Inside the Phone of an Author: Jon Acuff

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There was a time when Jon Acuff’s career prospects looked less than stellar. He had eight jobs in eight years, quitting one after the other. It looked like he’d never find his groove.

All that changed in 2010, when — on the strength of his enormously popularly and unapologetically irreverent blog, “Stuff Christians Like” — he was invited to join money management guru Dave Ramsey’s company as a full-time author and speaker. Since then, Jon has published four books: Stuff Christians Like; Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt; Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job; and his latest, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Mattersall while amassing a following of over 4 million readers for his blogs.

From “less than stellar” to rising star, Jon is now a speaker, author and seminar leader who finds himself on the road more than ever — and all the more attached to his smartphone, an iPhone 5, protected by an OtterBox case.

“It’s my command center for most of my life,” says Jon, who runs most of his growing business from social media. While Jon uses the native calendar app to manage his day and Toodledoo to stay on top of his to-do list, two of the apps he can’t live without pertain to social media.

Twitter is my favorite social media platform,” he says, admitting its the first app he opens when he wakes up and the last before bed. “And I can’t live without Instagram. Everyone looks like a photographer when you add enough filters.”

In addition to those, Jon relies on Google Maps (“I hate getting lost”), Netflix and his addiction, Candy Crush. “It is the devil and refuses to release me from its grip,” he jokes. Jon’s other go-to app during his down time is the humor category of Pinterest. “I can’t see enough cats trying to climb slides,” he laughs.

It’s not all fun and games though. In addition to using his smartphone to run his business as an author and speaker, Jon also finds ways to do good even more good in the world. In just 25 days in 2009, he managed to raise $60,000 through his blog and Twitter to build two kindergarten classrooms in Vietnam.

With so much dependency on his mobile technology, Jon confesses that he’s one of those guys who sleeps with his phone next to him.

“I do, if it’s charging,” he says sheepishly. “But not in the bed with me. That’d be creepy.”

About the author

Eryc Eyl

Eryc Eyl is a writer, speaker, coach and consultant who helps individuals and organizations integrate work into a meaningful, fulfilling and fun life. You can learn more about him at

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