The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
John David Man
1. The Go-Givers
The Go-Givers is the story of Joe, an ambitious young man, inspired by success. He could be compared with a go-getter; someone who tries to get the maximum out of the people around him to reach his goals. Until the day he meets the Chairman, one of the most successful people in the world. Joe’s going to follow the Chairman every day, for a week, in order to understand what makes him so successful.
In this essay, I’ll present you the five laws that’ll give you the opportunity to become a real “Go-Giver”, and not a “Go-Getter”, in order to succeed in your businesses in the long term and build strong relationships.
Before presenting these five laws, I would like to share with you the vision and mission of Bob Burg & John D. Mann, the authors of “The Go-Givers”. During their entrepreneurial years, they developed the mission of Giving; they were convinced that giving before getting would help them achieve their goals in their business. Then they developed the vision that: “The more successful you are, the more willing you are to share your secrets with others”, because you get what you expect. The world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated. It means that if you expect a lot from others, you should give them the same. Maybe you should work with people who are of the same mindset as you in order to reach your goals.
In his book “Give and take”, Adam Grant describes three kinds of people (Grant, 2013):
- The Taker: someone who comes to you willing to receive, he comes to you for his own interest
- The Matcher: gives and takes in equal proportions
- The Giver: someone who helps others without the expectation of anything in return
If you can help someone, do it. Either if it does not benefit you immediately, maybe in many years these people could help you. Therefore don’t help others waiting for immediate benefits, it can take some time, but frequently you get something back that will probably be valuable for you.
This vision of Adam Grant matches totally with the vision and mission of Bob Burg & John D. Mann. That’s why I wanted to share that too.
However, keep in mind that it is important to have your own interest when helping people because if you keep helping without any interest you are more likely to create a burnout than if you help while having your own interest. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to help if it cannot help your interest but by doing it you will feel better and have more energy.
Here are the 5 laws presented by Bob Burg & John D. Mann (Burg & John David , The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, 2015):
- Value: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”
- Compensation: “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them”
- Influence: “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first”
- Authenticity: “The most valuable gift you have to offer is you”
- Receptivity: “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving”
Let me explain a little bit more about these 5 laws:
Before starting a business with someone, be sure of all things being equal; work with people you know, like and trust. It will facilitate the way you communicate and interact with each other.
When you know the person you are doing business with, ask yourself the question about the potential to earn. You should always try to give the most for what you ask.
Think about a restaurant in Tampere, and more about a pizzeria. If you have the choice between “Mama’s Pizzeria”, which offers you a basic pizza for 12€, but in this restaurant you’ll have a warm welcome, fresh product and a friendly waiter. Or you can go in “La Pizzeria di Roma”, eating a basic pizza for 11€, with frozen products and no one to welcome you. Then, where would you like to go for a pizza in Tampere?
Keep in mind that “Value is the relative worth of something to someone”. What will make your client decide to exchange his money for your product or service, and be excited about it?
This law is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them (Burg, A Quick and Really Fun Overview of The Go-Giver, 2013). Ask yourself how much you earn. If it’s enough, you don’t need more customers, so make sure you have an excellent customer relationship. You’ll be able to determine what kind of relation you want to have with your customers (Draw, 2020):
- Customers who exploit relationships
- One-Time Customers
- Relationship seekers
- Loyal Customers
Once you know the type of customer your business needs, be sure to apply the right strategy to keep them. For example, if you want “Loyal Customers”, you should have a high level of proximity and offer them what they really expect. You could offer them the best USP and update it over time, so they probably won’t go to the competition.
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first”. Forget win-win focus and start working on the other person’s win. That’s what we call the “enlightened self-interest”; offer to others what they want and not what you think they want.
“The most valuable gift you have to offer is you”. Always remember that you still can offer an additional value, and this can be YOU. If you don’t have an exceptional product to offer or your service isn’t so different from the competitors, try to be different as a person. If your business can’t offer something unique, at least you can be this unique thing.
The last one and not the least: “Every giving can happen only because it is also receiving”. The key to effective giving is also receiving. Once you’ve given to the society; the society will give back to you. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared to receive what the other will give you.
As we’ve seen, giving is a principle that every business should adopt if they want to thrive. Stop keeping score and give to others, so they’ll give you too.
2. Works mentioned
Burg, B. (2013, March 8). A Quick and Really Fun Overview of The Go-Giver.
Burg, B., & John David , M. (2015). The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea. Reissue.
Draw, C. (2020, Ferbruary 7). Customer types matrix. Récupéré sur Concept Draw: https://conceptdraw.com/a985c3/preview/640
Grant, A. (2013). Give and take. Viking; Edition Unstated edition .
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