Trust Cast podcast artwork

How Providing Value Leads to Success and Profitability - Bob Burg (The Go-Giver)

The most powerful way to be successful and profitable is by giving. If you give, or provide immense value to others, you will set yourself up to receive value back.

Show Notes

The most powerful way to be successful and profitable is by giving. If you give, or provide immense value to others, you will set yourself up to receive value back.

What’s the difference between a Go-Giver and a Go-Getter?

  • The premise of the book is that shifting your focus from getting to giving is actually the most financial
  • Giving is defined as: constantly and consistently providing immense value to others.
  • Giving is a more fulfilling way to do business… It’s also the most financially profitable way to do business.
  • Being a go-getter isn’t bad though. Being a go-getter means you have initiative. Go-givers are focused on providing value. Simply don’t be a go-taker!
  • Go-takers tend to be frustrated because they often don’t have the success they think they deserve.

What is value?

  • Everyone is talking about the importance of providing value, but what exactly is value?
  • Value and price are not the same.
  • Value is the relative worth or desirability of some thing to the end user or the beholder.
  • In order to understand value, you need to determine their perspective and what they value.
  • Everyone has two types of value: intrinsic value and market value.
  • We all have intrinsic value because we simply exist.
  • Market value is the combination of strengths, traits, talents, and characteristics that allows you to bring value to the marketplace in a way that you will be financially rewarded.
  • Don’t look at value from your perspective! Look at it from the end user’s perspective.

Law of Receptivity - How Giving Leads to Receiving?

  • There is nothing about being a go-giver that means you should be taken advantage of.
  • If you give value to others, it creates a benevolent cycle that allows you to receive.
  • The treacherous dichotomy or the false dilemma: are you a giver OR a receiver.
  • We can actually be both a giver AND a receiver.
  • The world gives us horrible messages about money and prosperity. Having a lot of money doesn’t make you bad.

100% Relationships

  • In business (and personal) relationships, we often have 50/50 relationships where we “keep score”
  • These relationships don’t make it very far. It’s much better if both sides of the relationship are giving 100% effort into the relationship.
  • What if the other person isn’t 100% invested?
  • If they’re simply evil or dishonest, don’t do business with them.
  • If they just simply aren’t a go-giver, you continue to operate as a go-giver but you set clear expectations and limits in the relationship.

How can Large Corporations Adopt this Go-Giver Mentality

  • Corporations are made up of people.
  • Leaders of the organization should create a culture that’s focused on giving.
  • If you don’t work in leadership, you can influence in your sphere. If the company refuses to change, make plans to make a change.
  • Cultivating a culture of giving cultivates a culture of growth.

Follow Bob:

Follow Jacob

Follow WebsiteSquirrel

Listen & Subscribe

We’d love to hear from you!

Have some feedback about the show? Feel free to reach out to us at You can also rate us in Apple Podcasts or your favorite app to help more people discover the show!


Intro [00:00:00]

Hello. And welcome back to another episode of trust cast. I'm incredibly excited today. In fact, this is one of the first yes that I reached out to, to invite onto the show, just because really he's been an inspiration for the whole concept of the show. You've probably heard the quote, all things being equal.

Jacob Harmon: People  do business with and refer business to those people that they know like and trust. And today on the show, we actually have the person that said that quote, Bob Burg. Welcome to the show, Bob, how are you today?

Bob Burg: I'm great, Jacob, thank you for having me.

What's the difference between a Go-Giver and a Go-Getter? [00:01:39]

Jacob Harmon: Of course, like I said, I'm just excited to learn more about this concept of trust and giving and business, because honestly, that's just what I'm fascinated by. And that's the whole premise of the show. And the whole purpose of this show is to learn how to give back and provide value to people. So, first question I have for you is I've,  read through your book, the go giver.

And for those people that haven't read the book, just a quick overview, like what's the difference between a go getter and a go giver. And why is so important?

Bob Burg: So, yeah, that's a great question.  The basic premise in this book and it's a parable. So it's a short story coauthored with John David Mann. Who's really the lead writer in the storyteller. I'm much more of a, how to step one, step two, step three guide John's John's a great writer. So it was really a privilege and an honor to be able to coauthor this with them.

The premise is that shifting your. Focus. So this is really where it begins, shifting your focus from getting to giving. And when we say giving in this  context, Jacob, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others. Understanding that doing so is not only, uh, More fulfilling way of doing business.

It's actually the most financially profitable way as well. Uh, and not for any, you know, woo way out there, magical mystical reason, but really quite, uh, practical. When you think about it, when you're that person who can take your focus off of yourself and place it onto others, looking out for their best interests, helping them solve their problems and challenges, um, making their life better, helping them get what they desire, what they want, what people feel good about you. Uh, people want to get to know you. They like you, they trust you. They want to be involved in your life, in your business. They want to talk about you to others. So, so it's really, you know, quite practical. Now, when you say. Go get her and go give her, yeah. You know, we named it, the go giver sort of as an opposite of the more well-known term, go get her.

What's interesting is the two terms themselves really aren't opposites. They work together in a complimentary way. I know you've been an entrepreneur since you were not in a, like 10 years old or something. I know your story. So, you know, you've got to take action, right? You've got to be a go getter. As well.

So we love go getters because go getters, take action. Go givers are people who are absolutely focused on bringing immense value to others. So when you put the two together, a go getter and a go giver, you've got a very powerful combination. So we say, be a go getter and a go giver. Just don't be a go taker. That's really, you know, the, the opposite of a go giver because of go take her as someone who's just focused on themselves. It's all about the take. It's all about the, you know, about them. Right. And. And they tend to be very frustrated because even because they typically don't have the type of success that they think they deserve.

And even when they, those occasions, when they do, it's typically not long lived, it's not sustainable because it isn't really built on a foundation where you have people on your side wanting to speak. You do well.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, that's so interesting. I came into this interview thinking, Oh, go get her and go give her opposites. Right. But at the end of the day, it's good to have that go getter mentality because that's what motivates you. And that's, that's what gives you the action to provide value. Right?

Bob Burg: Well said. Yeah.

What is value? [00:05:16]

Jacob Harmon: Interesting. Okay. And I'd like to dive in a little bit to that word value. I feel like. Almost everyone is saying now provide value and value. We'll come back to you. And I agree with the concept, but I feel like sometimes it's hard to understand what exactly is value. What does value look like and what are some examples of providing value so that it's more tangible,

Bob Burg: Well, you asked the perfect question because until we understand a term, right, until we can really define a term, how do we really. You know, utilize it and make the most out of it and make the best of it. So, so yeah, we, you know, one 10 people can say value and if they define it even unconsciously 10 different ways, well, we're not even on the, you know, facing the same director.

So let's look at value  in a sense in opposition, two price, right? Price is a dollar thing, right? Price is a dollar figure. It's a dollar amount. It's finite. It simply is what it is, right. Price is not the same as value value. If we want to define it value is the relative worth or desirability of  some thing.

To the end user or B holder. In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, this service, this concept, this idea, this opportunity, it, what have you that brings so much worth or value to that other person? That they will willingly exchange their, you know, their money or their time or their energy or their, you know, what have you in exchange for this?

so value , is always on the eyes of the beholder. So when we talk about bringing value, giving value, adding value to another, it's always first determining what they see, how they understand value.

Jacob Harmon: Okay. And that's an interesting concept because I know that oftentimes the things that I provide as a business owner, I find to be pretty easy. Like, it comes pretty easy to me, to the whole tech side of things and everything, but I know  that other people don't see it that way. And so sometimes I think that a lot of entrepreneurs get into this route where they think, Oh, well, who would ever pay for this?

Because.  It's so easy to me. Anybody could just go out and do it on their own, but what you have to understand is you have to put yourself in their shoes, right. And understand well to them. I am providing immense value and sometimes that's hard to do.

Bob Burg: So, you know, you, you just, again, you just bring up such a magnificent point, and this is where it's important to understand the, the market value that we provide. Because I believe that all of us as human beings have two types of value. There's intrinsic value. This simply means by virtue of being here, we bring value to okay.

But there's also market value. And I define market value as that combination of strengths traits, talents, and characteristics that allows you to bring value to another human being to the marketplace as a whole, in a way in which you will be financially rewarded. Okay. Now is USIP because something generally comes easy to us.

And even if we have to work at it, which it's usually a combination of both, you know, if you, if you're doing something you love, typically you had an inclination toward it, right. And you work hard at it, and it's easier to work hard at learning. It's something you haven't a natural inclination for, and that you enjoy. What happens is because of this, you know, it just, we see the world a certain way through a certain lens of filter. Okay. And we kind of assume as human beings that other people understand the world or see the world the same basically way we do. So if we're good, technically with, in terms of technology, if it comes easy to us or it's something we've been able to master, well, it must be the same for everyone else.

So why would they pay for it? What, can happen is we then under value ourselves. Okay. And that's when we're,  worried about charging high enough fee that we do deserve because what  providing immense value to that other human being. And so it's very, very important to really grasp and understand, the value you bring to the marketplace.

Law of Receptivity - How Giving Leads to Receiving. [00:09:46]

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, we're kind of jumping ahead here a little bit. I've kind of structured my questions a little bit to go with your laws, the five laws in the book. But since we're talking about this, the value of creating profit, I want to talk a little , about this law of receptivity and. I feel like there's a little bit of tension there, which I like.

And that's one of the things that I love so much about this book is, is the contrast and the tension. But if we're all about providing value and we're all about giving, then sometimes it can be hard to accept and receive.  How do we balance the act of giving and being a good person and providing value, but also being willing to receive value in return.


Bob Burg: Yeah. So there are a couple of concepts there that are , very worth discussing. One is to first understand that there's nothing about being a go giver that is congruent with being taken advantage of. With being a doormat or being a martyr or self-sacrificial in any way that has nothing to do with it.

So remember being a Go-Giver is simply how you, how you focus on providing immense value to others. And when you think about it, when you do this correctly, it creates that benevolent context for you to receive. Okay. There's also when we say, you know, giving being a good person, meaning,  in a sense, well then I shouldn't be receiving.

That's what we call the treacherous dichotomy or the false dilemma. A false dilemma can be defined as the unnecessary use of the word, or right. Are you a giver or a receiver, 

course your bow. And yet we are right. We're both for psychotomy the false dilemma says he can't be both. It's like, do you breathe out or do you breathe in. Right. And, and that's one of the things that remember Pindar the mentor, uh, in exercise he did with Joe that you've got to be able to do both. Now you focus on the giving. Exactly. But that's also why John David Mann. And I say that money is simply an echo Oh, value. Right? The thunder, if you will, to values lightning, which means the focus is on the giving.

Absolutely. and the money you receive is simply a natural result of the value you gave value you provided. So then we say, well, then why do we have this, this inclination to find it difficult to receive? And most, most do most of us do. Now you think about it. And so did I, and so do many people and it's natural because the world around us gives us horrible messages about money, about business, about, uh, abundance, about prosperity, you know, look at during the recent political campaign, how many peoples are millionaire shouldn't exist.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah,

Bob Burg: Why question your premises? Uh, why shouldn't they now, if someone did something illegally or absolutely, they should be in jail. Right. But most people who create a lot of money, or who have a lot of money, did it through creating a lot of value. If that's the case. So that's why, and that's why I love free market capitalism.

Okay. Not crony ism. Okay. Not, not people buying special favors and privileges and so forth. No, but free market, meaning no one's forced to buy from anyone else, which means in order for someone to buy from you, they have got to feel as though they're receiving the value. They desire that's worth, they're exchanging their money.

When that's the case, the only way you can make a lot of money is to provide a lot of value to a lot of people. Because again, no one's to do business with you. And when that's the case, you can  receive gratefully, but you do it understanding that you have earned that.

Jacob Harmon: Oh, I love that. And I really liked the analogy you gave with breathing in and breathing out. It reminds me of like fifth grade science when we were learning about how plants will take in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen and we will do the exact opposite. We'll take in oxygen and put out carbon dioxide.

And it just makes me think, my goodness, it's this symbiotic relationship. It's a cycle and that's okay. We're benefiting each other. And that's the whole point.

Bob Burg: They're giving is, are receiving and, and are giving, is they're receiving and, you know, breathing out and breathing in giving and receiving are not opposite concepts, right. Uh, it's not one or the other. And so that's the key, but  whether it's. Uh, a combination of upbringing, environment, schooling, news, media, television shows, movies, everybody giving you these horrible messages about money and prosperity, you know, that gets into ,  the unconscious.

And that's what it is. And so, so often when people feel either unworthy of earning a lot of money or they kind of feel on an unconscious level that it means they did something wrong, because look at every movie you watch. Right. And my friend, Randy gage, who's an expert on prosperity and. And prosperity consciousness talks about.

I know every movie has typically two people. There's the, there are the good people who are, who are portrayed as,  struggling poor, but happy. They're always, you know, poor, but they're happy and they're honest and they're kind, and then they're always being taken advantage of, put down, stepped on, stepped over by who the rich people who are.

 Evil and cowardly and horrible and money rubbing and right. And you know, you've got those dudes, well, you know, somebody sees this enough from the time they were a little kid. Well, it's going to get into their, their mind, their unconscious, which is so much more powerful than our conscious.

So, um, that's why I believe it's very important. To make a study, a proactive study of prosperity. So people like Randy gage and David Nagel and Ellen Rogan and Sharon Lechter and  different people who, this is what they teach.  I read their blogs. I listened to their podcast. I read their books, because we need to, to consciously feed into our minds, this great prosperity thinking because the garbage comes into us all the time.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. And it's remembering it's not a fault. It's not an order. Right. It's and you can be prosperous and you can be a good person,

Bob Burg: Absolutely. You know, it's like that old age thing. When you were a kid, if anybody ever asked you, uh, Hey, when you grow up, do you want to be wealthy or happy? 

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. 

Bob Burg: Yes, 

Jacob Harmon: about both?

100% Relationships [00:16:43]

Yep. Awesome. Well, I'd like to talk a little bit about relationships and in the book you talk about this 50, 50 rule where you keep score and you give and take, but then you also contrast that with the, I think it was 110, I might be wrong, but 110% rule. So let's talk about that a little bit.

Bob Burg: Yeah, well, and this was the part about Joe and Susan  because it was the subplot within the business story. It was a business book, business publisher, but we put a subplot in there about Joe, the, the main character and his wife, and they had yeah, 50 50 relationship. It was, you can do this if I can do this and I'll listen to your complaining for 30 minutes, if you'll listen to my complaining for 30 minutes and everything was 50 50, and it wasn't a very.

Uh, healthy, uh , relationship and what, what Pindar the main mentor said is 50 50 is really, not a productive relationship, whether whether personally or in business, it should be simply 100. And that is both parties focusing on bringing value to the other. Now, this does not mean. It's a, um, a co-dependent type of thing or, or again, that you're setting yourself up to be taken advantage of.

No, you do this intelligently with people who are,  of the same, like mine. Um, but when you're both giving 100, it's a totally different dynamic.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah.

Bob Burg: As opposed to both, you know, 50 50, which is always a push. Now it's just a hundred where both parties are looking to, um, bring immense value to the others.

That's that typical one plus one equals five.

Jacob Harmon: Well, and at the end of the day, if you have a real, genuine relationship, like I'm thinking about my relationship with my wife, but then also in business relationships. If you're keeping score, like what kind of relationship is that at the end of the day, it's, you're just not fully invested in it. And it's conditional.

Um, people talk about unconditional love. And to me, that that's what a good relationship is, is giving a hundred percent into it. And then obviously the other person should too. And I'm sure that that's where a lot of problems come in , when one person isn't invested in the other is, but if you're both a hundred percent invested, things will work out great.

Bob Burg: Yeah, so let's, and that's another great point. So let let's talk about this. let's go back to the business. context of this. Okay. And so, so well, but what if you do business with someone who, you know, they're not a no giver, you know, aren't you so well, first of all, there are two types of people we're looking at here as far as not being a Go-Giver one is just someone who that's just how they are.

They are,  they're win, lose, or they're,  going to try to get as much as they can from you and give the least, but they're, but they're basically honest. Okay. They're not evil people. That's just how they are. Okay. Then there are the people who are, you know, Evil dishonest, whatever.

Well, you're just not going to do business with them and that's not a matter of well, but I need to denote someone who's that, but that's such a small, small, small percentage. Most of the people we're talking about here are the people you're going to do business with, but they're not, they don't necessarily do it as a Go-Giver.

They do it again, trying to get the most for the least. They're not concerned with you. They're concerned about themselves. Okay. So, well, what about just not doing business with them? Well, time in the future when you don't have to, and then you don't, but right now, typically we do need to, if we wait until everyone else is a go giver doing the same thing, we're going to probably go broke.

Okay. So no, we do business with those, but you, but what you do is a couple of things. One. Is you continue to operate as a go giver, understanding that as you do that, you're not going to set yourself up to being taken advantage of. If you don't want to be taken advantage of, because it's not that you're going to do things that you shouldn't do and allow yourself to be taken advantage of.

Again, you're not a martyr, but you're going to still focus on bringing them immense value, understanding. That's why they're doing business with you, but you're also going to set limits on what you're going to do. If they're asking you to do things that you shouldn't be doing, and these, by the way, this is why you want to set expectations upfront.

You'd do it in a kind way in a tactful way, but it leaves no moans about what you're supposed to be doing and you know, what they're supposed to be doing and, and so forth. So again, what I'm saying is you still operate from a high position. Okay. As a go giver. There's a good chance. You're going to bring that person up closer to your level because they're going to see that doing business with you is actually more profitable to them.

And that doing business that way is more profitable than them. Now, are you going to change every one? Of course not. But you're going to still be able to profit and provide them with great profit, uh, through doing it the Go-Giver way. But again, I it's, it's very important. Understand that being a Go-Giver does not mean you create a situation where you're going to be taken advantage of.

Jacob Harmon: Thank you. Yeah, I think that's a very important distinction to make.

How can Large Corporations Adopt this Go-Giver Mentality [00:21:40]

And I'd like to apply this whole concept really quick to maybe a larger corporation. I've been thinking a lot of this is more like a small entrepreneur, someone who's, who's maybe building a brand around their, person. but what, what about like a large organization?

We're a bigger company. How do they adopt the Go-Giver mentality when it's not really necessarily personal, but corporate.

Bob Burg: Well, remember corporations are still made up of people. Okay. And so it always, while anyone can lead from anywhere and any position of culture coming from the top, it begins at the top and it works its way down. So if the, if the leadership at the top is not committed to this kind of culture, it's not going to happen. Okay. And if you, or someone who's,  in middle management or, you know, lower than the top, let's say. Well, you have a choice you can try to influence up, okay, have the, or the lead up, you can influence to the degree that you are able to influence within your sphere. And that's fine too.

Hopefully you'll make some inroads and changes at least where you are, or you might decide this isn't the organization I want to be with. And it doesn't mean you just up and quit, but it means you will. You put out feelers and look for a place where it's more. Where that culture is more suited to what you're looking to be part of.

But in answer to the actual question, yeah. The leadership needs to be invested in this. Uh, you take a company like Barry, Waymiller a, a major, major manufacturing company located out of, uh, St. Louis. Bob Chapman is the chair and CEO. He wrote a wonderful book called everybody matters, probably the best leadership book I've ever read in my life.

And this is how he runs his gun. Now you talk about it's a manufacturing firm. I mean, talk about a, a commodity type of thing, right. With him. Well, people. It's about all his team members, all the employees feeling like valued individuals, valued members of a team of a family. And that's how he runs it. And they are immensely profitable.

They became prime just less than anyone think. Oh, you can do that when your company's profitable. No, they became profitable after he began doing that after he changed. And so, yeah, so it, it begins with leadership.

Jacob Harmon: A hundred percent and it makes me think too, like investing in your people, they're going to invest back in the company too. And I think if  you cultivate that culture of giving, just cultivates a culture of growth because everyone's going to be very invested in the company. I've worked, for a couple of different companies and I seen contrast of a company that has that kind of mentality in the company that doesn't.

And I can definitely say that in the companies where I felt like the company culture had that type of value, I felt more invested in my work and I was 

Bob Burg: Oh, absolutely. 

Jacob Harmon: hard.

Bob Burg: Jacob, I, you just make such a wonderful point in my, my friend and colleague, April sprints, uh, she calls it pouring in to your people. And to the degree that leadership  pours into their people. That's the degree. They have team members who are vested and invested in the company who have loyalty, who have trust, who understand that they're valued.

And because of that, you know that 

yeah. You're, you're, you're so absolutely right on the Mark.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. Well, I know that we need to wrap up here soon, Bob, but, I want to give you a chance to tell people where they can find you. Um, I'm connected to you on LinkedIn. I know you got the Go-Giver dot com I recommend that everyone listening, go check out your podcast. I've been listening to it the last few weeks to prepare for this interview.

And it's just amazing. Uh, it's the Go-Giver podcast. Is there anything else that you'd like to plug or how can people get ahold of you if they want to ask any follow-up questions?

Bob Burg: Yeah. You know, probably the best place is Burg B U R That's where we sort of have the portal to everything. And so people can come to the website. Or it and see what they, uh, see what they like and hang around and have fun. But, uh, you know, it's been so great to be on , your a program. I know , you're, uh, an entrepreneur from way back and I just, I love your spirit and I just, you know, love the value you're providing to so many of us.

Jacob Harmon: Well, thank you so much, Bob. I appreciate that. And honestly, I've gotten a lot of value out of this interview, so thank you. And I'm looking forward to continuing to follow you and learn from you. Um, and honestly, let's stay in touch, man. Thank you.

Bob Burg: Likewise. Thank you.