Book Review- Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

Lately, my time for reading has been few and far in between. When I tell people that I'm an avid reader, it secretly comes with a disclaimer of, "When I have time." Nonetheless, I do love to read and cuddle up with a good book. Since my recent schedule has put me on long flights and airport delays, I had the opportunity to finally read a book that I've had since Christmas. That book so happens to be Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by best-selling author Jon Acuff.
I came across this book sometime last year during my daily internet perusing and the title caught my attention. At the time, I felt a little stagnant in my purpose, so it seemed like a great book to revive my passion and give me some momentum. My husband graciously purchased it for me as a gift. Unfortunately, it sat collecting dust for months among my other books waiting to be read. It wasn't until recently that I decided to pick it up and carry it along on a business trip. So, after 5 months, I cracked it open and began reading.

It wasn't very far into the book that I realized how I had robbed myself of a great read for the past few months. Not only was it informative, even from the first few pages, but it was such an easy read! I mean, there are plenty of great books with rich content, but if its a chore reading it, none of that matter. The fact that Jon used his own personal experience as what he calls a "serial quitter," made what he had to say a lot more interesting than it would be otherwise. I'll admit that after finding out that he started his writing career through blogging, I was a bit bias. After all, we bloggers have to stick together!

Within the book's eight chapters, Jon walks his readers through the seasons of leading a successful and fulfilled life. The book begins with the challenge to honestly assess where you are now and progressively guides you through being awesome. Awesome, by Jon's definition is going after your passion, living life on purpose, and not just letting life pass you by. Awesome is not being average and the average person looks up, old, not having pursued their dreams.In addition to the eight chapters focused on pursuing your passions and eventually guiding others to live out theirs, there is also an appendix with assignments to complete with each chapter. Additionally, he dedicates a whole portion to tips on advancing your business or passion using social media platforms. In the final portion of the appendix, Jon addresses readers who are currently unemployed and walks them through the process of seeking employment. Another plus for me was his inclusion of marriage advice snippets as well as biblical reference. I don't know where else you'd find all of this content in one book!

So, if I'm going to review this book and ultimately recommend it, I guess I should share what I gained from it. Here are my top 5 takeaways from this book:

  1. Reassurance that my passion will produce fruit in due season. Even if it isn't monetarily, I'll still pursue it and love it, because it is my passion and calling.
  2. Insight on how to deal with people who don't understand my passion. After all, it's my passion and not theirs. If they completely understood and loved it they way I do, it would be their passion.
  3. Practical ways to pursue my passion without taking away time from those things that are more important in life. Family time is family time, not passion pursuit time. I have to set boundaries and be intentional about my time.
  4. Permission to dream big consistently! You die when you stop dreaming and pursuing new passions. It's ok to pursue and fail, but it's not ok to stop dreaming and trying.
  5. Awesome isn't a destination, but a lifestyle. Being awesome is dictated by my daily decisions. If I want to live awesome, pursue my passion, and inspire others, I have to put in the work daily.

It should go without saying, but I would definitely recommend this book. Not only was it an easy read, but it had valuable content that was highlight and underline worthy. It took about two days to read, with work and sleep interrupting my reading. I do plan on rereading this book to go back and highlight some items that I missed on the first go round. I give it two thumbs up and 5 stars. You can check this book out on Amazon for less than $15! If you're a dreamer or just want to awesome and not average, give it a read. If you do, remember to come back and comment with your thoughts!



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