029: Jon Acuff on his New Book Finish, What he Learned Working with Dave Ramsey, & How to Serve Your Audience

029: Jon Acuff on his New Book Finish, What he Learned Working with Dave Ramsey, & How to Serve Your Audience

Today, I’m talking with Jon Acuff, a New York Times Bestselling author, who for 19+ years, has been helping companies like Home Depot, Bose, Staples and even the Dave Ramsey team, tell their stories. He’s a well-known public speaker and his blogs have been read by millions of fans around the world.

In this conversation, we dive deep into Jon’s 6th book — Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of Done — which is not only extremely entertaining (it literally had me laughing out loud one night), but it is actually backed by science as well. And for you the busy financial advisor, who let’s be honest likely struggles to finish things, trust me, you will appreciate this discussion!


Here are a few highlights from our conversation:


  • Why the Western World’s approach to goal setting is completely failing you and busting the most common goal setting myths!
  • The biggest lessons Jon learned from his 3 years working under Dave Ramsey and how that experience led to his eventual success as a speaker and author.
  • The book publishing methodology that allowed him to become a New York Times Bestseller and the guiding principles from his upcoming book, Finish.
  • How to serve and stay passionately connected to ANY audience.


  • [04:51] Make it fun if you want it doneWhy setting and achieving goals doesn’t have to suck in order to count!
  • [11:12] Jon describes how he landed a job with Dave Ramsey, lessons learned and why he eventually made the decision to venture out on his own.
  • [17:39] How in the heck has Jon been able to publish 6 books and why do so few people who say they want to write a book, never actually finish?
  • [21:50] Why it doesn’t have to be all or nothingDiscover ‘The Day After Perfect’ concept and how it can be harnessed to get back on track with your toughest goals.
  • [25:05] Find out why you should be cutting your goals in halfJon contradicts the so called “experts” and completely busts common goal setting myths.
  • [30:58] Are you succeeding at nothing because you’re trying to do everything?Learn why it’s actually OK to bomb in certain areas of your life!
  • [33:10] Discover the 2 types of motivations that influence people and why you’ll lose if you’re only using 1 of them.
  • [36:05] Are you working towards something that actually matters?Learn to leave your hiding places and ignore noble obstacles!
  • [37:57] The numbers don’t lie! Learn the importance of tracking results and using data to celebrate your imperfect process.
  • [43:16] Learn how to “borrow the diploma” and avoid all the mistakes someone else has already made!
  • [50:00] Nail your next speaking gig by staying passionately connected to your core message and communicating directly to your intended audience.  
  • [51:09] You’re not there to speak, you’re there to serveJon explains why honesty alone is not enough if you want to crush it on stage.
  • [58:55] Jon shares all kinds of things he hopes are completely absurd in 25 years, including “promposals”, mopey-ness, and outrage culture!
  • [01:01:41] He’s not a fan of detailed morning routines, but you won’t want to miss the habits he puts in place for writing and editing books!
  • [1:04:28] The book that has had the biggest impact on his life and what it taught him about running from fear.
  • [01:06:18] Why we’re living in the wild wild west and the old rules no longer apply!  
  • [01:09:14] The power of building an email list—the deadliest weapon in your marketing arsenal.


  • Connect with Jon Acuff

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Thanks for checking out our latest show, here’s this weeks featured review! This one comes to us from Btay00 who says:

The Elite Advisor Blueprint - Btay00 Review

Btay00 thanks for taking the time to drop a review out on iTunes! One of my favorite things about the show is having the ability to chat with people who I admire and who intrigue me… basically my goal is to be a curious as possible and ask them questions that serve the financial advising community. So yeah, that’s what I try to do… If any of you listeners out there have ideas on guests who would make for great guests but maybe aren’t in the traditional financial advising space, hit me up out on Twitter and let me know. You can find me @Brad_Johnson, I’d love to hear your thoughts on who would be great on the show.


Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!




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