My views on life, love , career and…well just about everything.

Motivational speaker, Alabama native Zig Ziglar dies at age 86

Motivational speaker, Alabama native Zig Ziglar dies at age 86

Nov 29, 2012

Associated Press DALLAS, Texas — Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who wrote more than 30 books on living a balanced life, has died in Texas. He was 86.

Ziglar, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died today at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Plano, said his personal assistant, Jay Hellwig.

With an aim at helping people achieve success in their careers and personal lives, in addition to a focus on Christianity, Ziglar was a prolific speaker who appeared at events alongside world leaders including several U.S. presidents and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Mr. Ziglar was the same guy behind the closed doors as he was preparing for his presentations to thousands of people that he was when we were sitting at the kitchen table and he was reading the newspaper," Hellwig said.

Ziglar started his fulltime career in motivational speaking when he was in his 40s. His first book, "See You at the Top," was published in 1975, when he was 49.

Ziglar was born Nov. 6, 1926, in Coffee County, Alabama, the 10th of 12 children, The Washington Times reported. His father died when Zig was 5 years old; at age 6, the first-grade student began selling peanuts on the streets of Yazoo City, Miss.

"He got saved at the age of 42, which means that he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior," Hellwig said. "Ever since that day is what he said was the turning point of his life. The last 41 years of his life he lived fully with that as his mission."

"He also had the uncanny ability to make everyone he ran into feel like they were his friend," Hellwig said.

Ziglar was a World War II veteran who went on to work in sales for a series of companies, where his interest in motivational speaking grew, according to his Plano-based company’s website. Hellwig said Ziglar moved to Dallas in the late 1960s.

Ziglar’s company, which features more than a dozen speakers advocating the "Ziglar Way," offers motivation and performance training.

His book, "Confessions of a Grieving Christian," was written after the 1995 death of his oldest daughter, Suzan, at the age of 46.

After a 2007 fall down a flight of stairs left him with a brain injury, Ziglar, along with another daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, wrote "Embrace the Struggle," a book that described how his life changed after the injury.

In addition to his daughter, Ziglar is survived by his wife Jean, with whom he celebrated 66 years of marriage on Monday; his son, Tom Ziglar; and daughter Cindy Oates.

We Are Afraid Of FEAR!

We Are Afraid Of FEAR!

Nov 26, 2012

Our worst fears have been realized. Barrack Hussein Obama has been re-elected to a second term. The demise of our country is at hand. The sky is falling. Gotterdammerung. Armageddon. Revelation.                             We should all move to………………….. WHERE?


Never in my life have I heard more idiotic drivel from the right wing press and out in the marketplace. Grown men and women saying things like, “ Our country can’t survive another four years of this!” This what? What exactly is THIS?

THIS – the inevitable collapse of an artificially enhanced and vastly overpriced real estate market.

THIS – changes in business driven by disruptive technologies that have radically altered consumer buying patterns.

THIS – a commercial lending environment that is less fluid in reaction to consolidation and failures caused by the real estate meltdown.

THIS (probably the biggest THIS of all) a climate where business owners and managers put off making critical business decisions because “They don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“I don’t KNOW what’s going to happen.”  Let’s think about that sentence. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Of course you don’t. Nobody KNOWS what will happen in the future. We never did and we never will.

“I am afraid things will get worse.” When change is happening all around you, if you don’t adjust, most likely your circumstances won’t improve.

I am just going to say this OUT LOUD because somebody needs to: The biggest thing that has damaged our economy is FEAR!

We have allowed ourselves to be frightened into a state of near torpor by politics and the news media. “ Business is bad…nobody is doing anything.” I hear that about a hundred times a day. Think about that statement… If NOBODY is doing ANYTHING……..OF COURSE BUSINESS IS BAD! Business is about DOING THINGS!

Look around you…the businesses that are prospering are the ones that embrace change and the new technologies and marketplaces. The businesses that ARE doing well (and they are out there) are the ones that are fueled by a  brightly burning conviction that they have something better to offer in the marketplace. One of the great disservices done by the media is a failure to showcase businesses that are prospering. I don’t really blame the media for this. Like government , we get the news that we ask for. Stories about spectacular business failures are easier to write and get more attention. So how do you find those businesses that are growing and doing well? Look around you.

Who owns the channel?

I heard someone the other day ask…”The fiscal cliff…what is that? All I know about it is what people are saying on Facebook.” It would be easy to be dismissive about a comment like that and relegate that person to the ranks of the uninformed and ignorant but I know this to not be true. How many of my right wing conservative friends only know about the cliff from Rush Limbaugh or Todd Schnitt? What’s the difference between getting your info from Rush or Facebook? Rush has an obvious agenda and he makes a living by promoting that agenda. Facebook……not so much.

The fact is that people listen to things that are important to them. They listen in the places that they trust and to the people they trust. How do you get people to understand that something IS important? You tell them why in ways that are meaningful to them.

During the first Reagan campaign , the Democrats were pushing their philosophy for raising taxes on the wealthy or “soak the rich”. (This is not a new idea) Reagan explained why that was a bad idea very simply. He said, “Have you ever gotten a job from a poor person?” You don’t beat on the people who succeed because they are the ones who fuel the engine. If you beat them down and punish them, they quit  hiring people. If you beat on them enough they leave…ala Great Britain. Reagan was able to make a compelling case very simply…in a way that was meaningful to everybody. He did this in the place where the majority of people spent their time and got most of their information in the 80s , ON TELEVISION.

Today the channels have changed. Facebook is a place where lots of people spend their time and get information they trust. Twitter is where breaking news is released. The major television networks now report stories based on Tweets and blog posts!

During the recent campaign , I watched what both campaigns were doing in the social media arena. From the Republican side , it was lackluster at best with only sporadic messages . The Democrats had a much more comprehensive strategy. To paraphrase someone else , “Obama OWNED social media!”.

In 1980 , the average American watched about 6 hours of television per day. In 2012 that number is much smaller , around 4 with younger Americans watching even less.

If you are going to talk to me , you have to be where I am. If you don’t come to me , you obviously don’t care if I am listening.

Remember Romney’s 47 percent remark? Perhaps that really did sum up a philosophy. There is a saying in the business world , “I want to do business with someone who wants to do business with me. Someone who shows they really WANT my business.” Mitt Romney , the self proclaimed “businessman” may have forgotten a fundamental business principle.

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

Nov 10, 2012

Dwight Eisenhower ~ “No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.”


I was involved in a bid process a few years ago. It was my first big one. The similarities to a services bid and an election are many. In the end , we lost the bid. Why…..not because the customer was stupid? A lot of my colleagues felt that was the case…. NO we failed to make a compelling case. One of my colleagues felt that the customer was biased toward the incumbent….and he was right…..and we knew this going in. We failed to make a dramatically compelling case for dumping the incumbent and going with us. Sound familiar? Did we have the best product…absolutely…..did we FAIL to explain that to the customer in terms that were meaningful to him..ABSOLUTELY!

I went on to win several more bids in my career with that company. As a matter of fact, I never lost again. I learned a lot from doing all those bids but I learned a whole lot more from losing that first one….vastly more.

Is there a lesson to be learned from the election for Mitt Romney and the Republicans? Without a doubt there is but the bigger lesson is really for the whole country..the rest of us. The Romney campaign failed to make a compelling case and to explain that case in terms that were meaningful to the majority of the people. Regardless of the relative merits of the product itself, if you can’t explain to the customer why they need it and make a compelling case for them buying it in terms that are meaningful to them…you will lose! In a court of law who wins? The side that is right? NO…the winner is the one that makes the most compelling case.

Gene Chizik of Auburn is in danger of losing his job…not because he did something illegal or immoral but because he LOST. In sales , the ones who figure out how to win reap the spoils , the ones who don’t go to the back of the unemployment line. Which one would you hire? Gene Chizik or Nick Saban? Would you hire the salesman who consistently outperforms everyone else or the one who doesn’t? Me personally…I want the winner. If you can’t figure out how to win , chances are there will be some other things you won’t be able to figure out down the road.