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Many of you ask me for suggested reading and whether it is sharing a post of my book-of-the-moment on Instagram as I did with Sophia Amoruso’s, “#GirlBoss,” video reviews, or in this case – a written review, I like to share the books which are worth the time invested to read.

Your time if valuable and so is your money so why waste either on a dud?

Generally speaking, I read three to five books per month. Some books are given to me and others I purchase based on recommendations or the author’s authority on a subject.

In addition to speed reading (which I was forced to learn as a child – thank you Dad!), I also audio read which allows me to get through a book faster. I have a stack of books on my bedside table waiting to be devoured and if someone I respect recommends a book, I buy it on ITunes or Amazon so it can take a place in the cue.

Years ago, a self-made millionaire friend of mine gave me a tour of his library.

He had six thousand books. ‘Have you read all of these?’ I asked in wonder.

‘No,’ he replied, ‘I read until I get one good point and then I apply it. My goal is always to take the information and make a minimum of ten times my investment.’

I embraced this philosophy and thus with some books, I will only read them until I get the key message.

As an author myself, word count and page length are especially critical. Most self-help authors will be repetitive in some way, shape, or form, just to create content.

Much like getting married on the first date, some authors give away all of their secrets up front and go onto repetitively validate their points in the ensuing chapters whereas others will divulge their secrets only at the end. Some, however, give great salient points in each chapter provoking the reader to continue.

Jack Canfield’s classic, “The Success Principles” comes to mind in the case of the latter.

Biographies tend to engage the reader to come along on the journey of the author’s life story. I tend to read one biography each month from a variety of individuals.

I especially love people who have triumphed, defied the odds, and relinquished their ego enough to provide tangible wisdom.

Last year I devoured “On Fire” by John O’Leary – both personal development and autobiographical. This is recommended read for anyone who has ever been tempted to feel sorry for themselves.

On this blog, I will commence reviewing the books I am reading. Our time is valuable and for the sake of productivity, I will review only the books that I would recommend.

I do not believe in chastising the work of someone else and instead to praise the work of a piece that is well-done; only reviewing books that I would dare to suggest be read. This is such a review.

“The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is a brilliant singular concept book. Their suggestion is that by choosing to focus our time, instead of diversifying, we will inherently get more done. The focusing question is the heart of the material. We are encouraged to ask very specific questions such as:

‘What is the one thing I can do to lose fifteen pounds this month?’

‘What is the one thing I can do to double revenues this quarter?’

‘What is the one thing I can do to show my husband how much I appreciate him today?’

Kellar is no slouch in his professional life. He is the co-founder of real estate titan, Kellar-Williams, and a NY Times bestselling author.

Although the book is rife with commonsense actions such as blocking off specific time, following the path of mastery, and so forth, it seems to lack vulnerability that I like to see in an author.

The book is full of anecdotal evidence to support the key points however after reading it, I would have loved for Gary Kellar to share a few more ‘learning experience’ moments from his life.

At the end of the day, this is a book I will gift to people. It is well written, clear, and provides specific actions that the reader can take. I put this focusing question to the test and broke a monthly sales record with one of my companies. It works.

Bottom line – thank you to Kellar and Papasan for writing this book. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to become more profitable and productive.


Susan Sly is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, certified NLP practitioner, coach, and trauma recovery specialist.  Susan specializes in helping people become more productive so they can lead ridiculously fulfilling lives.  She is the mother of five and has been working in human potential for over two decades.




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