The Go-Giver

A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea

  • Over 1 million copies sold
  • Axiom Business Book Awards (Gold Medal)
  • 2017 Living Now Book Awards “Evergreen Medal”
  • Wall Street Journal bestseller
  • BusinessWeek bestseller
  • Porchlight (Inc./8CR) bestseller (multiple years running)
  • Inc.’s “Most Motivational Books Ever Written”
  • HubSpot’s “20 Most Highly Rated Sales Books of All Time”
  • Forbes Finance Council’s “Eight Finance Books Everyone Should Read”
  • CNBC’s “10 Books that Boost Money IQ”
  • Small Business Trends’ “10 Best Sales Books Ever”

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of “go-givers:” a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a real estate broker, and the “Connector,” who brought them all together. Pindar’s friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving.

Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”

Nearly a decade since the book’s original publication, the term “go-giver” has become shorthand for a defining set of values embraced by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. This new expanded edition (October 2015) includes the text of the original business parable, together with a foreword by Arianna Huffington, a new introduction, a discussion guide, and a Q&A with the authors.

In December 2015, we released A Teacher’s Guide to The Go-Giver: A Curriculum for Making a Difference.

In 2017, The Go-Giver was awarded the Living Now Book Awards “Evergreen Medal” for its “contributions to positive global change.”

Foreign Language Editions

Now also available in these foreign-language editions: Afrikaans, ArabicBulgarian, Chinese simplified (modern: mainline China and Singapore), Chinese complex (traditional: Hong Kong, Taiwan, most other Chinese communities outside mainland China), CzechDanish, Dutch, French, German, GreekHebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, ItalianJapanese, Korean, LatvianLithuanian, Marathi, Polish, Portuguese, RomanianRussianSpanish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, UkrainianVietnamese, and the UK edition (not pictured). (Clicking on any cover will take you to the site where you can order that edition.)

The Go-Giver Reviews

“A quick read in the spirit of The Greatest Salesman in the World and The One Minute Manager.”
Publishers Weekly

“Explanations of the concepts and how to employ them are clear and to the point … It will provoke thought and probably action as well.”

“The most important parable about business—and about life—of our time.”
— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

“Giving, touching others’ lives, expanding the circle of our concern to include others, being authentic, and being always open to receiving as well as giving. That’s not just a children’s fairy tale—it’s a good description of many of the most amazing people I’ve encountered.”
— Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post (from the Foreword)

The Go-Giver is a must-read for anyone who wants to change the world.”
— Glenn Beck, talk show host and founder of TheBlaze

“Burg and Mann have crafted a business parable that is drawing comparisons with Dr. Spencer Johnson’s wildly popular 1998 book Who Moved My Cheese? … The world always needs a fresh approach to its most important messages. The Go-Giver is a great way to spread a positive and enriching message.”
Soundview Executive Book Alert

The Go-Giver has a beautiful message: you must first give in order to receive. The message is presented from a business standpoint, but is most certainly a life concept everyone could stand to live by. A game-changer.”
Catholic Online

“The Go-Giver books are love manifest in a system.”
— Robert G. Allen, New York Times bestselling author, Multiple Streams of Income and The One Minute Millionaire

The Go-Giver is a small book that packs a huge idea. The surest path to success—in all senses of that overused word—is to give. As Burg and Mann show in their compelling tale, not only do givers prosper, they also change the world.”
— Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

The Go-Giver is one of my favorite books ever. It has made a huge difference in my life, and it aligns with everything I stand for. If you don’t have this book, you have to get yourself a copy now.”
— Marie Forleo, founder of B-School and MarieTV

“If you follow the principles in this fantastic little book— if you really strive to be a ‘go-giver’— you’ll find that Zig Ziglar was right: You really can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
— Dave Ramsey, host of the Dave Ramsey Show

“There are very few books that make you want to buy a copy for every single person you know. The Go-Giver is one of those rare books that turn a reader into an evangelist.”
— Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose

The Go-Giver has created such a buzz CEOs are buying it in bulk for their entire organizations.”
Huffington Post

“For those who enjoy business parables, The Go-Giver is one of the more memorable books to come along.”
— Editor’s Blog, Soundview Executive Book Summaries

“A cross between Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People … an uplifting, quick read of a book that will appeal to customers who want to bring more heart and a holistic sense of mission to their livelihoods.”
New Age Retailer

“This book makes a good first impression, and an even better second impression when you realize that the parable is deeper than you first thought.”
Life Insurance Selling

“Deftly written and thoroughly reader-friendly … informed and informative, as well as inspired and inspiring.”
Midwest Book Review

“Well constructed, tight and clear with some emotionally touching spots.”
Globe and Mail

“Similar to Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, providing wisdom and insight on how to be more successful.”

“Burg and Mann’s concept is one of unlimited scope.”
Copley News Service

“A beautiful book that will touch your soul and inspire your heart.”
— David Bach, The Automatic Millionaire

“The best business parable since The Greatest Salesman in the World and The One Minute Manager.”
— Pat Williams, senior vice president of The Orlando Magic

“Deeply heartfelt and meditative.”
— Ori Brafman, Sway, The Chaos Imperative

“Wonderfully illuminates the principles of contribution, abundance, service, and success.”
— Stephen M. R. Covey, The Speed of Trust

“This book is exactly what is meant by the phrase ‘Great things come in small packages.’”
— Tom Hopkins, How to Master the Art of Selling

“Hits a bull’s-eye on the subject of success in business and life.”
— Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI

“A liberating way of looking at life … required reading.”
— Dr. David J. Walker, director of Los Angeles Center of Religious Science

“A classy and timeless read.”
— Jones Loflin, Juggling Elephants

Excerpt from The Go-Giver

Pindar nodded. “Most people have that reaction. In fact, most people just laugh when they hear that the secret to success is giving.” He paused. “Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.”

Joe certainly couldn’t argue that point.

“You see,” Pindar continued, “the majority of people operate with a mindset that says to the fireplace, ‘First give me some heat, then I’ll throw on some logs.’ Or that says to the bank, ‘Give me interest on my money, then I’ll make a deposit.’ And of course, it just doesn’t work that way.”

Joe frowned, trying to parse the logic of Pindar’s examples.

“You see? You can’t go in two directions at once. Trying to be successful with making money as your goal is like trying to travel a superhighway at seventy miles an hour with your eyes glued to the rearview mirror.” He took another thoughtful sip and waited for Joe to process this thought.

Joe felt as if his brain were going seventy on the highway—in reverse. “Okay,” he began slowly, “so you’re saying, successful people keep their focus on what they’re . . . giving, sharing, whatever,” he saw Pindar nod, “and that’s what creates their success?”

“Exactly,” cried Pindar. “Now we’re facing the same direction!”

“But . . . wouldn’t an awful lot of people take advantage of you?”

“Excellent question.” Pindar set his cup down and leaned forward. “Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures. A world of competition rather than one of co-creation.” He saw that Joe was puzzled again. “Dog eat dog,” he explained. “As in, ‘Oh, sure, we all act polite on the surface, but let’s face it, it’s really every man for himself.’ That about sum it up?”

Joe admitted that it did about sum it up indeed. That’s certainly what he believed, anyway.

“Well,” said Pindar, “it’s simply not true.” He noted Joe’s skeptical look and continued. “Have you ever heard people say, You can’t always get what you want?”

Joe grinned. “You mean, the Rolling Stones?”

Pindar smiled. “Actually, I imagine people were saying that well before Mick Jagger’s time. But yes, that’s the general idea.”

“You’re not going to tell me that’s not true, are you? That we actually do get what we want?”

“No,” said Pindar, “that one is true. In life, you often don’t get what you want. But,” he leaned forward again and his voice grew softer with emphasis, “here’s what you do get—You get what you expect.”

Joe frowned again, trying to mentally test out the truth of this last thought.

Pindar leaned back and sipped his coffee, watching Joe. After a moment’s silence, he continued.

“Or put it another way: What you focus on is what you get. You’ve heard the expression, ‘Go looking for trouble and that’s what you’ll find’?”

Joe nodded.

“It’s true, and not only about trouble. It’s true about everything. Go looking for conflict, and you’ll find it. Go looking for people to take advantage of you, and they generally will. See the world as a dog-eat-dog place, and you’ll always find a bigger dog looking at you as if you’re his next meal. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and good will you’ll find.

Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.”

Pindar paused for a moment to let Joe absorb that thought, then added one more.

“In fact, Joe, you’d be amazed at just how much you have to do with what happens to you.”

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