The Go-Giver: Give and You shall Receive

The Go-Giver written by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a short parable pointing out the importance of the saying “Give and you shall receive” in the business and your private life.

During the last years, I read around one hundred books in the area of self-development and the Go-Giver is easily one of the best. During the last months, I came to a point where I said to myself: “No self-help business books anymore. I have enough!” Luckily I need to commute three times a week for around 80 minutes. With only 130 pages it is a real quick read and it is absolutely worth the time you need for it.

It is a book different from any other self-help book because it is written as a fiction story. Joe is a true go-getter. He is hungry for success but he somehow reached a plateau. He is just about to miss his target of the quarter when he seeks advice from Pindar who becomes his mentor. During the book, Pindar is teaching Joe five extremely valuable lessons. These lessons are greatly put into the story. Sometimes I had tiny tears in my eyes while reading it.

So what is the key message of the book? You can describe it as a story about business karma. Which you can also apply to your private life. If you give (value, authenticity, love, etc.) you will also receive in return.

I am a strong believer in karma anyway. However, I read this book in a phase where I started to use sales techniques to sell the product and service of my startup. This book was a wake-up call to remind me to go back to how I naturally behave. To genuinely love people and being authentic. Within hours I was able to apply it in my sales job and I landed 2 sales straight!

Following I will summarize the five laws explained in the book. However, I highly recommend you to take 2 hours of your time and read the book. This book is golden. As soon I can afford it I will order hundreds of copies, wrap it in gold, and send it to friends, partners, and family members.

5 Laws Explained

I will explain the five laws with my own words. In addition, I will quote my favorite parts right below.

First Law: Law of Value – Your worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

You need to change your thinking. Stop thinking about receiving payments (or love or anything else). Instead, you need to focus to give value. Give the best service. Refer your competitors if you can’t handle the contract volume. Give 100% of your time to your wife and don’t demand anything back!

Second Law: Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

This one is rather simple. The more people you can serve, the more success you will receive. Imagine having a small café in a small town. Your success is naturally very limited because you can serve only a limited amount of people. However, if you start an online shop to sell the best coffee beans, you can serve everyone who is online.

Third Law: Law of Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first.

Never think about your own interest. Always focus on what other people are interested in. This could be your co-workers but also your wife. Focus entirely on what they want. There is no win-win. Simply focus entirely on other peoples interest first. Your interest will be taken care of naturally.

Fourth Law: Law of Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

Throw away “How to win friends and influence people”. Don’t listen to the latest sales advice. Don’t try to impress girls by using pickup techniques. Simply be yourself. Be authentic!

Fifth Law: Law of Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

Lastly, as you focus entirely on giving in the first four laws of stratospheric success, you need to be open to receive. You will be surprised what will happen if you follow the first four laws!

Quotes from the Book

“The more successful [people] are, the more willing they are to share their secrets with others”

“[Money is] not a goal that will make you successful”

“What you focus on is what you get”

“Go looking for the best people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and good will you’ll find.”

“Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated”

“It never hurts to be kind to people”

“Everyone like to be appreciated […] and that’s the Golden Rule of business”

“People will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust”

“Your true with is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”

“Exceed people’s expectations, and they’ll pay you even more.”

“You give, give, give. Why? Because you love to. It’s not a strategy”

“Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”

“Everybody can be successful because anybody can give.”

“Being broke and being rich are both decisions.”

“Sometimes you feel foolish, even look foolish, but you do the thing anyway.”

“Changing my focus from seeing what I could git to what I could give was when my career started to take off.”

“When you base your relationships – in business or anywhere else in life – on who owes who what, that’s not being a friend. That’s being a creditor.”

“Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”

“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”

“If you place the other person’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of. Always.”

“I care more about my wife’s happiness than I do about my own.”

“Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition”

“It’s what’s inside that makes you beautiful, not the wrapping.”

“If you need money, add value. If you need a lot of money, add a lot of value.”

“The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself.”

“You want people skills? Then be a person.”

“Good people give and don’t think about receiving.”

“The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”

“The point is not what you do. Not what you accomplish, It’s who you are.”


The GO-Giver is a must read. I wish more people would act according to this book. My key takeaway from this book was to be authentic. I promised myself to come back to this book and read it at least once or twice a year. This book is worth gold.


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