A Tribute to American Legend Zig Ziglar (1926 -2012)
On Thanksgiving Day, Zig Ziglar’s son and I were set to leave on a five-city tour in Australia and were texting some last minute details when he said: “Dad is not doing well, looks like we are headed to the emergency room.” My heart sunk.
At that time we did not know how serious it was, but it was serious enough for Tom to stay behind. He sent me on down under by myself, which was OK because I do most of the teaching anyway. Tom insisted that it would be the best way to honor Zig’s legacy and I agreed. Each morning and night I would check my e-mail to see how he was doing. And on November 28, the sad news finally came.
The first time I met Zig, there were 20,000 people packed inside the Toyota Center in Houston. I got to talk to him for awhile, but little did I know that someday he would speak at my conference and I would be featured in the last chapter of his last book and become Ziglar’s first ever small business coach. Little did I know that Tom Ziglar and I would travel the world together sharing Zig’s philosophy, helping business owners improve their businesses and lives.
Zig Ziglar was recognized as the greatest, most encouraging, inspirational motivational speaker and teacher of our time. He made it through his life without scandal. He finished the race, and he finished it strong.
Zig was true to his message. He was the same man backstage as he was on stage. He did right by his country, his family and his business associates. He was the real deal. Zig was a rare individual indeed. He loved people and he loved seeing them grow. That was his passion.
So, what does this have to do with record sales and profits?
In the past two installments of this series, I shared that there are three things that will determine whether you have record sales and profits or not:
Your mindset: How you think about money, success and the possibilities.
Your skill: What you know and understand about business skills.
Your habits: What you actually do with those skills.
In the first installment, I talked about how you think about money and success. The biggest lesson I learned from Zig Ziglar is that your own self image determines what you do and don’t do.
Zig said: “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”
If you accept that, you will then begin to work on your skill level. If I don’t believe I can do a certain thing, I won’t even try to work on my skill because there is no belief that it will do any good. But if I see myself reaching a goal, I can then begin to work on my skill.
Finally it’s your habits. Zig’s last book is called Born To Win. The thesis of this book is that “man is designed for success, engineered for accomplishment and endowed with the seeds of greatness - you were born to win, but to be the winner you were born to be, you must plan to win and prepare to win. Then, and only then, can you expect to win - if you plan to win and prepare to win, you can expect to win!”
Zig goes on to say in Born To Win: “If you want to become the winner you were born to be, it’s going to take changing your daily actions until they become a habit.”
In Chapter 2 he quotes Frank Outlaw:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words
Watch your words; they become actions
Watch your actions; they become habits
Watch your habits; they become your character
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny!”
Your success, your destiny starts with what goes into your mind. It ends with what you actually do each day. It starts with knowing you were born a winner and that you can build the business you desire. And speaking of desire, it all starts there. People asked Zig “If everyone can be great, why isn’t everyone great?” His answer: “Because not everyone wants to be great.” You must have desire. You must have a vision.
Then you must take that vision and plan and prepare. You must practice. You must learn the skill and flesh it out every day. In the end, it will be worth it. Why? To quote Zig once more: “It’s not what you get when you reach your goals, it’s what you become as you reach your goals.” If you don’t know Zig’s philosophies, I recommend you pick up some of his books. You’ll be glad you did.
Congratulations Zig! You’ve done “better than good!” You finished the race. You inspired millions. You demonstrated for all of us how to win in business and in life. We will carry on your legacy with respect and honor sir! We will always love you.