Have you ever felt caught between the tension of a day job and a dream job? That gap between what you have to do and what you'd love to do?
At first I thought I was the only one who felt that way, but then I started to talk to people and realized we're becoming the "I'm, but" generation. When we talk about what we do for a living we inevitably say, "I'm a teacher, but I want to be an artist." "I'm a CPA, but I'd love to start my own business."
"I'm a _____, but I want to be a ______."
All too often, we hear that dreaming big means you quit your day job, sell everything you own, and move to Guam. But what if there were a different way?
What if you could blow up your dream without blowing up your life?
What if you could go for broke without going broke?
What if you could start today?
What if you already have everything you need to begin?
From figuring out what your dream is to quitting in a way that exponentially increases your chance of success, Quitter is full of inspiring stories and actionable advice. This book is based on 12 years of cubicle living and my true story of cultivating a dream job that changed my life and the world in the process.
It's time to close the gap between your day job and your dream job.
Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of eight books, including Soundtracks, Your New Playlist, and the Wall Street Journal #1 bestseller Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.
When he’s not writing or recording his popular podcast, All It Takes Is a Goal, Acuff can be found on a stage, as one of INC's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He's spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges and companies around the world including FedEx, Nissan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Chick-fil-A, Nokia and Comedy Central.
For over 20 years he's also helped some of the biggest brands tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team.
Jon lives outside of Nashville, TN with his wife Jenny and two teenage daughters.
Surprisingly, this book, called Quitter, is not about quitting. It is actually about making the most of where you are at. Often, when going after a dream job, our day job can be good security for us while we prepare to take a big step towards our goals and passions. One of the best points that Acuff makes in this book comes in the chapter, "Removing the 'I'm' From Your 'But.'" An I'm/But example is, "I'm an accountant, but I wanted to be a novelist." It seems like there are a lot of people these days that, when describing what they do for a living, feel like they need to clarify what they actually wished they were doing for a job. I, myself, have fallen into this trap as well, and it is bad to do because we are ignoring the good that can come from where we are at. Looking back at past jobs, I can see how God had me there for reason, preparing me for what was coming up next. Chapter 7 was about hustling to make your dreams come true, and I particularly appreciated Acuff's assessment of the time we have available to us. We often complain that we don't have enough time to accomplish our dreams, however we have no problem spending hours a week watching TV. By differentiating between things we love to do and things we like to do, Acuff asserts that we can start to close the gap between our day job and our dream job by eliminating things that we simply like. Even if they are not bad things in nature, it may be bad for our dreams to give them a place in our lives.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it made me feel like a big dumb jerk a lot.
Okay. Fine. I revised my rating. I went back and changed it to five stupid stars. After all, it's not Acuff's fault that I've had such a sucky attitude toward non-dreamy employment. It's mine. Go Jon, yay.
God's been working on me about my attitudes toward my dream, my job, my expectation of spousal provision, and the financial irresponsibility of pursuing my dreams as I've been pursuing them, for several months now. This book came along at the right time for me: a time of decision; a time when going from part-time to full-time at my job has become not only an opportunity, but a necessity. I needed this book. So thanks God, for inspiring it, thanks Jon, for writing it, and thanks, Alan, for blessing me with it.
Although the message of QUITTER hit me pretty hard in some areas, it also reasserted some of the truths God has been impressing upon me these past months. But it wasn't all a butt-kicking festival. This book also encouraged me. It drove home the truth that the dreams which drive and fulfill me creatively don't have to be sacrificed at the alter of necessity -- they just have to be pursued with wisdom, rather than with irresponsible abandon.
I've been a dreamer and a planner of dreams all my life. Unfortunately, my "plans" -- if you could call them that -- involved a lot of dreamy pinnacle points and not a lot of grit. (Sometimes, my pinnacle points even included bright flashing lights, sequins, and a groovy soundtrack. Yes, they were awesome. But.... Hmm. Maybe I watched a bit too much DANCE FEVER as a kid. Whatever.)In any case, my grandiose plans for achieving my dreams gave little credence to the meat-in-the-middle that feeds the journey toward the dream.
I was willing to work my butt off on the dream but I wanted to work on ONLY the dream. I resented my part-time job because it took time away from my writing. I resented my bills. I resented my house. I resented the orthodontist. I was carrying around so much resentment and festering with such a sense of righteous entitlement (because I am so talented and unappreciated, you know) that it constipated my dreams. I hit the wall with my writing. I began having anxiety attacks. I was poisoning myself ad nauseum. My dreams were inflated and anorexic at the same time. And, because I was chasing them irresponsibly,well, I guess you could say my dreams needed to pass some gas. (Wow. I really didn't intend to use bathroom metaphor when I began this review. Huh.Does that mean I'm full of... bathroom stuff??? Maybe. But stick with me here.) So between God's nudging and Jon Acuff's book, QUITTER, a can of reality beans was cracked open in my heart and it kicked me (and my sucky attitude toward my day job)in the tail.
Luckily, I was alone most of the time while I was reading.
So... is this a book for writers? Yes. And anyone else who has ever dreaded their day job or dreamed a dream. So read it already. But -- and pay attention here -- I recommend reading the first four or so chapters individually -- not more than a chapter a day. Take time to really think about and soak in how this applies to you and your dream. Eat your reality beans, digest them, and set them free, as it were, in small doses. You may want to read ahead, but don't give in to the temptation. If you, like me, need to smell the stink you've made with the attitudes you've held toward your day job before you can appreciate the all-you-can-eat Texas Roadhouse steak buffet of your dreams in motion,then this book is best read slowly, over the course of a week or two-- or more.
This is a great book. It's a challenging and encouraging book; a great addition to your home library and a great book to hand out to a friend who is unhappy in his/her current job.
Perspective is a beautiful thing. And I am now happy that, although I have mentally typed my resignation numerous times over the past 18 months, most days I can now smile, fall in like with my job, and say to myself,
This book is not what you might think; in fact, I hesitate to talk about it lest my coworker friends think I'm looking to jump ship. (I am not.) But this book is too good not to share, and sometimes the right things hit us at just the right times.
I can see this book being a GREAT touchstone for anyone hoping to bridge the gap between their day job and their dream job. Instead of shallow platitudes or motivational feel-goodery about 'just doing it' and 'making the leap', you'll find here excellent advice on the merits of practicing excellence in the job you're at as it prepares you for the job you want. There's good stuff in here for folks wanting creative careers (writers and artists; beta testing; the merits of failing) as well as detail-oriented advice on planning the transition (saving enough to cover 6 months of bills).
The thinking here is long-term everywhere, so this is not a book about 'sticking it to the man' or cathartically declaring 'Fu¢K You' to your boss; if you're looking for that --well, I don't know what to recommend, but this isn't it. Then again, maybe it is because it'll likely give you some perspective and help you get clear to fish or cut bait.
The book is uniformly positive, sincere, contemporary (lots of relevant stuff here if you think your dream job may involve some sort of blog), and ultimately from someone who's been where you are and who's now where you may hope to be.
Acuff is well-read in contemporary pop-thought leaders like Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell. He's also Christian –not so zealous (here, at least) that non-believers will be turned off, nor so unabashed that true believers will question his bona fides; if you can appreciate Dave Ramsey's financial advice while leaving aside the Bible stuff, you should have no problem here. Ultimately, this book is well-reasoned and insightful.
I listened to the audio version from Audible narrated by the author and he is funny, contemporary, and engaging. I especially like the (several) times when he goes off script in his narration saying, 'this isn't in the book, but-' and then provides some additional insight or anecdote. For members, it was only $5.95, so a wise investment for a 5-hour listen and countless repeats.
I've pitted my writing dream against my day job for a long while now, and it got to the point that I've become the b**** of the front desk. This book taught me that I have to improve at my day job in order to make my dream work better. If you can practice discipline in one area of your life, it will extend to the others that matter to you even more.
That's not the only bit of advice I got out of this book. Some of it is just plain, old-fashioned financial prudence. Some of it is stuff I hadn't considered: how to deal with success. But it's that main lesson that helped. I'm not quitting my day job until I've got a rock solid alternative. Until that happens, I need to improve my attitude, and this book has helped me do it. For that reason, it's probably the most valuable book I've read in 2020 so far.
In a culture where it's easy to get caught up in the motto of "I want what I want and I want it now!" this book asks readers to take a step back and actually work for their dreams. To be honest, I read this book because I wanted it to tell me to quit. It doesn't. It tells you to plan, work your butt off, and once your ducks are all in a row, THEN quit. I wish I had managed to do that in my situation, but regardless, the advice in this book is great to mentally chew on as you're working towards your dream job.
This was the first audiobook that I had "read" in quite some time, and probably the first one I actually made it through. I loved listening to Jon Acuff's voice and that probably kept me listening. That being said, this book is great. I love the drive and "hustle" as he calls it, that he talks about in his life. I had no idea he's been through so many jobs, he's definitely qualified to write a book like this. Me personally, this book was a lot of future information for me. I'm still stuck and the hardest question, which is the first one. What makes you happy? What would you be doing if you didn't get paid for it? I think there are a lot of people out there stuck in the same question, but that doesn't mean that you never answer that question.
Jon kind of walks you through the steps of this, but at the end of the day, it is you who make that decision. I plan to spend the next few years of my life trying to figure that out. I'm actually really glad this came as a free audiobook from his website because it's saved in my Itunes library. I can come back to it whenever I have my phone around me.
If you are much further along in your decision to leave the day job, congratulations! If you're anywhere along the path, this one is worth a read. Or a listen.
Seems a bit self promoting. All of this type of book promote something. This was long drawn out common sense. Can't believe someone published it At least I got it from the library and didn't pay for it.
A book I'd purchased when I was still Christian, this one has not aged well, although props to the author for writing a "Christian-ese" book without including the salvation prayer in the back or any direct proselytizing throughout.
While there were some bits of practical and actually helpful advice in here, especially in regards to planning, and "taking your dream to work with you" I found 80% of the book to be fluff-the author sprinkling in anecdotes and unnecessary commentary talking about his personal journey to his dream rather than keeping a tight focus on how to help me go after mine. Many of his points on that front were trite or not expounded upon enough. I get that no one can write a one size fits all "how to go after your dream" instruction booklet, but I was hoping for more structured methodology and less narrative.
Props to the author for being vulnerable about mistakes he made and things to avoid, but quite frankly the message came down to "you can do it too if you hustle" (and here's tips for how to hustle wisely and with integrity, which was the moderately helpful bit). To me the whole thing also reeked of privilege- its not pushing a prosperity gospel, but the author clearly had a privileged starting point and seemed oblivious to the reality that not everyone has the same starting line.
Lastly, this book was clearly approached achieving one's dreams within the our current societal systems, which doesn't line up with my personal dreams that involve transcending current paradigms. Not a worldview fit for me, on multiple levels.
I really liked this book. This book was probably one of my favorite books I have read this year. I really enjoyed it. Most of the Books we have read this year have been sad and dramatic, but this book was different. This book is more like a text book. I found myself writing down quotes and taking notes on what was being said. There were so many key points in this book and it helped me, because I haven't chosen a career yet, realize that I need to choose a career that I actually want to work for instead of just working for money. I learned so many things in this book, It has taught me to quit, quit living your life as if you are forced to do certain things. Do what you want and work for a dream, not just a job. I would recommend this book for anyone and any age. I read this book as a senior in high school and I plan on reading this book many more times.
I loved this book, as I have always felt the tension between my day jobs and my dream job. Acuff doesn't skirt around an issue that has always plagued me; we spend so much of our lives at our day jobs! I don't want to waste my life slogging through meaningless work, but as Jon points out, no work is truly meaningless. If you've ever experienced job dissatisfaction, I can't recommend this book enough.
I pulled some good stuff from this book. It’s all about making educated decisions to take you one step closer to your dream job. The author makes some generalizations (and a few borderline sexist remarks), or I would have rated it higher.
Don’t quit your day job without planning what to do next.. You might replace your old boss with new mini bosses that were previously hidden. That means your electricity bill, your water bill. When bills rule your life, there’s not much chance of being your own boss.
A great book to inspire you about pursuing your dream job. Short version, it's not about quitting your day job right away to pursue your dream. It's about putting in the work little by little to build a strong foundation for your dream so you can be successful at it when you do quit your day job.
"Superman... needed Clark Kent. Being Clark was the reason he was able to be Superman. It was how he stayed real..." -Jon Acuff (or more his wife actually) #Quitter
Jon starts his book off letting the reader know how much of a quitter he is... or was?
"I could always quit my job, I could NEVER quit my kids" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
Now, unlike Jon, I pretty much never think of quitting my job. I have been with the same company for 6 years. One may see this as impossible, but I have always been grateful to just HAVE my job, so why complain about it? Also, I pretty much have the best boss I have ever had (and hopefully not that I will EVER have...better is always..better)!
"The false promise of perfection will keep you from pursuing your dream" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"fear is rarely logical" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
Grasping the idea of 'dream job' bliss is grounded in this book, a real understanding - that is sourly misunderstood by the general public (that definitely included myself!)!
"Your passion will always fuel your plan!" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"Discovery or Recovery?" Have new understanding of what 'finding' your dream can be is clearly described, and I greatly agree with the statements made by Jon in Quitter.
"What have I done in my life, that I love doing?"
Look around... your dream surrounds you! It is easy to look at all the opportunity around you and just be blind to the real possibilities.
"Enjoy the gift of making many of your early mistakes, without a major audience" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"Let the competition serve as a source of motivation, not a source of measurement." -Jon Acuff #Quitter (posted)
I read some posts on Youtube when I was grabbing the embed for the video trailer to share on my site, and I was confused to read all the negative thoughts about what Jon was trying to portray for his book. One of them kind of dealt with this 'having hindsight after you have your dream job already' or 'you got your dream job, now let me rub it in your face', but it does not have to be that way - attitude is important! If you want to get a dream job, attitude about others that have 'landed' their dream jobs need to be in the right place, and ironically Jon covers this in Quitter.
Have an attitude that is right if you choose to read this book, or Jon just might convince you to change!!
"Time shifts when your doing what you love" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"Define what your 'enough' will look like." -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"Hinge moments" - Is a psychological thought that is simply ... simple. I am not sure if he came up with this on his own or not, but I feel very certain there is great merit in it.
living in the land of "what if" is a statement the I 'thought' about but never really talked about WHY I have "what if's" After this book I will never hear that statement quite the same again!
"death to the discussion obstacle" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
One other thing, I really have to pump the 'value' of the audio book. Not only do you get to listen instead of read, but Jon takes 'time outs' from the script to tell you about things he may be dealing with right then or what he was really thinking when he was writing that part. So I greatly recommend getting it!
"not doing anything is it's own decision, and the odds of failure are horrible" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
"By saying 'yes' to the wrong things, you might be actually going backwards" -Jon Acuff #Quitter
Anyone that has a job, does not have a job, or just has a dream should pick this up!
I plowed through this book. Although I have it in print, I could never get around to reading it. I recently discovered that I also had the audio book so I listened to it while driving back and forth to work for a week.
Jon Acuff manages to combine a great sense of humor with practical career advice in this book. You won't find out how to get rich quick or make $40,000 an month from your blog here. No, you'll learn what it means to grind it out and pursue your dream while not destroying your life, health, and relationships.
Jon's personal experience and infectious personality makes it's way off every page. If you listen to the audio book he even goes off script and shares some new insights since writing the book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is working 9-to-5 and feels like they're stuck in a dead end job while their dream rots in a corner somewhere. You may also like this book if you walk under double-rainbows all day and bleed Skittles.
Some personal notes:
I'm glad I finished the book but I must admit that I felt a bit let down. Not because it's not a good book but because I'd already heard most of these points online somewhere.
If you haven't followed Jon online and listened to interviews in podcasts then there is some really fresh material in here that will be very beneficial. If, however, you've follow Jon Acuff for the past 2 or 3 years you might feel like you've heard much of this already.
My take-aways from this book weren't earth-shaking revelations but reinforced what I'd already heard and knew in my heart but was unwilling to commit to words or thoughts.
Quitter motivated me to continue pursuing my dream even if reaching it is still just around the corner.
I read this book in one day. It was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to quit their day job in pursuit of their dream job. It will really help you think through the timing of this transition thoughtfully so that you don't take the leap before you're ready.
Acuff's writing was really entertaining and made the book a fun read as well. I laughed out loud a couple times. Here's one excerpt I especially loved:
"When people ask me, 'How do you get a book published?' which is just a specific way to ask, 'How do you make your dream happen?' they want the same answer I used to want.
'It's actually pretty easy. You just write a draft of a book, usually over a long weekend, in a cabin somewhere with a vista. Gotta have a vista. Then after you write it you give it to a publisher. They fall in love usually faster than it took you to write it. Then you go on a book tour that is highly attended and not at all just you sitting by an empty table watching people pick up your life's work, flip through it, shrug in disappointment, and walk away. You then collect royalties, debate whether to let Guy Ritchie turn it into a movie, and pick out where you want to live now. That's probably the hardest part of the whole book-writing experience, deciding what to do with your money. Are you a beachfront cottage or mountain chalet person? That's the real dilemma of book writing. Picking your second home. Huge hassle.'
Haha! Love it! But really, if the title/subtitle is at all enticing to you, it's worth the read!
I listened to the audiobook version of "Quitter" while I painted my kitchen over the last 2 days. It's a great book and I really appreciated all the things Jon had to share. (Don't be fooled by the title: ultimately Jon advises you NOT to quit your day job while you pursue your dream job on the side.) I especially enjoy the "off script" moment in the audiobook - Jon himself narrates. These off script moments really make the audiobook seem more like good conversation between pals. The only downside to the book is that it can seem like Jon does a fair amount of bragging about his awesome Dave-Ramsey-job-living-in-Nashville current life. However, I can also understand how the seeming bragging makes certain points in his book more valid.
I feel a little guilty because, truth be told, I downloaded the free version of the audiobook from Noisetrade. And: I didn't leave a tip. But! The audiobook was so good I plan to buy the paperback version and do a re-read-and-highlight routine on that puppy. Not to mention, I'm recommending the book to everyone here. So that's easing my guilt about the free download situation. I'm also looking forward to reading (and properly buying/checking out) Jon's newest book "Start".
I could not connect to the book. I listened to it vice reading it, and that may have ruined it for me. (I don't know how he breathed! He read fast.) With that said, Acuff has some good points. They come few and far in-between, in my humble opinion, though. I think Acuff tries too hard to connect with his readers. He does this by going off on tangents and including a humor to his writing that, personally, does not strike me as all that funny. The majority of the last chapter is a never-ending list of criteria to quit your job. It took a lot for me not to fast-forward. And he fails to address a few looming questions I (and probably others) had from the onset of the book: simply stated, "What if I'm not good at what I want to do? What if I'm not good at my passion? What if what I want to do is not marketable?" All said and done, Acuff's overall theme, at least from what I personally gathered, is patience. Don't rush into anything; think things through; etc. His best example is Christ, who, as Acuff correctly reminds us, spent 30 years in obscurity before spending 3 years changing the world.
First book I have read that makes a strong case for keeping your day job until you have all the pieces in place for your dream job. Very realistic about the need to maintain an income and start by doing what you love on the side until you can afford to do it full time. The key is not to just coast day to day and then realize you have been making no progress however, you plan it out and you do what is required. it takes effort, planning and perseverance.
Really enjoyed his writing style as well, clear, blunt where necessary, but very witty with a lot of the humor aimed at himself. Good book for people to get the stars out of their eyes and figure out what to do to do what you really like.
His advice on giving your current job your best regardless is very good, you develop a reputation as a hard worker and people will take a chance on you later, plus that is a good habit to have. You get used to barely putting any effort into your work because you don't love it and it can very hard to switch gears later.
This book was a very quick and easy read that did offer a few "ah-ha" moments and a bit of humor here and there. I didn't know when I was starting this book that is was going to be a kind of Dave Ramsey offshoot and that took me off guard. I also had never heard of the author so I wasn't expected it to be as Christianity focused as it was at times. However, as an individual who is not seeking a Christ-centered book I think the author did a good job of making it clear that he was religious and that this influenced his decisions without ramming it down your throat or forcing the subject too much. Overall, I liked the authors message of being cautious and not overly optimistic when first approaching your dreams. It plays well into my cautious personality to read a book that encourages you to pursue your dreams without being reckless and hoping for the best.
Quitter was a humorous yet thoughtful approach to why and how we say 'no' to our dream jobs, and how to overcome the odds (and ourselves) to make them a reality.
The book, despite the title, probes for the right answers about why we work jobs we hate, why we keep ourselves from success and whether we can continue responsibly into our career passions. Only then like a true Sensei does he explain how to quit properly.
As a freelancer, I was touched by Jon's honesty and pensive dialogue, shedding a few tears along the way. His book has boosted my confidence in ways I hadn't dreamed. Great read.
This book isn't going to be the perfect fit for everyone, but since I'm currently trying to figure out what to do about my day job and my dream job, THESE WORDS WERE PRICELESS. (Jonathan Acuff has a delightful sense of humor, so I guess maybe you could read this book just for that.) By page 20, I knew I was going to need to re-read the book a few times to get past the Super Excited stage and into the Ahh Pay Attention and Take Notes stage. So . . . that's what I'll be doing next.
Excellent book about how to realistically pursue a dream, by recognizing the value of your day job, while growing your audience and learning how to do your dream job properly through practice. Even more important, making realistic plans for handling success whenever it really IS time to quit your day job, because success brings its own problems. Recommended for anyone who wants to pursue a dream, or just determine the hard realities - good and bad - of pursuing it.
This was a great book for where I am in my life right now. It advised me through some pretty scary life changes and how to do so with all my heart but also how to do it with intelligence. It is important to be smart about the big life changes that we pursue. I really needed to read this when I did and it was perfect for me.