Bob Burg is a highly sought after speaker at corporate, financial services, and direct sales conventions. His national bestseller, The Go-Giver has been heralded as a new business classic. It’s been translated into 19 languages and has already soared past the 200,000 copies sold mark. His critically acclaimed book, Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales has also sold over 200,000 copies and continues to be used as a training manual for top sales organizations throughout the world.
Q: What books have helped you?
I like personal development classics such as:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
Peace, Power & Plenty by Orison Swett Marden
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Sometimes just a few lines of a book can change a life. Here are some examples:
- In The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield writes that everyone has a personal drama. By identifying my dramas, and those of others, I gradually lessened their effect on me.
- In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck’s first paragraph says, “Life is difficult…once we truly understand and accept it … then life is no longer difficult.” This one insight alone has helped me effectively deal with many of life’s challenges.
- In Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz says we have an “… automatic guidance system… [like] a self-aiming torpedo or missile …” that is programmed to succeed (or fail) in specific areas of our lives. What a great lesson: change your program and you can change your life.
Q: Who are your mentors? What have you learned from them?
My main mentors are my parents who taught me how to live life by way of their love and wonderful example. I recently gave a talk in Rhode Island that my cousin and her husband attended. Afterwards, she came up to me and exclaimed, “Bob, it’s unbelievable. Hearing you speak is just like listening to Uncle Sumner (my dad).” That’s the nicest compliment I could ever receive. I often feel as though I’m taking my dad’s message and sharing it with a wider audience through books such as The Go-Giver. For example, it’s interesting that many people believe you can either be nice or finish first. However, the vast majority of successful people have enormous integrity, which contributed to their achievements. My dad is one such example. My mission is to teach people that the more they give through adding value to others, the more they will prosper. I have had other mentors who come at just the right time to help me in specific areas. As the Talmud says, “Who is wise? One who learns from all people (Wisdom of the Fathers).”
Q: What do you do when you get out of balance?
I return to consciousness by asking, “Is this really a big deal?” It’s usually not. In his book, The Science Of Getting Rich, Wallace D. Wattles has a whole chapter on gratitude. Gratitude is the single best way to remain connected to the Source of all. For example, the first line of my morning prayer is, “I express my gratitude to You the King Who is alive and always exists for returning my soul to me with compassion.” In Yogi Berra style, I would say, “We need to stay conscious to be conscious.”
Q: How do you balance planning with remaining open to opportunity?
While I set goals, I try and stay conscious of not being attached to specific results. I believe this is the best way to remain open to other opportunities that come along.
Q: What would you like to be written on your tombstone?
“He made people feel good about themselves.” Doing this feels very natural to me and is another one of those traits I learned from emulating my dad. I believe that making people feel genuinely good about themselves is one of the greatest Mitzvahs (good deeds) someone can do. Hopefully, I do this enough. I’m never sure.
For more information on Bob Burg and his bestselling books The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More and Endless Referrals, please visit www.burg.com. You can download the first chapter of each book for free!