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7 Questions With an Author: Bob Burg

Best Selling Author and International Speaker – Bob Burg

This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here.

Today’s featured author is Bob Burg.

Bob is a successful author and highly-sought speaker who shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson.

He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises and numerous direct sales organizations.

Bob regularly addresses audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000 — sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former United States President.

Here are seven questions with author Bob Burg regarding his latest book The Go-Giver.

1. Tell us about your book?
The Go-Giver is a business parable. It’s the story of a young up-n’-comer by the name of Joe who is frustrated that, while he works hard, he doesn’t seem to be making much progress.

After being taken under the wing of a very successful mentor, he learns a valuable lesson that makes a huge difference in both his personal and business lives: that shifting one’s focus from getting to giving (giving meaning “constantly and consistently providing value to others”) is not only a nice way to live life; it’s a very financially profitable way, as well.

And, that’s really the key idea; moving from an “I-Focus” to an “other-focus.”  This is the way great leaders, powerful influencers and the top-producing salespeople conduct themselves.

2. What led you to write it?
Years ago, I had a book that sold very well to the sales community entitled, Endless Referrals. It was a traditional how-to type of book. After reading and enjoying a number of parables I thought that I’d really enjoy taking the philosophy of the book and turning it into a parable. That’s how The Go-Giver was born.

But, not how it was written. I quickly realized that – while I could write a how-to book (you basically write down what you know) :-) there’s a big difference between that and a work of fiction; a story, which is what The Go-Giver would be.

So, I asked my friend, John David Mann, a brilliant writer and story-teller if he would be the lead writer and storyteller. Fortunately, he agreed. It’s John’s amazing writing that brought the characters to life and made the story come alive.

3. Who is a writer that inspires you and why?
My coauthor, John David Mann. He has now coauthored numerous bestselling books and is in great demand.

I’ve never known a writer who is not only so brilliant, but can actually get into someone’s head and write in their voice; regardless of the type of information; whether fiction or non-fiction.

He used to be the best-kept secret, but now he has coauthored so many bestsellers that he is no longer a secret. And, good for him!

4. What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
Interestingly enough, it was finding a publisher. We knew this was a story that would sell big once published. Yet, it was astounding how many publishers told our awesome agent that it either simply wouldn’t sell, or that “the market doesn’t need another business parable.”  Thus far we are at well over 250,000 sold and it seems to be getting stronger as time goes on.

5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Well, this depends on why they are wanting to write. There are different reasons and, depending upon those reasons my advice would differ just a bit.

But, in the general sense of the question, whether one aspires to write a book simply in order to position themselves more effectively as a speaker or because they truly believe they have immense value to share with the world and that a book is the best medium with which to do it…begin writing.

Don’t wait for perfection. Just begin.

With that said, realize that writing a book is a business in and of itself and it’s helpful to learn and understand the process, from getting the book published, to marketing the book.

6. Where do you get your ideas?
Mainly, from what life’s experiences, and the example that was (and continues to be) set for my by my Parents. I’m also a voracious reader and an avid learner.

7. Anything that you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?
The laws in this book, while we named them and put them into story form, are certainly not new. They’ve been around since…well, I’d imagine since people began doing business with one another. I say this simply to ensure people that these are in no way experimental or theoretical.

These are Universal Laws and Principles that work. In fact, our early-adopters of the book were not so much the people who needed to know these Laws and Principles, but the people who were already successfully living these laws; top salespeople and leaders of large organizations.

And, like most successful people, they wanted to share the information with others. John and I are both extremely grateful for the large community of Go-Givers who have been such huge Ambassadors of the book and its message.

For more information about Bob, his writings or booking him as a speaker visit his web site HERE.

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  1. Tor, thank you so much. I am very honored and most grateful to be featured on your “7 Questions Retort.”

  2. It is amazing how the wisdom from the ages seems to miss being picked up until it hits one smack in the face. Thanks, Bob, for providing that swatter to the next generation.

  3. Roy, thank YOU. What a terrific compliment!

  4. Bob, thanks for sharing about The Go-Giver. Like so many others I Love that book.

  5. Josh, thank you. Means a LOT to me!

  6. hipmamamedia says:

    Thanks, Bob, for some great advice about the realties of getting published and your example to persevere and not get hung up on perfection. Enjoyed this Q&A.

  7. hipmamamedia says:

    oops, that is “realities” (old, tired eyes late at night!) :)

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