As a ten day old baby he was placed on his mother’s stomach by a doctor who told her that her boy was dead. That was in Coffee County, Alabama in November of 1926. He was buried in McKinney, Texas, mourned by too many to count as he had touched millions of lives. The year was 2012. You see, at the moment he was said to ‘be no more’, his grandmother picked him up, prayed and pleaded with her God for his life. The boy survived.
What is truly powerful is what that boy did with his life, the ‘dash’, between his birth and his death; Nov. 6, 1926 – Nov. 28, 2012.
His father moved the family to Mississippi when the boy was five and at the age of six his father died of a stroke. Just days later, his younger sister died. He was too young – at that time – to work but he did watch how his mother did everything necessary to raise her remaining 11 children. As he watched, her deep faith was quite apparent and had a significant impact on him.
He served in the Navy during World War II and then attended the University of South Carolina. During that time got married, began a family and started his career in sales.
A successful salesman, he worked for several companies, finally ending up in Dallas. At one point he was to be the announcer at a motivational seminar. The speaker was a no show and he found himself filling that role. Not only was that a role he never relinquished – it was his calling. He had a distinct Southern drawl. He was charming with a ‘down home’ common-sense approach to life and business. He was one of the most sought after and influential speakers for decades. He also found the time to author over a dozen books – nine of which became best-sellers.
These accomplishments are truly impressive and unique, yet they are not what makes him a fearless brand…it is because he is a fearless brand that Zig Ziglar was so successful and influential.
Fearless Brands are true to their principles and beliefs.
Zig had come to be a man of extreme faith and devout in his Christianity. Throughout his life he was a man of character and integrity. Perhaps the best way to illustrate how Zig lived is to give some insight into his sixty-six year marriage to the woman he so lovingly referred to as ‘the Redhead’.
He was very open and clear about his devotion to her even refusing to ever be alone with another woman. “In marriage, the husband must always take care of the girl, his wife,” Zig said, “and treat her like what she is, the most important person in this man’s life.” Regardless of his travels he spoke to his wife every day. He made a point to mention her in every single one of his talks. For her part Jean – the Redhead – was a key component of his success through her belief in him, her encouragement and support.
Zig believed strongly in the power of positive thinking – and positive actions. The list of his book titles even read like a motivational speech – beginning with his first book – See You at the Top – and continuing through his final book – Born to Win: Find Your Success Code (which he co-authored with his son Tom). He developed the “I Can” course which delivers the ABC’s of life – Attitude, Behavior, Character.
His messages by themselves are not enough to make Zig a fearless brand. That distinction is because of the man himself. His humor, his genuine love of people and of course his distinctly unique voice all combine to truly make him a one-of-a-kind. Bob Burg, the co-author of The Go-Giver, prides himself on his impersonation of Zig’s voice. Walking through an airport years ago Bob heard another Zig ‘wanna be’ talking on the phone and thought how much better his own version was. Turns out it was none other than the man himself, Zig Ziglar. There is only one Zig.
There are too many lessons to be learned from Zig for me to summarize here. What we can learn about branding from him here is this – to be a fearless brand be yourself and be true to your beliefs and your principles. There is no other Zig Ziglar – and there never will be. Hundreds of thousands of people use his quotes, incorporate his keys to success into their actions, are inspired by his love for his wife and are motivated by his messages. That is Zig’s legacy – but his brand – his true value – is the man himself being himself.
Want to build your own fearless brand? Know that there is no other you – embrace your uniqueness – tap into your passions – hone your skills – be relevant – and remember this….
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
To learn more about Zig – his legacy and his powerful lessons – be sure to visit www.ziglar.com.