Entrepreneurial pioneer, thought leader, and best-selling author helps you find, focus on, and master the work you were created to do.
We have more options for our work than ever before, leading many of us to spend years dabbling in different jobs, side-hustles, and career paths. This experimentation can be a good thing, but more often than not, it leaves us feeling dissatisfied as a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades, and a master of none.” In this groundbreaking book, Jordan Raynor offers a better way, helping you find and focus on the work God created you to do until you become a master of one.
In his national bestselling book, Called to Create, Raynor established that work is one of our primary forms of ministry. In Master of One, he builds upon that message, using his story-driven, gospel-centric style to make the case that it is through excellent work that we glorify God, love our neighbors as ourselves, and earn the right to be heard by a world thirsty for truth. With stories from Christ-followers such as C. S. Lewis, Emily Ley, Fred Rogers, Cynthia Marshall, and Chip Gaines, this accessible and practical book will reframe your thinking about work, giving you renewed passion and vision to find and master your one thing.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
A year or two ago I read Raynor’s first book Called to Create and loved it, so when I saw this book available to pre-read I jumped on the opportunity. Especially as the topic is particularly relevant. In my particular stage of life and career field, it oftentimes feels like I have to be good at everything. There are so many opportunities, and it can be hard to even become really good at one thing before I move on to the next.
This is where Raynor comes in with Master of One. He immediately starts by negating the idea that we need to be ‘jacks-and-jills-of-all-trades’ because that is neither sustainable nor the best use of our time.
So here’s what I loved:
First of all, I love Raynor’s use of sources. He quotes theologians, businessmen, non-profit directors, Christian authors, and secular authors to name a few. I am also the nerd that gets excited when authors I love, love the other authors I love, so the fact that he quotes Greg McKeown and Cal Newport was an immediate plus. I also enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and highlighted several to add to my quote collection.
Second, I appreciated the structure of the book. It was broken into three parts that talk about why it’s important to be masters of one, how to pick your one thing and master it, and finally the positive impacts of being a master of one. It is very straightforward and easy to process/implement.
Finally, I loved the fact that he turned work into a mission field. He talks about how, as Christians, we are called to bring glory to God and to love others well. He goes on to explain that by becoming masters in our chosen field, we are able to serve our clients, employers, and employees well, and this in turn will serve our family and community. I also appreciated his take on the importance of mastery, in that he says that once we have that established credibility in our field, we are better able to be witnesses for the Gospel because people are already listening to us. He shares so many good stories and examples in the area, and I loved this perspective.
The only downside (if it can even be considered one) is that my to-read list grew by at least five books because of Raynor’s praise of them. I would highly recommend this book to people in all stages of their careers, but especially for those still trying to figure out what their ‘one thing’ is. Maybe it’s just because I am still in school and at the beginning of my career, but I found Raynor’s suggestions for identifying and and mastering your craft to be particularly helpful.