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February 11, 2009

I just finished reading what is now one of my all-time favorite books.

The title of the book is The Go-Giver, written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This parable about a salesman named Joe, who wants to succeed in a big way, realizes that he is not doing as well as he wishes. In a moment of desperation, he asks a colleague for the name of a man who he thinks may help him.

When Joe meets with the man, nicknamed The Chairman, he is in for a big surprise. Over the course of a week, he learns a different lesson every day. He commits to practicing each lesson at least once each day.

Here are the five lessons, also known as the Five 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

• The Law of Compensation
Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them

• The Law of Influence
Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first

• The Law of Authenticity
The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself

• The Law of Receptivity
The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving

In practice, these five lessons changed Joe’s life. I won’t tell you how the book ends, because I highly recommend that everyone reads it for themselves, but I can say that the ending was much better than I ever expected.

Now that I have read the book, I am pondering how I can apply it to growing business at the Comic Zone. My partners and I are already brainstorming ways that we can add value to every sale. We are offering some great deals on Valentine’s Day as well as a super deal on Presidents’ Day, 44% off all back issues! We give away free stuff. We have an email list and we offer specials to these, our preferred customers.

We pride ourselves in serving our customers, helping them to find anything they are looking for. We also check out many sources as we seek to find requests that are not in the store. We had one customer who told us she was delightedly surprised at our customer service and will come to us for all of her comic book needs. We have another couple who drive across town for us because of how we treat them. To us, our customers DO come first. They are our reason for being in business. Of course we want to do all we can to make them happy, so we listen to them. In exchange, we are building a loyal customer base.

Our next challenge is to discover how to reach more people, so that more people can experience what we have to offer, and in return, we can continue to grow and serve even more.

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