Book Summary: “The One Thing” by Gary Keller

This summary of “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” has several layers. It ranges from a quick overview to a detailed chapter-by-chapter analysis.

This way, you can get an overall feel for the book, or you may even decide to skip reading it altogether. You might also find the critique at the end helpful to put the presented ideas into perspective.


Please note: All the following quotes are by Gary Keller if not otherwise stated.

“The ONE Thing” in 5 Sentences

To achieve extraordinary results in life, you must radically focus on one thing.

To do so, ask the focusing question: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”

Apply this to both the macro level (your someday goal), and the micro level (what you are doing right now).

Practice “Goal Setting to the Now” where you start with the end in mind — your someday goal — and work your way backwards to what you need to do right now.

Use time blocking to get your ONE Thing done; i.e. make an appointment with yourself each day during which you only work on your most important task.

The 10 Takeaways from “The ONE Thing”

Next up in this “The One Thing” summary — the 10 lessons with the most impact.

1. Not Everything Matters Equally

Equality is a lie. Some projects / tools / people will have a much greater impact on your life than others.

Most people never stop to evaluate that impact. They indiscriminately spend their time on whatever is in front of them.

You must be different. You must choose the few essential activities over the trivial many (i.e., adopt a minimalist mindset)

2. Think Big

We often limit ourselves by thinking small. That’s because we fear success. We are afraid of the sacrifices we would have to make — in time, fun, and relationships — to truly stand out.

To overcome this, make it a habit to think big. When you set yourself a goal, double it. If you don’t feel intimidated yet, double it again. Your goals should force you to break through your current ceiling of achievement.

3. Go Small

To succeed with your big goals, you need to go small. Dedicate yourself to just one thing at a time. Ignore everything else.

The smaller you go, the more progress you will see. The more you spread yourself thin over several projects, the less success you will have with any of them.

This is the Pareto principle taken to the extreme. Instead of focusing on the essential 20 percent, you narrow it down to 1 percent.

4. Ask the Focusing Question

The focusing question states:

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”

By constantly asking this question, you always choose the action with the most positive impact on your life. It’s the ultimate success habit.

You can apply the focusing question both to long-term goals (e.g., 5-year goals) and to short-term goals (e.g., what to do right now).

5. Line Up Your Dominoes

Success is built sequentially, one thing at a time. This is called lining up your dominoes. Stacking one right decision on top of another creates a compound effect. The longer you stick with the process, the more exponential growth you will experience.

6. Practice Goal Setting to the Now

Always reverse engineer your goals.

Start with your someday goal, then work your way backwards:

  1. What is my someday goal?
  2. What is my 5-year goal — based on my someday goal?
  3. What is my one-year goal — based on my 5-year goal?
  4. What is my monthly goal — based on my one-year goal?
  5. What is my weekly goal — based on my monthly goal?
  6. What is my daily goal — based on my weekly goal?
  7. What is my goal at this moment — based on my daily goal?

By practicing “Goal Setting to the Now,” you make sure your actions in this moment enable your long-term vision.

7. Time Block

To make sure your ONE Thing gets done, you must time block it. Set an appointment with yourself each day. During that time, nothing but your ONE Thing gets done.

For example, if your ONE Thing is becoming a professional guitarist, practice your scales every day from 10 am to 12 pm and again from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Time block as early in the morning as you can, when you are still fresh.

Try to rack up four hours of deliberate practice every day. The goal is to get to 10,000 hours, which equals mastery of a thing.

8. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is a lie. We cannot focus on two things at a time. If we try to, we will do neither thing justice.

Also, by constantly switching back and forth between tasks, we experience massive productivity losses.

9. Manage Your Willpower

Your daily willpower reserve is limited, just like your smartphone battery. Once it’s used up, you won’t make good decisions anymore. No amount of wishful thinking will change that.

So we must invest our willpower wisely, by forming the right habits. Once a new habit solidifies, its cost in willpower goes down. Now we can add something else.

10. Have No Regrets

Most of us live like we have all the time in the world. At the same time, we are always worried what others will think about our choices.

Forget these follies. You will die, and it will be sooner than you think. And when that day comes, you will be appalled by how much you let the expectations of others rule your life.

To avoid that, unapologetically live your life as you see fit. The goal is to have no regrets when it’s over.

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Want a more detailed “The One Thing” summary? Then this chapter-by-chapter guide is for you. Read it all or click into the chapters that interest you the most.

1 – The One Thing

2 – The Domino Effect

3 – Success Leaves Clues

Part I

4 – Everything Matters Equally

5 – Multitasking

6 – A Disciplined Life

7 – Willpower is Always on Will-call

8 – A Balanced Life

9 – Big Is Bad

Part II

10 – The Focusing Question

11 – The Success Habit

12 – The Path to Great Answers

Part III

13 – Live With Purpose

14 – Live by Priority

15 – Live For Productivity

16 – The Three Commitments

17 – The Four Thieves

18 – The Journey

Chapter 1: The ONE Thing

In chapter 1, Gary Keller tells the story of how he turned Keller Williams Realty International from a regional player to an international contender in the real estate world.

For that, he identified the one area where he would have the biggest impact — the hiring process.

He hired 14 carefully chosen executives, removing himself as a bottleneck. As a result, the firm, over the next few years, grew exponentially; on average 40 percent per year.

Next, he started asking his employees this question: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

Productivity went through the roof.

He had discovered the key to success:

Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.

To apply this, you must focus. And you must focus on the right thing.

Because not all things matter equally. Some have a much greater return on investment than others. Identify the ONE Thing with the greatest ROI, then give it your all.

Subtraction, not addition, is the way to go.

Chapter 2: The Domino Effect

Chapter 2 starts with a discussion of the domino effect. Specifically, it talks about geometric progressions.

A single domino is capable of bringing down another domino that is 50 percent larger. So if you keep lining up dominoes that increase in size, a small initial effort will create a massive effect over the long run.

That is what successful people do — each day, they line up their priorities anew.

The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time.

Chapter 3: Success Leaves Clues

Keller next lists several ONE Thing examples:

  • KFC started with a single secret chicken recipe.
  • Coors, for the longest time, only sold one type of beer.
  • Intel, during its successful years, focused on microprocessors.
  • The Star Wars franchise makes most of its money from one thing — selling children’s toys.

Successful companies all ask, “What’s our ONE Thing?”

It’s the same with people. One person in your life will have a much bigger impact on your development than all others. For Walt Disney, it was his brother Roy, who got him work at an art studio.

For Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, it was his father-in-law, who loaned him $20,000 to start his first retail store. For Albert Einstein, it was Max Talmey, the mentor of his teenage years.

The same is true for skills. Successful people all invest in one skill they feel passionate about. For example, American impressionist Pat Matthews became successful by painting one new painting a day.

The ONE Thing principle permeates success.

Part 1

Yet, most people never utilize this success principle. This is due to six common lies about what’s essential for success:

  1. Everything Matters Equally
  2. Multitasking
  3. A Disciplined Life
  4. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
  5. A Balanced Life
  6. Big Is Bad

The next chapters will look at these lies in turn.

Chapter 4: Everything Matters Equally

Not all projects in our lives matter equally. Some have a greater impact, some have a lesser impact.

Yet, we fail to evaluate that impact. We just get busy on random things instead of on the right things.

Specifically, we get side-tracked by the urgent items on our to-do list.

Achievers go about their days differently. They assess which projects truly matter, and then apply themselves to the most important action.

Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list — a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results.

For that, you need the Pareto principle.

The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of your results stems from 20 percent of your effort [similar to Price’s law].

A few ideas have more impact than most other ideas. A few of your clients make you most of your money. A few investments will outperform all your other stocks.

Keller advises you to take the Pareto principle even further. Don’t just focus on the 20 percent — find the ONE Thing with the greatest impact.

This is what achievers consistently do. Instead of getting trapped in the “check off” game, they ditch their to-do list and ask themselves, “What one thing can I do right now that matters most?”

Chapter 5: Multitasking

To do two things at once is to do neither.

Publilius Syrus

Multitasking does not work. Research shows that multitaskers just think they get more done, but in fact get less done.

Multitasking is actually a misnomer. We are not able to focus on two things simultaneously. Rather, we rapidly change back and forth between different tasks.

But when we do so, serious mistakes are made. Planes crash. A patient is misdiagnosed. A toddler is left unattended.

But even when the consequences are less dire, there is a price to pay. Task switching leads to extra time needed to complete a task. A common range is from 25 to 100 percent.

Other negative effects include getting distracted, a distorted sense of time, and more stress.

All of this begs the question:

Why would we ever tolerate multitasking when we’re doing our most important work?

Chapter 6: A Disciplined Life

Success is not a marathon, but rather a series of sprints.

The trick is to form the right habits. Once a certain behavior becomes routine, there is less of a cost associated with it.

So you don’t need more willpower. You just need to use the willpower you already have to drill the right habits into you.

On average, it takes 66 days to acquire a new habit; it depends on the difficulty of the habit. Once that happens, it takes less willpower to maintain.

Chapter 7: Willpower is Always on Will-call

Willpower is a limited resource. You can not conjure it up at will. Once it’s used up for the day, it’s gone.

Think about willpower as the power bar on your smartphone. In the morning, it is fully charged. The longer the day goes on, the more it gets used up. But with some downtime, it can be recharged.

Willpower works exactly the same way. It depletes over time as you resist temptations or make decisions. Eventually, it’s gone.

Research shows that healthy food like vegetables and high-quality protein increase your willpower reserve.

Keller then refers to a study on the Israeli parole system. The study showed that judges were most likely to release a parolee in the morning — when they were still fresh — and after breaks.

When their energy was spent, though, judges would revert to their default setting of denying the request.

In the same way, we revert to our default settings once our willpower is used up. The outcome is usually not ideal.

To combat this, we must consciously manage our willpower:

So, if you want to get the most out of your day, do your most important work—your ONE Thing—early, before your willpower is drawn down. Since your self-control will be sapped throughout the day, use it when it’s at full strength on what matters most.

Chapter 8: A Balanced Life

You cannot live a “balanced life” if you seek success:

“Extraordinary results require focused attention and time. Time on one thing means time away from another. This makes balance impossible.”

The work-life balance myth is a recent invention. It’s a byproduct of the industrialization and the digital age. As our personal space is being infiltrated, we yearn for compensation.

This is understandable, but not feasible:

“In your effort to attend to all things, everything gets shortchanged and nothing gets its due.”

On the other hand, if you over commit to something, you might come to regret it. For example, you might miss your children growing up.

The solution, according to Keller — counterbalancing.

As your default, you focus on your ONE Thing, for long periods of time. Ignore all other things tugging at your attention. Only occasionally do you resurface to take care of other matters.

Keller recommends going out of balance for long stretches of time in your professional life. However, in your personal life, you should go short. Personal relationships neglected for too long cannot be repaired.

Chapter 9: Big Is Bad

We fear success because we associate it with hardships, personal sacrifices, and lost health.

To remedy that, Keller encourages us to think big. We should strive to break through the “ceiling of achievement” we set for ourselves.

For example, Sam Walton set up his future estate plan to minimize inheritance taxes — even before he opened his first Walmart. He saved his family an estimated $11 to $13 billion in taxes.

To develop a growth mindset, use this trick:

A good rule of thumb is to double down everywhere in your life. If your goal is ten, ask the question: “How can I reach 20?”

Part 2

At the beginning of part 2, Keller describes how he became a workaholic, and eventually ended up in the hospital because of it.

This made him realize that working nonstop was not the answer. Rather, it was about bringing all your focus to the right things.

I learned that success comes down to this: being appropriate in the moments of your life.

Chapter 10: The Focusing Question

Put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.

Andrew Carnegie

To pick your ONE Thing, use the focusing question. It states:

What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

There is a macro and a micro perspective to the focusing question.

The macro perspective goes: “What’s my ONE Thing in life?”

The micro perspective goes: “What’s my ONE Thing right now?”

Chapter 11: The Success Habit

Asking the focusing question is the ultimate success habit. Ask it when you wake up, ask it when you get to work, ask it in your personal life.

Specifically, Keller recommends applying the focusing question to seven key areas in your life:

  1. Your spiritual life
  2. Your physical health
  3. Your personal life
  4. Your key relationships
  5. Your job
  6. Your business
  7. Your finances

Here are three examples:

Physical Health:

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do to ensure that I exercise … ?”

Key Relationships:

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do to improve my relationship with my partner … ?”


“What’s the ONE Thing I can do to make us more profitable … ?”

Chapter 12: The Path to Great Answers

There are four ways to frame a question:

  1. Big & Specific
  2. Big & Broad
  3. Small & Broad
  4. Small & Specific

Let’s work our way backwards.

Small & Specific. Example: “What can I do to increase sales by 5 percent this year?” Concrete, but not challenging enough. A 5 percent increase is marginal.

Small & Broad. Example: “What can I do to increase sales?” Too vague and not challenging enough. This won’t induce action.

Big & Broad. Example: “What can I do to double sales?” It’s a great goal, but not specific enough to get you started.

Big & Specific. Example: “What can I do to double sales in six months?” The best option — ambitious and concrete at the same time.

This last frame — Big & Specific — is the frame we should apply to our focusing questions:

What’s the ONE Thing I can do to double sales in six months such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Now that you have a great question, you also need a great answer.

There are three types of answers:

  1. doable
  2. stretch
  3. possibility

“Doable” refers to solutions within your reach. You already know how to do that.

“Stretch” is an answer that requires you to do some research. It is more challenging, but it can be done.

“Possibility” is outside your comfort zone. You don’t know how to get your desired result yet.

To get somewhere with this last type of answer, you need to do two things: benchmark and trend.

The benchmark method is to study your predecessors — what did the great achievers do who came before you? How did they accomplish it?

Trending is trying to predict what will come next, based on the benchmarks. When you have an approximation, you can be the first.

Part 3

There are three key components to achievement:

  1. Purpose
  2. Priority
  3. Productivity

You can think of those as an iceberg. What you see, the tip of the iceberg, is productivity. Below the surface level follows priority. And at the base, we have purpose.

These three elements propel each other. Purpose drives priority, which in turn drives productivity.

Chapter 13: Live With Purpose

We have to be careful what we choose as our purpose, as it ultimately determines our happiness.

One common pitfall is to subscribe to serial success seeking. There is always one more goal to be accomplished, one more dragon to be slain. But the ensuing happiness never lasts.

It is your job to discover your “Big Why,” the thing that truly drives you. It might be family. It might be teaching. It might be a skill, like a sport.

If you are not sure, take a guess and go with it, until you develop a better hypothesis.

Chapter 14: Live by Priority

Purpose needs priority to make a dent. Otherwise, it remains powerless.

To give priority its due, use a process called “Goal Setting to the Now.”

The idea is to start with the end mind. By looking at your long-term goal 5 years from now, you reverse engineer the process to get there.

The sequence looks like this:

  1. What is my someday goal?
  2. What is my 5-year goal — based on my someday goal?
  3. What is my one-year goal — based on my 5-year goal?
  4. What is my monthly goal — based on my one-year goal?
  5. What is my weekly goal — based on my monthly goal?
  6. What is my daily goal — based on my weekly goal?
  7. What is my goal at this moment — based on my daily goal?

By answering each of these questions in writing, you “connect all your tomorrows.” Your purpose turns into priority.

Chapter 15: Live For Productivity

The last step is to translate priority into productivity.

Here, Keller uses money as a metaphor for productivity. We all get the same amount of time, yet some of us create much greater wealth than others.

The key is to make time for your ONE Thing. Keller calls this time blocking.

It’s a way of making sure that what has to be done gets done.

You set an appointment with yourself on your calendar for your ONE Thing. For example, if your ONE Thing is generating leads, you might block the hours from 10 am to 12 pm each day to cold call clients.

These appointments are sacrosanct — nothing is allowed to distract you. It’s a type of monk mode.

This can be hard to pull off, especially if you have a boss who expects you to be available.

Keller claims that such deals can be negotiated, though, and that soon the people around will start seeing the advantages. By becoming extremely productive, you will win them over.

When time blocking, Keller recommends this 3-step approach:

  1. Time block your time off (vacations, long weekends, etc.).
  2. Time block your ONE Thing.
  3. Time block your planning time.

Start with your time off, because you need to recharge yourself regularly; otherwise you’ll break down.

Then time block your ONE Thing, whatever that may be — making sales calls, painting, practicing a sport, teaching. It depends on your purpose.

There are two best practices here:

  1. Block time as early in your day as you can, since that’s when you are the most energized
  2. Block four hours a day, five days a week

In the beginning, you might have to schedule your time blocks around your job or family obligations. It’s tough, but you need to ride it out. Later, you’ll be able to plan your day as you see fit.

Last, you schedule your planning time. This is to assess your progress. Look at your annual and monthly goals. Ask yourself — am I on track? Do I need to make adjustments? Do this for an hour each week.

A great way to hold yourself accountable is to put up an annual calendar on the wall. Put a big red X across every day you worked on your ONE Thing. You will see the chain grow longer every day. Don’t break it.

The chapter finishes with four best practices for time blocking:

  1. Build a bunker. Find or create a distraction-free environment. This might mean occupying an empty meeting room. It might mean getting up early when everybody is still asleep. Or deleting the wireless network drivers on your laptop.
  2. Store provisions. Have any supplies, snacks or beverages at hand, so you don’t have to leave your bunker.
  3. Sweep for mines. Eliminate all electronic distractions. Turn off your phone. Block certain websites. Turn off the internet.
  4. Enlist support. Let the people around you know what you are doing. When they know your “Why,” they will be more supportive.

Chapter 16: The Three Commitments

To succeed with your ONE Thing, there are three commitments required:

  1. Follow the Path of Mastery
  2. Move from “E” to “P”
  3. Live the Accountability Cycle

Mastery can be measured in hours. It usually takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at something.

That equals about 3 to 4 four hours of practice a day (depending on if you take the weekends off or not) over the course of 10 years.

Moving from “E” to “P” refers to “Entrepreneurial” and “Purposeful.”

Entrepreneurial is our default. Using the skills we have, we apply ourselves to get what we want.

But often, we hit a ceiling. Now we need a Purposeful approach. This is where you start looking for new models to carry you past your limitations.

The Purposeful person follows the simple rule that “a different result requires doing something different.”

To live the accountability cycle is to take complete ownership of your results. It’s facing reality vs. avoiding reality. It’s looking for solutions vs. blaming the circumstances.

One way to cultivate accountability is to find an accountability partner. This person will provide frank, objective feedback. A coach or a mentor are the best choices for that role.

Chapter 17: The Four Thieves

There are four thieves of productivity:

  1. Inability to say “No”
  2. Fear of chaos
  3. Poor health habits
  4. Environment doesn’t support your goals

Inability To Say “No”

When you say yes to something, it’s imperative that you understand what you’re saying no to.

Every “Yes” will deter you from your ONE Thing. Friends requesting your assistance. Strangers wanting help. Invitations. Interruptions.

Therefore, it’s imperative to learn how to say “No.”

Options include:

  • Simply saying “No”
  • Ask them a question to help them figure it out themselves
  • Pointing them to someone else

The only time you should say “Yes” is when the request connects to your ONE Thing.

Fear of Chaos

When you want extraordinary results, your life gets messy.

Because while you work away at your ONE Thing, the world keeps moving. To-dos rack up.

You must learn to live with these loose ends.

Poor Health Habits

You must manage your health in order to stay productive.

A healthy diet, exercising, and sufficient sleep are not optional. If you don’t take care of these, you cannot succeed. Not only will your productivity suffer, but you might damage yourself beyond repair.

A set morning routine can help with that. Keller recommends this order:

  1. meditate
  2. eat a nutritious breakfast
  3. exercise
  4. spend time with your family
  5. plan your day

Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals

The people close to you and the environment you live in must support your goals.

If you are surrounded by negative people, it will rub off on you. Therefore, consciously choose your tribe.

Vice versa, if you spend a lot of time with high achievers, you are more likely to become one yourself.

Likewise, your physical environment plays a big role. Try to remove distractions. Stop watching the news. Avoid the chatty neighbor. Don’t check your emails first thing in the morning.

Chapter 18: The Journey

Dream big. Whatever matters to you — business, relationships, fitness — come up with a goal that is intimidating. Then double it.

Next, go small.

Choose the ONE Thing that will have the greatest impact in relation to your goal right now. Take that first step. Then take the next step.

Keep lining up your dominoes until you get there.

Because if you don’t, you will pay for it in regrets.

Bronnie Ware, in her book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” asked terminally ill patients what they would have done differently.

The most common regret was this: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life others expected of me.

This is why you need to base your life on purpose, priority, and productivity. When you know your mission, you are less likely to get lost.


This “The One Thing” book review wouldn’t be complete without a few critical observations. There are five ways in which the text could have been improved.

1. Don’t Water Down Your Message

The book is spot on about its core message — success is about focusing on one thing, to the exclusion of everything else.

It’s this radical single mindedness that differentiates the top achievers from the masses. Think Steve Jobs or Michael Phelps.

But that is a difficult message to convey if your target audience are those exact masses.

So not surprisingly, right after introducing its radical message, the book starts to water it down.

Suddenly, we are supposed to never let our ONE Thing compromise our personal life, what Keller calls counterbalancing.

Then Keller wants us to ask the focusing question for all the different areas in our lives — business, health, spirituality, relationships, etc. — essentially reintroducing multitasking.

Next we are told to start each morning with a morning routine of meditation, exercising, healthy cooking, family time, and day planning — all of those before we even get to our ONE Thing.

How is any of that concentrating on just one thing?

It’s not Keller’s fault, though.

To most of us, the ONE Thing philosophy is only intriguing from a distance. But when it comes to applying it, we don’t want to give up anything. We want things to stay as they are.

So Keller’s move is unfortunate, but understandable from a business point of view.

2. Don’t Push Counterbalancing

Counterbalancing is the idea that you focus on one thing for long stretches of time in your professional life. But you should only go short in your private life, to not damage your relationships.

Especially for employees — which I assume make up the majority of Keller’s readers — that is not realistic.

If you have a 9-to-5 job, your boss won’t let you time block four hours at the workplace to become a professional musician. You will get fired.

But to reach your goal, you must put in the hours. So where do you take them from? Right, the only thing that is left — your private life.

That is the regrettable truth. And yes, you will hurt people close to you. The biographies of uber successful people are proof of that. Think Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos.

But you cannot have it both ways.

3. Acknowledge the Risks

Keller is a big proponent of thinking big, and he has a point. Most people indeed think too small and end up in a prison of their own making.

But there is a reason for that — they are scared.

They are scared of the sacrifices — the hardship, the discipline, the lost time, the social experiences missed out on.

Keller mentions these fears in passing, but never addresses them.

But they are substantiated, and they should be addressed.

You need to know about the price you are going to pay when you try to become extremely successful at something. Just spreading self-help platitudes about thinking big will not help with that decision.

4. Stay Away from the Phrases

“The ONE Thing” excels when it talks about practical techniques for achieving your goals, like “Goal Setting to the Now” or time blocking.

But the book does less well when it starts to throw around “big words.” Specifically, the sections on purpose, priority and productivity are overblown. They use lots of bombastic language, but they say little.

To be fair, this is a common problem of many self-help books. They try to get you emotionally fired up, when they should really prime your sense of reality.

5. Embed the Anecdotes

“The One Thing” uses a lot of stories, parables and anecdotes.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with that — if those anecdotes connect to the point you are trying to make.

Unfortunately, that is often not the case.

Just one example. In chapter 7, Keller tells the story of the famous Marshmallow experiment.

It’s a great story. But the message of the experiment — “The ability to postpone pleasure is an indicator for success” — does not support the message of the chapter — “We only have limited willpower available each day.”

This goes on throughout the book. The stories are entertaining, but not embedded.

Read It Anyway!

Despite these criticisms, “The ONE Thing” is a great book, well worth reading. The core message, that we must radically focus on one thing to see extraordinary results, is spot on. It’s the reason why I have been recommending this book to friends for years, and why I wrote this “The ONE Thing” summary.

About the Author

Gary Keller originally published “The ONE Thing” in 2013 with co-author Jay Papasan. Subsequently, the book made it onto the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Before that, Keller had already co-authored “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” (2004), and “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor” (2005). Both of these books also became bestsellers.

In total, Keller has sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Keller was born on July 21, 1957, in Pasadena, Texas. After attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas, he moved to Austin in 1979.

He was first employed as a real estate agent, but started his own company in 1983, which eventually became Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI). Keller Williams is now the largest real estate company in the world by agent count.

As KWRI grew, Keller strategically removed himself as a bottleneck. He found key team members to take over for him so he could focus on his role as an educator and writer.

Keller is married and has a son. All of them still live in Austin, Texas. He is an avid guitar player, and originally had plans to become a professional musician. With his band, he regularly plays at Keller Williams events.

Did you like this “The ONE Thing” summary? Then leave me a comment! I would love to discuss your take on the book with you.

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