I do not do a lot of book reviews in this blog, but I just completed The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. First, let me say that I resisted reading this book until three different people that I highly respect recommended it. The following entry was inspired by the thoughts this book generated.
Why did I start a business? How do I measure my success?
When hearing a story of success we often focus on the opportunity presented to make money. Sometimes a genius (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs) or sometimes an ordinary person (look at the people around your town) see an opportunity to fill a need in the market and turn it into successful business. We call them entrepreneurs. In our history as a country, many of our super wealthy focused solely on building their wealth, and became socially concious later in their lives when the “What is my legacy?” question started swirling in their mind. We should celebrate their conversion, but recognize that they did not start their business with that as a priority. The Go-Giver fundamentally challenges the notion that giving comes after success.
The Go-Giver generated two questions for me that have been rolling around in my head.
- Who (or whom) do you serve?
- How do you/will you measure success?
I think of some young entrepreneurs I have met recently and they don’t necessarily think of these questions because their answers are already woven into the fabric of their life and business.
For anyone over 35ish, remember there is a generation behind us that has these questions as part of their fabric. They have experienced the fragile nature of life (9/11), the uncertainty of employment (2 major economic downturns in 10 years), and the ability to build meaningful relationships with a keyboard (internet). I wonder how a millenial would view this book?
Worth the read, but don’t do it alone. Find a partner, with the goal of writing two question that it generates for you. Then spend your time together trying to answer them.