In Gratitude, Life Management, Relationship Building

“Most people just laugh when they hear that the
secret to success is giving…Then again, most people
are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.”
–Bob Burg and John David Mann, The Go-Giver

In my last blog, Are You Too Attached?, I suggested that one way to determine if you are attached to the outcome is to ask if you are giving to give or giving to get.

I love The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The authors share five laws of stratospheric success:

  1. The law of value: your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
  1. The law of compensation: your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  1. The law of influence: your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  1. The law of authenticity: the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
  1. The law of reciprocity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

When you are trying to “get” something, you are attached to the outcome. When you show up in a spirit of giving, a multitude of possibilities will unfold.

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s the last day of the month, and you have decided to go shopping for a new car. You go to a car dealer, and a salesman approaches you, asking how he can help. You share your very specific list of important features you’re looking for in a car. The salesman does not have what you’re looking for, but instead of telling you that, he starts pushing one particular car on the lot that he says would be the perfect car for you. He even mentions that he can get you a special discounted price…but only if you buy today.

What you don’t know is that this car salesman is only one car sale away from getting a huge bonus for meeting his sales goals for the month. Although you don’t know this, you feel it, because this salesman is desperate to sell you a car today!

As with the car salesman, if you are attached to the outcome, you may feel desperate to get the result you desire. That desperation will drive people away. You’re not giving to give…you’re giving to get.

Now let’s imagine another scenario in the same environment. It’s the last day of the month, and you show up at the same car lot. A salesman approaches you, asking how he can help. You share your very specific list of important features you’re looking for in a car. The salesman tells you that he does not have what you want on his lot, and he recommends that you visit a competitor down the street, which has a car with all the features on your list of requirements.

Which car salesman are you more likely to trust? Which one are you more likely to do business with and send referrals to in the future?

When you’re feeling desperate, it’s also more difficult to think outside the box and find ways to contribute your authentic talents and skills. When you’re attached to a specific outcome, you may not be open to receiving a “gift” when it arrives in a different form than you were expecting.

Years ago, I worked with someone who was desperate to get a promotion that he had worked hard for in his company. In the midst of waiting to hear if he got the promotion, another company offered him something even better. Unfortunately, he was so focused on his desperate need and his attachment to a very specific outcome, that he could not see the huge unexpected gift when it was presented to him. He turned the job down and regretted it later.

Can you identify an area in your life where you are giving to get? What’s possible if you were to let go and allow what comes next?  Please comment below.

If you’d like some additional help, check out these resources:

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Showing 3 comments
  • Joe

    Thank you for sharing. This has opened my eyes.

    • Kathy Paauw

      You’re welcome, Joe. I’d love to hear more about what you learned and how you will apply it in your life.

  • Alan Potts

    Awesome post. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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