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Go-Giver Dad

The buzz I’ve been hearing lately is all about being a go-giver. My thoughts naturally turn to my go-giver dad who taught me invaluable lessons about giving by the way he lived.

The neighborhood we moved into when I was about 10 was brand new. Many of the neighbors were buying for the same reason my parents did – the price was right, and the houses had a full, above-ground basement which could be finished off in the future, doubling the square footage and making room for growing families.

Over the years, neighbor helped neighbor with the framing, drywall, flooring, plumbing – and as I was in and out playing with the other kids, I heard snippets of conversation from the adults. I came to realize that many of the neighbors were relying on my dad’s knowledge to get the work done. Always asking his advice and always receiving his expert help. Especially when it came to the wiring. Local code required that only a licensed electrician could wire a house. Smart code considering how dangerous – shock, fire hazard, etc. – faulty wiring can be. My dad was an electrician by trade, so all the neighbors saved a ton of money they would have had to spend hiring someone to do the electrical work.

Now I have to admit that I noticed that my dad gave more than he received. I remember one neighbor helping my dad with those huge sheets of drywall – someone had to hold it in place to keep it aligned while the nails were driven in – but for the most part, Dad did our house alone. He worked on the house a little bit in the evenings and on the weekends when he wasn’t working overtime or working on someone else’s house. Gradually it all came together – my brother had a bedroom downstairs, a nice den held the pool table and the piano I practiced on for so many years. Dad put in an extra bathroom, built shelves and cabinets for mom’s laundry room, and, of course, he had a wonderful workshop.

Dad’s life lessons were given by example more than by what he said, but he did tell me that one of the neighbors tried to pay him for the new kitchen cabinets he built and installed for her. He refused and told her that she might not be able to repay him, but that she could go and do something for someone else. He had a way of looking at me when he wanted me to learn a lesson – I nodded my head and he nodded in return, satisfied I understood the significance of what he was saying. Help people just because you can. Give without expecting a reward.

But I saw the reward my dad received. A few years into all the home improvement, Dad decided to build a screened, back porch running the full length of the house. The day the concrete truck pulled up to pour the foundation, people came streaming from all over the neighborhood to help – three times as many as could possibly get in there to smooth concrete. I saw how much they wanted to return all the favors my dad had always done for them, and this was one time he had asked for help with something he couldn’t do alone. I also saw my dad’s reaction – he knew. He knew what they were giving – more than just smoothing concrete – and, as he graciously thanked them for coming, I saw them leave with a lighter, happier heart.

I was trying not to let anyone see my tears as I learned this even greater lesson from my dad that touched my heart. How did he do that? How did he make everyone feel so wonderful about themselves when most of them couldn’t even get at the concrete to help because of the crowd? My teenage mind knew that the half-hour of help they gave that day did not “pay back” my dad. But my dad never wanted to be paid back, did he? He wanted good neighbors raising good children to hang out with his own children. He wanted friends who would be there when he needed them. He got what he wanted.

Read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Man. While you’re reading, taking in its lessons and working on your plans to improve your success, think about my dad. Think about building a good business ‘neighborhood’ and creating relationships that build good business neighbors. Put your energy into giving, don’t worry about getting paid back – it will come back to you in all the ways that really count.

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28 Responses to Go-Giver Dad

  1. Hey Teresa,

    Thanks for the great post. When
    we give it puts us in such a good
    vibration, which becomes our point
    of attraction…

    Which then attracts good things into
    our life… Thanks for the great post!
    Eric Goldstein´s last blog ..Manifesting What You Want: A Process To Do It

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Hey, Eric! I’m still working on getting as good as my dad at giving, but I must be doing some things right – plenty of wonderful things have been attracted into my life! We’ll all just keep working on it together!

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  2. This is brilliant! The thing about being a go-giver is that the nature of receiving can crystallize in large ways, such as with your neighbors’ help for your dad. Those are the times that you are visibly able to grasp the depth of those relationships fostered by simply giving with the knowledge things will come back around.

    Of course, the bigger miracle is the one we’re able to feel over the course of weeks, months and years. It’s the spirit that produces “good neighbors raising good children to hang out with his own children” and the kind of friends he certainly grappled to his soul with hoops of steel (to borrow from Shakespeare). These are the kinds of fond memories that, long down the line, make remembering a half-hour of smoothing concrete far more worthwhile.

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks for your comment, Jason! It’s certainly something I’ll never forget!

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  3. I LOVE this story. There is nothing like witnessing the fruits of humility and genorosity first hand. What your Dad created, the network in your neighborhood is exactly what every successful business person needs to create. Thank you for the beautiful story and lesson. I have yet to read the book but I am even more excited now to get out and get it.

    ~Danielle Zack

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    Teresa Reply:

    Hi, Danielle! Thanks! It’s nice to know other people enjoyed the story. I cried most of the way through writing it because it still touches me so deeply.

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  4. Wow, Teresa. What a terrific article about a truly great human being!! Difficult to say anything more about it. You and your Dad both ROCK!!

    And, please know how much your very kind and gracious mention of John David Mann’s and my book is appreciated. I hesitate to even mention it here because I don’t want – in any way – to take the focus of your wonderful article (and your amazing Dad). However, it seems as though it would be rude of me not to say thank you and to let you know how appreciated you are.

    Bob

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    Teresa Reply:

    Hi, Bob! Thanks for stopping by – and a big thank you to you and John for writing such a wonderful book! Hope to hear from you again!

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  5. It’s great you can tell your story growing up in a way that can relate to everyone. I think this is a valuable lesson, the more we give, the more we receive and everyone benefits. Life is much more enjoyable seeing the success others achieve by reaching a helping hand hand! Can’t wait to read more of your posts.

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    One of the things I like most about the internet is that people can share inspiring stories like this with each other – as you say ‘everyone benefits.’

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  6. Teresa,
    Great “real-life” testimonial of the power of giving and the Law of Reciprocity. You are blessed that your father was able to teach you such valuable life lessons that when applied, even in the small things, can yield a huge return. Thank you for sharing transparently and intimately.

    Krista
    Krista Abbott´s last blog ..Social Media Management Tools: HootSuite

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Krista! I count myself very fortunate to have learned the things I did from my dad.

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  7. Teresa:

    Thanks so much for both sharing and exemplifying a “Go-Giver” life!

    It was also wonderful how you reached out and shared..”It Works!”

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Dr Linda Douglas´s last blog ..WHAT IS YOUR STORY and HOW WILL IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment, Linda. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Hey Teresa! Just as your eyes were welling up with tears when this was happening mine were welling while i was reading! If there is any lesson to be learned it is that it is greater to give than it is to receive and I genuinely believe that. If we all just took the time to invest in each other we would see that our lives would be better because we made someone elses better. God bless your dad and you as well because I know that you are applying the lessons that he taught and for that the world is a better place because the two of you are in it :) !!!
    Shekinah Russell begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting´s last blog ..YOU’RE FIRED! – Important Lessons I Learned From The Apprentice

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    Teresa Reply:

    Shekinah! Are you trying to get me started crying again!? Thanks for the sweet encouragement!

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  9. Teresa, this was an awesome post, if you always give without expecting anything in return you will feel so fulfilled and will also become blessed. This was great relating to your dad and the lessons that he taught you.
    Lori Robertson´s last blog ..How To Attract Prosperity Into Your Life

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    Teresa Reply:

    Hi, Lori! You’re so right – it is the best way to live a fulfilling life!

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  10. Teresa,

    This is such a beautifully written and wonderful post. If it were a book I wouldnt have been able to put it down. Your dad sounds like a wonderful warm-hearted man and I am so glad that you were able to learn such wonderful lessons from him.

    I love dads they are so humble and great. Being a go-giver is so easy to do, try to help others how ever little each and everyday.

    A very powerful message you share and I am so glad that you did.
    Thank you,
    Beth
    Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..The Simple Life

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    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Beth. A good point you make that we can be a go-giver ‘each and everyday.’

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  11. Teresa,

    Wow is all I can say. As a rather recent father, this post has even made me think of the impact that I will give my kids. Am I doing things that will have my daughter one day write something like this. Man you got me thinking. You hit home on this one Teresa.

    Thanks for the great post

    Corey
    Corey Ellis´s last blog ..MLM Secrets: How To Effectively Syndicate Your Blog Post And Gain More MLM Leads

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    Teresa Reply:

    That’s wonderful, Corey! It was my hope in writing this post that my dad’s example would inspire others like it has me. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Hey Teresa,

    I really enjoyed your post it gives a real life example of how when you give you recieve in abundance. Life really has a way of teaching these lessons.

    Great Post
    Evin Anderson

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Evin! So true – life will teach us all we need to learn if we are willing students.

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  13. That is so cool. What a great example. This is one lesson that I’ve learned in just a few short months. Thank you so much for the reminder…
    Nick Logan´s last undefined ..Response cached until Thu 18 @ 2:32 GMT (Refreshes in 23.93 Hours)

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    Teresa Reply:

    You’re welcome, Nick. I love those reminders I get, too.

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  14. Teresa,

    What an awesome post. Sounds like your father is a great man. Those are lessons you will never forget. I had the privilege of just completing the book Go Givers Sale More. What a great book. Thank You for sharing this story.

    Bill

    [Reply]

    Teresa Reply:

    Thanks, Bill! Glad you enjoyed the post! I haven’t had a chance to read that one. I’ll have to check it out!

    [Reply]

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