9 days after Zig Ziglar was born, he stopped breathing. Sadly, the doctor laid the lifeless body on the bed and then his grandmother held his body close and began whispering in his ear. Miraculously, he revived in her arms.
He was 5 when his father died and 2 days later, his baby sister died too. “Its not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”
He was raised The 10th out of 12 children by his widowed mother during the great depression.
At 7 he was already helping to support his family, by selling their vegetables and milk, his dream, was to be a navy pilot. When he was 20, he fell in love and married a woman called Jean. In order to support his new family, he quit school, abandoned his dream and sold pots and pans.
“Success is one thing you can’t pay for. You buy it on the instalment plan and make payments every day.”
Life as a salesman was unpredictable and so for years the couple struggled financially. Sometimes he could only afford a few gallons of gas, so wherever his car rolled to a stop is where he would start working door-to-door. He maintained a positive attitude about everything, he made promised to his wife about how good things were going to be.
“Your attitude not your aptitude will determine your altitude.”
Refusing to accept defeat, he decided instead to spread his message of positivity
He began travelling to churches, schools and clubs, sharing lessons about the power of positive thinking
Every night he wrote down all the great things he would accomplish the next day, when the company he worked for dissolved, he decided to sell the product he knew best: his own energy and optimism. He turned full-time motivational speaking, helping countless people achieve their dreams.
“You’ve got to be before you can do and do before you can have.”
When he read a positive article in the paper, he placed it in a folder called “Inspirational Stories” building a library of material to share in his seminars.
By 1975 he had written, “See you at the top” a book of his most inspiring thoughts and stories. It was rejected by 30 different publishers before it was finally printed. It has now sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
One of the worlds most trusted experts on motivation, he travelled over 5 million miles in his 40-year career, hosting seminars from all walks of life as well as advising Fortune 500 CEOS to US Presidents. Zig Ziglar passed away in 2012, two days after celebrating his 66th wedding anniversary. His message of hope and inspiration lives on. In his 30 books that have sold millions of copies and have been translated into more than 36 languages, his optimism and enthusiasm impacted more than 250 million people around the world and continues to inspire more every day.
“Failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar