Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, Zig Ziglar.
You may or may not know that name. You may have heard the name and never really knew anything about the man or the message he shared over the 40+ years he was sharing it. I hope I can help answer both of those questions as I tell you my Zig story. You may have heard he is a sales trainer, a self-help author, a goals trainer, an attitude changer, and positive attitude evangelist. All those descriptions are accurate but not complete when considered individually.
He teaches the most important part of the sales process is the salesperson. He teaches you cannot hit a goal you do not have. He teaches most of us suffer from stinkin’ thinkin’ and need a checkup from the neck up, to prevent hardening of the attitudes. He does teach and encourage positive thinking and this quote sums up what it can and cannot do.
“Positive thinking won’t let you do anything. But it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
I could continue but hope you get the point I am trying to communicate here. He was not a one-dimensional speaker, writer, teacher and motivator. In fact, the mission of the Zig Ziglar Corporation when he was running it was “to be the difference maker in the personal, family and business lives of enough people to make a positive difference in America and the world”. He achieved that mission. It is estimated his message has impacted more than 250 million people around the world, so far. I am one of the 250 million.
My first memory of Zig Ziglar was on a radio commercial when I was living in Birmingham in the late 1980’s. I still remember it almost 30 years later.
“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.
That made a lot of sense to me. In the computer industry, we call that GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out. So why not put Good In and get Good Out? That statement along with the accent and twang in his voice intrigued me. Little did I know at the time Zig was born in Coffee County where I grew up. I didn’t get to see him in Birmingham but that could have been one of the Birmingham visits he talks about in his “Birmingham Lady” story.
Fast forward a couple of years and on November 12, 1991, I did get to see him in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event was at the Excelsior Hotel where he presented his “Qualities of Success” seminar, complete with an overhead projector. After this three and a half hour presentation, I was hooked.
The common sense principles he shared and the way he shared them, enthusiastically with his homespun humor and flair, really connected with me. This is how Zig often described his presentation and writing style.
His unique method of delivery makes the subject matter memorable and is what helped him earn the reputation as The Master Motivator. What I experienced that evening was the appetizer that whet my appetite to learn more. I devoured See You At The Top reliving the presentation as I read. Over the next few months and years, I picked up his cassette tapes and started attending Automobile University, listening whenever I could to absorb these principles until they became ingrained as part of my own mindset.
See You At The Top, is the most important book I have ever read outside of the Bible. It is hard to explain the effect it had on me at the age of 29 but maybe this anecdote will help you understand.
From user to cold turkey
Prior to November 12, 1991, I was a regular user, a user of the pink stuff, Pepto Bismol. I often had what I would call a nervous stomach and Pepto Bismol was my go-to cure. However, I was only treating the symptoms. After November 12, 1991, I stopped using cold turkey for the psychological symptoms of a nervous stomach. I had found my cure. I was much more self-confident and the worries that once upset my stomach had disappeared for good. Zig Ziglar became my life mentor that night. What I gained from this Zig immersion was peace of mind with a hope that tomorrow will be better than today and it was up to me to make it so.
Peace of Mind
Don’t get me wrong. I still worry about things from time to time – I am human – but I don’t worry myself sick as I often did pre-Zig. Having peace of mind doesn’t mean I have all the answers or even know all of the questions but it is one of the things we all want and does help me sleep well at night. It is one of those things in life money cannot buy and if you have it you will not sell. You can, however, share how you found it and that is what I am doing here.
Favorite Ziq Quote
My favorite Zig quote is, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
The reason I unapologetically share his quotes and books in my social media feeds is the hope someone else will discover this American treasure and find their own peace of mind and hope and get what they want. The principles he teaches are timeless even if the stories, over time, become dated. And, no, you do not have to be in sales to benefit from Zig’s message. I was a computer programmer when we first met and am still in that field today working as an IT Project Manager. If you don’t believe sales training can benefit you in whatever your vocation happens to be you need to rethink that false assumption. My hope is you will soon consider yourself one of the 250 million+ too.
Until next time…
Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 1/22/18.
P.S. The quickest and least expensive (FREE) way to learn more about Zig is to go to Ziglar.com and sign up for the newsletter and get the 5 Free Life-Changing Tools they are giving away. One of these is an MP3 download called “Biscuits, Fleas and Pump Handles“ which is the original name for See You At The Top. This only lasts about an hour or so but will give you a taste of Zig to see if you want to learn more and it does include one of my favorite jokes about when he first kissed his wife.