The Go-Giver: Questions and Answers From the Authors

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Go-Giver" by Bob Burg and John D. Mann. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Have you read The Go-Giver and have questions about the topics in the book? Are you looking for The Go-Giver questions and answers?

In the business parable The Go-Giver, the authors teach the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. Below are The Go-Giver questions and answers from Burg and Mann to clear up any questions you may have about their messages.

Continue reading for The Go-Giver questions and answers.

The Go-Giver Questions and Answers

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a business parable that contradicts the notion that to be successful, you need to be a go-getter, a competitive hard-charger focused on getting new clients and making ever-bigger deals. Instead, the authors contend you should make giving rather than getting your first priority in business and in life—and success will follow. Becoming a “go-giver” means giving value to others, not as a strategy or quid pro quo, but as a way of leading a satisfying life.

In the parable—in which a mentor guides a frustrated go-getter named Joe to success and fulfillment—the authors explain why and how to become a go-giver by practicing the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.

Below are The Go-Giver questions and answers from the authors about what it means to be a go-giver.

Q&A

Is being a go-getter a bad thing?

The first of The Go-Giver questions and answers says that there’s nothing wrong with being a go-getter—they get things done. However, being a go-getter won’t get you what you want if you don’t focus first on giving value to others. Giving makes you a more effective go-getter.

The opposite of a go-getter isn’t a go-giver but a go-taker—someone looking only for how the world can serve them.

Is the moral that nice people finish first?

The go-giver success formula isn’t about being nice. Being nice, or genuinely considerate, is great but it isn’t what makes you successful. Many nice people are struggling financially. Success is the result, not of niceness, but of creating value, touching many lives, putting others’ interests first, being authentic, and being open to receiving (the Five Stratospheric Laws of Success).

Does giving to charity make you a go-giver?

People often think of giving as making a financial contribution to charity, but the go-giver concept is broader. As Arianna Huffington described it in the book’s foreword: giving encompasses giving thought, attention, care, focus, time, and energy—value—to others.

Isn’t it easier to give after you’ve become wealthy/successful?

It’s the reverse. Being a giver creates wealth and success. You don’t need money to start adding value to other people’s lives.

Does being a go-giver mean not caring about making a profit?

On the contrary, go-givers make a profit because they provide value to their customers. When you focus on providing a great customer experience, profits usually follow. But when you focus on profits first, you miss chances to create value and your profits reflect that.

How do you become a go-giver in a small business without “giving away the store”?

You can provide value with whatever you sell. Both a fine-dining establishment and a hot dog stand can provide value for customers. Value differs from price. Ernesto gave customers, not just hot dogs for a price, but also the value of a dining experience. 

Does being a go-giver mean you should give away your products/services for free?

No—there’s nothing wrong with making a profit. A business has to be sustainable. Ernesto charged for his hot dogs. Again, go-giving is a matter of priority–putting giving before making money.

Does the Law of Compensation imply that being a good person doesn’t matter?

Being a good person is important, but it’s not what determines your income. Your impact determines your income.

Does putting another’s interests first mean sacrificing your own?

Placing others’ interests above your own doesn’t mean negating your interests. It means trusting that when you focus on others’ needs, your needs will also be taken care of. As you develop a reputation for putting others’ needs first, you’ll find that’s what happens.

When you follow the “laws” of giving, doesn’t it take longer to get results?

The Go-Giver questions and answers states that a giving approach often brings results in less time. Readers of this book report that shifting their focus to others gets dramatic, often immediate results.

Isn’t it naive to think you can give without thinking about results?

You can’t suppress self-interest—it’s part of being human, but you can set it aside or suspend your self-interest while you focus fully on the other person.

Is the book saying that all you need to do is give and you’ll receive?

Success still requires dedicated effort and a good business plan. Being a go-giver doesn’t mean doing random good deeds. Helping an elderly person across the street is kind, but it’s not a business strategy. Success takes work. All the characters in the book worked hard. 

What makes the law of receptivity challenging?

Many readers find it challenging or uncomfortable to stay open to receiving because we view giving and receiving as being in conflict. But one can’t operate without the other.

Doesn’t the Bible say it’s better to give than to receive?

What the Bible actually says is that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. The Greek word for blessed means fortunate, rewarded, prosperous, and happy. In other words, if you focus on giving, you end up with greater rewards than if you’d focused on receiving. The root of the Greek word for blessed means to grow larger—when you give, you become a bigger person in terms of success, influence, and fulfillment.

How have people applied the laws?

You can start by applying them in your everyday life. Try making a habit of performing a go-giver act each morning. For instance:

  • When you set aside your concerns to focus on a colleague’s or a customer’s needs, you’re applying the Law of Influence (Your influence is determined by the extent to which you put others’ interests first).
  • When you sincerely apologize for a mistake, you’re applying the Law of Authenticity (The most important thing you can offer is yourself).

Hopefully these The Go-Giver questions and answers cleared up any questions you had about the book and what it means to be a go-giver.

The Go-Giver: Questions and Answers From the Authors

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Bob Burg and John D. Mann's "The Go-Giver" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Go-Giver summary:

  • Why giving will take you further than getting
  • The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success
  • How giving isn't the same thing as always being nice

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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