How Super Successful People Get So Much Done with Jay Papasan the co-author of the NY Times Bestselling Book, The One Thing

Show Notes

NY Times best-selling co-author of The One Thing (Jay Papasan) shares why singleness of purpose is so important, why we all need to be doing fewer things more effectively instead of doing more things with side effects, why multitasking is a lie, how he organizes his day, and more.

Thrive Nation on today’s show we have the opportunity of interview Jay Papasan. He’s best known for co-authoring the New York Time best-selling books, The One Thing with Gary Keller and for also teaming up with Gary Keller to write, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor. Jay is both the vice president and the executive editor at KellerINK, the publishing arm of Keller Williams Realty. Jay welcome onto the show, how are you sir?

Find Jay’s books at the following links

  1. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
  2. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

Learn more about Jay by visiting his website –

  1. Jay, for our listeners out there that are not familiar with your background, I’d love for you to share about your formal education experience and what compelled you to move to France?
  2. Jay, my understanding is that in France you were only allowed to work 20 hours per week, is this correct and what did you do with the extra downtime?
  3. Jay, when did you decide to return to America and to attend New York University?
  4. Jay, out of college you worked as an editorial assistant for New Market Press, can you describe what this job was like on a day to day basis?
  5. When did you know that the timing was right to move to HarperCollins?
  6. While working at HarperCollins, how did you first connect with David Hirshey, the man who was a 10 year deputy editor at Esquire?
  7. When working with Hirshey you were able to publish your first best-selling book, Go For the Goal: A Champion’s Guide to Winning in Soccer and Life by Mia Hamm, where did the idea of writing a book with Mia Hamm come from?
  8. Jay, what prompted you to move from New York to Austin in 2000?
  9. Jay, how did you and Gary Keller initially come into contact with each other?
  10. Jay Papasan, since 2004, how many books have you and Gary now teamed up to launch?
  11. Jay, I’d like to have your break down 4 notable quotables from the book The One Thing that you and Gary Keller wrote together called, The One Thing. But before I do that, what inspired you and Gary to want to write this book?
  12. NOTABLE QUOTABLE #1 – Jay, the quote is “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.” What does that quote really mean to you?
  13. NOTABLE QUOTABLE #2 – Jay, we live in a world filled with endless distractions yet in the book, you both write, “Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things more effectively instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.” What does this mean to you?
    1. MYSTIC STATISTIC – The typical smartphone user interacts with their phone around 85 times per day.
    2. The 4 categories to our writing processes
      1. Stories and anecdotes
      2. Great quotes
      3. Research studies
      4. Interview top performers
  14. NOTABLE QUOTABLE #3 – I love this quote. “Multitasking is a lie.” Jay, break down this simple yet powerful quote for us?
    1. FUN FACT – Clifford Ivar Nass was a professor of communication at Stanford University, co-creator of The Media Equation theory, and a renowned authority on human-computer interaction. He was also known for his work on individual differences associated with multitasking.
    2. AMPLE EXAMPLE – “Is your smartphone making you dumb?” –
  15. NOTABLE QUOTABLE #4 – Jay, I love powerful questions that have the power to unlock poverty and limiting mindsets and in your book, You all ask a powerful question to the reader. “If everyone has the same number of hours in the day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others?” Jay, I’d love to get your thoughts on this concept?
  16. Jay Papasan, our listeners are always curious about the habits and routines of the world’s most successful people and so I would love if you would share with us what the first 4 hours of your typical day looks like?
    1. Get up early around 5:00 am
    2. Workout
    3. Eat family breakfast
    4. 30 minutes of reading
    5. Look at my calendar to decide what priorities are
  17. If you could recommend a book that is a must read for all entrepreneurs, what would it be?
    1. The War Art –
    2. The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
  18. Jay, I appreciate you for taking the time out your busy and intentionally focused schedule to share with our listeners you words of wisdom. Is there a particular website that you would like all of our listeners to check out or a particular action step you would encourage all of our listeners to take?
    1. Find out more about Jay at


Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

On today’s show, the New York Times bestselling author of the one thing with Gary Keller and Jay Papasan shares why singleness of purpose is so important, while we all need to be doing fewer things more effectively, instead of doing more things with side effects, why multitasking is a lie, the path he took after graduating college to become a New York Times bestselling author, how he organizes his day and much, much more.

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Thrive nation. On today’s show, we have the opportunity to interview Jay Papasan. He’s best known for coauthoring, the New York Times bestselling books, the one thing with Gary Keller and for also teaming up with Gary Keller to write the millionaire real estate investor. Jay is both the vice president and the executive editor and editor of killer ink, and if people just basically like the the publishing arm of Keller Williams realty. Jay Papasan, welcome onto the show. How are you sir?

I am doing fantastic. Thank you so much for having me.

Jay, you have a long bio, but I want to. I want to start off by introducing you to the listeners out there, because I love the the books that you’ve written throughout the years, but for listeners out there that are not as familiar with you and your background, could you share your formal education experience and what compelled you to eventually move to France?

Oh Wow. So like we’re going way back, way back, way, way back. I love it. I in high school, the teacher that became kind of a mentor was the French teacher. He was coached Nixon and he taught me to love chess. He taught me to love some rock and roll albums and it just had. I was his teacher’s aid and he took us to France in high school and one of my best friends in high school for his junior year abroad went abroad and never came back. So when I was graduating the following year, he was over there and he was coaxing me, why don’t you come over for a visit? And I ended up getting a job and spending a little less than three years living in Paris.

Now you are a driver, maybe I’m a miss a classifying you, but you appear to be an ambitious person or one who knows what you want. But in France, my understanding is you’re only allowed to work 20 hours per week. Is that correct? Or Am I getting that wrong?

That, that was the only visa I could get to stay and I had to have a student work visa, so I had to attend college. I went to non terror and to. Oh Gosh, I can’t even remember the other little regional college that I went to there and I could work for 20 hours a week and a biomedical company. And that was actually a great deal for me. Um, I wasn’t the person I am today then I was still figuring that person out. So that was great space for me to experience the world and kind of figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up.

So three years in France. Uh, when did it occur to you? Okay. You know, I probably want to go back to America and maybe enroll in New York University.

All right. I made that deal with my folks. I, that he wanted to be on me to be on a faster track for sure. Um, but I looked up and I said, look, I’m going to go to Grad school. At the time I thought I was going to go possibly to law school or to become a writer. Like those are always hand in hand, right. Um, but I really decided on writing while I was away and I applied to a bunch of graduate schools and New York University accepted me. And so I think I got that acceptance and I was heading back within three months of the acceptance letter.

So when you got out of college, uh, you then worked as an editor and an editorial assistant for, I believe it was new mark, a new market press. Can you describe what this job was like on, on a daily basis when you first got into college? This is the

classic foot in the door, right? Publishing is notorious for if you don’t know someone, it’s really hard to get in and they don’t pay you well because there’s a line of people with more letters for their degrees behind their name and they’re willing to take less because they all love books. So I had an a kind of a third cousin, Nancy Kenny that had been into the contracts business and she did contracts at new market press, so when I graduated from Nyu, got a masters in writing. She got me a job as an editorial assistant and editorial assistant. Depending on where you work, you can be doing a lot of photocopying. You’re writing a lot of rejection letters. One of the cooler things I’ve got to do there, they, at that time it was the merchant ivory films. I don’t know if you remember those. I’m a room with a view, that sort of thing. They were publishing all of their scripts, so I got to help an editor that was laying those going from movie script to book form. So I got a little bit of actual editorial experience, but from day one they knew I was applying for a real job. That was this. That was a way station. It was a summer job. They were totally cool with it and by the end of that summer I’d gotten accepted at a Harper Collins, which is a much bigger, big five publisher at the time.

So when you started working at Harper Collins, my understanding is that you connected with a man by the name of David Hershey who legend, a legend [inaudible]. Can you explain to listeners out there who David Hershey is, who he was.

He was the third editor I worked with and I was desperately trying to get out of the reference division and into what they call it, adult trade. And that just means all of the books that you like are pretty much in that fiction, nonfiction, everything. And David Hershey had just joined the company and they were looking for an editorial assistant for him. He had been deputy editor at esquire for 10 years. So he had, you know, we called it the Golden Golden Rolodex. He knew everybody because when you’re the deputy editor of functionally running esquire magazine, he knew all the great writers and he was there so that he could help them connect with better writers and better projects to do frontalis books and I interviewed to be his editorial assistant and saw that he had a photograph of his daughter and a soccer uniform and I’m a soccer weenie and we started talking about soccer and that’s really how we hit it off and he at the time I didn’t realize it. He was definitely one of the most important mentors in my in my career.

Could you describe things that David Hershey did on a daily basis that were different from what most people do by default? I think when you. When you, when you’re being mentored, you know you’re close to somebody who is great, who is a ultra successful. You sort of through Osmosis, begin to observe how they organize their day, how they organize their life. I want to get your take on this. Lindsay has a hot question. No one will have a football where you going? I’ve got. I’m a big soccer fan. Oh really? So you use the term. I’ve never heard that before. A soccer. What’d you say? Soccer. Weeny weeny soccer. Weeny. What? What in the world? He’s expanded.

Cool. If you were a soccer fan, you were a soccer. Oh, you must be a weenie. Grew up in the south.

There you go. I’m falling from our Home Office is, it’s like the old country songs back back when soccer wasn’t cool. Right. So real quick. And Dr he is an avid soccer fan. You played soccer at the college level? Yes. And you still play the old man’s league? Dr Z had a, he had his 50th birthday there, Jay. And uh, we’re at this nice little restaurant. I’m a swanky British themed restaurant and the bartender goes, you know, Dr c Dot? And I said, yeah. He says this guy is intense when he plays indoor soccer, like what do you mean? He got an ethic argument with the wrath and we still are here. I’m like, really? So he brings, we have a little walkers with tennis balls on the bottom of it. We kind of ease on down to the thing kick. You call that a blue card. You call that a j. thank you. Back to my serious questions about, uh, uh, uh, David Hershey. What about him made him a super successful in your mind?

So one of my jobs was I would type up his new little index cards that will go in his Rolodex and I remember like, it’d be like John Irving, right? I mean people. And whenever I would type one, type one for myself, first off I was like, this guy knows everybody and people would walk by and it was like a game. What about Condoleezza Rice? Sure enough, it was in there, right? You just had this amazing network. So first and foremost, I didn’t appreciate it because it was a job I had to do. He was a relentless networker. I also had to do as an expense account and his expense account was more than my base salary. When I added it up at the time I resented it, but he would show up in the morning. He’d already met someone for breakfast and coffee and he would have picked up like for newspapers and he would throw those receipts all balled up on my desk and he wasn’t mean about it.

He was just moving past. He would go out to lunch. I would get those receipts or I’d have to call the restaurant and get them. She would go out for happy hour. He would go out for dinner and this is Manhattan, right? That’s not abnormal behavior to eat out for every single mirror meal, but I had the handle the cab receipts for all of this and at the time I thought, man, this guy is getting paid all this money and all he does is take cabs to nice restaurants and that’s like that’s the mind of a 26 year old who just doesn’t know what’s actually happening. He was lead generating. He every lunch was with an author or an agent and he was wining and dining so that when the great project was going to show up, they wanted to pitch it to him first and he was relentless at that.

And so the huge lesson here is if you’re in business meets an old lesson, but I got to see it up close and personal every single day. It wasn’t one appointment, it was like four or five appointments every single day with new people. He was building rapport, he was building relationships so that when an opportunity showed up, he knew that he was their guy did it with humor and good fun. And so like that was it. That was the massive lesson. And the other one he would make me write us rejection letters, which is always the worst chore, right? Who wants to write rejection would throw them back at me and say that’s not funny. Make it funny. And his personal brand was funny. He’s a very funny guy. He’s known for his humor. The, the kids in Texas monthly copied the issue of esquire.

They call it the bum steer awards. But there was a whole epa every year, esquire had a whole issue that was kind of like the biggest floods of the year. That was his issue. And it was always a lariat and everybody always picked it up. So he was known for being funny, so nothing went out of his office that was off brand. And so there’s another lesson, like I go back and I used to think about how hard it was now late I worked and how much overtime and there were some great projects, got to work on me, a handbook and Bill Phillips go for the goal and some really big projects. But he was for first and foremost, he knew to grow his personal business and brand. He was going to lead Gen, right like crazy. And he was amazing at it.

We have a lot of listeners, one hundreds of thousands of listeners who are, by and large, I would say a chump. Eric, Eric’s one of our business coaches. They’re, they’re business owners or aspiring business owners under, I’d say probably three quarters of our business owners. And uh, your, your first book, um, that, uh, I was aware of was for the goal, a champions guide

to winning and soccer and life by Meaghan. Can you explain what your relationship with Mr Hershey was and how it kind of related to you getting the opportunity to write this book? Was it, was there a connection there? What, how did this opportunity come about?

I, I alluded to it earlier. I looked up and he had a picture of his daughter Emily, and she was like obviously holding a ball in a flag, like on a field, giant stadium or something, right. Like she had gone on the field with a big professional soccer team. I said, Oh, is that your daughter or do you like soccer? The whole soccer, we anything. We started connecting and I had remembered so this would’ve been about 1994, 95, somewhere in there and the women’s national team had recently won the first ever World Cup and when I read about it, it had been like in the back of the sports section with the tire ads and I just commented to him, I said, isn’t it crazy that our women’s national team or World Cup champions and nobody knows about it? And he goes, oh totally. He was. That really got into that and I said, well, we just did a book, you know, and the reference division called training a tiger and that was one of our editors there had worked with earl woods to write a book about what it was like rate raising tiger tiger woods.

I said, what would it look like if you think you could do a book around Mia Hamm? And he got so excited and he goes, I know her agent David Bobar. I’ve got this number right here, let’s pitch it. So I went from job interview to working on a potential project with them in a space of like five minutes. That’s where that book came from. It was that conversation. He knew the agent pitched him and said, absolutely, and that’s how we ended up writing that book and what a cool gift that was to get to spend time with her and her teammates in the run up to, you know, they called it the summer of the summer of love or whatever. Like when they won the World Cup. Again. That was amazing.

I want to ask you is, I’m certainly not going to ask you for the specific amount, but I just want the listeners understand this because our listeners are always focused on the economics of things. When you’re a person who worked on this book with Mia Hamm that dee dee did well, how did you get paid more? The mechanics of you getting paid? What kind of credits did, did you get on that kind of book?

My name was on the inside. I got thanked Aaron Heifetz was the guy who ended up being the ghostwriter for us. He was the PR director for the Women’s national team and David Hershey and I worked with Aaron to kind of develop the book out, right it and we rewrote tons of it, got the photographs, did all that work. So I got credit. Um, I think my base salary was 27,000 and that year I probably made 45 and Manhattan with overtime. So publishing, if you’re on the bottom rungs is still very much an apprenticeship kind of job. I’m David Hershey. I don’t know. I know that some of the senior level people who are publishers, they get overrides on the profitability of their books. I cannot tell you the details of that. I never got that high in the publishing world. Authors, typically we’ll get an advance against future royalties and those royalties can run on the low end from five percent for a mass market book all the way up to 15 percent if it’s like a hardcover. So it’s a moving target. I would tell people as a business person, writing a book should be more about planting a flag and saying, I wrote the book on this. It builds your authority. Um, it builds your reputation unless you hit a runaway bestseller. It’s not a great way to make money in an of itself. It is a platform from which you can build an audience to make a lot of money though.

So you and into your 2000, after gaining much experience working with Mr Hershey decided to move to Austin. Was that, what was it, the salsa? Was it the steakhouses? What made you want a man? What made you want to Tito’s vodka? What was. Oh Wow.

See those. Yeah, there’s another of our local billionaires now, my wife and I, we’re travelers. We got married and 99 and we went on a five month back. Mack backpacking honeymoon and we gave up our jobs, put through all of our stuff in storage. Another of those like let’s figure out who we want to be moments and she convinced me that we should move to Austin, Texas and we came here for one weekend and January and that would’ve been January of 2000 and if you’ve been in New York in January, there’s like black slush up over the edge of the curb is not a pleasant place to be in the winter when it’s wet and it’s really cold. It’s an island. You come to Austin. It was like 80 degrees. People were wanting. I didn’t have any clothes to wear like and I was wearing like a v-neck undershirt because we didn’t bring any clothes for how warm it was. And I remember like the first place we went, we sat outside, watched a pickup soccer game and somebody dropped off like the rest of their six pack because they were going back to work. Hey, do you want this lone star? And I just told my wife, I said, we’re moving here. I love this one.


giving away beer. The food was awesome and it was just like. I remember looking and saying, there’s a lot of young people here, this us. And we moved here without jobs. We were just freelancing when we moved to Austin in $2,000.

No income tax. Things are good in Austin. Thinks or state income tax. I’ll go sam. Still it’s going to get his, his bite or the APP. So you are down there in Austin. How did you meet Gary Keller? Did you finish drinking beer for five and six? Then you looked up and like a vision. There’s Gary Keller. How did you meet the know one of the founders of Keller Williams?

I’m to tell you the embarrassing story. And then the funny story. So the embarrassing truth is I. That summer I was freelancing, I like to work on a couple of novels. I got to do a bunch of travel writing. I got a a story about meaghan published in Texas monthly, which is a wonderful feather in your cap and I think my total income according to the irs that year, it might’ve been like 16 grand hot. I was having fun and failing at the same time and my wife, you know, he was working for a living, were like newlyweds, remember I’m not really holding up my end of the bargain. She just came home and said, look, you need to get out. You’re not meeting anybody. Like I was playing Diablo in the afternoon so my computer already pitched all the stories that get pitched for the day and I was an introvert.

I’m a writer and so she kicked me out of the house. She says, go get a job. And I was actually kind of relieved, so I actually got a job at Gary Keller’s company. Keller Williams is a really small company. Back then it was only three is 6,700 agents. When I joined the day after Labor Day in 2000 and there were 27 employees, really small company and I was a newsletter writer and that’s how I got in a relationship. I got kicked out of the house, but my wife and I was a newsletter writer. I just wanted the job I could show up at and the job to do. To me, it was a very small company, very entrepreneurial. I had five interviews to get a job writing a newsletter when I had been the editor of record on books that had sold three and a half million copies.

I was like, what is this company? I thought it was a front for the CIA, and so about two years into my tenure at Keller Williams, I was bumping from job to job. I love the place and I kept saying, well, we should have a help desk. I’ll start it, or we should have a research department. I’ll start it. It was that kind of small startup feel to it. You could just see that there was a need and go do it and they would say, that’s your new title. Go be that person. I ran into one of our designers who was clearly working on a book cover and that’s my DNA. I’ve been in the books, that’s my, my favorite thing in the world and my first jobs were in bookstores all the way through, so I’m like, oh cool. Are you working on a freelance project?

And he said, no, I’m gary and Dave who was our original coauthor or working on a book. And I was like, really? And like 30 minutes later I’m in the bathroom. This is the funny story. And Gary Keller is in this. He owns the building, it’s a small commercial building and he’s plunging the toilet and he cracked some joke. He says, see, the chairman of the board isn’t too proud to do it needs to be done. Ha Ha. Right, right. I just kind of impulsively, it’s sitting there, we’re washing our hands and I’m like, I hear you’re writing a book. Do you remember? I used to work in publishing at Harper Collins and he looked at me and I could tell he totally forgot, even though he was one of the people who interviewed me, um, it wasn’t on his radar, but he was writing a book he said, come into my office and he laid out a vision for writing 13 books. The first one was going to be the millionaire real estate agent and he laid out five books that he was using as a model and two of them were books I’ve published. One of them will go for the goal and the other one was a book by Bill Phillips called body for life and there were elements of each of those books that he was wanting to incorporate it in his book. And so I just basically showed him my name and the acknowledgements and the job interview was over.

So, you know, there’s so much. There’s so much stuff we got. We got the rich. This is rich. Rich. Is that Diablo one you were playing? Probably was. This is old school. I know, I know, I know. Okay. Purple Imac, you know, back when they were colored. Do you remember one of the bad when the early bad guys in Diablo one called the butcher?

I don’t remember that far back. I know it’s okay because he sure my wife made me throw it away. Of course this guy, we’ve all been. We’ve all been in that movie too, but I, I remember back playing that game and there was a bad boss. The first kind of when you went to and I had never heard that concept before called the butcher and I fought with him for hours and I finally did. It was when the high points of my life and thank you for allowing me to finally get that on the podcast. She’s been trying to work on your show. I know now you’re epic battle with the butcher. The ultimate boss. We’re both soccer played diablo one. This is. This is what we’re going to be bffs. Here’s what a good flow like you are and oh by the way, that 16 Kay did probably not include all the free beer you were getting to see. I don’t know if you add. I don’t know. Yeah, Jay Papasan, I want to, I want to ask you this because Gary Keller is so iconic, so many people have listed their home with Keller Williams. You don’t trust the Keller Williams brand and uh, he’s iconic at this point is how I would describe him. What is, what does he like up close and in person on a daily basis. When you, when you interacted with him, obviously written books with him, what’s, what’s he like?

He’s a very intense individual and that’s a positive thing. Like if he’s with you, he’s with you. Wherever his focus is, it’s 100 percent there. That’s one of the reasons we ended up writing the one thing that really is his gift, to understand what the priority is and to put all of his focus and energy on that thing. And so you’ve got a lot of intensity so he doesn’t go at anything kind of half assed. If he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it and everybody’s going with them and we’re all doing it all day long. And so it’s actually really fun and he intends that everyone around him are on the same journey he’s on and that’s one of pretty intense personal growth. He kind of sees his mission in life is to kind of fulfill his potential and you and I both know like there’s no finish line on that game, you know, reaching your potential is something you always get the chasing you never get there and he’s totally cool with that.

But to hang out with him you’ve just got to be willing to take on big things and grow whatever as much as you are needed to grow to, to make that possible. So I think he is the biggest thinker I’ve ever encountered. He’s always asking a bigger question. Um, he big things for him and the people around him. But the opposite is also true. If you show that you’re unwilling to grow, you will find yourself on the outside. Like he’s very carefully managed. Curious who gets to be in that inner circle and who he, who is growing with them. So that’s a lot to unpack guy. Very intense in a positive way.

I picked up a copy of the one thing, I was on an airplane and I sat there at the airport, which by the way, I just got back from Puerto Rico and I saw it there. Again, the book is a perennial best seller. I mean it’s like an Evergreen Z. it’s a great book and Z. You talk to me. Years ago we were having a man cave session and Jay z and I would as Dr z and I would meet at the man cave at his house and he would sort of educate me on profound nuggets of knowledge while we would sip on language.


Favorite Scotch? I really do like you guys now. Oh my goodness.

It’s not. Listen, I’ve got to clarify. He would drink a girly wine. Reason I would drink. Yes. Which is a girl.

Are you a chest? Eyes me about not being a man and sip on occasionally hear here. Little, little, little, uh, alcohol. Weasel, alcohol. Winnie here. Here’s a little tip for you. The point is you’re sipping on lack of Hula. And I’m having a Margarita is with umbrellas. You know, the point is so were there and you, you said clay in a cycle, just so you to be very careful in your inner circle and you can you, can you explain to Jay Papasanyour theories on the inner circle? Because I want to have jam pack this too. This is powerful.

Well, I mean there’s the inner circle or people that have have um, immediate availability to you that you are available to them immediately and that can’t be too many people. I mean Jesus himself only had 12 so I don’t think you should have any more than half a dozen to 10 to 12 at the most and that’s how I try to live my life. And so you have a lot of people that can’t get to you through certain channels, but those ones that are like super close to you that you’re doing day to day, that, that, that can call you anytime that you could call them anytime and you expect them to answer and they expect you to answer, that’s an unlimited number because you only have so many hours in the day, right? J. And if you, if you open that up to everybody, then it’s blue. How many people, how many people are in costs cycle? How many people in the soccer, soccer

j, , how many are in the circle? We talk about like you’re having your five. He has a thing, he calls it as three foot rule and it’s kind of at the very back of the one thing. So if you didn’t get there, I won’t hold it against you, but that’s the average person’s wingspan. You hold your arms out like who you let really close to you. It’s exactly like it was just described. That is it like who’s in your day to day? And I’ll just say what was the. I’m always losing the quote here that you’re, the average of the five people you spend the most time was jim rone parents kind of fresh ended up. Same thing. Picked it up. Yeah, that is true. And so who you spend the most time with will influence your trajectory. How you think about the world, how you see opportunities and so that we would, we would manage here that relationship for our child. Why don’t we do better for ourselves is the question.

So here’s, here’s what I want to have you unpack. A few notable quotables from the book that I would say that you want to say that Gary wrote. Are you and Gary Road who do, how do you want me to attribute these quotes? Because you did the book with them.

Um, you know, we write each other stuff. I often don’t know who wrote the first word. So there’s a few lines I know remind. So I’ll tell you if it’s 100 percent mine or his. Well, Jay Papasan and we edit each other pretty hard.

Uh, in the book. The one thing, there’s a couple of guys, whoever they are, they a various things and this is what they said. They said work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls, family health, friends, integrity, they’re made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed. Nick’s a nicked and perhaps even shattered. What does that really mean to you?

Alright, well, I’m going throw you a curve ball. That wasn’t me or Gary. That’s actually James Patterson. Wow. We found that quote and he said it better than we could, but I’ll impact the quote for you. He gave us that quote for free. I thought his lawyers were going to charge us a million bucks, but that idea we talked about a balanced life is a lie and a lot of people are running around trying to make sure that everything is just so in their lives and the reality is that’s not a destination you get to arrive at where everything is perfect. We imagined it that way. That’s just not true. You have to actively work to keep all of those things balanced and the thing that is the most forgiving his work, and that’s what Patterson said so well in that you can go to the absolute extremes with your work and that’s what we called.

You know, if you’re all in on your one thing, you’re leaving a wake of little fires behind you, but because you know that one thing is more important, you don’t put them out. You just let it burn out and it can make you crazy at work, but work is forgiving that way it rewards that kind of behavior, but if you’re doing that with your health, with your key relationships, like your kids, I know so many people say, I’m doing this for my family, and then they’re missing their kids like 12 year old birthday party. True, true. You’re making a bet that they get to make that up in the future, that they don’t get to control whether their kids are going to want to hang out with them. Then so we say with those things like your health and those relationships, you’ve got to actively be balancing those in real time. If you go out of town this weekend, take an extra day off. Spend it with your kids, right? Get some downtime, actively counterbalance and your personal life even if you’re willing to go to extreme at work, and that’s what that quote distilled for us.

Now, this book was written at a time where social media was not super insane. Every year the stats get worse. Jay Papasan, you, you’ve probably seen this psychology today reported about two years ago that the average person gets 85 interruptions per day in Chapel. Put it on the show notes. The average person gets 85 interruptions per day on their smartphone this year. It’s now up to like 96 and it just keeps rising. I think back at the time when the book this book was released, it was like in the sixties, and in your book, you write something that seems so counter cultural in this world of endless distractions you were, or somebody wrote, success demands, singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things more effectively instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on, but one thing at a time who advance in this world who said it? What does it mean?

That’s, that’s, uh, pretty much, uh, gary is true and true. And he championed that idea before we knew that we could prove that it was right. And when we sat down to write this book, the idea for the book, it came out of an essay he wrote called the power of one. It was like a little 10 page essay he wrote for another project. And I was like, dude, this is a book. He goes, yeah, I thought the same thing. And as someone who’d worked in publishing, I said it earlier, the thing that has made gary a billionaire, the thing that has made him so incredibly iconic in our industry as an entrepreneur is his super power. Isn’t that he’s smart, he’s smart. It’s not that he works more on ours even though he works pretty hard, is that he is willing to do the hard work of identifying the real priority and then he will always give the priority everything that it deserves.

And that’s the whole idea. If you understand what your one thing is as a business, then you absolutely go all in on it. I used to, when I teach classes or I’m. I’m doing a seminar or a keynote, like an easy one is forever. And ever when I was growing up, southwest airlines was the low cost airlines. Yup. And they were all in on that and then determine what hubs they were in. They had all of the same airplanes. That’s why you have the cattle call instead of assigned seating and you get snacks instead of food. All of that was about low cost. Well guess who’s the most profitable airline out there? This just in someplace they will very clear about their one thing and it has unusual gifts the farther you go into it. And I could give you a laundry list of examples of companies and people who, because they went all in, there is rich rewards for people who go deep and especially in a world and you just described it where everybody is going. Like you read stuff on the web, you’re just going sideways. That’s a very shallow and broad pool of information going deep is very different experience. Have you met Kevin Freeburg or Jackie Freeburg? Have you met those guys? Not that I’m aware of. They did a deep dive on

authorized case study on southwest airlines called nuts and uh, yeah, I know it’s not polite probably to recommend a book to an author, but uh, uh, my uncle flew for southwest airlines for years and he said, clay, you gotta read this book. It’s like a case study on how southwest operates, was written in 1998 and I’m going to be interviewing them here in a couple of weeks and everything you just said my mind because it was on assigned seating. They only fly 7:37. Everything you just said. And I went so deep into southwest airlines. I tried to implement everything I learned into my company at the time called Dj connection where we were doing 4,000 events per year. And so instead of having a ton of different packages and a lot of different equipment, I went to one set of equipment instead of having the. I just, I made it a very affordable and I would just encourage everybody to implement what Jay just said. Don’t go wide with your knowledge. Go deep. Jay. How do you go deep when getting prepared for a book or writing a book? Talk to me about how you put on blinders and go deep.

Alright. Have Fun because we’ve been connecting a lot of stuff. So nuts. Our publisher, Ray Bard published that book. Oh yes. Well of course he did. Yeah. Well, of course he’s eight. He’s got it particular tastes like I had to court him for three years, but he goes all in on these kinds of books is the only polishes one book a year. He, he makes, he bets his whole business on every book he published. So there you go. There’s another example. So how do we go all in on our books when we are going on a deep dive? Um, I, I try to read 50 books every year and I always fail. I ended up in the 40 somewhere, but it’s the big goal. Keeps me going. I try to read one a week, but you know, you get a big book and I don’t cheat and read short books.

What we typically do is we have our master outline and we will then come up with a list of books that we feel are absolutely Germane to that topic and we start reading them. I have two full time researchers. They will write book reports. If it looks like a great book based on the book report, guess what? Gary and I will also read that book. I don’t just read the report. We have them pull research studies. We will then look for quotes and stories. So we typically, for every topic we tackle, they will be four binders. One is anecdotes and stories from books are the web or magazines that all relate to that concept that will you book a actual quotes. We’re taking notes on this story.

We’re taking notes on this. I’m taking notes on these, so I want to make sure if he’s going the show notes. This is hot sauce here. Jake. And repeat that. The first one, the first binder was what,

uh, stories and anecdotes, right? Everybody. I mean, people learn through stories and you look at any great Malcolm Gladwell. It always opens up with kind of the perfect story. That guy is a genius at that and the whole story will unlock the book for you. Um, so we always look for great stories on the topic. So we read very broad and deep in that topic to get those. We also look for great quotes, right? If Ben Franklin said something or in this case you just quoted him, James Patterson said it better than we could. I’ll attribute the James Patterson, but also for the reader. Now they know that it’s not just Jay Papasan and gary thinking this stuff up. They’ve actually sourced it and the last categories will have binder after binder of research studies and so we have relationship with Baylor University with ut so we can go into their research database and this is where I’m really happy sometimes to have our research assistants because that stuff will make you go cross side, but we often will go in and read those research studies and see if we can actually back up some of our hypotheses and there were stuff that we thought was going to be true that just got disproved.

And there were stuff that we thought was true that got approved and we’re okay either way, but that’s kind of our process is. And we interview people. That would be the other thing. We instead of just reading, we actually interviewed top performers and we asked the question, what did these guys have in common? These guys and gals

in your book, the one thing somebody wrote, multitasking is a lie. Did you get that? Did Gary Right? That we. All right, the WHO wrote that?

Um, you know what it was? That’s an us. I don’t know that we knew that, that, that was one that we suspected was wrong. Remember when we were writing this book in 2008, if you went back in time, like you could go on Indeed didn’t even exist. You would have a suggested checkbox of multitasking to make yourself more attractive to employers. It was a big deal, like every month and Entrepreneur Inc or fast company, there was an article about how to multitask better. So when we opened the lid on that, we thought it was a bad deal, but there was only just then research in 2009 is when a lot of it came out. Guy Named Clifford Nass, a lot of research showing that multitasking is a recipe for disaster. That’s not going to take this deep, but I’ll say it costs you a minimum of 25 percent more time. If you’re multitasking and it’s gonna take you longer, you’re going to do everything worse than you would if you were just mono tasking. Just doing it by itself so you make a lot more errors and your Iq is going to drop by about six points is going to dumb down the.

I want to hammer home something real quick. There’s an article called is your smartphone making you dumb? A published and published in psychology today that shows that the average American is being interrupted over 90 times per day, which has reduced their cognitive capacity, their critical thinking skills to a very, very low level. They’re estimating it’s a third to fifth grade level and they’re saying now because on social media people are always attacking each other and being polarizing politically. Your Amygdala is active the entire time. That almond size part of your brain makes it where you can no longer even process logical information throughout your day. I mean, you’re not even remembering what’s going on. I mean it’s. You talk about the dangers of texting and driving. What about using social media while working? I mean, that’s so multitasking is a lie. How do you today stay focused? Do you have like time when we were phones on time where your phones off? How do you do it?

Absolutely, and I have time, but I have two screens on my computer and time. I have one and so one of the very first lessons in the book is about how to turn your to do list into success list and just to boil that down, right? We don’t need to go into a long teaching class here, but every. You should know what your number one priority is every week. You should know what your number one is and we all have a lot of stuff, but at any given time there can only be one real priority and I usually tell people they’re engineers at Google and apple and Microsoft who are paid lots and lots of money, so they all have two commas, right, and their compensation and they are paid to distract us. We are built for distraction. If we didn’t notice stuff happening in the background, we would have never made it out of the plains of Africa.

Right? We’ve had been eaten by the tiger and the grass, so this is in us. It is outside of us. So when you’re doing your number one, make a stand just at that time to not multitask. So turn off twitter, turn off your phone, put it on, do not disturb. If you went in to see a Broadway play, they would tell you to put your phone on silent. They believe kick you out if you opened it up so people don’t treat your most important job that day, the same way. It might just be for 15 minutes, but it’ll surprise people. How much more they get done.

That right there, that go. I just want to drop the Mike and just. I want to. I want to give you a virtual hug right now. Can I? I’m ruined

right now.

You’re welcome. I knew we were going to interview a guy from Austin to the cowbell ready? So. Okay. Back to our NPR voices here. I promise Gary, I promised a CSI that Jay and anybody with the Gary Keller team can hang up on us at the 45 minute mark, so I’ve got to honor that commitment. So biddable quidel number four from the book. The one thing, if everyone has the same number of hours in a day, why does some people seem to get so much more done

than others? Jay mean it’s what you put into the hours is the old cliche and it’s just true, right? If you are focused, if you start your day and you’re knocking out your number one priority, most people in our experience get to the end of the day and they feel guilty for not doing that thing. It’s just differences whether or not you did one task, but doing that one task, the number one priority day in and day out, just that little incremental gain is why some people advanced to become executives and owners and other people do not, and it’s that sense of priority and it doesn’t mean you’re a robot. You’re not on target all the time. Nobody is not gary, nobody is, but you can be for a few hours every day at least for your first task. So if you just do your number one, that’s it. That’s the difference. That to me over time creates that Delta between people who are average and people who are extraordinary.

How do you organize the first four hours of your typical day? What are the first four hours of your day? Typically look like?

What? We talked about this a little bit in the book, right? I mean, everybody’s rhythm is a little bit. My personal rhythm is a little bit different from Gary’s, but they’re essentially the same. Um, we get up early. Um, there’s a lot less distractions in the morning. Um, I used to be a night owl, but we’d get up at five, five, 10 most days. My wife and I, we work out. Will you eat a healthy breakfast with our children? I usually get in a good 30 to 40 minutes of reading and this is all before I get on my email or anything else, right? This is all quiet time. Um, maybe I’ll walk the dog, but I’ve got exercise. I’ve got family time, I’ve got a healthy meal. I’ve got, I’m feeding my mind, I’m reading. Um, I’ve been meditating for a while now in the morning as well.

Just getting really clear about my thoughts. And then the last thing I do is I usually look at my calendar when we talk about your number one, the big call to action in the book is to time block it. So you literally make appointments with yourself to do your most important work. And from eight to 10:00 I’m going to be writing this section of the book today. I usually will look at my calendar and say what am I priorities and get my head on straight. And then I’m off to the races. I’m usually just following my calendar for the first pretty much most of the day. But those first few hours, the two or three hours before I even go to work. That lays the groundwork for my day.

When do you find the five point? Two hours per day to watch TV? Like the average American? Yeah,

I don’t. And I, I do miss it. I mean I, my kids and I know my kids are older now. I’ve got a 14 year old and an almost 13 year old. So a lot of times after we eat dinner as a family, we might watch an episode of a show like they’re really into rick and morty right now, which is really wonderful. Naughty Fun for the family. Um, we might watch a show on Netflix on Friday night. We have movie night, but I don’t watch a lot of regular TV. I watch some sports, but that’s it. And it’s just, you have to make choices. And I, I love books. I made my career choices around that. So if I got leisure time and I’m not spending it with my family, I’m probably got my nose in a book. That’s just my choice for my leisure time. But that’s, you know, I do sometimes wish I’ve never seen an episode of breaking bad. I’ve never seen, you know, the house of cards. I’ve never seen. Orange is the new black and you know, I’m still doing okay. I’m alive, you know, I can make it has.

Okay, so it listeners out there who are. We have some of our listeners horse very actionable. They want to, they want to say this was really good. What should I do? I would say without reservation, you need to pick up a copy of the one thing with Gary Keller and Jay here because it’s a great book. It’s on my bookshelf. I’ve got it on every page is chuck. You’ve seen the dog. You would highlight disgusting. Not Everywhere. Books. I apologize. What I’ve done of degrading. Right. So I want to ask you here, what is a book or two that you would recommend for all of the entrepreneurs out there to read?

I’m a great one that I recommend a lot. So maybe this is on your right. Have Y’all read the war of art?

No, the art of war gaming. So this is the war of art by Steven Pressfield. Oh no,

that’s a different one. No, I haven’t. Um, it’s great to talk about resistance. It’s extensively about being a creative, but it really is such a, it’s got a cult following among entrepreneurs because he talks about everyday, like a writer’s job is to show up everyday and right. Well Guess What an entrepreneur’s job everyday is to show up and build the business. And so he talks about this battle is daily battle. He calls it battling the resistance and I think about that book all the time, but I’m trying to put off my most important work when I’m procrastinating. I. How can I battle the resistance today so I can do my one thing and that book is, it’s really beautiful. It’s a classic. So I definitely recommend the war of art and it’s like 110 pages. So it’s quick too.

Now what a website would you like for all of our listeners to check out to learn more about you and the projects you’re working on or maybe an upcoming project you’re working on? I just, we’re honored to have you on the show and want to direct listeners to something you’re working on right now.

Cool. Um, the one with the number one, we’ve got everything we do training around the one thing we’ve got lots of free resources on there for people to figure out there. One thing we didn’t like were facilitated goalsetting retreats now, which is something I’m personally passionate about because I’ve been doing it for like 13 years with my wife and know getting on the same page with your partner so that you can grow this business.

Uh, j. You have been a just a source of knowledge bomb after knowledge was, feels unsafe. There’s too many bombs being dropped per capita and we like to end the show with a boom, which for us means stands for big, overwhelming optimistic momentum, which we believe is the, the sort of mentality you have to bring everyday. Big overwhelming optimistic momentum. So we’ll kind of role play. This is gonna. Introduce Jane to this. No, here we go. Three, two, one. And that’s how we do that. Are you ready to bring a boom there?


Okay. Jeff, are you ready? Are you ready? Here we go. Come on. Okay, here we go. What

I would tell everybody, just just ask the question, what’s my one thing? And if you’ll wait 30 seconds, you already know the answer. Just don’t do that thing. Most people just aren’t pausing long enough to ask the question. They know the answer. They just have to ask the question.

I attended the world’s best business workshop led by America’s number one business coach for free by subscribing on itunes and leaving us an objective review. Claim your tickets by emailing is proof that you did it and your contact information to inform the thrive time,

uh, celebrated sort of as a significant, uh, uh, achievement at least here at the thrive time show. We just passed over 500 reviews from conference attendees on our thrive time show conferences. Have you google search, thrive time, show reviews, or if you type in thrive time, show a jinx. J E, n, k, s you can now see the reviews, written reviews from over 500 I think in 511 people out there just like you who had a favorable experience, had a great time. You can hear their experience, you can, you can read what they had to say about their experience attending the thrive time show workshops. However, we just surpassed over 850 of video reviews. These are reviews from real people who’ve attended the workshop, who are on video sharing what they liked most about the workshop, what they learned, how it’s going to impact their life, how it did impact their life, whether it made them laugh, whether they fell asleep.

Um, and so without any further ado, I’m going to play for you a barrage of audio testimonials from real conference attendees like you because you deserve to have facts to support your decision to attend or not attend the thrive time show workshop. The next workshop is in December. The tickets are selling out. It’s gonna. Be Awesome. December seventh and eighth, we’re going to teach you time management, the millionaire mindset, that time management. We’re going to teach you how to raise capital. We’re gonna teach you about finance. We’re gonna teach you social media marketing on steroids, search engine optimization. So many people have emailed me over the years, have called me over the years, have sent me letters over the years telling me that what they learned about search engine optimization absolutely changed their life. We’re going teach you how to hire people. We’re gonna teach you how to fire people, were going to teach you everything you need to know to create time and financial freedom, but we can help you if we don’t get a chance to know you. So now that any further ado, here’s some audio testimonials from real thrivers out there, just like you who decided to buy a ticket in to attend the thrive time show workshop.

My name is Nick Guajardo and I am from Tulsa. Uh, I heard about the thrive time show workshop through Andy Matheran. He is my, uh, my edema Matheran Larry Montgomery. I’m, they’re my bosses at restore home health. So I work with a home health company called restore home health and my role is pretty much to bring in business, so I was hoping hoping to learn kind of the sales process on top of just kind of the responsibilities and help understand what it looks like on the Seo side and just kind of an all around what it looks like to own a business because that’s something I want to do in the future. For sure. How I would describe the atmosphere here at thrive, um, is ics high energy, great professionalism, great people. It’s just, it’s a place you definitely want to visit. The APP plays delivery, humorous, professional, hilarious. Just he does it. I haven’t seen someone do it better. So he does a great job. Most valuable thing I’ve learned so far, a lot of it has been extremely valuable. So. But one, one thing that’s always really stuck out to me is the learning the sel stuff. I mean that is, I think things you don’t really even think about and then you hear it and you think you know it, but you don’t know it. So I feel like that was the most valuable.

So my name is Rick Ross on Colorado Springs, Colorado. I heard about the, uh, this from my coach who buys me. It was on short notice actually, and I came here. I’ve only been with Redmond growth about two weeks now. I’m an electrical contractor and uh, I just wanted to learn how to give my business to the next level. Oh, the atmosphere is fun. It’s great. And uh, just a lot of intelligent information here that I just have eyes wide open. And the more they talked, the more I learn. I think the presentation I would describe the presentation is a very eyeopening, very refreshing. I never got bored once. There was a constant flow of information I’ve actually learned the most valuable thing I’ve learned here is time management. That’s the big one. My favorite aspect of the workshop was just being able to learn. The more they spoke, the more the wider my eyes got really enlightened me on everything. So I’m not sure if I have a favorite thing. If you don’t attend this, you’re going to be missing out on a wealth of information that could change your life forever.

I cannot wait to meet you. You can buy your tickets [email protected]. That’s December seventh and eighth. I promise it will be a life changing event for you. I absolutely am super excited to meet you, to shake your hand and to give you a fist bump. We’ll see it in December.


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