Bob Goff is truly one of the most amazing people we have ever had the pleasure to speak with. The author, speaker, and attorney is nothing less than an inspiration to all. Because of his work at Restore International (now known as Love Does), a nonprofit human rights organization that he founded, Bob serves as the Hon. Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States. To add to his impressive careers, Bob is a New York Times Best-Selling author as well as an adjunct professor at both Pepperdine Law School and Point Loma Nazarene University.
Bob grew up in the Bay Area with a terrific family and was always full of energy and an adventurous person. Growing up, he was the kid that didn’t fit in that well even though this became helpful later in life. He was trying to figure out not only himself, but everyone else around him at that time. By college, Bob had found his pace and truly learned about himself.
Are you ready to be even more impressed? Here’s what Bob has to say below:
1. Tell us a little bit about life growing up? (Family, career goals, etc.)
Growing up in the Bay Area with a terrific family, I was always full of energy and adventurous, and I found my pace by college. Growing up before then was me just trying to be a kid. I didn’t fit in that well and that ended up being helpful later. I was trying to figure out myself and everyone around me.
I was a leader in college. I wanted to go on staff but when I asked they said no. Later I saw how much they were spending and I said what if I do all of your law stuff for free. I was just trying to help. They rejected me again. Don’t give up from NO, I got so used to people not understanding me. Constantly misunderstood. Love people extravagantly. If something goes right it’s a big winner and vice versa. Some things will work some won’t.
2. After achieving so much in several different areas, who or what has been your greatest motivation?
I’m a Jesus guy. Give people your time. There’s something beautiful about availability. People who have changed the world were always available. Start small and then double it. They see what’s possible. God sees that and will appreciate it.
3. People define leadership in many different ways. How would you define this quality in a person?
You want to figure out who you will influence and they will see who you are. People follow availability. They don’t follow vision. The gap between is usually our pride. You think too much of yourself and you need to consider others. Accept people and don’t try to manipulate them. Answer your phone.
4. What influenced you to start Restore International?
Nobody would have me, so I couldn’t help out. It was good judgment on their part, but I decided I was just going to start something on my own. Starting schools around the world was what I wanted to do to help. If it’s your own thing, you get to decide what to do, which is the beauty of it.
5. Where would you like to see Restore International go from here?
We got almost 1,000 kids in chairs, food, housing, clothing, etc. A million sounds good to me. I don’t want to be organized – I want to be effective. You can be both, but some folks get stuck just getting organized and forget about what they sought out to do.
6. You have achieved so much for others while establishing yourself around the world. What are some ways people can get involved in their community?
Start a parade – do it on your block. Love your neighbor. It actually does mean ‘love your neighbor’. It’s not a metaphor. It’s a leap for some people. Introduce yourself, make them some banana bread – just do something small to help your neighbors. An attitude of kindness towards people, not trying to be right, but being humble will go a long way. Pick both. Love people, show commitment and sacrifice.
7. Love Does inspires people to live life to the fullest and shows the world Christ in the best possible way. Can you give us some examples in your book how you let Jesus’ light shine towards others?
I think that all the stories that aren’t in the book. We don’t need to make a hoodie for everything we do for God. We are going to have this conversation. How did you pick where you put the waterfalls for Yosemite. Hungry, thirsty, sick, strange, naked, people in jail. What I’m trying to do is fill my days with that. Instead of agreeing with all of it, just do some of it. Pick for yourself, literally pick one a day. Do that stuff and don’t tell anyone, have something to talk to Jesus about.
8. What were some of the challenges you faced while writing Love Does?
The biggest challenge in writing is spelling. Spell check is no help.
9. Has public speaking always come naturally to you?
It came natural to me. If it was about why gravity works etc. I would have to memorize and I would stink at that. If it’s just talking to people about love, God, and people serving, if you aren’t afraid of talking about your failures, then you will be an expert. Legal training may have helped. It’s about being available to one another.
10. What is your all time favorite quote that has had an impact on your life?
There’s a lot of people that have guided me in a way to approach life. It is people that have been humble that don’t think they are a big deal. I don’t quote other people. I will write down 60 emails a day of things that are true and will go back and say is it actually true. I will go through them again. Same with scripture. Everything I think about is in the scripture. I can find out whether they are true or not. Do nice things and be kind to people.