The One Thing Book Summary by Gary Keller

The One Thing Book Summary can basically be defined in One sentence; The ONE Thing gives you a very simple approach to productivity, based around a single question, to help you have less clutter, distractions and stress, and more focus, energy and success.

I’m assuming that if you found this article you’re probably feeling like you’re DROWNING with so much to do in your business that you need help.

To a point to where you feel that there is too much work to do and the thought of actually doing it ends up demoralizing you and in the end, and you get almost nothing done?

I recently read Gary Keller’s book “The One Thing” which gives a practical solution for this EXACT problem that cripples so many business owners.

Gary Keller is the chairman of the board and cofounder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., one of the largest real estate companies in the world.

In his, “The One Thing” book summary, Gary explains the immense power of simplicity and doing the one thing that can make everything else either seem easy or unnecessary.

When I related his ideas and concepts to my own business, it really made a lot of sense.

You see, I run 5 multi-million dollar businesses while managing a decent sized team and things can get SUPER CRAZY at times.

And it’s only going to get worse as I am planning to scale up my business to $100 million in the next few years… So I am on a hiring & new project implementation spree right now.


I really NEEDED something to manage my situation and I must say that reading this book has given me profound clarity on how to move forward.

In today’s post, I am going to share the most crucial lessons that I learned with you.

Before I begin, I want to let you know that these lessons are not just for those who already have a successful business.

These lessons are for everyone because frankly speaking, even a newbie who is starting a business now would have a LOT of things on his plate, which can be overwhelming.

By the way, you can listen to the audio version of the book below:

Audiobook: Listen to “The One Thing Audiobook” Here. You Can Also Check Out Its Reviews And Examples Afterwards.

So moving on….

Lesson 1 – If You Want Success, Don’t Go Big…. Instead Go Small.

You need to dream BIG in life.

But when it comes to achieving your dreams, you need to start narrowing everything down to its MOST BASIC COMPONENT.

The One Thing Big Thing.

Ask yourself a question and really think about it:

What’s the one thing that you can do which can make everything else seem easier?

The best example of this would be the life story of Bill Gates.

  1. Bill was passionate about ONE THING in school – Computers.
  2. The ONE skill he developed was computer programming.
  3. He went on to create ONE company called Microsoft.
  4. Microsoft initially focused on ONE thing – the development and sale of basic interpreters for Altair 8000
  5. Later, Microsoft developed the ONE operating system that made Bill Gates a household name – Windows
  6. Later on, Bill and his wife Melinda started ONE foundation with ONE goal – to save lives of people in poor countries
  7. They found the ONE major cause for deaths in poor countries – Infectious diseases
  8. Which led them to the ONE solution – Vaccination

See how everything comes down to identifying the ONE THING that matters the most.

The point to be noted here is that while the ONE THING is the most important thing, it’s NOT the only thing that matters.

The whole point of finding the ONE THING is to create a domino effect.

When you push a small domino the size of your thumb, it can topple a slightly larger domino standing next to it, which in turn can push a slightly larger domino and the process can go on and on and on.

Theoretically speaking, if you stack all the dominoes in increasing order of size next to each other, you can even topple a domino the size of the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING by flicking a small thumb sized domino from one end.

Check out this video:

That’s the power of the domino effect.

Small action leads to BIG of results if you know what to focus on.

That’s why if you want to be successful, you need to narrow down and GO SMALL.

Find the smallest domino.

The ONE THING that can trigger everything.

When you do THAT ONE THING, then the next steps will naturally happen because you have set things in motion.

Lesson 2 – Don’t Make “To Do” Lists. Instead, Make Success Lists.

You must have heard about the 80-20 principle.

The 80-20 principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

The point being MAJORITY of your results will come from a few high income producing activities.

Every single day I make over $20,000+ but that does not mean every single working hour of mine is worth the same.

When I do a 3 hour webinar and close it with an offer, I would get a FLURRY of sales over the next few days (ranging from $50,000 – $200,000).

That particular 3 hours of work brings me 10X more money than 20 hours of regular work.

That’s 80-20 principle in a nutshell.

So here’s what you need to do:

List out all the activities that you need to do in your business.

Now eliminate the low income producing activities (80%) and keep the high income producing activities (20%).

Now apply 80-20 rule on the high income activities list AGAIN and narrow down your list.

Keep repeating the cycle until your list comprises of JUST a few things.

Now this is called as your SUCCESS LIST.

Once you have your ONE THING and your SUCCESS LIST nailed down, you can keep focusing on doing just them to get the results you want.

Let me give you an example from my own business:

What’s the ONE THING that I need to focus on to get to my goal of $100 million in the next few years?

LIVE Events.

I need to coordinate more LIVE events where I deliver great value and offer my training and coaching programs.

What would be the activities on my Success List apart from the One Thing?

  1. Emailing my list daily (every email I send out is worth $10,000+)
  2. Doing LIVE webinars (every webinar I do is worth at least $50,000)
  3. Launching my affiliate program

That’s it.

Everything else can be delegated to someone else from my team.

Now you may not be in a position to have your own team of employees but you can understand the point I am making here.

Focus on the high income producing activities.

Chuck out the rest or outsource it (freelancer, odesk, fiverr, etc).

Lesson 3 – Create Time Blocks To Focus On Doing One Thing ONLY

A lot of people take immense pride in being able to multi-task.

Sure, it’s cool to be able to do multiple things at once, but just because it’s cool doesn’t mean it’s effective.

You can watch a game on TV and talk to someone else at the same time but you cannot give either of those tasks the KIND of attention that you could give if you were to do them individually.

Our brain works the BEST when we focus on ONE THING.

It leads to better quality of work, better productivity and better progress.

Some people think that since our body can function without our conscious thought by doing activities like breathing, heart pumping, etc….we are all essentially multi tasking.

Not really.

The part of the brain that coordinates them is DIFFERENT from the part that focuses on a task.

So if you want to make real progress, then focus on doing ONE THING at a time and do a kickass job of it.

Allocate specific TIME BLOCKS for each task so that your mind gets automatically tuned to do just that task in that time.

Here’s the best example for it:

When you go to a movie….

Do you put your cell phone in silent mode?


Do you empty your bladder beforehand?


Do you have your popcorn and coke with you?


Why do you do all of this?

Because when you go to watch a movie in a theater, your focus is on watching the movie ONLY and to get the BEST EXPERIENCE you make sure everything else is put on a standby.

You need to do the same in your business too if you want to get the best results.

Lesson 4 – Be A Maker In The Morning And A Manager In The Afternoon

As a business owner, you have 2 jobs:

  1. To perform high income producing activities
  2. To delegate and coordinate the rest of the activities with others

When you wake up from your sleep, your brain functions the best.

And that’s when you need to focus on performing your highest income producing activities.

For example, writing an email or creating a sales letter or sales video or webinar presentation….all those are high income producing activities.

Get them done first.

Then you can focus on coordinating the rest of the activities as your day progresses.

Be a MAKER in the morning and a manager in the afternoon and watch your results SOAR.

By the way…

Here Are Some Of The One Thing Book Quotes That Will Definitely Motivate You:

  • “Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls– family, health, friends, integrity– are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
  • “Your next step is simple. You are the first domino.”
  • “Multitasking is a lie”
  • “A life worth living might be measured in many ways, but the one way that stands above all others is living a life of no regrets.”
  • “It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do , it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.”
  • “Success is actually a short race—a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.”
  • “Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.”
  • “a different result requires doing something different.”
  • “Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.”

Lesson 5 – Form Daily Habits That Can Bring About Real Results

Most people focus on trying to get disciplined in order to get results.

But there is a BIG PROBLEM with this approach.

If being highly disciplined (in) is NOT in your DNA, then it’s bloody hard to remain for a considerable amount of time.

Forget about discipline.

All the high achievers in the world are not the most disciplined people out there.

But a common trait amongst them is that they all have developed POWERFUL HABITS that bring about real results for them in their field.

It all depends on what HABITS to cultivate for your situation.

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If you are building an online business, going to the gym daily is NOT a habit that is going to impact your results directly (even though it’s a good habit).

But if you were to write a daily email to your list, now that’s a habit that would help you make more sales and grow your business.

So start developing powerful habits ONE BY ONE.

Just find out what habits would impact your results the most and keep at it.

You will make a lot of progress.

Note: if you want on learn more how you can be more successful by applying effective daily habits that help you increase your monthly income from home, i highly recommend you check out our digital marketing course.

Lesson 6 – Secret To Getting Ahead Is Getting Started

As simple as this may sound, it’s pretty true.

Half of the battle is in getting started.

Have you ever had a situation where you felt lethargic to get something done all day but the moment you started doing that work, you really got into it and got it done?


That’s just a TRICK that our mind plays with us.

We all face RESISTANCE at some point when we are about to start anything.

Sometimes when we are about to do something really important, we may face FEAR too.

It’s natural.

But you always need to know that these are TEMPORARY feelings that have no meaning.

Once you ignore them and push forward, you will find yourself immersed in your work and get things done.

Thinking of starting a new business?


Thinking of starting a new campaign?


You don’t need to know everything to get started.

You can figure things out along the way.

But what’s important is that you PUSH through and get things done.

That’s what separates the achievers from the dreamers.

Lesson 7 – Connecting Purpose, Priority & Productivity Will Determine How Much You & Your Business Will Grow

If you want to have a super stable business that experiences quantum growth every year, then you need to have these 3 things:

  1. Purpose

I know so many marketers online who just want to make money SOMEHOW.

While making money is important, if you don’t have a LARGER PURPOSE, then it’s hard to build a thriving business that attracts quality customers.

Without purpose, you will be forever chasing the latest and greatest tricks to make a bit more money.

Purpose allows you to see the BIG PICTURE, plan for the future and build your business in a way that LASTS for long.

  1. Priority

Growth happens when you focus on taking the RIGHT ACTION.

Successful people ruthlessly prioritize their actions and start executing the most important ones in a sequential order.

You need to do the same.

  1. Productivity

The success of your business comes down to HOW WELL you execute the important tasks in your business.

Increasing your productivity of the tasks that matter will have an immense impact on your results.

So in a nutshell:

Purpose helps you find the big picture.

Priority helps you identify the right tasks to perform.

Productivity helps you perform those tasks at the most optimum level.

When you FUSE purpose, priority and productivity, you will experience nothing but extraordinary results in your business.

So these are the 7 lessons I learnt from the one thing book summary by Gary Keller.

Go out there and start FOCUSING on what matters in your business and you will achieve a LOT.

Go ahead and create your “Success List of Should Do’s” and get focused on executing every single one per day. The more you stick to the list, the more productive and disciplined you will become.

Liked this content? I would like to hear form you and let us know what your success list looks like.

If you’re considering looking for help with this, you can reach out to us below and we will be happy to help you create your business success list. Ready to rock this year?

Claim your FREE 30 minute Income Kickstarter Strategy Session – Click here.

About The Author:

Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin

Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of & Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.

His signature program is now available: Max Income System; 14 Simple Steps To Making Your First Income Online

Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader whose work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn & FB Group.