How do you get the answer before you get the question without being a contestant on Jeopardy? I don’t know, I only know it happens. It happened to us.

When our friend Gary Keller wrote his book The One Thing, he had no idea that he was speaking directly to me. I get chills to this day when I open his book to page 106 and read his focusing question, “What is the ONE THING I can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Gary goes on for another 130 pages explaining this question but for me, time stopped. Just like being on Jeopardy, we had been given the answer before Gary posed his question.

We received the answer to this huge question four months into what was, up to that point, a dubious career in real estate. Our answer without even knowing the question was putting our Clients First. We tell about our moment of transformation in our book “Clients First”, but we never knew it was the pivotal answer to Gary’s question because he had yet to ask it.

Putting Clients First is the ONE THING I can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary.

Think about it. Before our moment of inspiration, everything had been hard. It seems our lives had been a series of minor successes followed by major setbacks. Great ideas ended in disappointment. By midpoint in our lives we were still struggling to find a path to success. But then it happened, we discovered Clients First and it all became easy. Suddenly everything worked. Everyone said yes. Our business exploded. We sold almost 4,000 homes in our next 10 years.

The crazy thing about our experience is that we had no idea how unusual our experience was. We just kept selling homes because everyone wanted to do business with us. It was easy. Nothing else was necessary and it wasn’t until we read Gary’s book that we understood. This was the answer to Gary’s question. Put your Client First, apply the three keys in our book and it all becomes easy.

Today we recommend two books- Gary Keller’s “The One Thing” for the Question and our book “Clients First” for the Answer.

It’s just like being on Jeopardy and the payoff can be life changing.


– Joseph Callaway