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Jon Acuff

One of INC's Top 100 Leadership Speakers, New York Times Bestselling Author of Soundtracks, Finish and Do Over

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Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including All it Takes is a Goal, Soundtracks, and Finish.

Published in more than twenty languages, his work is both critically acclaimed and adored by readers. When he's not writing, Acuff can be found on a stage, as one of INC's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He's spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges and companies around the world including FedEx, Nissan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Chick-fil-A, Nokia and Comedy Central. Known for his insights wrapped in humor, Acuff shared the stage with an American Icon when he opened up for Dolly Parton at the Ryman Auditorium.

Jon lives outside of Nashville, TN with his wife Jenny and two teenage daughters.

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All It Takes is a Goal
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Do Over
Investing in the 4 Things that Every Great Business Needs to Navigate Change

The rate of change gets faster and faster each day. Technology is changing, ask the Flipcam and Blockbuster. Careers are changing, ask graphic designers who seemingly overnight had to learn how to design for a new online medium. Whole industries are changing, ask the hoteliers who suddenly find one million new competitors via the room-renting app Airbnb. Value systems are changing, ask millennials, 45% of which care more about workplace flexibility than salary.

Some companies will get stuck. When the New York Times asked, “Why didn’t Kodak create Instagram?” they were commenting on how easy it is for even successful companies to get crushed by the waves of change. Other companies will thrive amidst the turbulence.

Change is upon us and depending on how you approach it, it can be either overwhelming or an opportunity. The key is to see it for what it really is, a Do Over, a chance to reset. And if you want to navigate a Do Over, the best leaders in the world, running small businesses to massive corporations, know it takes four investments: Relationships, Skills, Character and Hustle.

The good news is, your business and your employees already have everything they need to make the best of a Do Over.

In fact, you’ve had it for years.

Sound like marketing hype? It’s not.

You already have each of those four critical investments, now it’s time to amplify them and apply them in a new way.

Why? Because your business is going to experience four real seasons of change:

You will hit a Ceiling and get stuck, requiring sharp skills to free yourself.

You will experience a Bump, unexpectedly running into a difficult market, requiring strong relationships to survive.

You will make a Jump, requiring solid character to push through the chaos launching something new always stirs up.

You will get a surprise Opportunity you didn’t see coming, requiring dedicated hustle to take advantage of it.

The good news is there are only four types of change you will face as a company. The great news is that there are simple, practical ways to get the most out of each.

Change is coming for all of us.

Get ready.

Get working.

Get stuck-proof!

Hustle and Empathy
Two Surprising Sides of Sales

Connectivity has changed selling in some wonderful, terrible ways.

On the one hand, you have access to more people and opportunities than ever before in the history of mankind.

On the other, free music, free apps and free content are teaching consumers to expect the world for free. Buyers can also price check products with one search, make a snap second decision based on one negative review and find a thousand of your competitors on Google.

How do you adapt to the new world of sales? How do you launch fresh services, grow existing accounts and develop new relationships with future clients?

The answer is surprisingly simple - you sell with hustle and empathy.

Empathy is understanding another person’s need and acting upon that knowledge. While simple , it requires intentionality, active listening and a plan of action.

Hustle is the application of your empathy. It is an act of focus, not frenzy. And concentrated hustle fills the needs of clients in an impactful way.

Two times New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff teaches his proven approach to selling. With humor and relevant cultural insight, Jon will transform your attendees’ views of selling and a give a fresh, new view of sales performance.

Pivot, Don’t Panic
The Four Investments Smart Teams Rely on During Uncertainty (Virtual Presentation)

Six months ago, “change” was something we all knew we’d need to deal with someday. It was just over the horizon. It was around the corner. We knew it would come, we just didn’t know when and we didn’t know how. Then the world got flipped upside down.

Change is no longer a topic of conversation for your team, it’s the norm. The new vocabulary. The new reality. The elephant isn’t hiding in the corner of the room now. The elephant is the entire room.

Every team will face a choice. Pivot or panic? The smart ones will lean into four different investments. They’ll double down on Skills, Character, Relationships and Hustle in intentional ways that bring clarity to chaos. They’ll refocus, rebuild, and relaunch to better serve their community. They’ll emerge with new tools and a new direction. Why? Because a crisis is a classroom. It’s an invitation to innovation you might not have planned for, but definitely need.

Join New York Times Bestselling author Jon Acuff as he shares practical steps and inspiring insights to help your team navigate this brave new world.

We all get to make a choice. Every day our team members and our communities are counting on us to make the right one.

Pivot, don’t panic.

From Start to Finish
How to Give Yourself the Gift of Done.

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 92% of resolutions fail. That’s a staggering number considering how important goals are to companies. You actually have a greater shot of getting into Julliard in New York City to be a ballerina than hitting your next sales goal.

Or your next budget reduction.

Or your next service rollout.

In every element of your work, goals matter. What if we could do some simple things to improve how often we finished what we started? What if we could complete the incomplete projects and tasks? What if we could get more done in a world of bottomless opportunities and endless distractions?

New York Times Bestselling Author Jon Acuff says you can. How does he know? Research, research and more research!

Jon suspected goal-completion was not luck or genetics. So, he commissioned a study with assistant professor Mike Peasley, PhD to test what it takes to turn a chronic starter into a consistent finisher. The research team analyzed 900 people over a six-month process as they worked on goals. The study resulted in a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller titled “Finish” and principles Acuff has taught to teams such as Walmart, FedEx and Nokia.

The good news is, you can learn to finish. It’s not a natural talent some people have and others do not. It can be taught.

Ever have an employee, team member or department almost finish something? Every wished you could complete more of the things you care about? It’s time to learn what it really takes!

Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.

Jon Acuff
Featured Books

All It Takes Is a Goal: The 3-step Plan to Ditch Regret and Tap into Your Massive Potential

by Jon Acuff

What if you could accomplish your goals as easily as you can dream them? Popular speaker and New York Times bestselling author shows you how to effectively set goals to escape your comfort zone, make measurable progress, and reach your full potential.

Your New Playlist: The Student's Guide to Tapping into the Superpower of Mindset

by Jon Acuff

When Jon Acuff's book Soundtracks, came out, one reaction surprised him. Parents across the country all said the same thing: "Do you have a version for teenagers? If I knew how to change my mindset when I was that age, my entire life would have been different." Why did they say that? Because truth grows like compound interest. Saving money when you're young has a bigger impact than it does when you save in your 40s. A single new soundtrack--Acuff's phrase for a repetitive thought--believed when you're 14 or 18 can change your whole life in the same way. In response, Acuff tagged his two daughters to help him create an honest, actionable guide to mindset for teenagers.

Your thoughts can work for you or against you, but the good news is you get a choice. The even better news is when you're young, your entire world is made of new. You're a movie that's barely started, a notebook with blank pages to fill, a song that hasn't hit the chorus. You have your whole life ahead of you. When you learn to create new thoughts, those thoughts lead to actions, and those actions lead to new results. Are you ready to tap into the superpower of mindset? Just hit play.


by Jon Acuff

Overthinking isn't a personality trait. It's the sneakiest form of fear.

It steals time, creativity, and goals. It's the most expensive, least productive thing companies invest in without even knowing it. And it's an epidemic. When New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff changed his life by transforming his overthinking, he wondered if other people might benefit from what he discovered. He commissioned a research study to ask 10,000 people if they struggle with overthinking too, and 99.5 percent said, "Yes!"

The good news is that in Soundtracks, Acuff offers a proven plan to change overthinking from a super problem into a superpower.

When we don't control our thoughts, our thoughts control us. If our days are full of broken soundtracks, thoughts are our worst enemy, holding us back from the things we really want. But the solution to overthinking isn't to stop thinking. The solution is running our brains with better soundtracks. Once we learn how to choose our soundtracks, thoughts become our best friend, propelling us toward our goals.

If you want to tap into the surprising power of overthinking and give your dreams more time and creativity, learn how to DJ the soundtracks that define you. If you can worry, you can wonder. If you can doubt, you can dominate. If you can spin, you can soar.


by Jon Acuff

From New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff, a book for those who want relief from always starting and never being done.          
Jon Acuff, sought-after speaker and consultant, is the friend who always gives you great advice. With his self-depricating humor and charm, he has won over hundreds of thousands of followers, who come to him for both encouragement and a kick in the pants. Now, after showing you how to reboot your career in his New York Times bestseller Do Over, Acuff shows chronic starters how to actually finish their goals in an age of bottomless distractions and endless opportunities.   

Acuff knows the reason why many writers’ novels go unfinished–it’s the same reason why gyms are filled in the first week of January, and empty by the end of the month, and why people stop learning a new language once they get past the easy parts. It’s not just that people lose momentum or get distracted. People give up on projects when they fail to live up to their own high expectations and decide that if they can’t do something perfectly they won’t do it at all. If you’re going to finish, you have to kill perfectionism. 

Drawing on his popular 30 Days of Hustle course, Acuff teaches readers to short-circuit perfectionism and make it through to the end of a task. Whether it’s by “choosing what to bomb” or “cutting a goal in half,” he shows readers how to move past “the day after perfect,” get focused, and–finally- finish.  


Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck

by Jon Acuff

It took me sixteen years to write this book. That breaks down to a brisk twelve words per day. But it wasn’t the writing that took so long. . . . It was the working.  

I had to work at big companies and small companies. I had to get hired and fired several times. I had to find my dream job, then walk away from it. But after all that, I can now say the following with absolute certainty:

You already have everything you need for an amazing career. In fact, you’ve had it since day one.

Starting on the first day you got paid to scoop ice cream or restock shelves, you’ve had the chance to develop the four elements all great careers have in common: relationships, skills, character, and hustle. You already have each of those, to one degree or another.

Now it’s time to amplify them and apply them in a new way, creating a Career Savings Account™. This unique approach will give you the power to call a Do Over—whether you’re twenty-two, forty-two, or sixty-two. You’ll have the resources to reinvent your work and get unstuck. You’ll even rescue your Mondays as you discover how to work toward the job you’ve always wanted!

Just as a bank account protects you during a financial crunch, a Career Savings Account™ protects you during a career crunch. You need a CSA because you’ll eventually face at least one of these major transitions:

   •  You will hit a Career Ceiling and get stuck, requiring sharp skills to free yourself. 
   •  You will experience a Career Bump and unexpectedly lose your job, requiring strong relationships to survive.  
   •  You will make a Career Jump to a new role, requiring solid character to push through uncertainty and chaos. 
   •  You will get a surprise Career Opportunity, requiring dedicated hustle to take advantage of it.

It took me sixteen years to figure out how to call a Do Over on my career. Please don’t wait sixteen more seconds before starting yours.

A consultant, public speaker and best-selling author describes how to make career changes and to avoid feeling trapped in the wrong job by changing the way workers view their skills, relationships and work ethics through the use of a Career Savings Account.

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job

by Jon Acuff

Presents advice on how to achieve one's goal of obtaining a "dream" job. 

Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work That Matters

by Jon Acuff

Offers advice on getting out of a rut and on the path to being awesome, explaining why the road to success in work and life has changed over the past century and how to start living and learning at any age.   

The 4 Mistakes Public Speakers Make & How You Can Avoid Them

Welcome to our final week of Summer School! This week, we're talking about what I think is the best job in the world, public speaking. I know some of you shuddered...
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Interruptions, overwhelming tasks, long goals, and day jobs: How to win 4 situations everyone faces.

There are endless distractions that are constantly taking us away from the things we try to accomplish. Some are innocent, like when your kids need help with...
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How to get the cheat codes from people smarter than you, AKA find a mentor. (Part 2)

The number one thing a mentor can give you is cheat codes. That phrase may sound too good to be true, but it isn't. Great mentors have great cheat codes, and...
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How to build your own time machine, AKA find a mentor. (Part 1)

Mentors are like time machines. They've been to the future you want, and if you ask them, they'll tell you how to get there too. In this special two-part...
Read More

5 Steps I Use to Write New York Times Bestsellers

Welcome to Week 3 of the Summer School series! This week we're talking about the five steps I use to write New York Times Bestselling Books. We'll discuss the...
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5 Stupid Simple Steps to Jumpstart a Healthier Life

People constantly come up to me and say, "Wow, Jon, you are so tall and fit how do you do it?" OK, that hasn’t happened yet but I’ve started doing CrossFit...
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