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Book Review: Start

StartMy initial thoughts looking at this book was that perhaps the world does not need another self help startup book. I have nothing against self help books and there are some really great ones out there, I am just not a huge fan of them. So honestly, I did start off on a skeptical note. To the authors credit however, the book is well written. It’s one of those subject areas that can easily turn out a bit on the boring side, but the author, Jon Acuff has a done a good job keeping the topics both interesting and precise.

Before this book, I had not read or listened to any of either Jon Acuff’s or Dave Ramsey’s work. The author is a renowned and a respected public speaker and though significant portion of this book and the experiences in it, directly relate to public speaking and writing, the book is actually a good read no matter what your field of interest. In fact at the core, the author positions the book as about starting and being awesome at anything you are really passionate about.

The main idea about the book is the title, “Start”. According to the author and something which I have always felt it is the “Start” of something that you truly can control. The final outcome and also the journey is not something you can always control. There are a lot of factors that will influence both outcome and the path that you take to get there. So the author recommends that you focus on the on the one and and only thing you can control the “Start”. But there are still just a couple of things you still need to do before you “start”, the most important of them, to honestly assess your current situation since “the most powerful GPS will not be able to guide you to your destination unless it knows your current location”

The rest of the book I felt was about the helping you in the path of reaching your desired outcome and the moving on to finding your next “Start”. Jon buckets the process after starting into the 5 phases of Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting and Guiding. As you traverse through these paths you face some difficult choices and a few challenges, as such Jon attempts to guide you through these with a series of his personal experiences and some interesting anecdotes.

Some parts that I enjoyed more than others were sections where the author talks about fighting fears and moving from the path of average to awesome. In fact all through the book Jon’s core idea has been to steer clear of the of the average path and find the path less travelled, the awesome road. Again not something new, but his style of writing keeps it both interesting and humorous at times.

Another section of the book that I liked was where the author talks about times you might often find yourself going off track. He shares his views on how you can easily become a “jerk” of completely forget being humble. You might also want to harvest too soon or wait too long before you start guiding. Jon offers some ridiculously simple but effective solutions to tackle them which kept me turning pages.

If you ever find yourself making the statement “how did I get here?” ending with a question mark more often rather than with an exclamation “how did I get here!” , you might find this book intriguing and even helpful.

As for me I ran into this book at my local library and I was not disappointed.


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