Do Over

The old rules don’t apply to this new world.

Sit still.

Stay quiet.

Keep your head down.

Work your 40 hours for 40 years and get a gold watch and a one way ticket to Florida.

Dream about what might have been but wasn’t.

For years, maybe decades, those were the rules.

Dreams were frivolous, gossamer that the average person didn’t have access to.

But then, the Internet happened.

When my grandfather was my age, he couldn’t build an audience easily. What would he have done? Run for local government? Try to get a radio show? Write for the city paper? He couldn’t reach a million people with a tweet. He couldn’t live broadcast from his own house with his own phone. He couldn’t sell something on Amazon.

When my grandmother was my age, she was one of the first female vice-presidents at a national bank. It was an amazing opportunity for an amazing woman, but it also had to be an isolating experience. She couldn’t start a Facebook group for women around the world who were breaking glass ceilings. She couldn’t get encouragement from other women on Twitter. She couldn’t easily connect with anyone outside of the town she lived in.

She had to live by the old rules, the old limitations and the old opportunities. But I have some good news.

The old rules don’t apply to this new world. That’s what I wrote about in my book Do Over.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately because in a few weeks, I’m speaking on a cruise ship with Sandi Patty. That’s a crazy sentence.

For a week, I’ll get to hang out with hundreds of other people floating about the Caribbean. I’m also going to win the first annual Jon Acuff & Sandi Patty Table Tennis Tournament.

I don’t know who originally came up with this idea, but God bless them. (The cruise is already sold out but here’s the team I’m going with.)

How did it happen? In 2008, I started a blog.

I threw my hat in the ring.

I tried.

I did something weird.

I decided ordinary wasn’t fun anymore.

I don’t know what you’re going to do with your life, I really don’t. But know this, you have opportunities unlike any generation in the history of mankind.

You have chances no one has ever had before.

You have tools.

You have resources.

You have community.

Don’t waste your new life living by the old rules.

Do Over

I’m giving away 100 copies of Do Over. Want one?

Every few days, someone who read Do Over will email me. The messages are always a little different, but they tend to say three things:

  • I used your book to find a new job.
  • Your book helped me get a raise at my current job.
  • I feel hopeful about my career for the first time in a long time.

I love hearing stuff like that. Now that the paperback is out and the book only costs $11 more people have access to it.

Even knowing that the price is so low, I realize there are lots of people who can’t afford to pick up a copy. Maybe you’re working the envelope system right now. Maybe you’re on the grind and saving every penny you can. Maybe you’d read Do Over ASAP if there was a way to get a free copy.

Well, now there is.

For the first time ever, I’m giving away 100 copies of my book. Why? Because there are 100 people who need it.

Is that you? Is that someone you know? Is there a family member or friend you’d love to give it to?

I have 100 copies. You pay absolutely nothing.

Want one?

Fill out this quick questionnaire before Friday, February 10th at midnight Pacific. On Monday, February 13th I’ll announce the winners.

Life is too long to stay stuck at a job you don’t love.

It’s time to rescue Monday.

Apply for your free copy of Do Over today!

Do Over

Two people who need you to do the impossible.

Everyone has an impossible goal.

Even if life and parents and teachers and bosses with bad breath beat it out of you, it’s still there.

It might be quiet and dim, but it is not dead.

Why should you do it?

Why should you start that business, write that book, lose that weight?

Why should you do the impossible?

Because of two people.

The first is yourself. Dreams you refuse to chase don’t disappear, they become ghosts that haunt you. In quiet moments at red lights or in the shower, when your phone can’t save you, they return like a phantom. Unfulfilled hope doesn’t dissipate, it disintegrates into bitterness.

Unless, you try the impossible.

Patrick did.

He sent me this email this week:

Working for the NHL is impossible. There are only 30 teams, it’s smaller than the NFL and anyone who loves hockey would love to work there. Jobs are scarce, but that didn’t stop Patrick.

Instead, he did 3 things:

  1. He went to a conference to learn.
  2. He bought my book Do Over.
  3. He worked in sales for a year in the minor leagues.

This wasn’t an overnight story. This wasn’t instant. This wasn’t easy.

You must chase your goals for yourself, but what about the second person who needs you to do it?

The second person is every person you’ll never meet that bumps into your dream.

Patrick for instance. When I sat down to write Do Over, I didn’t know him. When you start your business or change jobs or chase your dream, you won’t know who it’s really for. But they’re out there. They need that thing you’re going to do.

We need you to do the impossible.

Why do I promote Do Over? Because it works. It’s $11 and it helps you do the impossible. I can’t say it any simpler than that.

If you’re ready to do the impossible, buy a copy today.

 

Relationships

The surprising person who will get you a new job.

This morning, I tweeted that “If you are up this early, we needed to be connected on LinkedIN.” I’ve done that a few times lately and think that you and I should connect. Here’s my profile. Let’s do it!

Someone responded “I’m old enough to remember when you were supposed to actually know someone before you linked to them in LinkedIn.”

That’s a good point and maybe it was true a few years ago. The problem is that some people still believe that.

The reality, as discussed by many people notably Malcolm Gladwell, is that your next job is likely to come from someone you don’t know well.

We tend to think our closest friends will help us network. We tend to think our best friends and family members are the greatest sources of relational opportunities. They’re not though. Strangers are going to provide you a lot more connections to new jobs than your inner circle. Why?

Because your inner circle tends to travel in the same situations you do. They work similar jobs. They live in your town. They bump into roughly the same opportunities you do.

People on the edges though, people you might only know from the Internet, they tend to see things you don’t. They know companies you don’t. They have conversations and connections you don’t. The wide circle has more connections than the tight.

The reason I wrote 25% of my book Do Over about relationships is that they are the original job hack. You’ll get more jobs via a friendship than any other thing. (You can pick up a copy today for only $11. What are you waiting for?)

I hope you’ll connect as often as you can with as many people as you can on LinkedIN. Again, here’s my info if you want to connect to me.

You just might be surprised by who helps you get your next job.

 

Skills

How to get a raise at work.

I made $24,500 at my first real job and felt like the richest person in the world.

I was absolutely thrilled to be making that kind of bank. I was like a short, skinny Rick Ross. Woke up in a new Bugatti!

Over the years, I received a few raises and started to notice an interesting pattern. The more skills I acquired the more money I’d received. Or to quote P-Diddy, “Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.”

The better I got at identifying, acquiring and utilizing new skills, the higher my salary climbed. The challenge is we have a hard time knowing what our skills really are. When you ask someone, “What are your skills?” They often say, “Nothing.” or “People. I’m good with people. And dogs.”

You’ll never get a raise that way. Perhaps even more critical, if you don’t learn new skills, you could lose your job. I remember two designers that showed me that. I met one in Dallas. He told me, “Jon, I remember when I realized that if I didn’t learn how to design for the Internet I was going to become a dinosaur and lose my job.” So he learned new skills, new software and new approaches to being a graphic designer.

The other person was an industrial designer. His company told him that they loved his work but they needed him to learn AutoCAD. He refused, promising that he designed better by hand. For a minute he could keep up, but eventually, you lose the race to a computer. He got stuck and lost his job.

That’s what’s so amazing about new skills. It’s impossible to get stuck somewhere old if you keep learning something new.

New skills make you stuck proof. The reason why 25% of my book “Do Over” is about skills is because they are critical. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy. It’s only $11.

How do you start identifying your skills? Well, it’s pretty simple. You just have to ask 5 questions. I even made an infographic for you. Ask these and check out Do Over to really supercharge the skill part of your career. Remember, Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.

Do Over

2 ways to love your job more in 30 seconds.

I don’t finish books. This is a shame, given my chosen profession of writing books, but there it is.

My shelves are piled high with books I’ve read thirty pages of. Even great books tend to die an early death in the face of the busyness of life. I’d love to think you’ll finish this blog post, but there’s a whole world of awesome things to do, like kite surfing, so let’s not waste any time.

There are two walls that stand between you and doing something you love with your life. The first wall is called attitude and the second is called expectations.

If you want to have a better job today, deal with both of those walls.

I can’t teach you a new skill in the next thirty seconds that your boss will be blown away by. I can’t change your character in the next paragraph. One post of words will not deeply impact your hustle on your dream or fix all your relationships, but if you want to have a better job right this second, that’s possible. All you have to do is choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.

Notice I didn’t say, “Change your attitude.” That could take years. Choosing it, though, takes a handful of seconds. Monday at work, choose to have a good attitude. Choose not to be cynical. Choose not to act like you’re doing them a favor by showing up. Choose not to complain. Choose to cheer for the accomplishments of your coworkers. Choose to treat customers like superstars.

Choose your attitude every day until eventually it chooses you right back.

It’s not about feeling happy or feeling committed to your work or feeling like being a good employee. Feelings are the flightiest things in the world, held to the whimsy of a thousand factors. Feelings will tell you the day is already ruined because you woke up on the wrong side of the bed or had a bad commute that morning. Don’t listen to feelings. Make choices. Today, choose a good attitude. This is the one thing you can do right this minute to actually shock your boss, improve your work relationships and dramatically increase your long-term odds of an awesome career.

The second thing you need to do is to adjust your expectations. What are you expecting your job to do for you? We all carry laundry lists of secret expectations, and when our jobs fail to meet them we fail to enjoy our work.

Do you expect your job to fulfill every creative wish you have? Do you expect work to bend around your dreams and hopes? Do you expect that this will be the last job you have, since changing jobs is such a hassle?

Take three minutes and write down what your expectations are for work. And then, take another three minutes and write down the real ones because you probably just lied to yourself a little bit.

Tom Magliozzi, the late cohost of NPR’s Car Talk show, theorizes that “Happiness Equals Reality Minus Expectations,” but I disagree. If you pull the thread of that thought, what it’s saying is that “The way to be happy is to not have expectations,” but that’s ridiculous. To have an expectation is to have a hope. To have a dream. To have a desire about something you want to happen. Surely, deadening our ability to hope is not the solution to our frustration at work. The trick is not to eliminate your expectations; the trick is to adjust them.

Write them down and then find the right home for them. You may very well have some expectations that belong at your job. You may also have a lot of expectations that belong somewhere else. Like a side job or a hobby or a different job all together. I’ve always wanted to write books of poetry. Was that the right expectation to place on my last boss, Dave Ramsey, a by-the-numbers financial guru? Probably not, but I still mistakenly did it.

When your attitude or expectations get out of whack you create a vicious cycle that cripples most Do Over moments. Your unspoken, unmet expectations give you a bad attitude. Your bad attitude makes you even more unreasonable in demanding that your job meets your expectations. You do enough laps around this circle and work becomes more miserable.

Want a better job right this second? Choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.

Want to take the next step to loving your work? Read my book Do Over. It’s the best $11 investment you’ll ever make in your 40 year career. Buy a copy today.