an enoyable read, and it will be interesting to see what he does next in his new role, and if he writes any more books in the future they could be worth reading too.
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