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Zig Ziglar – Biography by Will Edwards


Apparently, the law in Texas helps people who have bought motor vehicles and subsequently have repeated problems getting their vehicles properly repaired. They are said to have been ‘sold a lemon’; and rather refreshingly, the Texas Lemon Law means they are entitled to get their money back.

Well, as Zig Ziglar used to say, sometimes life hands you lemons and, when it does, you should make lemonade. What he means is not just to make the most of the situation, but to actually make use of the ‘lemon’ – whatever that is – to rise above the situation.

Zig Ziglar was born in Alabama in 1926 and died of pneumonia on November 28, 2012. He was given his famous nickname ‘Zig’ at elementary school which he attended in Mississippi during the 1930′s. His real name is Hilary Hinton Ziglar. He went to college in Jackson, Mississippi, and later to the University of South Carolina. Zig initially made his living as a salesman and, later, decided to become a professional motivational speaker. He would speak with a confident, Texan drawl (which I still remember fondly).

His best-selling book See You at the Top begins with the following words: ‘You can go where you want to go. You can do what you want to do. You can be what you want to be’. And surely, in those words is captured the very essence of why we are interested in the whole subject of personal development. We want to learn how it is possible to become what we want to become. We want to know how we can begin to do what we want to do. And we want to know how we can actually go to the places we want to go.

Zig always ended his sessions with the following words: ‘If you will do these things, then I will see you – and yes I do mean you – at the top’. This message almost always provoked a deafening accolade from his audience. You see Zig was a person who was easy to listen to; he seemed to just talk common sense and inwardly, we could all recognise that his message was basically correct. He espoused principles such as honesty, integrity and sheer hard-work and when you heard him speak, somehow you know that he was speaking from the heart. You seemed to know intuitively that Zig Ziglar was once where his audience is. He was once the person trying to figure out the way to the top and his words offer hope to those of us who are still trying to make the ascent. He seemed to be saying: ‘You can do it. There is room for you, too, at the top.’

Zig Ziglar’s company still has a client list that includes Fortune 500 Companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, schools and non-profit associations. In addition, Zig had written twenty two books on personal development, leadership, sales, faith, family and success, including See You at the TopRaising Positive Kids in a Negative WorldTop PerformanceCourtship After MarriageOver The Top and Secrets of Closing the Sale. Nine of his books have been best-sellers His books and tapes have been translated into over thirty-eight languages.

A while back, I saw Zig Ziglar on UK television. He was briefly interviewed for a reality show here called The Armstrongs. The program featured him and his team at his plush offices and I noticed on the wall behind his desk, the following quotation:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

– Romans 8: 28

Zig was a Christian and a believer in the applicability of Bible principles to the subject of achieving success in life in much the same way as was Norman Vincent Peale. In fact, I also understand that Dr Peale was a major influence on him.

Quotations by Zig Ziglar

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”

“This I do know beyond any reasonable doubt. Regardless of what you are doing, if you pump long enough, hard enough and enthusiastically enough, sooner or later the effort will bring forth the reward.”

The Best You

“The Best You” is a pioneering personal development company dedicated to helping individuals achieve their fullest potential. Founded by Bernardo Moya, the company offers a range of services including transformative events, educational programs, and a vibrant community platform. By providing access to leading experts, inspiring content, and practical tools, The Best You aims to empower people all around the globe.

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