Are You On The Road to Average or Extraordinary?

Posted by in Book Review, Career Success | 10 comments

Jon Acuff used to be pretty average. He had a cubical job, a wife, two kids and a mortgage. He probably had a dog too, but I can’t confirm that.

Then he started a blog, wrote a book, and started speaking to groups and at conferences. Dave Ramsey hired him and then he wrote another book called Quitter.

The way I wrote that sounds like he did this all one lazy afternoon. It actually took him 12 years to be where he is today.

However, Quitter is one of my all time favorite books and Jon Acuff is one of my favorite authors.

So I’m excited to tell you about Jon’s new book Start.

I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of Start as part of the launch team for Jon’s new book.

Quitter was fantastic and Start is equally fantastic, but in a different way.

If Jon Acuff were Pearl Jam, Quitter would be his Ten and Start would be his Vs.

You probably only got that reference if you wore flannel and Dr. Martens at some point in your life from approximately 1991 through 1996.

The tagline for Start is Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average & Do Work That Matters.

Jon uses his recent experiences, and his exposure to Dave Ramsey’s influence, to outline the stages of living an extraordinary life and making a meaningful contribution to the world.

Jon outlines five stages that every extraordinary life goes through:

1. Learning

2. Editing

3. Mastering

4. Harvesting

5. Guiding

Jon walks you through each of these stages and provides ways to master each stage on the way to extraordinary. Yet he does it through stories and funny illustrations that keep you glued to the pages to get to the end.

Something I appreciate is Jon’s willingness to share his failures and missteps along the way to his own excellence. He comes across as a very regular guy who has done some extraordinary things.

I also appreciate that he doesn’t come across as a know it all and confesses to still need to learn and be mentored.

Jon’s story of his meeting with Dave Ramsey about using Quitter as a title of his last book is worth the price of the book by itself.

“I was a nervous wreck. I think at some point I won’t be intimidated by Dave Ramsey anymore – probably around 2032 that will happen,” he says, adding, “So I marched up to [his] office, sweaty and a little throw-uppy.”

For readers to get the most out of Start I think there are three ways to best approach it:

As a mall kiosk. When you go to the mall and you want to figure out where you are in relation to the stores you want to visit you use a kiosk. Start can provide you with a way to determine where you are on your road to extraordinary right now.

As a map. After you determine where you are you can envision where you want to be with the five stages of excellence. You may be in Learning but you want to get to Mastering. Start will help you create your map to get there.

As a ┬ámotivator. Jon uses his funny stories to explain that the road to extraordinary is hard but it’s worth it. When you read the book you will want to be extraordinary.

I was honored to be part of the launch team for Start and I recommend the book to anyone who wants to do extraordinary things with their life.

Start comes out tomorrow but if you pre-order the book today you’ll get over $250 worth of free bonuses. Just click here for more information.

Question: Where are you on your road to excellence? What can you do to get to the next stage?


(Note: The links to books in this post are affiliate links)

  • I preordered this book a few weeks ago, I cannot wait to get the hard copy I. My hands. I appreciate your recommended approaches!

    • Thanks Jonathan, I hope you like it.

  • Love the review Adam. I hadn’t thought of the mall kiosk angle. I like that one. As Jon says, ” the best map in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t know where
    you are.”

    • Thanks Stan, that’s right. Often it can be the most difficult thing to do when we don’t like where we are currently. However, in my experience it’s only when you get real with yourself about where you are that you can begin to make decisions to move toward where you want to be.

  • I still feel like I’m at the learning stages of life. I would have answered that question differently two years ago, but I’m ready to START my life all over again. Great post about the book! Can’t wait to read it!

    • Yeah, it’s interesting Daniel because I think we can move in and out of the different stages depending on our circumstances and choices. Someone who is 50 and loses a job may have to return to the learning stage to change their career direction. Or someone who is 25 may be in the guiding stage if they have built a successful online platform and are now teaching others how to do it. I hope I’m always in the learning stage in some area of my life because I enjoy the process. I hope you enjoy the book.

  • I think I have chosen to hangout in learning scared to go to the next level in many areas of my life. I am looking forward to putting some of the practical approaches to work in my life and advancing on the road to awesome!

    • That’s excellent Joshua. Now that you know which stage you’re in you can create a plan to move to the next one. What’s the next thing you need to do to advance?

      • That is the next thing I need to do, create a plan. There are also things I need to stop doing like disappointing the wrong people.

        • That sounds like a great first step Joshua.

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