Lauren: Good morning everybody and welcome to Investing Across Borders where we teach you how to invest, live, work, and play across borders. I’m your host Lauren Cohen, International Legal and Real Estate expert.
I am originally from the glorious city of Toronto, which is very cold right now, and I now am lucky enough to be living and serving clients from South Florida, which is actually how I know our special guest today, Bob Berg.
I have known Bob for about 20 years, almost since I came back down to Florida. I remember we met at the Cheesecake Factory, and he had just come out with this little book that became a huge movement called the “Go Giver”. Bob, hey hello, just briefly introduce yourself and then I’ll give some accolades about how amazing you are.

Bob: Well, hi everybody and hi Lauren, and you know it is cold in Toronto right now I’m sure we’re both in South Florida right now, but I would gladly buy you a cup of Tim Hortons coffee. Oh, we could have an international coffee.

Lauren: Oh, I’ve missed Tim Horton’s so much.

Bob: That’s what I always used to get as soon as I got off the plane in Canada, wherever regardless of the city, I would get advice for the local Tim’s of course it was usually in the airport.

Lauren: Oh, I have goose bumps.

Bob: I Love Tim’s I’m a Dunkin person and I grew up in the Boston area and that’s sort of the Dunkin mecca that’s where they started in. So, I love my Dunkin coffee, but my second favorite was always Tim’s.

Lauren: Oh, thank you and it’s truly, it’s funny, last year around this time I posted a picture of me with the Tim Hortons Cup and the Canadian flag. Oh, I miss my Timmy so much and I actually ordered some from Amazon but it’s not the same as going in and grabbing that coffee, but no I know, it’s part of me.

Bob: It never is never quite the same as the you know, the ambiance of going in there, and it just tastes different a little bit.

Lauren: It does. So, Bob you are in the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, because you have impacted so many in so many countries, I don’t even think we could count them all with your amazing stories of this little guy, I forget his name. The Go Giver what’s his name?

Bob: Joe was the protagonist in the first book, he was the protege who was mentored by Pindar and a number of other people here.

Lauren: So, Joe. So, Bob started with Joe,

Bob: I’ve been called Bob believe me.

Lauren: Sure. So, Bob, started his career in sales, and actually is still like most of us selling every single day, but he’s teaching a way of selling that is about giving, and that’s what makes the difference. It certainly makes a difference for me every time that I think about you know what’s in it for me, I reframe my thinking about what can I do for them, how can I serve my clients, tell us a little bit Bob about where that whole concept of the Go Giver came from.

Bob: You know it’s important, it’s important to know I think that when we talk about reframing from getting to giving. Not only is that a more pleasant way of conducting business, but it’s actually the most financially profitable way as well. There’s nothing self-sacrificial about taking your focus off of yourself and placing it on your customer. Because let’s face it, nobody’s going to buy from you because you have a quota to meet.

Lauren: Correct.

Bob: Right, they’re not going to buy from you because you need the money or because you have a mortgage payment to make or because you have employees to pay, or because you have anything else or even because you’re a really nice person. They’re going to do business with you, they’re going to buy from you, only because they believe they’ll be better off by doing so, than by not doing so. And when you think about it that’s the only reason anyone should buy from you or from me or, or from anyone else. So that person who can take their focus off themselves and place it on bringing immense value to others, helping people solve their challenges helping make life better for others. Well, that’s the person who people feel good about, you want people to get to know who they like, who they trust, whose life they want to be a part of who they want to be in a relationship with and who they want to buy from and refer to. So, so, you know, it’s really important to understand this, this is the only way to really consistently and sustainably have a profitable and fulfilling business.

Lauren: I think that the fulfilling part is the part that way too many people forget about, they’re only focused on the profit, and they’re not focused on the fulfillment and money is never going to fulfill you, it can give you, it can get you from point A to point z or Zed, meaning it can help you to accomplish goals, it can give you options but it’s not going to give you fulfillment. The fulfillment is going to come from the giving, from the impact from the helping right?

Bob: Yeah, but I’d also say this, you’re either fulfilled, or you’re profitable. I think that’s just as dangerous as just going for the money. I think it’s also, it’s not healthy to go, just for the fulfillment because if you’re not making money right, have anything fulfilling to do to work at and to offer people, so I don’t think it’s an either or, I think what’s important is that we focus on the value we’re providing another human being, and understand the money is the result of that. . That’s why John David Mann, my excellent co-author in the series, why we say that money is simply an echo of value. It’s the thunder to values lightning which means the focus must be on the value you’re providing others. Remember they’re buying for their reasons not yours.

Lauren: Right. Okay, the focus

Bob: Must be on the value you’re providing others. The money is simply a natural result of the value you’ve provided.

Lauren: And value is never going to come from you professing how amazing you are.

Bob: Right, it’s always about the other person you make a great point and value is always in the eyes of the beholder. Big difference between price and value price is a dollar figure it’s a dollar amount, it’s finite it is what it is, value is the relative worth, or desirability of a thing or something to the end user or beholder. In other words what is it about this thing, this product, this service, this concept, this idea? What have you, that brings so much worth to them that they will willingly exchange their money for it and be glad that they did while you make a healthy profit just look in market-based exchange, there are always two profits, the buyer profits and the seller profits because each of them comes away better off afterwards then they were beforehand?

Lauren: Because of the value imparted.

Bob: Exactly, yeah, that’s when you know you’re doing that for people. That’s when your business is, again, both fulfilling and profitable.

Lauren: Absolutely. It’s funny because one of the questions I asked in the pre podcast questionnaire is, what do you think is more important price over price or value, and generally it comes to when obtaining professional advice, but really it comes to when obtaining anything, when securing anything, because at the end of the day you said all things being equal, value by a longshot. And it’s true because you could pay lots and lots of money for something that’s overinflated, that has an overinflated value and actually has no value to the person that you’re offering it to or buying it from.

Bob: The prices isn’t inflated, the value is what it is, you know the value is what the person believes it is. Yeah, so the person if they’re going to be happy doing business with you, they have got to feel as though the value they received is greater than the price that they paid, and this is not just done through the intrinsic value of your product or service, but it’s done through the entire experience. It’s how you make a person genuinely feel about themselves, throughout the process.

Lauren: 100%, you have to make, I mean I’m very, very customer focused, and I think that it comes through what I do and if I weren’t, the customer’s going to know. People sense when you’re just after that dollar every single day.

Bob: I think that’s exactly the case.

Lauren: So, you’ve been everywhere, all around the world to a million countries speaking and sharing your amazing story and your books and your series of books. How many books do you have now?

Bob: Well altogether I have, I think, 11, but there’s, there’s I think about seven or eight of them that are still kind of in print and, you know, working. Whereas a few just kind of never seen again.

Lauren: So, we have The Go Giver, and then after that we have a series following that. Tell us what that series is?

Bob: Yeah, well so the go giver is a parable again co-authored by John David Mann, and the second book is actually the only one in the series, it’s not a parable, that’s called Go Givers Sell More, which is actually more of an application-based book on the Go Giver, taking the Go Giver principles, you know the parable, and applying that. But then the third book in the series is the second parable, that’s the Go Giver Leader. And then the fourth book in the series is the third parable, and that is the Go Giver Influencer.

Lauren: And I think at the end of the day, that that is a perfect word for you. You are definitely an influencer you influence people, again, we’ll come back to, all over the world. So, tell us about a couple of your interesting experiences and travel. You mentioned that one of the important things to understand is that not everybody is the same, not every country is the same and you have to approach people and countries and cultures differently, and a lot of people forget that. Give us a couple of examples.

Bob: I mean I think people are people, and there are certain elements of human nature, right, that hold across the board. Okay, I think all people want to feel good about themselves, they want to feel respected. They like to be liked, they like to feel as though they’re contributing. The general psychological characteristics and feelings and behavioral traits of humankind that are just, you know, that covers everyone, there are those. Okay. And people are individuals and cultures have their own flavors and their own individual aspects. Okay, so I think we have to, while at the same time we understand people are people, we also have to know that when we go into another culture, we need to be respectful and we need to study that culture, to the best we can and make sure that we are acting congruently with their expectations. And I think that’s only polite, I think it’s only respectful. So, I mean I don’t think it’s anything more than that or anything less than that, I think it’s an understanding that it’s, you know, there are certain aspects and I’ll tell you, and I remember once, and it was a great experience. I was just outside of Beijing doing a program and it was for a direct sales company and it had about, there were I think about 12 different countries. There are 10 different interpreters in the whole thing, so you had a mixture. Okay so you had the Chinese culture, but you also had a number of other countries with people with their own cultures and so forth. And it was a long time and I mean, usually I do, hour and a half to two-hour presentations at the most. This was a six-hour full day event. And for the entire last hour, we did a question and answer for the audience. Okay, so you had all these different countries and all these different languages and all these different people, and all these different cultures asking questions. And you know the questions they were asking were the exact same ones that they asked in Sweden, that they asked in Racine, Wisconsin, that they asked in Toronto Ontario, and everywhere else. You know Sam, and Kathy my business partner, and Lauren who came with us, afterwards, we just kind of were talking about that, and it really got into a conversation about how, you know, yes there are countries, there are individuals that are like this, but people are people, you know, and we all have the same general issues.

Lauren: Interesting. Yeah, I agree with you. One thing I remember, and this is about China. I haven’t actually been to China, but having done so much work with Chinese investors, is if you go to China and you try to shake someone’s hand, well right now forget about that, but let’s say in a normal world. You don’t, you don’t do that, you present the business card, and you’re holding the card in your two hands and you present it to them and if you go to shake, it’s actually considered rude so again, as you say it’s about being respectful and understanding that there are cultural differences, and you can’t go and maybe speak the same way. I had a gentleman on the show the other day talking about going into beliefs and, you know, if there’s a lot of poverty. So, you have to speak at a different level than you would let’s say in South Florida, you’re talking, you’re not, you know, you’re speaking up there, you’re sharing a different message or maybe sharing it in a different way so you’re not insulting anybody’s culture or anything like that. So, tell us five Laws of Success, what are the five Laws of Success that you guys share in your books?

Bob: Well, they’re the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity and receptivity. Again, the law of value is just making sure that the value, which is again, always in the eyes of the beholder, is greater than the price, they’re paying. Okay, so which means we need to be always customer focused, customer centric, it’s all about them. It’s not about us. Law of compensation says your income is determined by how many people you serve, and how well you serve them. So, we’re not just talking about providing exceptional value to one person, but it’s how many lives. In the law it doesn’t mean that you’re a martyr or a doormat or self-sacrificial, it simply means you understand that all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust, and that there’s no faster, more powerful, or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you, from others, than by genuinely moving from an I focus or me focus to an other focus, looking to make your win all about the other person’s win. Law number four, the law of authenticity says the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. In this part of the story, one of the mentors Deborah Davenport, shared that all the skills in the world the sales skills, technical skills, people skills as important as they are, and they are indeed all important. They’re also all for naught if you don’t come at it from your true authentic personal self, but when you do, when you show up as yourself day after day, week after week, month after month people feel good about you, they feel comfortable with you they feel safe with you, they do feel as though they know you, they like you, they love you, they trust you. And that’s really when the magic happens. Number five is the law of receptivity which says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. Nothing more than understanding that yes you breathe out, but you also have to breathe in. Right, it’s not one or the other you breathe out carbon dioxide you breathe in oxygen, you breathe out, which is giving you breathe in which is receiving, and the world around us gives us just horrible negative messages regarding prosperity and abundance and money and business. I mean it just it’s awful, the messages we get about it. And yet I think it’s important that we understand that giving and receiving are not opposite concepts, giving and receiving are simply two sides of the very same coin, and they work in tandem. It’s not are you a giver, you know, or a receiver or neither a giver nor a receiver, but what you know is that the giver comes first, that’s the focus, that’s a law of life. So, before we breathe, and it needs to come from a genuine place in order to be sustainable.
So those are really the five laws as they relate to the basic premise.

Lauren: I think that relates back to, and this is a very pervasive theme throughout COVID is putting the mask on yourself first, and making sure that you also, like you said, are open to receiving, but you also are looking after your needs because you can, you can’t just keep giving without accepting in return. You really have to be open to that and I think that that’s important to understand. Tell me, so where did you come up with this term, the Go Giver, which now has become almost like a term of art that everybody knows or mostly everybody?

Bob: Thank you. Well, that was pretty easy because I had a book out years ago called Endless Referrals that was kind of my first big book, and it was a how to book on how to create those like and trust relationships that we were talking about earlier. And I just always wanted to do a business parable because I’d always read parables and loved them and thought wouldn’t it be great if we could take the basic message of the know, like and trust, and turn that into a parable. So, I thought well what is the overall essence of a person who is able to quickly and sustainably create these like and trust relationships, and making themselves so phenomenally successful as they benefit others? And it’s that they’re always giving right, they are always going out and they’re giving, they’re giving value to others. So, coming up with the title The Goalkeeper was actually pretty easy. But the best thing I did for the book ever was asking John David Mann to be the co-author and the lead writer, because he’s a “Yeah I’m a how to guy on step one step two, step three”. John is a brilliant storyteller and writer, so it was truly a collaboration.

Lauren: Yeah, well, you know I think that you’re all about collaboration, and I think that those of us that are about collaboration have been successful over our lives and also successful during COVID times, because at the end of the day, none of us is an island. And, you know, I’ve seen some of my colleagues that have those bricks and mortar businesses that have struggled through, and then some that have had a little bit of an online presence and now they’re just doing amazing things and impacting even more people and looking at the silver lining, and you know there’s always that silver lining for those of us, especially that are collaborators. And I think that, that’s what separates a successful business owner from somebody who’s just successful for a time. So, you mentioned sustainability, and sustainability comes from that connection that willingness to share, and help bring value to each other, as opposed to just what’s in it for me. And that’s about the other focus as well. So, Bob give us a little bit of an idea about what’s next for you.

Bob: What we have is, my business partner who is absolutely brilliant, she and I have put together an online membership community called the Go Giver Success Alliance, which will be really an international membership site for people who are all living their lives and conducting business, and it will be a sense of support for everybody and, and we’ll all grow together and be there to support each other and rise all the time.

Lauren: That’s cool, that’s great and how do people find that membership?

Bob: It will be. If they go to we will start to put up the information for it in about a week from the time that you and I are speaking right now. And if they subscribe to our emails, which they can do if they scroll down to the bottom of the page, they’ll also be notified when it on.

Lauren: That’s awesome. I love that I mean, definitely. That’s definitely something that probably is a product of COVID because now everybody’s used to zoom, you know.

Bob: Absolutely, it’s no longer an issue now.

Lauren: No, it’s not an issue. If you haven’t been on zoom, something’s up. So, I had to get a blue, what do you call the thing, the blue screen for my computer because it was hurting my eyes so much, I just put it on yesterday, it’s already making a difference. So, my goodness, zoom fatigue is a real thing. Oh yeah, my body would not be tired, but my eyes were aching from staring at the screen. There were times when I’d say do you mind if I just turn off my video, and it looks weird, but, you know, anyway but it’s been a true pleasure tell us obviously we can find you Bob, but tell us you are very prominent and proficient on all social media, what’s the best way to find you and connect with you?

Bob: If they scroll down to the bottom it actually has one of those links to all the various social media and Twitter, and you know Facebook and Instagram. Those are the ones I’m primarily on.

Lauren: Have you been exposed to Clubhouse?

Bob: I was just going to say that clubhouse as well, but we need to put that link at the bottom of the page now too because I’m actually on Clubhouse quite a bit now.

Lauren: Yes, well we just recruited in EXP Grant Cardone on the weekend through Clubhouse. So, the power of clubhouse, and I was just like, why didn’t I reach out to him? So, it’s a big deal because real estate is a big part of my life now, but it’s exciting in that that honestly, I went in there last night, there were a bunch of women talking about commercial real estate, there’s some exceptionally good value focused groups in there we’re talking about value. Tomorrow, there’s a cross border group I’m going to moderate so there’s a lot of stuff. So, we’re not here to sell Clubhouse but the reality is if you’re not on Clubhouse, it’s like where Facebook was all those years ago. You’re going to have to be on Clubhouse, if you’re an influencer and impacting others and want to connect with them. It’s really an incredible thing, and you don’t have to worry about looking at anything.

Bob: Yeah, that’s the nicest part of all isn’t it, that it’s just totally audio right. I just love that you can just sit back there, relax, close your eyes have the headphones in.

Lauren: Bob it’s always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time please stay safe and well I’m sure I will see you again in person soon, you do give amazing hugs. It’s one of the things I miss the most about COVID.

Bob: Yeah, yeah, awful.

Lauren: But but thank God that we are safe and people in Florida are getting vaccines and, you know, I think there’s an end in sight God willing soon. Thank you again for your time. This is Lauren Cohen with Bob Burg on Investing Across Borders, where we help you navigate your way to invest live, work, and play across borders. Bob Burg, a truly global speaker in the Hall of Fame. It’s a pleasure to have you aboard.

Bob: Thank you, pleasures mine.

Lauren: All right. I’ll be talking to you soon. Take care.