Two strategists, two reviews of the same book. So different, yet complementary. Enjoy!

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 is 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. It’s a five out of five.

– Karren Hodgkins, Brand Strategist

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 Raynor

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!

– Kelly Hodgkins, Brand Strategist

We received a complimentary copy of the book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in these reviews are completely our own.