Today’s conversation with Bob Burg is packed full of authenticity, empathy and value. He is author of The Go-Giver, a business parable about consistently providing values to others, and he has made a career out of helping others.
“I choose to be in business for myself. I have a much better feeling of freedom and liberty that way. I have a better feeling about myself, and quite frankly I think I can help a lot more people by being an entrepreneur than I can working in someone else’s organization.” Bob’s entrepreneurial success is driven by an innate sense of empathy.
“Empathy can be developed, but I think the first step is understanding why it is important.” Empathy is a major aspect of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is understanding both your own and another person’s feelings, or at least understanding that they have feelings about something, and being able to regulate those feelings. By being able to act in such a way because of, or in spite of, those feelings, you are able to bring the most value to other people. “The single greatest people skill is simply a highly developed and authentic interest in the other person.”
Bob’s book, The Go-Giver, is a business parable that collects aspects of many true stories into the fictional story of Joe. In the story, Joe learns a very valuable lesson: shifting one’s focus from getting to giving, by which Bob means constantly and consistently providing value to others, isn’t just a pleasant way to live, but a profitable way to live as well.
For example, Joe asks a mentor if a product will make money. Joe’s mentor tells him that it’s not a bad question; in fact, it’s a great question. It’s just a bad first question. If your first thought is to ask if something will make money, then you’re not thinking about the marketplace itself. A better question to ask is “Will it serve?” or “Does it add value?”
The Go-Giver also provides five laws to guide the way Bob believes we should live our lives:
- Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. We have to understand the profound difference between price and value. Price is a dollar figure, and it’s finite. Value, on the other hand, is the desirability of an end product.
- Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve, and how well you serve them. It’s not just value; it’s also how many lives you impact. Your compensation is directly under your control, and there’s no limit to your compensation because you always have more people to serve. Understand that success is a mindset, you can do it, and that building relationships is a skillset.
- Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first. Don’t be a doormat or sacrificial, but make your success about other people’s success. The essence of influence is pull, as opposed to push. Great influencers attract people.
- Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. All of the skills in the world are for naught if you don’t come at everything from your true, authentic core.
- Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. We breathe out, and we must also breathe in. All of the giving in the world is for naught if you do not make yourself available to receive in like measure. “This is why we say that money is simply an echo of value.”
“The Golden Rule of Business is that, all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to the people they know, like and trust.“ There is no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings towards you from others than by making your win about the other person’s win. It’s moving from an “I” or “Me” focus to an “Other” focus.
Bob’s book emphasizes the role of focus and intention for entrepreneurs. “You have to be very focused on accomplishing what you know you want to accomplish every day, every week, every month, every year. Intention comes right along with that. You have an intention to do a certain thing, and you don’t stop until it happens.” Entrepreneurs need to be flexible with strategy and tactics in order to accomplish what they intend to do.
Bob’s passion for helping others is palpable in this interview. I’m grateful that he took the time to share his thought process and some stories about The Go-Giver. He definitely has a lot of value to offer.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- A greater understanding of what makes empathy an important aspect of a successful business and personal life
- Why The Go-Giver is a valuable business parable for entrepreneurs
- The Golden Rule of Business
- The value of focus and intention
- How giving can create influence
- Plus much more…
DON’T STOP HERE…
- Learn more about Bob: Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube
- Read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
- Listen to The Go-Giver Podcast