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  • Bob Burg

“Master the contents of Endless Referrals and you will practically GUARANTEE your future success.”

~ Tom Hopkins, Author, Master the Art of Selling

Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

True Wisdom… and False Lessons

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

True Wisdom... and False LessonsA famous teaching by Mark Twain in his Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar says:

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again — and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.”

Like practically all Twain-isms, this one is a gem. How often do we learn from an experience or a teaching but rather than stopping at the actual wisdom, take the lesson to a false conclusion?

A few quick examples:

  1. You buy something from a merchant and discover later that he was dishonest in his dealings with you.

    The wisdom: Pay attention.

    The false lesson: All merchants are cheats, so never trust any of them.

  2. You hear that it’s important to always speak truthfully to people when providing feedback.

    The wisdom: Communicating truthfully is much more helpful to that person than saying only what they want to hear.

    The false lesson: Your feedback must be conducted brutally, without tact or empathy. No need to frame it properly so that he or she will be encouraged rather discouraged.

  3. You learn that in sales persistence is important to success.

    The wisdom: Don’t let the NO’s get you down. Keep plugging away. Work past the NO’s until you get to the YESes.

    The false lesson: Keep calling the same person continually and annoying them.

As the Sages taught, “Who is wise? The one who learns from all others.”

Part of this wisdom is knowing the difference between the hot stove-lid… and the cold one.

What examples of true wisdom and false lessons can you share with us?

The Next Best Thing to Controlling Our Brand

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

To What Degree Can We “Control” Our Brand?At our recent Speaker Certification Training for a group of our Certified Go-Giver Speakers, the following was pointed out:

“Bob, you are really protective of your brand.”

All heads nodded in agreement…including mine.

Allow me — if I may — to set the stage: On the day that our speakers were giving their presentations, whenever there was a statement that could possibly be misunderstood, I would, afterwards, gently (yes, gently) point it out and explain why.

I’m also known to politely email bloggers and those on Social Media platforms who take the philosophy of The Go-Giver out of context or misquote. And, it happens often.

Does it drive me a little bit nutty keeping on top of it? Sure, to a certain point. Fortunately, it also teaches me two very valuable lessons:

  1. To the degree you can care without emotional attachment to the results, that’s the degree to which you’ll have peace of mind.
  2. You can manage your brand, but you can’t really control it.

We, as business people in today’s environment, cannot control it any more than we can really control anything that is outside our direct influence. We can manage it by taking all the steps that are within our influence. That begins by communicating our message correctly, always doing our best to provide an exceptional customer experience and being ultra-responsive to our customer’s needs.

Along with that, we can utilize various Internet and social media “alerts” to let us know when something about our brand is positively or negatively mentioned, stolen (accidentally or…”accidentally on purpose”) :-) or simply misinterpreted. People who are “watching our backs” will also let us know, and this includes customers, clients and friends.

There are major corporations that — especially in their utilization of social media — do this extremely well. Others? Not so much. And, we continue to see examples of both.

Regardless, whether huge or mid-sized companies or small entrepreneurial firms, none are actually controlling their brands. Those days are along gone. We can manage our brands; not control them.

Wisdom is knowing the difference.

Success is doing it effectively.

How do you do in that regard? And, do you agree with my premise or have I missed the mark?

Agreement and disagreement are both welcome, as I hope you know.

Be a Power Connector – A Chat with Judy Robinett

Friday, May 9th, 2014

We met via an introduction from Wharton Professor and noted bestselling author, Dr. Adam Grant. He told me she was someone I needed to connect with. And, when Adam says that, I listen!

It was immediately obvious that Judy Robinett was a person with that special combination of huge business acumen and an even bigger heart.

Judy-RobinettEasy to see why her then soon-to-be-published book was entitled, How to Be a Power Connector. For that matter, it’s easy to see why she’s been called “The woman with the Titanium digital Rolodex®.” To put it mildly, the book lived up to — and even greatly exceeded — everything I thought it was going to be after our initial conversation.

Her background includes more than 30 years both as an entrepreneur and corporate leader, including having been CEO of both public and private companies. She’s also served on the advisory boards of a number of startup companies and venture capital firms.

Power-Connector-BookI would recommend that whether one has just graduated college and is looking to accelerate their career, or is a long-time veteran of the business world, this is a book well worth studying. It’s truly a toolkit for systematically building a network that will make one’s business relationships a lot stronger, enriching, and profitable!

And, in this brief chat, Judy shares some important highlights. I have a feeling you’re going to be just as impressed by her as I am.


Yes, that was a lot of wisdom in a fairly short conversation. What key points did you take away that you can begin to apply right now?

Pick up her book today at www.JudyRobinett.com/book

TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

Avoiding Those Unnecessary “Headaches”

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Avoiding Those Unnecessary Headaches - Bob BurgAside from what is learned directly from reading an article, I find they often trigger ideas that can be applied in other, more specific areas. Not very surprising when realizing success principles are success principles and transfer across the board.

Such was the case when reading investment authority Steve Sjuggerud’s guest post recently in the online daily publication, Early to Rise.

The post itself was in regards to investing in property and the basic question he asked was, “Do you really want THIS PARTICULAR headache?” In other words, when you put the potential financial return against — not just your financial investment but — all the time, work, stress and other factors that you’ll incur, is it likely to be worth it?

Great question. And, while I’m not a real estate investor, I often struggle with where to invest my time and energy in terms of various projects.

Being a natural “shiny object pursuer” where most every idea looks good to me, I often find myself asking questions similar to Sjuggerud’s, though not with those particular words.

Well, the words are now changing. From now on, whenever considering a new project, idea, opportunity or any other investment of my time, I’ll ask myself, Burg:

“Do you really want THIS PARTICULAR headache?”

And, I see it being very clarifying.

What about you? Is this a question that would help you in the clarification process? What about  prioritization? What areas do you find yourself struggling to say no to because the object really does look kind of shiny? Feel free to share. :-)

The Two Reasons We Really Buy

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Please enable your imagesMinutes before presenting last Friday morning for my client, WinWholesale, Inc. at their annual convention, I was speaking with COO, Monte Salsman. He shared with me a great piece of advice provided by one of his mentors nearly 20 years ago:

“People buy only two things: solutions to problems and good feelings.”


Yep, think about it. When it comes right down to it, the very essence of why we buy something is because it solves a problem and makes us feel better than if we did not buy it.

Understanding this is what keeps our focus on the other person. After all, people don’t buy from us because it solves our problem or makes us feel good. Nor should they. Thus, we need to constantly find ways to provide value to others in a way that will serve them and their needs, wants and desires.

So, next time you’re in a selling situation, measure what you are about to say or do by asking yourself, will this solve their problem? Will this make them feel good? If the answers to both of those are “yes” then you are on the right track.

Of course, when you solve their problems and make them feel good, you also solve your problem and make yourself feel good.

Or, as another mentor of many of us (a certain Mr. Ziglar) very famously said, “you can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”


Note: Just put together a special page for The Go-Giver, in the event you’d like to give them out as Holiday gifts this season. And, you’ll have a chance to win some great prizes, as well. If you’re interested, check out www.Burg.com/Holidays.