Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I know. Another motivational book. "Reach your full potential! You can be amazing! Just follow the 29-step plan in this book exactly and the world is yours! Then pay thousands of dollars for our seminars, where we reveal all the secrets you need to know for an amazing life!" Fortunately, this is not that book. This is a book about starting. Start is more than a menu on Windows (at least versions up to Windows 7; I'm not sure about 8). The concept is simple. If you want to do something, start. If you want to be a writer, start writing. If you want to exercise more, start exercising. He identifies 5 stages of activity, Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, Guiding. Traditionally, you would start the Learning phase in your 20s and gradually work your way up to Guiding in your 60s. That's not the way it is anymore. Thanks to the Internet, you can start anywhere, anytime. The book doesn't claim that the Internet is some miracle tool that will magically transform your life (like some books I read in the late 1990s-early 2000s). The Internet simply removes some of the traditional barriers that used to hold you back. You go through the steps in order. Don't worry about making mistakes, that's just part of the process. The book also says not to settle for average. Dexter Yager, one of the largest distributors in the Amway network, said that average was, "bottom of the top, and top of the bottom. Cream of the crap." (His words, not mine.) Obviously, there's no cookie cutter approach to this. The hardest thing in all of this, or any book like this, is to actually do what the book says. Do it, and you could be awesome. No guarantees. The author does mention his availability for speaking engagements, but there aren't any expensive follow-up seminars. All in all, a good book.
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