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Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape…

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters (2013)

by Jon Acuff

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This was really hard to get through. It reads like a great public speaker wrote down their address to a very specific audience, as delivered. To be fair, there is some inspiration and good advice. The gem I valued most was the value of silencing the inner critic. All of the gems could have been delivered much more succinctly. There are many attempts at humorous asides that probably work well on stage but just take space on paper. It would also help if the reader already knows about and admires Dave Ramsey. I don't, so the many references to that speaker's example and inspiration left me feeling like the one acquaintance among close friends at a cocktail party. ( )
  jpsnow | Apr 22, 2017 |
A very good motivational book with helpful and practical steps to achieve "awesome". He says a dream is really a nap..... and everyone should have dreams but ...... To go from average to awesome you have to START! ( )
  slhayes | Jul 2, 2016 |
The problem with self help books is that you have to do the work for them to be effective. Most of the time the reader does not understand this nor do they know where to start. This book at least makes those observations for the reader up front. This book does not appear to be written by a sunshine pumping quack. This guy seems to have failed several times and learned from those failures. He delivers his life lessons to you in a very simple but profound way. Not magic, but the kind of wisdom that gave you prior successes in other areas of your life but that you never thought of applying elsewhere. This is a one of the rare books you should buy. Before you do go to your library and take it out for test ride. ( )
  Cataloger623 | Nov 8, 2014 |
I love that the first book I’m reviewing after quitting my 8 to 5 to start my own business is Start by John Acuff. I apologize in advance if I confuse some of the content with Acuff’s book Quitter — I have been reading them concurrently.

A lot of friends have asked why I left the comfort and safety of my full-time job to do open my own business. I wrote about it more extensively here, but it really comes down to the fact that I want to be doing the things I’m passionate about with this one life I’ve been blessed with. But doing something big always comes with fear and it can be paralyzing (at least for me). I’m not good enough, I don’t know the right people, I’m going to fail, blah blah blah. Acuff’s book was the kick in the pants I needed to really get moving.

Acuff breaks down life into five stages: Learning, editing, mastering, harvesting, and guiding. These five stages used to span an entire lifetime, but Acuff encourages diving more deeply into each stage — which can speed up each stage. Not that we want to rush through the five stages, but with the advent of the internet, it’s possible to go through all five stages in lots of areas in our lives, to explore the things that interest us, and to pass our passions on to people who are just starting out.

Learning these five stages has helped me plot out where I am and where I hope to be in the next few years. It has stopped me from feeling so paralyzed and feeling like I’m just stuck in learning. Clearly I’m doing okay if I’m, for instance, teaching on people to sew, editing books about sex trafficking for a nationally recognized nonprofit organization, traveling the world, or bringing people together in the sewing community. These things feel like they matter. I need to be aware of how far I’ve come, and not look at how far I have to go as daunting, but as a challenge I’m more than ready to tackle.

Read my full review here: http://letseatgrandpa.com/2013/09/27/book-review-14-start-jon-acuff/ ( )
  letseatgrandpa | Oct 8, 2013 |
Pretty impressed with this book. I loved that [a:Jon Acuff|3086191|Jon Acuff|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1367438677p2/3086191.jpg] wasn't afraid to put his story out there. I loved that he talked about his failures as much as his successes.

I listened to the audio book read by the author and you can feel the passion in his voice. I've never seen him speak but he's on my radar now.

This will be reread or relistened as it has entered that bookshelf of books I revisit from time to time.

For me, this wasn't one of those "life changer" type of books. It was more of a collection of thoughts and processes I know I've needed to get back on track or to refine or to look over again.

Nothing new for me except the formatting and the story, and that was exactly what I needed. ( )
  damienfranco | Aug 22, 2013 |
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"Dad, why is L.E.'s name mentioned three times in the dedication to Quitter and my name is mentioned only once?" -McRae, my then 5-year-old daughter

"Great question. You can write the dedication to the next book." -Me

"Good. I'll say, 'To Jenny, McRae, and L.E'." -McRae
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If you ever fly Korean Air, keep your eyes closed as you make your way to coach. You may have to feel your way there, but trust me, that momentary inconvenience is worth it. You do not want to see the first-class seats.
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Inside cover:
No one aims for average.
No one sets out for status quo.
No one longs for ordinary.

But one day you wake up and ask yourself, how did I get here? You wonder if there's a way to be more awesome, more often. A way to punch fear in the face, escape average, and do work that matters.

There is, and it's not even that complicated. Since the dawn of time, every wildly successful life has gone through the same five states. They used to be tied to your age.

20s- Learning
30s- Editing
40s- Mastering
50s- Harvesting
60s- Guiding

But the great news is, it's no longer about when you were born; it's about when you decide to live. You don't have to be in your 20s to learn, and you don't have to be in your 50s to harvest.

You just have to start.
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Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into five predictable stages: Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding. While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.… (more)

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