Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

by Jon Acuff


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937077594
Publisher: Ramsey Press
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 118,026
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jon Acuff is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author. Jon speaks nationally on a variety of subjects and is the author of three books: Quitter (Lampo Press); Gazelles, Baby Steps And 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt (Lampo Press); and Stuff Christians Like (Zondervan®). Jon's wildly popular blog,, has more than 3 million readers.

Table of Contents

1 You Are Here 7

2 The Start 27

3 What to Expect When You're Starting 45

4 Learning 77

5 Editing 103

6 Mastering 135

7 Harvesting 163

8 Guiding 195

What Now? Action Always Beats Intention 221

Appendix A 10 Ways to Accelerate Awesome With Social Media 239

Appendix B 10 Things to Do If You're Unemployed 251

Notes 259

Acknowledments 265

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Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
MikeLoomis1 More than 1 year ago
This is a book about improving your life – maybe even making astounding changes for the better. It will help you, and the writing is terrific. If you’re reading 100 reviews here, trying to make up your mind to spend $10-$15… you really need this book. Badly. As I write this, my amazing wife is online shopping for a new bike helmet. She has been browsing bike helmets for 11 months… Don’t be like that. Buy this book now and START, OK?
AspiringAshley More than 1 year ago
Fear. We've all faced it. That feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you to stop what you're doing and return to safety. The heart-racing, nausea-inducing feeling that if you continue as you are, your entire world will collapse.  But there's a worse feeling. The feeling that life has passed you by. The feeling of dreams unfulfilled. Though following dreams can be scary, it's more frightening to not chase them. We need to punch fear in the face and START.  Jon Acuff's new book is going to help you do just that! In START, Acuff proposes names to the five stages of every dream (Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, Guiding), then walks you through each land and the pitfalls of each. Drawing from his observations and own experiences, Acuff will inspire you to destroy your fear and chase your dreams. While I enjoyed his last book, Quitter, I loved this book even more. See, I'm in my 20s. Literally, not just in the Acuff "You're in your 20s anytime you start learning something new" sense. So I really don't have much to quit. I'm still learning what my dreams are and how to chase them. So while I liked Quitter and was inspired to go for my dreams, there wasn't much in it to apply to my life. START is a different story. Anyone can start, no matter where you are in your life. This book helps you start with passion and purpose. Each chapter has a list of action steps in the back of the book to walk you through the stages, not just tell you about them. I devoured the book, and will be going through it again this week to journal through the action steps. If you follow the steps in this book, you will live an Awesome life. And really, don't we all want to be Awesome? Who really wants to be just Average? Yes, Average is safer and more certain. But Awesome is exciting and fulfilling. It's the kind of life that makes you excited to wake up every morning and go to work. So if you're ready to flip the switch from Average to Awesome, check out START by Jon Acuff today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book so far. I am going to go insane having words broken on the margins. Very poor file formatting. Docking stars for that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We all have dreams for an awesome life. I have had a dream for a few years but the fears are sometimes all I see. This book motivates me with truth, contrasted to the lies I tell myself as to why I can't pursue this dream. The answer is to just Start. A simple truth but to do it...this book is moving me to do what I need to, providing a structure that helps me set reasonable expectations. If you are stuck or have a dream that seems like you can't pursue it, this book is for you. :)
EricaRMaier More than 1 year ago
Start is a MUST-READ for anyone who carries a dream in his or her heart and fears it's too late or too hopeless to act on it. Sharing experiences from his own journey to awesome, Jon outlines practical steps to going after your dream with wisdom and purpose. His humor will keep you engaged as you are challenged to take stock of your own life and pinpoint what may be holding you back. As can be suspected, many of us are often so crippled with fear, we don't even know where to begin. Jon shows you exactly how and where to START.
jmcgarry More than 1 year ago
I know. Another motivational book. "Reach your full potential! You can be amazing! Just follow the 29-step plan in this book exactly and the world is yours! Then pay thousands of dollars for our seminars, where we reveal all the secrets you need to know for an amazing life!" Fortunately, this is not that book. This is a book about starting. Start is more than a menu on Windows (at least versions up to Windows 7; I'm not sure about 8). The concept is simple. If you want to do something, start. If you want to be a writer, start writing. If you want to exercise more, start exercising. He identifies 5 stages of activity, Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, Guiding. Traditionally, you would start the Learning phase in your 20s and gradually work your way up to Guiding in your 60s. That's not the way it is anymore. Thanks to the Internet, you can start anywhere, anytime. The book doesn't claim that the Internet is some miracle tool that will magically transform your life (like some books I read in the late 1990s-early 2000s). The Internet simply removes some of the traditional barriers that used to hold you back. You go through the steps in order. Don't worry about making mistakes, that's just part of the process. The book also says not to settle for average. Dexter Yager, one of the largest distributors in the Amway network, said that average was, "bottom of the top, and top of the bottom. Cream of the crap." (His words, not mine.) Obviously, there's no cookie cutter approach to this. The hardest thing in all of this, or any book like this, is to actually do what the book says. Do it, and you could be awesome. No guarantees. The author does mention his availability for speaking engagements, but there aren't any expensive follow-up seminars. All in all, a good book.
Sarah Connatser More than 1 year ago
No matter where you are in life, how old you are, or what field you work in, this book is for you. Jon Acuff combines practical insight, witty humor, and perceptive wisdom into a straightforward, easy-to-read message that is sure to change your life. Acuff provides the tools needed to help you see why you are where you are and how to get from the average path to the awesome road you've yearned for. Buying this book is an investment in your future. You or someone you know needs the words found in it. I am positive of that. Acuff vulnerably shares stories from his own journey. And he speaks truth. Truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but it is needed for growth. You might wrestle with things as you journey through this book, but it is so worth it. Let the truths sink in and learn from them. Buy START. Stop listening to fear and other internal negative voices. Get on the path to awesome. And then share this message with friends and family. We all need to read what Acuff has written.
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The world is full of dreamers and doers. The difference between the two, action. START will challenge and inspire you to begin the forward motion to pursue and master your dreams, then tell you how you can help others do the same. Jon's humor will disarm you, his insight will resonate with you, and before you know it you'll find yourself on the path to awesome. This book is not a "career" book, it is a "life" book.
jmccannAZ More than 1 year ago
I won an advance copy of Start from author Robin O'Bryant's blog, and I'm so glad I did. This is a motivational book packed with great insights, presented with a light, easy-to-read writing style. Acuff shares his ideas in an upbeat, modern, often funny way that breathes new life into all the old truths we know to be true and tend to forget in the day-to-day grind (or, maybe, even truths you never knew to be true). My copy is seriously dog-earred and highlighted, and I plan to buy a handful of new clean copies to share with others so they can do the same.
FriestadRealty0 More than 1 year ago
Great book from beginning to end. Jon had me captivated from the first page. I looked forward to all of his funny stories that helped drived each point home. Great book for anyone wanting to get things going in their life or business. Great real life examples. Very funny too. One of the best books I have read.
CoachEd More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed "Quitter". "Start" gives one an opportunity to move from being average to awesome. You have to work at it, but as Jon explains you can follow his stories from failure to Fantastic! It is a can do book. Just get started!
1000_Character_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Jon's first book Quitter was life-changing for me in helping me to pursue my dreams. I didn't feel as connected with this book as I did with Quitter, but this is a must read for anyone that may feel a little lost on their "journey to awesome." Jon's trademark humor and self-deprecating story telling are again present in this book, which reads very much like a continuation to Quitter in how to start pursuing your dreams. He divides the process into several stages: Learning, editing, mastering, harvesting and guiding. Each dream/goal exists in one of these states.Depending on your goals and where you are at in them, you could be in any or all of these stages. The overall message is that if you don't like something in your life - change it. He provides a great analogy where your life is a diamond mine - you pick what's a rock and what's a diamond. His story about learning to be a speaker for a rehab crowd was also very powerful. If you love what you do it doesn't matter where you do it.
PWhidden More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't want to be awesome? So many times I want to accomplish something to help others or even myself but I get stuck.  I find myself dreaming, then responding to the dream as if it already happened.  Fear peaks out of the corner and glares at me.  It says, "What makes you think you can do anything special?"  Before I've even developed step one, I've mentally failed.  Why go down a road I know I can't drive? Why fail.   Jon's book START challenges this way of thinking.  He teaches us how to glare right back at fear and then punch it in the face.  He takes us to various lands we'll need to encounter once we really want to start something new, something above average, something awesome.  Jon gets us acquainted with these lands and then he calls us to do ourselves.  As he says, "Action always beats intention." He enables us to know how to actually start what we've always wanted to start and coaches us through those important beginning steps. I cannot give Jon enough praise for creating this book, but also for giving it his own quirky, fun spin.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. The content is practical for anyone at any stage of their career or life. I highly recommend reading this one.
JoniBishop More than 1 year ago
I have been a big fan of Jon's for a long time. When I read Quitter, I wasn't sure he could possibly top that book. HE DID. In START, Jon gives practical advice in his humorous, honest, uniquely down-to-earth style that is so needed in today's world where most books seem to sound the same and offer no practical help whatsoever. This book gave me the motivation I needed to look past the fears that were holding me back, and just START. Thanks, Jon, for writing another practical, helpful, REAL book for REAL people!
Stan_S More than 1 year ago
What do you do when all the excuses you used to not chase your dream are gone? What do you do then? Those are questions posed by a lady in her 70s when talking to Jon Acuff on a plane that he did not have an answer for, so he researched the lives of successful people, one of them being Dave Ramsey, to determine what they did in order to live successful lives. The result in Jon's next best seller, START: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters. He unpacks his research and principles he learned in a way only he can do. One minute you will be laughing out loud and the next you will be really quiet because the truth or principle you just read will be hitting your right between the eyes because you know he is talking about you. You will read about wiffle ball CSI, Ferretopia, presentist, and being a little throw-uppy. I submit you will not find that in any other book anywhere. As stated in the book, " The only thing you have to do on the average path is not die." and "like a back road through the mountains, the path to awesome is much narrower than the other, more common path." The choice IS up to YOU. "The starting line is the only line you completely control. The start is the only moment you're the boss of." "Regardless of your age or station in life, it all comes down to one simple truth: you just have to start." Do yourself a favor and order START today and begin you own journey to your own awesome. You will not regret it.
SeekOutWisdom More than 1 year ago
I would put this book into the hands of anyone who is wanting to be more and do more.  If their day job isn’t their dream, or if they have a bigger dream with more people to connect to, more awesome to put on canvas. Far from just being about positive affirmations or pie in the sky thinking, Jon will make you appreciate your stumbles and setbacks, and let you know you are not alone on the road to awesome.  It isn’t easy, but if you are game, Jon is inviting you to walk the path with him.
jgumm More than 1 year ago
I was excited to get an early copy of Start - I devoured it and highlighted the heck out of it. Now that I’m done I’m going to turn back around and read it again. There is so much wisdom and PRACTICAL application to put in motion. The “Road to Awesome” that Jon describes involves 5 stages - Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting and Guiding. These steps are the same no matter what dream you’re working on and want to be awesome at – writing, starting your own business, being a mom, saving the world. Of course his biggest point is that we all need to do one thing – START! As Jon says “The starting line is the only line you completely control.” Don’t worry about the finish – it’s impossible to predict and may change half a dozen times by the time you get there. If you had told me 15 years ago that I’d get to travel around and speak, I would have checked your forehead for a fever. I never could have predicted this. The book also includes a whole section at the end titled “What Now? Action Always Beats Intention” that gives very practical, tactical steps you can take. It’s so great and I’ve started working through them already. Julie Gumm, author "Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption"