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February 28, 2023

The Go-Giver Interview With National Best-Selling Co-Author Bob Burg [EP142]

Today we have National Best Selling Co-Author of The Go-Giver Bob Burg on the show! Are you looking to reach new levels of success? Bob Burg's book The Go-Giver has sold over 1.2 million copies. He started as a broadcaster and then went into sales and learned by reading from the greats Tom Hopkins and Zig Ziglar. He learned there was a process of predictably achieving a goal.

In this episode he talks about the five laws of stratospheric success that he describes in his book including;

  • The Laws of Value, Compensation, Influence, Authenticity, and Receptivity

Table of Contents:

The Go Giver Principles

The Go Giver Principles
Photographer: Samuel Regan-Asante | Source: Unsplash

Darin: Bob is actually the national bestseller co-author of the book, the Go-Giver. And I just read the book and it is fantastic. I reached out to Bob and I said, "I know that you're not into real estate investing, but some of the principles in this book can really help my listeners. So I asked if Bob would come on and he was kind enough to do so.

So I typically ask how many properties and how many units you're invested in. But can you share with the listeners how many copies of this book have you sold because it's a huge success.

Bob: Thank you. Yes, John David Mann, who's my co-author, we've sold I think a million or getting close to the million 200,000 copy mark.

Darin: That's amazing. Over a million copies, guys. I'm telling you, you have to get this book. I read a lot of books if you follow me, if you listen to podcasts, I read a lot of books. And this is a top-notch book that is not just for real estate investing, but it's just principles in life that can help you succeed both in business and in your personal relationships. So with that, can you share a little bit about your background. Why you wrote the book, and some of the principles in it?

Bob: Yes. I began as a broadcaster first in radio sports and then television news. I only did that for a couple of years and really I wasn't very good at it. It wasn't long before I knew that wasn't going to be my career path. I like to say I graduated into sales.

Discover How To Save Taxes and Build Wealth

The Go Giver Formula for Success

Bob: The challenge was I had no formal sales training, so I really floundered for the first three months or so. Fortunately, one day while I was in a bookstore, I came across a couple of books. One was by Tom Hopkins and one was by Zig Ziglar. Two of the course legends, icons on the sales space. Now, this is about 40 years ago or so. It wasn't quite as known that there were books on selling back then. Now they're everywhere. But back then who knew? Unless you knew?

And it was encouraging to me just to know there was a way to sell, to do so effectively because I wasn't taught that at the company where I was working. So I took the books home, I studied them voraciously, and really within a few weeks, Darin, my sales began to go through the roof.

Which said to me that if you have a methodology, if you have a system, you can pretty much accomplish anything within reason.

Now, I personally define a system as the process of predictably achieving a goal based on a logical and specific set of how to principles. The key being predictability. If it's been proven that by doing A, you'll get the desired results of B, then you pretty much know that all you need to do is A and continue to do A and you'll get the desired results of B. So that's what I did. And over the next number of years, I really made a study of sales, really loved it, loved the personal development aspect. I think that's what I enjoyed even I think the most.

How the Go Giver Came to Be

Bob: And it was when I began reading books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich and The Magic of Thinking Big and Psycho-Cybernetics and The Greatest Salesman In the World. All these wonderful books that fill you on the inside, which is where success really begins. It manifests outwardly, but it begins in here.

And it was a lot of fun. It was very rewarding and eventually, I started showing other companies how to do what was working for me. And The Go Giver came about really because, well back in the '90s, I had a book out called Endless Referrals. The subtitle was Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales and it was a how-to book for entrepreneurs and salespeople who knew they had a great product or service.

Knew it brought a lot of value to their customers, but they didn't necessarily feel comfortable with the process of going out into their communities. And developing the kinds of relationships that would cause people to want to do business with them directly or refer them to others. So Endless Referrals was my system that was based of course on what I learned from many other people.

But the idea came to actually turn that into a parable and when I met John David Mann, who was the editor-in-chief of a magazine I was writing for back 2003, 2004. We got together on this idea about the Go-Giver and so forth. And again, he was the lead writer, storyteller. He's just brilliant. I'm a how-to guy so, I'm boring, but we collaborated on it and that's how it happened.

Understanding the Essence of the Go-Giver

Darin: Fantastic. So for your perspective, the listeners are made up of high net-worth individuals that look to invest passively into real estate deals and also a lot of syndicators. The ones that are putting the deals together and they're looking to attract new capital and they're looking to scale their business so they're able to do more deals and larger deals.

5 Step Process Ad

So I think that the principles in The Go-Giver apply dramatically to those people that are looking to grow their business. And you did it. You went searching for a way, and then you came up with reading a lot of other books from successful people and then you developed a book yourself with your co-author. So can you share some of those principles that you put into The Go-Giver?

Bob: Yes. It's all based around an underlying premise, which is shifting your focus.

And this is really where it all begins, Darin, shifting your focus from getting to giving. And when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others. Understanding that doing so is not only a more fulfilling way of conducting business, it's actually the most financially profitable way as well. Not for some way out there, woo-woo, magical, mystical reasons. Not at all. It actually makes very rational, very logical sense.

When you are that person who can take your focus off of yourself and place it on serving others, discovering what they need, what they want, what they desire. When you can move off of yourself and focus on helping other people solve their problems, solve their challenges.

Shifting the Focus

Shifting the Focus
Photographer: Devin Avery | Source: Unsplash

Bob: Ultimately, when you can take your focus off yourself and focus on bringing others closer to happiness if you will. People feel good about you. They feel great about you. They want to get to know you. Like you, trust you. They want to be in relationship with you, and want to do business with you. They want to tell the world about you, want to be your personal walking ambassador.

So it really all begins from there. And as you can tell, and as I know you run your business it's all about the relationships. It always comes down to that. That's the separator.

Darin: Absolutely. But I think that part of that is mindset and you said, shifting the focus and helping other people solve their problems. In my world, in the syndication space, there are certain syndicators that they get a deal and they're like, "I need to raise 10 million in capital. I need this many investors." But really the focus based on what you're saying is a shift. How do you help those people build their wealth? What are the problems that they're encountering while they're looking to save taxes? They're looking to build their wealth and the deal can help them get there, but it's really shifting that focus.

Bob: Well, you bring up a great point. And it's funny because when I speak at sales conferences, a lot of times I'll begin by asking a question. "How many of you agree that nobody's going to buy from you because you have a quota?"

Darin: Exactly.

Doing Business the Go-Giver Way

Bob: They're not going to buy from you because you need the money and they're not going to buy from you just because you're a nice human being. They're going to buy from you or do business with you or invest with you because ultimately they believe they will be better off by doing so than by not doing so. And in the still basically free market economy in which we operate. That's the only reason why anyone should do business with you or me or with anyone else because they believe they'll benefit. It's our responsibility to communicate to them why and how.

Darin: So I agree. But let me challenge you a little bit in terms of, I'm sure there are skeptics. Like, okay, well I still have to meet my quota or I still have to get this amount of capital to close this deal. Explain how once you change that focus, those problems get solved.

Bob: Yes. Well the skeptic who says, yes, I get this Go-Giver stuff, focus on the other person. Yes, I'll do that after I have the money right now. Well again, it goes back to that why is the other person going to invest with you? Are they much more likely to invest with you because you tell them about all your problems and why you need their money? Probably not.

Or are they much more likely to invest with you because you focus on them and showing them how you can fulfill their needs, wants, and desires. So that's why, again, there's nothing about this that's magical or mystical. It's simply understanding human nature and honoring and respecting human nature.

Being Broke and Being Rich Are Both Decisions

Bob: Dale Carnegie said brilliantly in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, ultimately people do things for their reasons, not our reasons, and we disregard that advice at our own peril.

Darin: That's so true. So I've got some items that I pulled out of the book and I want to get your take on a few of them. One is, "Being broke and being rich are both decisions." I read that and I agree with that, but I think there's some people that are out there that, the rich are just lucky and I don't have as much money as I want and I'm poor on my luck. So explain what you mean by that.

Bob: Well, that was said by Nicole Martin, she was the CEO in the story. She told Joe how she grew up with a lot of that mindset in teaching that the poor people were good and honest and kind and rich people were nasty and horrible and mean. What she realized is that basically one didn't have a lot to do with the other. There's lots of wealthy people who were creeps and wealthy people who were very nice, and poor people who were creeps and poor people who were very nice.

So it was simply a matter of deciding, which you wanted to be in terms of really nice or creepy or really poor or wealthy. Is it all luck? It seems like that would be a difficult point to really make a case for. Because you see people who are successful over and over again at different things and they seem to be following the same basic principles.

The Right Time and the Right Place

Bob: Now, does luck have anything to do with success? Sure it does, of course. And yet it's probably the least important element. Lucius Seneca, one of the great stoics is the one who coined the frame, "Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity." And those are the lucky people.

There's breaks, the fumble happens, but if the other person isn't around the ball, they're not going to get the ball. The lucky break was the fumble, but if you're not doing your job and around the ball, it doesn't matter.

Darin: In addition, all those hours of being in the weight room and practicing and all of that just to get into that position.

Bob: Exactly. One of the things that people make the case, they'll say, well, Bill Gates was lucky that he was at the right time and the right place where they had that. The right time in history when they had the computer. For three or four years all he did was spend about 12 hours a day working on it and finding opportunities to use that skill. So again, part of life is luck, there's good luck and bad luck.

Darin: Yes. I like that example with Gates because it ties into something else that you talk about in the book. I've read in a lot of other self-development-type books as well is if you want to be more successful, serve more people, help more people. And all those hours that Gates put in, well think about how many people use his software across the world. He's impacted so many people and the efficiency of so many organizations and the access that people have received by being able to use their computer to access information across the world.

How the Go Giver Implements the Law of Value

How the Go Giver Implements the Law of Value
Photographer: Tingey Injury Law Firm | Source: Unsplash

Darin: Talk about, givers attract, why do givers attract people?

Bob: And let's look as we go through the laws, and let's get to that one because that's very important. So law number one is about providing so much value, such a value-based experience to others that they genuinely feel as though they got much more from it than what they paid. They got so much more in value. Value can be defined as the relative worth or desirability of a thing, of something to the end-user or beholder.

In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, service, concept idea. What have you, that brings so much worth to someone that they will willingly exchange their money forward and be glad they did while you make a very healthy profit. So how are you through your excellence, your consistency, your attention, your empathy, your appreciation? How are you making this situation so phenomenal for someone else that they feel as though they receive much more?

It's like going to the restaurant and it maybe cost you $150, $200, but you come away feeling like a million bucks. You receive more in value than what you paid. But of course the restaurateur made a very healthy profit. So that's law number one. Again, this happens because the focus is on the value you're providing, not the money you're receiving. This is why John David Mann and I say that money is simply an echo of value. It's the thunder, if you will to values lightning.

The Go Giver: Law of Compensation and Law of Influence

Bob: Now, law number two we just discussed, which was the law of compensation. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. So now let's go to the other, third one and look at why givers attract. This is the law of influence, and this says, "Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first."

Now, this sounds counterintuitive when you first hear it, counterproductive, maybe even downright pollyannaish. But first let's understand when we say place the other person's interests first, we're not suggesting that you be anyone's doormat or a martyr or self-sacrificial in any way. Absolutely not at all. It simply is Joe, the protege in the story learned from several of the mentors. The golden rule of business, of sales, what have you, is that all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust.

And there's no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you from others than by genuinely moving from that I focus or me focus to that other focus. Looking to, as Sam, one of the mentors advised Joe, "Make your win all about the other person's win." That's given. And that's attractive. Because don’t people want to be around someone like that?

Darin: Absolutely. Something that sticks in my mind. I had another real estate investor on the podcast recently, and at one point during the interview she said. "I was working a deal and I had this guy who reached out and said that he wanted to invest a million dollars."

10% Knowledge, 90% People Skills

Darin: And she said, "You know what, I don't even know you. I don't know your situation. Let's get to know each other first, and I don't think that this is the right opportunity. Let's get to know each other first and then maybe there's a future opportunity we can work together."

And I thought to myself, that's attractive. That is confidence. That is somebody that I want to be around. That's somebody I want to learn from. Because they're not just thinking about, "Hey, I could just fill the slots in my deal." They're thinking about, how do I build a long-term relationship with this person? And at first and foremost, I want to make sure this is the right opportunity for them.

Bob: Right on.

Darin: That's huge. Hey, I get a lot of people that reach out to me because I focus on larger multifamily, 100 units, 200 units, there's certain people that they feel like they're not worthy. They don't know how to get into that game. They don't know the value that they can provide. One of the things that stuck out in the book was, you had listed 10% knowledge, 90% people skills.

And that struck a chord with me because I tell them, "Look, whatever you're deficient in, partner with other people that are strong in those areas and talk about your team that you've built around you." But that's the whole thing people want to do business with people. And you talk about it's not what you accomplish, but it's who you are. So that person that feels like they're not worthy, still have a lot to contribute and they can use that to influence others and help others achieve their goals.

The Go Giver: Law of Authenticity

Bob: Yes, they can. They always have to first understand that they really are worthy. And this is where the love authenticity comes in. Where Deborah says that the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. And as you said, she talked about the fact that, yes as important as the technical skills are, the competency, the people skills, all of that are so very important. But really what it comes down to is you. And it comes down to being yourself.

Now you've got to ask the question, why if authenticity, and I think we all know that it is very important in terms of establishing and maintaining trust and being effective in the marketplace. Why do some people then not show up authentically? And part of it is, you mentioned, they don't have the self-confidence to do so. I believe we all have two types of authentic value. We have intrinsic value. In other words, just by being alive, we bring value to the table. But we also have what I call market value.

And market value is that combination of strengths, traits, talents, and characteristics that allows a person to add value or give value to the marketplace in such a way that they will be financially rewarded for it. Now the interesting thing is we all have these assets of value, but sometimes it can be very difficult for us to grasp because we're so emotionally close to ourselves. The things that either come to us somewhat naturally and/or we've put a lot of work in, often it's a combination of both.

The Go-Giver: Law of Receptivity

Bob: Because we see the world from our own vantage point, from our own set of beliefs, we tend to think, well, if we can do it, everybody can do it. That's not necessarily the case.

Darin: And even if everybody could do it, everybody doesn't do it.

Bob: Doesn't do it right. And that's why it's helpful to have a coach such as yourself, a guide such as you who can help that person maybe see some things in themselves that they don't necessarily see. But as you said, you can take the market value, those traits, those talents that you have. And even if they don't cover a whole lot of areas, you can team up with people who do. But you've still got to understand your value and you've got to be able to embrace your value. And when you do now, you'll feel comfortable and confident in getting together with people.

Darin: Absolutely. So you talked about four of the five values, value, compensation, attract, authenticity. What is the fifth?

Bob: Yes. So the fifth is the law of receptivity.

And the law of receptivity says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. This really means something more. Here is what it really means. It's understanding that yes, you breathe out, you also have to breathe in. Not one or the other. It's both. You breathe out carbon dioxide, you breathe in oxygen. You breathe out, which is giving, you breathe in, which is receiving. Well giving and receiving are not opposite concepts and yet the world around us certainly gives us the message that it is, doesn't it?

Darin: So give an example of the receiving piece.

The Effects Of The Go-Giver On Your Mindset

How The Go Giver Affects Your Mindset
Photographer: Sushobhan Badhai | Source: Unsplash

Bob: The receiving piece is allowing yourself to embrace that which is coming back to you as a result of what you've given or just receiving anyway. Somebody pays you a compliment. It's a difference between going, "Oh no, it's nothing." And saying, "Oh, thank you so much, it's very kind."

It's also the difference between being able to earn income and sabotaging yourself because you don't feel worthy of it. Or you've listened to the old stories from combination of upbringing, environments, schooling, news, media, television shows, movies, and social media where all you hear about is how only bad people make a lot of money.

And it's very easy for that to get into your unconscious and for you to see the world that way. So if you've grown up with a value system of honesty and integrity, but what you've heard so often is that wealthy people are dishonest, that they're crooks, well, what's going to happen? The unconscious is always going to beat the conscious. You're going to find yourself sabotaging the success that you have earned through providing value in the marketplace.

This is a big reason why I think one of the most important aspects of business is making a study of prosperity and prosperity mindset. People out there like Randy Gage and David Nagle and Sharon Lechter, Ken Honda, Ellen Rogin, and the late Bob Proctor. These are people who just did wonderful work and they have blogs and books and videos and all these on abundance mindset. And what you'll notice is that 95% of what they teach has nothing to do with the how-to, it's the mindset.

The More You Give, The More You Receive

Darin: It's in your mind.

Bob: It's dispelling, getting rid of all those prosperity blockers that we have because of the anti-prosperity messages that we receive from the world around us.

Darin: When I think about the receptivity piece, I think of it in two different fashions. One is the value that you're giving somebody and then maybe you earn income off of that and feeling good about that. And then secondly, you're helping one group, but you may be receiving help from a mentor or somebody else.

Bob: Sure, absolutely.

Darin: So the journey never ends. You're always trying to better yourself and then you're trying to help other people come up as well.

Bob: Exactly. And the more you give, the more you receive, which allows you to give more and receive more and give more and receive more and give more and receive more. It's a delightful cycle of success.

Darin: Yes, that's huge. So I know our time is limited. I would love to just pick your brain all day long. But hey, I would say to the listeners, again, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's written as a parable. Very easy to read and just like some of the other classics. It's a book that will just sit with you and easy things to understand, and if you implement those things, you've heard it from Bob.

Achieving Success Through The Go-Giver

Darin: Success it's not just in financial terms, it's relationships too. Relationships with your family, with your friends, with your clients. It's just a massive difference that you can have and impact on you and others that you come about. So Bob, if people want to get to know you better, what's the best place for them to do that?

Bob: Yes. My website is Burg.com. I'm a simple guy.

Darin: That's fantastic.

Bob: And they can find all sorts of resources there, including my "Daily Impact" email that I send out.

Darin: So what is in that "Daily Impact" email? What's the value that people will say?

Bob: Really it's a combination of how-to and why-to and inspiration and communication skills, persuasion skills, and sales skills. Really it's to give you something to think about throughout your day that you can continue to use and grow with.

Darin: Fantastic. Again, go get the book, The Go-Giver. Bob, appreciate you coming on the show. Listeners, I hope that you enjoyed that one. Until next week, signing off.

How To Reach Bob Burg

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Darin Batchelder


Wealth creation through real estate provided me with a new passion to get the word out and let others know that they have an alternative to investing in the stock market.

If I can inspire and educate just one person to take action that results in life changing wealth creation then the work to launch and grow this podcast is well worth the effort.

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