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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Give, Give and Give Again

Host Hattie Bryant explains that Marc Katz's heart is bigger than his corned beef sandwiches.

Key Question:


Marc gave us this quote that we have tried to make famous, "I keep what I have by giving it away."

Q: How can we make money if we give everything away for free?

Good question! There are hundreds of churches and other non-profit organizations that raise money or collect goods and then give them to people in need. This is not Marc's business model. What he is saying is that he has learned in life that when he gives, it comes back to him. The people or the charity he gives to end up circling back to do business with him. Sometimes, someone connected to someone Marc donated to comes to him to do business.

Marc also said he is a big plagiarizer. This means he steals ideas and he doesn't steal ideas from small business, he steals them from big business. His lifetime guarantee idea came from the idea of the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval."

His strong commitment to charities comes from studying big foundations. He reminds us that people who run big businesses are, "not stupid." Big businesses establish foundations and other programs to assist those in need because it always pays to be nice.

Other business owners we know who subscribe to this strategy talk about it as the way they launched themselves in business.

Q:  Why is volunteering to work with a non-profit organization good for the soul and also such a good marketing technique?

Albert Black is founder of On Target Supplies and Logistics. His passion is community service and by accident he found this to be his best marketing strategy. Albert gives of himself because he loves people and love life. Yet, when you want to sell something, it is difficult to know who actually has the checkbook!

When you work on a good cause, you will meet people who will often tell you who they know and who might possibly be your next customers. Albert worked with the Chamber of Commerce and when he received an award for service, John Castle was present at the event. Today, John Castle is on Albert's board. John also leads EDS, one of the country's largest companies, and as you might guess, EDS is now one of Albert's customers, too.

Think about it

What have you given in the past? What can you give? What should you give?

Clip from: Katz's Deli & Bar

Austin, Texas: A New York deli in Texas... now that's a concept! Meet the man who believes corned beef is a food group of its own and whose mission has brought more than great eating to the music scene on 6th Street at Rio Grande.
Known around town as the unofficial Mayor of Austin, fifth generation kosher butcher Marc Katz, brought his family recipes from New York City and says his deli in Austin serves the best sandwich west of the Hudson River.  Marc tells us that he copies the best practices of the companies he admires and this led him to the insight, "You only get to keep what you give away."
Learn how this one-man-marketing band rings up millions in revenues from one location that brims with excitement. He has declared  "...fat is back" and added a milkshake to his menu that he calls "a heart attack in a glass." He warns, "You should not operate a vehicle under the influence of this milkshake."

Katz's Deli & Bar

Marc Katz, CEO & founder

Katz's Never Kloses, But Did
Once located at 618 West 6th St. at Rio Grande
Austin, TX 78701


Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Give, Give and Give Again

HATTIE: (echoing back, thinking about what Marc just said) ...keep what you have by giving it away.

MARC: it away. No question. That's the source of growth for this company.

HATTIE: All right, do you think that too many business owners are stingy, selfish, scared, close to the vest?

MARC: Small business. I see that with small business. I really have very few original thoughts. I'm one of the greatest plagiarizers I know.

HATTIE: Is that right?

MARC: And I see what the big companies do. And, for example, I see here in town Dell, or I see IBM or McDonald's. I see how wonderful they are to the community.

I see Motorola. I see how wonderful they are to the community. I see Merrill Lynch. They're giving it away. They're not giving it away because they're stupid. They're not giving it away because they have too much. They're giving it away because it's good business. And everybody benefits. Who receives benefits? I benefit. Everybody benefits.

HATTIE: So give them a piece of advice. What are some ideas that they need to move on, go forward on, try?

MARC: My basic--where I start from is, if I had a choice to eat with a friend or eat with a stranger, I'm going to eat with a friend. I try to be that friend. And a friend can't be false. Friend by definition is somebody who's sincere. If there's something I really like, and I really find the need for, I get involved in it. And I have this company give and give and give in every way we possibly can. And it comes back to me, not immediately, but eventually it comes back to me.

In the Studio

HATTIE: Marc says you keep what you have by giving it away. All of us expect to earn profits from our businesses, and to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We may think, too, that the bottom line is managed by increasing sales and by controlling costs. But that is only partly true. When we're small, we're usually afraid to be generous, because we need every penny to fund our growth. Marc says his commitment to charities has taught him giving pays.

He points out that he does not model himself as much after the small-business owners his size, but after big business. Why do you think big corporations have foundations and give millions away through many programs, from matching employee donations to paying for the T-shirts worn by Little Leaguers? The mayor of Austin says he cannot imagine Austin without the involvement of Marc Katz in the community.

Marc has organized fund-raising benefits that have helped to raise thousands of dollars for a variety of community organizations, such as the Hospice Austin, KUT Public Radio, Pediatric AIDS League, Diverse Arts and more. Want your business to grow? Find ways to give yourself and your services away. Take action to be a catalyst for good. As Marc says, you keep what you have by giving it away.

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