He was inspiring. He was smart. He was an encourager. He was a mentor to so many.
He – Zig Ziglar — was just a great guy.
Those where my thoughts when I heard the news that my friend Zig Ziglar had passed away earlier this week in a Plano, Texas hospital at the age of 86, after a bout with pneumonia.
Zig Ziglar believed in people and he taught others to do the same. In doing so, he helped so many people achieve their goals and dreams. He’s inspired me to do the same. I try to follow his lead and he’s one reason why I wanted to be a speaker, author, salesman and President/CEO.
In being those things, I’m able to help people figure out what they want in life. I’ve read so much about how Zig impacted people this week and I wanted to share a quick story with you from my personal experience.
The news of Zig’s death also reminded me of spending some time with him during a Dan Kennedy Info Summit in Los Angeles, Calif. in 2006. I think Zig was celebrating his 80th birthday and those of us lucky to be there got to wish him happy birthday.
Talking briefly with Zig and getting to meet him was a privilege. He grew up during the depression and that helped shape who he was. His mother was a hero of his because of the example she set for him.
Zig, like myself, believed that even in a bad economy you can thrive personally. You can have the car, house, vacation, life you want even when things seem bad out there. He was clear about controlling his “personal economy” and not getting too worked up about the national economy.
I heard him say that if you always worked hard, you could not only survive but thrive. Growing up, my parents weren’t rich but I was always taken care of. However, I wanted to chase the dream that Zig talked about so often. I wanted something bigger for my friends, family and myself. After college, I eventually figured out that I couldn’t chase my dreams working in a textiles factory forever. I read tons of books, many by Zig.
A decade after starting the Alliance, I’m living out some of my dreams … but I’m still dreaming bigger. That’s what Zig would want me to do and you too.
I look around Burlington, N.C. and I see a lot of people hurting. The paycheck factory jobs that used to be a given are hard to find these days. If I hadn’t started the Alliance I might have had to relocate away from the area I grew up in and love so much.
Zig Ziglar was big on motivating yourself and those around you. Can you get people to move? If you can, like Zig talked about, you can live a great life … and you can do it just about anywhere you want. That’s what makes the Alliance so special. You can be successful all over the United States.
“Don’t wait to get inspired,” Zig once said. “You have to manufacture your own inspiration and motivation.”
Association. Reading. Working. Listening. Doing what others are not willing to do.
Things like that helped Zig Ziglar inspire millions of people in his lifetime.
Zig was a mentor to people he never even met. Everybody needs a Zig Ziglar to serve as their inspiration. He also believed that once you found success, you had to find a way to duplicate it over and over. Remember the motivation that got you to here and keep pushing.
As a young salesman, Zig found a mentor and hero in his boss where he sold cookware. Zig was almost late to a meeting and his boss told him he was wasting his talent. His boss told him he should be a champion salesman with the talent he possessed.
Zig had never been told he could do it before. He heard it from somebody he respected and he never looked back. He skyrocketed up the company leaderboard and was No. 2 out of 7,000 salespeople. He did because somebody encouraged him!
I’ve seen it over and over. Skills only take you so far. Your confidence level has to line up too. If that’s not where you are at, change something now! If you don’t have a mentor, find one.
Get to one of our War Parties and get around the fire. Get signed up for National Convention in January. Expose yourself to somebody that has reached a level you want to get to. Look them in the eye, talk to them, listen to them, find out what makes them click.
Being able to shake Zig Ziglar’s hand six years ago is something I’ll never forget. He’s had a big impact on my life and I’m glad I had the chance to meet him.
Zig’s faith in himself and others is a lesson that I emulate today. If you liked Zig, follow his lead. Help somebody find the right mindset to be successful. Be willing to help somebody else and take advice from a person you respect.
That’s what I’m going to do.