Zig Ziglar – Five Lessons I Learned from the Late Legendary Leader

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

When I started out in sales things were tough. I had lots of people saying no and I really didn’t know what I was doing.

It was hard to stay motivated in the face of rejection and keep working at developing my skills. Zig Ziglar helped me keep focused, keep motivated, and keep on track.

Since then I’ve learned there are A LOT easier ways to sell stuff than face to face sales, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed. And that is the focus of helping others get what they want so that I can achieve what I want. I learned this lesson (and many others) from Mr. Ziglar.

When I found out he passed away a week ago last November at age 86, I felt a deep sense of loss. I didn’t know Zig personally, but his influence was greatly felt in my life and in the lives of many of the successful people I know.

Here are some of the lessons I learned from him:

#1. Success comes when you are part of a community and treat other’s right.

One of the things that I learned early on in business is that Karma can really bite you in the butt. It is ALWAYS worth treating others with integrity and honesty in your life. This includes your customers, your associates, your partners, and your employees. If you don’t practice integrity and honesty you risk losing your reputation.

“Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.” – Zig Ziglar

But when treating people with honesty and integrity it makes you stand out and you’ll get a reputation as the “go to” person in your industry.  People will trust you, and that is priceless.

One of the best ways to build trust online is through email marketing. By developing a relationship with your email list, you will find that you make more sales and have a whole lot more fun in the process.

#2. Your attitude does make a difference.

I’m not a big “feel happy no matter what” type of person. I don’t believe you can wish your way to success. In my experience, it takes a lot of hard work and stick-to-it-ive-ness.

But a good attitude along with the hard work is vital to get to the success you want.

“You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.” –Zig Ziglar

Studies have shown again and again that it is not ability or intelligence that makes someone successful.

It’s something they call grit. Grit, or the ability to stick with something when the going gets tough or just boring is a big part of success. And having grit requires a good attitude.  You have to believe in yourself AND understand the road ahead may be hard and still be willing to push through.

#3. Customer service counts.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in, you need to make sure you take care of your customers. They are your biggest promoters and evangelists, and can also be your biggest detractors.

This is especially true on the internet where people can reach 100s if not 1000s of their friends in seconds. You must, without a shadow of a doubt, always take care of your customers.

“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” – Zig Ziglar

So, if you have a customer complaint, take it seriously and do whatever it takes to resolve it.

My friend Sarah used to run a retail store and she would say “My policy is to never let a customer complaint go to corporate. I always take care of them at the store level.”  Her business thrived because of it and she became one of the top producers in the company.

It all comes back to the first point -treat people like they want to be treated. Help them get what they want, and you will be rewarded.

#4. It’s a good thing to have money.

Sometimes people think that money is something that is not super important. Or that they can live without it.

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” – Zig Ziglar

Well… I’ve had money and not had money and having money is far better. It makes life a lot easier and a whole lot more fun.  And, of course, the best way to get money is to help people get what THEY want. J

#5. Your results are a direct result of how you view yourself.

This one took me a while to understand. But it is SOOOOO true. How you see yourself is exactly how you’ll live your life. If you believe that you can make money and run a profitable business then you will find a way to make it happen. If you don’t, then you won’t.

“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” – Zig Ziglar

But there is a curious thing here. It’s a secret that most people don’t know. You can gain the belief by “faking it till you make it.”

If you want to be successful in business, in relationships, or in any other area of life find the most successful people that you can in those areas and then watch what they do and start doing those things.

As you take actions that make you successful you will start to believe you can be. It’s really remarkable how it works.

When I worked with Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby at Early to Rise (a division of Agora Publishing) I had the privilege of working with some of the most brilliant minds in the marketing business, and I learned step-by-step what it takes to succeed in online marketing. Every success I had made me even more confident of my success.

Doing often creates new beliefs, so if you are shaky get out there and DO.

Zig Ziglar was an incredibly successful businessman and he did it in all the right ways. He left a legacy that I’ll follow for the rest of my life, and I hope you will too.

Join the conversation and let me know how Zig Ziglar impacted your life.  Share a lesson learned from Zig Ziglar below, and please share this post if you know others whose lives were touched by Zig.

Updated: See our 5 Lessons Learned from the Great Zig Ziglar – Infographic here.

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