For decades, I wrote a lot of “almost books.” I wrote thousands of words, dozens of chapters and even got one illustrated by an amazing artist. And nothing ever happened with them. Why?

Recently, I talked to a CEO I know. During the conversation he told me his company had started using firms that create "online background checks" for potential employees. There are now firms that will scrape your Facebook profile, Twitter profiles and any use of social media to create an extensive profile on you. The company thinking about interviewing you now has something new to think about.

Dear L.E. and McRae, You don’t read my blog. That’s OK, you’re only 10 and 7. You’d find it pretty boring. Someday you will though. Someday you’ll do some sort of hologram search on Google and read this is. So though I will certainly write you words on paper, it struck me that in 13 years of writing online, I’d never left a letter for you in the one place it might actually survive. (Last Thursday's post was about you too.)

I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this yet, but not everybody online is nice. I know, it caught me off guard too! The first time it happened, I thought to myself, “Oh fiddlesticks!” But I’ve learned something in the years I’ve been online. There are 10 words that erase most online hate. I know that sounds magical, but it’s really quite simple. The next time someone you don’t know says something ugly to you, I want you to imagine they started their hateful statement with these 10 words:

Roughly 99% of public speakers ruin their speeches in the first sentence. How? They start off their speech by thanking the audience. No one cares about that. No one doubts that you’re excited to be there. No one needs you to reintroduce yourself right after the host of the event did. But you’ve heard speeches start that same way. “I’m so honored to be here. My name is Jon Acuff and I’m excited that I get to be here with you today.” There’s nothing exciting, interesting or engaging in those words. The worst part is that you never get an audience to join you in the middle or the end of your speech. The beginning seals the deal or ruins everything for you. (Great books like Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln first exposed me to this common problem.) What should you do instead?


Fear is a powerful poison but it’s not the most dangerous toxin when it comes to dreaming. That title belongs to a surprisingly peaceful looking word that actually ruins more dreams than any other obstacle. What dragon is this? What demon lurking just outside your door?

Sunday afternoon is statistically one of the most depressing times of the week for many Americans. Why? Because it’s the day before Monday. And Monday is the job you don’t want to go back to. Monday is the commute you don’t want to make again. Monday is the project you’ve been avoiding or the boss you’ve been fearing or the career decision you’ve been regretting. How do you make your job better? There are three easy ways.

In my last post, I wrote about the danger of creating a fake life online. Then I saw this brilliant card from someecards. Well played Internets. (I added the beige border because I'm pretty awesome at graphic design.) ...

Sign up for all of Jon’s ideas in your inbox!

Yes! Send Me Jon’s New Blog Ideas

Get All of Jon's New Ideas!

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