Personal Development

Lessons from Zig Ziglar

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Encouragement is the fuel that hope runs on. ~Zig Ziglar

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Last weekend at the Extreme Business Makeovers event in Orlando, I had the awesome privilege of meeting Zig Ziglar and his beautiful wife Jean whom he affectionately refers to as “The Redhead”.  The five minutes we chatted and the hug I shared with both of them was truly a highlight of the event for me (which may sound corny, but it’s the truth…plus I’m a huggy type of gal).   Anyway, these are two genuinely warm and kind-hearted people dedicated to the success of others.

For those of you who have not experienced Zig via books, cassette tapes (remember those?), CD, or seminars, Zig Ziglar is considered one of the foremost authorities on motivation and personal development. He had a wildly successful career in direct sales before leaving that career 40 years ago to focus full-time on helping others to be more successful through motivation, high-level performance training, and values-based principles. One of the many quotes he’s best noted for is “You can have anything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.

The moment I focused on reading more personal development and business books, I found that there are so many people who attribute their success to Zig’s teaching.

Enjoying some time with the Ziglars

Today Zig Ziglar is 83 years old. Three years ago he fell down the stairs at his home and suffered a head injury which impacted his short term memory. However, just as you’d expect Zig to do, he has embraced the struggle and is moving forward.

His son Tom interviewed him on stage and there were a few things that Zig emphasized that I thought I’d share with the BiggerPockets community.

“Always have the home court advantage.”

Zig stressed that no matter what you’re doing in business, its critically important to ensure that you keep things good at home.  Family life should be top priority and if things are good at home there’s a better chance that you’ll do well in business and in the community.

This is a good reminder to all of us who are working hard at our real estate business.  Sure, there are times that are going to be super busy and we must hustle and take action, but we have to remember that if our relationships at home suffer as a result, none of it really matters.

“I never worry!”

Zig said this more than once and encouraged everyone to simply stop worrying because it doesn’t help the situation at hand.  In situations that cause worry, some of his other advice will be helpful — focus on what you can do versus what you can’t do!

“If I can’t teach it, I don’t read it.”

Zig says that even at the age of 83, he is an avid reader but he said two things that I found interesting.  First, he said he doesn’t read novels because he’s only interested in the truth.  Second, he said that if he can’t teach it, he won’t read it!  He only focuses on feeding himself with words that are going to support what he would want to share with others.  I suspect that is one of the key reasons (other than his faith) that he is able to maintain such a zeal and positive attitude about life.

One of my mentors frequently shares that the four most dangerous words are “I already know that.”   In many cases we hear or read something that is familiar…something that seems like common sense, but wisdom bears repeating, so I hope you found something inspiring from this post!

Photo of Zig Ziglar: Success Magazine

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog,, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures—obstacles, failures, & successes!

    Julie Broad
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Great post Shae!! Since I grew up listening to Zig Ziglar tapes I immediately read this post!! I can’t wait to share it with my Mom. She is who always had the tapes playing in the car as we drove around. It’s interesting what he said about novels … but I think we can all learn a lot from the writing style and story telling of great fiction writers. Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone.
    Shae Bynes
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Thanks Julie! I thought his comment on novels was an interesting perspective that I’d never really heard anyone say before. I love storytelling myself and I’ve actually really enjoyed reading some of the books that teach through stories…like the Best Salesman in the World, The Go-Giver, and the One Minute Millionaire. Fiction is fun 😉 .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..Lessons from XBM: Time Management =-.
    Scott Costello
    Replied over 9 years ago
    I’ve only heard of Zig Ziglar in passing and never really paid much attention to him but I think I will ad him to my list of people to listen to. What are some good books/audios/whatever to get of his? .-= Scott Costello´s last blog ..Mexican Riviera Cruise =-.
    Shae Bynes
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Hey Scotty, he has sooo many books….check out the descriptions and reviews for “Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live” and “Secrets of Closing the Sale (the updated one from 2004)” and see if those are up your alley! I just finished one he wrote about raising positive kids. .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..Lessons from XBM: Zig Ziglar’s Wisdom and 10 Ways to Create New Belief =-.