(A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a guy named Bo Parrish. He did something brilliant during our lunch that I asked him to write about. I honestly wish I had done what he did more often in my life. Here’s what I thought was so interesting.)
Last week I had the good fortune of meeting Jon Acuff for lunch. Guess what…the last thing on my mind was food! So why did I decide to take my lunch to go? It’s very simple really, just a matter of numbers…
I’ll come back to these later but what you need to know about my seemingly strange choice comes down to a matter of focus.
I met Jon for the first time back in October. I had read his books and was very familiar with his edge on the market. Jon was speaking at an event in Cool Springs on the topic of Facebook marketing. I was (and still am) in a transitory period of my life and I was eager to hear what Jon had to say. I couldn’t seem to write fast enough, but I tried my best. Fortunately, I had the chance to speak briefly with him after his talk. I explained my situation to him and was delighted to hear him ask for my card.
Toward the beginning of December Jon wrote a blog post titled “How to Influence Influencers.” In this post he emphasized the importance of being authentic and the power of friendship. This inspired me to try another tactic. My wife is the dietician for the Nashville Predators and has access to season tickets. I remember Jon mentioned that he was from New England so I figured he was a hockey fan. I sent Jon an email (which was a forward of his blog post) essentially calling him out! I expressed my desire to build a friendship and in the process wanted he and Jenny to attend a hockey game with my wife and I. I was sure that this would get his attention!
Just before Christmas, the day I had been waiting and fighting for now for 2 months came to a reality! Jon replied to my email graciously declining my invitation but asked me to a “Queso and Questions” lunch on January 10th! I was on cloud 9 and immediately began preparing.
Ok, so let me revisit the numbers I quoted at the beginning of this post….
7,000,000 is the number of people who have read Jon’s blogs in the last 6 years.
319,000 people are fans on his Facebook Fan Page
198,000 are those who call themselves Jon Acuff Twitter followers
4 books that have earned Jon the prestigious title of “New York Times Best-Selling Author.”
I did NOT eat lunch during my hour with Jon Acuff because I was completely and totally focused on his words. It is my dream to become a New York Times Best-Selling Author, speaker and coach AND JON HAS ALREADY DONE THAT! Food was the last thing on my mind, I was too busy listening. Jon is the kinda guy who doesn’t mind sharing his success. Sure, it was hard to pin him down at first, BUT JON IS A BUSY GUY. I wanted this meeting bad enough that I was willing to wait and put up with no response. Once I finally was able to get it, I certainly wasn’t going to waste it by doing something totally crazy like eating!
I have a story to tell that is unique and compelling enough to bring it to Jon’s attention. 7 years ago I was dead on an operating table in Canada. Now I am an elite triathlete with global sponsorships. In less than 1 hour he corrected my current trajectory and repositioned my efforts to align with my talent.
Jon shared that the 3 things essential to my future success as a speaker and author are Time, Talent and Grind. He went on to describe the concept of a “Quit Line.” Fortunately I do have time, I certainly have grind with my Quit Line being incredibly long. At this point, I don’t necessarily have the Talent, but I believe with all my might that Jon will bring it out of me.
Jon Acuff has the ability to help make my dream a reality. His track record speaks for itself, so why in the world would I eat during a moment that served as a catalyst for the remainder of my professional life? No question….it was a no-brainer. I know it sounds crazy, but hey, IT JUST MIGHT WORK.