Quit trying to turn lead into gold.

This is a conversation from the Acuff kitchen table.

Jenny: “Social media is our generation’s alchemy.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Jenny: “People tried to use alchemy to turn lead into gold. It was a shortcut that promised riches but was ultimately empty. Social media is the same way. People think that it’s a shortcut to riches. They think that the old ways of hustle, hard work, relationships and patience no longer apply. We want to go viral overnight. We want to blow up our blogs with one good post. We want a publishing deal because reddit loved something we blogged about. We are all trying to turn lead into gold.”

Me: “You’re smart. Let’s make out.”

OK, I didn’t say that last part. I never say that because Jenny is always the one trying to make out with me. It’s a real nuisance sometimes, this constantly being kissed thing. But being this handsome is a gift and a responsibility.

She’s right though. Quit trying to turn lead into gold. Stop looking for shortcuts.

Work hard instead.

That’s still the answer.

  • David Johnston
    Posted at 08:25h, 02 January Reply

    That’s very true and important to remember (the blog/social part, not the whole making out thing.) It’s especially hard to remember when one blog is big then I expect the next to be bigger.

  • LarryTheDeuce
    Posted at 08:52h, 02 January Reply

    Those wives. Always wanting to make out with a, keeping us from working hard and hustling.

  • Carrie
    Posted at 08:54h, 02 January Reply

    “Me: “You’re smart. Let’s make out.”

    That sounds just like my husband!

  • Mark Noldy
    Posted at 09:06h, 02 January Reply

    That reminds me of my students who have to scramble at the end of the semester, because they didn’t make hay while the sun was shining.

  • Jennifer Kelley
    Posted at 09:07h, 02 January Reply


  • Nick
    Posted at 09:37h, 02 January Reply

    Yep. This. And spreading too much lead around the internet will do pretty intense harm to any gold you may have to share – boy crying wolf style.

  • Mike Koehler
    Posted at 09:41h, 02 January Reply

    Posts like this make me weep with joy.

  • Cheryl Barker
    Posted at 09:58h, 02 January Reply

    Humility must be one of your gifts, too, Jon 🙂

  • Johanna
    Posted at 10:05h, 02 January Reply

    Looks like Jenny has got some pretty great alchemy going. She produces pure gold bullion musing over breakfast … You blog it, and we can’t wait to get more of Jenny Acuff. She is smart, Jon.
    She might just have this alchemy thing down to a science.

  • Chip D Thompson
    Posted at 11:08h, 02 January Reply

    You guys are right Jon. Social media should be an extension of your relationship efforts not a replacement of hard work.

    I think the facebook marketing bubble has burst and the next phase will be a relationship focus. At least that is what I have found over in Google+.

    • Justin Burkholder
      Posted at 20:25h, 22 February Reply

      People actually use Google+? Who knew?

  • Jamie Lapeyrolerie
    Posted at 12:00h, 02 January Reply


  • Melea
    Posted at 13:52h, 02 January Reply

    I need Jenny to be my friend. Seriously, she’s a genius.

  • Sheldon
    Posted at 14:28h, 02 January Reply

    I like this a lot. But even when you do use social media, blogging, etc, try and go outside the box. There are too many copy cats out there that all sound the same.

  • Clara
    Posted at 16:09h, 02 January Reply

    I’m sure I’m not the only one to think this, but this post so makes me want to have dinner with the Acuffs.

  • Melissa
    Posted at 16:10h, 02 January Reply

    D’oh. Way to burst our bubble.

    Consistency is key, one step in front of the other, baby steps, over night successes are actually more like 10 years of hard work, hmmmm… what other clichés can I throw in there that ARE actually TRUE.

    She is one smart cookie.
    Keep her.

  • Jason Sprague
    Posted at 16:10h, 02 January Reply

    Great point. Too many people think one hit wonder instead of consistency.

    (side note: I’m guessing Jenny doesn’t proof read your posts before they go out. My wife proofs mine and I don’t think she would let make out comments fly.)

    (second side not: try to slip a make out comment by.)

  • Marisa
    Posted at 16:11h, 02 January Reply

    Gee what’s a real relationship? I thought all relationships were on facebook, haha!

  • Brian
    Posted at 16:15h, 02 January Reply

    Thanks for the reminder. To do hard work, we must first take the initiative. Most of us lack initiative.

  • Tammy Helfrich
    Posted at 16:20h, 02 January Reply

    Jenny is so wise. This is so true.

  • Gina
    Posted at 16:24h, 02 January Reply

    So good! I was reminding myself about that fact this morning. It takes work and consistency, writing and relationships to get the message into the hands of the people. Thanks for this confirmation! I’ll keep working.

  • Courageous Jane
    Posted at 16:28h, 02 January Reply

    That Jenny Acuff is a lucky woman to have a man who’s attracted to her brains!

    Honestly, I’m frustrated, disgruntled, and disillusioned with what social media pretends it can do for me. Until I have an actual product beyond my blogs, social media is just a social outlet/time-waster for me. But if I don’t maintain the social media relationship, it won’t be there for me when I do have a product to promote. Catch-22 … need to be reading and writing, but can’t let the social media ball drop while I’m at it!

  • Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)
    Posted at 16:31h, 02 January Reply

    Amen brother!

  • John Wylie (@johnwylie)
    Posted at 16:42h, 02 January Reply

    Wow. That was deep. SO good.

  • Mike Williams
    Posted at 16:46h, 02 January Reply

    Work Hard? Who wants to do that? 🙂

    Your wife makes a great point. But, it’s obvious y’all aren’t afraid of hard work.

    Social media should just be one of the tools to showcase your hard work.

  • Nate
    Posted at 16:55h, 02 January Reply

    Nailed it! Isn’t this part of the Millennial mindset though? Cut corners when you can? The social media generation has never has to wait for much of anything, they’ve grown up in a instant gratification culture.

  • Matt McWilliams
    Posted at 17:12h, 02 January Reply

    Jab, Jab, Jab…Jab, Jab, Jab…Jab, Jab, Jab…Right Hook

    I guess that would have been too long of a book title for Gary Vee, but appropriate.

  • Tim
    Posted at 17:17h, 02 January Reply

    Given the fact that most people on Facefail can’t even use proper grammar or sentence structure, I’m not sure I’d really want to read any of their blogs anyway….. or even have the ability to. That’d be like asking a squirrel to decode hieroglyphics. 😉

  • Renee
    Posted at 17:24h, 02 January Reply

    Very good point. There are some that just luck up and get that great deal. Or do they? How do we know that opportunity didn’t just meet loads of preparation. Those people who think they can turn lead into gold are going to be the ones who continually don’t understand why they aren’t successful.

  • Casey
    Posted at 17:32h, 02 January Reply

    I would be lying if I said I didn’t scan the comments for her rebuttal to the “making out” comment. Also, she is dead on about social media!

  • Eileen
    Posted at 17:33h, 02 January Reply

    Yes, smart, smart lady. And, isn’t it amazing how the shortcuts usually just end up taking longer in the long run.

  • CS Areson
    Posted at 18:11h, 02 January Reply

    Looking over the comments you have some smart followers too.

  • Bible Babe
    Posted at 19:16h, 02 January Reply

    I have never thought to make a fortune with blogging or vlogging or tweeting, or anything else like that–in fact, I run the other way when I am offered a ‘great opportunity’ online. I actually just use social media for exactly that–social media. It’s my entertainment source, and a good place to see how my writing affects other folks. I just LIKE it.

    And I like making out with my husband, too, so I’m gonna log off now…

  • shante
    Posted at 19:57h, 02 January Reply

    Jenny is awesome!!! I love her insight. She makes being real the cool thing to do again!

  • Joann Kraft
    Posted at 20:11h, 02 January Reply

    Finally a traditionalist! Hard work. That’s the answer. Every. Time.
    (Right after making out with my husband.)

  • Jeremy shelton
    Posted at 23:34h, 02 January Reply

    So let me get this straight… Me posting a awesome comment on your blog post isn’t going to make me famous… Talk about your Debbie downers :/ lol J/k I know that this comment is what is going to change everything for me so I’m just going to set back & watch the $$$ roll in like a 6 year olds collection of hot wheels. Good day sir!

  • Alex
    Posted at 00:11h, 03 January Reply

    What a great reminder! I often wind up thinking that if I’m really successful, I’ll just wind up making it big overnight. It keeps me always trying to outdo my previous project hoping that “this will be the one,” but in reality success is found in being consistent, working hard, and having the experiences that come with that.

  • ThatGuyKC
    Posted at 06:22h, 03 January Reply

    Dang. How do you keep up w/ a wisdom dropping wife like Jenny?

    You know, besides being irresistibly handsome.

  • Jennifer Kaufman
    Posted at 08:51h, 03 January Reply

    So… you two are good for each other. I can never decide which of you is the real brains behind the Acuff household; I’m saying that as a good thing. (It’s probably actually McRae and LE, isn’t it?)

  • Brandon Parker
    Posted at 09:44h, 03 January Reply

    I was really expecting a comment from your wife debunking your statement about her wanting to make out with you all he time.

  • Julianna
    Posted at 10:40h, 03 January Reply

    Love this! Your wife is a genius.

  • Pam Kacys
    Posted at 11:41h, 03 January Reply

    Jon and Jenny!!! You guys are too too funny!!! You are a double blessing because the words you speak (write) contain such raw and real truth…and are shared in a fun and light hearted way. It’s a double anointing. And no one believes Jenny is just “all over you” trying to make out. Keep sharing your posts. I would pay!!! Agape!!!!

  • Kerry sharp
    Posted at 15:59h, 03 January Reply

    Funny stuff!

  • Jason Heilpern
    Posted at 13:47h, 04 January Reply

    I work in the fitness industry, and see this a lot. So many want to lose 50 lbs over night, or think they will look great in a bikini because they ate a salad. Fitness and health take patience, persistence, hard work, and dedication. Its not about following the “old ways” its about following the “right ways”

  • Brent Dumler
    Posted at 05:10h, 05 January Reply

    I totally agree with Jenny. This idea of going viral or getting publishing deals over night might happen to about 50 out of every Million people! Now, I’m not great at math…but that’s horrible odds. And of those in the extreme minority, they belong in one of two categories.
    They are Extremely blessed and gifted at what they do.
    They were simply lucky and had the right people notice them at the right time.

  • Janelle Keith
    Posted at 18:00h, 18 January Reply

    Market your wife, she is genius. Word hard. That is all.

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