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How to Finish what you start with Jon Acuff – Episode 211 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books including Do Over: Make today the first day of your new career,and his newest book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.

For 20 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.

In addition, Jon is also a big proponent of social media with blogs that have been read by 4 million people and more than 290,000 twitter followers. In 2010 he used his influence with his tribe to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. Jon lives with his wife Jenny and two daughters in Franklin, TN.

Show Highlights:

Which lessons about goals work and which are causing damage? @JonAcuff

“Shoot for the moon so you’ll land with the stars” doesn’t actually work. @JonAcuff

Most people judge goals on a pass/fail scale. @JonAcuff

You can have a big goal, but you should have steps along the way. @JonAcuff

Most goal advice is given as if you are a robot without emotions. @JonAcuff

As a leader, if you consistently set the wrong goal you create a culture of distrust. @JonAcuff

The breakroom tells the truth, the boardroom doesn’t. @JonAcuff

We live in a world with limitless distractions and bottomless opportunities. @JonAcuff

Most people tell their goals to their friends the wrong way. @JonAcuff

When you have a goal, you can choose shame or strategy. @JonAcuff

Often, we want complicated solutions, in part, because we don’t have to do them. @JonAcuff

Rory shares how to immediately increase your self-discipline. @rory_vaden

Finishing is a habit. @rory_vaden

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Jon Acuff on The Rory Vaden Show Episode 3: “START”

Jon AcuffThe Rory Vaden Show is a weekly radio show and podcast that Rory hosts every Monday which is currently syndicated in 9 different states. It’s for “movers and shakers in the world of business”™.  Each week Rory shares his thoughts on a news topic relevant to business, takes guest callers and then interviews an expert guest. This week he had popular blogger of “Stuff Christians Like (SCL)” and Wall St Journal bestselling author of “Quitter” Jon Acuff on the show to talk about the strategies for how to punch fear in the face based on his brand new book START Enjoy!
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Punch Fear in the Face

We lose so much to fear.

It’s a shame…

Because the vast majority of fears that we have are not going to happen, or are even all that likely to be possible. Yet they stop us from ever getting started. These stories in our head stifle our inspiration before we even give our dreams a chance to breathe.

Then we wake up one day and realize that we missed out on so much because we created reasons and excuses for why it wasn’t possible.

“But what do you do when all of your excuses for chasing your dream are gone?”

You decide that waiting is over. You decide that now is the time. You decide that today is when it is going to happen.

In Jon Acuff’s new book he lays out the plan for how to “Start” – for how to move past your fears and move your life from average to awesome.

  1. Write the fear down: Fear is a big loud bully in your head but it’s nothing once it’s out on paper
  2. Refute it with truth: Don’t argue or get tangled with yourself about what the worst case scenario is instead just list out all the reasons why it is possible
  3. Share it: Fear fears community and as you tell others it starts to lose it’s power over you

These are just a few ideas Jon shares for how to punch fear in the face. If you’d like some more then pick up a copy.

Don’t be scared.

Official release date for the Take the Stairs book is….!

We’re so excited to share with you that our publisher Penguin has finalized an official launch date for the Take the Stairs book and it is Tuesday February 7, 2012! The book will go on pre-sale long before then but only to our personal followers and fans. We’ll share more with you about that in the coming weeks. There are some BIG THINGS happening with the book already that we thought you might like to be the first to know.

The book as of now will have distribution in more than 80 airport stores and should be in most major brick and mortar retailers. Media is building as well as we just found out that we’ll getting a personal interview with Darren Hardy from SUCCESS Magazine for his Success Audio Series which goes out to an exclusive group of 30,000 people in Darren’s fan base in early 2012. We’ll be a guest on one of Roxeanne Emerich’s programs for financial institutions later this fall, and keep your eyes out around March of 2012 and you might just see a cover story here and there on the Take the Stairs movement.

The most important part of all the things related to the book is we are currently planning a 14-20 city nationwide tour (with a tour bus and all) where we go to cities and host FREE events for teenagers, parents, teachers, coaches and school administrators, where I’ll be teaching all 7 strategies that are in the book LIVE. We are passionate about reaching people with the message of self-discipline and plan to see several thousand people face to face in a 3 week time span. We want to give teens and parents a chance to come to an event that will be fun for both of them. We’re currently looking for sponsors for the tour to undercut the price of it so we can make it free but make no mistake the tour is happening for sure one way or another!

To give you a little preview of what is to come in the book itself here are some of the reviews we’ve gotten from other authors who have had a chance to read it and endorse it!

“This book is a compelling and challenging call for all of us to accomplish greatness. It not only shows you how to make self-discipline more sustainable, it will reignite your passion to achieve.Andy Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The Traveler’s Gift & The Noticer

“I always say that personal finance is only 20% head knowledge—and 80% behavior. Behavior change is hard, because it requires something a lot of people are missing these days: self-discipline. If you want to make a change in your money, business or relationships, do not miss Take the Stairs. It gives you the tools you need to take control of the only person holding you back: yourself!” –Dave Ramsey, host of The Dave Ramsey Show and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover

“This book on self-discipline shows you how to develop the courage, character and determination you need to succeed in anything you attempt. It can change your life! Brian Tracy, New York Times bestselling author of Eat That Frog

“The easy way is never the excellent way. Rory Vaden knows this and teaches you the timeless truths of achieving excellence in your personal and professional life. Take the Stairs is a refreshing look at what it really takes to succeed.  For get rich quick or wish upon a star, go elsewhere. For an agenda for excellence, read this book. Rory gets it.”– Mark Sanborn, Bestselling author of The Fred Factor and You Don’t Need a Title to Be A Leader


“Take the Stairs will change the way you work and live. Rory Vaden has created a gem of a book that will inspire you to do the little extra things that make a HUGE difference. This book gives you a solid plan for success. Two words, BUY IT!” – Chester Elton, Best-Selling co-author of “The Carrot Principle” & “The Orange Revolution”


“‘Get rich quick, easy and painlessly’. Don’t be fooled. There is no escalator to the top. This book will tell you the truth about what it really takes to become a massive success in every area of your life–if you choose to Take the Stairs.”Darren Hardy, Publisher SUCCESS Magazine, bestselling author of The Compound Effect



“If you rarely finish the books that you buy, Take The Stairs will be a change for you. After just a few pages, I was hooked, and I read this absolute treasure of inspiration and practical advice in one sitting.  Rory is the real deal.  This isn’t a book of cheerleading and motivational platitudes.  This is the book that can change your life.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to take quality of work and life to a higher level.” –Joe Calloway, Bestselling author, Becoming A Category of One


“Pure and simple, this should be the only book on the shelf in this category- because it’s the only proven way to achieve authentic, sustainable success. In his book “Take the Stairs” Rory Vaden provides a timeless message with a timely sense of urgency.  While too many spend their lives searching for the ever-elusive shortcut to success, Rory lays out the only sure path in existence – having the discipline to be clear with your goals, work hard and do what most people are unable, or unwilling to do.  Rory Vaden believes it, teaches it and lives it every day.  Buy this book and heed this message!”- David Avrin, Author of It’s Not Who You Know – It’s Who Knows YOU! (2010 John Wiley & Sons)


“You can’t spend 30 seconds around Rory without getting inspired to change your life. You’re about to spend a few hours with him. Get ready.”Jon Acuff, Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Quitter, Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job


“An inspiring and empowering book on how to harness your potential and become great.” – Randy Gage, author of The Prosperity Mind

There is lots more information to share about the tour, the new website for the book, a whole new look for Take the Stairs and several other details about the book itself (possibly including a free chapter if we can talk our friends at Penguin into it! ;)) Sorry we are not yet allowed to release the cover of the book yet but should have that for you within the next two weeks along with the official subtitle. You’ll see it here first though for sure!

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement and of course we’ll continue sharing ideas and best practices here on the blog in the meantime. Please leave a comment below if you have anything you want to share or if you have questions!

See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the Stairs – Success means doing things you don’t want to do