Woman surprised seeing rain of gold coins

"Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you receive in payment"

So says the Law of Value, the first of five principles of giving that form the thread that weaves a tale entitled The Go-Giver. My friend Bob Burg and I wrote this little parable in an effort to pin down on paper some of the subtle yet powerful laws that govern human behaviour. [Click here to watch a quick and fun overview of The Go-Giver] Perceptive readers have pointed out that the more you really look at these ‘five laws of stratospheric success,’ the more they seem to fly in the face of logic.

The story’s protagonist, Joe, is understandably confused by this first law. “Honestly,” he protests, “that sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy!” Not at all, says his mentor: “All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving—their product, service or idea—than for what they were getting.”

Joe grapples with this, but soon accepts it, at least for the sake of argument. Hey, it’s a story. But is that really true? And, if it is, how is that possible?! Joe’s right: it seems to make no sense!

Or, take the third law, the Law of Influence: “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”

Again, Joe is bewildered: “That sounds like an awfully noble principle,” he says, “but I don’t quite understand...”—and what he doesn’t understand [or believe] is how a policy like that could possibly lead to one’s success. His mentor replies: “Because if you place other people’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of. Always.”

Really? How so?

The essence of the book’s message is this: the more you give, the more you have. But how can that possibly be true?

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A version of this was first published in the March 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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