“Most people just laugh when they hear that the secret to success is giving…Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.” – Pindar, The Go-Giver

There is no greater quote in the bestselling book, The Go-Giver, than this little gem. This cuts right to the core of the book’s thesis, that the classic proverb ‘give and you shall receive’ should be your guide in business as well as your personal life.

The book argues its case with the “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success”:

  1. The Law of Value
  2. The Law of Compensation
  3. The Law of Influence
  4. The Law of Authenticity
  5. The Law of Receptivity

I won’t delineate each of these laws though; that’s what buying and reading the book for yourself is for! But rest assured, coming in at under 130 pages and written as a fictional story, The Go-Giver is an entertaining and worthwhile read for anyone.

Why Read The Go-Giver?

Besides being an easy read, The Go-Giver challenges you to examine your life as a whole and start thinking in terms of giving rather than getting. If you want tremendous success and happiness in your life, aspire to focus your energy on others first. The book contends that what goes around comes around, so a giving state-of-mind will actually bring more success and happiness than you would expect. It explains that in both business and in our personal lives, we should not conduct ourselves in a transactionary way. That is to say, we shouldn’t live our lives bartering with everyone, saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”. Ultimately we should be focused more on the giving, in and of itself. We should do this because it’s the decent thing to do, not because we demand some sort of reward in the end. Now of course, if some rewards do come our way as a result of giving, we should graciously accept them and then find new ways to give more. The key difference here is the goal. A self-centered goal won’t bring you great success, but a selfless one will.

The authors, Bob Burg & John David Mann, rightly argue that when it comes to business, making profit the primary goal won’t lead to incredible success; only a focus on giving will do that. Sure, focusing solely on profit might yield some success – but it won’t be stratospheric! Always focus on giving more in the product or service, and you just might be surprised with some unexpected rewards.

As far as applying the Five Laws to our personal life, it’s very similar: don’t keep count of the favors or things you do for someone. It’s not a scoreboard! Concern yourself with genuinely helping as many people as possible, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because placing the interests of others first will benefit everyone. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

How The Go-Giver Changed Me

I remember reading this book for the first time around Christmas 2014. Back then, I was going along to get along at my job; not achieving anything too terribly noteworthy. I was also spending a significant amount of my free time with a group of friends without trying to grow closer to them. I was definitely putting my interests ahead of others, until I came across this book.

The Go-Giver made me realize I’d been going through my life with a transactionary attitude, only willing to do things if I got something out of it. After finishing the book, I approached work with a different attitude. I began to think of all the ways I could contribute to work, even if I never got credit for doing them. I even went so far as to create my own company in an attempt to find success for myself and others! This book really got my entrepreneurial juices flowing and I can’t wait to see where it all ends up.

I also promised myself to try to place the interests of others ahead of my own. This included family, friends, and coworkers and I can tell there’s a huge difference in overall happiness and contentment now that I’ve directed my energies into worthwhile pursuits. The secret to success in life and business is to give, not take.

Overall, I highly recommend reading The Go-Giver for its simple, yet profound advice. Perhaps it’ll even inspire you to start a business of your own and help change the world for the better!