Master of One

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I didn’t realize how religiously oriented this book was when I requested it and found myself unable to become invested enough to finish it.
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I loved this book! It was extremely inspiring. I loved the real-life examples as well as the actionable steps. If anyone is struggling with progressing in their careers, I highly recommend this one.
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After reading this book, I immediately ordered a hardcopy for myself. Becoming a "master of one" is a concept that many of us know about, but aren't really sure how to implement it in a practical way, not to mention a God driven way. Jordan writes in a way that is engaging, personal, clear, and encouraging. If you're struggling to find your purpose or where God is calling you based on the gifts He's given you, then read this book! I honestly think this would be an excellent book to study together in small groups within a church. Jordan, thank you for writing this book! This is the first time I've ever read your work, but it definitely won't be the last!
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I’m sure you have heard the phrase “a jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” referring to an individual with knowledge of many jobs while lacking expertise in any of them. This quote came to mind as I read Jordan Raynor’s new book, "Master Of One: Find and Focus On the Work You Were Created To Do." Raynor references this quote in the introduction, mentioning it is possibly a misquote of Benjamin Franklin, “who supposedly encouraged his readers to be a ‘jack of all trades and a master of one.'”

Raynor is an author, serial entrepreneur, and executive chairman of Threshold 360. Previously, he worked as CEO at a number of successful ventures, a Google fellow, and in the White House under President George W. Bush. He and his wife, Kara, make their home in Tampa, Florida, with their two young daughters.

A professor I know often said we need to simplify and enlarge our impact. I believed this phrase from the beginning, but this book helps flesh out what that mindset looks like in everyday life and why it’s essential. It can be easy for us to fill our lives with tasks, presuming effectiveness, and impact for the glory of God. Raynor calls us to a different perspective, where we identify the one thing we were created to do through a series of steps, including introspection, experimentation, and input from trusted friends and mentors.

He describes the kind of work we should aim toward as masterful work for the glory of God and the good of others. This is the lens through which we should look to evaluate any work we consider pursuing.

Raynor describes three questions we should ask in the process of choosing our one thing:

*What am I passionate about?
*What gives has God given me?
*Where do I have the best opportunity to glorify God and serve others?

The bulk of the book describes a process to help us choose our “one thing.” While Raynor is quick to say there is not a “one size fits all” formula, there is an effective method of selection he has seen in his life and the lives of others. The four steps in this process are explore, choose, eliminate, and master. This process flies in the face of conventional wisdom that encourages people to find vocational happiness by finding work that aligns with a preexisting passion. Raynor asserts true vocational satisfaction follows mastery, not the other way around.

“There is no end to the path of mastery. Mastery is not a destination, but a lifelong journey of continually holding our crafts in order to more effectively declare the excellencies of our creator and serve those around us, always believing that ‘better is possible,’” he writes.

Your one thing may vary during your lifetime. That is fine. We need to be about the task of doing that one thing well, for the glory of God and the good of others.

Raynor quotes Douglas Gresham, who discusses his stepfather, C.S. Lewis. “We don’t need more people writing Christian books. What we need is more Christians writing good books.” This mindset led Lewis to focus on being a master teacher of literature rather than a particular message through his books. “When he started on the work, the Holy Spirit of God took over, and that’s why they turned into books they did. But, at the onset of The Chronicles of Narnia, it wasn’t [Lewis’] intention to preach. His intention was to simply write a really good book. ”

Again, from Gresham, “for a Christian in any art form or business or any work in the world, the most important thing of all is to do the work right, and you do it well. That’s what Christianity is all about. Doing the right thing and doing it well.”

I spoke with a colleague as I worked on this review who suggested the value of being a generalist in our current cultural and economic moment. He also stated that it is a privileged position to recommend someone focus on one craft. This book and its content are relevant for many leaders, however, I’m not sure it is a fit for those in blue-collar work, for example, where working a particular job is often a necessity rather than for enjoyment. These individuals should see their work as valuable to God and an opportunity to embody different facets of God’s character for their flourishing and their organization’s. They may, however, not have the luxury of focusing on one thing.

"Master of One" is full of great content, including stories from leaders and entrepreneurs who experienced a change in how they approached their work, resulting in a focus on serving God and others through mastery of their craft. Raynor has also produced a notebook you can access online to help you process the book’s content.

Author’s note: I want to conclude this review by dedicating it to my mother, Lisbeth “Betsi” Robertson. Mom recently passed away after a long illness. Her love of reading and writing continues to have an influence that makes me want to master this craft. I love you, mom.
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WOW! I needed this!
I learned of Jordan's latest book after completing a few of his devotionals on YouVersion. 
This book, which I read twice, is priceless. 
The message is clear and timely. 
Highly recommended for all Christians, regardless of their path in life.
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Was not captivated by the details on this book at all. Not what I was expecting. Definitely not a book I would recommend or purchase. Just didnt meet the mark for me as far as self-help information goes.
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Unable to open on Kundle. The download to Kindle button did not work and I couldn't get the ascm file to open.
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I absolutely loved this book. I have done several devotional plans from Jordan Raynor on the YouVersion app, and receive his emails - so I knew going into this book I loved the ideas behind his work. The book did not disappoint AT ALL. The premise of "Master of One" is that God calls each of us to excellence in our calling - and that calling needs to be focused. Parts of this book I especially loved were the personal stories of those who are true masters of their craft, the practical steps in part two to becoming a 'master of one', and the free notebook feature that accompanies the book to study! This book is a must-read for anyone struggling with their calling, searching for meaning, or how to pursue excellence. In a world where so many options are available to us, this book was a call back to focus, calling and being excellent. 5/5 - highly recommend!
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This book is an excellent tool to use to find and focus on your unique gifting and purpose in life.  In a world where we all try to be all things to all people, the author encourages us to focus on our highest and best use, and through that pursue joy.  I'm excited to recommend this book to friends who are also on the personal development walk with a destination of simplifying an overwhelming life.
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Trying to sort out your next move? This book has given me the courage to go ahead and blaze that path that I believe God is calling me to. I love that Jordan's book isn't theoretical, he's actually walked this walk and his passion for this topic pours out onto every page. Master of One is also full of scriptural wisdom and stories from others who've also taken to leap to trust God and commit to one "thing". The perfect book to kick off the new year.
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The phrase Jordan Raynor’s latest book, Master of One, speaks to the importance of working within one’s strengths and doing the work we are designed for. In a culture that consistently calls one to broaden one’s skill set, do more, take on more, it stands in sharp contrast. Based on Biblical truths, Jordan systematically unpacks the concepts, it’s importance and how to find your “one thing”.

The book begins by reviewing God’s perspective on the purpose of work and what He wants for us.

“The path to doing our best work for God’s glory and the good of others is the path of “less but better.”“ - From Master of One by Jordan 

I particularly enjoyed how Jordan highlights the way work allows us to shine God’s light and, considering the amount of time we spend at work, how we can love others through doing a great job.

“We live surrounded by darkness in a world that is desperate for something excellent and true. There is perhaps no more influential sphere of life for us to shine the light of Christ than in our chosen work. When we work with excellence, we have the great privilege of being able to glorify God and proclaim his excellencies to the world around us.“ - From Master of One by Jordan Raynor

Through his own journey and interviews with others, Jordan unpacks what working for God in a secular role looks like and the powerful transformation it can bring about both for the person working in their calling and for those who interact with them.

“It is through the ministry of excellence that we love our neighbors through our work.“ - From Master of One by Jordan Raynor

I’ve known from a young age that working in marketing is my calling. I love it and it allows me to love others through my paid work and through my volunteering, it’s even crept into my hobbies. To know I’m in my sweet spot gives me something to fight for when it’s a tough day and inspiration to keep improving my skills, it gives me hope and vision.

“…it’s important to understand that your one thing might be very specific or quite broad.“ - From Master of One by Jordan Raynor

Jordan’s questions challenge me to dip deeper into this calling though, refine it and live it out more. It’s certainly a book you’ll need to chew over and spend time with. I wish each scholar searching for a career could spend time with these questions to find their sweet spot before embarking on tertiary education. Jordan advocates for work experience in several job roles, and whilst I knew I’d be in marketing, waitressing, working in a shop and manning a show stand in the holidays taught me so much including what I didn’t want to do!

“What am I passionate about? What gifts has God given me? Where do I have the best opportunity to glorify God and serve others?” - From Master of One by Jordan Raynor

Experimenting and getting it wrong is essential to learning, and so, Jordan is clear this isn’t a straight-line, once-off process. It’s iterative and takes time and trial. I look forward to exploring this further this year and reflecting back on the book’s message.

“The path to finding and focusing on your one thing is rarely direct. More often than not, it is messy, creative, and fueled by a healthy dose of exploration and experimentation.” - From Master of One by Jordan Raynor

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale!
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This book gave me some great stuff to take away! I really appreciate the message of how we as Christians should pursue excellence in our profession. I feel encouraged to continue to view my chosen profession as my ministry and offering to my Lord. If you want to be encouraged to not head "a millimeter in every direction," check out this book!
I received a complementary copy of this book through Netgally. My opinions in this review are completely my own.
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This book aligns with other recent business reads that support the notion that we will get more joy, and more happiness, if we stop looking to just keep busy, or allow others to determine where was focus our efforts if we just look for a job. Rather we should dig down deep to better understand who we are and what unique skills and talents we can bring to the world. This will help us to believe that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

As opposed to becoming a master of “none’ (ie a jack-of-all-trades) the author argues we should take the time to become a Master of One as this is the path to producing excellent work as we focus our attention. It also allows us to become increasingly skilled ( a master) in our vocation. If asked to score our one thing in terms of whether we believe it’s the right thing, we should score it high, eg 9/10. 

Becoming a Master of One a long term investment in one’s self and the author recommends that we choose to follow this route rather than focusing only on what we can have today, eg a higher short term income.

While a job or producing mediocre work may pay the bills it will not excite us. It will be harder to get through the tough times as we are not inspired by the vision or goals. Also, when we are clearer as to what gift we have been given by God we are in a better position to serve others.

The process of determining our “one thing” is likely to be a messy one. It may require that we work at a range of different things before we can narrow it down to just that one thing. It may be that we have to invest in courses or an apprenticeship. Our circumstance and resources may influence our path.

But finding our one thing will also eventually result in clarity. We will be able to say “yes” to more of what will contribute to our mastery, but also “no” to those things that will take up time, that will detract us from who we need to become. This should make for a more joyful work life. It will also help us to be more God-pleasing as opposed to people- pleasing. 

Who could ask for more than the privilege of being passionate about their work, using the gifts He has given us and looking for opportunities to glorify His name through our work and those we serve? If this is a legacy that appeals to you, this book will help you on your journey.

With thanks to NetGalley, Waterbrook and the author for my free copy to review in exchange for an honest opinion.
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I really enjoyed this book. It really speaks to those of us who are overcommitted by doing too much because we feel like we can not choose one thing. I appreciated it.
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I have always know that God gives each of us unique talents and gifts. I always envied those who found their dream job or loved the work they do. Until reading this book, I never correlated the two (gifts and work) but it makes perfect sense!

I wish this book was made available to my younger self to help me see that choosing a career isn’t just about fame and fortune. I am going through my own career discernment process and the steps laid out by Jordan were and will be extremely helpful.

Truly honored and blessed to read this and I know it will bless all those who open it and dive in!
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"Master of One" is insightful and relevant to any career path, not just mega business owners or creative types. It shares tips and strategies for anyone to find their "one" thing, whether it be a broad skill, or a specific task. Through it, I was able to discern better where my true talents lie and how I can use them for God's glory. 

Non-Christians will still get something from this book too. While there are a great deal of faith based examples, principles, and goals shared, there is plenty that can be applied to life in general. This book is about not only doing your best work, but doing the best work for your fellow man, and that is something anyone can get behind.
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After reading Jordan Raynor's book "Called to Create", I was hooked on the transparency and captivating personal stories he used in illustrating his theme.  "Master of One" did not disappoint. The author built on the foundation laid out in Called to Create. The overarching message of "excellence in all things" is presented from a Christian perspective and supported by scriptures and personal stories from a wide range of successful professionals. Although I have retired from the 9 to 5 scene, Master of One provided inspiration and the hope that it is never too late to become excellent. It will be a reference tool in my library for years to come. 

P.S. Both books would make an excellent gift for any graduate. I wish Raynor's wisdom was available when I started my career!
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It’s not everyday that you pick up a book crafted to get you rethinking your work and who you do it for. 
Jordan has done an excellent job of not only using his story and other professionals to show that a Christian can still excel at whatever craft they choose; but that they can still glorify God and show Him to others through the craft or work they choose. 

An excellent and exquisitely written book!
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Master of One - Jordan Raynor

I received this book free for review from NetGalley.com.  
Jordan takes his own personal story to share the truth of "no man can serve to masters" and makes it right to the point.

Many times I have prided myself on being a multi-talker and quite good at it, however, I can now tell you that is not a good quality to have.  Having too many things going at one time inevitably leads to an "OK" job but not a masterful job.    After Jordan breaks down the many fallacies of this attitude he sets in to help make a new habit which has much better long term results.  

I look at his principles and they not only make sense they are easily followed.  You set about changing one thing at the time and doing it quite carefully and soon you have many new habits that benefit you and the others around you.

So, if  life seems cluttered and not really improving in any appreciable fashion, give this book a chance and move forward.
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Who else feels they juggle too many things and can't seem to master just one of them? 🙋🏼‍♀️

"We are overcommitted, overwhelmed, and over stressed, spending way too much time focused on minutiae rather than the work we believe God created us to do."

This book goes over The Purpose of Mastery, The Path of Mastery and The Promise of Mastery.

Each chapter follows up with a Summary, Key Scripture and Next Action. 
This book is so worth taking your time to go through! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher and was under no obligation to post a favorable review.
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