Fame sucks.

cardboard

Right now I am the most famous I have ever been, which is not much.

That’s not because I’ve done a lot of smart things. It’s largely because Dave Ramsey generously shared a platform, he spent 20 years building, with me.

But I have learned something that should sound familiar because it’s the title of this post.

Fame sucks.

You think it’s going to be fun.

You really do.

Pop culture kind of paints this picture that it’s the last great unattainable desire.

To be somebody! To be seen! To be recognized!

At the heart of it is an honest hope. We all want to be known. We want someone to know us completely and still love us.

But that’s actually the opposite of fame.

Never confuse being known with being famous. They are not the same thing.

When you are famous, people don’t know the heart of you, they know the idea of you.

They know the edited parts of you that you decide to share with the world. They know the shiny parts that make you look good. They know the manufactured you.

Can you do good stuff with fame? Absolutely! But the challenge is that as soon as that famous person exists, you start to lean into it.

It’s only natural. It’s so tempting to amplify the “idea” of you rather than wrestle with the “identity” of you.

And you are famous too.

You are.

For the first time in history, all of us have the option to have “followers” easily. Twenty years ago, the only regular people who had followers were cult leaders. And that required a lot of robes. But today, if you’re on Twitter, you’re famous to at least 10 people.

Don’t become an idea.

Stay you.

Stay who you are, not who you want people to think you are.

Fame never fills you up. It only empties you out.

And at the end of the day, it sucks.

83 Comments
  • LarryTheDeuce
    Posted at 04:29h, 18 November Reply

    Jon, I saw the Duck Dynasty guys in the cover of Mad Magazine the other day. Imagine that kind of fame. Imagine what that could do to you.

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 06:51h, 18 November Reply

      Yeah, that’s a lot of fame. It seems like those guys are handling it well and I’ve had the opportunity to do a few events that they were awesome at, but I still think it’s a pretty heavy thing for a person to carry.

      • LadyTam
        Posted at 20:31h, 18 November Reply

        Plus, those guys are like a massive family, so it’s probably a little bit easier to deal with when you have like five other people in your immediate purvue that understand what you’re going through.

  • Rodney Eason
    Posted at 06:18h, 18 November Reply

    I am SO glad you figured this out before you started swinging in your tighty-whities on debt-free wrecking balls.

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 06:51h, 18 November Reply

      Yeah, but now what do I do with this wrecking ball?

      • Rodney Eason
        Posted at 08:00h, 18 November Reply

        Paint it. Decorate it. Throw glitter on it. There has to be a way to turn it into your art that will inspire others.

        • Jon Fulk
          Posted at 12:38h, 18 November Reply

          I enjoy the comments on this site almost as much as the posts.

          • LadyTam
            Posted at 20:31h, 18 November

            PUT A BIRD ON IT!!!

            #Portlandia

  • Sheryl
    Posted at 06:22h, 18 November Reply

    Thank you Jon for being you! I have been following you for a little over a year and one of the things that I appreciate about you is that you are real. You are transparent in your successes as well as failures. With so many phonies in the world today, you are a refreshingly real guy.

  • David Mike
    Posted at 06:29h, 18 November Reply

    Because I have taught about 75 Cosmetology students a year for 20 years, I have been recognized in my community by students, graduates, families, clients & friends. I can’t go anywhere without someone saying “Hi, Mr. Mike!” So when my kids were younger, they thought I was famous. Luckily for me, it is nothing like “Justin Beiber” and more like “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. I know all these people and they know me. A good kind of fame.

  • Steve Rosberg
    Posted at 06:32h, 18 November Reply

    I guess Dave Ramsey no longer wanted to share the limelight with anyone any longer. How sad and selfish.

    • Laura
      Posted at 10:01h, 18 November Reply

      I hope you’re being sarcastic. Jon and Jenny voluntarily left Dave’s team with no hard feelings.

    • Aaron Hoffman
      Posted at 10:03h, 18 November Reply

      I don’t see anything that points towards that assumption being accurate, Steve. Rumors are just that.

    • Tim
      Posted at 10:21h, 21 November Reply

      Steve, click on your Google Machine and find the article. Knowledge is power.

  • Laura Crosby
    Posted at 06:43h, 18 November Reply

    Thanks for you authenticity and commitment to soul care and living into your true self as a beloved child of God – known, cherished, and seen by Him. Great post.

  • Jason Weakley
    Posted at 06:54h, 18 November Reply

    Thank you Jon for your honesty. That is why people who follow can say they know you, and not be talking about you being famous.

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 07:04h, 18 November Reply

      Thanks Jason. Yeah, it’s a funny thing. I love getting to meet new people that read the blog, but not in a famous way. In a “you’re working on some cool dream, I’d love to hear about it” kind of way.

  • Eileen
    Posted at 07:35h, 18 November Reply

    I get that fame sucks…but is it too much to want to a cardboard cut out version of me too? 😉

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 07:38h, 18 November Reply

      I will say this, that thing is terrifying. I always forget it’s there and at night think that there’s a skinny man in our home office.

      • Mandi Wagoner Lynch
        Posted at 09:34h, 19 November Reply

        My family had a cardboard Albert Einstein that they’d hide around the house. Behind doors, behind the shower curtain etc etc. It was NOT funny. Don’t do it unless you wanna hear some girls jump and SCREAM lol

      • Jason
        Posted at 13:52h, 19 November Reply

        I once wanted to be a famous actor–took a lot of photos in college (mid-90s)–one still exists in which I have long hair, earrings, and I’m holding a rose. Poster size. My wife keeps it in her closet. And brings it out when we have company. Can’t describe the shame… Yet, somehow I can’t seem to bring myself to burn it…

  • Jeff
    Posted at 07:55h, 18 November Reply

    Like the Five Iron Frenzy song, “Super Powers”:
    “I wanted to be famous/Now I want to take it back.”

  • Paul Pennington
    Posted at 07:58h, 18 November Reply

    I hate being famous as well….oh wait, nevermind, I’m not famous. I’m not on the “Who’s Who” list, I’m on the Who’s That?!” list.

  • Lauren Demoss
    Posted at 07:59h, 18 November Reply

    Please, someone tell Kanye west. I love this.

  • David Johnston
    Posted at 08:02h, 18 November Reply

    Jon your honesty is always appreciated by those who are working on dreams. Thanks for all of the advice.

  • Esther
    Posted at 08:15h, 18 November Reply

    Kind of like rappers can become, “sell outs”. Just don’t be a sell out, stay true to da hood 🙂

  • patricklmitchell
    Posted at 08:22h, 18 November Reply

    Oh the pressures to be what I’m not! Be encouraged by this truth:

    –> When a sense of out-of-the-way insignificance in a world of social media, and publishing, and growing churches, and conference-speaking, and metro-urban cultural emphases tempts you to attach yourself to someone or some group that’s more prominent, more shrewd, more published, more successful, more admired, more urbane, don’t do it. You don’t need to do it, because all things are yours [1 Cor 3:21]. (Piper to college/seminary grads)

  • Nick
    Posted at 09:00h, 18 November Reply

    I see your point… but what am I going to do with all the robes I’ve been gathering for all my twitter followers?

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 09:21h, 18 November Reply

      Make a huge cult quilt.

  • Tammy Helfrich
    Posted at 09:26h, 18 November Reply

    “When you are famous, people don’t know the heart of you, they know the idea of you.”

    Such great advice.

  • Justin Wise
    Posted at 09:36h, 18 November Reply

    Preach, bro.

    For what it’s worth, I think you’ve got the chops to navigate the struggle.

    Go get ’em!

  • LarryYoungren
    Posted at 10:00h, 18 November Reply

    Since I have been on this Earth about 56 years, I have too many examples of the heavy cost of fame. Of course, in today’s internet world, the blemishes (true or not) of the famous is literally posted available literally seconds after it happens.

    I can’t believe the number of famous people have fallen but still have loyal (?) followers. As a parent of girls, I cringed when their peers went ga-ga over entertainers like Madonna, Brittney Spears & Justin Timberlake, and other heart throbs.

    On the sports side of the equation, Charles Barkley announces he didn’t want to be role model probably expressed his frustration with the fame game. Too many personalities don’t realize the tremendous cost and responsibility of being famous.

    I had viewed James Stewart as a small minority of Hollywood types that handled their fame fairly. He stayed married to the same woman – 45 years (she died in 1994).

    I hope (wish) that people running for political office – particularly on the state and national levels – will wake up and have the integrity and responsibility that accompanies political office. Then again the American public should grow up and not fall in love with candidates like a bunch of teenagers.

    The only people I want to famous to you is my wife, my daughters, my extended family, my inner circle of friends in and out of church. This is tough enough as I do stumble, stub my toe, and disappoint these people from time to time.

    I don’t know if I am making any sense to anyone who reads this comments. I have too many thoughts and emotions churning in my head and heart to express well.

    I wish I had some of the ability to convey thoughts like Jon. Sorry about that unfair demand of you being famous in my eyes.

    I don’t expect you to comment on your observations of Dave Ramsey handling fame. He strikes me based on his over the radio comments and the brief time I saw him doing his live show during the Start Conference weekend in Sept that he tries very hard to be a person of integrity – the same person in the spotlight and out.

  • Anne
    Posted at 10:15h, 18 November Reply

    Wow, this post was incredibly timely for me. As a worship leader at a large mega-church, I deal with this on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I just went on a women’s retreat that was incredibly difficult for me because everyone thought they “knew” me but they didn’t really “know” me. While I am extroverted as a leader on the stage, that is just a small part of me. Truth be told, I am an introvert. I am an observer and I think quietly to myself a lot. Imagine people’s surprise when they saw this side of me. I was actually told that I am Jekyll and Hyde – one way on stage and another off stage. I will never measure up to people’s expectations of me. And while I know this is the price that comes with being a public figure, it is not easy. Thankfully, I know who I am and I do have people around me who know the true me. As a public figure in ministry I think it’s so crucial that we do have those people that we let into the inner parts of our life, people who aren’t afraid of our ugly.

    Thanks for sharing this Jon. I needed it.

    • Tandy
      Posted at 22:07h, 18 November Reply

      And your response was timely for me. At 43 I am working on the second half of my ministry. I was a youth minister for 20 years and two years ago God moved me, abruptly, into the world of a worship leader. (something only He could have done by the way, it was never even on my radar and up to that point I had never even picked up a guitar.) I now find myself being applauded and praised weekly which is so odd to me, that never happened in youth ministry. And I always wonder now if people think I am only what or who they see on stage. Not to mention as a woman I also am so conscious about how I dress and what I look like. It seems like that should be important but is it? And I want to be vulnerable sometimes with the people in my church but should I? And if so how much is too much? I will be honest, the applause is nice but I’m not sure really what to do with it. I don’t want it to be about me….ever…and I feel like when they praise me and it feels good that I’m being self centered. We are a small church and it’s by no means a big following, but I do see the point of the post. I can see how fame sucks.

  • Timothy J. McSwain (@tmcswain)
    Posted at 10:17h, 18 November Reply

    Jon,

    Fame is merely a platform – a platform to influence a large quantity of people. You are a great influence. You utilize your platform as a tool to encourage and inspire others. Thank you for being you… or at least the edited version of you we get to see. =)

    Tim

  • Josh Collins
    Posted at 10:18h, 18 November Reply

    Really good. Just flat out really good. While out on the women of faith tour, I was talking with several other speakers there about our beings not having been created for fame. We’re not intended to rob and steal from the One who deserves the fame. Really good words Jon. You are indeed a good man!

  • Mike Koehler
    Posted at 10:22h, 18 November Reply

    Hmm. I wonder what the difference is between being famous or known for helping people and being famous for just being famous?
    That is to say, if anything you, Dave and people like you get MORE scrutiny, not less, than the Kim Kardashians of the world.
    If Kim were to leave one of her endorsed companies behind, people wouldn’t wonder about turmoil, because they already assume she’s a headcase.
    But the people who leverage their audience’s good will (preachers, authors, experts) have the double-edged sword of buy-in from their audience.
    thoughts?

  • Naomi Marie
    Posted at 10:37h, 18 November Reply

    My first response is resounding applause, because I commend your transparency and willingness to say it like it is, when it would be easier to let your “fan base” think you’re 100 percent awesome 100 percent of the time. Unless you’re 100 percent sanctified, I can 100 percent guarantee that is not true, yet 🙂

    My second response, though, feels for you, the human you, and says that I know you are not an idea. You are a man, desperately in need of grace in the same way I am. Welp. I will pray that today you find some encouragement in knowing that you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (which for you, apparently involves some level of fame) which God prepared beforehand, that you should walk in them.*

    I can’t speak for every one, but my two cents are: Just keep being faithful. Rest in the perfection of Jesus. You’re doing great.

    And a happy new year. Hahaha.

    *Eph 2:10

  • Terry Wood
    Posted at 10:37h, 18 November Reply

    Fred Rrogers (Mr.Rogers) once said, “Fame is a four-letter word; and like tape or zoom or face or pain or life or love, what ultimately matters is what we do with it.” He also stated that “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self”

  • Kimkimberlymccallum@
    Posted at 10:40h, 18 November Reply

    And this is why a. I follow you and read most of your updates/posts. b. you maintain the hilarity that makes my day.

  • Nate
    Posted at 10:44h, 18 November Reply

    Tangentially, fame sucks for us non famous as well – I’ll (try to) explain. I think you are entirely correct when you say:
    “They know the edited parts of you that you decide to share with the world. They know the shiny parts that make you look good. They know the manufactured you.”
    The sucky part is that by and large, we only get access to the manufactured part of you… A couple years ago, I got to hang out with you – and by “hang out” I mean we had a couple hours in the car from and to the airport… I get to meet a lot of “famous Christians” and its always interesting to see what people are like off the platform, and somewhat of a relief when they actually are as cool as you imagined them, and not narcissistic toolbags. And you passed that test with flying colors – down to earth, engaging, etc. Only 1 selfie, and 4 tweets during the whole hour drive… I kid, you were actually fully present the whole time, and it was a great conversation about life, ministry, family, etc. to the point of thinking “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to be Jon’s friend, and just hang out and have good conversations all the time?”
    But of course that is impossible (unless perhaps I lived in Starbucks at your airport) for a whole bunch of reasons, but large among them is your fame. The very thing that led us to connect up with your shiny and manufactured self, is the same thing that will keep us at arms length from knowing the real Jon. I don’t blame you for this at all – it is mathematically and otherwise impractical for you to be all our BFF’s… and you do better than many at trying to make the gap seem not so great. But at the end of the day, (to get profound) it is what it is — fame isolates us from knowing the real you, and you from knowing the real us. And that kind of sucks…

  • Jenny
    Posted at 10:45h, 18 November Reply

    I really like this. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about my “blog mission statement,” if you will. I have a blog and I think it’s important to remind myself what the purpose of it is. I’m not interested in becoming an “internet sensation.” I own a handmade business and I use my blog mostly to promote it, and I also love promoting other artisans. I just want to be able to do what I love (sew) and help support my family. I hope to not ever lose focus of that.

  • Adi
    Posted at 10:46h, 18 November Reply

    I love what you’re saying, but I feel sad it was posted literally 12 hours after I found and “followed” you on Pinterest! Hah!

  • Rachel Tibbs
    Posted at 10:50h, 18 November Reply

    Fame isn’t what this life’s about and I’m glad you recognize that. It’s about the gospel, and making Jesus famous. (I know you know this btw) 😉

    I’m still not exactly sure who you are, but I know you know a sweet friend of mine, Ronne Rock. So to me, you’re “Ronne’s friend Jon”;)

  • Donald
    Posted at 10:53h, 18 November Reply

    This blog post reminds me of Jay-Z’s lyric, “but would you rather be underpaid or overrated?”

  • Scott
    Posted at 10:54h, 18 November Reply

    Jon, below is an excerpt I sent to someone I’m friends with on fb. I’d say this person would be on the “B” list in Hollywood.

    I was thinking about your post from last night. The thought of how I would respond to my own daughters (two girls, 10 and 7) made me spend the time to write all of this out. Also, I’m not trying to talk to as a father. We’re the same age. And btw, we had a class together at UK. There was only a 100 plus ppl in the class- history I think it was. One of the freshman classes.
    As I don’t know what you have to go through with celebrity and fame my first thoughts were, what I think, is a common sense approach.
    Friend everyone who asks.
    Read everyone’s comments and take them to heart except when the people are not being constructive. 
    The problem is, we think someone might get lucky and see something we don’t or at the very least, we want to manage what people “see” so we can insure they have an accurate perception of who we think we are. So, we read it. Don’t. The moment they become vitriolic and mean spirited stop reading and defriend them.  
    Some say we should listen to these things because they may see something we don’t see in ourselves-it’s a way to keep ourselves honest. I think that’s crap! Listen to those people who you know who have your best interests at heart. Now, if a pattern develops (i.e. something negative keeps cropping up from multiple disparate sources) you might, then, listen to them. In this instance the ones closest to you might not be as forthcoming/honest because they’re trying to shield or protect you. To a degree that’s fine but I always want to be told the truth, regardless. One of the hardest things in life is to be honest with ourselves, don’t you think?
    Maybe, jus maybe, this might help explain why people who don’t know you have such strong feelings about you, either way, good or bad, when they don’t REALLY know you.
    A quote I first heard attributed to Ned Beatty (I have sense seen it attributed to others) says, 
    “People don’t remember as much of what you say but how you make them feel.” 
    So, I think it depends on what path they have “met” you determines how they “feel” about you.
    I’m thinking there’s at least four paths of information about a celebrity:
    1. Know them personally.
    2. Know them through interviews/speeches
    3. The “causes” they participate in (e.g. political, charities)
    4. Get to know them through the movies. Obviously, you can’t REALLY get to know individuals through their acting roles but I think people unconsciously think, they chose that role so there must be a part of themselves that they felt connected to which actually says something about that person, the real actor.
     
    It think most common people have a hard time separating what they see on the “stage” from the real person. I remember watching Little House on the Prairie. I believed with all my heart that if I met the real people who played Harriet and Nelly Olsen that I would not like them. They played their roles SO well I thought they could not possibly be acting. Since I never saw them in other roles I’m sure that contributed to that as well.
     
    Well that’s my $.02 worth. Take it for what it’s worth. 🙂

    • Jenny
      Posted at 08:43h, 19 November Reply

      Have you read Alison Ingram’s autobiography? She writes about an experience she and her tv mother were chased by an angry mob who couldn’t separate the actresses from their nasty TV characters (I think they were in costume, too.) She is a great example of someone who used her fame to bring awareness to the causes she believed in.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 11:10h, 18 November Reply

    Have you read David Foster Wallace?

    It’s not stuff Christians like, but deeply truthful.

    Here’s an audio of a reading.
    http://youtu.be/4UQDKEHSeWQ

  • craigthedad
    Posted at 11:14h, 18 November Reply

    Very true but don’t forget that their are layers within being famous. There is an edited you, an archetype the everyone holds in their minds and their is a real you with real relationships. My uncle was famous and very well known. Within his fame he had his limits simply because a person’s fame has built in credibility limitations. Singer’s sing and it takes a lot for a singer to become a well know something else. Because of his fame he met people. People with which he made deep relationships and never would have met without his fame. These relationships gave him an opportunity to sacrifice of himself on their behalf and was able to influence positive, uplifting change in their lives. At his funeral the line was long and the sentiment deep when the mic was opened for testimony about how he had lived his life. Fame, just like everything else in this imperfect world, can be a burden but it can also be a opportunity to stand along side the not so famous and help them in their daily struggles.

  • Dionna
    Posted at 11:37h, 18 November Reply

    Beautiful post. Something we all need to hear.

  • Shaena Crespo
    Posted at 12:07h, 18 November Reply

    Every person, regardless of fame, has the same opportunity to know & be known. We all choose what others see, I guess some people are just more aware of that. I think your doing a great job handling your platform. I think you’ve been more inspirational/ freer maybe since you’ve gone out on your own. I admire your bravery!

  • Tim
    Posted at 12:13h, 18 November Reply

    My name is in the paper fairly often, and people think they know enough about me and my work to have opinions that relate somehow to who I really am. They don’t, of course. As much as reporters try to get things right, news articles are merely snapshots at best. No matter how many articles get written about what I do, it’s still an incomplete picture of what life is like at work.

    The interesting thing is that those articles and that part of my life have almost no connection to my writing, and I can confidently say they in no way contribute to my platform on-line. There is no connection. So if I have any fame from blogging and guest writing (such as for SCL!), it is a separate fame from what might come from the recurring times I’m mentioned in a newspaper or TV report.

    The way I try to handle each, though, is by focusing on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2 is a great corrective for swelled-head syndrome.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  • Becky @ Rooted Blessings
    Posted at 12:25h, 18 November Reply

    I love this Jon! How this is so true! And, how many demands can fame have that can change the way we prioritize, the way we relax, the way we enjoy life. I know that God gives each of us a special platform for a reason. Sometimes it could be in front of millions or thousands and other times it could just be in front of close friends. Always stay true to who you are and what you believe about life and God Himself.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:32h, 18 November Reply

    This post resonates with me. I don’t comment often, so, it really hit something deep in me.

    I am by no means famous, however, I am a singer and musician both in my church worship team and locally as a performance duo with my husband. I’ve often said that I’m glad we are not famous, because I don’t think I’d like it much, but there’s always that allure. Maybe not to be big-time famous, but to play large crowds or have a “following.” It’s never really been an issue, either, other than people “knowing” me at our church that I’d never met before… But we started getting some actual “fans.” We’ve had folks really like us before, but this is different. I was asked for my autograph, for pictures with individuals, etc. I was asked why I wasn’t famous. These folks seemed to feel they really knew us. I feel the expectation to be what they imagine us to be. It’s a scary feeling.

    We don’t really try for fame. We don’t promote ourselves much except on FB and a poster here and there when we are playing. We mostly go on word of mouth, so this little, local “fame” was shocking. I didn’t know how to handle it. I still don’t. I just try to be myself, regardless, and treat them like real people and not “fans.” In fact, we treat them like friends, because there is no other way we can think of that they will learn to know the real people we actually are. Thanks for the post.

  • Holly
    Posted at 12:39h, 18 November Reply

    Ya, and I think most people don’t start out searching for fame. They have a calling or a gift and they want to be faithful and good stewards. And in the midst, they get caught up in it all.

    It’s one of my biggest struggles, to know I’m not pursuing a number, or a following to glorify myself, but to just be faithful to what God has asked me to do. And sometimes people misinterpret the marketing or promotion of whatever we are doing (for instance when I promote my blog) saying its pride and none sense. But that’s not the heart of it at all.

    I wrote a blog titled “To be known” and it was all about the deep importance our heart places on the idea that we want to be loved for who we are. Shame says we need to cover up or pretend, but true “knowing” brings freedom.

    Good post, Jon.

  • Matthew Grant McDaniel
    Posted at 13:29h, 18 November Reply

    When I first saw the title, I thought to myself, “Yeah, that really was a terrible movie…”

    It’s a great Bowie song, though.

  • Amy
    Posted at 13:40h, 18 November Reply

    “Fame” carries a lot of baggage, doesn’t it? The same people that put you on a pedestal just as easily knock you down. No one wants that kind of pressure and who wants to wonder who their real friends are? People get enamored with the “idea” of someone and have no idea who they are in real life.

  • David Hooper
    Posted at 13:42h, 18 November Reply

    Like success, I think it’s important to get as clear as you can before you get it, so you can know when you get there if it’s what you thought it would be. Still, like success, fame is NEVER what you think it’s going to be… At least that’s my famous friends tell me. 🙂

    One more thing — I think fame can be a “hungry ghost.” If that’s all you’re going for, it’s impossible to keep it fed. Fame is fine, but from what I’ve witnessed, it helps to have something else in the equation.

    We must be on the same wavelength dude, because I was actually wrote a few posts about “being known” last week. http://bigboldimpact.com/limiting-beliefs/ if you’re interested.

  • Sharron
    Posted at 14:10h, 18 November Reply

    I’m selling my 15 minutes of fame on eBay. Anybody? Anybody?

  • Ryan
    Posted at 14:37h, 18 November Reply

    Thanks Jon, I needed this one today, not because I’m famous, but because I started a blog on Saturday, Bout a Different Life,(cheap plug) and I have been addicted to checking the page views and feeling more and more famous with every new page view. Thanks for helping remember that more important than page views is staying true to my message.

  • Adam Martin
    Posted at 14:38h, 18 November Reply

    Trying to obtain fame just for the sake of fame is when this really becomes a problem. I personally believe if you will just be true to who you are everything will take care of itself. Whether it leads to fame or not.

    On a side note, I couldn’t imagine not being able to go to the grocery store without being bothered by the paparazzi. Especially if I had my kids with me (which then it becomes scary). That would get old really quick.

  • Dave Shrein
    Posted at 14:43h, 18 November Reply

    I really appreciated this post, Jon. Thanks!

  • Melissa Irwin
    Posted at 15:31h, 18 November Reply

    Good and timely post for me. While I have only written one whole book and spoken at a total of 4 conferences, I’ve had a teeny tiny taste of what it feels like to be both admired (probably for the wrong reasons) and also shunned. And whatever scale I’m on doesn’t register as fame but it is frightening. It makes me pause. I don’t want to shy away from any platform that God is directing me toward but I don’t want to desire it either. I’ve had to get real honest about that.

    I wrote a post last week specifically about people in ministry who are in the spotlight – primarly about their need for honest friends to hold them accountable when they begin showing pride in who they know, where they go, etc. This topic seems to be everywhere right now. Thanks for your great post.

  • Zechariah
    Posted at 15:49h, 18 November Reply

    Great post Jon. A great reminder. We spend a lot of time planning how to get somewhere but not enough about what we will do when we get there. Great post and gave me a lot to chew on. Blessings bud.

  • Steven Vore
    Posted at 16:08h, 18 November Reply

    I wanna be a rock star – the truth of http://www.metrolyrics.com/rockstar-lyrics-third-day.html is hidden in one little bridge near the end.

  • @Mikiala10e
    Posted at 17:09h, 18 November Reply

    Sometimes I feel like my friends think I’m in a Jon Acuff cult.

  • Daniel Tomlinson
    Posted at 19:14h, 18 November Reply

    As a Nashvillian though, I think celebrities are given respectful space. You are a person who gets tired, hungry and sad. I respect that. You also appreciate our gratitude for what you’ve done. Everything in moderation.

  • Jen
    Posted at 19:55h, 18 November Reply

    Love.

  • Jon
    Posted at 20:07h, 18 November Reply

    Reminds me of a Bill Murray quote. “I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first’. See if that doesn’t cover most of it.”

    • KMR
      Posted at 08:43h, 19 November Reply

      That’s a great quote 🙂 Quite apt I think also. Personally I’ve never understood why anyone wants fame but piles of money…yeah. That I get.

  • LadyTam
    Posted at 20:27h, 18 November Reply

    As an introvert and generally private person, I live in constant fear of becoming famous. I want my WORKS to be well-liked and appreciated – books, stories, logos, whatever – but the minute I find some weird stalker going through my trash while dressed like one of my characters, that’s the moment I start hiring my own personal bodyguard…..

    ..s.

    (Think “personal army”.)

  • Jeff Goins
    Posted at 23:03h, 18 November Reply

    It really does.

    Fame makes you arrogant, insecure, and defensive.

    That’s because fame is about you, attracts haters, and brings out the ugliest in you.

    But calling, on the other hand, is inherently selfless and generous, challenging you to be your true self.

    It tends to make you humble, forcing you to give your best work away for free for no other reason than this was what you were born to do.

    Thanks for chasing your calling, Jon, and for dealing with the fame crap graciously.

  • Anita Davis Sullivan
    Posted at 23:32h, 18 November Reply

    It’s kinda like winning the lottery though- I wouldn’t mind proving I could handle it 😉

    On a real note {actually, so was above} I really struggle with wanting to show the idea of me more than the real me with my followers/etc. it’s tough. Good stuff Jon.

  • Jim
    Posted at 08:17h, 19 November Reply

    I’m certainly not famous. BUT people know me well in my town so whenever I go out to eat people will come over and want to talk to me. It’s not fun or flatering it’s annoying! I want time with my wife. I want to be left alone. “Hey Jim, did I tell ya’ there was almost a fight in here last night?” I don’t care!

    So I imagine for an actor or athelete it’s got to be very annoying. My wife was at a resturant in NYC for her company’s Christmas party. In walks Derek Jeter. People stared at him. Watched him eat like it was God himself. She said he looked uncomfortable. Go figure. He finally left.

    And for you Jon, I’d imagine you get, “Hey I’m stuck in a dead end job that’s sucking my soul dry, what do I do? Oh if it’s not to much trouble!” Perhaps while you’re at the urinal. No doubt Dave will get “I’m 100K in debt and my wife wants to leave me, what do I do???!!!” while he’s getting his car washed.

    I assume in the above you just have to be polite and walk away or tell someone (in a nice way) to buy your book. But yes fame has its challenges.

  • Anthony Stauffer
    Posted at 09:37h, 19 November Reply

    I don’t know what happened to you during that month without a blog, but whatever it was, it made your writing and perspective sharper than ever. This post should be required reading for anyone who makes anything on the internet.

  • manoj
    Posted at 14:59h, 19 November Reply

    you are very real and simple genius. very genuine and honest, sat same

  • cherie
    Posted at 19:09h, 19 November Reply

    Fame is something that I used to think I wanted. I am fairly talented artist and musician, however I never wanted fame. Some people would find that odd and wonder why I didn’t chase after it. I just want to help people to reach people on their level. You don’t need fame to achieve that. If it is something that you cannot handle – in the wrong hands – it will consume and ruin you. It takes the right kind of person to be humble and know that God just needs you as a tool – a vessel for his purpose. Not for your own good. Everything else is a hole that will never be filled.

  • SUSAN
    Posted at 14:10h, 21 September Reply

    This made me think of Lisa Marie Presley singing the song “Dirty Laundry”

  • Preston Taulbee
    Posted at 22:29h, 17 June Reply

    Just like you said at Clash down in Tampa. We tend to use social media as a platform to improve people’s perception of us. I want people to say ‘Wow! I love talking to him’ not ‘Wow! Look how happy he looks with his brother on that Facebook post’ That’s why I love your work, you keep it real, and you have experience with the things you write about.

Post A Comment



Get all of Jon’s new blog posts in your inbox!

Get All of Jon's New Ideas!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit