Category Archives: Do Over

Do Over

One simple way to figure out which criticism to listen to.


Criticism sticks.

Compliments slide right off our backs like water off a puffin. (Ducks have had their day.)

It’s a sticky substance, like great wads of gum that will bond you to the street if you’re not careful, preventing you from moving forward.

It would be easy to say, “Screw the haters!” or “Ignore all criticism!”

That’s the type of rhetoric that helps you build an Instagram account with motivational photos, but it’s not great advice.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is a hater. Sometimes they are just someone with a different opinion. Discourse in our country died the day we decided that if I disagree with you it means I hate you.

And not all criticism is toxic. Some of it is actually good for you. Some feedback is extremely healthy. How do you tell the difference between the poisons and the vitamins?

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Do Over

The kind of story that stops you in your tracks

In one of my first visits to Thistle Farms, a non-profit organization in Nashville, a woman in the program told our group a story.

When she was 12, her mom trafficked her to her drug dealer. She traded her for drugs and for the next two decades she was prostituted across the country.

Geranium pouringI have an 11-year-old daughter. Hearing stories like that is overwhelming.

How do you not respond when you bump into something like that?

The problem is that the issues seem so complex and impossible to solve. We’re talking about homelessness, drug addiction and prostitution. Where do you even start? Can one person even make a difference?

But then you meet Becca Stevens, the founder of Thistle Farms. Then you see a Thistle Farms product at Whole Foods that the women in the program have made with a label that says “Love Heals.” Then you hear the 12-year-old girl who is now in her 30s tell a different story. A story of hope. A story of handmade candles. A story of healing. And you realize it’s not impossible. For 18 years this organization has been giving women new stories, new jobs and new homes.

Hope like that is contagious and the first time I went to Thistle Farms, I knew we were going to do something awesome together someday.

Well, now it’s time.

On Friday, August 14th, I’m holding an event at Thistle Farms in Nashville called, “Brighter!”

I’ll be sharing about how we all get Do Over moments in life. (You may have noticed a tweet or 1,000 about how keen I am on the idea of starting over.) I’ll be talking about the time I lost my creative voice and what it took to get it back. And I’ll be challenging you to use your voice, too. I’ll also be giving you a sneak peek at a project I’ll be launching this fall.

Hope CandlesThere will be music, food and a lot of fun. Best of all, all the proceeds will go to Thistle Farms.

Space at the beautiful Thistle Stop Café is limited, so don’t wait to buy tickets.

Buy yours right here!

On Saturday, August 15, from 8AM – 12PM Jenny and I will also be making candles with the Thistle Farms team. Our goal is to finish 2,000 candles. I’m pretty sure I can do 500 an hour by myself, but I’m terrible at estimating things. It would probably be better if you were there too. If you’d like to join us there are a few volunteer spots open. Email Stacye to RSVP!

If you’ve ever been to one of my events before you know how fun they are. If you haven’t, this is the perfect one to check one out. Grab your ticket right here!

Sometimes, the world feels dark, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not impossible to make it brighter. All it takes is a candle and a little bit of hope.

Do Over

Exciting news about the release of the Do Over audio book!

“When is the audio book for Do Over coming out?”

I’ve had a handful of people ask me that question at live events this spring and summer, and it always sounds a little anti-climactic when I respond because the answer isn’t, “this Tuesday!” or “in two weeks, but I can hardly wait because I had so much fun recording it!”

The answer is, “It’s already out! It came out when the book did, on April 7th.”

See, wasn’t that a little underwhelming?

But wait, how about if I let you hear what the first few minutes of the book sounds like for the first time ever? That’s exciting news, right?

Here you go, the first four minutes of Chapter One, in which I tell you about what a terrible mailman I was:

(If you’re reading this blog post in an email, you might have to click here to listen to the audio on my site.)

The clip sounds a little tinny because we had to MacGyver it to put it on this blog, but I assure you the real thing is silky smooth like Jodeci. (Keeping relevant with my modern pop culture references!)

Why should you listen to the audiobook?

1.I read it myself and it’s a lot of fun!

2. I added bonus material that’s not in the printed book.

3. It’s perfect for a long commute, work out or summer road trip.

So yeah, the exciting news is that the Do Over audio book is available today! The catch is, it has been for three months.

You can get your copy on Amazon as an Audible download or in CD format.

Do Over

5 Things Veterans Should Know About Their Career Do Overs.

(Last Tuesday, I spoke to someone in the military who purchased 100 copies of Do Over. He gives them out to people leaving the armed forces as a way to help the transition to civilian life. This is going to sound stupid, but I honestly never realized what a huge Do Over moment that was. I’ve never served in the military, so I had a hard time grasping the nuances of what it means to start the next chapter of your life that way. I asked my friend Dave Burlin to write a post about that, as it is something he’s personally experienced. More than that, his mission is to help veterans go from “Discharge to In Charge,” and he gave a TedX talk on that very subject. Here’s Dave on what it’s like for veterans to change careers.)  

5 Things Veterans Should Know About Their Career Do Overs. – By Dave Burlin

As a Marine Corps Veteran I have launched many career do overs, from the leap out of the Marines, to the world of digging ditches in the oil fields of Northeast Oklahoma, to working with “at-risk” high school dropouts in a residential “boot-camp for life” program. Dave Burlin

After 10 years of wearing one uniform or another, I jumped into the wedding industry as a wedding DJ with the goal to change the world one dance floor at a time. Now, I am currently preparing to launch my greatest career do over into the world of entrepreneurship, and Jon Acuff’s book, Do Over, has become a compass for this challenging feat.

Along the way I have found several Veterans on their own paths to success, and I’ve learned that there are 5 things all Veterans should know about their career do over:

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