I’m writing this on November 28 and I’m sad to say that a very inspiring and positive figure has passed away. Zig Ziglar passed away today at the age of 86. Many may not know of him, but for those who listened to him speak whether at conventions or on his many incredibly successful audiobooks, Zig Ziglar is, was and will likely be a for a long time – a legend. More than just a ‘motivational speaker’ (Ed. Am I the only one who hates that word), he created an empire that without a doubt positively affected millions to achieve their goals and become masters at what they do.
Carrying on the tradition set forth by the forefather of motivation/self-mastery, Napoleon Hill, Author of Think and Grow Rich, Mr. Ziglar was an author and a saleman. What he sold for most of his life, was not a tangible product- yes, he sold books, audiotapes, conventions in the same way as labels used to sell LPs, CDs, and tapes, what Zig truly sold was his personal brand and lots of really useful ideas. So Why does he matter for us in the music industry or those interested in a music or entertainment career? It can all be summarized by one word, which also happens to be the title of one of his most successful books – Goals.
To far too many, goals are some lofty untouchable aspiration and might as well be called something else- a hope, a dream. Mr. Ziglar’s work helped to bring not just goals, but salesmanship, attitude, and many more, to an easy to grasp level. With his down-home, country accent, Zig was a master at breaking the misunderstood idea of goals to an easily understood idea. His lessons (often through simple storytelling) allowed anyone with a pen, a pad, and a mind to achieve greatness, by simply writing down what they want to achieve on a regular basis and breaking down large goals into prioritized, measurable, achievable actions. Oftentimes, those who travel outside of conventional life paths run into roadblocks or obstacles, their lofty aspirations fall short – the talented artist winds up working at the coffee shop as a barista – his dream of being in the music industry not achieved. Many times the failures that appear in ones life are only turns in the path. To quote the late great Mr. Ziglar, “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”
Start setting goals today and see the difference it makes. Stop reading this blog now! Write 5 things you want to achieve in your lifetime. Write your own obituary- what do you want to be remembered for? It can be quite challenging but it is a very worthy and necessary practice if you want to begin to achieve. This is the first step – there are many more on the path to greatness, but Mr. Ziglar taught many that the first step on the path to greatness is writing clear goals. It is just the tip of the iceberg but so are the possibilities of greatness your life could reach.
If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.
He mattered because he represented personal responsibility and personal branding. He mattered because he was a master story teller and used humor as a means to get a bigger point across- such as integrity, faith in oneself, and achieving self-mastery. He mattered because he encourage people to achieve their goals, taught people how to do that. He also practiced what he preached- discipline, balance in life and work, and excellence. That’s why Zig Ziglar matters – not just to the music industry, but to the universe.
Let’s let the legendary speaker, author, and entrepreneur take it from here.