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The Go-Giver Summary

In a relentlessly competitive world, where everyone seems to be fighting to climb to the peaks of success, The Go-Giver gives a set of good, solid business principles that are applicable to other aspects of life as well.

The Go-Giver is a parable that revolves around a young, ambitious and hard-working salesman named Joe. Despite his strive for success, it seems to him that he’s always falling short. This book is about how Joe propelled himself to phenomenal success after learning and implementing The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.

Five Laws of Stratospheric Success:

  1. The Law of Value – Your real worth is defined by how much more value you give than how much you get paid.
  2. The Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  3. The Law of Influence – Your influence is defined by how often and how much you focus on others’ interests.
  4.  The Law of Authenticity – The biggest and most valuable gift you can offer is yourself.
  5. The Law of Receptivity – To give effectively, you must be open to receive.

Chapter 1: The Go-Getter

The book starts by introducing the readers to Joe. Joe is a determined, hard-working and dedicated employee of a fictional company – a real go-getter. Yet the harder he tried to succeed, the further away his goals looked. Joe is up to his neck at work, trying to meet a nearly impossible sales quota. As a desperate last resort, he books an appointment with The Chairman, a consultant who Joe believes holds the solution to his problems.

Chapter 2: The Secret

If a person does not have something genuine in them, it is not possible for them to reach sky-high success. The Chairman believes that the world treats us how we expect to be treated.  If we choose to see the best in every situation then the best will always prevail. He agrees to teach Joe his Trade Secret, but Joe would have to implement them the very same day. That was the Chairman’s condition.

Chapter 3: The Law of Value

If you want to be successful, you have to give your customer something beyond your product; something that that they will remember and value. This is the first Law of Stratospheric Success.  Ernesto’s story, of starting out as a hot-dog seller to owning half a dozen full-service restaurants, stands as testimony. Ernesto’s story shows that when you offer positive things to people, positive things will get back to you as well.

Chapter 4: The Condition

When a lawyer called Joe to inform him that Joe’s company was not getting the contract renewal, Joe was utterly disappointed. However, remembering his condition to apply the first law, he gave the lawyer a referral to a competitor firm.

Chapter 5: The Law of Compensation

In this chapter, the reader meets Nicole. Nicole is a previous grade school teacher who designed a set of games that engaged the kids’ creativity and intellectual curiosity. As the CEO of an education software company, Nicole was making hundreds of millions of dollars. How do you persuade people to support your notion before you’ve had any success with them? It’s a matter of displaying conviction yourself. When you put your energy in one way, you will immediately see how many people are ready to assist you to start.

Chapter 6: Serving Coffee

To apply the Second Law of Stratospheric Success to his own life, Joe made Rachel’s famous coffee for everyone on his floor at his office. Some of the employees were downright puzzled but he decided to do it anyway, no matter how foolish he felt or looked.

Chapter 7: Rachel

In this chapter, Joe gets to learn more about Rachel’s past. Rachel came from a poor neighbourhood but she supported herself by doing countless odd-jobs. She had finished college when The Chairman offered her to be the personal chef at his mansion. Joe realises there is more to Rachel’s story and decides to wait until it’s time for him to know.

Chapter 8: The Law of Influence

The Law of Influence displays just how beneficial it is to put another person’s interest before your own. Early on in Sam Rosen’s career, he struggled as an insurance salesman when he tried to focus on his own interests only. However, later he changed his mind and chose to put others first, helping them make clever financial decisions. Later, the very people he helped, helped him in turn to be successful. The law states that there is no 50-50; when you give your 100 percent, you get 100 percent back.

Chapter 9: Susan

Joe and his wife, Susan, had an agreement that they were each allowed no more than 30 minutes to complain about work. That day, when Joe reached home, exhausted from work, he found Susan in an even more miserable state. Joe set aside his work and let Susan vent as much as she needed. The following morning, he found a note from her, thanking him for his generosity and making her feel heard. Giving his all fared better than keeping score.

Chapter 10: The Law of Authenticity

The Law of Authenticity says that we have to see others as individuals, not just as potential customers. It was hard for realtor Debra Davenport to make any sales when she just started her career at forty-two. No matter how much she praised the property and which closing technique she used, nothing seemed to make the cut. Then one day everything changed when she decided to just be herself. The result? A formal discussion turned into something fun and personalised. She succeeded in selling the house. By letting herself be more authentic, she could better connect to her customers.

Chapter 11: Gus

Joe learns that his colleague Gus is really The Connector that the mentors were talking about. Joe begins to see him in a new light.

Chapter 12: The Law of Receptivity

Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. The secret to success is giving and giving cannot take place without receiving. The fifth and final law – The Law of Receptivity – says that every time you give something, you also have to be open to receive something back in return. Belief systems across the world have their own versions of this law, like karma, Yin and Yang, etc. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes, we close ourselves off by disregarding the importance or thinking ourselves undeserving of receiving. Success will come to us when we open up by allowing ourselves to dream big.

Chapter 13: Full Circle; Chapter 14: The Go-Giver

The book ends with the impactful message that the important thing in life is not what you achieve, but who you essentially are. We see Joe, co-founder of his own business, finally achieving what he always dreamed of.

The Go-Giver teaches us principles that can be applied by people of all age-groups and walks of life.  The most important principle in life is to serve others. The key take-away of this book is to not run after money or focus only on your own success. Instead, focus on others and how much value you can give to them. If one prioritises serving as many people as possible and wanting the best for them, then the people, in return, will also have our best interests at heart. If you provide great value, money and success will follow on their own.