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  • Bob Burg

“Just in my second year in business, I'm on track to do over a MILLION DOLLARS in commissions!”

~ Cal Faber, Agent, RE/MAX - Victoria, BC

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

The Gratitude Tool That Works…Every Time!

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Thank You NotesLong before the rise of email and social media I was extolling the virtues and value of saying “thank you” with handwritten notes. While certainly not an original idea (whose Mom didn’t make them write thank you notes for gifts?) :-) they remain — in my opinion — one of the best ways to express gratitude and make another person feel genuinely good about themselves and the value they provide.

I’m often asked, “But with email so accessible and so much easier to write than a handwritten, hand-addressed, hand-stamped envelope, isn’t it so much easier to just send emails?”

Absolutely! That’s even one more reason why handwritten, personalized notes are so much more effective. Talk about distinguishing yourself — and your message — from others!

Whether sending a thank you note to a service person, their employer, a customer, your salesperson, a team member, and especially to those people who typically don’t receive acknowledgement, not only do they feel great about themselves, they feel great about you, too!  No, that isn’t why you do it — it’s simply the natural result.

Truly Treasured

When speaking about this during sales and leadership conferences I’ll often hear from successful audience members who do this regularly. One of the most common stories is their discovering that many of those to whom they’ve sent these notes…have kept them!

Yes, people often keep them! Why?


  1. they’ve been acknowledged;
  2. they’ve  been acknowledged in a powerful and personal way;
  3. they received something from you they most likely have never received before.

In his excellent book, Creating Magic (highly recommended!!) former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell — an avid note writer — shared a very touching story of a team member who had his note framed…and hung in his home!


While I have a specific format for my personalized notecards, there’s no one correct way.

What’s key is forming the habit of sending them, and sending them often.

Have you experienced something similar either by being on the giving or receiving end of a personalized, handwritten thank you note?

Please feel free to share.

Make Your Ship Unsinkable

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Make Your Ship Unsinkable - Bob Burg

A recent tweet said:

“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down, unless you allow it inside your heart and mind.” ~ A. Nonymous

This makes a lot of sense. To believe we don’t live in a world filled with negativity would be to delude ourselves.

Of course, there’s also much positivity but there’s a difference:

When you drink a glass of clean, pure water it sustains you, but it doesn’t generally cause a feeling one way or the other. We simply accept it — often unconsciously — for what it is.

However, put just a little bit of poison in that water and the consequences are profound.

Fifteen nice, decent people might not have much of an effect on your day. After all, people are supposed to be nice and decent. We simply accept it.

However, what happens when one miserable, insulting creep crosses your path? One’s entire day can change for the (much) worse…

That is, IF we let that negativity get inside us.

Two ways to keep it from sinking our ship:

  1. Choose not to take it personally. This takes a lot of work on an ongoing, consistent basis. For an excellent guide in this regard, read Don Miguel Ruiz’, The Four Agreements.
  2. Surround yourself with positive. Read, watch, and listen to good, positive, uplifting materials on an ongoing, consistent basis. And, hang out with good, positive, uplifting people as much as you can.

A ship fortified to that degree simply cannot be sunk.

What are some of the ways you protect the ship that is your mind?


An expanded edition of The Go-Giver has been released. It includes a Discussion Guide and a Q&A section. Check out http://bit.ly/tggnew. And, if you’d like to give the book as gifts to the special people in your life…you can also get some of your Holiday shopping done early.

Why This Successful Hall-of-Famer Embraces Failure

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Power of Failure - Fran TarkentonPersonally, I’ve never enjoyed failure. I don’t think many people do. However, there is a big difference between not enjoying failure…and learning from failure.

And, that’s the major lesson in Hall of Fame Quarterback — now longtime superstar entrepreneur — Fran Tarkenton’s terrific new book, The POWER of FAILURE: Succeeding in The Age of Innovation.

Fran has had more victories, both in sports and in business, than most of us could ever dream of. Yet, he sees failure as the very thing that helps you succeed rather than keeps you from doing so.

The Founder and CEO of The Tarkenton Companies and GoSmallBiz.com believes that entrepreneurs and business leaders need to stop the usual avoidance of thinking and talking about failure. The reason, as he suggests, is that, whether this avoidance has to do with ego or self-delusion it is actually very harmful in terms of eventual success.

“Talking about failure is recognizing reality, and as long as you come to grips with reality, you have a chance to succeed. More than that” he continues, “talking about failure builds credibility with your team by demonstrating that you are not a leader who hides from the truth. By openly talking about failure, you model for your team the attitude and behavior you want from them: vigilance, a dynamic and continuous desire to improve, transparency, and straight talk.” As he says, “Reality asserts itself. Sooner or later it always does.”


Encouraging Failure 

In today’s business world, especially with advances in technology as they are, innovation is so very key to a flourishing enterprise. And, innovation, by its very nature includes lots of failures. Stories of failure after failure on the way to successful inventions, businesses, careers or other desirable outcomes are so numerous they’ve become proverbial.

And, as the author says, “The truth is this. Any company of any size can develop a culture that encourages innovation, even on a daily basis. To do this, however, such a company must also encourage failure — especially intelligent failure — every day.”

Intelligent failure is a key. It isn’t failing just to fail. And it isn’t failing because you didn’t put enough thought into your venture. Fran admonishes, “Don’t let your optimism get in the way of your homework.”

Powerful! It’s about doing things for the right reasons, and in the right way. And, it always has to do with thinking and acting. One without the other will practically always result in failure and not the good kind. How can you learn and grow if you act before you think or think without acting? Both are important if you’re going to fail correctly. When you do this you’ll also “avoid the big failure by learning from smaller ones.” 

The book itself is filled with a number of wise quotes. Two of my favorites are:

“{P}erhaps the only unbreakable rule of entrepreneurship: the faster we fail, the faster we succeed.”

And, my very favorite:

“True knowledge is a start, not an end. It is a question, not an answer.”

How do you do in the failure department? Have your failures been intelligent ones from which you were able to learn, grow, and ultimately profit?

What can you change in both your attitude about — and approach to — failure that will help you to ultimately succeed in the way you desire?

A Great Start to Resolving Conflict

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Resolving ConflictRecently, I posted on my Facebook page:

“Focusing on how the *other person* views the situation is a great start to resolving a difficult interaction.”

Yet, this can be difficult because — in order to do this — we must step out of our emotional mind and into our calm and rational mind.

Not easy to do when caught up in conflict. However, those who can master their emotions and do this consistently are the most powerful and influential communicators.

Steps To Make This Happen

  1. Picture someone you know who embodies the above. It’s not a coincidence that they are very successful and highly respected.
  2. Picture yourself doing the same. Imagine how successful and highly (self)-respected you will be.
  3. Imagine future situations where you are in the midst of a very difficult interaction. The other person is becoming angry as they express their views.
  4. Imagine you — on the other hand — being very calm and in (self)-control. Now see yourself focusing on how they view the situation.
  5. Imagine yourself asking the right questions so that you fully understand, and then deciding how to proceed.
  6. See yourself handling the situation beautifully and bringing it to a win-win outcome.

Important Point: Focusing on the other person’s viewpoint is not the same thing as agreeing with them. It simply means that you are placing yourself in a better position of understanding.

I don’t think anyone phrased it any better than Dr. Stephen R. Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he wrote, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Master this and watch your influence soar. And that you won’t have to imagine!


We love seeing all the new members of our Go-Giver Ambassadors Facebook Page. Every morning, my awesome business partner, Kathy Tagenel posts an inspiring quote from John David Mann’s and my, The Go-Giver series that is designed to start your day off right and give you something to keep in mind throughout the day. Check out today’s quote and photo at http://www.facebook.com/groups/GoGiverAmbassadors/

Creating The Customer Experience…at The Ol’ Ballgame!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Marlins Park SuiteA bad day at the ballpark is better than a…well, actually, I’m not sure there is such thing as a bad day at the ballpark. And at Marlins Park in Miami there isn’t even a bad seat.

You know what sounded terrific though: the idea of watching a game from the comfort and viewpoint of one of their suites behind home plate. Many of these are rented for the season by major companies in order to entertain their clients in this relaxed yet exciting sky-view setting. I don’t blame them.

So, while watching a game on TV and hearing announcers Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton promote the availability of renting a suite for just one game I thought, WOW — what a fantastic experience that would be!

So about 20 of us (including friends, family, clients, and MasterMind partners) attended last Thursday night’s game where the “Fish” hosted the tough Pittsburgh Pirates.

This post, however, is not about the game itself but the experience that the Miami Marlins leadership team creates for their customers. First, every customer, whether seated in the bleachers or in the most prime boxes right behind the dugout, are treated wonderfully by the entire Marlins staff.

However, it also makes sense that for those renting a suite, there is incentive for the club to make the experience extra special. For example, the suite itself was a large room stocked with lots of delicious food and beverages and was continually being resupplied.

There was an attendant, Edwin, who took great care of us, had a fantastic attitude and made himself continually available. Oh, and halfway through two people came into the suite with a food cart from which they made fresh guacamole right in front of us. Yeah, baby! :-)

She Really Made It Happen

Bob Burg with Lysandra Justiniano Sales ExecutiveTo me, though, the true star of the game was our Executive Salesperson, Lysandra Justiniano.

Lysandra did everything right that a salesperson does in creating the ultimate customer experience. To begin, she returned my initial call very quickly and very patiently helped me through everything renting the suite entailed.

Over the next month, whenever I had questions she returned my calls and emails promptly. As busy as I know she was she made me feel as though I was the only customer she had.

Isn’t that so important? And, we can all do that for our customers if we hold such a thing as a high value.

At one point she actually took time over the telephone to walk me through using the internal system in order to make emailing everyone’s tickets and other information much easier for me. Indeed, I’m not the most tech-savvy person and she truly went above-and-beyond…we’re talking some extreme patience.

Bob Burg at Marlins ParkThe night of the game she not only greeted me at the suite; she stopped in several more times to check on us, chatted with the guests, and brought by her boss, Director of Suites, Truscott Miller. After discovering that the Marlins Manager of Corporate Engagement, Tommy Knapp and I knew each other from some past South Florida events, she took him upstairs to visit, as well.

All of this; from the first call, the extra work, and the actual game, took hustle, caring, and effort on Lysandra’s part. And, while again, it felt like it was just for us, she’s doing the same for all her customers. And, she does this at every single home game.

People such as Lysandra who focus on giving value like this at every touchpoint create great customer experiences. They bring customers back, and elicit lots of referrals along the way. Sort of like this one.

By the way, my Miami Marlins lost that night. Though, really, it didn’t even matter.

Okay, it did a little.

But, even Lysandra can only do so much! 😉