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Posted: March 01, 2012

The Go-Giver: Five laws for better business practice

Start with value

Teri Karjala

As a business owner having no formal education in the business field, I am constantly looking for new sources of support, education and information. One such source is The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This book inspired me to implement their Five Laws of Stratospheric Success into my mental health practice. I was further motivated after attending one of Bob Burg’s seminars and seeing firsthand how he has so successfully put his concepts into place.

The concepts outlined in this book are simple: Use common sense, know one’s values, put others first, be true to oneself, and know how to receive. Despite their powerful implications on one’s business however, Burgs and Mann’s Five Laws of Stratospheric Success just aren’t used very often.

Burg and Mann share the five laws beginning with the Law of Value: True worth is determined by how much you give in value than what you take in payment. In our field there are many opportunities to give our best service to our clients. Good service may be as simple as offering them something to drink when they arrive, or it could be as advanced as providing them with valuable resources that they didn’t expect. For instance, by keeping abreast of current issues or completing additional training, I increase my own expertise and can therefore offer greater benefits to my clients.

The second law, the Law of Compensation, states that income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.We all know there are many people in our community to whom we can provide service, but the real question is how valuable is one’s service? The higher the quality of service, the more one’s service will be in demand. If one’s service becomes more valuable, can one increase the compensation of providing that service? Potential clients usually are willing to pay more for if a service has proven quality and value.

The Law of Influence dictates that influence grows when one places a great importance on others’ needs. People are drawn to those with good hearts, who give generously, and who have a genuine interest in those around them. When attending networking events, focus attention on what others need and they will become more open and interested in the possibility of working together. Sincere interest in others allows for the development of genuine relationships, which are usually much more productive.

Burg and Mann also address the Law of Authenticity, which states that the most valuable gift to offer is oneself. Using anecdotal evidence, the authors illustrate how people skills contribute enormously to one’s business success. While other professions may rely on the widgets that they sell, therapists are our own “tool.s” From building rapport to creating therapeutic alliances, it is crucial to be maintain one’s authentic self.

The final law, the Law of Receptivity, states that in order to continue giving effectively, one must stay open to receiving. Opportunities often present themselves in the most unusual ways, but as long as one is open to this process, the possibilities are endless. One of my biggest challenges is accepting this process and trusting that everything will resolve itself in a satisfactory way.

In summary, Burg and Mann’s Five Laws of Stratospheric Success provide a valuable framework for business. By combining one’s individual values to this framework, it is possible to significantly contribute to the growth of one’s practice. A great follow-up to this book is the sequel Go-Givers Sell More, by Bob Burg and John David Mann, 2010. Enjoy your reading!

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Teri - it's keeping the simple and classic points of doing good business in front of us - thank you for reminding us where we need to concentrate our efforts. In a world of ever-changing high tech hype: yesterday is old, today makes news and tomorrow - well, it's all about tomorrow - appreciate your highlighting Burg and Mann for us in an interesting succinct article. Jude By Jude DeLorca on 2012 03 04
Thank you Teri, for being such a great resource, your recommendations are always so inspiring and thought provoking. I look forward to reading these books. Your article is a great reminder to take a second and evaluate what we have been doing in our personal lives, and business. Thanks! By Rebecca on 2012 03 02
Teri thank you for this column and for the reminder that we all have area's of our business that should be reviewed often for area's for improvement. In this time, where there is so much fear about having "enough" of anything, this reminds us that our clients/patients/customers/etc will always spend on products that come from good sources and have great value to them. I look forward to checking these books out for myself and becoming a Go-giver too! By Jana Royer-Morian on 2012 03 01
Matthew-Thank you for the book recommendation...I'll be sure to check it out! Bob! Thank you! Being a go-giver can be so much fun! THANK YOU for all YOUR inspiration! By Teri Karjala on 2012 03 01
Enjoyed the column. I also am a business owner (3 1/2 years) with no formal business training and early on experienced the hunger for support, education, and interaction with other business ownver. First listened to The Go Giver on audio book and enjoyed it. More recently I have read Anything You Want by Derek Sivers and recommend it. By Matthew Lewis on 2012 03 01
Hi Teri, thank you so much for your VERY kind post about John David Mann's and my book. WOW. I'm honored to know you found it to be of sufficient value to share with your readers. Please know how much you are appreciated! By Bob Burg on 2012 03 01
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