You've successfully subscribed to Jerry Zhang
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Jerry Zhang
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.

The Go Giver: How To Always Win Against Takers

The Go Giver 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success. The Law of Value. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

5 min read

I received The Go Giver as a gift. Since it was such a short and easy read, I finished it in a day. I enjoyed the book’s discussion on The 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success and the dialogue between the characters. However, the book’s story plot was put just too well into place that it’s misleading on how easy it is to implement each of these laws into our own lives.

This book is more meant for business owners and salespeople, since that reflects the profile of the authors. Nonetheless, I do believe we all have some bits to learn (punintended!) from The Go Giver.

Here are The 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success.

The Law of Value

This law is all about mindset. While the goal of a business is to make money, focusing on the money part will b severely limiting. It’s more important to focus on giving value. True value is measured by how much more you give than take in payment.

A less abstract way to think about this is to consider what your vision is. If your only vision is to collect payments, you won’t get very far. “Does it make money” is a bad first question. First, it’s wise to determine what value you are able to provide. Then, check for financial feasibility only after you have a value proposition.

The goal is to provide a higher quality of goods and services than any amount of money could possibly pay for. By exceeding people’s expectations, they will naturally be willing to pay you even more. The point isn’t to make them pay you more, it’s to give them more.

Giving is not a strategy. It’s a way of life.

The Law of Compensation

This law is all about impact. Your impact can be increased depth or increased breadth: increased depth means serving people better; increased breadth means serving more people.

There is no limitation on your level of compensation. If you want more success, simply find ways to serve more people and serve them better. Everybody can be successful because anybody can give.

There are 3 fundamental reasons why people work: survive, save, and serve.


We all need to eat, so we work. Unless you are a trust fund baby or have government support, this is the minimum threshold.


Once our basic needs are met, we have the option to use our additional earnings however we wish. You can afford extra luxuries in your life, save towards something bigger, invest in retirement, or even blow all your cash on something stupid. The point is, you now have options beyond just the basic survival necessities.


Interestingly enough, serving has a similar prerequisite to saving–that all your basic survival needs are met. Why? Because now you have options. One does not need to save before starting to serve. Note that while saving and serving are both options, saving is for personal benefit whereas serving is for the benefit of others. It’s best to be able to take care of yourself before starting to serve others–this way, you will be able to better serve others.

Unfortunately, most people spend their lives focusing on surviving. People who are beyond survival but selfish will tend to focus on saving and never make it to serving. Genuinely successful people keep their focus squarely on serving. This is where people are able to make an impact on others around them and start contributing to society.

The Law of Influence

I hate the word networking. It always feels like the most insincere word thrown around in any professional setting. Someone who is “networking” is thinking from a selfish point of view. “What can that person offer me?” “Is it worth my time to talk to that person?” It is the wrong approach from the start, and will not get you anywhere. It will not make you any reliable professional contacts, and it will definitely not make you any friends.

A bad network will consist only of your customers or clients. A good network is a group of people who know you, like you and trust you. They are your army of personal walking ambassadors, personally invested in your success.

What’s the trick to building a good network? Stop keeping score. Think win-win. Don’t be a creditor, be a friend. If you place the other person’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of.

Be a friend—start by giving trust with the hope that the other person will not break our trust and possibly even reciprocate. If that person breaks our trust, we know not to trust them further. Either way, we win: if they are trustworthy, they become our friend; if they are not, we now know that they are not trustworthy, and will consequently also tell our friends not to trust this person.

Rather than thinking “what can you offer me”, start thinking “how can I offer you”, and you will be on your way.

The Law of Authenticity

The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. Nobody can replicate you.

I don’t care what awesome skills you think you may have that might distinguish you from your fellow peers at work or school. There are plenty of people that are good at math, programming, or sales. However, there is only 1 of you.

The uniqueness of every human is so universal that the number of possible combination of humans is 3 x 10 ^ 614. That’s with 614 zeroes! You are most certainly unique in your very own way.

Don’t be afraid to show who you really are. Are you a nerd? A foodie? Someone who’s really into cat videos? An avid traveler? Obsessed with sports? All of the above? None of the above? Small things like these make you who you are. Don’t simply be that ideal cookie cutter applicant on a university or job application. That’s boring.

Be authentically yourself, because you are best at being yourself.

The Law of Receptivity

Most of The Go Giver up to this point explains the benefits of giving. However, based on the popular saying that “it is better to give than to receive”, this may lead us to believe that receiving isn’t as good as giving.

Receiving is actually not a bad thing. Guess what? When you give, what’s the person on the other side doing? Receiving. Every giving can only happen because it is also receiving.

Receiving vs Taking

Receiving is when you are being acted upon, whereas taking is when you are acting upon someone else. Taking is bad; receiving is good.

Receiving vs Earning

When you receive something, it is because someone else has freely given you, regardless of whether or not you have earned it. Because receiving involves a party to freely give, we should never expect to receive, but delight when we are blessed with the opportunity.

The hardest part of receiving is the justification of receiving–sometimes we feel that we have not earned it, so we should not receive it. People like this are prideful. It takes a humble heart to receive.

What Can We Receive?

  • Love
  • Help
  • Gifts
  • Constructive criticism
  • Advice

The list goes on and on.


These 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success may sound counterintuitive until you practice them and live it in everyday life. All it takes is 1 small step to start the journey. Go and become a Go Giver!

The Go Giver—A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

the go giver book cover

Print | eBook | Audiobook

Book Summary

Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!