Book Review – Quitter by Jon Acuff

My husband gave me this book for Christmas, hoping it would help me navigate the road from property manager to best-selling novelist. I love that he has enough confidence in me that he thinks maybe this book is all I need.

The title was a little misleading for me because the first chapter is, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” Not that you should never quit, but be smart about it. Through the rest of the book, Acuff outlines the things you need to think about before making the leap. In each chapter he uses his own journey from day job to dream job as an example.  He takes an abstract idea and demonstrates what he means by applying it to his life.

For those of us who tend to jump blindly over the side of the boat – before remembering we can’t swim – Acuff does a great job of encouraging us to take the time to learn to swim. Be sure you have a life vest and know how deep the water is. Do your homework. Are there piranhas in the water? Rocky bottom or sand? Weeds? Pollution? Are you prepared for each of these scenarios?

The last chapter includes a quiz with a point system to help you determine if it’s time to give your day job the heave-ho. Have you been working towards your goal for a long time? +3 points. Are you pursuing someone else’s dream? -3 points. Oh yes he did – negative point questions. It seemed silly at first, but as you read the 52 statements, you can probably think of someone you know who has, in fact, chased a dream because it’s what their dad would have wanted. You might know someone who quit a job because they sold one article to the local newspaper and thought, that’s it, I’m on my way. No point wasting any more time making someone else rich.

Acuff does a great job of making you think realistically about obtaining your goals without discouraging you from going after them.

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at

There were things that I read and went, “well, duh” but I too know people who have jumped out of the plane without a parachute. Some folks need to have it all spread out in front of them. In fact, I am sometimes that person. When my husband and I started talking about moving from Wisconsin to South Carolina, I said, “Let’s do it!” Ten minutes later, I had the suitcases on the bed and was hurling clothes into them from across the room. The cats were hiding under the bed eyeing me warily – this wasn’t their first move. They don’t care for it.

My husband is the logic to my daydream. He did all the research and made all the plans. He really made the move possible. All of us fly by the seat of our pants people need a feet planted firmly on the ground person to keep us from running amok.

But sometimes, the daydreamer in me can help my logical husband by dipping my toe in the water before jumping in. If you have a tendency to leap before you look, Quitter can help you plan realistic steps to your dream.


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