137: ‘The One Thing’: From Bestseller to Thriving Company with Geoff Woods

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How to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Business From Your Book

“The ONE Thing sits at the heart of success and is the starting point for achieving extraordinary results.” – Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, co-authors of “The ONE Thing”

According to author Gary Keller, behind every successful person is their “ONE Thing” — and no matter how success is measured, whether it’s personal or professional, what stands between you and your goals is your ability to concentrate on it.

Geoff Woods learned this the hard way, as he told me in the latest episode of the Authors Who Lead podcast.

In the early days of Geoff’s journey with “The ONE Thing” brand, Gary Keller, the co-author of the best-selling book, interrupted the budding vice president’s three-point presentation on priorities for the year and asked him to go back to the first — and, better yet, told Geoff to draw a line between number one and number two, and then rip the paper in half.

“He said, ‘Geoff, don’t even think about number two or number three until you’ve earned the right to buy mastering number one,’” the now-vice president said during our interview.

The “ONE Thing” is about more than just having a singular focus. It’s about understanding the most important thing to accomplish, or focus on, so that the other things you are planning to accomplish become unnecessary or irrelevant.

For example, creating a world-class company has more to do with building a product that serves a customer so well that every single one brings another customer to you. Focus on that, and you have a powerful brand, or business, or book.

Just look at “The ONE Thing”: It’s sold over 500,000 copies today, and Geoff turned the book into a multi-million dollar business by living its message.

“The one thing I could do to earn the right to become the face of the brand was I had to live the book,” Geoff told me. “They were super clear: If I did not live the book, I was fired. And it didn’t mean that I had to be perfect, but I had to be on a path of mastering the principles.”

For Geoff, scaling “The ONE Thing” into a business relied upon four principles: Vision, Growth, Ambassadorship and People. If his work did not fit into one of these categories, he wouldn’t bother devoting his attention and energy to it.

It took time, a shredded business plan and a humbling meeting with Gary for Geoff to truly understand that having a singular focus as a leader is a great way to grow your company. If you are constantly focused on the jobs that others are doing, you will be distracted by the wrong things — and miss YOUR one thing.

At the end of my interview with Geoff, I left feeling encouraged, knowing that people like me (and, perhaps, people like you, too) who have wanted to create something awesome from our books can actually do it. Geoff had no experience building a business from a book, and yet he did it — with a book he didn’t even write.

I am so thankful for stories like these because they give me so much hope for other authors. So, if you have a book in mind, or a message to share, realize that it is possible to write it well and, then, create a business with it.

And while you do it, make sure you keep in mind my greatest takeaways from this episode:

  1. Build a company that is sustained by clients bringing you clients.
  2. A millionaire sees an opportunity and says, “How can I build that?” A billionaire sees an opportunity and looks for the people who can do it.
  3. Using a book to build your brand is a perfect way to grow a business model. 

What was your biggest takeaway from the episode? And in the comments, tell me about your “ONE Thing” and the steps you’re taking to achieve it.

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay — your next big step is just a few words away.

Episode Resources:
Book: The ONE Thing
Podcast: The ONE Thing podcast
Training: Living Your ONE Thing
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-woods-8534774/
Facebook: @theONEthingbook
Instagram: @geoffwoods
Instagram: @the1thingbook
Twitter: @the1thingbook
Twitter: @geoffwoods

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