The best account on Instagram and the lie we tell each day.

Yesterday, I handed my passport and ticket to a TSA agent at the airport.

I asked her how she was doing and with a chipper voice she said, “I’m wonderful, how are you?”

“I’m great!” I replied, “Look at us, you’re wonderful, I’m great, we must be having a good day.”

She looked at me out of the corner of her eyes and said, “I’m actually not wonderful. I’m lying, what about you?”

I didn’t know how to answer her.

In that moment, a stranger who I’d have a sliver of a conversation with took down the performance curtain and showed me what was really going on backstage at the play of her life and I couldn’t return the favor.

I stumbled through a handful of now forgotten words. Chances are I said something sarcastic as that’s the kind of wall I raise when put into a conversational corner.

“I’m lying, what about you?”

Dang TSA, you’re just supposed to make sure I don’t have too much peanut butter in my bag or a sword hidden in a cane.

That apparently happens a lot. If you’re not following the TSA on Instagram (@TSA) you are missing the best account on the planet. It’s a combination of the most humorous items they find in carry on bags and the least humorous captions you’ve ever read.

Here’s one of my favorites.


Who knew that:
1. People purchased batarangs/brass knuckles.
2. People tried to fly with batarangs/brass knuckles.

I bet that guy’s girlfriend was so mad at the airport. I’m kidding, there’s no way you have a batarang and a girlfriend.

Do you see how fast I can take the serious into the silly if I get uncomfortable?

It’s an escape hatch for me, one of many. I bet you’ve got some escape hatches too, but they don’t protect you from real awkwardness, they just prevent you from real connection.

“I’m lying, what about you?”


Communities make the world (and ideas) go round.

I’ve written before about how chasing a dream is like being on an an island, and how eventually every island needs bridges, boats, and runways to be as awesome as it can be.

In other words, every dreamer needs the support of a community.

There’s no better example of that than the folks in the Dreamers & Builders and 30 Days of Hustle Facebook Groups. I’m continually blown away by how well they support each other’s dreams. They provide honest feedback on projects, they encourage each other through hard times, and they celebrate each others’ wins selflessly. It’s pretty cool to watch.

Oh, and sometimes they create fun things together! Like this trailer for Do Over. Kayla Erickson dreamed it up and a few of them made it on their own, just because they enjoy being awesome. Check it out:

Why do we need communities?

If you’re chasing a dream on an island with no connections, it’s time to reach out and get some bridges, boats, and runways. Don’t isolate yourself and your dream, open it up to a community and see how much better it can be.

Want to read the book that this awesome community is talking about? Pick up a copy of Do Over at one of these locations:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Family Christian


Win a free library! (We’re giving away 17 books in the Do Over Bookshelf Challenge)

Over the last month we’ve given away 5 books each week to the four winners of the Do Over Bookshelf Challenge.

This week? We’re giving away every book we featured in the challenger to one winner!


That’s right, 17 books to 1 winner. So, how do you win?

Post a photo of my new book, Do Over, and tag someone you want to read it with on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Make sure you use the hashtag #DoOverBook in your post as well. Your picture can be taken in a store, in your home, or anywhere else on earth where photos can be taken.

You have until midnight on Monday, April 20th to post your picture. We’ll announce the winner some time next week.

Here are all the books included in the prize package:

So let me know who you would like to read Do Over with by tagging them in your photo of the book, and don’t forget the hashtag #DoOverBook.



Why I fell back in love with bookstores.


I was never out of love with bookstores.

There was never a moment where we walked away from each other. But I did get distracted. If I’m honest, I did have eyes for another. Who?

The Internet.

I love the Internet. Blogs and tweets and photos and endless streams of information. It didn’t just feel like a different way to experience life, it felt like the NEW way to experience life. And I dove in deep.

I’ve tweeted 38,000 times. I’ve blogged thousands of times. I’ve built platforms and conversations within the digital glow the Internet offers. The Internet in turn opened up a world of opportunities to me. I got my first book deal in large part because of my blog community. Comedian Jim Gaffigan endorsed my new book Do Over because we connected on Twitter. Some of my best opportunities and favorite relationships have started online.

But, in 15 years of non-stop online connection, I’ve learned something surprising.

The more time I spend online, the more I realize face-to-face interaction matters the most.

Skype is great.

Facetime is amazing.

YouTube is a window into worlds I might have otherwise missed.

But, when all is said and done, nothing beats 3D community.

Nothing beats being in the same space and breathing the same air. And I’m an introvert. I don’t write this casually or because I love to be around people all the time. I write this because it’s true.

So a few weeks ago, when I got ready to launch my new book, I thought, “I’ll go to bookstores! I’ll meet people. I’ll talk with people. I’ll hear their ideas and tell them a few of mine.” Only I discovered something when I tried to schedule some events at bookstores …there are fewer of them around.

This is not a surprise to you perhaps, but it is to me. There are fewer bookstores now than there were when I wrote my first book 5 years ago.

In the ease of the Internet, in the promise of instant, I looked away from bookstores for a minute and when I looked back some had disappeared. They were closed. They were gone.

We didn’t just lose a bookstore though, we lost a bit of magic. We lost a bit of wonder. We lost a safe haven where it’s still OK to dream big dreams. To walk down aisles and aisles of “what if?” Books are not collections of paper, they’re invitations to different worlds. And being in a bookstore is like getting a passport.

Best of all, it’s a curated experience. The person who is arranging the shelves at Powell’s Books in Portland loves books like you do. They’re surfacing amazing titles from an ocean of options. This happens at small stores and big stores around the country. I visited every Barnes & Noble in Manhattan this week and at each one, I met an employee who loved books. The best bookstore employees know they’re not just working a job, they’re part of a mission. They’re on the frontline of new ideas and new conversations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bookstores because this week I released a new book. If you haven’t seen the bright yellow tidal wave I’ve unleashed upon the Internet, it’s called Do Over. It’s available in stores.

To everyone who bought a copy online, I thank you. I love the Internet. I don’t consider it an either/or conversation between bookstores and the Internet.

If you haven’t purchased one online I implore you to visit your local bookstore and buy a copy of Do Over today.

Buy a different book while you’re there, too. Get a magazine while you’re at it.

Bookstores matter to authors, but more than that, I think they matter to humans.

They offer something no Internet site can deliver, they offer space.

A room where 40 people or 4 people can get together and discuss an idea.

Long live the local bookstore.

What’s the local bookstore you go to most often?


How to be a better writer, part 1.

I spent four years in college studying journalism.

I then spent 17 years as a full time, professional writer.

I’ve written and published five books, but it wasn’t until this last one that I learned 3 important lessons about writing. (I was going to say, “lessons that could change the way I write forever,” but sometimes the over the top dramatic style you have to write blogs with these days is exhausting.)


It’s almost embarrassing how obvious these lessons are, but I promise I missed them most of my writing career. Learning them is why my book Do Over is:

1. The hardest book I’ve ever written.
2. The best book I’ve ever written.

I’ve said that first sentence about other books I’ve written, but I’ve never said that second sentence before. Why am I starting now? Because I learned 3 ways to become a better writer. Here’s the first lesson, I’ll share the second two in the weeks to come:

Read More


The wait is over! Do Over is available today!

Today, you can walk into hundreds of stores around the country and buy a copy of my new book Do Over!


It’s the best book I’ve ever written.

I wrote this book because I had to navigate my own Do Over 18 months ago. Then I spent the next year traveling the country to see if other people were going through Do Over moments too in their careers.

If you feel stuck and want to hone the kind of skills that get you moving again, read Do Over.

If you’ve had an amazing career jump and want to develop the kind of character that will help you navigate what comes next, read Do Over.

If you’ve hit a bump and want to build the kind of relationships that can help you get back on your feet, read Do Over.

If you’ve had an unexpected opportunity and you want to employ the kind of hustle that will make the most of it, read Do Over.

And if you know anyone who fits one of these scenarios, give them a copy.

The book is available anywhere books are sold, but today is the first day you can walk into a store and pick up a copy.

Thanks for going on this adventure with me, I can’t wait to visit your town and hear about what you’re working on next!

Buy Do Over from any of these awesome retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Family Christian