One of my favorite books of all time is “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. Gary Keller is an American entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is the founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which is the largest real estate company in the world by agent count.

Keller founded Keller Williams on training and education and later brought his teachings to print. His books include The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Real Estate Investor, and The ONE Thing. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board at Keller Williams Realty International.

Keller himself is amazing and an extremely successful entrepreneur that I admire, but that isn’t the main reason why I love his book so much.

His book, “The One Thing”, can be applied to every aspect of life. Whether you are a startup, sales person, marketer, or investor, you will find a lot of value in his theory.

The One Thing

Just like the name of the book, the one thing is a concept where you focus on ONE aspect of whatever you are trying to achieve. That way you can filter out all the distractions and achieve your goals.

You begin this by answering the “focus question”.

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

You’ll want to write that down… because the whole entire book is based around that single question, and the power of organizing every area of your life around ONE Thing (per area).

For sales, that ONE thing might be closing more deals. If you’re a startup that ONE Thing might be growth.

The Domino Effect

Setting a goal is important. Setting a focus is extremely important, but that isn’t enough. A goal can be a goal that takes months or years to achieve. Hitting sales quotas doesn’t happen in a day, most of the time it won’t even happen in a week. That’s why there’s the domino effect.

Once you’ve figured that goal out, you need to identify how many dominoes you need to line up and then knock down in order to achieve it. Every little thing adds up.

If you want to close more deals in sales the dominos could look something like:

  • build a list of qualified leads
  • send out 50 cold emails everyday
  • follow up everyday
  • get in phone calls
  • follow up on emails again
  • rinse and repeat

The 80/20 Principal

After that, you would need to apply the 80/20 principal which is heavily emphasized in the book as well.

If you haven’t heard of the 80/20 principle (aka Pareto’s Principle), it’s pretty simple: the 80/20 principle says that the MINORITY of your effort leads to the MAJORITY of your results…

  • 20% of your customers usually account for 80% of your profits.
  • 20% of your investments usually account for 80% of your returns.
  • 20% of your habits usually result in 80% of your success.

With that said, you have to figure out what is the 80/20 that can help you close more deals or hit your sales quotas.

The goal is to maximize priority. Sometimes, this means not having downtime or roaming around at the snack bar in the office.

Too many people in sales and startup build up a “strong to-do list”, but how many of those items on the to-do list will really help you achieve that ONE thing?

That’s something you need to figure out and eliminate all the ones that get in the way.

Figure out those high-leverage activities, and you’ve just turned your to-do list into a success list.

And once you’re done doing that, Keller recommends that you take your success list and whittle that down even further — taking the 20% of the 20% of the 20% until you’ve gotten it down to the vital few.


This book is extremely useful and worth a read even if you’re not involved in sales or startups. It works really well for everything in life. I hope this article helped all of ya’ll!

If you’re looking for highly qualified and targeted sales leads that converts and can help you close more deals check out GrowthOK

Author: Wilson

Wilson is a 3x entrepreneur and founder of GrowthOK. He loves and breathe entrepreneurship, growth, sales, and has a strong passion for crypto and blockchain related topics. You can follow him on Twitter @itswilson8

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