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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Quitter - by Jon Acuff

QuitterMost books in the business/self-help genre end up being a boring read that needs to be set aside then picked up at a later date.

That was NOT the case with Jon Acuff's latest non-fiction work titled Quitter - I could not put this book down.

At its core it's a book about dreaming - specifically regarding your dream job - yet Acuff's impassioned tone and engaging style takes this book far above the typical self-help-career-guide fare.

Acuff writes from his own personal and professional experiences to craft a text that is imminently relateable to anyone who has been in a sub-par work experience.  One of the key insights he makes is that identifying your dream job is not so much about discovering what you want to do, but rather recovering those things from your past that most enlivened, invigorated and fulfilled you.

According to Acuff, it's those things that will help point you toward your dream job, as will as asking yourself questions such as, "What do I enjoy doing regardless of the opinions of others?" or "What do I do that causes me to lose track of time because I'm so engaged?"

Another telltale identifier of your dream is whether or not it involves risk. Acuff writes, "Every dream has risk associated with it. Some might have more than others, but each dream comes wrapped in some degree of risk. If it doesn't, it's not really a dream."

The author than offers three unique metaphors for filtering perceptions of dream risk involving a magnifying glass, kaleidoscope or telescope - each resulting in a different follow-up and outcome. I’m at a loss to explain how the elegance and obviousness of those metaphorical perception models have not seen print prior to Quitter.

It's also important to note that this book addresses the importance of balance in the pursuit of your dream. Balance of time, commitment, your family, your hustle and your day job.

The aspect that makes this book highly readable and relateable is that Acuff writes about his own real-life experiences, hopes and stories - those are much more compelling than the typical clever action steps or checklists toward success that are common in such books.

Sometimes life is messy, which makes Acuff's message relevant and well worth reading and re-reading. But be advised, that once you start reading Quitter it may be difficult to stop.

Here's the link to his book's trailer. You can also read his entertaining blog at

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