Give More Than You Get? Really?

It’s one of those things that kind of sounds right. Or, sounds good, anyway.

“Give more than you get.”

Not surprisingly, it’s also something that is often equated with The Go-Giver philosophy even though John David Mann and I never wrote that in the book.

Law #1 says to “Give more in value than you take in payment.”

But, isn’t that the same thing?

Let’s look a bit closer at that. Literally, if you “gave more than you got” you’d go out of business, and fast. While the key is to focus on giving value to the other person, you are not giving more than you are getting, you are giving in a way that both of you profit… only in different ways.

If you’ve heard me explain the difference between price and value you know that BOTH PARTIES are actually RECEIVING MORE than they are giving, because they are both exchanging what they desire less for what they desire more.

Example: The pizzeria owner who sells a pizza wants the customer’s $12 more than she wants the pizza. The customer wants the pizza more than he wants the $12. So, the customer is getting something that he wants (values) more than the $12 he is paying for it…or he would not have made the exchange!

This is what Harry Browne meant when he said that in any free-market based exchange, there are at least two “profits.” The buyer profits and the seller profits. They each come away better off than they were before the transaction.

Give MORE than you get? No. Give more in value than you receive in payment and also make a profit?



Note: This month, our Go-Givers International Membership In-Depth Interview is with none other than…Mr. Tom Ziglar, proud son of Zig Ziglar and CEO of Ziglar, Inc. For more information, visit

About Bob Burg

Bob Burg is coauthor of the International Bestseller, The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More. He is author of the sales classic, Endless Referrals. The Go-Giver has been published in 22 languages and has sold over 500,000 copies.

His newest book is Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion. To download Chapter One of several of his books, visit


  1. Must. Resist. Pizza.

    I wrote a post along these lines a while back as well. “Value > Payment > Cost: Its the Law”

    I hadn’t yet read Harry Browne’s book which neatly ties it all together.

    Thanks Bob, another great post.

  2. Doug: I love your blog post and recommend it highly. It takes the information in my above post to a much deeper level and more concrete level. Thank you! And, indeed, resist that pizza. P.S. Resistance is futile.

  3. This article is reinforcing what I learned in your book. The biggest challenge that I am overcoming is giving without keeping score. Even when I do my best, a small scorecard is in the back of my mind. Giving more value than I am receiving in payment is something that I will continue to strive to do. I know that it’s a process, not a destination.

    Thanks Bob!

    • Mike: Thank you for your sharing your thoughts with us. Regarding that challenge, it’s simply a function of being human. Don’t concern yourself with the scorecard being there; simply act correctly in spite of it being there. It will get smaller and smaller. But, again, we’re human and it creeps in there from time-to-time. :-)

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