Jon Acuff Book, Start – A Review & Giveaway

A month ago, I attended a blogging business conference & received a galley proof copy of a new book by Jon Acuff – Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

I highly  recommend reading Jon’s book and here are a few reasons why.

There were several concepts that struck me about the book, but this keeps coming back to me.

All you can control is the starting line.

You can’t control the finish line or what goes on between start & finish, but you can control whether or not you take action … and get going on your business, project or dream.

jon acuff start book from StephenBeck.comBy starting, you’ll move from “average” to “awesome” and Jon shows you how in the Start Book

One thing I truly appreciate about Jon’s book is his honesty. I’ve read many other motivation & self-help books. They tell you “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”. This might be true, but they forget to mention you must work to achieve your dreams.

After coaching many people who want to start a business, be a better mom or fulfill a dream, I agree that the first step is getting started.

You’ve heard Stephen & I say it often . . .

Taking action is essential
Work is necessary

You must start and that’s the number one action you can control.

Move from average to awesome. Start today.

  • Start a side business
  • Start working on your business consistenly
  • Start being a better parent or spouse
  • Whatever it is you want to do…Just Start

Jon’s examples are honest & down-to-earth. Sometimes they go against the self-help propaganda out there…and I appreciate that because they are honest. His examples cover a wide range of topics: business, marriage, parenting, life-growing, spiritual.

Jon Acuff knows there are surprises along the way.

jon acuff start book from StephenBeck.comHe discusses your little voice inside. What is that little voice saying to you?

Maybe they are fears.
Maybe they are lies.
Maybe they stop you.

We all have a little voice that tells us we can’t do it.

Ever have a hard time focusing? That little voice doesn’t want you to focus.

When you get unstuck, you are unstoppable!

The progression Jon takes as he describes getting to the finish line is excellent.  He explains what you should be doing in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. You can see him explain this in a short video by clicking here.

jon acuff-start - free online book club from StephenBeck.com

For these reasons, I’m hosting an online book club to discuss this book.

A book club for homeschoolers, teens, moms, dads, singles, married, business people, dreamers.

Anyone can get unstuck & our online book club can help you get unstuck & be unstoppable.

We’ll discuss one chapter each week. I’ll post 2-3 questions on my blog – How to Homeschool My Child. I haven’t written the questions yet, but my plan is to include an overall Christian perspective. I also plan to have a question each week for your teens to discuss.

Even if you don’t want to be in our book club, please take a moment and look at Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by clicking here. You can get the 1st chapter for free at that link.

Be sure to watch both videos!

A 1 minute video about his NYC book launch with a mom sharing how she will apply this book to her life.

A 2 minute video with a fantastic overview of how to go from average to AWESOME (overview of 20’s-60’s)

This book is for everyone…

Grab a copy while you’re there. It’s on sale here. (Amazon has the best price & Amazon Prime members get free shipping)

PS. If you are unsure about investing in Start, grab the first chapter for free by clicking here.

PPS. I know anyone can be changed by applying concepts in this book, so I’m giving away 2 copies. Enter to win below.

Question: Will you join us for our online book club?
What questions would you like us to cover in our online book club?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Vlogging {Guest Post}

I was guest posting at The Beech Retreat blog, but they are transitioning to another site & took down their blog.

If you’d like to see my video on vlogging (video + blogging), here it is:


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Where has Stephen Beck been?

That’s a good question…where have I been?

Some of you have noticed that I have been MIA and we will share our story of what has happened these past couple years. Check this blog over the next few weeks.

I’m also going to have Kerry (my wife) share some strategies she’s been using with social media. Watch this blog for all the updates.

Until we get those posts written, I want to share a book that Kerry recently read. The author is Jon Acuff, Dave Ramsey’s assistant. Kerry received a galley proof copy of his upcoming book, Start.

She’s working on a review of the book, but we didn’t want you to miss the $250 of freebies that Jon has for you. Click on the image above to grab your freebies

Click here to read more about Jon’s excellent book & grab his pre-order specials. Although this might look like an affiliate link, we do not make any money from your order.

This book is so good, we want to recommend it to you whether or not we make money.

You’ll discover:

  • how to punch fear in the face
  • how to escape average
  • how to do amazing work

I would appreciate you using the link above for 2 reasons.

  1. Kerry gets to eat dinner with Jon Acuff & Dave Ramsey if she gets the most people to click on this link. Would you help her? All you have to do is click here (no purchase necessary to help Kerry)
  2. Kerry is considering hosting an online book club. She would discuss 1 chapter each week, as it relates to parents, working at home/online & preparing your kids to move from average to awesome.

If enough of you click here, she might be able to have Jon Acuff as a guest at her book club.

Thanks for your support…and watch my blog for our story & strategies for success.



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I have been reading a book called The Art of Non-Conformity, by Chris Guillebeau. It’s a great book about living life on your own terms, but he has a chapter on simplicity that I really like. You see, to truly live your life on your own terms requires either a HUGE bank account or a radical life philosophy.

Obviously, if you have a HUGE bank account, you can choose the house you live in, the work you do and even the people you hang out with. But most of us are not independently wealthy. So we have to find alternative ways to live the life that WE choose …instead of the one chosen for us.

One of the ways you can implement this is to eliminate the unnecessary things in your life. Two of the most helpful questions in this regard are:

“Why should I do this?”

“What will happen if I don’t?”

Should you do this? Will it get you closer to life you want to live? Or is it just busy work?

In fact, if you want to get serious, you can take the second question even further when you encounter something you don’t want to do. “Will the world end if I don’t do this? Will someone die?”

Assuming the answer is no, you can safely place the commitment in the unnecessary column.

As you begin down this road, you will quickly learn how to tell the necessary from the unnecessary obligations. And then your next step will be to say no to as many things as possible. Because saying no is critical to setting the terms of your life. And the more you say no to the demands on your time, the more you can shut out distractions that keep you from your key priorities.

So spend some time thinking about what your life would look like if it were lived “on your terms”. Then start saying no to anything that gets in the way!



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Gold Fever

On 24 January 1848, James Marshall discovered gold at John Sutter’s mill in northern California. This discovery set off one of the most dramatic economic events of the nineteenth century. As soon as word got out, people soon began flooding into California to try their luck—and many found gold, at least in the beginning.

You see, finding gold was easy at first. There were nuggets just lying in the shallow water. But of course, those soon disappeared and people had to start scooping large amounts of dirt into sleuces to wash away the dirt to get at the gold.

But soon, the gold that had washed out of the mountain and into the streams was gone. So they had to go to the source. This meant drilling mine shafts into the quartz veins that held the gold. Then they had to crush the rock with expensive stamping machines and then run the crushed rock through sleuces to extract the gold.

 Internet marketing is a lot like prospecting for gold.

The days of easy money are gone. Now, you need to have the right tools such as autoresponders, shopping carts, webinar hosting, etc. And you need to plan carefully before you begin.

  • Where will your visitors come from?
  • Where will you advertise?
  • Are you in tune with the market?

People don’t care how much you know, they only care how your knowledge will solve their problem.

And here’s the last and most important thing you will need: resilience.

Since the gold is harder to find now, there will be products that just don’t pan out for whatever reason. Are you willing to commit financial resources and precious time to a project that has no guarantees? If not, then you may need to re-think your project before you start.

Yes, there is still money to be made online. But the money is flowing to the ones who have a carefully thought out plan. And the big money flows to the ones who are willing to dig three worthless mines in order to find the one that pays off handsomely!



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Beware The Buffalo Behind You!

“Promptings” are funny things.

 Because of a prompting, I found myself an hour from my house building dog pens in the snow and keeping one eye out for a curious buffalo who kept sneaking up behind me. Like I said, promptings are funny things.

 It all started when a friend of mine went to a funeral for a 10 year old boy and saw my son there. Right there, he felt a prompting to help a friend finish his house who had leukemia. He came by my house and asked if I had a few hours to spare and I agreed.

 So, we drove out to the man’s house and my friend had grabbed two other men and started them on the dog pens and we started on the dog houses. We were building the dog houses out of tin the owner had collected over the years. When I reached down to load the tin into truck, a large female buffalo came over to see what we were up to.

 Now, I have seen a video on YouTube where a bull buffalo attacked a man and threw him 15 feet in the air! If was the man’s fault – he crowded the buffalo trying to get a picture and the buffalo reacted the way any cornered animal would.

 So, with one eye on the buffalo, I loaded the tin in the truck and went back to work. In 2 days, we finished the dog pens, trimmed some windows and started the back porch. It was cold and I was sore, but I had a blast!

 Another man has built an entire business based on “promptings”. His name is Kody Bateman and as he packed his family in the car to move across the country, he felt a prompting to go over and hug his brother who was moving some cars in the driveway. He ignored the prompting and just waved goodbye instead.

 He never saw his brother again. Several months later, his brother died in a construction accident. Kody vowed to never ignore another prompting and to build a company that would help others take action on their promptings as well.

 Kody started Send Out Cards, a company that allows you to send a physical greeting card online. So, he has truly realized a dream by making it easy and convenient to act on YOUR promptings by sending a physical card for less than $1.06 each!

 And the cool thing is that you can make a business out of helping other people act on their promptings, one card at a time! Kerry and I will be devoting a large part of 2010 to building this business and we would love for you to be on our team.

 This is truly an income that once built, you can drop off of the face of the Earth for 10 years and still have an income when you get back. Not true with info products, membership sites and the rest. So join our team and develop some TRULY PASSIVE INCOME! We look forward to helping you succeed!

 Watch a video about promptings here:




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Business Ideas Are Closer Than You Think

I had a conversation with a young woman yesterday who asked me what I did for a living. I told that I taught people how to make money online and her eyes lit up.

“Can you teach me?” she asked.

So, I asked her if she had any interests or passions. She was very passionate about hairdressing. She had been to hairdresser school and was working in a town nearby.

I asked her, “If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different?”

Wow. It was like the flood gates opened and she spent the next 30 minutes telling me about what she would do differently and how she wished she had known all this when she was first starting out.

“Well there’s your first product,” I said.

I then proceeded to tell her the steps to creating a blog, building a herd and selling a product online.

What about you?

Do you have knowledge in your head that could help other people?

Then get on the Internet and see if people are searching for that topic. Or see if they are already buying that information in some form or fashion.

You may just have a winner!

And the business was closer than you thought. It was already inside your head!




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Integrating Email Lists Into Your Business

An email list or autoresponder can be a valuable time saving tool when promoting online business opportunities. The challenge is that most business owners simply do not know how to maximize autoresponders to their best use possible and as a result lose out on golden opportunities to generate more sales and work more efficiently.

Email Signatures

For instance, you can use an autoresponder by attaching a signature at the bottom of your emails. What this does is brands your message. They work just like business cards. In the signature you should include your name, the name of your company, contact information and send out a quick message.

Your signature should be including in every email that you send out.

What this does is continues to remind the reader of who you and what your business is all about. Each time they see your signature that creates another impression of you and the online business opportunities that you promote. In addition to building impressions a signature at the bottom of your email also has the added benefit of making your emails look more professional.

A good email signature is typically anywhere from four to six lines and is no more than 70 characters per line. Check your text and make sure that it does not get cut off. Your signature should consist of your name, the name of your company, email address, phone number and other methods of contact such as fax numbers.

Use Your P.S.

Finally you want to make sure you also include a brief message about the online business opportunities that you are promoting. Focus on the benefits your products and services offer and the credibility of your company. You can include this message in the PS section.

A PS is a good idea to include in your signature. The reason why this is a good idea is that some readers skip the message but read the PS. Include a great call to action in the PS.

By utilizing these steps you will be well on your way to maximizing the benefits of an autoresponder. A signature can be set up very quickly. Therefore set yours up today and maximize the profitability of your online business opportunities.


When you start a business, an autoresponder is also a great tool to help you create courses that promote your business. You already have a topic that you are an expert at because you are a consultant. The course that you design should deal with a specific topic within your area of expertise. You can offer the mini-course as a free bonus for visitors to your website. The autoresponder is the way you deliver the mini-course, emails that are on auto-pilot.

After selecting a topic of interest, divide the topic up into several sub-topics. Give anyone that visits your consulting website a 5 or 7 day course where you cover each sub-topic on each day of the course. Day 1 should consist of an introductory message letting the reader know what will come next.

The key is to build interest, clearly communicate your points and offer information of value so that the reader feels that he or she is getting quality actionable information.

In the mini course you use when you start a business, make sure you include the lesson number, topic title as well as information about your company. Conclude with a sneak peak of what the next lesson is about.

The key to creating a good mini-course is to provide valuable information and build curiosity. If you fail to do this, the reader will unsubscribe and will not read your mini course the next day.

Now the mini-course works on your behalf. Visitors to your website automatically begin to build rapport with you and have a greater level of trust in your abilities, while you continue to build your business. As a result, you will find that it will help you land more clients.


Stephen Beck can teach you internet marketing 101 and how to make your first $1000 online. Pick up a FREE link to his webinar replay, where Stephen shows you everything you should do: http://www.YourOnlineBasics.com.



Decluttering Your Life

You may not be this radical, but I’m getting to the point where I’m looking around my garage at all this stuff that I’ve accumulated over the years. When I take a look around, I see stuff I haven’t used in 5 years.

I want to get rid of it.

I want to limit the amount of possessions that I have, take care of, and that occupy bandwidth in my brain.

We recently read an article in the paper that recommended getting rid of 5 things per day in an effort to de-clutter your house. What an easy way to get rid of excess around you.

Television, phone, and email are other things that I want to de-clutter from my life. I have somebody else check my email for me. It’s too time consuming. They filter, answer the questions they can, and they give me the ones they can’t answer. Now, I only have to go through a few emails a day instead of several hundred.

What if you just go offline sometimes?

During the holidays, my wife didn’t check her email for about 10 days. Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Oh my gosh! I could never do that!” Many of you have phones that get your email 24/7. We have chosen not to get email on our phone. We just don’t worry about it.

The truth is, the people in your life or business will live if you don’t respond to them within 15 minutes.

They will live if it takes you a couple days to get back to them.

Did the sky fall down when my wife “unplugged”?


Everything was fine. Yeah, she had a few late emails that she responded to, but people understood. They knew it was the holidays. She actually had taken off a few days to spend with our family. Things aren’t going to fall apart if you don’t check email every single day. In fact, just put a vacation notice on your email, problem solved.

This is a practice we will do more often.

It only takes some very simple steps to de-clutter your life. Trust me, you’ll never want to go back to a cluttered lifestyle again!

What are you going to do this week to de-clutter your life?


Copyright Stephen Beck, 2010

You have permission to reprint this article as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.

Are you starting an online business? Stephen Beck can help by showing you how to make your first $1000 on the internet. Grab a FREE link to his webinar replay, where Stephen shows you exactly what you should do: http://www.YourOnlineBasics.com.