The One Thing

“How to Get More Success, Better Focus, and Less Distraction, Even If You Felt Like a Scatterbrained Monkey In The Past”

What are the hassles, the things that worry business-owners in the fitness industry?

Common concerns are —

  • How to Get More New Members?
  • How to Handle Staff and Staff Problems?
  • How to Deal with Competition?
  • The High Overhead Expense!
  • How to Juggle Time and Money?
  • How to Feel Less Stressed?
  • How to Have Greater Success?

Among business owners, we aren’t alone in this. But it sure can be a tightrope, and it sure can be uncomfortable. A friend of mine, after struggling to expand rapidly for several years, finally attained his goal. I congratulated him. He nodded.

“Yeah,” he said, “Except that all that time I felt like I was being dragged down a rat hole.”

That stuck with me.

Because probably all of us have felt that way at some point.

Well I want to share what I think may be some good news.

Gary Keller, A Real-Estate Guy

If you haven’t heard of Keller, and the surprising ideas in his latest best-selling book, I’d like to tell you about it, because it’s already transforming the way I see my day, and the way I choose my tasks.

The book is called “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.”

Here’s a key point. It’s a quote from the beginning —

If you chase two rabbits … you will not catch either one.  — Russian Proverb

And the whole idea is to think about what is the ONE thing that will get you where you want to go, and do that. Not everything else. Just focus on the one thing. And your mind becomes clear. You know how to spend your day, you know how to spend the next hour.

You take a to-do list and flag the things you SHOULD do to reach your target, separate out all the things you COULD do. Throw away the COULD-DO’s and choose the ONE Thing from the SHOULDs, the ONE Thing that will be most useful to take you where you want to go.

What is the ONE Thing?

Based on the goals in any area of your life, ask yourself —

“What’s the ONE Thing I could do, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

And oddly enough, quite often the answer is obvious.

Occasionally you might need to list a few, and then look at them. Very likely the answer will jump out at you.

Why Do I Bring Up this Idea?

Because this one principle will enable any fitness-owner to answer any of the questions at the top of this page —

  • How to Get More New Members?
  • How to Handle Staff and Staff Problems?
  • How to Deal with Competition?
  • The High Overhead Expense!
  • How to Juggle Time and Money?
  • How to Feel Less Stressed?
  • How to Have Greater Success?

You just ask yourself: “What is the ONE Thing I could choose from this list, that would make a lot of the other things better or unnecessary?”

And suppose you chose “The High Overhead Expense,” then you’d ask yourself “What is the ONE Thing I could do about overhead expense, that would make everything else go better?”

And take the time to notice that last issue on the list — How to Have Greater Success? — because right here in this article and right there in Keller’s book, you will find an answer, a process, a method of moving forward. Apply this approach, and I think you will find that greater results and focus will follow.

Can I get an amen, brothers!

Mind is a Drunken Monkey with the Shakes, Stung by a Bee

That’s a Buddhist description of the mind. So unruly. But here is a real-life example, a confession if you like — I have a tendency to be scattered. I’m way too interested in so many things, new things, shiny objects, and ideas like “Hey, maybe we could …”

It’s far too easy to choose a new project just because it’s interesting, and then I can easily justify why it is also important.

Whereas, if I first ask myself, “What is important in my life?” … Then the answer is clear. What’s important is what I really care about. What’s important, not what’s urgent, not what’s interesting or entertaining. We all know what’s important to us.

And then it’s easy to ask, “So what is my goal here?” … And the answer is pretty clear, nearly all the time.

So then the question is “What is the ONE thing I could do, that would tend to make everything go better?” … And that’s usually obvious.

Maybe you already knew this. I would have said I did, but I’ve spent many years acting in a way often contrary to this concept. And my results have been scattered. Sometimes brilliant results. Sometimes later I wondered why I did all that stuff.

The Best Thing About It?

Dunno about you, but the thing I like most about it is this …

It’s simple. The book is a quick read. The idea is simple. And once you get it, it takes only a moment to do it. This morning I got up and spent only 20 seconds, “What is the ONE Thing I can do today, that will make things go better?” And the answer immediately pops into your head. It’s not like a mystery.

It’s easy to do!

Making an Appointment With Yourself

In my business, my daily operation has now become to block an appointment time on my calendar every day, for myself, to do the ONE Thing that is most important.

In the past I had long lists of stuff. I would try to prioritize them, put the most important at the top.

But the problem isn’t the item at the top. It’s all the other ones.

They confuse, they cloud, they get in the way. As soon as I start thinking they’re all important, it’s easy to think, “I’ll just start with this little thing down here on the list, get that out of the way.” And the day gets filled with little items … while the ONE Thing that would make the most difference … gets rescheduled on tomorrow’s to-do list.


A Quick Hit in Forbes Magazine

I found a concise article in Forbes. It’s a one-minute read, but it might be enough to make a difference.

It’s here —  Gary Keller: How To Find Your One Thing

Or, coming right now to a computer near you …

On Amazon — The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

If you like it as much as I have, you’ll like it a lot.

Hope you find it useful.


— article by Arthur Cronos
reprinted by permission from MembershipBoom.com


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