What Is Your One Big Thing?

Media expert Phil Cooke recently put out a remarkable book called One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do. Most of the books that fall into my hands are skimmed. However, I read One Big Thing word-for-word. I even marked in it (something I rarely do). I liked the book so much that I brought Phil onto the blog for an interview about the book. Enjoy the interview and order the book. 

Phil Cooke

For readers who aren’t familiar with the book, what is the premise and the overarching idea?

Phil Cooke: For more than 30 years, I’ve helped churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively.  In case after case, I discovered the organizations who really get noticed, funded, and valued are organizations who do one big thing extraordinary well.  All the organizations that are average at many things never seem to get noticed.  So a few years ago, I started applying that idea to individual people.  Who are the artists, pastors, writers, filmmakers, or leaders that get their message heard?

It’s people who are known for One Big Thing.  And for the record, your One Big Thing isn’t necessarily about a job.  It’s not so much about discovering your One Big Thing is to be a pastor, salesman, or secretary.  Your One Big Thing is really about the over-arching purpose for your life.  What you’re “wired” to accomplish, and what you were born to do?

At what point in your life did you discover your OBT and how did you arrive at it?

Phil Cooke: I was a pastor’s kid growing up in the South in the 50’s and 60’s.  During that time pastors would try anything to get people into the church.  They were well intentioned, but did some really stupid things like shaving their heads or sitting on high poles.  So from an early age, I saw how poorly that was perceived by the community.  As a result, I’ve always been passionately interested in making the public understand that Christians aren’t idiots.  Whether it involves working directly with churches, ministries, and nonprofits, writing books, or speaking, my goal is to do my best to make sure Christians are taken seriously, rather than marginalized or shut out of the cultural conversation.

What has been the response to the book so far?

Phil Cooke: Fantastic.  I understand the Washington Post considers it one of the top five business books of 2012.  I’m thrilled that not just Christians, but non-believers have really connected with the book as well.  My reviews online have been incredible.  But the greatest joy has been the number of emails and Facebook posts from people who say the book has completely changed the direction of their lives.

Who, specifically, would benefit from the book?

Phil Cooke: Anyone with a dream, an idea, or a project who needs to find an audience.  You may be a pastor trying to increase your influence, an artist hoping to get your work seen, or a business leader who needs to convey his or her ideas to the public.   I’m especially passionate about Christians who are trying to impact people with the gospel, because in today’s cluttered and distracted culture, that’s more difficult than its ever been.  But knowing your One Big Thing is the key to helping you cut through that clutter and get your message heard.

What would you say to the person who believes their OBT is to be part of a team? (say they believed it was to be a bass player in a jazz band). Consequently, their OBT is contingent on other people rather than something they can pull off on their own.

Phil Cooke: For members of a team, finding your One Big Thing is even more critical.  Without knowing your expertise, wiring, or focus, you’ll never contribute your talent and gifts most effectively to the team.

Tell us a bit more about what you do and how can people learn more if they are interested?

Phil Cooke: We jokingly tell people (well, maybe HALF joking) that “we help Christians not suck at the media.”   And if you’ve ever seen much Christian media, you know there’s much work to be done. (Phil says smiling.) Our company, Cooke Pictures, in Burbank, California works with churches, ministries, and nonprofits around the world, helping them express their brand story more effectively.  My personal background is in television producing and directing, so we’re most at home creating and producing media programs.  But much of our work is also helping organizations discover their own story, and then share that story with the world.  The bottom line is that we’re here to help Christians expand their influence and reach a larger audience.  In today’s hyper-competitive culture, where people have more options than ever, it’s so incredibly important to capture their attention.  After all, it doesn’t matter how powerful your message is, if no one is listening.

Our company website is cookepictures.com, my personal blog is philcooke.com, and you can follow my rantings on Twitter at @philcooke.

Order One Big Thing by Phil Cooke in hardcover

Order One Big Thing by Phil Cooke in Kindle

See also my interview with Phil on his book Unique

Join over 25,000 other readers and receive free blog updates. If you subscribe by Email, you will receive my Next Reformation Seminar as a free gift. By subscribing, you also won’t miss a post. If you are new to the blog, be sure to check out my Top Posts of All Time. I look forward to your input and comments. Be part of the conversation!
facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Comments

  1. Jennifer says

    Thanks for the information. I’m looking forward to reading the book, as I am working on reaching more people through my blog for ministry purposes.

  2. Stefan Korth says

    I was a bit disturbed by the “help pastors gain influence” part – I know it is true that this is something we ache for. It just feels funny. Partly because it reflects the human nature that wants to gain power, which for a pastor means gain influence on people. It is easily confused with reaching people with the gospel – but I would not too quickly assume that both is the same.

    Anyhow. As usual, sure a book worth checking out and doing the regular “testing and keeping” of the good parts. Thanks for the interview!

  3. says

    Thanks for pointing this book out to us! As a Christian career coach I echo the thought you outlined and will be adding this book to my library! God has created each of us for a purpose, He gifts and empowers us to do that thing. Yet many times we get pushed by culture and tradition into roles that do not fit. Breaking out is difficult to do until we really understand what God designed us to accomplish and get about doing that “One Big Thing” Sometimes it is a life event that helps us figure that direction out, others can benefit from a trusted mentor or coach that helps them see the unique direction God has prepared for them. It is a great journey to finding the spot God made one to fulfill! Blessings…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>