I received an advance copy of Do Over from Family Christian and an appreciation certificate in exchange for a fair and honest review of this book. The opinions contained in this review are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.
I spend a lot of time in this space talking about my role as a mom. It’s what this blog was designed to be about. But I don’t spend much time talking about what it’s like to be a working mom. Some of you may not even know that I work part-time.
In the hours that I’m not driving kids to a hockey rink, school, a soccer field or any of the other myriad things we do, I’m working. I do freelance editing and writing, and I teach writing at a homeschool enrichment program. I love the flexibility of my job. I set my own hours. I can say no to the work I’m not interested in. It’s a job that lets me be available for my family when they need me.
But it took me awhile to find my way. When I decided I wanted to add some work to my schedule when my younger daughter went off to first grade, I struggled to know how to find the work I wanted. I never really defined the “career” I wanted to have. I simply stumbled into some freelance work. Even now, I often feel like I should have a better grasp of where I’m going and what I want the work part of my life to look like.
When Family Christian offered me the opportunity to review Jon Acuff’s new book Do Over, I wasn’t super interested. I wasn’t really sure that it applied to me or to you, my readers. I was, however, interested in reading it for two reasons: 1) I’d read his book Quitter and was impressed with his writing style and his information and 2) back when I was about 7 years old, Jon’s dad was a pastor at our church (I only vaguely remember Jon, and I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all, but it’s always fascinating to see people you once knew become successful.)
As I was reading Do Over, though, I realized that working is a part of many moms’ realities. It’s part of what we do, and just like any part of our lives, we need to address it. We need to recognize that chasing our own dreams is important even as we help our kids chase theirs. And that’s why Do Over is a great read for any working mom who wants to change her career or chase her dreams. It’s even a great read if you’re not in a season of life where you can chase your dreams because someday you’ll be in a season where you can.
In Do Over, Jon Acuff breaks down what you need to change your career path. He tells you how to declare a do over and start from scratch. The book breaks your do over down into four investments that you need to strike out on a new road: relationships, skills, character and hustle. He explains these with a nifty little chart that places each item on a scale of negative to positive and voluntary to involuntary. His basic premise is that relationships + skills + character x hustle = your career savings account.
When you declare a do over, you draw on that career savings account to launch yourself in a new direction. Jon talks about how to identify the relationships in your life that can help you succeed — from acquaintances to close friends who will advocate for you. He shows you how to recognize the tangible and intangible skills you already have and the ones you need to acquire. He points out the character qualities you’ll need to successfully navigate a do over, and the hustle you’ll need to apply to get there.
Sounds like just another career self-help book, right? Wrong. With humor and intelligence, Jon gives you all the tools you need to call a do over on your career. He doesn’t just tell you what you should be doing, he orders you to get out the note cards and Sharpies and start doing it. He gives you a plan to follow and exercises to do to get you to where you want to be.
So, why is this such a great book for moms? When we become moms, we often give up on our own dreams. We pour all of our time and energy into our families. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are seasons when our families needs as much time and energy as we can give them. But there are those other seasons — the ones where our families don’t need all of our time and attention. And a season is coming (although it may seem a really long way off) where your little ones will be grown. When that season comes, it’s important that we’ve built up a career savings account, so that when it’s time to follow those dreams that God gave us, we’ll have the resources to do so.
If you’re a mom with a dream — even if that dream is currently dormant — pick up Jon Acuff’s book Do Over. It’s available on April 1, but you can preorder it at Family Christian today. Start building a career savings account because someday it will be your turn to chase your dreams — and you want to be ready.