30 Awesome People You Need to Know!

Need

Over the last few years I’ve the chance to connect with a lot of awesome people who are doing awesome stuff.

They, much like you, are chasing dreams and changing the world in some wild ways.

This November, I thought it would be fun to introduce them to you.

Starting Saturday, November 1 – Monday, November 30, I’m going to introduce you to at least one person a day on Twitter with the hashtag #NeedToKnowvember.

Some will be authors.

Some will be musicians.

Some will be speakers.

Some will be moms and dads.

Some will be artists.

Some will be business owners.

All will be folks who are doing amazing things that inspire me.

If you know someone like that, play along by tweeting out someone who inspires you with the hashtag #NeedToKnowvember. I plan to keep it simple and super short, with tweets that say:

Today’s #NeedToKnowvember is ___________________. Check out the awesome stuff they’re doing: LINK.

That’s it. It’s a simple way for me to share people who inspire me with people who inspire me. (If you want to follow along, follow me on Twitter: @JonAcuff)

Here’s to sharing our platforms, our inspirations and our Knowvember!

I can’t read on a Kindle or an iPad.

This post is going to make me seem old fashioned, as if perhaps I whittled it from a corn cob on my porch while watching a slow southern sun give up the fight as night descended upon my farm.

So be it.

I can’t read books on a Kindle or an iPad.

Notice I didn’t say “Don’t like to” or “Don’t want to,” I said, “can’t.”

I physically can’t do it because there are too many exits.

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Pssst Writers! Quick book signing trick.

If you’re an author, and lots of you are, you are going to sign books. Here’s a trick my friend Robert D. Smith taught me.

Always sign in blue sharpie, not black. Why? Well, the publisher can publish in black. Sometimes books are printed with a signature. If you sign in blue though, readers know with completely certainty that you actually signed it. It’s a small thing, but small things can be awesome.

Go blue!

7 ways to do more of everything.

(Today is a guest post from Kari Denker!) 

Some people think I’m amazing.

I’m not.

Some think I’ve totally got things together because I do “so many things”.

I don’t.

Some think I’m successful and brave.

But really I have so far to go, and I’m constantly teetering on the edge of scared to death.

But the question I hear the most is: How do you do everything?

I’ve found that when I’m asked that by people, it’s really more of a shake their head and smile and walk away kind of question, not a real “I truly want to learn” kind of question.

So my usual answer (which is VERY true) is:  “I don’t do everything.”

I can guarantee you that you are better at staying on top of a bunch more stuff than I am.

I let things slide.

I get discouraged, overwhelmed and tired.

My desk is a mess.

I have a million ideas on a thousand scraps of paper.

And I waste time like it’s an unlimited resource if I’m not very careful.

But on those days where I do have success, and for those people who truly want to know how to improve and see “how to do it all” (again, it’s a lie, NO ONE does it all), I can tell you the things that work for me, learned over 30 years of doing nothing too spectacular and a couple of years hustling.

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1 reason you have a hard time with haters.

Frame

One reason you struggle with haters.

Sometimes criticism crushes me.

A one star review wrecks my day. An online barb served up via Twitter knocks me off course. A comment via email throws me for a loop.

Why do I get stuck so easily by random strangers and their words? Because I’ve confused my art with my identity.

That is a mistake.

Your art is not your identity. Your work is not who you are, it’s a byproduct of knowing who you are. The difference is subtle but critical.

If you believe that what you make is who you are, when people criticize it, you receive the criticism very differently. They are not commenting on your book or business or blog, they are commenting on your soul. Your very identity is up for grabs for the faceless Internet masses if you make the mistake of thinking you are your art.

You are not.

I am not.

I write books.

That is my work.

When someone criticizes my books, they have not criticized me.

They have commented on something I have created. Not who I am.

The challenge of course is that to create your best art, you have to put your identity into it. You must lean into it with your heart, opening a vein, pouring into the project with the very best of you are. But once it is created, once it is finished, you have to divorce yourself from it in a way. You gave it your heart, but you did not leave your heart with the project.

You took your heart with you. So that you can create something else with it next time.

That is the tension of art and life. In order to create something meaningful you have to put yourself into it, but at the same time you have to let it go.

Because that thing you made, is not you.

You are bigger than a book or song or a project or an anything.

Your identity is not up for grabs.

Your art is.

And those are two very different things.

Don’t forget that.

If you don’t do this, you’ll give up on a dream.

Recently, I walked on stage to speak to about 700 people.

I sat in the front row, watching the other speakers first so that I could get a feel of the room.

As I stood to climb the stairs at the front of the stage, the crowd started roaring in laughter.

I immediately thought, “That’s weird, they’re already laughing. They must really love me! This crowd is already laughing and I haven’t even said a single thing yet. Wait until they hear what I have to say.”

As I turned around to face them, people on the front row were yelling and pointing at me.

Turns out the crowd wasn’t laughing because they’ve heard I’m funny. They were laughing because I had this sign on my back:

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