The Secret to Becoming Awesome

Nobody wants to lead an average life—at least nobody I talk to. But it's easy to do. We get lulled into a coma of ease and familiarity. Then we medicate our boredom and futility with entertainment. Before we know it, half our life is spent and we've done practically nothing important.

Jon Acuff's new book, Start, is the perfect alarm to wake us up and help us pursue a truly meaningful calling. The subtitle says it all: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work that Matters.

Starting with Dave Ramsey, Jon looked at people who've succeeded in their chosen fields and noticed a pretty clear pattern. It's a five-stage journey he calls the road to awesome.

  1. Learning. This is where we all start. It's a time of experimentation and exploration when we try a lot of different paths and approaches. We rack up experience and start getting a sense of what works and doesn't work for us.
  2. Editing. Here's where we start applying that sense, where we start dropping the things that drain our energy or don't fit our aptitude and passions. Jon says that it's about getting focus and finding the work that allows us to be the best version of us, whatever that happens to be.
  3. Mastering. Now it's time to invest in the best version of you. It's when we master our profession, our calling, the particular brand of awesome that we're after.
  4. Harvesting. This stage is all about the rewards of all our learning, editing, and mastering. Don't confuse this with laying back. As Jon says, any farmer can tell you that harvest time is when you work the hardest. But it's also the time rewards are the greatest. Personally, I feel like I'm in this stage right now. I've never worked harder, nor have my efforts ever been more productive and satisfying.
  5. Guiding. The final step on the journey is to help others on the path. Jon talks about how Dave Ramsey has done this for him. I've been intentional about mentoring younger men in the same way. This is the time to encourage, help, and instruct.

There are no walls between these stages. You might be in a place of heavy learning and just beginning to edit things down. You might be mastering an area and really seeing the harvest start to come in.

We used to tie these stages to age–learning in our twenties, editing in our thirties, and so on. Start shows us that today these stages are tied to our level of engagement. You might be thirty and finally starting to figure it out. You may be fifty and looking to start something new. It doesn't matter. Whenever we start, the point is to start. Anyone can do it at any time.

I found a long list of takeaways from Start, but here are the big three for me:

  1. Passion is king. We all have our own unique definitions of awesome. Don't get trapped following someone else's definition. You'll never be the best version of you if you're always being a lesser version of someone else. And let's get real. Work is hard; it might as well be enjoyable too.

    Jon tells the story of a girl in customer service for Apple. A job like that must be really hard, he told her. But she loved it. Her passion was solving problems and discovering new things. As far as she was concerned, helping people like Jon is what she was made for.

  2. Entitlement will kill you. Of the many things that will derail your journey to awesome, one I've seen hurt a lot of people is entitlement.

    Jon offers a great metaphor for understanding why entitlement is so bad. It's like a ladder on the road. You walk up a few rungs and feel good about your elevated position. But you've stopped making progress on the road. Worse, the higher you climb the more disconnected you are from reality.

    We've all known colleagues so high up the ladder, they're practically worthless to their team below. This will drain the awesome out of any area of life: work, marriage, friendships. It's a deadly distraction.

  3. The voices are wrong. We've all heard the voices of fear and doubt. They try to keep us from pursuing awesome. They tell us that we're not cut out for it, we're not ready, we're not able, we're too young, too old, whatever. But the voices lie.

    Jon has an entire section dedicated to helping readers debunk their lying voices and live in the reality that, yes, they can be awesome despite their fears, despite their doubts.

Like everything Jon writes, Start is funny. But the humor comes with an important message that I'm convinced will help a lot of people who feel stuck in the land of average.

I gave away 50 copies of Start. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.

Question: Where are you along the road to awesome? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Vanson

    I’m following you for a long time and I’m already 1/2 way through to success and freedom. Not only I read a lot, I take actions consistently to hit my goal. With this #startbook, I hope to escalate my success even faster.

  • Dragan

    With a continuous learning, taking actions and making different mistakes that encourage me for improvements and better actions I come close to awesome. But, there is always place for something more and something better. Persistence is important part of my own way to awesome!

  • Paweł Banaszak

    I at the stage where not only did I realise that thinking about doing the stuff that’s right for getting me to where I want to go won’t actually get me there. I try to do things even if they are not perfect. It is easier to adjust actions when you’ve actually made a mistake (and allow yourself to make those mistakes) that to come up with the perfect plan and execution the first time out.

  • Joey Espinosa

    I’ve learned more about poverty, education, children, and related issues more in the past 2 years, as we’ve lived in one of the most impoverished counties in the US. I think we are learning that you can’t learn as much unless you are immersed, whether for a short season or for a longer time. It’s all nice to read about issues like poverty, but the best way to get a context is by going.

  • Jorge Silvestrini

    Like Dave and Jon will know – I’m probably on baby step 2… I’ve got an emergency fund packed and I’ve already started! We can do this together… Join the new revolution.

  • Rebekah

    Love to win this book!

  • Juan

    I am at the Mastering stage of my Life, I am maximizing or working to maximize on all the knowledge and training, life will pass me by if I don’t do it now. I know what I want to Be and more importantly what I wan to Leave. This book will help me greatly.

  • Tim Hart

    Right now, I’m just finishing the process of editing and beginning to work towards mastering those few things I am truly passionate about.

  • Audra Krell

    I’m working to make my ladder as wide as it is high. I have room to be with my tribe, and that way, we journey and work together.

  • Eileen

    Looking forward to reading this. I loved Quitter. I think I was a late bloomer in life when it comes to finding my passion. I am working on learning and editing and trying to discover which direction I’m supposed to go with it. The voices of doubt definitely slow me down.

  • Anne Peterson

    I was harvesting, or at least starting to. I had launched a book and was working hard at doing the “next,” thing and then life interrupted. Actually a death. Now I’m finding it hard to restart. I’d love to win one of these books. The lies sound so true at times.

  • George Riddell

    I am finishing the editing process.

  • marinambfy

    I love Jon Acuff’s work and was thrilled when I heard that he had joined Dave’s team. It is great to see that this partnership has matured so well over the few years.

    In regards to the question at hand I believe, and probably more so hope, that I am at the tail end of the editing phase. I learned early that there are only so many things you can truly devote yourself to. After family and work you are left with two slots. This helped me focus and drop what did not deserve my irrecoverable time and attention.

  • Sally Ferguson

    I’m on the road to Awesome. I’m a caretaker for my Dad, mom to my kids and devoted wife. I’m writing God’s call, one word at a time.

    • Sally Ferguson

      Sometimes, I think I am in all stages at once. I like to think I’m in the Harvestiing Stage, then have setbacks and find myself in Learning & Editing again. Life is a process.

  • Homegrown Learners

    At the age of 41 I feel like I’m in the process of “Mastering” — thanks for the chance to win… I’ve been so interested in this book!

  • Sam Bush

    Stage 1: Learning – Im finally earning a university degree after many attempts and am proud that I’ve stuck to my dream. After labouring jobs, sales jobs and no jobs, I am studying property development now and will slowly build my own renovation business with some luck, elbow grease and faith.
    Thankyou Jon and Michael

  • Paul Brodie

    I’m absolutely in the learning phase right now. I’ve only recently decided to make a real run for my passion of writing as a career. My biggest challenge is wanting to be “awesome” right away, but I need to focus on learning for a while yet.

    I’m glad entitlement is spelled out as a danger. Entitlement wants something for nothing, and something for nothing never does anything good for anyone.

  • Sonya McCllough

    Just turned fifty in February & I’m so in the mist of …. Editing!

  • Yvonne

    Although I have been through most of those stages during my life, right now I have started again and am learning and editing.

  • Kevin R Naylor

    Every age has a stage. Would love to win a this new book called Start.

  • Stefanie Smith

    As I am still trying to find courage and confidence to even get to the starting line, I am sure “Start” would be a terrific encouraging tool for me, afterall,,,I must reach that starting point before success and mastering can occur.

  • Robert English

    I feel like I am in Harvesting moving toward Guiding. I have joined the John Maxwell Team as a certified coach, trainer and speaker and am seeking opportunities to add value to others and people to pour my life into.

  • Todd Randolph

    I would say I’m at Stage 1: Learning.

    Looking forward to reading the book.

  • Paulo Johnston

    I think I have a thread of life that’s harvesting, and a thread that’s drilling down to some editing.

  • jeffmurnan

    In between stage 1 and 2 right now. I still struggle sometimes with
    exactly where I want to be.

    I agree with some of the other comments, I tend to
    want everything now and need to remind myself that I still have a lot to
    learn in my road to awesome.

  • Miss stuck

    I have started down the road to awesome but seem stuck at the moment. In a new season of life and asking God what’s next.


    Thanks for a chance to win a copy of Jon’s book!

  • Trevor Acy

    Learning Learning Learning. My career is moving in the direction I want and my wife is pregnant with our first child. Lots of learning going on.

  • Brian M Ritter

    I have recently left a position that was suffocating me and taking time away from family and personal health for a position with less financial benefit and stability but in the direction of my passion and strengths. So it would appear I am in the editing stage.

  • Chris Jeub

    One of my kids favorite lines to encourage one another: “Because you’re awesome!” I would love to read this book to them. I need another good one to read aloud.

    • Jonathan Harrison

      How great that your kids are raised in a house with quality influence – Never too young to be awesome!

    • Matt McWilliams

      That is awesome Chris. Our daughter is two, so most of our reading is Story Bibles and children’s stuff, but I want to occasionally read passages from “grownup” books to her. Thanks for reminding me!

  • ddddeb

    I believe I’m somnewhere between editing and mastering, with a dash of learning thrown in for flavor. I am working closely with a “Life Coach” and my director as a ‘Business/Life Coach” Their input along with studing John Maxwell’s new book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” are opening up a whole new world inside me that I didn’t know existed. I feel I am experiencing my life, work and family to the fullest extent that I ever had. God’s blessings are surely upon me.

  • Jeanne Takenaka

    Wow, this sounds like a great book. I began pursuing a dream to write in my mid-forties. I’m still in the learning part of the journey to awesome. Thanks for mapping out the process to awesome. Very insightful. I plan to come back to re-read this post.

  • Jeff

    I am starting to learn at 44. I have been procrastinating and I finally got over my hump of sedentariness to spend 2-3 hours a day in the late evening(after family is off to bed) to learn to program. I think I will be ready in about 4 months to take a bite out of some of my ideas.

  • Ehren

    I am just at the beginning of this journey beginning to believe that I actually can get out of this average life existence of that I’ve created. Very motivating!

  • Amy Tilson

    I believe I am in the editing phase and am vetting a deeper appreciation for my true passions.

  • Estelle S. Erasmus

    I feel I’m at the harvesting stage. I’m still working very hard but starting to reap the rewards of my amplified profile and professional labors.

  • iwork529

    I am in the mastering stage. Working on the details and fine tuning the process.

  • PowerGlance

    I’m not sure I’ve ever left the learning stage. Others may see me in the mastery stage due to my position and age.

  • Amy Venn Shepard

    In many ways I am both harvesting and relearning, starting my own firm after being VP at another for 12 years. Relearning some rhythms and passions, harvesting from decades of great relationships and work.

  • Pablo Ellsworth

    I believe that I am in the editing stage. I simply want to simplify.

    • Jorge Silvestrini

      Most of us are trying to simplify. I’ve been struggling with this over the last 2 weeks. Had set out 3 “projects” to do over the summer… But with a FTJ (full time job); don’t think I will be able to really devote myself but to 1 of the 3 projects. Going back to the drawing board and re-assigning time slots… How about you?

  • Lonnie Snyder

    Sounds like a great book. Wish there was a Kindle version.

  • Robert Kennedy III

    Yip. I’m starting to MASTER :-). I love Jon’s presentation of simply the word START!! I love it!

  • Brian Palmer

    I am struggling with this between Harvesting in old care that I enjoy but may be tired off and starting again with Learning and Editing where my passion is.

  • Tammy Kaylor

    After losing 400 lbs and finding myself again, I am in the learning stage. So exciting to START again.

  • rebecca

    I teach piano, so in a way, much learning and mastering occurred when I was young, and now I’m guiding my students. It’s the other area part of my life, when I’m not in the studio with the piano student, which lacks any semblance of awesomeness. Your two sentences “lulled into a coma of ease and familiarity… medicate boredom with entertainment…” acutely describe how I’ve been feeling as of late. Would love to start down a new path.

  • Tracy N.

    Hmmm, learning.

  • Tamás

    I can hardly wait to read it :-)

  • Mike Wade

    Some incredible, inspiring words. I just recently finished Jon’s last book, “Quitter”, and I’m eager to read this one! Thanks for sharing this information, Michael. It’s a great boost to those of us who want to live a remarkable life.

  • Kevin Steffey

    I think the passion is sometimes the hard part. Being true to yourself and honoring what you love versus other’s perception of what you should strive to be.

  • Dave Irwin

    I’m in the mastering phase, but not only am I mastering the skills needed to pursue my passion, I’m also in the process of mastering myself.

  • Drew Tewell

    Start is a great book. I’m reading it right now and will be reviewing it on my site this week as well. As for the question, “Where am I along the road to awesome,” I think I’m most in the stage of Mastering (being a recruiter, author and blogger). But I’m also always learning. That’s why I joined Platform University and I’m also going through Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins. Thanks, Michael, for being a great teacher, model, and mentor!

  • Wendy Douglas

    I think that I am still in the mastering season. I am so looking forward to reading Jon’s book.

  • Pam Zollman

    I believe I’m in the harvesting and guiding stages. But I’m also mastering new things in my line of work. I’ve been a published author for forty years and teach writing workshops. But I’m also trying to learn and master the “new” forms of writing: ebooks, blog posts, building my platform, etc.

  • Rachel

    I am returned, just recently, to Editing. There is too much unimportant junk that I’m doing right now and I’m focusing in on my passions in order to clarify my direction. :)

  • Jose

    Thanks great post.

  • Rebecca I

    What a great post. I am stoked just by the title of this book. I am new to you and to Jon but I’m super excited to learn more, especially how to deal with”the voices”. thanks.

  • Missy

    Sounds like a great book!

  • Afra Naushad

    Well, i’ve just about realised the importance of making small daily steps to achieve a bigger goal.Right now, i’m doing just that.Allocating half an hour of my time everyday to achieve the goal i have set for myself.Hopefully, by the end of the year i will be on my way to realising my dream.

  • Jose R. Bourget

    Wow! great quote “You’ll never be the best version of you if you’re always being a lesser version of someone else.” Passion is why, courage is how.

  • Jonathan Harrison

    I just received notice from Amazon that my copy shipped this morning! I am getting the sense that anything else I am reading will be set aside once the mail arrives.
    It would be easy to say “If only I knew all this when I was in my 20’s” but instead I am thinking “this is exactly the right time,” let the awesomeness begin!
    Status: editing/mastering

  • Jeff

    Somewhere between learning and editing, if that is possible.

  • Brenda J Wood

    I was on the road to awesome but my husband’s death has sidetracked me a bit…hoping the book will make a diffrence in my life..Brenda J Wood

  • Nick Walters

    I’m glad there are no walls between the stages because I’m Learning and Mastering at the same time. I have finally boiled down in my mind the thread that connects what all I do and I am Mastering that. But as I thread this needle I realize where I fall short on knowledge on how to do things that will make my Life Plan better. Thus I keep Learning. It truly is awesome to have the peace to know I’m not using my needle and thread to make garments that won’t last.

  • Claire

    I’m in the “editing” phase of my journey. I’m learning the importance of not wasting time–in life, and in my career.

    This life we’ve been given is too short and too precious to spend it on people and activities that drain us or cause us pain.

  • Rachel

    Not sure if my comment posted, I don’t see it. But I’ve returned to the Editing phase. Time to reassess & get rid of some junk that is not beneficial or joy-inducing!

  • Lisa Van Engen

    I am in the editing stage! Last year I finally gathered the courage to do what I have always longed to do, be a writer. I am still learning how to let God guide inside of my people pleasing instincts.

  • David Sollars

    Michael, thank you for the head start on this great book title and process. I have gone through this process a couple of times in various vocational incarnations. Recently, I’ve taken a bigger picture view of who I am with my true passion and purpose. I have been on a mastering track with “what” I do and have recently shifted back to editing along the lines of “who” I offer my passion and ability. I am finding the best audience for my talent and passion. I feel a harvest coming soon!

  • Brenda Story

    I’m punching fear in the face!

  • Stephen P Brown

    At the beginning of my 40s, I am filtering out the fluff but well into the Mastering stage. I now know what I can do and must bring together the elements to actually do it and present it to the world on His behalf. BTW, am flawed at the content in Platform, Brand Against the Machine, EntreLeadership, and Jon’s previous book Quitter.

  • Ryan Bilello

    I’m still in the learning phase, but have definitely begun to edit some things in my life.

  • Karl

    I am in the middle of tremendous change. Acuff brings some great truth and real wisdom to people who have big dreams.

  • Paul Burnell

    Love the ideas here – sounds a great book. I think I’m moving from Editing to Mastering at the moment – and hopefully on the threshold of Harvesting! Jon’s right – age doesn’t matter in this, I’m close to 50 and on the threshold of turning what I’ve done with my life so far into something awesome – with God’s help!

  • Pam Zollman

    I’ve already left one message, but I forgot to say that I’ve tweeted this and put it on my Facebook page, The Writer’s Plot, which is a writers’ group I started ( It’s also on my Facebook profile page and my Facebook author page.

  • Luis@wealth-steps

    Because sometimes I feel like I am still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up! I would love to get a copy of this book because Acuff is such a passionate and insightful writer.

  • Joshua Rivers

    Michael, thanks for sharing this. I was able to hear Jon speak on Friday at the EntreLeadership 1-Day event in OKC. He also signed my Quitter book and I got to speak with him for a minute.

    I believe that I am transitioning between editing and mastering. I’ve pretty much narrowed down what I’m passionate about and what I’m good at. I’ve been working on mastering those things. Part of that is also mentoring. I’m trying help others (i.e. through my blog and podcast) as I’m learning and expanding myself. I can start to see a little bit of a harvest, but I know there’s much more to come!

  • lhoenigsberg

    Due to an impoverished background, I don’t think I really grew up until I was around 35-years-old. I began to hit my stride after an accident (broken neck) and started college at 51-years-old. After graduating with my BA four years later, I was on my way to grad school when I was diagnosed with an “inoperable” brain tumor and given a year to live. I thought, “I’m not done yet.” I found a courageous surgeon and had it removed. During recovery in bed I studied for my masters and finished it in three years. I went to work and earned 3000 hours to become a psychotherapist, in order to help others with similar backgrounds (and much worse, I found!). But I’m not done with dreaming! I’m now 61-years-old and I have big plans…writing, speaking, and working on an online course. I just advertised to start a mastermind group in my area for online entrepreneurs. I can totally relate to the stages in Jon’s book and can’t wait to read it!

    • Gary Morland

      Wow. YOU are inspiring

      • lhoenigsberg

        Thanks Gary!! I know my comment was way too long. ;o)

    • Beth West

      Great for you!

      • lhoenigsberg

        Thank you Beth!

    • Kim Hall

      This is so encouraging to those who feel they are too old, or don’t have the right stuff! It is never too late!

      • lhoenigsberg

        My favorite quote is by George Eliot (pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans) “It is never too late to become what you might have been.” ;o)

        • Carol E Lerner

          I love this quote, and needed to hear that today. Thanks,

          • lhoenigsberg

            Me too…most days! ;o)

    • Ermzie

      I”m so impressed with your post and very encouraged to continue exploring the new parts of me that have emerged in recent months. See my previous post.

      • lhoenigsberg

        I will! Thank you!

    • Shari Miller

      I’m 54 and you’re just the encouragement I needed this morning. Thank You!

      • lhoenigsberg

        Any time! ;o)

    • Iwona F-B

      You are amazing! Good luck with all your big plans!

      • lhoenigsberg

        Thank you so much Iwona!

  • Ben Landers

    I read Quitter this year, it was great! I can’t wait to see what Jon has to say in his new book, I’m sure it will be motivating and give everyone a good kickstart to being more awesome.

  • Joe Kotvas

    This is something I’ve been looking at in my own life. I’m probably still in the learning / editing phase, but you might say I’m sort of on the ladder right now. It’s difficult to maintain the discipline necessary to transition into mastery, but it would be a tragedy to live the rest of my life scraping by on “good enough.”

  • Kelly Wiggains

    I just started my blog about a year ago, and I’m starting to see some benefits – making connections with other bloggers, joining ad networks, and joining a new team of contributing writers to another blog. I love being able to say, “I’m a writer.” Jon Acuff is an inspiration to so many people!

  • Parthenia Fayne

    I love how God has been encouraging me in this journey. I just finished a book called The Crime of Living Cautiously. Through it, God challenged me to keep risking, keep moving past my fears. My husband and I just completed Financial Peace where we were introduced to Jon Acuff (via video). Then, this morning, this encouraging post.
    I am in the editing stage. I am still learning and there are areas that I am mastering, but editing best describes this time. I recently asked someone to mentor me and she graciously accepted the challenge! I am beginning to learn what it feels like to say No to things that are nice to do, but are not my passion. I am also branching out into and embracing new areas in my skill set and passion.
    I am excited that Jon has included a section about getting past those doubts! (Reminds me of your post on Resistance).
    Thanks for your inspirational posts!

    • Kim Hall

      That sounds like a great book, Parthenia! Congrats on finishing FPU-isn’t it an amazing, life-changing program? We didn’t know we were skating near the edge until one of those life emergencies Dave talks about. We are now debt free, hallelujah! God bless your journey, and your growth!!

  • Shiroh

    I am in the learning stage reading as much as i can. Still a long way to go:)

  • Justin Venhousen

    I’m working on Editing… Hoping to be Mastering this year!

  • Kim Stanley

    I’m in the mastering stage, I believe, in pursuing the best version of me. But I want to keep learning new things in this new season of life.

  • Elizabeth Young

    I believe that I am in the mastering phase, which is stated “Now it’s time to invest in the best version of you. It’s when we master our profession, our calling, the particular brand of awesome that we’re after.”

    It so happens that it corresponds with my age as well even though you mention it could happen earlier.

  • M Morrell

    I know where I want to be, I’m on the journey to get there doing it full time.

  • jac81

    I’m definitely in the learning stage, still trying to figure out which things light my fire and where they line up with my talents and abilities. I hope to start editing soon.

  • Brianna Wasson

    I think I’m sort of stuck between Learning and Editing. Finding my focus and (I love this) figuring out the best version of myself is a long road for me, I think. I do want to be awesome. But I get stuck inside distraction a lot and forget that it’s not a version of someone else but “the best version of” myself. (I love that phrase.) I’m really looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for this.

  • Janice LaVore-Fletcher

    Thank you for sharing this great post, Micheal. I love all the points in your post and look forward to reading the book. This sounds like a great resource to add my list of recommended reading for my students.

  • Nathan

    Definitely get the impression that I’m somewhere in the editing/mastering stage.

  • Diane Nimmer

    The voices are louder than ever, so this was a good day to see that voices don’t count. It will be interesting to read about ways to overcome what the world sometime says, versus what my passion is saying about forging ahead.


    I am leaving editing behind and entering the process of mastering my craft. Jon’s wisdom and insight, mixed with his humor, make him a rising star when it comes to motivating and inspiring.

  • Kim

    I would have to say that I am stuck. I am trying to discover what I am truly passionate about as I am basically going thru the motions and want something different. Being in my 50’s I want to have somethign more than merely existing and getting by.

  • Alexis

    On the road to awesome I’m @ the mastering stage.

  • plancrea

    In my main career ( law) I am at stage 5, although as law changes there is a constant cycle I thing through the last three stages. However, I am also establishing myself as an artist, working a third of full time at that alongside the full time law job. In art I am on the cusp of editing and entering mastering. It can be frustrating that the hours and years I have to achieve in art are less than law and this post is a great reminder that the stages have to be gone through, that there are no shortcuts but that lessons learned on how to edit, how to learn etc can be applied from one career to another.

  • Rick

    The book has a good message. God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7. This book should be an encouragement to many.

  • JakeDOlson

    Unfortunately I feel like I’ve been stuck in the “editing” stage for the last 5 years of my life. it seems like I’ve stopped learning, but haven’t started mastering. I just haven’t figured out the place in my world that I want to go really deep and become great.

  • Kristi

    I am editing… for now!! :)

  • Ted Rice

    I’m deep into learning+editing: reading a lot on a couple of topics in which I’m interested, beginning to connect the dots, plus reading a lot on how to more effectively communicate as I begin to craft a vision. In a prior career, entitlement was a curse, tho it was also a function of realizing it was time to leave that career. At 59 I, like others in this thread, am not done and am committed to bringing such gifts as I have to the world for as long as health and fortunes allow.

  • Terry Smyly

    Dedicated to helping anyone who will listen find Financial Peace!

  • Doctorkyle

    Can’t wait to read the book. Jon Acuff has ways of communicating with folks at every stage you mentioned Michael. Thanks for this opportunity.

  • Chris Rivera

    Honestly, right now… I’m in the Editing phase. I’ve chased after what I thought was a dream of mine (still could be), but didn’t take into account my wife and kids. I made some life changing decisions to keep my family rooted while I focus on them and our family’s health.

  • Melissa

    I have made it to the field I want to be in, health care. Now I am in the place of facing my fears and going farther in my schooling. ~Melissa

  • Lauren Miller

    This sounds like a great book everyone should read.

  • Esther Aspling

    I am so excited about this book! I already have people in mind who I know will benefit from this message! Thanks!

    I am on the road, but it feels like I’m in the plains of North Dakota right now, just long and boring with the occasional telephone pole to break things up :-)

  • Whiz Dom

    I’m always learning and editing. I’ve mastered my passion and so somewhere between mastering and harvesting. That’s why I’ve signed on for Michael’s Platform, to refine my way to reach my tribe. My one huge mistake was messing up on my marriage, which has definitely hindered the rest of my life. Without having that running smoothly, every other part of life is harder (Word to the wise for those who might be considering divorce – no, it isn’t the better road no matter how bad things seem! If nothing else, I hope to get out that message and save others the difficulties I’ve had.) Getting “Started” and keeping your professional life moving is much easier when your personal life is in order :)

  • Lisa Stille

    What’s the worst thing that could happen? Currently in editing mode plowing forward to mastery with facing fears, turning off doubt voices and finding joy in the journey.

  • mlpk625

    while i feel i have been guiding and harvesting, i’m finding that i am going back to editing these days–as technology has exploded i’m finding specifically, taking a technology sabbath has become more important than ever to regain focus.

  • Jason W. Moore

    After starting the first 9 years of my post-college life in full-time church ministry, I’ve switched careers to college-student development. I spend my days mentoring and training college students. Most of the colleagues I work with are about 10 years younger than me, but I still love what I am doing and I am able to provide some perspective on “real life” for them. I would love to share the “Start” ideas with my students in helping them see the road ahead more clearly!

  • Dr. DS

    This book is very relevant to the concerns of many of my friends. I wish I can buy 100s of copies and hand them out to my friends that are in that 25-35 range, have obtained multiple degrees but still are not satisfied with their life. This book seems as though it will help one to recognize the passion within to pursue one’s true purpose.

  • Krisi

    Definitely Learning stage on the road to awesome. I’m trying to figure out what I am passionate about!

  • turner_bethany

    I am just starting out. I have been out of college for two years now, and just launched a grant writing and social media consulting business for nonprofits. I think I am in the learning and dabbling in the edit stages.

  • Michael Turner

    I am still in the learning stage, but also starting to move into the editing stage. I am beginning to take some of what I am learning and trying to figure out how all of this new knowledge fits in my life. In other words, how can I best use this new knowledge? I am prayerfully seeking the answer to this question. I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Daniel Griesbeck

    I believe I recently began making the transition from the Editing stage to the Mastering stage… literally. While I’ve spent 10 plus years as an editor and writer for my company, I now oversee a team of them. I have found my sweet spot in mentoring and educating my team and helping them grow. I am finally mastering my passion as a leader, not only in my company, but in my church and in my home.

    This year, I seek to grow daily to find the role the Lord has been calling me to for so long!

  • akachicago

    Looking forward to punching fear in the face! Love it!

  • Robin Lee Hatcher

    This sounds like a book I would really like to read. I’d say I’m in the Harvesting/Guiding stage of my career, yet there is always more to learn.

  • Joy Martinez

    I completely agree with this – do work that matters. I am a huge believer about working in your strengths and by doing this, you are more passionate about what you do…ultimately bring you more happiness! Great review and look forward to reading the book!

  • Gwendolyn Martin

    On the road to awesome, I am just beginning to edit and with editing comes the word -NO. In some instances it is joyously easy because those are the drainers that I gladly let go of. But in other cases, there are good worthy causes that I still hesitate to say no to even though I realize that this one “good” thing will throw my life into a lopsided wheel, if only for a little while.

  • Silvia Arvelo

    I believe that I am on my way. Although some of life’s circumstances have slowed me down, I have learned valuable lessons along the way and have matured along the way. We live in such a “me” and “entitled” society that I am fighting against the current to look the other way in areas where I can serve others….make others live out their dreams and allow them to see that there is still hope for their future!

  • Timothy L Burchfield

    I decided to go back to school at 62. I have studied leadership through the lens of faith based thinkers. Maxwell, Blanchard and Miller. I decided to blend my 30 years of leadership with a global perspective. How would an International Business School approach leadership? I enrolled in Thunderbird Global School of Leadership. I am finding very similar thoughts. The only difference is that the materials come from Harvard and Thunderbird professors instead of scripture.
    This week we studied the four domains of life. Home, Work, Self and Community. My professor was explaining the need to balance all four to lead a healthy life and that most executives fail in Self first and Home second. He noted that success is not success unless you can succeed in all four. Duh!
    I reminded him that this was not his original thought. Jesus spoke to his friends about balance. He told them the risk of gaining the world and loosing your soul. Sounds very similar to me. As I reflected on this I found a gap in my own management of the four domains. I have failed to balance the SELF part of the four. I have been most concerned about my health. I have adjusted my whole work week to include fitness as a top priority.
    All in all, I have enjoyed the new look at leadership. I will graduate in June and leave with a better perspective of leadership in the global marketplace. I know Jon’s new book will give additional understanding to balancing for success.

    • lhoenigsberg

      That’s awesome Timothy! My health is also something I am now focusing much more on…fitness…eating right…drinking more water, etc. Your journey sounds extremely interesting.

  • Liz Staley

    I’m pretty sure that I am right around the Editing and mastering stages. I’m dropping the things that aren’t making me feel fulfilled, and honing my skills as a storyteller and a visual artist. Improvement and being great at my craft are very important to me right now.

  • Amy Young

    I think in parts of my life I’m in the harvesting and guiding phase.

  • StephenKnox

    I have been way too focused on the learning stage. While it is important to gain as much knowledge as possible, I hit a breakthrough recently. Once I realized that most of the information I was taking in we’re things that I could teach, I knew it was time to START. I am going to do that now!

  • jviola79

    I am not sure where I am in the journey but I know this – I am working at it :) I heard Jon Acuff speak at a small church in the western part of MA. 3 summers ago & immediately was struck by how down to earth he was. I look forward to reading this book. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Brad Lewis

    I am going to get four copies of this book: one for me, and a copy each for my three grown children. May it complement the input that I have sown into their lives.

    Thank you for recommending this book!

    • Matt McWilliams

      It absolutely will Brad!

  • Jeff

    I currently struggle with a sedentary lifestyle. I have slowed down in areas in my life. I recently realized that this lifestyle is sinful and makes me a less awesome person in many ways, and how much I am missing out. I am in process of getting in shape, physcially, financially and spiritually…definetely would love to read “Start” as a resource to get me to “awesome” and fulfilling God’s mission for my life!

  • AndrewB

    I’m in a place of discontented contentment. I work 60-70 hours a week at a child are job full time and starbucks part time. After only a handful of failed interviews over the last 4 years, I’ve become content for the wrong reasons, really complacent. I’m learning I need to be the change I want to see and trust God for the rest. And I am being stretched and growin in this difficult time with moment tight and time tighter. I can handle working 70 hours but somewhere and doing something I can grow in.

  • Monica Dix

    What an encouraging message, especially that there aren’t walls between the stages! I now realize I’ve been holding myself back, believing it was crucial to complete one stage before moving on to he next. So much that I even stopped sharing books I’d read for fear of criticism that I was getting ahead of myself by learning about something new.

  • AlGetler

    Due to a sudden career disruption (the other word might be layoff) I find myself at stage 3. Because of age, timing and income, I need to move the stage along to stage 3, Harvest, rather quickly. I am anxious to see what the authors says about that in Start.

    I really like the ladder on the road metaphor. Admittedly I had first thought the metaphors were mix to a point where I didn’t understand at first. Now I realize how many people I encounter along the way that enjoy their tall ladder on the road and refuse to see how it stops the journey for their team.

  • Brian

    I am working at trying to be an awesome dad and husband to my family, it all starts with just little things that make a big difference. Would love to read this book!

  • Wade_Thorson

    I am at the learning stage of the process, this looks like another excellent book to lead me through the process. I have been spending a lot of time reading books over the last year and listening to podcasts. I an listening to Quitter right now and recently Gazelle, and as you stated Jon definitely adds some good humor to his boots.

  • Brigid

    This looks like such an awesome book MIchael! I was planning as I read your review to twitter it anyway – but would love a chance to get a copy.
    I suspect I’m at the editing stage this year, after a couple of years of learning. This year I’m beginning to get more focused on doing the work I love, with goals in place to drop the stuff that drains me.
    I’ll be looking forward to reading Jon’s book to get plenty more ideas on how to move more easily from one stage to the next. It will be fascinating to read more about Dave Ramsey’s story too!

  • Jeph Maagdeleyn

    I have spent way too much of my life in the learning stage. I’m now taking more risks in order to edit. I figure, even if I get it wrong, at least I’m doing something and on my way to improving. I’ve gained a whole lot more respect for entrepreneurs who are passionate and not just trying to get rich quick. They are putting themselves out there because they believe in what they are doing and are passionate about it. I hope to be in the mastering stage soon.

  • Susan Daggett

    I am in transition

  • Kenny

    I am at an age of thinking of beginning a new career. I will be a new START for me.
    I would very much like to read this new book by Jon Acuff. It’s a very timely release for me.

  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Hi Michael,
    I am living beyond awesome baby! How? Grattitude, faith, and intentional ACTION each day to carving out the life I was meant to live while getting to help some people along the day. That includes stepping out of fear and into courage each day all while embracing being wonderfully imperfect as this is the area where we grow the most. Having mentors to learn from such as yourself, Dave Ramsey, and Dan Miller are an incredible gift.
    KEEP Living Beyond Awesome.

  • Lorin Darst

    One foot in learning and the other foot in editing…

  • Beth West

    Jon’s book “Quitter” has been a great inspiration to me on my way to becoming a painter. One of my biggest obstacles is fear. It would be great to “punch it in the face”! I’ll post a link on my facebook and fill out the form.

  • mtgosnell

    I pre-ordered his book last night. Thanks for writing this synopsis Michael. The thing that resounds the most is “The voices are wrong.” As someone who works very full time, I kept believing that doing an extra something and starting my blog wasn’t necessary. I finally began and so far, one month in. You really can do anything as long as you Start!

  • Jared Latigo

    Great synopsis of the book. I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list!

    I’m currently in the editing bordering mastering stage. Part of that was because I started over about a year ago or so. Ironically, it was after interviewing for Dave that I discovered what I was doing may not be what I need to be. I thank them for the opportunity to restart, if you will.

    Thanks for posting, maybe I can snag one of those books :D

  • Adam Gragg

    I think that I am in the mastering stage. I have spent much of the last 7 years in the editing state. That is, figuring out what I am good at and having the courage to say “no” to the distractions. During the editing stage, I ended up resigning from a job I had for over 10 years, getting fired from a job that really wasn’t a good fit, and being unemployed for 7 months. I am 39 and more excited about the future than ever before.

  • Beth West

    I’m sorry, but when I try to share this on Facebook, the share button is linking to a post on which programs pull up when you launch your computer.

  • Tom Franklin

    I’d like to pass this along to my wife. She’s an artist and needs to read more on why those voices are wrong.

  • Damon

    I’m just getting ready to START! So excited about the new book! In the middle of finishing Quitter!

  • Josh Hanson

    I’m in the “mastering” stage. I think I flew through the learning and editing stages as I’ve been a focused person for most of my life. I’m only in my mid-30s and I’m seeing the benefits of moving through the first two stages. For those just starting, keep up with it and do the hard work to keep moving towards your dream.

  • Steve Dusek

    I got to hear John Acuff speak for the first time at a conference recently. He really surprised me, and I am excited about this new book.

  • Austin Lapp

    Wow. I like the sounds of this book and it seems relevant to what so many of us are going through.

  • Sue Germain

    I’ve been looking for a book to help take me out of the average and into the meaningful! Looking forward to reading this book

  • Matt Ticzkus

    It’s so easy to get trapped following others’ definitions of success! I look forward to reading this book!

  • Kim Hall

    The first item on Jon’s list is the most important, I believe. However, I think that too often we don’t realize we need education in an area, or don’t recognize we are in a problem of our own making. That can make this area an interesting dilemma.

    Where am I along the road to Awesome? That question is a tricky one, similar to the query posed in your post, “It is as You Choose It to Be.”

    How do we measure Awesome? If it is by being a parent whose goal was to raise terrific daughters who learned about strong relationships by watching my marriage, then I’m awesome. I know because my married daughter told me so. :-) We are definitely in the Harvesting and actively Guiding stages there, although guidance has been there for years.

    How do I measure Awesome in regards to my new career? I think by committing to action and stepping out of my comfort zone, while following God’s lead. I have done a lot of stupid, to paraphrase Dave Ramsey, and have learned so much along the way. When I apply these lessons, not only is my personal satisfaction much, much higher, but the lives of others are enriched by the encouragement, information and resources I share. I would say I cycle in and around Editing, Harvesting and Guiding.

  • Donna W

    Im in the learning/editing realizing that what I thought I wanted is boring me to tears

    Would love a copy of the book!

  • Clint Hankinson

    I’m in the editing phase but moving forward quickly. Life is short!

  • Ethan

    Personally…Somewhere between learning and Editing

  • Rebecca Gervais

    My husband I have gotten a bit lost on our journey. I’d like to get the book and read it together! Perfect recommendation for where we are today. I hope it’s the map we seemed to have misplaced.

  • M. Shannon Hernandez

    I’m along the road to awesome because I don’t let fear stand in my way. Even though I have been teaching for 15 years, this year I walk away on July 1 to run my company full-time. So many people just don’t get why I would leave a “stable, pension-funded, job” after 15 years in. These people will never get it – the idea of what it truly means to BE and LIVE as an entrepreneur. When it is in your blood, it is in your blood! But most importantly of all, I have resolved to the fact that these very people don’t even need to “get it.” And that’s why I am on the road to awesome!

  • RicePoint

    I would say that I am at stage 4 in my journey. I’m still working on some things and trying to also help others succeed along the way,.

  • Scott Brock

    I saw John speak in Houston Saturday. Wow! His message is prowerful and boy was it worth hearing the message thats in this book.

  • Nicole Eclectic

    I love Jon Acuff, and I’m really excited to read this book. I feel like I settle for “mediocre” far too often, and I’d really rather be awesome! I also think I’m still just “learning.” Sometimes I feel I’ll forever be learning. If I ever feel I’m into “editing,” I may throw a celebration!

  • Daniel Decker

    Jon is a gifted communicator. Love his work.

  • Bryan Stewart

    I recently went through a job elimination and had several months to think about where things stood in my life. I can certainly identify with the concepts and ideas here and am ready to continue forward with the next chapter in my life.

  • Ava Oleson

    “Start” is a great title! It certainly grabbed my attention. It seems to capture an important message for anyone interested in maximizing their potential. However I’m thinking that since people are living longer, working longer, retiring later would love this book. Stats have never been higher for those in their middle age years who are returning to school and “starting” on a new second chapter of their lives. This is the perfect and most inspiring, empowering and insightful message! Thanks so much!

  • Julianne Doherty

    I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about this book in the last week. Being a big Dave Ramsey & Jon Acuff fan – it’s on my radar as a “must-read” this year. I’ve just made a huge transition in my career and am hoping that this will give me some guidance in honing the skills needed for my new role.

  • Daniel

    Recently laid off and fighting the voice inside that says I have to justify myself and my worth. I’m excited and passionate about what I do (Project Management), but it’s very difficult to translate that into a reason for someone else to hire me.

  • Darren Barkman

    I’m in step three – refining my calling, honing in on the areas God has created me for. It has been a lifelong journey. Discovering His plan is not for wusses. It will scare you, frustrate you, intimidate you, make you feel like there isn’t a point to your four score and ten (if you’re fortunate). But He gives grace, promising wisdom to those who ask. I’m turning 42 in two weeks and I finally feel I’m LIVING, because I got on the road Jon talks about and refused to give up.

  • Jos van Doorn

    I am along the road to awesome? Well. I’m not awesome yet. And I
    would like to be awesome. But how can I get awesome?

    started with AutoLISP programming. I started a newsletter and a
    started a blog. But it did not bring me any business.

    don’t know. Should I do something in politics? Once you are known
    and famous. That sure will bring you awesomeness.

    were talking about the START book. I sure am interested in the book.
    If I could. I would like to read it.

  • Matt Malloy

    Seems simple and easy enough….my road to awesome has had a few bumps along the way as I tend to cut myself off a lot….then I have to give myself the bird and it just doesn’t work out well.. :) All kidding aside…. I can’t wait to pick up a copy….

    • lhoenigsberg

      Love that.

  • BeckyAnnDavis

    I’m probably at the tail end of editing and the beginning of mastery (although I think you may likely be at several different stages in various areas of your life), and very excited about some new business ventures!

  • zack verbracken

    I would say that I’m learning, and just beginning to start to edit my craft. I am a youth pastor; and with that, I learn a hundred different things a day that are all new to me. At the same time, I am finally getting to the point where i can consciously evaluate what I do, and decide what works, what doesn’t work, and what is most important.

  • Dan Erickson

    This sounds like a great book. I have been living this way for several years. My start in life was hard as I was a child victim of a cult. Those voices of fear and doubt were magnified. By essentially doing the things that you mentioned in your post over a period of twenty years, I’ve reached a point where I can say I’ve run the gamut, but it’s not over yet. There are still more rewards, not just for me, but for the people I reach out to and help.

    This can be done. We can “Start” today. Someday, perhaps I’ll write a book similar to “Start,” as I feel I’ve learned these lessons, but for now I continue to write fiction with thought-provoking and emotional messages. My second book, “At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy” comes out next week.

  • David H

    I believe I am still in the learning phase. I believe I can provide great value in assisting others solve difficult problems but I need a refined, specialized focus. I am excited and motivated to learn about different areas of business!

  • Ryan McKenzie

    i’m 38 and in a great career. but, i think i’m somewhere in between 1 and 3 (learning and mastering). i’m successful but i don’t feel like i’m in my sweet spot yet. i’m having a blast, but i feel i need to hone and search my heart to get to where God has designed me to be. enjoying the journey!

  • Terri Johnson

    I believe that I’m in the “editing” phase. I am in the process of increasing my focus and eliminating the extraneous. It’s a good, but difficult place too. I would love to receive the book, Start. Sounds awesome!

  • Rob Sorbo

    I can’t wait to read it! I preordered my copy and I just got the notice that it has shipped!

  • Adam Nunley

    I am in the learning and editing stage. As a pastor in seminary, I am editing my passions and how to most effectively share truth and care for people. But I am also learning some many new things especially around family ministry that I feel I am in the learning stage. And my wife is pregnant with a little girl, so I know I am in the learning stage there…we have a son already but a girl! Scary, ha ha.

  • Patricia Coldiron

    My road to awesomeness has been paved with many doubts, fears, and just wanting to give up at times. I’ve often compared myself to others, but now just want to live up to my potential every day of my life.

  • Sherry Langland

    I think I am in the first 3 stages in my role as a teacher and beginning mentor and blogger. The negative voices are rearing their ugly head, though, and I’m trying to slay them.

  • Andy Westbrook

    I have to say I’m the First Step…deciding my dream and learning what I’m good at. This books looks like it looks at the whole process from start to finish which I’m excited about. I’m two years out of college and already know I’ve been called to something greater.

  • Aaron Corder

    I am just starting out on the road to awesome, but lucky for me I’m only 21. I feel like its just a new start. I don’t have a lot of old habits to undo or anything, but it still won’t be easy. I will definitely be reading this book. It seems to address a lot of the things I have realized is holding me back. Mostly the fears. I did a couple posts on my blog about it. I look forward to reading this book for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  • Gayle ELy

    There are no walls to the stages really resonates with me. Looking at my journey right now I am in a heavy learning stage and also privileged to be doing some guiding as well. In fact, I have engaged some of those I am guiding to help me in my learning. For me, this is the value of community.

  • Matt Lydy

    I am currently in the editing phase of my life. I have been blessed by God with skills as a photographer and have run a side business while working full time since 2004. I recently lost my fulltime job, suffered a terrible back injury among other things. God forced me to slow down and spend time with Him. It was here when I started to receive some clarity and guidance on how to use my God given talents to better serve him and now I’m working to make that a reality. I just finished reading Jon’s older book Quitter and really enjoyed it!

    • Jonathan Harrison

      Matt, I admire your faith and attitude in the face of your injury, and I am encouraged by your focus and positive direction with your talent!

  • Jeff Miles

    I am currently in the Editing stage and it sounds like this book is a great find for getting to where I need to be.

  • golddave

    This seems like a very interesting way of looking at life and how to live it. I actually see myself as being at the mastering level in some parts of my life but at the editing level in others.

  • Phil

    I fall into the 50-year-old category. Ready to start something new. Looking forward to reading the book!

  • Beka

    I’m not sure what stage I’m in, kind of seems like a mixture of editing and mastering but I also feel like I already harvest, I see so many fruits in my life from the choices I’ve made. Yet I’m still learning too and even though I’m still young, I also do the guiding step.

  • Jeff Melvin

    I’m finding myself in the “editing” phase on my road to AWESOME. I’ve been looking for the energy sucks – those things that drain the energy out of my day, plus evaluating what doesn’t fit my passion. It’s not easy and requires me to be “intentional, but if I’m going to be Awesome that’s what it’s going to take.

    The question I ask myself in remaining focused is…”What are the things I’m doing daily that move me to awesome?”

  • Pingback: The Secret to Becoming Awesome | Pastor Leaders()

  • Jpates

    In my 30s I’m still editing… Trying figure out who I am. I have a lot if interest and trying to narrow down to my true passion… I want so bad to choose one thing but feel stuck. I lived Acuff’s last book and know this one will be just as great! He had a gift!

  • David Newsham

    New to this site – so far – awesome info! – looking forward to more.

  • Kathy Tankersley

    This comment feed is quite inspiring! I think I’m at different stages in my personal life (editing & mastering) and my professional life (at start once again). God is gracious & for me. I’ll continue to trust Him. This book would be helpful!

  • Dr. Jason Cabler

    I think this is a book that a lot of people really need. Many times the hardest part of doing anything new is to start, and the next hardest is to continue after the initial excitement has worn off. I know this will be a quality book because of who and where it’s coming from. Good luck and God bless Jon Acuff in promoting his new book!

  • Wes Coffey

    I love the statement “There are no walls between these stages.” Depending on what area of life we are talking about I find myself in various stages. Professionally I am enjoying some harvest but personally my wife and I have just become empty-nesters so I’m learning lots of new things about family life!

  • Peter Huber

    I am still in the LEARNING phase, but see areas of my life where I am EDITING. This looks like a great book to add to my resources. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Derek Leek

    I think I’m in the Editing phase!

  • Greg Phelan

    I’m still in the learning stage. I’m getting an idea of where my passion is, however I’m trying to figure out how to make that passion something realistic, that will support my family.

  • Brian Basilico

    I am certainly on the way up… Much closer than just a few years ago.

  • Sheryl Floris

    Sounds like a great book with a lot of valuable information! Being an avid reader, I look forward to reading it and adding it to my collection.

    In response to your question, I am working in the learning/editing areas right now. Because my responsibilities, both financially and time-wise, have greatly increased in recent months, I’m in the process of gathering information and exploring which opportunities would be a good fit for my life right now. As part of this process, I am finding it necessary to examine my activities and relationships to see what needs to be edited with the intention of “getting focus and finding the work that allows us to be the best version of us”…I really like the way that is expressed!

    Thanks for sharing your takeaways. It makes me want to read the book even more. Thanks for sharing with us about this new book!

  • jimmi

    I would say that I am in the process of laying everything out to see where I am so that I can achieve awesomeness. I don’t plan to take anything I gain to Heaven but while I’m here on Earth I want to share ideas of what I’ve been though and listen to others as they have traveled the road of life. #awesome #grace #nevergiveup

  • Ryan Abel

    I’m definitely in the Editing phase. Feels good.

  • Josh

    I’m definitely appreciative of this post. Editing has been my season of choice. Taking time to learn from the past and settle the future route for my family and I.

  • Samuel

    Woke up this morning and read this article, thank you for sharing. I feel empowered already.

  • Deborah Whitehouse

    I am in the ‘mastering’ stage and the ‘learning’ stage at the same time! And, I love it. I am starting up a new consulting business, in the ‘Social/Digital’ age! Having to relearn marketing, communications and stay current with the trends in business is fun and exhilarating! I love helping people and now I am going to do it full time!

    I also learn so much from what is already written and this book is being promoted well from the social feeds I receive. In my coaching, I have used similar ‘phases’ to educate my clients and how they can grow. This totally supports my work and reinforces the concept that we continually SHOULD stay in the learning phase to some degree. I am happy to tweet this, as well.

    So, thanks for recommending “Start” and I look forward to reading the entire book!

  • Craig Desmarais

    I love how you brought up the fact that many people spend a lot of time to achieve positions or goals that do not really matter. These points above are awesome and looking forward to reading that book!

  • CindyHSmith

    Great for this stage in my life where I’m considering ‘what’s next’ after a successful career and send the last of my four sons off to college. Thanks for the review. It’s on my list to read!!

  • Todd MacPherson

    I personally feel like I’ve entered the Mastering stage in this last year. This book is now on my Must Read list, first for myself and then for those I lead and serve. Thanks Michael for recommending this book.

  • CindyHSmith

    Michael, the link is ‘broken’ to share on FB. (Still not twittering) Posts as totally different post

  • Cory Lavine

    For me, it is working on my debut album. I’ve begun the journey about 3 years a go. Becoming debt free was the first thing on my to do list before I were to begin the music. No car payments, student loans, or credit card debt. Having accomplished that has given me more options and allowing me to focus on the next step on my journey. It’s been a fun and exciting time.

    • Jonathan Harrison

      Congratulations on being debt free! My wife and I are on that road, and almost there. Sounds like you are making good use of your new freedom!

  • John Richardson

    Wow, this book ties in so well with my LIGHT metaphor. Love the idea of the path and the ladder of entitlement along the way. I’ve seen so many people get stuck on the ladder. I tell you Mike, this video just gave me a great idea how to make real the concept of Legacy. I love the timeline. Getting out my green screen now.

  • RC

    I am experiencing every stage right now with the exception of monetizing. I’m daily aware of God’s hand of provisions during this season and I have never been so driven. I do also want to thank you for a blog you wrote a couple of years ago that advised beginning bloggers to use wp premium features until we know we have content that can draw followers and support the costs of Blue Host. You also indicated your monthly costs for maintaining BH. In my research, I had been attempting to figure that out. I was hoping some affilliations would show some helpful income but decided to continue as I was writing and growing and building followers and graduate from there to BH. Thank you!

  • Andy McFly

    I think I’m at the very beginning of the road to awesome.

  • Jennifer Johnson

    I feel I have “cleaned the bugs off the windshield of my life” and found my journey so far is a lot more awesome than what I originally thought it was, which just makes me feel more confident to guide others. That’s what I get the most joy out of – helping others!

  • jsenna

    I’m working between editing and mastering. I have great dreams and passions and I’m honing them down to help me plan my platform.

  • BrittneeTaylorNewman

    I’m somewhere in the vicinity of editing and mastering. I’m trying to specialize my experience, while still keeping it broad enough to be relevant within a couple of different industries. I’ve also decided to scale way back on my free projects- no longer “helping” friends and colleagues out by creating free content, campaigns, events, etc.

  • Lisa Thompson

    I’m in the editing phase, but I’m looking forward and excited about what’s to come!

  • Sally Green

    Learning has always been paramount to me. However for some reason, I have struggled financially most of my life. In most other areas I feel blessed. I have good relationships, I am spiritually awake, I am emotionally strong and aside from needing to lose some weight (which I am currently working on) I am healthy. I enjoy helping others and learning about people. I love the title of this book because I love to start – your next book should be titled: Finish! :) Thanks

  • Jeremy Buzzard

    I think I’m largely in the editing stage right now. I feel like I’ve been learning a number of things that could contribute to my life’s work over the last decade or so. Now, I’m trying to filter out that which doesn’t fit, add a few things that do, and focus my time and energy into a worthwhile pursuit that has meaning and specific application to my skill sets.

  • Melissa Wright

    I’m just beginning my journey on the road to awesome. I have failed and floundered for far too long. I’m looking for my passion and doing everything I can to make a better me. This means starting to get a hold of my health, finances, etc. Everything I can do to grow my skills is an asset to my new me.

    • Jonathan Harrison

      Melissa, your dedication IS awesome!
      I think that awesome is a direction, not a destination – as long as you are moving towards it (even slowly) you are being awesome!

  • Leann

    I’m in the “still trying to figure out what my dream is” phase. Doing lots of reading and praying. I have lots of things I’m interested in, but I’m not sure what my true passion is. I’m sure when my three-year-old gets a bit older, I’ll have more brain capacity to realize my dream. Right now, I’m working full-time and just trying to get through each day unscathed. :)

  • Wade Webster

    I’m 52 and feel like I’m stepping out of the editing phase and into the mastering one. I’m fine with that because I know I can’t change anything in the past. I can only change where I’m heading in the future.

  • PJ

    This is a great concept that we tend to breeze past because we feel we are too old, too far into the path we have been given, etc. I am at the point where I am ready to “start” on what I have been sitting at the starting gate all my life and I think that every bit of encouragement we can muster will make the journey a bit less daunting and much more exciting.

  • Nate Hickox

    I am currently in the learning stage. I am a 23 year old youth pastor trying to discover how to live life, impact people, and what my greatest passions are.

  • Christine Pelfrey

    I saw Jon speak at a Catalyst Conference a couple years back, he was hilarious and wise beyond his years! I am currently in step 2 and getting ready to have some difficult conversations to eliminate distractions and pursue my passion. Can’t wait to read this book! It’s just what I need at just the right time!

  • Mark Widner

    I am approaching the 50s and I know I have accomplished much but when I look over the harvest I feel like it is lacking. The book appeals to me as a tool to help me look over the fields and find where my passions have produced results. I think my greatest concern is that I have shown my children that hard work matters but have not shown them what to do with the results. Thanks for taking the time to produce a book to provide motivation for those of us stuck along the road.


  • Leslie Camacho

    I’m starting my own company today.

  • Jeni

    I am most definetely in the “Learning” stage. I am a young mom of one and wanting to truely find my passion. I recently found Jon Acuff and I cannot wait to read this book!

  • iamanoffering

    Every experience I’ve had so far have been in the learning stage, preparing me for where I believe God wants me completely. I think right now I’m in the editing stage and will soon begin the mastering stage. Exciting times, for sure!

  • Kelsey Ramsden

    I am commenting for an opportunity to win a copy of the book Start. All I can tell you is that from the bottom of my heart and the tips of my toes….the description you gave of the book made me feel energy…..a change. I would appreciate and more importantly…will commit to engaging in this book with my full intent…and promise to report back with my experience through the book.
    With gratitude and hope….
    Thanks for the chance to win and all of your amazing work.

  • Sue Speakman-Gomez

    I encourage my teenage daughter to have “Be Awesome” as the first item on her to do list every day. Everyone is unique and has something of value they bring into this world. I am honored to have the opportunity to run a nonprofit helping people in Minnesota find affordable rental homes. Currently I am in the editing or mastering stage. I’d love to read this book and share with my daughter!

  • Mark Praschan

    I’ve been on the meandering road to mediocrity for a long time, but I’m surrounding myself with great resources (thanks Michael), I’m dreaming big and starting small. I’m only at mile-marker 1 on the road to awesome, but it feels good.

  • Laura

    Sounds worth a read!

  • Chris Munson

    It is difficult to say exactly where I’m at on the “road to awesome.” I’m a lifelong learner, so I’m always in the “learning” stage with something. I’m usually reading 4-5 books at any given time, listen to a dozen podcasts every week, and read a ton of blogs. Probably my greatest weakness and strength simultaneously is that I get bored easily, so I’m always looking to learn and do something new – and then move on to the next thing. I’m in a constant mode of editing…constantly trying to improve my strengths…and frankly ignoring my weaknesses as they can be a big waste of time. I’m also in the “mastering” phase on some things…the things that I either have the most passion for or provide the best “ROI.” I am sometimes in the “harvesting” phase with some things – particularly with those skills that people will pay me for. I’m constantly mentoring younger/less experienced individuals on the skills that I have learned. I guess the short answer is that I’m all over the “road to awesome” like some sort of self-improvement drunk driver. I’m hoping Jon’s book will help guide me into a little more focus and a few methods of channeling my adult-onset ADD into a more lucrative future.

  • Doug Seaberg

    I’m mastering now. Early 40s. I’m going to give some of these away as gifts this year. Life changing material.

  • Kevin Solik

    I’m in the Mastering stage of my journey right now. Working on my skills in video editing and storytelling.

  • Heather C Button

    I think I’ve switched up mastering and editing. I love mastering new challenges, but am not so great at editing out the ones I don’t need to do. And then, I’m guiding as I harvest, teaching new students the ins and outs of the profession while still getting my license. It’s hard to balance those phases in life. Maybe that’s why I feel so torn all the time, I haven’t mastered that careful art of editing.

  • Tim Dahl

    I’m on the cusp of something new. While I’m very excited, I can hear those other voices intruding. Thanks for offering this book as a giveaway.


  • Jose Figueroa

    I started my transition about 3 years ago. I got involved with Dave Ramsey’s FPU because I had no clue about managing money. It blessed me so much that my wife and I coordinated several classes at our church. Then I found myself answering questions and helping people in the class. That appealed to my love for teaching and teaching the Word of God.

    I took Dave’s Counselor training in 2010 so I could learn how to help people better their finances. I started coaching on the side and put together a website. That led to me writing blog posts, initially once a month. But then I increased frequency to weekly and last year starting blogging also in Spanish. I call myself an accidental blogger :-).

    All of that has led to publishing an e-book 2 weeks ago. I want to write more and more. I can teach and help people at the same time. Jon’s book “Quitter” has been a great guidance as I have kept my “day job” while I work on my dream. So I am on the road to awesome, slowly but steadily.

    Thanks for all you do Michael. I read and loved “Platform”

    • Jonathan Harrison

      Way to go Jose – keep it up, very cool things are happening because of your desire to help others!

      • Jose Figueroa

        Thanks Jonathan!

    • Kim Weible Smith

      Reading your blog Jose. Great job! Recently started my counseling
      business & wanting to start a blog. Thanks for the inspiration!!

      • Jose Figueroa

        Thanks Kim! Congratulations on your counseling business! And yes, go for it with your blog. Just start writing!

  • cdrpktpenelope

    Until recently, arguable even twenty minutes ago, I have been in the “learning” stage and it has been one of the more exhausting (and sometimes exhilarating) year-and-a-half of my life. Seems like those lessons never stopped coming! (And neither did the fear and doubt.)

    “Nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron

    What I’ve been building up to the last few days, culminating in this moment, is that I needed to know that I had the power to “edit”, that my journey (if I still wanted to be moving) required me to edit. And so here I am. Breaking out the metaphysical red pen.

    Let the editing begin.

    The Universe really does provide what you need when you need it. Thanks, Michael.

    • cdrpktpenelope

      Speaking of editing, although I could make an argument for “metaphysical”, I think I would have preferred to write “metaphorical”. Just for the record.

  • Chris Hollis

    Jon Acuff is great. His blog is very funny & relevant, I very much relate to his writing. So it would fit that his book on awesomeness would be right in my wheel house!

  • Dennis Brooke

    Jon is dead on when he says, “There are no walls between these stages.” As an experienced professional with a startup company I’m learning as we carve our niche in a pioneering industry. But I’m also able to master, harvest, and guide others. As a pre-published novelist my work definitely leans toward the early stages that Jon describes.

    What keeps life interesting is my willingness to take on this stages again when it would be easy to sink into the trap of entitlement. Have not read Jon’s works before but this looks worth checking out.

  • Michael Oakes

    Thanks for sharing. This looks like a great resource.

  • Jonathan DeVore

    I went to school to become an accountant. I got my CPA license and worked for an accounting firm for 3.5 years. I thought I had entered the stage of mastering, and that I would focus on becoming a great accountant – but accounting wasn’t for me.

    So I quit accounting and I am now trying something out with a small startup – I’m back to the learning phase. I’m trying out dozens of things that have nothing to do with accounting, and realizing that I like quite a few of them. I think it will be a few more years of learning before I start editing.

    I was initially afraid to go back to the learning phase because I have a family of four, and I wasn’t sure I could take a chance – the risk of failure was high because the impact on my family would be high. But then I learned that there’s another type of risk – the risk of never doing what I love to do, and being stuck doing projects that feel somewhat meaningless. And that was a risk I didn’t want to take.

    So now I’m off on a whole new adventure, doing things that I love to do with people I love working with. I’m so glad I decided to punch fear in the face, take a leap, and re-enter the learning phase of my life so that I can find what it is I’m passionate about.

  • Laura Dallas

    I’m in the editing stage trying to narrow my focus and discover my true passion.

  • Brett

    Where am I? I feel like I’m old to be at this stage, but I’m fully in the Learning phase. When you follow a typical career path, it has taken some work to disentangle myself from either the Christian vision of being called or the corporate vision of getting and sticking to a J.O.B. Now I’m experimenting w/ all the elements of my story and history to see just where the magic might lie.

    I love your opening: “…Then we medicate our boredom and futility with entertainment.” It’s been less boredom, and more ignorance. It’s been fun to have a little ‘Allegory of the Cave’ epiphany. Of course, I crawl back in a little too often!

  • Joseph Foley

    I starting blog , listening to pod cast and reading good content.

  • Tianne Curtiss LMP

    I feel like I should be in the harvesting stage, and I am not, I find myself AGAIN in the learning, mastering stage. Wonder why I never get past these stages. Thank you for giving me much to think about.

  • Jon C

    I’m teaching a college freshmen seminar right now and I could use this book, now! Th subtitle alone makes me want to read it!

  • alephtav

    Hey Michael, My wife and I both hit 50 this year. The Bible says 50 is the Jubilee year, the year we break free of old bondages. We know what we’re awesome at, we’re just trying to discern how to use our awesomeness!

  • Matt McMorris

    I don’t know how many times I have started to write a book, only to get several thousand words into it and then give up. That is all changing now. Recently, I began writing about a topic I was passionate about and had been blogging about. More importantly, I got some people excited about it and they are helping me with the writing/editing process. That accountability means I have written thousands of more words than ever before. I’m not going to quit now. This was a big START for me and I want to see it through!

  • Marc

    Very much smack in the middle. I feel I’m on the right path, though am wrestling with which steps to take along the way.

  • Julie Denouden

    I am in the editing stage and finding it difficult to say no to things that aren’t a best fit for my passions…but learning I need to say no anyways!

  • Glen Mullins

    I’d say I’m in the learning phase of being awesome. I’ve long felt that I’ve never lived up to my potential, but I’m just beginning to discover my passions. Einstein supposedly said that “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a
    tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I’m ready to start doing something besides attempting to climb the same tree over and over!

  • Jeff Randleman

    My road is taking a pretty sharp turn. After 23 years in youth ministry, I’m stepping out of that role to preach. While in a lot of ways, ministry is still ministry, this transition will be world’s different that what I’ve been doing for the last two decades. I’d love to read this book and see how Acuff’s principles could apply to my situation.

  • JonathanWhitman

    I would probably say that I am at the editing stage. I realize that I need to focus on what I am good at if I want to make a difference in the world. Thank you for this awesome post!

  • Bill Nadraszky

    Jon is a fantastic guy with a real passion for building people up. And you are right he is super funny, anyone following him on Instagram or Twitter can figure that out pretty quickly.

    About mentorship, I think mentorship is one of the great takeaways here. It is so critical in a time where all knowledge is just a couple clicks away to have someone that can help lead you in a direction but it takes real discipleship to do this as it is so easy to think you are already most of the way there when you still don’t even know what you don’t know

  • Old Fat Happy Texan

    On the road to Awesome, I’m moving ever closer. It took some time for me to figure out that God had plans for me that were not anywhere near my own. After all, who wants to be unemployed for years before landing a job so far out of their education and background as to be laughable?

    That was me – with a degree in computer science and unemployed for five years. I landed a job in car sales. Yeah – that’s laughable. But I learned how to demonstrate the cars, the “Features, Advantages and Benefits”. I was only there for six months before moving somewhat back into IT.

    At my next job, I was pushing software on engineers that did not want to use it. But I was able to pull from my experience in car sales to make it attractive – and they were excited to use it!

    Now, my job is demonstrating software for external clients. I don’t support it, but I do help them get started with it. I am not in sales – I don’t have to close any deals. But I can look back to six years ago, back when I couldn’t buy a job, and see that God has steered me to this point.

    My chain of command has also seen what God has enabled me to do and is recognizing it. It took me a few months to give God the credit because it felt so good to hear it. But doing so wasn’t as hard as I thought.

    The last 11 years have been long periods of growth for me personally. Now, once again, I can point to His Healing Power.

  • MotorCop

    Having just completed Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training, it was a perfect time for me to read Start. Jon is an insightful you man well down the road to Awesome. He consistently inspires me to remain on my own road as well. An excellent read that I highly recommend!

  • Heather Van Allen

    I feel like I’m continually moving between the first three–learning, editing and mastering. I struggle with the voices of fear that I think hold me back from really moving toward harvesting and guiding others the way I would like to. I appreciate this post. Thank you!

  • Chris Vacher

    Another great giveaway. Can’t wait to read this one. In some areas of life, I’m a 5. In many others, I’m a 1.

  • Greg Martin

    Always inspired (and made to laugh out loud, usually at the most inopportune times) by Jon’s writings. As a middle-age pastor, it has taken me this long on the journey to ‘find my voice,’ and I’m looking forward to refining this voice, to become awesomer at what I’ve been called to do.

  • Ermzie

    This article is life affirming for me at this point in time. I have embarked on three new and totally different adventures starting last October. I’ve been battling those “voices” telling me I’m too old to be taken seriously in these adventures. But there have been positive voices as well to encourage me. the negative voices are mostly in my own head. I’ve begun a new ministry of intercession in my church, I’ve begun taking lessons to learn to play my dad’s old electric, steel, Hawaiian guitar, and have just recently had a poem accepted for publication as a children’s book. All of these things are out of my normal realm of reality and strangely enough…I’m not afraid of any of them. I’ve never felt so invigorated in my life. I do’t think even the birth of my kids made me feel this much “aliveness” in me. I feel like a pioneer and I’m loving it.

    • lhoenigsberg


      • Ermzie

        Thank you !!

  • Gini Woodward

    On my awesome journey, I learn the same lessons in my gardens, planting, weeding, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, watering, harvesting, and replanting, processes that frequently overlap . The seasons of life govern each process and my higher power, the original source is the ruler of the coming and going of which I am a tiny part of the whole.

  • Morgan Elise Taylor

    Jon Acuff’s book sounds like an excellent resource for everyone who wants to improve their life. I like how the trailer implies that you don’t have to be older to begin the journey to awesome. I am only eighteen, and I want to “start” being awesome right now. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Hyatt! I appreciate all you do to encourage, help, and instruct people like me.

  • LDeschambault

    I would have to say my journey to awesomeness begun in my 40’s almost 7 years ago now. It began when I finally discovered my god given identity and purpose thanks to a personal coach at the time that was a christian. The life of this man was one of honesty & integrity all while having a genuine interest in wanting to help others. His life exemplified the type of life I wanted to live. After several years as my mentor, he invited me to pray a simple prayer that changed my life forever. The first book he ever sent me was John C. Maxwell’s Leadership Bible. This man also wrote a great book that I recommend anyone to download for free at: Thanks for this opportunity for a chance to win Jon’s book titles “Start” :-) God bless!

  • Byron Center Pastor

    Moving into mastering…though even saying that sounds a touch prideful :-)

  • Merit Wolff

    I’m deep into the learning stage even at age 48 and so excited about putting my education together with my past experience and seeing what God has in store! As one of my daughter’s favorite authors says, “Don’t forget to be awesome!” I am striving to remember that I still am!

  • Justin Bessler

    MFA in creative writing? Check. 70% of my memoir manuscript? Check. Keep writing and polishing and creating and serving? In progress.

  • Cyberquill

    “Awesome” is so overused. I prefer to think of myself as traveling on the road to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

  • scottfinn

    I feel that I am in an Editing -> Mastering loop. Rinse and repeat. But it’s working, and I get a glimpse of Harvesting now and then. This prompts me to keep that loop going, because it means that I am getting more awesome, obviously. :-)

  • Kevin

    I’m mastering/harvesting/guiding. 5 years into my business, I am building my team and investing in them, helping them achieve their goals through my business.

  • Teresa Black

    In my early 50’s, I am in the midst of a job search and enjoyed reading this article. As a life-long learner, I always have a foot in stage 1. I’m at stage 4 with the work I have been doing for the past 15+ years, but am back in stage 2 as I sculpt a new opportunity where I can bring inspiration, creativity, and a passion for leadership, advocacy, and collaboration. Rather than viewing this unplanned transition as something that has happened TO me, I believe that this is happening FOR me to find this opportunity. I am learning to change the conversation with the voices of fear and doubt to the voices of courage and confidence. The “aha” moment for me as I was reading this post is that the activities where I am able to be at stage 5 (coaching, mentoring, and motivating others) is the most rewarding to me. I would appreciate the opportunity to read “Start”. Thank you, Jon and Michael!

  • Ray (Rabon) Coleman

    Great article on Getting Started…We don’t have to get it right , we just need to get it going.The only one holding us back is ourselves..Let’s make it happen..Make a Difference, leave a positive mark in your life.

  • rabrooks1

    I like what I hear in this book about the road to awesome. A long time ago a wise person said, “If you become unteachable (entitlement addicted) you are finished.”
    It would be a great blessing to be able to have this book.

  • G Jones

    I’d like to think that I’m pretty well on that road but at times difficult situations in life seem to set me back and I need to begin at step 2 or 3. But that’s ok because overcoming those difficulties are a part of what makes me awesome, right?

  • Rae Majors-Wildman

    Being awesome begins with you deciding and then showing up daily as a reflection of your brilliance and AWESOMENESS!

  • Pam

    Leadership and mentoring is timeless. However, now is the time to ignite the spark for leadership and encourage those, whatever, their age to be awesome and make a difference by leading. I’m looking forward to reading what Jon has to say!

  • KathleenHeuer

    You could argue that I’m in all five stages at the moment to some degree, but the one that resonates the most today is editing. There are a lot of things I could do successfully, but only a few that ONLY I can do or that I’m PASSIONATE about doing!

  • Debbie Maulsby

    I learned, edited and mastered my mom calling for 30 years! Now I’m harvesting grandchildren and an ever increasing blessed relationship with adult children–nothing better than watching God work in your children’s lives!
    Now I’m editing and mastering a new calling as I’m taking years if Bible study, ministry, speaking in church, and a testimony of a life threatening illness to begin writing words that can inspire and encourage through journeys through the wilderness.
    I have been so inspired by your website and I’m getting ready to do the 20 minute self hosted blog !! Thanks for sharing the talent God blessed you with so that we can learn how to be awesome! for God!

  • Joann

    Along the road to awesome, I sprinted in my 20’s. I was “in the zone” helping and inspiring many. Somehow I took a detour in my 30’s and early 40’s, focusing on family and not always shining as before, but always reading and at least trying to keep improving and assisting. I’ve stepped back on the road to awesome in the last couple of years through the help of mentors. While my progress is slow, I’m patient. In God’s time, and at His bidding, I will excel. Reflecting on my passion, my mission, has helped me during this transitioning time.

    Jon’s examples, given in the article, are intriguing and thought-provoking. I look forward to reading this book.

  • JStrick40

    I’m editing…

    I’ve been called a jack of all trades but a master of none. I teach for a living but I also do quite a bit of managing and moving large groups of people in my job. I love the logistical side of working behind the scenes so that the master teachers can do their job easily.

    I have a great job but i dont feel that it fits my passions…

    I’m praying and honing in on how I can make a career that fits my passions – helping others – and support my family.

    Currently coordinating FPU in my church – LOVE IT – as well as reading Quitter and 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.

  • Carol E Lerner

    I’m all over the map! I can either say I’ve been unfocussed, or I’m a “renaissance woman.” It depends on how I want to look at it. ;-)
    As such, I’m at various stages to varying degrees, but mostly learning. So glad one is never too old to Start!

  • Pat Burns

    I’m a 61-yr-old artist in the “mastering” stage… seeing peeks into the “harvesting” stage. I found “editing” to be a hard stage, as it is with a lot of women that wear many hats. I feel younger and more energetic now than I did five years ago when I made the decision to push aside all the noise and clutter and finally accomplish myself.

  • Davin Emerson

    Wow, I needed to hear this. After working 28 years in the same field, there has got to be more. I feel a shift happening but not sure where it is leading. I believe Jon’s books just might stoke the fire. Great trailer by the way!

  • Travis Campbell

    I am in the editing stage of life. I am learning to filter out some things I’ve learned and apply other things to make me the best “me” possible.

  • Ed

    I’m just beginning to allow my creative side take over so I can build myself a better me. I’ve been following the societal norms for too long and got derailed when I was laid off 1 1/2 years ago. Now it’s my time to show the world my gifts and talents.

  • Theresa

    I’ve been on the road to awesome for a long time. I’ve been caught in the loop for way too long, but at least I can still see the path…I just need to figure out how to get off the loop. I listen weekly to people like Anthony Robbins, Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, and others to keep me motivated and eyes on the target. I’d like to be further down the road to awesome, but i’m happy in my continuous progress and desire for pure “awesome”!

  • Tracy L

    Sounds like a great book, I’d love to win a copy. I feel like I am in the editing stage right now. Finally figuring out what I want, what I am good at, and now trying to work to get to where I want to be. It’s scary but very exciting!

  • Matt Thisse

    I am in stage three. The mastering stage. After switching careers, I had to go through stage one a couple of times. I quickly moved through stage two and I am working on mastering my craft. Can’t wait to read this book.

  • Myownlizness

    I’m a stay at home Mom with 3 teens going to college/in college and a 10 year old. I’m definitely Learning about the next thing for me, but also know the challenge of separating what is my thing from what is my husband’s journey, and what is ours.

  • Steve Oglesby

    I’m in the middle of editing and mastering, ignoring the voices. ;-)

  • Tim Miller

    Some days I feel awesome is right around the corner, but I end up turning left instead of right and have to wander around for a while to get my bearings.

  • Tacicia Bryan

    As a student, I’m currently between the earning and editing phases of life. I’m currently discovering important gifts and talents, while putting other interests aside.

  • Cherese

    i feel like I am always in a learning stage but the past couple of years there has been a lot of editing and mastering; I am beginning to see some of the harvest and I am getting involved in the guiding.

  • Jared Coe


    I have learned a lot, especially the last couple of years, about what works for me and what doesn’t. I have learned about rhythm and routines and found things that really help me.

    Now it’s time to pursue my passions and let go of the things that I don’t need to hold on to. After reading “Quitter” I realized that I am already exactly where I need to be. And I can move forward, right where I am (geographically).

  • April Kalmar

    I’m in between 1 and 2–learning and editing. Our group is on its way to rescuing dying people and giving hope to hopeless children!!

  • Lisa Lewis

    I have been in a season of redirection, rebuilding since 2008. As a wife and mother too, the vision God has given me has been slowly coming forward. Now that our youngest is graduating and heading off to college I am seeing the light at the end of this road and it’s Green! Another acquaintance recently highly recommended Jon’s book to me; this post and opportunity are very timely!

  • Michael Lettner

    I feel like I am in the editing phase (along with learning). As a family we are trying to focus on what we feel called to do, so we have to prune everything else out.

  • Laryn Hill

    Love this! Step back, reassess priorities, and move forward living an intentional life – starting today!

  • Kurt Libby

    I’m definitely in the learning stage. I turn 30 next month, but does that mean I have to start editing or can keep learning?

  • Sheila Boutwell

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to possibly receive a copy of your new book “Start.” We have been through Dave Ramsey’s program and taken a couple of our adult children through it too. Life Changing! Looking forward to applying new principles and inspiration to this next phase of my journey! Thanks for sharing your expertise and ideas so that we can all succeed! Sheila

  • tpope

    I am currently on the road of learning and editing. I finished college three years ago and am closer to finding my passions than when I graduated, but still a long ways from mastering. I have honed in on a few – specifically working with people, writing, and learning Mandarin, and am now working hard to develop these onto a level that can deliver real value in my career. My dream job would be at the intersection of these three and I look forward to continuing along the path and finding that position.

  • Josh Waugh

    Right now, I am in the learning stage! One year out from college and I have entered the world of Student Ministry. I am still experimenting and the Lord is helping me learn something new everyday about myself and the work He has called me to do!

  • Kristi Veitenheimer

    I am definitely at the “needing to start” stage. I’m 49 years old and desparately wanting a new start. Perhaps a “mid-life crisis” in the making?

  • Alan Salls

    I think I’m a “late bloomer” along with many of those who have already commented below. I would say I’m in the Editing phase. I have a lot of knowledge and experience, but at 56 years old, I haven’t done a whole lot with it. This sounds like the kind of book that rings with the “it’s never too late” attitude I have, and I will be getting a copy to keep on moving down the path towarsd being awesome!

  • Gentoku

    NIce article. I think it’s really important to have a reflective process to make this all possible. Saying that we should face fear is so true, but it’s important to build to tools to face fear. It’s not just an instantaneous fix.

  • Matt Nelson

    Just starting out! Headed to Graphic design school next spring. :)

  • Steve Hargis.

    Just because I should I think I’ll start over at 50 and see what happens next. Maybe I can compress the next 50 years because of the experience w the last 50. The title of this book reminds me of one called Do the Work. It too was about going 9 rounds with fear.

    This coupled with my Hyatt Life Plan could be the turn signal Ive been trying to find. This should be fun.

  • Romeo Pakasi

    In my journey of being awesome, I believe I am in the Mastering stage. I have found my passion and have screen out what is important and what is not. I am passionate about helping people to achieve optimal health and it is important for me to align my vision, actions and career in this light. In increasing my mastery of the subject I chose to master, I understand that it takes continuous learning, discovery and reflection as what John Acuf suggested.

  • Rumbani Chavula

    Wow…i so agree with what you have written. Recently i wrote an article on a similar topic. i have been on my Journey of awesome and all i can say is it takes a lot of focus. i think for me it has been a daily commitment to this journey, having my passion tank full everyday and going after it. And you are very right, ‘the voices are wrong’!

  • Kristi Veitenheimer

    I’m definitely in the “needing to start” stage. I’m 49 and desparately wanting a new path. Perhaps a “mid-life crisis” in the making?

  • Benjamin Green (@bgreen2036)

    I am just beginning; I’m in college, pursuing my major, but experiencing God push and prod me around. So, I guess I’m in the learning phase.

  • benjamin varner

    I am in the stage of editing, part of this process is understanding just how I am wired. I am starting new career, finishing my MBA, using the life plan e-book and working through Don Millers Storyline 2.0 as I proactively engage the process.
    I am fortunate to have people in my life who have affirmed me, so employing all of these resources I am plotting my next intentional act of awesomeness… Today!

  • Ashleigh T

    “Whenever we start,the point is to start. Anyone can do it at any time.” Words of wisdom!!

  • Michael Bates

    I’m in the editing phase, I suppose.

  • Kyle Macon

    I feel that I am somewhere between learning and editing. Just trapped because of fear to edit out certain parts of life.

  • Marc W Johnson

    Great idea for a book. I believe that most people do not succeed because of fear. I believe that fear is the biggest stumbling block most people face and yet, I believe that you get through fear with faith. Faith that tomorrow will be a better day because of the fear we conquered today.

  • Dot Bast

    My husband and I are ready to be more intentional about helping others on their paths. We are involved in ministries at church, plus we just became grandparents and we are seeking guidance about how to best use our gifts for the Kingdom. We are exceedingly blessed and we seek to give back where God wants to use us.

  • Angela Sims

    I’m definitely in the heavy learning and starting to edit. My issue is that I’m so busy with daily life, time is escaping and I need to take charge and make my changes happen. I’m definitely an encourager and giver -> still trying to figure out how to parlay that into something else.

  • Jenny Leo

    In midlife, I’ve got several pots bubbling on the stove, from heavy learning (health and fitness) to editing (becoming more like me, not an idea of me) to mastery (writing career) to harvesting and giving back (volunteer work and mentoring younger people). So depending on which aspect of my life I’m focusing on, I could be in any one of these stages.

  • Aleesha Nash

    Love the statement about being the lesser version of someone else… wow —such a powerful way of putting that concept! It is terrible how so many people learn this so late in life! These concepts should be engraved into children’s toys :)

  • Michelle Sanders Brinson

    I’m not there yet… but I’m still working on it. Hopefully, it’s a journey and not a final destination. I don’t want to ever settle.

  • Randy Kay

    Can one say they are at the point of “re-editing?” At 57, I have been in my chosen (called) vocation (avocation?) since I was 22. Yet, I feel like I am being moved to reconsider who I am and what I am gifted and empassioned to do, therefore, I think I would consider myself at the re-editing phase, as scary as that seems to me at this point in my life.

  • W. Mark Thompson

    “Where am I along the road to awesomeness?” LOL!!! Think I’ve started over about a dozen times. Looking forward to this book. Lot of darkness lately. Feel like I’m trying to sprint in thick sludge. Really appreciate this post. The 5 Stage Journey helps. I can see how Harvesting is the hardest. Seems like the longest point to get to as well. Also, appreciate #3 under the ‘take away’ section. “The Voices are Wrong”. Can’t wait to read that entire section on debunking “the lying voices and live in the reality” to see his take on how to be awesome “despite fears & doubts.”

    Thanks for this. Blessings! WMT

  • David Webster

    I think I am in various stages of awesomeness. Just ask my wife and kids.

    I am Learning all the time, reading, educating, trying to better myself in all aspects of life.

    I’m constantly editing things in my life, seeing what works what doesn’t.They aren’t necessarily significant changes or edits, a lot of times it is minor tweaks.

    Not sure if I have actually “Mastered” anything.

    Harvesting. While I have enjoyed the harvest, just like a farmer…I have to go back and plant some more learning, watering, weeding, editing, and mastering.

    While I have done some mentoring/guiding, I am no where near a Jedi Master yet.

  • Chris Findley

    I left my previous career and began a journey back toward my passion for aviation. After reading “Crush It” and some other similar books, I saw how passion could develop into employment. I run, and the associated podcast (which now has had over 90,000 downloads) serving those who are learning to fly. I also work in my field as an aircraft salesman and consultant. Michael, your post is right and on and I feel I’m in the “Mastering” stage and hoping to move to “Harvesting” soon! Love your blog.

  • Virginia Wright

    I find myself in four places simultaneously (learning, editing, mastering) as well as guiding on some of the things I’ve already mastered. You’ll note that ‘harvesting’ hasn’t happened … yet. It appears to me that in order to get anything done, I need to get pieces built and then learn how to link them all together in order to make them work as a whole unit. I have been working at ‘getting found online’ since 2009 …

  • Jeremy McCommons

    Great post! It’s interesting because I have been very successful in my business and am now in the Guiding stage. I have started blogging with the goal of sharing the knowledge, mindset and tools that I have learned in order to help others reach new levels of success in their pursuit of achieving their dreams. However, I am new to the blogging world and find myself right back at stage 1 as I am having to learn so many new things! Perhaps the journey consists of starting and starting again in a new endeavor once you’ve reached your initial goals!

  • Katherine S

    I am in the Mastering stage. I am 51 and am just getting a business going doing something I love. It took a while, but I am so glad to finally be here.

  • Tom Typinski

    I am a fan of Dave Ramsey too. My wife and I took his course through our church last summer and though I’m not making much more, I’m saving MUCH more.
    I’m 55 and decided to become a publisher to help others get their message out. I am also a writer and “start” is the continued, best advice for this business. I’ve been an athletic trainer all my life, so I know all the excuses for not starting. I’ve been very blessed with having many “occupations”, if only to avoid what God gave me in my true calling as a writer.
    I “start” every day after prayers with a pen and paper. It’s as invigorating and rewarding as a workout. And, at 55, it’s beginning to pay the bills!

  • Shelly Collins

    I am in the learning phase in many aspects of my life. I intend to always be in a state of learning throughout my life and beyond. I am also in the editing phase of my life in regards to application of the lessons that I have learned so far. What works? What does not work? I am learning how to begin to develop the skill of mastery and how to apply that to a talent.

  • tyler schnelli

    I am a 24-year-young man who has just finished college and am excited about the road to awesome which I am just beginning. I thought up some ideas with a few friends about how we can make a positive impact on the world. Like most students, I said that I would wait until I finished college and had more time. There still seems to be a lack of time as I am consumed with work and my calling to youth ministry. I picked up Jon Acuff’s book Quitter, and it has inspired me to take just an hour each day to work on my passion. I believe that Start would really help me develope what I want to do, and how I want to do it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Simon Fogg

    Definitely at different stages in different areas/roles of my life. A key challenge for me is “mastering” as I know that one of my key issues is having a wide interest in so many things but need more focus which will require “editing”. “Learning” at the moment via an MIT mooc. “Guiding” by pointing people at specific resources and ways of doing things that have been helpful to me in similar contexts. This is increasingly the case.

  • Tracy B

    After a substantial amount of time and effort editing, I would like to say that I am on the way toward mastering…however, I think I am STILL in the stage of editing: sifting, sorting, tweaking, and testing with application. It’s a lengthy, but satisfying leg of my journey – and I guess necessary in order to reach mastery. I look forward to reading the book, and particularly about the editing stage of the journey since it seems I have been and will be here for a while. In the meantime, I’ll continue to read Jon’s many tweets about this! :) Thankful for both of your influence on leadership!

  • DESIGNS by Rashada

    Recently, I decided to pursue my design business head on and build it with God’s help. At this point, I think I’m in the Editing Stage and most of what I do is driven by my mission to help people creatively and effectively bring their ideas and products to market.

  • Ethan Young

    I am definitely in the Learning phase. I keep trying different ideas in my organization and most of the times I am falling on my face and starting over with the next Idea. But I am still learning and not backing down. I look forward to seeing the Journey God has me on unfold before me and to be used. I am in student ministry now and I enjoy seeing students lives changed.

  • Kim Paddleford

    I’m at the tail end of Mastering, about to enter Harvesting…and I find it really scary!

  • Josiah D. Walker

    I’m at the stage in my life where I am mastering the skills and the type of person that I want to be. But, at the same time I am aiming to take the time to pour into those around me and mentor people who are comming up behind me. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was the importance of training up people to replace you before you can move on to something else. I am in the middle of pursuing my dream job and hope to leave my day job thanks to help from Jon’s last book quitter! I look forward to reading ‘start’ and seeing how it is going to change my life as well!

  • Casey

    Graduating from college in 13 days, spending time in Ireland and out East in the states during the summer months learning what it’s like to serve and love people who are different than I am in a new culture, and moving out to California in the fall. Many details still need to be hammered out, so it’s a good think I like a good adventure. For me, awesome isn’t necessarily about reaching a certain place or spot, even meeting a goal, but rather the process and journey along the way.

  • Matthew

    I can not wait to START!

  • Doyle

    It is so helpful to track how others have been pricessed in leadership development.

  • Nathan Smoyer

    I’m in the beginning stages of becoming awesome. Awesome to me looks like this:

    A healthy family
    Debt free
    Being known for how I love
    Working for free

    As a single man without children, full of debt, still growing into the man God has called me to be, and working for a salary—I’ve not yet arrived. However, my hope and aim to achieve what I’ve described above through taking calculated chances, staying steadfast in my efforts, and persistent in my prayers will lead to achieving awesome.


  • Darin Sargent

    Being born with only one hand, I knew that life had something different for me. I have been blessed to speak to young people for close to 25 years but it wasnt till about 7 years ago that I truly began to see my so-called disability as being a tool to help others overcome what they were facing in their lives. They may not have had a physical disability as I did but they were dealing with something.

    The lessons I have learned in life have helped me to have the authority to speak into the lives of others. I am looking forward to reading Jon’s book START. It seems to speak to where I am currently in my life and I am expecting to gain much from it. Thanks Jon for writing the book and thanks Michael for all you do to encourage your readers. I have been a fan for awhile and your book Platform was a great catalyst in my life.

  • bo

    In a sense, i am on the lifelong road to this. In short, God thinks I am worth dying for, which is awesome, in another sense, I am growing in to my awareness of the implications for what union with Christ, my resurrection with Christ looks like in daily life. If I can embrace this reality, that would be key to my road to awesome. As a friend reminds me: gospel renewal leads to gospel mission.

  • Ricky Lewis

    This is amazing. I am working with teens and the idea that entitlement will kill you is one that needs to be driven home. I hope to find creative ways to do that and getting a copy of this book I know would give me some great ideas.

  • Angie Vallejo

    The road to Awesome for me has been a difficult one. It is mainly because of the voice inside my head that tells me that what I want to do has already been done, or, I doubt that what I offer isn’t valuable enough. However, I continue to learn, to persevere and to not procrastinate at doing what I love and want to do.

  • Carey Green

    I’m especially intrigued by this outline because it seems pretty accurate from my experience. I’d say I’m currently in the “Mastering” stage… learning how to best use who I’ve been made to be, and to maximize it to its fullest potential. Thanks for giving this summary. If I don’t “win” the book I’ll be buying it, you can be sure.

  • Julie

    Thank you for the excellent synopsis of Jon Acuff’s new book. Reading what you had to say was very inspiring to me. And thank you for practicing what you recommend…giving help and guidance to others. I can’t wait to read the book and pass on its wisdom to the lives I influence as a mother, grandmother, and older woman in my community.

  • Aideen Johnston

    Applying to various media internships (BBC and Channel 4 in the UK) and trying to perfect my craft in the meanwhile – or at least taking steps to.

  • Emily Gardner

    I don’t know if awesome is really my goal. I guess that just depends on your definition of awesome. I’d like my awesome to be whole heartedly following Christ, with all of the ups and downs that journey entails. It’s a process but I’m working on the whole heartedly part!

  • Brad Taliancich

    I believe a person can pursue what is their passion, daily, no matter how big or small. I say do what you love everyday, in some way, until you can make it your “everyday” job. I do it each day and BELIEVE it will be my full job soon.

  • Jonathan Webb

    Where am I on the road to awesome? I’m finishing my Masters’ Degree this year, something I have been working on since 2011, and doing so while working full-time. I also have a dream of writing a book and have begun that process…still a ways to go but definitely moving forward!

  • Carol Milliron

    I may be in the slow lane but I am headed the right direction with the radio turned up!

  • Nikki Norton

    I started this year. After 16 years in the accounting profession, I am finally taking the steps to realize my dream of becoming a realtor. I am scared but excited at the same time! I know Jon’s new book will give me the inspirations and guidance for my new journey.

  • Eric

    I’m starting to take more time to invest in myself.

  • Kevin Grout

    I’ve been watching the pre-launch of the book unfold online and am excited to jump into it. I’ve just recently started following Dave Ramsey and John Acuff, and am looking to make some big changes.

    • Kevin Grout

      oops. That would be Jon Acuff….. my bad.

  • Anson Sexton

    I find myself in the “editing” phase of life these days. I’ve gained experience & knowledge on my road to awesome. Now I’m faced with the decisions needed to make progress & begin to master my craft. Both you & Acuff have been instrumental influences on my life. God bless.

  • Tan

    I am at mastering stage in an area while learning other quite rapidly.

  • Janis Cox

    Where are you on the road to being awesome? I started a self-hosted WordPress blog last summer; published my first book in October; gaining a following on my blog, Pinterest, Twitter. Slow but sure. Taking many courses online. Going to attend Write!Canada again this June.

    I sent a tweet

    And I will fill out the form.

  • jeremyheersink

    I’m in the editing phase. I’m still learning (although i think i might always be in this phase). I wish i could get better at dropping the things that suck my energy though. Really looking forward to reading this book sometime soon.

  • dleningt

    I seem to be stuck in the rut of fear and doubt. Trying to work on the dream a little each day, though, in spite of the lying “voices”!

  • Michael Conley

    I’ve spent nearly 10 years working in the hospitality industry and am now trying to find something I actually enjoy doing. Instead of just going thru the motions because I don’t have to think about what I’m doing to do it well.

  • Patti Massullo

    Yes thank you Michael. I need to hear this. I am finally getting my business off the ground after ten years!!!

  • Lynn

    I’m barely out of the starting gate. There are things I know God wants me to do that I’ve been procrastinating about. I think now is the time to move ahead and accomplish something for Him.

  • Dan Black

    I’m a huge fan of Jon!!! I’m in the editing and mastering stage of life. I’m thankful to be young and at my current stage of life. Though I think the learning stage is a lifelong stage, we should always be self-aware and also always be growing and learning.

  • Ryan

    I’m on my way. I can relate to the voices struggle. I fight those every day as I do a job that stretches me more than I ever thought possible.

  • Julie Sunne

    I believe I’m between learning and editing, but in some ways I’m moving into mastering. Love the encouragement to keep moving forward.

  • Sarah

    I am a slow learner and seem to get distracted with other stuff and then I return back to learning about myself. I am at the very beginning stages, but I wouldn’t say I am awesome yet……but I want to be.

  • Whitney Rawls

    Thanks for sharing. I’m lookinf forward to reading Start and sharing it with the leadership teams that I support. John insight is simple to understand and plain enough that it can easily be incorporated into how we lead and live our lives.

  • Michael Hansen

    I think that I am somewhere between “Learning” & “Editing”, with a little bit of “Guiding”. I am a recent college graduate and I am still learning a lot about where I want my life to go and how I want to get there. At the same time I am doing a lot of editing of all that I have learned over the past four and a half years. However, I have been taught by past mentors to always be sharing and passing on what you are learning to those younger than yourself. So even though I don’t have a ton of life experience I do meet with and mentor a couple of guys a few steps behind me in the life process!

  • CS Curtis

    I’m at a point where I’m mixing areas. I’m narrowing my focus and also working at mentoring others. I realize that at 48 my most productive years are ahead of me as I break away from where I have been stagnating 12 years to pay the mortgage, and go to where I can bring all my gifted areas into focus and be all I was meant to be.

  • ckagne

    Looking forward to reading the book. Good info in = good stuff out.

  • jcrews

    I’m looking to move across the country, into a very different culture from where I currently live, and into a brand new job that will be FULL OF CHALLENGES! And I am a young 58.

    I tend to stay in a job for 5-10 years, and build up my knowledge, experience, and level of contribution. Then, I build on all that I’ve learned and jump into a new arena with new challenges and opportunities to learn. I am not even thinking of retirement, because I want to keep learning and growing as long as I am physically able. That’s not to say that unless one works that they stop learning and growing, but the opportunity to “scaffold” learning certainly is present in many workplaces.

    I am so grateful that I jumped in to learning to use the tools of technology in my late 40’s, and that opportunities are out there for anyone who is willing to leap out into new experiences. You have to leap to learn you can fly. As long as I can learn, I can grow, and if I continue to grow, I will be wise, not just OLD (with the negative connotations that come with that word).

    So, around June 1, I’ll start again. Wow! I can’t wait!

  • Cindy Finley

    Definitely in “editing.” I just received an offer for some contract work in a field in which I have had repeated success. However, I have no passion for it. I decides to edit out this work in favor of investing time and energy in work that advances my passion to equip women to live mission ally through Christ.

  • Josh Heyward

    I would have to say that I am in the learning phase. I am still accumulating experiences, but I am starting to see what is working and what I should pursue. I don’t want to rush this phase as learning is so crucial to further development.

  • Debbie Ring

    WOW, these blogs just are killing me! In the best way! I feel I am in
    the mastering stage right now. I’m in a pretty big transition with my
    employment which has really helped me edit. I’m focusing on investing in the best version of me,with books, podcasts and these types of blogs. They are all helping me recognize the wrong voices and persevere! THANK YOU for investing in your audience, this is one heart that has been so very blessed by it!

  • Dan Schmidt

    I feel like Im in thr editing stage now. Have finallyvstarted saying no to things that arent at the core of what I want to do, and using that time to learn, implement and tweak.

  • Dave Yankowiak

    I’ve blocked the following phrase from my thoughts: “What if this fails?” Because life always goes on. I took the leap into launching my business full-time over five years ago. I’ve had successes and I’ve had failures, but life has always gone on…God has always provided…and I’ve learned to not only not fear the unknown, but have started to actually embrace it.

  • Courtney Hargis

    I am on the verge of transitioning to the next level on my career path. It’s the voices! I am ignoring the voices! I have worked hard and prepared for this moment. It’s time to have the guts to make it happen.

  • Jose Castro

    I’m starting to get up early because I understood that the best time for maintenance of my passion is in the morning, have a better time with God, take care physically, serving my wife and daughters (cleaning at home and learn to cook) and read books on topics that interest me.

    I’m enjoying the results by making the decision to start, which is what took me forever. =)

  • jacqueline gillam fairchild

    Thank you for your inspiring words.

    I believe in egg timers. Just set one and get something done. Either something you need to do or want to do–doesn’t matter.

    This will almost guarantee that the excuse of ‘there is no time’ won’t work. You will be shocked how 30 minutes on your beloved project will make a difference. And how it will then grow into a longer amount of time.

    You will also be shocked to see how 30 minutes of a chore project will cut your work load down to believable.

    My next rule of thumb: Do not let friends squander your time.

    There are certain hours we all work best, think clearest and can get the most done of our chosen goal. This prime time must be savored and hoarded and literally guarded. This is the time that will be the most productive.

    Maybe it means screening calls or hiding away.

    Secondary time can be productive for many things including what has to be done and our goals. Map it out carefully and you will find you can add an additional 30minutes here and there that will help your goal.

    Always remember, like a diet, all good progress is a little at a time and suddenly you have something worthwhile. So it helps to just take the bits of time you can and not get hung up looking at the whole or end of a project.

    Keeping your eye on your goal is something people tend to forget. A dream is a dream, a goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

    Picture yourself already successful in your area of interest. Remember when you reach a goal you will still need to budget your time and work at it. It is not really a destination as there is always one more destination down the road…it is a way of doing things.

    Thank you for all your insight.
    Warm regards
    jacqueline gillam fairchild

  • Amanda Svejda

    I’m still learning what makes me tick and how to find an application of my gifts and passion. I left writing (my first love) behind after college to pursue seminary and ministry. At the time, there wasn’t really a lot of self publishing going on, and my young mind didn’t see room for ministry and a writing career. Now, I’m beginning to revisit my assumptions. I sometimes wonder if the ministry God calls me to is less conventional, vocational church ministry, and more of something else. Still trying to put my finger on the something…

  • Dave

    That was a good article by Jon Acuff – The
    Secret to Becoming Awesome. His book, Start, sounds like it would be a good, useful book for me and others.

  • David Johnson

    I feel like I’m in the mastering stage. For a few years now, I’ve been working two jobs and singing in a rock band. For quite awhile, I would say all three were average. And then slowly I began to flip the switch toward awesome. It started with things like diving into blogs like this one, blogging myself…and mostly, reading like crazy. My full-time job is in a mailroom and most of the time, the work doesn’t really involve much mental engagement. But I then discovered digital audiobooks offered through my local library and have been pumping my brain full of useful knowledge every week. My daily work improved, my lyrics and music business sense improved, and my overall mental focus and understanding went through the roof. Now I feel on the edge of something significant in both my work and home life. I love what I’ve seen of Jon’s work and can’t wait to hear more of his insights and perspective.

  • Angela Knepprath

    In the learning stage on my road to AWESOME! As a 23-year-old, about to graduate from college and just getting into my field, I’m learning and failing and learning every single day… But I’m also starting to realize who I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and why I’m here. I’m excited about reading START and continuing my road to awesome!

  • Chad Miller

    At 35 I should be on the downhill side of editing and looking ahead to mastering. The reality is, I feel as if I’m still learning. After 13 years I’m still learning about marriage. I’m certainly still learning parenthood with a 6 and 4 year old. I’m learning how to surround myself with great people and mentors. And, I’m learning to restore and heal relationships that were overshadowed by my selfishness.
    Perhaps, when I’m in my 40s, I’ll be a master learner?

  • Diane Culver Roodvoets

    In some areas, I am well down the road to awesome. I was forced to reinvent myself career wise in 2008 (the great recession did that to many of us). I am now in the top 5% of sales professionals in my new industry. Health wise, I need to get down to business. I allow too many excuses to stand.

  • Doug Swanson

    This is really an interesting concept, however I am somewhat skeptical of it at this time. I mean, it all just sounds too good to be true … and as our parents & teachers have told us growing up … if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

    As a person in my early fifties, with nearly 34 years experience in my current field, I find myself burnt out, both mentally and physically. I feel as though I am working harder than I ever have, while the rewards have diminished substantially as younger talent has come on board. I find that the focus, and more importantly the passion, have slowly disappeared. And I begin to wonder if it’s not too late to start again … let alone what or even how to do it.

    The prospect of being able to make that leap, at my age, is very uplifting. So if Jon Acuff has some insight into that process … I’m all for taking a look.

    Thank you, Michael, for putting this in front of all of us … your work is greatly appreciated!

  • James Jacobs

    I’m either in the learning or editing stage. I’ve working in manufacturing for most of my life as an accountant, but am trying to go back to an earlier love of writing.

  • Gary Roe

    I’m still editing in some ways, but feel I am in the mastering stage – and reaping some of the rewards, so I guess I also harvesting a little. It’s a exciting and yet scary time. I’m loving it. Thanks for this post. I needed it!

  • Tony Chung

    I’ve gotten strategic about finding the sweet spot between what I do well, what I’m passionate about, and what I can offer the world. I drew a venn diagram that related competence, passion, and demand. Someone responded with this video that used an almost identical diagram:

    Being in the centre of God’s will is the most important step on the road to awesome.

    PS: I’m listening to Jon’s Quitter audiobook right now. Great timing, Michael!

  • Linda Weddle

    For more than three decades I loved, laughed and did ministry with my pastor husband until he died rather suddenly of cancer. I knew I had a choice. I could feel sorry for myself and stop aiming toward the goals we planned together or I could keep going (with a dependence on God’s peace.) I chose to keep going. I wrote the parenting book we had always talked about writing, I continued passionately serving in my job (with a Christian organization) and even responded with a (though very frightened) “yes” when asked if I would be the speaker for a week of junior camp at a Bible conference where we had always team taught. Now, I’m having the opportunity to share with other widows and help them keep going. I don’t know if that makes me awesome, but it at least feels me with joy.

  • Tyler Bryant

    I am one foot in learning and one foot in editing. I am currently self-employed and working for three different clients and doing very different work for all three. I also have hobbies and interests outside of my current work that I am confident I could monetize. As I approach my 30s, I am feeling the need and the desire to focus (edit) more than ever. I know that I am capable of better work and productivity in every area that I am currently working in. What’s lacking is the full-force of my focus behind any one endeavor.

  • Vaughn D. Fahie

    I am in between “editing and mastering”! I realize I am beginning to hone in on my purpose and calling with playing the saxophone and providing ambient music for events…changing the atmosphere! What a timely post!

  • Josh Ricker

    I’m very excited to pick up this new book! I’m in the editing stage, as I’ve just discovered what I enjoy, and am excited to be moving along towards this new adventure!

  • PeterJClark

    Where are you along the road to awesome?
    I feel like I have been staring at the road to awesome. I have been learning about it and hearing about it and trying to find out as much as I can about this road, but for some reason I am still just staring at it. I have a good job and there are things that I really enjoy about it. But it is not my dream job. I know that I want something more, and I know that it has something to do with the health and fitness industry. I’m trying to figure out what that exactly is and trying to develop a way that I can work on creating my dream job while continuing with my day job. I know about the road, I’m trying to merge my way onto it!

  • Bryan Rollins

    I heard a survey on NPR this morning asking what is the one piece of career advice that we wish we had at the beginning of our careers. My answer was that I wish that someone told me that I could do anything. Unfortunately, it took many years to learn it and then believe it. I’m now 36 and undergoing a complete career change. Now, I’m in pursuit of a career that I believe will bring meaning, hard work, and a smile. I’m definitely at the intersection of learning and editing. Nobody sits and dreams about a life that is mediocre, mundane, or enchained.

    • Kyle Musser

      That’s great Bryan! glad you have seen the light & are making changes to pursue your passion. Good luck along the journey

  • Kyle Musser

    This is a great reference that Jon has put together! While this path is true for soo many (myself including in my 20’s), the goal for everyone in life should be mastering this cycle of success, achievement, happiness & fulfillment time & time again in life. I would have loved to have many tips like this in my younger days. Already ordered a couple copies for myself & the nephews, but excited to grab another potentially! Keep up the amazing work Michael & have a great one everybody.

  • Sarah Stasik

    I think I’m somewhere between learning and editing. I quit a corporate job almost two years ago to work from home as a freelance copywriter and return to school. I knew when I made that move, I had no idea where I was going, but I know I was going the right direction. I’m still figuring it all out, but one thing I’ve learned is that doing awesome things doesn’t always mean doing “big” things.

  • Mike McGinnis

    On the road to awesome I’m somewhere between backflips and fist bumps. I think that puts me at…somewhere in the middle. But currently I’m in the process of discovering my three greatest strengths to push me into a career path..and unfortunately, eating sweets does not count.

  • Lori Kittelberg

    I’m in the midst of editing. Last year, I went through treatment for breast cancer. I’m wrapping up a contract position next week. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, and what I need to do to master it. I used to say, “As long as I’m paid to write, I don’t care what I’m writing.” Well, I’m done with that. It’s time to write what I want to write. I know all too well now that time’s a wastin’.

  • Sondra Reis

    Such an interesting premise. I look forward to reading the book.

  • chuckg

    Like a baserunner caught between second and third base…in a pickle, i seem to be caught between Editing & Mastering. Though i have spent too much time playing it safe (though I tell myself I’m “being wise”), I’m at the point where i would rather risk being tagged out trying to steal third…Mastering, than keep getting tagged out running back …again….for the safety of Editing. Looking forward to “Start”, and greatly appreciate the book synopsis, Michael! -Always an encouraging & challenging blog!

  • Mary Lam

    I have been following your blog for the past few months. It has been a great resource for both my personal and professional growth so far. I felt led to make a comment for the first time because the subject matter is very close to my heart. As you say, I am at a season of my life to give back and to pay forward as well. It is very satisfying and rewarding. It has given me countless joy and great sense of gratitude. I do sincerely ask my dear God to expand my territory and equip me along the way so that I can truly make a difference as others have done for me in the past.

  • Lyette Reback

    I am on the road to awesome because I am expecting my 15th child! Over the last 18 years, I have been learning, growing, trying new things, and have definitely been in the process of editing the last five years. I feel as though many areas of parenting I have “mastered” (newborns, toddlers…still learning in the teen department, but with four teenagers, that mastery is coming quickly!) Currently, my parenting blog is sharpening my writing skills and my membership is growing consistently. My oldest daughter (18 yrs old) has completed her 4 yr. BA in Liberal Arts and because of my experiences in homeschooling, adoption, time management, discipleship, discipline, and encouraging other parents, I feel I have a lot to offer parents from our family’s experience! This next month, my husband will hold down the fort while I take a week to pour into my writing and hopefully give parents a way to raise their children with vision and purpose. Like Dave Ramsey – who through his consistent teaching of personal accountability/ responsibility with finances-has made a difference in our nation by helping us to hold those in government more fiscally aware and responsive, I am praying God will use my family’s ministry to restore, repair, and rebuild families…and ultimately, our nation.

  • Jessica Calderon

    After a long road I re-started my life and journey 5 years ago. At the top of what was supposed to be my career I understood I was loosing my life helping someone else in his dream and setting mine aside because I was afraid. I resign from my position as the Dean of the Engineering faculty and launch my career as speaker, trainer and coach. I’m still in the road to rebuild my life. So far I am happier and I’m reaching many people and helping them become masters in the art of living.

  • Maureen

    I have finally turned the coin and realized that weight loss is more about lifestyle than pounds. I think the similarities to handling money and weight management are closely related. I have been entrenched in Fitness and Nutrition information while weeding out what works for me. So blessed to find a personal trainer who sees the integration of the physical, nutritional, emotional and spiritual part of our lives. I have started a Face Book page to help pass along articles of interest and to help motivate others. I am learning to accept that real change is a path of small changes done over time. I do not want to loose 5 pounds again only to regain and re loose. I truly feel that doors will open up as I gain confidence in attaining my fitness goals.

  • Jordan Jones

    I just accepted a full ride scholarship to Princeton Theological Seminary, but am still wavering if 3 additional years of “talking” is truly the place I am designed to be, rather than in the trenches, doing work that I love? It’s that balance of preparation versus action.

  • Jill C

    I’m in mastering and learning. Although I’ve been working for the same industry for 15 years, I’ve recently gone out on my own and I’m finding as I specialize, I’m refining how I do things. But I’m also on a steep learning curve when it comes to applying what i know to my own business. I enjoy the mastering phase, but I think I will always be learning.

  • isokari

    Good exposition. I am on the Mastering pathway. Thanks a million.

  • Paul Cornish

    I estimate I am somewhere between editing and mastering. I have been at this point overly long. I have been been distracted and not fully engaged in my passion. Now that I’m re-capturing my passion I sense awesomeness quotient rising. Jon Acuff’s growth progression in this is really helpful.

  • rebekah strangarity

    I’m in the editing stage…. :)

  • Robyn Cubis

    I think your 3 takeaways are excellent particularly entitlement … Too many people reach a point where they believe they are better and you’re right it’s like climbing a ladder for short term gain only

  • Laurel Griffith

    I am 55 and recently transitioned from print to on-line publishing. Even though I had years of experience writing articles and producing a magazine, I am starting from scratch in many ways. This new venture has been challenging but more exciting than what I did at the beginning of my career. I am definitely in the mastering stage of the process. Each day brings growth.

  • Melz

    This book sounds awesome! I just finished my first FPU class with Dave Ramsey and if the author of this book looked at his life for research he must know what he’s talking about :)

  • Wendy

    I am somewhere between leatning & editing. It feels akin to starting to work out. You’re stretched and a little sore as you are growing your endurance capacity yet amazing that you are moving forward.

  • Dan Williams

    Seriously. I’m feeling awesomER already, Michael. Thanks to you and Jon for this turbo boost toward awesomeness.

  • Ben Notheis

    Now solidly in my early 30’s, I find myself editing a good deal. I work as a camp director, and while I have a great deal of passion for my work, I have found myself historically wanting to be “all things to all people”. This has led me to workaholism, and a neglect of my wife and kids. I have resolved to edit out things that are not central to my mission, and to prioritize my family. I believe this will not only allow me to grow and thrive in my work, but more importantly, as a husband and father.

  • Tim Thomas

    Please suggest to the author to convert it to Kindle. I don’t buy printed books any more — and I’m not alone in that. But you did a good job getting me excited about reading it!

    • Joshua Rivers

      There is a Kindle version available.

  • Carol A. Brown

    I am into the editing phase! Lopping off stuff I am not good at and concentrating on the stuff I need to learn so I can get back to what I love!

  • Jared Saunders

    Coming up on the end of my thirties and wanting to do a career change. Ya, this sounds like a great read.

  • KevinIvey

    Awesome post.

  • Confetti Adv

    I am an adult Sunday school teacher (as well as a full time business owner). I decided at age 45 to go to Bible college while maintaining my role as business owner. It was tough working 60 hours per week, then finding time for class and study. But, it is paying off now, I am well on my way to earning my phD but most importantly, I have new insights to offer my class! I love the ideas I have seen so far from this post concerning Jon’s new book.
    Please keep up the great work, and thanks for the post.

  • Trudi

    Start is exactly what I need to do. Tired of existing at the learning stage and not taking the step to the next stage.

  • kimanzi constable

    I have the honor of being a Jon’s launch team and I LOVED the book. This book is a reality check and a great guide you can use today!

  • Travis Dommert

    Love the stages, especially the imagery of ‘harvest’. I love it when hard work, purpose, and big impact come together!

  • Shan Shan

    I am in the place of editing. I have finally began my life’s love of writing for others. I have had several syndicated articles and now am getting series about the tribe that follows my website. I want to continue making a difference in the lives of those who follow me.
    Book sounds amazing and I would joyfully love to do a video review as well.

  • Carlos

    I am at a point in my life where I have finally figured out what I am meant to be doing. I feel like I am just getting out of my Learning stage and going on to the Editing stage. Things are starting to make more sense to me and there is this passion that is just building up. Little by little I am taking those steps that will take me on this road to awesomeness.

  • Ken Fallon

    As I’m in the midst of a career change, I am totally in “Learning” mode.

  • Kara

    I am married with three children and lost my job after having my third. Losing my job motivated me to get on my road to awesome. I commute 308 km a day 5 days a week to attend school. I have been doing the commute for 8 months and have just over two months left. At the end I will write my exam to be a licensed paralegal so I can open my legal practice. And I don’t think I will stop there…I’m not sure where exactly my road is going but it’s headed straight for awesome! Michael Hyatt, Jon Acuff and Dave Ramsey have helped make my commute enjoyable. They have educated me, motivated me and inspired me!

  • Tammy_Skipper

    I would say I’m in the editing phase…letting go of things I long believed I would never let go of…and learning it allows me to become more excellent at the things I’m really good at. I can’t wait to read this!

  • Zanne

    I’m at the Editing Stage right now. I’ve been trying to whittle away the things that drag me down and drain my energy. But it’s tough, so I can’t wait to read Jon’s tips. At this point, I refuse to be stuck any longer!

  • Todd Smith

    My road to awesome is long and winding and I am on it again

  • Kallie Nicoll

    I’m still at numero uno: learning. Which isn’t a bad thing, I jut barely finished my second year of college. There are so many avenues of learning that I can’t pick one. It’s all very exciting though.

  • Duane Naugle

    Mastering. My transition from military to civilian has been somewhat turbulent and I think after 9 years I have finally come into the place I’m supposed to be.

  • Kallie Nicoll

    So I want to share this on Facebook but when I click on the link at the top of the page it wants to share the post titled “What Programs Do You Launch When Your Computer Boots Up?” not “The Secret to Becoming Awesome.” Maybe I’m ridiculous for missing something but I simply don’t know what else to do.

  • Darrell West

    I’m looking forward to Jon new book. He hit a home run with Quitter & I know Start will be a great follow up.

  • Michael E Roman

    I’ve always found it is important to both guide and be guided. It takes a certain amount of humbleness to receive guidance from others and it is also humbling to have the opportunity to guide others.

  • Adam Lewis

    Thank you for this review. Definitely planning to read Jon’s new book!

  • Joshua Sells

    I am definitely in the Editing phase. It is a constant tension between moving beyond learning and now seeing that a lot of what I do isn’t that important in grand scheme of things. I used to try to do everything, but now I am learning that I can only be truly good at a few things.

  • Charles Pobee-Mensah

    I think that I’m starting the editing stage. I have spent a lot of time reading leadership material and now I feel that it is time to edit it down to

  • Jon Kidwell

    I am transitioning between Learning and Editing. I am working to launch my own business teaching, speaking, and training people. I have so much to learn about this new direction in my life. I am working two jobs and starting my third, my passion. Concurrently, I am beginning to cut out the crap and focus on what I enjoy doing. Thus the new profession.

    Can you be dabbling in more than one transition? I am working on Mastering what I do well. Reading, writing, and studying. I know to speak and teach I need to have an immense wealth of knowledge.

    I love Jon’s book Quitter and am so excited for Start. If I want to help people that are starting their weight loss journey and provide guidance to those struggling on their healthy journey I need to take the leap and Start my own journey.

  • Dori

    You’re never too old to learn new things or move in a new direction. Some are thinking about retirement at my age. Me? I’m just getting started!

  • Tbaugh

    I think I have been at the Mastering stage for some time. Obviously, I didn’t have that thought or title in mind, but I got to the point that I was very proficient and well-recognized for my work. I started to coast, thinking I had achieved “it”, but yet restless about what “it” really is. I have now realized that it is time for me to harvest – to use the recognition and influence that I have built to begin and accomplish some new things – especially in the spiritual / church arena. I am now looking forward to those new endeavors with a great deal of passion, passion that I had lost for a while.

  • Mary Elizabeth Agius

    I think I am at the RE-learning and RE-editing stage. As a stay at home mom with two now grown children, whom I homeschooled, I am re-assessing what I want to do with the days I have left on this earth. Very much wanting to make every day count. I want to live for more than just being comfortable in the great American dream. Would be very interested in the book. Thank you.

  • Richard Haralson

    On the road to awesome, where am I? Sitting at a rest stop watching so much go by? ha ha. Seriously I am on a short detour as I finish my degree. In fact I am so excited for this book and a few others that I continually loose focus of both paths as I jump back and forth between the two. For example while typing this comment to qualify for the free book, I should be finishing writing my Business Plan which is my degree capstone project. Once done with that it will be back to sponging up as much Acuff, Hyatt, Ramsey, LoCurto, Miller, Godin, Dah da dah da da da.
    May the Force be with you.

  • eric parr

    This book sounds like something that if I read it, I would certainly learn something!!!

  • LaTara Ham-Ying

    I have had to make some HUGE changes in working towards being awesome. I have gone from depression to suicidal attempts to what I call my Damascus road experience. It has all led me to a point of know that for me, I am awesome because I was created with beautiful purpose in mind. So I strive daily to live that purpose out loud!

  • Andrew Acker

    I’m still in the learning phase. Being young and still refining my skills, I’m just a sponge trying to absorb as much as I can, while slowly moving towards specifics and focus.

  • Bobby Whitehouse

    I feel I’m fairly awesome but striving for most-awesome!

  • Mike

    Editing. I have vast experience and have gotten to a new position where I can edit what I need to move forward in my career.

  • Kristine

    I would say I’m probably at the stage of Editing. Shuffling things around, seeing where I am and how work fits into that. Making changes necessary to follow the life that God has for me. Dreaming of what could be in those changes!

  • Srida

    Given the history and struggles of my ethnic community (war refugees), my passion and ambition were so great in improving the lives and welfare of my family and community that I went through the 5-stage journey earlier than expected/imagined and burned out before I turned 23. The first time was a blur though. I came out of it not knowing what just happened, how it happened, and how next to articulate the experience. All I knew, was that I lived too fast and accomplished too much awesome because in the end it wasn’t worth any of it; I was completely exhausted from community organizing and nonprofit work. After taking some time off to reflect and search for resources and guidance, I re-started the 5-stage journey in another direction. Now that I’m approaching my 30’s, I feel like I’m still in the editing stages of this new journey, but more adept at understanding and fully experiencing the process. When you’re 23, the 5-stage journey is a complete whirlwind, so it feels completely different than when you’re 28 because you feel like you’re at another mental/emotional level and can finally understand and appreciate the process. This time around, I’m really excited to get to the point where I can master, harvest, and also guide. Thank you!

  • John Sugden

    Still at step one–learning–but seeing the five stages is empowering and helps me understand where I want to be and how to get there!

  • Jeff

    Thanks, Michael. I am just beginning my journey to discover what I want to be when I grow up. And I am 46. My journey is plagued by fear … A message that just being average is better than failing and not being able to provide for my family. Average produces a certain level of comfortable that I sometimes tell myself I am not willing to risk. Have you seen the movie Joe Vs. The Volcano? I often feel like the first five minutes of that movie. I know that is not how God wants me to live. The other message is one of self-doubt … That I don’t have what it takes to hang my own shingle and do what gives me passion. The video teaser for START really spoke to me and I’m ready to …. START!

  • Joshua Wong

    I think I am at the Mastering stage. Great post. I look forward to reading this book.

  • Doug.Waterman

    Excellent info – figure out your passion, get off your butt and move, and don’t let the turkey’s get you down!
    Easier said than done, of course, but the point is to get started. Do something today!

  • Roger Nielsen

    Awesome. Reminds me a little of Learn, Earn, and Return that my mentor John Maxwell speaks about often.
    Like how Jon breaks it down here in his book, Start.
    This is the type of book that you get your hands on and then start looking at the big picture.

  • Tammy Helfrich

    I am on his launch team, so I don’t need a copy of the book. But, I love this line you wrote. “We all have our own unique definitions of awesome. Don’t get trapped following
    someone else’s definition. You’ll never be the best version of you if you’re
    always being a lesser version of someone else.”
    I’ve read Start and it is awesome. I highly recommend it! Great post, Michael!

  • nspindler

    I’m currently learning how to balance my career and family and figuring out how to make both awesome together

  • Bethany Huebner

    I can see different facets of the road to Awesome that I have been experiencing at this stage in my career. I have been a physical therapist for 4 years and am in the constant learning phase of improving my skill set and patient care. I also am currently in an assistant director role of our residency and get the pleasure of directly mentoring our residents. By guiding them along the way of sports physical therapy I get the pleasure of growing clinicians and individuals that will be on the path to awesome. I have learned that I want to make a difference with people and making others awesome is one of my main goals.

  • Kevin Pebley

    On the whole, I think I’m at the Mastering stage. On some days, though, I feel like I’m Learning while Editing and Mastering.

  • C. Crook

    I think I still in the jabbing phase. But I’m ready to hit Fear with a right-left-upper cut! Can’t wait to read Start!

  • Roland Hairston

    The 5 steps seem logical enough. I look forward to hearing what Jon has to say!

  • Brad Huebert

    I think I’m smack dab in the middle of my mastery stage—preaching and pastoring in particular. My writing career is in edit mode. But I wanna harvest! Bring it on!

  • Steve Goble

    I’m in various places along different roads. Need to refine a few of them and stop traveling a few others to focus on being awesome on the roads that are more important!

  • Jeff Madsen

    Thanks, Michael! I am ready to start START! I have recently begun my own journey to discover my God-given purpose, and it is littered with messages of fear and self-doubt. The fear message says that being average is better than failing and that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The self-doubt message says that I’m not wired to hang my own shingle and live from my passion … That’s for the “other” guys. I am ready to punch both of those messages in the face, and can’t wait to read Jon’s new book. Thanks for telling me about it!

  • Charlotte Russell

    I’m still learning a little, but editing a lot and feel I’m mastering a little.

  • Bryan Entzminger

    I’m learning and editing

  • Frugalista GiftGuide

    Editing, dipping toe in mastering

  • Mary Catherine George

    Michael really great information – for me I am in the stage of editing – I am working hard to shift – I am a master in some areas but in the editing portion of the concept of building a platform which will shine a light on the concepts I have mastered.. I find this very interesting and like the idea that this is not age specific. It shows a way that you can enter these various areas in different areas of your life – Thank you as always for highlighting another helpful tool.

  • Austin Wilkerson

    I’m editing.

  • Colleen Hoeksema

    I have been given the opportunity to develop a new consulting team at my Company and kicked off 2013 with a 3 day workshop on Consulting with confidence. We have achieved a lot of recognized success but the confidence level of the team remained low – namely because its a career path that requires a comfort with autonomy, self direction and thoughtful creativity. I tackled that right away by asking them to reflect on why they are able to generate influence and create relationships with their customers – the answer was summed up as “awesomeness”! They lit up and opened up and a new energy is present on the team. I look forward to hearing another perspective on the connection of awesomeness and leadership!

  • Tony

    I consider myself to be in the “editing” stage. I am actually in my mid-30’s, but that alone isn’t the reason. I finished my formal education with a PhD a couple of years ago, and now work full-time in academe. I love teaching, learning, and writing! I’m also thinking seriously about my life’s work and the relationships I want to foster most intently. Three weeks ago I started my own blog at to explore faith, learning, creativity and communication. Michael Hyatt’s work has had a significant impact in the last several weeks since I was handed a copy of his book. I then won a copy of Ken Coleman’s new book through this site! Learning about your work, Michael, was a welcome surprise! I look forward to learning more about what Jon Acuff says about success!

  • Jon Owen

    I started 2012 blogging regularly. I had clear goals and a vision of developing a blog centered on spiritual leadership and creativity. I was developing pretty good content and growing with each post. As spring turned to summer my father who was fighting lung cancer began to decline in his heath. Through June & July I spent much time with my dad and mom in his final days before he passed away on July 29th. Through the remainder of 2012 and first quarter 2013, I’ve been developing ideas for content and even created a second blog to be more humorous and designed to make important points through satire or irony. There’s still a sense of grief that I’m dealing with, so I’m trying not to beat myself up. However, I know I’ve got to shake out of the funk and get back on a path beyond my “day job.” My father was a believer and I know we’ll “meet again.” I also want to honor my dad and pursue some of the dreams he always encouraged me to chase. My “road to awesome” started and I feel like I “ran out of gas.” It’s time to get back on track.

    • tony ricks

      Jon, your blog sounds fascinating! If you will post your link, I would love to take a look at it. Thanks!

      • Jon Owen

        Ha. Thanks, Tony. “Fascinating” is far too generous. “Doesn’t completely suck” may be more accurate. :)

        That was another think. I’m in the middle of re-branding. You can use either address, but the new name is “Life In the Key of Red.” Red being passion, beauty, love etc…

  • Vwes74

    I’ve followed Jon Acuff for a long time and look forward to reading start

  • Brent Dumler

    I can’t wait to get this book. Jon Acuff is the real deal! I’ve recently ‘Started’ writing my first book. Fully expecting this book to give me th encouragement I need to ‘finish’ it.

  • Justin Gillebo

    I am a college student who is just starting my road of learning. I am an avid fan of Dave Ramsey, Jon Acuff, Chris LoCurto, and others who are helping me to learn in this season. I love this time and look forward to all the seasons ahead of me!

  • Nathan Eddings

    My wife and I had the discussion tonight and I punched fear in the face. No not my wife…but the fear of leaving my day job to go full time in my business. You had some parts in helping along the way Micheal. Thank you.

  • Dan

    I’m here – on the road to awesome. I feel good spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Finances are a different story. I have been dismayed at my efforts to create a small business. I am a talented database engineer and have had much work in the past, but after I left the corporate world it has since become stagnant. I come up with a lot of inventions and I’m creating a usable database for doctor’s. I want to push these things out ASAP – just the good ideas, though!

  • Jur

    Logic dictates that most of us are average. I pursue to live freely, do what I want, but I don’t seek to be special or richer/better than the rest, lonely at the top. I don’t need to isolate myself even further from the people in the individualist society I find it hard to relate to, let alone connect with, as it is. How about being happy together somewhere in the crowd sharing the successes and failures that come with averageness and cultivate a sense of belonging and gratitude? See also Mike Row’s TED talk on Learning from Dirty Jobs. And Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.

  • Daan van Wyk

    After a humilliating “fall from glory” loosing my job, my sense of self worth and position in society because of personal sin, I had to pick up the pieces and start life all over again at age 40.
    I am now in the learning phase – builing a new career, doing 3 correspondence courses at once, working hard to gain the skills and knowledge I need to fulfil my lifelong passion – to open up a successful mediation practice and also teach communication and conflict management skills.
    I have learned that life is not over untill the fat lady sang. And as long as we have breath, we have to grow. And that takes effort. But it is already paying dividents!

    Thanks for the encouragement of this incredible post.
    I can’t wait to read this book….

  • Tola Akinsulire

    I am still at the learning stage. It’s been a process of starting and restarting, learning and relearning

  • David Fitzgerald

    I would say I m in the mastering stage even though I have been involved in educational leadership for over 15 years. In recent years I have come to understand and respect the power that coaching brings to relationships and to the workplace. My primary focus at the omen is on mastering my coaching skills so that I can best help others create the space they need to be the person they deserve to be. Harvesting…….one day!!!!

  • McAlpine Coaching

    Thanks for a great post – I am in the ‘harvesting’ stage and yes it is most definitely challenging, but I’m loving every minute and am extremely grateful. Looking forward to reading the book! Cheers, Suzi McAlpine.

  • JB Farrell

    I am right in the midst of editing and mastering. Until the last few months it seemed as though all I was doing was editing. Now I am working on Mastering and at the same time still refining and doing smaller edits.

  • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

    Love the mention of entitlement. This is such a problem that I see in the world, that holds us back from so much!

  • Joe Lalonde

    Jon’s previous book Quitter was an inspiration to me. I can only imagine what this title will do!

    I’d say I’ve started on the road to awesome but haven’t arrived yet, probably in the editing to mastering stage. The work is being done but it takes time.

  • Douglas Burdett

    I’m most in the learning stage at this point, but agree that I’m swerving into all of them. I’ve set up a web page just for this comment:

  • Reggie McGuire

    Michael, I nearly started to cry when I read this post! Whoa…what did I just admit to? I must have deleted and re-wrote that initial sentence at least 7 times before I decided to keep it. I’m still a little conflicted about the exclamation point. I guess I was caught up in the moment. Yes, I’m a 42 yr old grown man and a blog post (nearly) brought me to tears. Hmm, I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for that. So…Why the (near) tears? Well… because the content of this post is an answer to my prayer and that’s not some flippant cliché. I mean a literal, honest to goodness direct answer to a specific guidance-seeking prayer that was uttered minutes before finding this gem in my inbox. I want to live up to my fullest potential and give Christ the glory.

    Reading Jon’s overview of the five-stage journey served as further confirmation that it’s not too late to pursue my calling. As a husband and father of four, I’m looking forward to reading Start not only to help me, but to also encourage my family and help them unlock the God -given Awesomeness that resides within them! (There’s that exclamation point again.)
    Your takeaway #3 is the reason my eyeballs became over-hydrated. You nailed it for me. Fear is the jerk that had convinced me that “If something is enjoyable, it’s not real work; especially if you’re good at it…so don’t waste your time by getting your hopes up.” I’m ready to punch Fear in the face. I have long listened to his vile drivel. All too often, when my friends, family and peers nudge me towards my passions, it is his counsel I heed.

    Not anymore. Two things that I’m complimented on and that I really enjoy are acting and writing. Most of my recent experiences exercising those creative gifts have been within the Worship Arts ministry at my church. As part of the Drama ministry, I have the opportunity to impact the lives of nearly 5,000 fellow worshipers through sermon illustrations, full length plays and sketches. What I’ve LEARNED so far is that I want to incorporate more writing and acting in my life. It is so much more fulfilling than anything I’ve done in my career. So now I’m EDITING (although I wouldn’t have called it that yesterday, thanks Jon) to create margin and am looking forward to the MASTERING stage. It’s working, too. I landed my first movie role in a feature length film that is currently in post-production. It’s called The War Within. It’s a faith-based film and it’s AWESOME! Just like the road I’m on ;-)

  • Drew Wilborn

    After 34 years of living and 7 years of serving in my current position, I finally feel as though I’m moving from learning to editing. It’s been a ride! #StartingNow

  • Jeff Madsen

    Thanks, Michael. I am just beginning my journey on the road to awesome. I’m excited to start … START. So far, my journey is littered with messages of fear and self-doubt. The fear message says that the grass isn’t greener, that I won’t be able to provide for my family and that being average is better than failing. The self-doubt message says that this adventure was meant for the “other folks.” Granted, I give these messages more power than they should have. But, I’m excited to read Jon’s new book and punch both messages in the face!

  • Lincoln Parks

    Wow, this is so awesome. I am currently writing a book that focuses on a similar pattern of Behavior and how anyone can break free. However, Jon’s book appears to be insightful. The passion that he brings to how he writes is how I want my passion to be seen. His humor is so great that it engages you and pulls you in. I will definitely read and recommend this book to anyone looking for Change. And not the boring type of change either.

  • Daniel Bisagni

    Very cool. Heard about this book on the ride home from work, listening to the Dave Ramsey radio show. Can’t wait to read it.

  • Kevin Huska

    I have served as a Team Leader with a university campus ministry for a number of years. I turned 40 this year. In some ways I have learned, edited, mastered, harvested and guided others as I have grown.

    I am entering a new phase, where my staff team has shank down to just me. In light of the changes, I think I am in the editing phase of my overall ministry. I know that there are a number of things that drain my energy and passion. They are keeping me from what I love to do and what i am passionate about.

    I love to speak and teach. I look forward to editing and mastering my particular brand of awesome so that I can see a harvest and multiply into the lives of others.

  • Ashley Conway

    I am in the editing stage, thank God, because the learning stage was way too much drama for me. The cycle of trying something and crashing and burning wasn’t easy to deal with. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting my legs underneath me now. Learning that I don’t have to know what my calling/purpose is right now. Just obtaining time and financial freedom is my current goal and I think I’ll discover more about my purpose along the way.

  • Jamie

    Right now my road is a blend of the first 3. There are so many detours in the road that I feel I have started over a few times. Through college my passion was physical therapy. I graduated and worked for about 6 years before I quit to stay at home with my 3 kids. During that time my passion has changed to my kids and my food blog that I started 2 years ago. Now I am learning food blogging which is a whole new area for me!

  • Kat Van Dusen

    Loved this blog – what a teaser! Looks like another spot on the shelf (or on my Kindle!) will be filled soon! Gratefully, I am in all the stages! Leaders are readers and we never stop learning, do we? I have prayed that I would be all used up when the Lord calls me home and I intend to keep learning, editing, mastering, harvesting and guiding any and all He sends my way! It is an adventure and every day that it is called TODAY and I wake with new breath and life, I can START right where I am! Looking forward to adding this book to my leadership library!

  • Brittany Bartkowiak

    I am in the editing phase. I’ve graduated from law school and just passed the Bar – now is time to edit! :)

  • Alan

    Thank you for your podcast and blog. Many of the subjects have been a help.
    I agree with you that age should not be a factor in what stage you are at. I went back to college to get my MBA when I was 40. Starting college again with kids that were my son’s age was tough but I set out a goal to learn to be a better manager and an MBA did help me along that path.
    Now at 47 I’m looking to the future, 7-10 years out, and I know I won’t be in the technology field forever, so what will I do? I’m once again going back to school. This time to get a Masters of Ministry degree so that I can hopefully look for a position as a Administrative Pastor and be a help to a local church.

  • Dani Dane

    I believe I’m still in the learning phase and just transitioning to editing. I started my journey almost 2 years ago when I decided to get help for my alcoholism. I’ve embraced AA and learned a lot in the past two years. The major bonus of my new found freedom was that I started questioning things, such as, how I was living my life and the health problems I’ve been having that doctors said I just needed to deal with or stay on antibiotics for the rest of my life. I have found a simpler way to live and have pretty much cured my health problems by changing my diet. It’s amazing what you can learn when you have a clear head. :) My next step is starting a blog to write about my journey and try to help people who are/were in my position. I feel like I’m stuck. I’ve been able to get past some of the inner critics, but writing is the one things that has got me at a standstill. I keep thinking, “who am I to think I can write and that people will actually want to read what I have to say?”. I’m going to do it though. I just have some more internal work to do!

  • Gabriel

    I would say I’m just getting off the block. Having worked for over twenty years I decided to introduce some excitement into the remaining portion of my life by enrolling for a degree in Theology and Christian ministry. Its been a wonderful experience, bringing me in contact with many young people who need mentoring. Those I have mentored now look up to me for advice and counsel. I am finding new reasons to live everyday and be of service to my God and the people around me.

  • kerrydexter

    in my vocation, at times it seems I’m replanting and reimagining things after a severe storm. but it’s coming along, and in some aspects I’m harvesting and guiding — and there’s always more to learn. thanks for your assesment of this book. Michael. your perspectives are helpful and sounds like a worthwhile book to look into

  • Eugene Rhee

    I feel like I am moving back and forth from editing and learning. the path that i was going on turned out to be not the one from me and now I am “relearning”. Will look to see if this book will give me any further insight to where I am going.

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  • Shawn Borton

    I think, career-wise, I’m entering the mastering stage, and that’s after a few fits and starts. As far as writing, I’m back and forth between the learning and editing stages.

  • Jeff Madsen

    I am just getting started, and I am really looking forward to starting START. On my journey, my road is littered by messages of fear and self-doubt. They tell me that being “average” is a whole lot better than risking failure. I love what Jon said in his teaser video and I’m anxious to dive in. Thanks for telling us about it, Michael!

  • rex adams

    I’m 35 and I believe I’m finishing up the editing stage- I’m finally learning to say “no” to things that drain energy and give no return. Thanks for the great post- I’ll have to read this book!

  • Bryan Hart

    I am in the thick of it right now. I have done the Quitting, and now I am in the process of landing my own dream job. Working with an excellent company (CollegePlus) as a speaker (A thought-leader, speaker, and author if things progress well) will be Awesome. The voices are frequently pestering me, but I care a great deal about our vision and accomplishing the mission of leading the field of distance education from a Christian foundation. It’s a wonderful ride.

  • Andrew P

    I recently finished up serving with the Peace Corps, and am brainstorming what my next adventure is going to be. I’m positive that I won’t be settling for a boring 9-5 desk job though!

  • Steve Kirkeby

    I am in the process of leaving things that have drained me of my time and energy. I am starting to invest my life in those coming behind me

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  • ifeelgod

    I really enjoyed this post. Good to be reminded of the basics!

  • Shannon Milholland

    My road to awesome looks like a centipede – lots of ups and downs. Start sounds like just the motivation I need to straighten out my life curve.

  • Rebekah

    Definitely not where I desire to be. So excited to read this book!

  • DonnaJ

    This is very useful information for getting the most out of yourself and your life, no matter your age. Don’t give up your dream.

  • Ron Greenfield

    Dear Michael: Some months ago I launched my own site, To say the least, this has been quite an educational experience. In the process of building my platform, reaching out to my “tribe” or community, I’ve come across information and techniques that have been extremely useful. However, and it was almost by accident, that I discovered your book, “Platform,” that has been one of the most useful as well as the most authoritative on this subject. As a result, reading the book, reading your blogs, has been a roadmap, an inspiration and extremely grateful to begin incorporating your strategies and techniques. They also provide a source of encouragement and empowerment, as it sometimes challenging to navigate these waters, focusing on what the ultimate goal is that I want to achieve. So I would just like to say thank you for being there and providing the lights along the path.

  • Gwen Smith

    Great post, Michael. On the road to awesome, I think I’m at the stage that equals my age. I’m stoked to see how Jon teaches readers to advance our stage beyond age. :) My website features samples of how I’m running, jumping, falling and crawling on the road to awesome. Can’t wait to read this book.

  • mrlanser

    I think I’m sitting somewhere between Learning and Editing. I still love learning (and hope that stays a lifelong passion for me), but I know that I’m getting to a point of needing to make some decisions about what I’m going to do, be passionate about and move forward on.

    I know there’s going to be fears, doubts, and just plain laziness I’m going to have to put down if I want to get there, but I feel like I’m at a crucial time where I have to decide to put the distractions behind me. Apparently, it’s time for me to Start.

  • Bly

    Probably just passing passion. Key for me would be to
    Figure out the next step. Thank you.

  • Tammy

    I’m in the mastering part of the journey… having done a life-plan in the past two years, I’m really in tune with who God has created me to be and am wanting to better steward my gifts and talents. I’m taking some new steps that are a little scary, but will help me to better maximize my life’s outcome.

  • Will L.

    I feel like I am always in the learning phase. I never feel like I know enough to get started, and I worry that I lack the credibility to do what I think I’d be great at. Maybe Jon’s book can help?

  • Kiasi

    I think I am on the cusp of Harvesting but completing Mastering stage. I have been in a self discovery/re-discovery since divorcing 3 years ago. God has re-ignited a passion of mine that I thought was dead. I am looking forward to the harvest of that will be yielded from becoming all of me. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  • Jim Ray

    Jon, congratulations on the new book. As a mentor, I’d like to think that I’m an early arrival to the guiding-stage of this journey of fatherhood. Like you said in your video, “it’s no longer about when you were born.” Truth be told, as each day passes I’m reminded that I’m still in the mastering-stage of intentional parenting. I’m looking forward to reading your book. Thanks for the motivation!

  • Ellen Ford

    In my late 40s and definitely well into the “mastering phase” of my road to awesomeness. But while I’m in the mastering phase of most things, the world/technology is changing so quickly that it seems like you have to keep one foot in the “learning phase.” Actually, there are part of me in all of these phases.

  • Kim Weible Smith

    Can’t wait to read Start!

  • SusanLPreece

    I can’t wait to read this book! I’m ready to come out of apathy and “be the change” for my world that needs to live with more passion and clarity. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thomas Freeman

    I think it is wonderful when we tap into wisdom that seems ageless but helps us in the present. It looks like Jon Acuff has tapped into this in this book and I can’t wait to read it.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed every job God has blessed me with. They have all taught me things and I really do believe that I’m in the stage of mastering and moving into harvesting. I have had the privilege of teaching many missionary candidates. Today I have the privilege of visiting them in the field from time to time. Often I find they encourage me more than I encourage them!
    My wife and I have had to reevaluate our location of ministry this last year and have seen God focus our passion, vision and opportunities. I’m sure there is more I can do to begin to harvest the relationships and potential for greater influence.
    I look forward to learning more! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Vijaya Letchmi

    I have not in started my journey yet but after reading this I will try not to hear the voices that always tell me I cannot and will be inspired by those older than me to pursue dreams that are actually not impossible.

  • Krissi Wyss

    Where am I on the road to awesome? Heading that way, but still have a ways to go!

  • Ruth Chapman

    Watched the video on the blog. Jon Acuff does a great job explaining at a high level what his book is about. This is something many people have trouble with – starting!

  • Lucretia Berry

    I’m in a fierce battle with fear and doubt. Why? I have stepped out of my comfort zone, made declarations outside of my realm of control and prediction, and with knees knocking, I keep advancing! The truth, encouragement and humor are just what I need.

  • Priscilla

    I’m at the beginning of the road to awesome – I’m in my 20’s. But I’m nearing the next stage in life, my 30’s. I’d really like to read what Jon has to say about the different stages in life and how to pursue the calling God has for me.

  • Stephen Guise

    I’d like to think I’m very close to the next level of awesome as you describe it. My blog, Deep Existence, is starting to take off, and I’m launching a revolutionary service that I’m convinced the blogosphere will love.

    I took Jon’s advice before reading the book (I’d like to read it!). I started, and this is key, I haven’t stopped yet.

  • Nick

    I have narrowed down my list of things I want to do when I grow up to(LOL). I have been taking steps towards mastering the things I could see myself doing later in life or the near future. I have taken more steps in the last several months to become a more intentional leader. I discovered your site because of a friend that suggested your book Platform. After purchasing your book Platform on audible I started listening to your podcast. There have been several things that you have said that I feel have spurred me on in becoming more intentional and pursing my dreams and becoming the best me I can be. Thanks Nick

  • Josh Jackson

    I’m new on this road. I’d call myself an infant. My wife and I just finished Dave’s total money makeover and we’re taking control of our finances. I am just starting on my road to awesome. The good thing is I’m still young my wife and I both are 24. No one really ever taught us about money. It looks as though awesome it is unreachable at this point; however, through dedication I will be awesome. What happens in your mind will happen in time.

  • Blessing Mpofu

    I’m at the beginning of the editing stage… I like the underlying concept of the book: the courage to start and dare. looking forward to digging in.

  • Ralph M. Rickenbach

    I just turned 50. This year was pronounced to be a Jubilee year in my life – harvesting. When I look back over my life so far, I find all the prior phases – learning, editing, mastering.

    I learned to be a computer programmer, even went back to university in my late tweens. The thirties I was establishing myself, but by the end of that decade God started to edit in my life – teaching in the body of Christ was to become my primary focus. But it took 10 years of mastering, maturing, growing.

    But you are right – time has been taken out of the formula. In parallel to harvesting I am blessed to be able to guide and invest myself into people, especially young men.

    I am looking forward to read the book.

  • Brian Embry

    I’m in the editing and mastering phases. I see where at times these two are inseperable. At 50 it has been at times frustrating but well worth…

  • Iwona F-B

    Mastering at one area and editing in at least two… There is still so much to do!

  • Kristi

    I believe I’m on the tail end of the editing stage and approaching the mastering stage. I’ve learned the importance of spending time and energy on what matters being careful not to squander it. I feel like I’m approaching the stage of mastering and excited to see what God has in store!

  • Todd Smith

    My road to awesome is long and winding and I am on the road again.

  • Chad Austin

    I find myself in the editing stage, on the verge of moving into the mastering stage. I’m taking this time to re-evaluate my passion, calling and goals and am interested in learning more about what Jon has to say about these subjects in “Start.”

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  • ZacWilkinson

    I would say I am somewhere near #3 …trying to work on mastering and looking forward to the day of harvesting. Thanks for the post Michael, I appreciate your blog and now your new podcast as well!!

  • Jonathan Wisdom

    I feel like I’m always refining what it means for me to be “awesome” in my work. I’ve realized that even when I feel confident in something, there’s still room for growth. However, through other blogs/podcasts I take in, I’ve also realized that sometimes you just have to get your ideas out there, even when they’re not 100% of what you’d like them to be. Just still trying to discern when that point is along the development timeline. I guess I feel like I’m still working on putting something out there that is truly “awesome”

  • Sean E. Cannon II

    I am currently “Editing” on the road to awesome. 2 years ago I decided it was time to pursue my dream of becoming a Christian psychologist/counselor. I quit my job that I had been at for 6 years, found a full-time job to take care of my family during this transition time, and one year later enrolled in college to pursue my dream.

    In the last year I have been slowly and somewhat systematically evaluating everything and dropping activities and things that don’t mesh with what I’m passionate about. This journey is tough caring for my wife & 2 children, working full-time, and taking classes full time but I am determined to make this happen and I will not listen to the “voices” (This post is a HUGE encouragement!!)! In the future I want to be able to guide others through my profession and as a mentor.

  • Sean Sauceda

    Where am I on the road to awesome? just started! just graduated school, landed a job . now learning how to be great at it!

  • Jen4Ever4Always

    I’m not sure, figuring out my true passions I think.

  • Alicia

    Last May, I left my job to help start a brand new ministry. This has been a dream and a passion of mine for the last ten years, and I am so excited to be walking this road! There are still fears and doubts that bombard me every day, so I am learning to shut those voices out and keep going! I am learning, editing, and mastering. It’s such a blessing to be in this spot!

  • Sharan Madison

    I wrote out a post and then signed in so poof went all those thoughts. The closer I get to my 70th birthday the more I have been looking over my life and the things I wish to leave my children and grandchildren about the things in life that are real and forever.
    I have lost a little of the focus I once had and have joined those who are drifting through life.

    As I determine how to refocus, I’m reminded of the times when I was a young girl growing up in a rural area in the Midwest. I used to make “string houses” and had an active imagination. My houses consisted of string or twine that I would string from blackberry bush to a tree limb or another bush.

    In my efforts to refocus what is really important in life, I am working on the plans for a series of short books for Kindle using lessons I learned from the experiences of my houses. There’s nothing like looking at what kind of legacy you are leaving for others to get you moving towards being the best you can before there’s no time left.

  • Lisa Colon DeLay

    Jon is so funny. I love that ending! :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I loved that part too—especially how he keeps a straight face!

  • Jerra Gonzales

    We are ALL awesome in some way, however, I love the idea of becoming even more awesome! I’m in the “discovering my passion” and learning stage – trying to master patience, and continually seek out the path God created for me =]

  • Amanda Saye

    I feel like I keep starting over and over again. I’ll find something interesting and I’ll start working a million hours coming up with awesome ideas. And then the perfectionism comes and the fears come and all of a sudden, my great idea and worse yet, my enthusiasm wanes and becomes boring and hard.

  • Hassan Ahmed

    I’m 17 years old and I can safely say that I’m in the learning stage.

  • Danny Kambel

    The road to awesome for me dates back to when I resigned from my job in October with no plan for where and what I was going to do. I’ve applied for over 100+ jobs and still don’t have new employment. In the interim, I have been at peace with myself and what I am doing with my day-to-day living. I have recently made the decision to match my interests in pursuit of additional education as I’ll be studying human resources management and social media design in the fall at a local university. I feel that the future in our work place needs to be educated on what social media education. With a background in both disciplines as well as a media and public relations, I feel that I can make a difference and be “awesome.”

  • ifeelgod

    I am just hitting the harvesting stage and I feel old compared to others

  • Trent COTTON

    Kind of reached a point in my career where I’m ready to take on a new challenge of awesomeness. I like the points made in this post and it makes me stop to think over the life goals I’ve set. Where am I with them and what’s holding me back

  • Jan Marie Dore

    I love the idea of being awesome. Although I’ve made it to the guiding stage, I feel like I’m at the point of starting over learning and mastering a new/old passion that will engage me at a deeper level and be more fun. Can’t wait to read this book!

  • Tim Hildebrand

    I am currently at the learning stage. As a student, I am still in the process of determining my interests and deciding what to study. It is a difficult decision but one that is necessary to make significant progress in my career. Thanks for this great post!

  • Kimmie

    I’m the late starter…old and just figuring it out. Great article. Can’t wait to Start reading my free copy of the book.

  • Ruthie

    I’m getting there. We’re (my husband and I) at the point where we had the ‘ahha’ moment of what we need to do to get where we want to go and now we just need to apply ourselves and keep going as well as keeping the vision alive so we remember our why. Thanks for your blog, we’re avid readers and we love to discuss the posts together!

  • DeKrypTor1

    I believe my pursuit of learning awesomeness from various sources has given me some, thats just above average; I would have never guessed that people who knew from my childhood would see me in that light but still I passionately continue to learn more of this art by keenly being receptive to achievers of this goal. My road to awesomeness has many secrets to be unraveled before others find me being at a mastery level.

  • DeKrypTor1

    I believe my pursuit of learning awesomeness from various sources has
    given me some dividends, thats just above average; I would have never guessed that
    people who knew from my childhood would see me in that light but still
    I passionately continue to learn more of this art by keenly being
    receptive to achievers of this goal. My road to awesomeness has many
    secrets to be unraveled before others find me being at a mastery level.

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  • Matt McWilliams

    I cycle between all of them.

    Career-wise I am in stage five a lot but also spend a lot of time in stage three. I mentor others while at the same time learning so much myself.

    Family-wise I find it hard to leave stage one unfortunately.

    Spiritually, stage two. I am editing my beliefs, ideas, and separating truth from fiction.

    I love the book. I am writing my own takeaways myself on my blog tomorrow. The book completely surprised me in a very good way.

    It changed me, because I always saw “Awesome” as a destination, not some place I have already traveled to.

  • Elizabeth Kitchens

    I’m still defining my passions and trying to figure out how to pursue them. Thanks for your great posts!

  • saxmangeoff

    In my “day job” I’m at mastering and perhaps harvesting. In my side passion of music, I’m stil at learning and editing, but working on it!

  • Deanna Richardson

    Right now…I am drowning in a sea of opportunity. Excited to read my new book and do some editing!

  • Delinda Layne

    Great thoughts today- thanks for sharing- and I look forward to reading START. As I am in the older category, (no longer in 30-40s), I’d say, in part I am in the mentoring stage, where I am encouraging and lifting up other women to be positive and see themselves of great value and worth. Passing on what I have learned from my earlier years. On the other hand, I am moving forward in new areas, really expanding areas, and I am in the mastering stage, honing my skills, many of which are coming from Platform, learning the techniques needed for todays market, etc. Thank you for all the learning and growing ideas that you share. As I travel on my this expanding and exciting path I look forward to the Harvest.

  • Steve

    I guess I’m @ re-editing moving on to mastering & @ e same time learning along each step of the way….

  • Dennis E. Neville

    Sounds like a great book. My wife and I are just starting afresh on a new adventure that God has put before us – to start a project establishing a home and support for orphans and vulnerable children from across southern Africa. This is a daunting journey but one which we know is His heart and so necessary right now. Thanks for pointing me towards start.

  • Whitney G

    I believe I am still in the learning/editing stage. My kids are young and I see a whole new world opening up to me. I would love to read this book!

  • Matthew Lackey

    I’m ready to punch fear in the face, if only I had a book to help me…….

  • Matt Tibbetts

    Right now I am definitely in the learning phase. Aggressively learning. I am 21 and have worked as a banker for a large non-profit, a project manager for their marketing department, and a peer leader. I am currently learning how to do sales for an employee benefits company as well as do staff development and student assemblies. Meanwhile, I am sharpening my personal skills while waiting tables in the evenings.

    My passion is doing excellent business with full integrity. I’m not sure where all of this learning is going to lead me, but I am excited to unleash it on a career in international business one day and harvest the rewards!

  • Jim Ohio

    I think it is interesting how I see a spiral affect in my own journey so far. Each step and often each area of life I realize deeper /greater needs and more opportunity so I go back to learning, with that new knowledge re-edit, occasionally master; but do achieve at least a working application and then work hard doing & enjoy seeing results and help others along the road with me. START sounds like another opportunity.

  • JohnH

    I am newcomer to Jon Acuff. I recently read the book “Quitter” and fund it to be methodically informative!

  • Otis Pierson

    I loved Jon’s Quitter book and can’t wait to read Start. As far as on the road to awesome I think I’m somewhere between learning and editing.

  • Joyce

    On the road to awesome … I’ve traversed through many a valley and mountain top and journeyed much closer to my dreams than I started, but I still have a long ways to go. … but isn’t that life, continuing to go down the road and realizing that the journey is life.

  • Hans Schiefelbein

    Grr, I feel like I’m still prepping. Definitely on the road, but slower than I want to be going. Building great relationships to get there though.

  • tantadra

    I think I’m in my editing stage now. I had a very deep and focused learning stage doing computer programming, so learning for me now is just following and experimenting, but what I really do is editing right now. I can tell in a second startups, technologies and designs that will work and the ones that will not and I just continue my path or experimenting with everything that comes my way. I guess, not focusing on only one aspect and mastering it, keeps me away from harvesting. Actually I already did some guiding, but it didn’t make much sense, because I did it just after learning stage and it didn’t resonate as much as it could. Now I know why. These stages make a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing.

  • Matt Barnett

    I started my transition into teaching from only getting an education in ministry and just getting out of the army. It really makes sense Teaching young people is my passion and its difficult to get into when you are a 0 year teacher but I have such a passion for it I am refusing to give up.

  • Denise Elliott

    I think I’m somewhere in the middle of numbers 1, 2, AND 3 – I’ve been doing a lot of Learning and Editing lately, and I think I might just be starting to see glimmers of the Mastering phase.

  • Kent R

    I believe that I am primarily in the editing stage. I’m refining everything that I learned and focusing on the few things that I am best at and matter most to me. I like how Jon said this can include relationships. The editing process can sometimes be painful, but is also very rewarding and leads us to the mastery stage.

  • Jeff Jones

    I’m also cycling between 1,2 and 3 right now depending on what part of my business I’m working on. I am getting closer to weeding out the stuff that doesn’t help me and focusing on the stuff that does. Great wake up post!

  • Kris Dunlop

    I can’t wait to read this book. Great review.

  • Brian

    I’m at the age-appropriate phase of Mastering (appropriate in terms of Jon’s Road to Awesome diagram), with perhaps occasional forays into Harvesting & Guiding. Would love to expedite my time in the latter two. Looking forward to ready Start and learning more.

  • Orange Blossom Brand

    I hope a part of me will always be in the learning phase, but I’d say in general I’m in the editing phase. We all only have 24 hours in each day. I am learning to be intentional about saying “Yes!” to the things that really matter and let the rest go!

  • Dan

    Where am I on the road to awesome? Editing. Ironic, coming from a former editor.

  • Jonathan McGehee

    I have been in the learning stage for a long time and just recently recognized the need to edit. This is not easy for me.

  • Jeff Williams

    On the road to awesome I’m stalled. Spent time learning, started editing, but let other commitments slow me down. I need to read this book!

  • Dave

    Mastering. I spent many years Editing, trying to live up to others expectations. Glad to be doing what God gifted me to do now. Can’t wait to make guiding more a part of my everyday.

  • Tom Martin

    I’m editing the image I have of myself and silencing the voices in my head which stalled a career transition into area where I have passion and a desire to make a difference not just a paycheck.

  • Scott Silby

    I feel like my health problems have me stuck on the side of the road right now. I don’t mean to bring anyone down, but that’s my honest answer to the question. It really stinks because so often I have an otherwise positive, get-it-done mindset, but that mind is shackled to a body that usually has tremendous fatigue and almost constant pain.

  • Anne Dyck

    sounds Great!! and simple but profound!

  • Brian Smith

    Is am 40 years old. I didn’t “start” until 10 months ago. I had explored my fantasy job (travel/culture/language) after college but had no one to share my experiences with. I pursued marriage. Then, I awoke to the reality that my fantasy job couldn’t support me, let alone a wife and, God-willing, future kids. So, then, I tried my hand at every kind of job imaginable – from white collar executive type to every hue of blue collar skilled/unskilled trades type. The only common denominator was: FEAR. My fear of being unable to provide drove me to pursue the fastest buck, and I ignored my real passion: teaching ESL and sharing the love of Christ to international students. Ten months ago, my wife, two little boys and I sold everything, moved to another state, and I started my passion. The money has been, as I expected, much lower in the teaching profession, but my joy and sense of purpose is off the charts. I’m eager to read START because I still have great battles with fear and am tempted frequently to give up and return to the “rat race.” Thanks for the great book review, Mr. Hyatt, and for encouraging me to stay engaged, to not turn off what is just getting started.

  • Chad Jones

    Sounds like a great book with a great message.

    Where am I on the road to awesome? I’d say the experimental phase.

  • Richard Poole

    I am in the middle of Dave Ramsey’s FPU, just listened to Jon Acuff’s Quitter audio book and we are budgeting our way through BS2 – we have Started!

  • Craig Millar

    I’m editing and moving into mastery. I’m more clear than ever about what I must do vs. what I can do. I can do lots of things…to be effective, fulfilled and impacting my world I need to do, no, I must do those things that I was born to do.

  • On the road again

    I started on this journey after losing the highest title in my company due to being stabbed in the back by a coworker, which led to busyness that led to unproductivity, lack of vision, messed up priorities, etc. which led me to burnout. The beginning of this year I found a free coaching session “Unstuck Bootcamp” by Kim Martinez, that got me on the road to recovery…

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    Awesome=be the best version of yourself….Love this!

  • Robert Andrews

    After being in the working world for over 20 years and turning 40 five years ago, I came to unnerving epiphany. Half my life is over and I’ve done nothing significant career wise. I had just been going through the motions hoping one day that it will all pay off. And after seeing people retire from where I work. It was painfully obvious. Thing won’t change unless I change. Great article.

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  • Jason B. Ladd

    A professional knows exactly what is important and when. He focuses his attention on the most important thing at the time and is continuously ranking, prioritizing, and filtering all tasks. The novice is stressed because they don’t know what they’re supposed to be worried about. The professional knows exactly where friction and conflict will arise, prepares for it ahead of time, and responds when it arises. The professional can keep his cool because he knows what the alligators are and which ones are closest to the canoe!

  • Johhny Pnumocin

    Book was stupid and unworthy of your time to write about.