The problem with Halloween


13 years ago, I learned the best idea about parenting before I even had kids.

Before I was writing books about enjoying your career like Do Over, I used to work for Bose. They are a company in Massachusetts that makes amazing stereos and headphones.

One of the markets we would try to sell to is college graduates. We wanted  the 23-year old who got their first real check to buy one of our stereos but we had a problem.

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Do Over

The candle, the drug dealer & the last video I’ll ask you to watch in 2015.

Want to go on an adventure? Want to change the world with me in a surprisingly simple way? Want to discover the most amazing group of people you’ll ever meet?

Watch this video.

Starting today, I’m asking you to help me sell 5,000 candles for Thistle Farms.

1. They do amazing work in Nashville to help women trapped in addiction, trafficking and prostitution get off the streets.
2. They work with 23 sister organizations in 17 states because the need is national.
3. The candles they make are high quality and all natural. (Thistle Farms products are so great they’re actually sold at Whole Foods!)
4. Becca Stevens, the founder, is a rock star and Thistle Farms has been around for 18 years. (That’s the equivalent of 400 non-profit years, because running a successful organization is Herculean work.)
5. It will be fun to light a candle this fall knowing your small act created a huge light for a woman who needed help finding the way home.

The candles, which are balsam fir scented, are only $22.

Buy one for yourself. Buy one for a friend. Buy one for 10 friends. They’re perfect holiday gifts!

I’ll update you on the totals sold as we go along.


I know that 5,000 candles, representing $120,000 raised, is no joke, but this community doesn’t mess around.

You built two kindergartens in Vietnam.

You donated thousands of mosquito nets for Uganda.

It’s time for a new adventure.

It’s time to light the way home.

Click here to buy a candle.

Click here to read a little more about Thistle Farms.


3 things to do if you have a bad boss.


According to a variety of studies, 70-90% of Americans are disengaged at work.

Why? There are a number of reasons but one of the most common is a bad relationship with a boss or manager.

Bad bosses exist. I’ve had one or two horrible bosses in my day. If you’re in that situation right now, here are three things you need to do:

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An exclusive interview just for my email subscribers!

From time to time I like to offer special bonuses to those of you subscribed to my email newsletter, and I’m excited to say that one of those bonuses is coming soon!

Next week I’ll be recording an interview with Michael Hyatt as a part of a new feature I’m starting called “Conversations.” (He’s the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, a New York Times Bestselling author and an absolute genius at growing an audience in the digital age.) This video interview will only be available to my subscribers, as I won’t be posting it here on (If you received this post via email, you’ll automatically get this special video in a few weeks.)

As a part of the Do Over Conversations series I’ll be asking Michael a few reader-submitted questions, so if you have anything you’d like to ask him, click here to ask away in the comments!

Giving you this exclusive content is just a small way for me to say ‘thank you’ for staying connected to what I’m doing. Email subscribers get all my new ideas from delivered right to their inbox, including occasional bonuses like this video conversation. Sign up here to make sure you don’t miss it.


5 tips for speaking to 10,000 people or 10.

Recently I was in Dallas, TX speaking to 10,000 people at a Young Living Convention. That’s an intimidating amount of people, but five lessons I’ve learned over the years helped me deliver the speech. Here they are:

1. Speak to a person, not a crowd.
No one wants to feel like they’re a part of a big glob of an audience. One person speaking to ten thousand people is hard, but one person speaking to one person is a lot easier.

I always try to find one person in the crowd who is happy and engaged. It’s so easy to find (and focus on) the one person who hates every word you’re saying. Public speakers tend to have laser vision for the guy in the room with his arms crossed and a scowl. Instead, find the one person who’s locked in on the conversation and speak to them. When you do that, your talk feels less like a lecture and more like a conversation, and everyone wins.

2. Be careful to not be subtle.
As the size of your audience grows, so too should the way you express yourself on stage. This is a tip I learned from my friends Tripp & Tyler, who have spent a lot of time on big stages making people laugh. They warned me that subtle jokes and subtle movements don’t always play to a larger crowd because you’re communicating with the first row AND the last row, no matter how far from the stage it is.

The dynamics shift with big crowds, so be careful to avoid subtleties as your audience grows. If you’re speaking to 10 people, make sure you don’t act like you’re speaking to 10,000. It’s always awkward when a speaker yells like he or she is in a stadium if there’s only a few people in the room. In those situations I’ll often circle a few chairs and sit down for the talk instead. If the event is intimate, acknowledge that.

3. Allow time for the crowd to laugh and think.
If you prepare 45 minutes of material for a 45-minute talk for a larger crowd, you might run out of time with ten minutes of material left. The problem is, you didn’t account for the crowd.

The crowd will laugh, and they need time to laugh. The crowd will think, and they need time to think. If you ask the crowd a question, give them a moment to actually answer it.

Planning an event is hard. Honor the event planner’s schedule by preparing a talk that’s slightly shorter than your window to account for the crowd.

4. Laugh or move on if you make a mistake.
There are two types of mistakes you make when you speak. There’s the mistake that’s big enough that it’s funny, and you should sit on it for a minute and enjoy it with the crowd. That happened to me at the Orange Conference. I said something that was accidentally inappropriate in front of 6,000 people. I heard a few start laughing so I decided to ride the wave of the mistake and laugh along. It ended up being the biggest laugh I got during my speech.

The more common mistake is the small one you just move on from because it’s so inconsequential. If it’s a minor mistake don’t call attention to it. Just move on, more than likely the crowd didn’t even notice.

5. Have fun.
I know, I know, this is so cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s false.

If you’re not up there on stage having fun, the crowd’s not gonna have fun either. If you’re wound up, the crowd won’t be relaxed. If you’re racing through your notes, the crowd will feel that too.

I get nervous when talking to big crowds like everyone else, but the times when I have the most fun on stage are the times where the audience does as well.

You might never become a public speaker, but you’ll speak in front of a crowd at some point. You’ll present a college paper, deliver a project at work or make a speech at a wedding. Remember these tips for when do and you’ll have a great time, whether it’s 10,000 people or 10.

P.S. If you want to become better at public speaking or anything else, do the note card exercise on page 93 of my book Do Over.



“The president’s wife ruined our school lunches.” – My 4th grade daughter.

“When is the next election dad?” My 9-year-old McRae asked one day.

As a parent, that’s an exciting question to hear from your child. What a great dad I must be! My fourth grader is already civic minded. She’s curious about democracy in our country and is asking how she might get involved in the issues that are shaping our world.

“It’s in 2016 McRae.”

“Good,” she responded, “The president’s wife ruined our school lunches. Maybe it will get better then.”

If I made a list of “reasons my daughter would be interested in the election,” that would not have cracked the top 100.

I joked with McRae for a few minutes about her concerns with the quality of the school lunch and then we talked about other things. I thought the lunch discussion was a passing whimsy.

Three days later, McRae came downstairs with a letter she wanted me to mail to First Lady Michelle Obama. Here is what she wrote:

“Mrs. Obama,

I’m writing to you about how bad the cafeteria food is.

Every couple days I buy lunch. The pizza crust is whole grain and it’s gnarly. All the chips are oven baked and they don’t sell pudding. ☹ I know you are fighting childhood obesity. Always I hungry after lunch. There is something that really concerns me. Lots of people in my class buy multiple ice creams and chips and only eat that for lunch.

Above all my friends in 4th grade and me wish for decent food at NAME OF SCHOOL SHE ATTENDS in Franklin, Tennessee.


McRae Acuff.”

Thanks Obama

There are a few things I’d like to point out about this letter.

1. Thank goodness my kid doesn’t know the phrase “Thanks Obama” or she probably would have started the letter that way. Instead she absolutely crushes the first line, addressing her key point right out of the gate. “I’m writing to you about how bad the cafeteria food is.”

2. She’s pretty clear about her main objectives. The pizza crust is whole grain and as a result, gnarly. The chips are oven baked, which is apparently not desirable either. And, crime of all crimes, they don’t even sell pudding any more.

3. She acknowledges First Lady Michelle Obama’s key objective, “fighting childhood obesity.” I’m not even sure where she learned this phrase but good for her recognizing the opposition’s chief aim.

4. Not only does she recognize the issue of childhood obesity, but she points out the fatal error of the new approach to cafeteria food – kids are still eating junk. She’s right on that point; I’ve eaten lunch with her and watched as kids ate multiple ice creams instead of their lunch. Baked chips might be better, but three bags of baked Cheetos does not a vegetable make.

5. She summarizes the whole thing like a champ. “Above all my friends in 4th grade and me wish for decent food …” She’s not asking for filet mignon or Parmesan kale salad with raisins. All she’s asking for is “decent food.” You can almost hear her standing on the cafeteria tables to rally the other fourth graders, imploring them Newsies-style to “Open the gates and seize the day!”

I’d like to think that McRae wrote this letter because her dad writes books like Do Over and she was inspired by own plucky crusade to help people actually enjoy what they do for a living, but I can’t take credit for this.

McRae likes pudding and someone messed with it.

End of story.