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Tim Hiller Book Signing This Weekend!

WMU 10.24.15

Join Tim at Buster’s WMU Bookstore (Bernhard Center, Main Level, Western Michigan University) this Saturday from 10AM – 2PM. or Sunday from 1-2PM. Hear about the story behind Strive, hear a reading from the book, and get a signed copy.


October 24th, 10AM-2PM or October 25th, 1-2PM at Buster’s WMU Book Store – 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008

November 10th, 6-8PM at The Michigan News Agency – 308 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

November 14th, 1-3PM at Barnes & Noble – 6134 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, MI 49002

November 27th, 5-8PM at Christian Homestead Bookstore – 133 N. Main St., Orrville, OH 44667

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Tim Hiller Book Signing This Thursday!

Bookbug 10.15.15

Join Tim at Bookbug (3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo) this Thursday from 7-8:30PM. Hear about the story behind Strive, hear a reading from the book, and get a signed copy. For more information, click here.


October 15th, 7-8:30PM at Bookbug – 3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

October 24th, 10AM-2PM or October 25th, 1-2PM at Buster’s WMU Book Store – 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008

November 10th, 6-8PM at The Michigan News Agency – 308 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

November 14th, 1-3PM at Barnes & Noble – 6134 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, MI 49002

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unEDITED: The Story of STRIVE

Today is the release date of my first book, Strive. While it’s an exciting (and nerve wracking) experience, the road to get here was anything but easy. Given the number of questions I’ve fielded lately about Strive, I figured I’d tell the story behind the story. unEDITED.


You see, the Strive story is all about editing. Starting a direction. Working towards a goal. Then changing direction. Altering. Correcting. Refining. And then doing it some more. So here’s the unedited story of how a very unEDITED book came into being…

It was September of 2010 and I was walking through Irving’s Market in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, trying to keep a low profile. I was fresh off the NFL waiver wire as I’d just been cut by the Indianapolis Colts, and I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I deemed a failure. As I sat at a table across from a pastor/mentor/friend he challenged and encouraged me with two things:

  • Remember God’s purposes for you. (I still remember him saying, “God may have placed you in that locker room just to impact one person. And that’s enough.” Wise words.)
  • Journal in your daily devotional time. Write what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing.

Point one was hard to hear but made sense. Point two seemed flat out intimidating. I’d tried journaling before and I was lousy at it. I still am. I would consider myself introspective, but it’s more of an internal conversation than a “Dear Diary” type of musing. But in my brokenness, I attempted to take on the journal challenge.

After three days of empty pages in a notebook and some pent up frustration, things just weren’t working out. So I tried a new approach.

Journal to an audience.

I picked a verse of scripture that really captured my attention and pierced my heart as I read the Bible, I wrote it down, and then I attempted to journal as if I was communicating to someone else. I shared stories that came to mind, I shared what I was learning, and I shared what I was trying to do to change and grow as I dealt with my perceived failures.

After a while I had 15-20 entries done and I’d shared a couple with my wife Michelle. She had a co-worker who was going through a difficult time and she asked to share an entry with him. Then we had a friend from church who was going through a job change. I shared an entry about work and career with him (which made the unEDITED final cut into Strive, starting on page 29). There were a couple other sharing of devotionals that happened, and a lot of positive feedback, along with a suggestion:

“You should start a blog.”

Having no clue how to do this I did some research on blogging and before long I had a Blogger site set up called ENCOURAG3MENT, which had 3 goals—see a need, use your gifts, and meet the need. It was designed to provide simple, practical, daily ENCOURAG3MENT to move others toward using their God-given gifts to serve Him and others.

Writing is like exercise—do it every day and it goes a long way. ENCOURAG3MENT was great because it helped me practice, it helped me “exercise” my writing and try new things, and it was going directly to people each day who could be impacted by the content.

Over the course of 2011 and 2012 ENCOURAG3MENT grew steadily to several hundred followers and over 250 entries, along with some additional entries that I stored but never posted.

But everything changed in the Spring of 2012.

I was the head football coach at Gull Lake High School at the time, preparing to enter my second season, and I was considering using HUMANeX Ventures to evaluate the gifts and talents of our senior captains with a new assessment tool the company offered. A friend of mine who works at HUMANeX offered me free passes to their annual Impact & Legacy Summit, and I obliged.

As I sat in the back of the room, I couldn’t figure out why my table was empty. I was literally the only person at the table. (Loser!) It seemed odd, but I dismissed the thought and began taking notes as the likes of Tom Izzo, Sue Enquist, and more took the stage to speak.

At the lunch hour, I soon realized why my table was empty. It was the speakers’ table. That day I as I dined with the keynote speakers, God opened a door.

I ended up sitting next to, my now friend, Adrian Gostick. Adrian is an author, consultant, researcher, and business expert on culture and career. He has written New York Times bestselling books, most prominently The Carrot Principle, All In, and What Motivates Me (which I am reading now!) His consultancy, The Culture Works, helps individuals and businesses around the globe do more meaningful work and find more value in their careers.

Adrian and I had a great conversation across many topics. His son was a high school athlete at the time—a fine soccer player—and we discussed the possibility of him trying kicking/punting for football. We talked about work, family, life, and more. After the event we stayed in touch via email, and I shared the ENCOURAG3MENT blog as a way to share my faith in Jesus with him and also a way to stay in touch.

His response to the email floored me.

“I read the blog. You need to get published.”

The thought had never even crossed my mind. I had no clue how to go about publishing a book. But Adrian challenged me to prepare a manuscript when I was ready and to send it to him.

unEDITED…The Process

Editing a book is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Naïve to the process, I worked to put together a 100 day challenge of some of the most popular ENCOURAG3MENT blog posts and some never before read content and sent it to Adrian to take a look. Piece of cake! Right?

He ripped to shreds. (In a good way.)

His suggestions were wonderful, his feedback was honest, and his encouragement (no pun intended!) served as a catalyst for the book being released today. Adrian had 3 key pieces of advice:

  • Tell more stories about your life. Your ideas are great but you need a platform first. People want to hear about your experiences.
  • Give the reader action items. Something to do after they read a devotional.
  • Put it in a weekly format. People are busy. This won’t overwhelm them and will help engage them for a longer period of time.

After about 4 months of early mornings and late nights I had Adrian’s suggestions implemented, but there was a long road ahead. Adrian helped share my manuscript with a couple of his contacts, which proved helpful later, but didn’t produce any immediate fruit. I submitted the manuscript to several publishers and all resulted in rejection. I met with a local author who self-published, but he was unable to commit the time and resources to helping support the endeavor. Then I talked to my friend Joel Penton, who is a 2-time author. He took a look at the manuscript and had some counsel.

“We have some work to do,” he said. “I’d recommend an editing team.”

Yet another 4 months later, the manuscript had been sculpted again by key input from 4 friends—Joel, Bill Sanders, Danny Wuerffel, and Josh Baird.

Now came finding a publisher again. After striking out several more times, the break came when Bill Carmichael from Deep River Books contacted me. Bill has been involved with the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) over the years, and his team learned about Strive through the ECPA manuscript submission site. After getting to know Bill, we worked out an agreement and partnered together on October 25, 2014.

With joining the Deep River team came even more work! Finalizing the title, working on endorsements, cover design, marketing planning, typesetting the galley, distribution channels, and, you guessed it…

More editing.

Strive is roughly 52,000 words in length. When I opened the document from editor Michael Degan (who is fantastic to work with!), there were over 17,000 suggested changes in the manuscript.

After Adrian’s edits and the editing team’s edits, 32% of Strive still needed some patching up.

As I reflect on the refining process over the course of a couple years, I can’t help but wonder…

What’s my percentage in life?

How often do I need editing? And how much? Where do I think I’m doing well, but there’s growth that needs to happen?

I think my percentage is a lot higher than 32%.

But today, as Strive goes out to the world, I’m grateful that our great God takes people like you and me, unedited and in need of severe correction, and he extends us grace. Yes, he edits us (if we will allow him), but he leads with grace. Loving, truth-filled grace. And if we embrace his love, and love him back, he edits us into the most useful form of who we are. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 reminds us:

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

Yes we are unEDITED, but we are also his children—and that is worth celebrating. If God can use an average guy with no ability to journal his thoughts and no intention of writing a book, to publish one, he can use you to accomplish his purpose for your life as well. Nothing is beyond his editing power.

So there you have it…the story behind Strive. I hope you enjoy the heavily unEDITED final version and I pray it impacts your life in a meaningful way.

May you Strive for what matters most each day,

Tim Hiller


October 15th, 7-8:30PM at Bookbug – 3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

October 24th, 10AM-2PM or October 25th, 1-2PM at Buster’s WMU Book Store – 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008

November 10th, 6-8PM at The Michigan News Agency – 308 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Read More Test the Truth

The Strive Challenge Banner

 The release of Tim Hiller’s new book STRIVE is 3 DAYS AWAY – October 1! To get ready for the Strive release, we’re introducing “The Strive Challenge” – 6 weeks with 1 purpose – to help readers pursue what matters most in their lives. Join in at:

CLICK HERE to download and complete today’s Strive Challenge Tracker!

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Proverbs 30:5

A couple months ago I invited two coaches from a local high school to attend a Quarterback Academy we held at Next Level Performance. One coach came. The other didn’t.

During a break I was talking to the coach that attended and answering some of his questions around drills and technique. As the conversation shifted from football to life, family, and friends the coach mentioned his missing colleague. From the sounds of it, he had some concerns about the Academy.

“I asked him again to come,” the coach explained, “and I told him about your mission at Next Level to build leadership and character in athletes. But he told me, ‘It smells Christian.’”

As I smiled at the absent coaches’ comment, he went on to explain how he’d been trying to reach his fellow coach and share his faith in Jesus with him on multiple occasions—from direct discussions, to inviting him to church, to giving him his own bible—but he hadn’t seen progress just yet. As our dialogue continued, we discussed a new approach to helping a skeptical person consider giving faith a chance.

We ended up calling it “Testing the Truth.”

For someone who is skeptical, much like this coaches’ colleague, arguing about who is right is seldom the answer. The proof is in the pudding. It’s about faith becoming real in an individual’s life through them personally experiencing Jesus. Testing the Truth is about giving God an honest shot and seeing what happens.

It works like this:

  • Ask a friend to give Testing the Truth an open-minded chance. Assure your friend you aren’t out to change his or her current persuasion about Jesus or the Bible—just to explore together.
  • Read Matthew chapters 5-7  together. If you’re geographically separated, read separately but touch base for accountability—so you both know you completed the reading. It probably won’t take longer than 20-30 minutes.
  • Together, to the best of your abilities, try to live by the guidelines you both read. Some examples you might notice could be:
  • At the end of the five days, have a follow up meeting or call with your friend to discuss how the week went. Ask your friend to honestly answer the following question:

“What could my life look like if I lived this way?”

Testing the Truth typically yields one of two reactions:

Surprise – “My life could be better for me and those around me by living this way!”

Sorrow – “I fell short of the mark and didn’t fulfill the things I read.”

The first is an opportunity to study God’s word further to help your friend see Jesus’ entire life and ministry and to get to know Him personally. The second is an opportunity to discuss what it means to sin and fall short, and how Jesus overcame our shortcomings by dying and rising again so we need not feel the weight of this sorrow any more. But either reaction is an open door opportunity. An opportunity for you to share your faith, and an opportunity for your friend to experience firsthand that “every word of God is flawless.” Our Lord is real, he is faithful, and he is the truth that can withstand any test!


CLICK HERE to download and complete today’s Strive Challenge Tracker!

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The Strive Challenge™ by Tim Hiller
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Strive: The Book

In Strive, former collegiate and NFL quarterback Tim Hiller leads you on a year-long journey, taking small steps each week on the path to making your life matter, developing into the person God designed you to be.

Our lives are short. Together, let’s pursue what matters.


From his platform as a champion, Tim has a natural gift for connecting with a wide range of audiences—from schools, youth groups, and churches, to student-athletes and business leaders. Submit a speaking request to invite Tim to inspire your group, team, or organization.

Next Level Performance

Co-founded by Tim Hiller, Next Level Performance develops the total athlete through elite sports performance training, club teams, and Beyond The Game™ Conferences. NLP’s proprietary leadership development process helps student-athletes succeed, both now and in the future.

Tim Hiller Live