Jon Acuff's Blog, page 5

February 3, 2017

Everyone has an impossible goal.


Even if life and parents and teachers and bosses with bad breath beat it out of you, it’s still there.


It might be quiet and dim, but it is not dead.


Why should you do it?


Why should you start that business, write that book, lose that weight?


Why should you do the impossible?


Because of two people.


The first is yourself. Dreams you refuse to chase don’t disappear, they become ghosts that haunt you. In quiet moments at red lights or in the shower, when your phone can’t save you, they return like a phantom. Unfulfilled hope doesn’t dissipate, it disintegrates into bitterness.



Unfulfilled hope doesn’t dissipate, it disintegrates into bitterness.
Click To Tweet



Unless, you try the impossible.


Patrick did.


He sent me this email this week:



Working for the NHL is impossible. There are only 30 teams, it’s smaller than the NFL and anyone who loves hockey would love to work there. Jobs are scarce, but that didn’t stop Patrick.


Instead, he did 3 things:



He went to a conference to learn.
He bought my book Do Over.
He worked in sales for a year in the minor leagues.

This wasn’t an overnight story. This wasn’t instant. This wasn’t easy.


You must chase your goals for yourself, but what about the second person who needs you to do it?


The second person is every person you’ll never meet that bumps into your dream.


Patrick for instance. When I sat down to write Do Over, I didn’t know him. When you start your business or change jobs or chase your dream, you won’t know who it’s really for. But they’re out there. They need that thing you’re going to do.


We need you to do the impossible.


Why do I promote Do Over? Because it works. It’s $11 and it helps you do the impossible. I can’t say it any simpler than that.


If you’re ready to do the impossible, buy a copy today.


 


The post Two people who need you to do the impossible. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 03, 2017 02:00 • 9 views

February 1, 2017

This morning, I tweeted that “If you are up this early, we needed to be connected on LinkedIN.” I’ve done that a few times lately and think that you and I should connect. Here’s my profile. Let’s do it!


Someone responded “I’m old enough to remember when you were supposed to actually know someone before you linked to them in LinkedIn.”


That’s a good point and maybe it was true a few years ago. The problem is that some people still believe that.


The reality, as discussed by many people notably Malcolm Gladwell, is that your next job is likely to come from someone you don’t know well.


We tend to think our closest friends will help us network. We tend to think our best friends and family members are the greatest sources of relational opportunities. They’re not though. Strangers are going to provide you a lot more connections to new jobs than your inner circle. Why?


Because your inner circle tends to travel in the same situations you do. They work similar jobs. They live in your town. They bump into roughly the same opportunities you do.


People on the edges though, people you might only know from the Internet, they tend to see things you don’t. They know companies you don’t. They have conversations and connections you don’t. The wide circle has more connections than the tight.


The reason I wrote 25% of my book Do Over about relationships is that they are the original job hack. You’ll get more jobs via a friendship than any other thing. (You can pick up a copy today for only $11. What are you waiting for?)



Relationships are the original job hack. Who you know still matters.
Click To Tweet



I hope you’ll connect as often as you can with as many people as you can on LinkedIN. Again, here’s my info if you want to connect to me.


You just might be surprised by who helps you get your next job.


 


The post The surprising person who will get you a new job. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on February 01, 2017 05:20 • 27 views

January 30, 2017

I made $24,500 at my first real job and felt like the richest person in the world.


I was absolutely thrilled to be making that kind of bank. I was like a short, skinny Rick Ross. Woke up in a new Bugatti!


Over the years, I received a few raises and started to notice an interesting pattern. The more skills I acquired the more money I’d received. Or to quote P-Diddy, “Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.”


The better I got at identifying, acquiring and utilizing new skills, the higher my salary climbed. The challenge is we have a hard time knowing what our skills really are. When you ask someone, “What are your skills?” They often say, “Nothing.” or “People. I’m good with people. And dogs.”


You’ll never get a raise that way. Perhaps even more critical, if you don’t learn new skills, you could lose your job. I remember two designers that showed me that. I met one in Dallas. He told me, “Jon, I remember when I realized that if I didn’t learn how to design for the Internet I was going to become a dinosaur and lose my job.” So he learned new skills, new software and new approaches to being a graphic designer.


The other person was an industrial designer. His company told him that they loved his work but they needed him to learn AutoCAD. He refused, promising that he designed better by hand. For a minute he could keep up, but eventually, you lose the race to a computer. He got stuck and lost his job.


That’s what’s so amazing about new skills. It’s impossible to get stuck somewhere old if you keep learning something new.



It’s impossible to get stuck somewhere old if you keep learning something new.
Click To Tweet



New skills make you stuck proof. The reason why 25% of my book “Do Over” is about skills is because they are critical. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy. It’s only $11.


How do you start identifying your skills? Well, it’s pretty simple. You just have to ask 5 questions. I even made an infographic for you. Ask these and check out Do Over to really supercharge the skill part of your career. Remember, Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.



The post How to get a raise at work. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 30, 2017 06:56 • 27 views

January 27, 2017

I don’t finish books. This is a shame, given my chosen profession of writing books, but there it is.


My shelves are piled high with books I’ve read thirty pages of. Even great books tend to die an early death in the face of the busyness of life. I’d love to think you’ll finish this blog post, but there’s a whole world of awesome things to do, like kite surfing, so let’s not waste any time.


There are two walls that stand between you and doing something you love with your life. The first wall is called attitude and the second is called expectations.


If you want to have a better job today, deal with both of those walls.


I can’t teach you a new skill in the next thirty seconds that your boss will be blown away by. I can’t change your character in the next paragraph. One post of words will not deeply impact your hustle on your dream or fix all your relationships, but if you want to have a better job right this second, that’s possible. All you have to do is choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.


Notice I didn’t say, “Change your attitude.” That could take years. Choosing it, though, takes a handful of seconds. Monday at work, choose to have a good attitude. Choose not to be cynical. Choose not to act like you’re doing them a favor by showing up. Choose not to complain. Choose to cheer for the accomplishments of your coworkers. Choose to treat customers like superstars.


Choose your attitude every day until eventually it chooses you right back.



Choose your attitude every day until eventually it chooses you right back.
Click To Tweet



It’s not about feeling happy or feeling committed to your work or feeling like being a good employee. Feelings are the flightiest things in the world, held to the whimsy of a thousand factors. Feelings will tell you the day is already ruined because you woke up on the wrong side of the bed or had a bad commute that morning. Don’t listen to feelings. Make choices. Today, choose a good attitude. This is the one thing you can do right this minute to actually shock your boss, improve your work relationships and dramatically increase your long-term odds of an awesome career.


The second thing you need to do is to adjust your expectations. What are you expecting your job to do for you? We all carry laundry lists of secret expectations, and when our jobs fail to meet them we fail to enjoy our work.


Do you expect your job to fulfill every creative wish you have? Do you expect work to bend around your dreams and hopes? Do you expect that this will be the last job you have, since changing jobs is such a hassle?


Take three minutes and write down what your expectations are for work. And then, take another three minutes and write down the real ones because you probably just lied to yourself a little bit.


Tom Magliozzi, the late cohost of NPR’s Car Talk show, theorizes that “Happiness Equals Reality Minus Expectations,” but I disagree. If you pull the thread of that thought, what it’s saying is that “The way to be happy is to not have expectations,” but that’s ridiculous. To have an expectation is to have a hope. To have a dream. To have a desire about something you want to happen. Surely, deadening our ability to hope is not the solution to our frustration at work. The trick is not to eliminate your expectations; the trick is to adjust them.


Write them down and then find the right home for them. You may very well have some expectations that belong at your job. You may also have a lot of expectations that belong somewhere else. Like a side job or a hobby or a different job all together. I’ve always wanted to write books of poetry. Was that the right expectation to place on my last boss, Dave Ramsey, a by-the-numbers financial guru? Probably not, but I still mistakenly did it.


When your attitude or expectations get out of whack you create a vicious cycle that cripples most Do Over moments. Your unspoken, unmet expectations give you a bad attitude. Your bad attitude makes you even more unreasonable in demanding that your job meets your expectations. You do enough laps around this circle and work becomes more miserable.


Want a better job right this second? Choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.


Want to take the next step to loving your work? Read my book Do Over. It’s the best $11 investment you’ll ever make in your 40 year career. Buy a copy today.


The post 2 ways to love your job more in 30 seconds. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 27, 2017 06:34 • 11 views

January 24, 2017

Recently, I noticed that Jenny purchased a body wash called “Hustle.” I laughed when I saw it because I’ve made a habit of overusing that word.


I stopped laughing though when I saw the yellow callout on the bottle.



“Compare to Old Spice Swagger Body Wash.”


They clearly meant you were supposed to compare the products. They expected you to to analyze the texture, cleanliness and ability of each body wash to make you smell like an 8th grade boy who has run out of Axe Body Spray. In that respect, I assume they are equal.


But what happens when you compare Hustle to Swagger?


Those words are often thrown around together by fake entrepreneurs who love posting watches and yachts they don’t own on Instagram with terrible motivational statements.


Are they really the same? Here’s what I think.


Hustle is quiet.

Swagger is loud.


Hustle is humble.

Swagger is proud.


Hustle believes in work.

Swagger believes in words.



Hustle believes in work. Swagger believes in words.
Click To Tweet



Hustles lives in the future.

Swagger lives in the past.


Hustle competes against itself.

Swagger compares itself to others.


Hustle knows rest is part of creativity.

Swagger thinks rest is for the weak.


Hustle thrives on intention.

Swagger thrives on attention.


Hustle asks strangers for friendship.

Swagger asks strangers for favors.


Hustle is vulnerable enough to hope.

Swagger is too cool to care.


Hustle knows when it’s enough.

Swagger doesn’t even believe in that word.


I could go on and on, but we’ve both got things we need to hustle on today.


Hustle is not the same thing as swagger. Not even close.


Want to learn how to hustle? Read pages 207-262 in my book Do Over.


Don’t have it yet? Let’s fix that today.


The post The lesson I learned in the shower. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 24, 2017 06:54 • 8 views

January 23, 2017

Last week, I asked this simple question on Twitter:



The results were staggering, but not surprising.


We tend to over edit ourselves during the creative process and it’s a colossal mistake. Why?


Because you’re usually the worst judge of things you create.


No one really knows perfectly if what they’ve made is good or not. We’re too close to the project to see it for what it is.


Take Jon Bon Jovi for example.


He didn’t want to put the song “Living on a Prayer” on their album. He didn’t think it was good.


Richie Sambora, his guitar player, convinced him to do it and it ended up being their most popular song of all time.


There are two takeaways from this:



Don’t self edit so harshly, especially during the early stages of a project.
Get you a Richie Sambora. You need someone who can tell you the truth.

You kill good ideas when you expect them to be great too soon.



You kill good ideas when you expect them to be great too soon.
Click To Tweet



And once they’re done, you can’t see them for what they really are and need community to tell you.


If you remember that, you’re halfway there …


P.S. I wrote a book about being awesome at what you do. You should read it.


The post Bon Jovi was wrong and you probably are, too. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 23, 2017 02:00 • 22 views

January 20, 2017

How have I written 6 books in the last 7 years? (New one comes out this fall!)


Being really tall helps, but more than my amazing height, becoming productive has been a process of learning how to use a few simple tools.


I use Evernote to capture my ideas.


I use a stopwatch app to focus on one thing for 60-120 minutes.


I use a big notepad on a stand to plot out ideas without being chained to my desk.


I use a variety of tools to knock out my day, but the one I use the most is my calendar.


About six years ago I got tired of my years just sort of happening to me. Without a plan, the weeks would just march by one by one without anything really changing. I felt stuck.


During that season, I heard that a young entrepreneur I knew who had started a calendar company. Unlike other calendars, this one was massive. It’s 25″ x 36″ which means I’d have three feet to work out my days. It was beautifully designed. And it was available in both paper and dry erase.



I personally used that calendar for years and years. I recommended it to so many people that eventually it just made sense to partner with my friend and design my own.


We only print 1,000 each year and we’re almost sold out.


Best of all, you can save 20% today. Just enter code “DoOver” at check out.


If you’re ready for a big year, get a big calendar.


Click here to order.



Awesome years don’t happen by accident.
Click To Tweet



The post The one tool I use everyday. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 20, 2017 06:53 • 11 views

January 19, 2017


A week ago, I announced I was holding a meme contest for the paperback launch of Do Over. (You can buy a copy right here.)


The two winners would receive an awesome stack of books from Penguin.


I thought I’d get a few entries and then ask you to vote on the three best.


That was a dumb expectation.


You sent in hundreds of entries. There are so many amazing Do Over memes that we had to create a quick survey to tally the results.


That’s where you come in.


Will you please take a few minutes and vote on your favorite meme? The survey will be open for 48 hours. (It closes Saturday morning at 10AM Central.)


Here’s the link.


If you made one of these memes, tell your friends to vote for you!


Are you ready for some hilarious memes?


Click here!



One meme to rule them all. (Vote for the best meme today!)
Click To Tweet



The post I need your help today for a hilarious reason. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 19, 2017 02:00 • 12 views

January 13, 2017

Have you ever dreaded Sunday night because it reminded you that Monday morning was coming?


Have you ever looked at the clock expecting it to be noon and it’s only 10AM because your work day is dragging?


Have you ever felt like one week of vacation wasn’t enough because it took you that long to even shake off work?


If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time to read Do Over.


And not someday, today.


Why?


Because I made a 7 part video series you get for free if you order before midnight.


Best of all, it’s only $11 right now.


Enjoying your job is worth $11. (Probably even $15, but let’s not get carried away.)


The free 7 part video series disappears in a few hours.


Don’t miss it and don’t spend another week dreading work.


Order Do Over today and then fill out this form for your free videos.


The post You’ve only got 14 hours left. appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 13, 2017 07:51 • 24 views

January 10, 2017

Win a free library from Penguin Books!


One of my goals in life is to have a home library so big that I need one of those rolling ladders to get around.


Will I sing from the top? We’ll see. I’m not ruling anything out.


If you like books too, I’ve got some exciting news.


I want to help start your library by giving you 11 different books from Penguin, my publisher!


I handpicked books from their insane collection and will be picking two winners next Tuesday. How do you win?


Create the best meme about the Do Over paperback.


(Google “meme” if you don’t know what that is or ask the person closest to you who has their nose pierced.)


I want to see hilarious memes that capture the best of Do Over and the best of pop culture.


Here are two examples:





Please note in the first one, that it wasn’t directly about Do Over but was more about hating your job. That works, too.


The book is about rescuing Monday so if your meme doesn’t specifically mention Do Over, but instead focuses on a career situation, that’s cool too. You can also place Do Over in a popular scene from a movie or TV show. Last year, someone used Do Over as the boombox John Cusack was raising in Say Anything for example. (You can buy a copy of the book right here!)


What books will two lucky winners win? These:



I’m running the contest myself and feel like 7 days is plenty of time to enter.


You can enter as often as you like.


How do you enter? Do two things:

1. Post your meme on social media and tag me so I see it. (I’m @JonAcuff on Twitter and Instagram.)

2. Email it to Ashley at Acuff.me


On Tuesday, January 17th, I’ll post the three best on my Facebook and let you pick the winner.


Ready to meme?


Or do you feel like “ain’t nobody got time for that?”


Up to you really.


Here’s to Do Over moments. Here’s to libraries. Here’s to doing something funny with a photo of Kermit the Frog.



Make memes. Win books. (I like all of those words.) See how here:
Click To Tweet



The post Win a free library from Penguin Books! appeared first on Jon Acuff.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 10, 2017 07:18 • 18 views