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Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters | [Jon Acuff]

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

There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives listeners practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.
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Publisher's Summary

Wall Street Journal best-selling author Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome.

Over the last 100 years, the road to success for most everyone has been divided into predictable stages. But three things have changed the path to success:

  • Boomers are realizing that a lot of the things they were promised aren't going to materialize, and they have started second and third careers.
  • Technology has given access to an unprecedented number of people who are building online empires and changing their lives in ways that would have been impossible years ago.
  • The days of "success first, significance later" have ended.

While none of the stages can be skipped, they can be shortened and accelerated. There are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters. The good news is Start gives listeners practical, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often.

©2013 Lampo Licensing, LLC (P)2013 Lampo Licensing, LLC

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Average Customer Rating

4.2 (422 )
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  •  
    Peter Seattle, WA, United States 09-11-13
    Peter Seattle, WA, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "START made me STOP listening fast"
    What disappointed you about Start?

    Listening to an audiobook is one of the easiest ways a person can attain information, yet this audiobook somehow managed to make it feel like a chore.I really hoped to hear some useful ways to turn my work and experience into something greater than myself, i.e. "Do work that matters." Unfortunately START was so suffocated by pointless lackluster stories and name dropping that I completely lost track of why I purchased it in the first place (So you were on the news... Am I supposed to care? And what does that have to do with the purpose of this book again?).More importantly, Acuff as the narrator is the worst! His delivery reminds me of that cliche friend we all have, the one who thinks he's absolutely hilarious, reciting movie quotes and poor impressions, and we all just nod and put up with it because we've been friends since childhood. If I wanted a poorly written comedy, I would have purchased something by Tyler Perry. If I wanted adventure stories of an entrepreneur, I would have purchased Richard Branson's memoir. Stripped of all the filler, this book would be a pamphlet long, maybe a few paragraphs, or even just a quote that read, "Do you want to live an average life, or an awesome one?"For a book that claimed to "Punch Fear in the Face!" START delivered like a weak jab that missed the mark.


    Has Start turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Turned me off from this genre? No. START's poor performance just made me more wary of my selections in the future. I will ABSOLUTELY listen to a sample reading before purchasing another book of this kind. If I had listened to a sample of START before purchasing, I'd still have $13.95 in my pocket.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I appreciate Acuff's energy, but there's an unearned sense of overconfidence in his voice. If the material or substance was there to back it up, I'd be all for his delivery, I'd even give the tales of his "awesome life" a chance. Instead, I felt like I was listening to a D-list comedian trying to woo an empty night club. Maybe add some canned laughter or crickets in the background? You can use that zinger in your next book Jon.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There were a few nuggets of actual useful material in the book, but really only stemmed from one basic concept: do you want to live an awesome life or average? Unfortunately anything redeeming was buried so deep under a thick gloss of pointless nostalgia and name dropping that I'd lose interest and tune out. I can't tell you how many times Acuff would be submerged in another story about how "awesome" his life is, and I'd think, "What the hell is he talking about? What does this have to do with anything? That really doesn't sound that awesome to me at all." I'm sure Acuff is the coolest/smartest guy he knows. Unfortunately his material isn't.


    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Salt Lake City, UT, United States 05-26-13
    Jeremy Salt Lake City, UT, United States 05-26-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "full of self serving stories. had to return it"
    Would you try another book from Jon Acuff and/or Jon Acuff?

    Not until he grows up a little and has some meaningful experiences to share


    Would you recommend Start to your friends? Why or why not?

    no


    What about Jon Acuff’s performance did you like?

    He is full of youthful energy. He does share tried and true advice, that is a good refresher. Nothing really earth shattering.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't usually write reviews, but this book appears to largely be a personal EGO trip for the author. It is full of self aggrandizing stories of handing out his latest book on a plane, to shopping for makeup before he goes on national TV. There is little depth here... I did appreciate his youthful "I can do anything" energy as he recited old advice I have already garnered from other tried and true authors.

    25 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felix Snow Omaha, NE United States 06-11-13
    Felix Snow Omaha, NE United States 06-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "It works if you have 10,000 hours"
    Would you try another book from Jon Acuff and/or Jon Acuff?

    I don't think so.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Sounded like a punk kid, and nobody wants to take advice from a punk kid.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Very disappointing in that the author states clearly that you can make your dreams come true - maybe - if you only devote 20 hours a week to it for 10 years. He is also very boastful about his accomplishments, which to me is a turn-off. There is nothing but common sense advice in here and again, you should start young, because it is no easy road to achieving your dreams.


    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianne Albuquerque, NM, United States 05-24-13
    Brianne Albuquerque, NM, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun & Funny! Great quick listen, Worth it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Start to be better than the print version?

    Yes! It is read by the author Jon Acuff and he is absolutely fun and relatable! I enjoyed every minute I listened to him.


    What other book might you compare Start to and why?

    I just finished The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and it was the perfect follow up to that audiobook. They are similar in the sense that you are in control of your own domain, but I learned from Habit why I choose what I choose, and I learned from Start, how to choose what I want to choose. So they compliment each other. Both are a life process and neither is a quick fix to anything. Loved both!


    Have you listened to any of Jon Acuff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will now.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really, the entire book was worth the listen!


    Any additional comments?

    I heard about this book from the EntreLeadership Podcast and am glad I did!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha Lake Stevens, WA, United States 07-29-13
    Natasha Lake Stevens, WA, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Inspirational!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Start the most enjoyable?

    Jon Acuff really vibrant in his reading so it makes it fun to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like how he takes the time to head off your concerns with his process and making it fun at the same time.


    What does Jon Acuff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His animation and passion for this book. You can tell he truly believes what he has written.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did and was able to complete it in about two days but thats because i was listening to it at work.


    Any additional comments?

    A great listen for anyone who feels like they are going nowhere no matter the age.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil 07-15-13
    André Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil 07-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Same old history.."

    The book was not for me, I read a lot of books with the same idea. It gets a time when you are full of this kind of stuff.

    If you need some push to start get it, otherwise forget it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Briana Myricks Carson, CA USA 07-02-13
    Briana Myricks Carson, CA USA 07-02-13 Member Since 2012

    Book nerd for life!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Start Listening!"
    What made the experience of listening to Start the most enjoyable?

    It was narrated by the author and he was passionate about the book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Same as the book


    Any additional comments?

    I needed an audiobook that wasn't boring and that would keep my interest. This definitely was it. I was procrastinating reading/listening to this book, and it was everything and more. Loved the enthusiasm (can't beat hearing the author narrate the book), lots of good stories and motivation and tips. I now want to read more of Jon's books. I'm officially punching fear in the face and starting!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helena R. Bowen colorado 05-29-13
    Helena R. Bowen colorado 05-29-13 Member Since 2011

    swell

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Most Accessible Self-Development Book I've Read"
    If you could sum up Start in three words, what would they be?

    Motivational, Fun, Accessible


    What does Jon Acuff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jon Acuff is an AMAZING speaker and this is one of the best audiobook narrations I've ever heard. I imagine the book is great in print as well, but the way Jon tells stories is very engaging. Nothing about his speaking voice is dull.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read dozens of self-development books and this one is definitely at the top of the list (my other fav's would be How to Win Friends and Influence Others and Unstuff Your Life). There was not a single dull moment in this book, and even though it is directed at any age group, I feel like it is especially accessible and inspiring for younger people (20s, 30s). I wish I had read this book years ago! (if it had existed... which it didn't)

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mandy Payne Hollywood, CA 05-31-13
    Mandy Payne Hollywood, CA 05-31-13

    Is it just me?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Central Park"



    I began listening to this with every expectation of hating it. I fall for titles that sound like they're going to change whatever is wrong with me. Then I read the book and find everything wrong with the book and leave it with no change to my issues, except feeling superior to whatever idiot tried to impart some insight and failed...at least for someone like me.

    This book came into my life at the perfect time. I won't spill all of the inspiration and GREAT advice that I now will work to build into my path forward...my move toward finally attempting to do with my life what I've always wanted to and realized at 40 that I was stacking years behind with no movement toward who I thought I would be long before now. But I will tell you that this book is one in dozens, maybe hundreds, that hit my sweet spot. Read it. Hopefully, like me, you'll find something to help you get started too.

    I was tempted to write a 3 star review...once you read it, you'll know why. I just want the author to know that I am grateful for this book.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Saskatoon, SK, Canada 07-05-13
    Evan Saskatoon, SK, Canada 07-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "LOL on the One Star Reviews"
    What made the experience of listening to Start the most enjoyable?

    Great Stories. I like the part about growing a crazy beard and collecting cats.


    What does Jon Acuff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Awesome professional speaker, great reader by default.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Great concepts throughout. Critics Math was helpful. I also enjoyed the honesty transparency with things like the story about his honeymoon and wanting to make life long friends LOL. Reminds me to be careful with ideas and expectations.

    I also found great insights in understanding ideas / emotions that come along with success that can throw one off track, and even how one can actually sabatoge their own success because of supressed fear. Rang true for me and I'm thankful for what I learned from this book.


    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 43 results PREVIOUS125NEXT
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  • Chantal
    Holbeach Fen, United Kingdom
    9/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Woah slow down!!"

    Authors are not always the best people to narrate their own books. Fact. Here is a case in point. Maybe the paperback's really good, I don't know. But the audiobook is so rushed that it's almost impossible to get anything from it. The author / narrator starts off by telling you how each section is supposed to have action points and questions for you to go through to put his pearls of wisdom into practice. But he felt that it ruined the "flow" of his narration, so he's left all that stuff to the end. Listen to the whole thing first, then take action.

    In doing so he's totally missed the point of how people use this kind of book. He whizzes through the book at such a pace, without pausing, that you can't actually take it all in anyway. Then if/when you do stick it out all the way to the end, he does the exact same thing with the action points and questions. Problem is that they're not put into context, so when he says something profound like "write a paragraph describing your secret self" you're thinking... "wait... what exactly is my secret self again?". Except if you're anything like me you really can't bring yourself to go back hunting through the audio to find out.

    Add to that the super-helpful advice to "punch fear in the face". Well that's all very well but seriously, deeply ingrained personal fears about oneself do not, in practice, simply bugger off because you metaphorically punched them! I suspect that many people who click the "buy" button for this book will be left thinking "well how the heck do I do that?". Listen to Stephen Covey, Brian Tracey et al. Different ball park altogether.

    I had high hopes for this book but it fell way short of the mark. I might even ask for my money back. Sorry & all that but very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • florence
    READING, United Kingdom
    7/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great read"

    struck in a rut? going round in circles? Get Start and you will get started.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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