your zig stories

Zig was the sales manager for a company in 1969 that I was privileged to be a part of. I was with the company (a direct sales organization) for a year, and the highlight of that year was my association with Zig. For a 23 year old country boy from Arkansas, it was very rewarding. I did exactly what Zig said I needed to do, down to the jokes, etc. Guess what, it was very successful for me, and I became one of the top salesmen in the organization.

Fortunately, it did not end there, throughout my career, I have relied on what I call Ziglarism to guide me. If i have quoted Zig once, I have quoted him thousands of times.

One side note, my son was brought up listening to Zig's tapes and he too was flooded with Ziglarism. He has become a successful speaker and has written books, some that Zig did the forward for. Never will forget his first time to speak on one of Zig's big seminars, he was on cloud nine. Here he was speaking with his hero and someone that he considered "The Best". He too gives much of his success to Zig and his teachings.

Just want to say, "thanks to a great man, and even though he is no longer with us physically, his legacy and teachings will still change the lives of millions in the future."

Richard A. Green, Sr.

I was wondering if you might still have a Christian testimony cassette tape. It was a short recording of Zig Ziglar's personal Christian testimony he gave out for free at a "Success 1997" seminar that I attended in Austin. If possible, could you send me a copy of it or an a link to purchase? Any format will work. I would like to share it with a friend who was a big Ziglar fan. It was kind of an unusual tape and have not been able to locate another copy online.

Thanks for all your help
Ric Hunter

Since listening to Zig every day for fifteen years, I have started and sold my successful wealth management business.During this time my wife Jackie has had Anorexia nervosa and has nearly died four times.Also for two years she was an alcoholic and three days before our daughter Ellie left Junior school, Jackie took a very large overdose, but praise God she survived. She has another mental illness (OCD) Her lack of nutrient's in her starvation diet has caused her to be registered partially sighted. I have helped our son Chris to cope depression, while also being a Dad and a Mum to our youngest daughter Ellie. Constantly I have also battled against my own depressive illness. My mother has died very suddenly and my father has dementia.

Despite all this God has been gracious to me and I still rejoice in my saviour.The lord was gracious fifteen years ago when he introduced to me a real giant of a Christian man, Zig Ziglar.I can say from the bottom of my heart, with out the Lord and dear Zig, I would have completely gone under.

Jackie is still very ill and is in her last chance saloon weighing only 32KG's. I have no doubt if she gets really weak again she will die. Long term sufferers like her, have only a one in three chance of surviving.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for your dear departed dad Zig, his legacy will continue for many more years.I have carried on loving Jackie against the odds, even when she was so angry and ashamed of her life that she wanted a divorce and hurled her wedding and engagement ring across the room. She abused me many times, both physically, mentally and emotionally. It has been a humiliating experience. I had to report her to the police twice and on one occasion she came at me with a knife. I stood firm encouraged by the Lord and Zig.

Result: Saved our marriage, and our children's hearts from being ripped apart. We have been married for thirty five years, twenty years were marvellous and the last fifteen years you could say hell on earth.

We as a family are still believing Jackie will be healed, but if not she will be with the Lord and Zig anyway.The name Ziglar is so sweet to my ears. What sets Zig apart in my eyes is that he is the only motivator I know who dealt with the physical, the mental and the spiritual.

Thanks be to God.c

A very grateful Simon Hoadley
(Proud to have been helped by Zig)

I bought it at one of those buy-here, pay-here car lots. It was a red 1989 Chevy Nova and looked similar to a Ford Escort. It had two endearing qualities. First, I could take the key out of the ignition and engine continued to run. Second, once a cassette tape was inserted into the stereo, it was impossible to eject.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to a tape in a car, you know that it overrides the radio. Since the tape was stuck, I had two options: stereo on or stereo off.

The only tape I owned was “Chicago’s Greatest Hits”. Nope, not proud of it.

I had two jobs at the time, both requiring lots of driving time. The first 50 hours or so of Chicago were unbearable. So I tore out the stereo, pushed the tape out from the back of the deck and reinstalled it. I asked the owner of the company at my day job for a tape and he gave me a Zig Ziglar cassette. I listened to that tape for 10 months. Over and over. For hundreds of hours while I delivered pizzas and sold fire alarms door-to-door.

The broken stereo changed the way I saw the world. I listened as Zig taught me:

  • That a goal set is halfway reached.
  • To get everything in life you want, help enough others get what they want.
  • Failure is an event, not a person.
  • Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking.

That Chevy Nova lasted a year until the engine gave out (never did get the ignition fixed).

But the car changed my life. For $3,500 I received the incredible gift of repetition. Zig Ziglar showed me a new way to see the world, to value others, to think positively, and to set goals…over and over and over.

The downside of the Nova? I still recoil when I hear a Chicago song and have nightmares about eject buttons.

First posted here:

Joshua Franklin


I attended the Zig Ziglar seminar on February 2nd. 2017 in Tampa at the TPepin Hospitality Center. I enjoyed the speakers and felt so inspired to purchase the "Strategies for Success" cd's. When I sat down in my car I immediately opened the cd package and the plastic case which was housing the cd's crumbled apart. It was the package that fell apart after all and not the actual cd's to which I was interested in listening to. With great anticipation, I put the first cd in my car player and listened to it while I was driving to work after the event and on my way home from work. I decided to put the second cd in so the next morning I could have it ready. The second cd didn't work at all so I skipped to the third cd. The third was find and the forth was not working. This pattern continued for the entire case of cd's. You can probably imagine my disappointment after not only being revved up for learning but at a costly expense to have learned that the tools were not what I paid for. I look forward to hearing from someone from the Ziglar team as quickly as possible to get this matter resolved.

Janice Barnard

Tom & Crew

This letter might appear after the fact about anything to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving but for myself, it’s right on time.

Through the teachings of Dan Miller, I have over the years been able to take what I have learned at my full-time employment outside to other facilities and in the process started a small side business.

This was what was happening starting on November 1st. The job which was about 3 hours from home was to last about 4 ½ days. Things were going smoothly until Saturday morning, November 5th. I was disconnecting some of my equipment while bringing some of the equipment of the customer back online to make a smooth transition.

While I’m not able to remember exactly what happened, it appears I fell off a ladder to a concrete floor. I ended up with 5 fractured ribs, 2 fractured vertebrae, a fractured hip, a fractured right shoulder blade, fractured left Humorous, light concussion and almost had a collapsed lung. (Other than that I was still in good shape!) The next thing I can remember is later that evening in the ER of the second hospital I was air evaced to. The first week was pretty rough but after being moved to rehab, the doctor in charge told me “I looked a lot better in person than I did on paper”.

Here’s the cool part: One comment I have received many times throughout this ordeal is that I seem to have a pretty good attitude. This is where your father and you come in. You see, since May I have been working on the Ziglar self-talk card. I believe the card along with the positive messages that I have heard from you all through the years and the other sources (along with tons of prayers) has helped me come from laying on a concrete floor kinda knowing who I was (while not knowing what had happened or where I was) to being able to come home the day before Thanksgiving, currently released to drive with a 20 pound weight lift limit.

Since my schedule has opened up lately, I’m starting to work on catching up on some of my reading. I just finished reading Og Madinos “The Greatest Salesman in the World’.

In this book Og writes “each scroll contains a principle which will drive a bad habit from my life and replace with one which will bring me closer to success”. This sounds very similar to another wise man I heard saying that “The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits!”.

I hope you all have had a good Thanskgiving because I have had a Great Thanksgiving!

John Clayton

Of course there are thousands of people who can and do say that Zig Ziglar changed their lives. I count myself blessed to be among that number. In the late 1980's, I went to work for Zig. I answered the phones, did some filing and mailed out packets. During the time I worked for him, he demonstrated everything he talked about. He taught me how to be a loving, caring and diligent boss. One day he called me into his office and said, "Deborah, I have been watching you very closely. You are not supposed to be a secretary. You are supposed to be a teacher." He went on to explain that he had Mamie contact my parents and HPU to make sure that I would be able to go back to school and get my teaching certification. Until that point, I had always said, "I will do anything but be a teacher." Long story short, I became a teacher. It was my calling. I love it! Now, many years later, I have my PhD in curriculum and instruction and teach people who want to be teachers. I speak on education as often as I can. I have published a book, Education Through Christian Eyes and am working on another book. My whole life is a testimony to the lessons that I learned from Zig. I will always be grateful to the man who promoted me to another calling instead of firing me from my job.

Deborah Davis

I just wanted to send a quick THANK YOU to The Ziglar Show Podcast team. What an INCREDIBLE inspiration you guys are to me. Lately I have been overwhelmed with looming responsibilities as a construction manager, a Pastor, and the father of 5 sons. Juggling life can be challenging, and sometimes we lose our passion under the weight of such responsibilities. However, God uses guys like you to encourage guys like us! The other day, I was listening to Program 434 (Provide value, get paid - with Jeff Goins), and that program was providential in reigniting a passion God put in my heart years ago, but that I had allowed to die out. With God's help I am rekindling that passion and beginning to write again. Again, just wanted to say thank you. Any benefit Christ the King gets for His Kingdom through our writing will go, at least in part, to your account for being an inspirition to me in a time I desperately needed that voice of hope in my life!

For Christ's Kingdom,

Pastor Gary Caudill

I just wanted to reach out and say "thank you" for mentioning Kabbage in your excellent article about inspiring today's youth. We really, really appreciate it.

Thanks for the shout out and keep up the great work!

Amanda Florentine

I really would like to share a few things with you I have been wanting to share. When I read your email tonight , I felt compelled to do so.

What your Dad, Mr. Zig Ziglar "really " meant to a lonely boy whose Dad died when I was I was only 11 years old.

I felt that "no one " cared. I had no "fill in" Dad or Mentors and my brothers were older doing their own thing and it was pretty much me and Mom. I went to work as a paperboy and gave my Mom what little commissions I made to help her. I would up wind up taking care of my Mom for 46 years afterwards. She never had much or wanted much but I met her needs if she needed anything because of what she did for me as a lonely boy! She passed in my arms six days before your Dad. I was devastated because I couldn't do anything to help stop her pain or from dying. "Her ship had sailed!" I was saddened and then I heard of your Dad passing two days after burying Mom. Two wonderful people that meant the world to me had been promoted to a place where sickness or pain would no longer control their bodies. Once again, I was hit hard. Here is why?

Yes, your Dad was a motivating and inspiring individual to millions across the World but let me tell you about one young man from Jacksonville, Fl.

Being I had never been encouraged or motivated by anyone (other than Mom as they only can), after Dad died, I began seeking out how to succeed on my own. I worked hard and finished school while working all through High School. I went to school and worked two jobs and on the weekends three jobs. Without giving you the Novel version of how it all happened it was through my searching somehow I had heard of your Dad and after listening once, I was hooked.

Little did I know that years later after buying his books, listening to his tapes (all series) that my wife and I would be going to a "Born To Win" seminar and invited into your parents home and have our picture made with them. If that wasn't enough, I would later start working security at his events in Jacksonville as I was a Police Officer and he invited my family and I in his green room. Once, he excuses himself from signing books and walked over to me watching security over him and he hugged me in front of all those people. WOW.

If that wasn't enough, I was a School Resource Officer for 18 years and once I wrote your Dad a letter about an ill student, to see if he could write her an encouraging note. Not only did he do that, he also wrote about us in his new book at the time "Something To Smile About".

However, it doesn't stop there. I was invited to do his company devotion in mid nineties once while in Dallas. I was extremely nervous and your Dad came into the room just before I started and sat down on the chair directly in front of me. He pulled out a notepad and took his own personal notes of this guy who was an introvert after my Dad died and now I was speaking at the Zig Ziglar Corporation. WOW! Afterwards, He then placed his hand on my shoulder and said; "Keith that was terrific and inspiring", will you please come to my office a few minutes? What, I said to myself ! Did Zig Ziglar just invite me to his office? When I walked in, he got up from around his desk and greeted me at the door with a firm handshake and once again placed his hand on my shoulder. He said; Keith , I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that I was blessed this morning by your words and I want to thank you personally for blessing our wonderful staff with God's word." I was speechless but did eventually tell him thank you! We then prayed. It was that moment in you Dads office that will be forever embedded in my memory.It was probably that moment that probably was the catalyst for me to continue my mission to encourage students at our school and in youth ministry and today to Dads/ Moms via our ministry outreaches.

Once your Dad found out about a conference I was doing in 2005 and sent me a promo video for the conference and a ten minute video on "Being a good Parent . It became part of a training session for Dads during that conference. It is timeless. Although he gave me full permission to use it as I saw fit, I wanted to ask you if I may include it in our new website updates due out in June? It is awesome and the quality of your Dad as we all remember. I will add a graphic to his honor and refer folks to at the end.

Your Dad's message is timeless and is the type of message I try to offer to Dads (and Moms, as they follow us as well) Worldwide. I went from a simple idea of a dream to work with Dads after my unwanted divorce in 1983. Little did I know that God would turn it into a non-profit Worldwide Organization called As God has showed me, two messes (losing my Dad and being a divorced Dad) became a ministrycalled ; Dads 4 Life. It may not have happened without mentors I adopted into my life like your Awesome Dad 4 Life, Zig Ziglar being the first.

I taught these values and ideas to my own daughter as a young girl and would pay her if she listened to motivating tapes and tell me what they were about . When I introduced her to Zig the first time, it seemed to click and she started getting her own motivation nuggets from your Dad and others. Today she and her husband are pastors at DC Metro church in Alexandria, Va an d she is impacting young people daily.

I hope you enjoyed reading about how your Dad changed one life , or because of what I call the Ripple Effect did he change countless others beyond me?

Thanks ZIG for all you done for me and my family and Thank You Tom for continuing his work !

Keith Jowers

I used to live on Winding Hollow in Willow Bend Lakes. I would be out in the front yard and on occasions an older gentleman would be out for a rather brisk walk. I would say, "Hi, how are you?" and the response was always the same (without breaking stride) 'Better than good and that's an understatement.' It wasn't until I had seen him several times that I realized he wasn't just a fan of your dad, he was your dad. Greatness. Indeed.


Gregg Steward

I do not believe I have spoken to you before but I, like countless others, loved your father. I saw him many times live but I had an opportunity very few others had. You can check my background on Linked-In at Michael J. Billoni.

Back in approx.. 1990 I was the vice president General Manager of the Buffalo Bisons professional baseball team. We were having a fund raiser for one of our owner’s charities and revolved around the quarterbacks of the Buffalo. That list included then current quarterback and future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. It also included the only QB to lead them to two AFL championships, Jack Kemp. At that time, Kemp was Secretary of HUB under the elder President Bush.

In Buffalo we were going after a major league baseball franchise and were doing everything the big leagues were doing. That included an inner city baseball program called, “The Rookie League.” When I told Kemp about it, he instantly invited me to Washington, D.C, two days later to present this program in front of HUD officials from all 50 states.

When I arrived, I was told it was running late and I had to wait in an adjoining office with the guest. Your dad was the guest speaker and I got to spend 30 minutes with the great Zig Ziglar. It was one of the most memorable times of my life. During that time your dad taught me his goals program. Aft5er frantically taking notes, he looked at me and said, “Son, you seen to be a studious young man but you will not use this. You will be like the 99.9 percent of other Americans that do not follow a goals program. Unfortunately, he was right. It took me nearly 25 years before I dusted off the program and now my wife and I are using it and we review our goals each Sunday at 5 at our weekly meeting.

I loved your dad.

My number one lesson learned in life was “Positive Thoughts equal Positive Results.” The opposite is also true. I will tell you how I obtained that in a later e-mail. I am running late for morning church service to hear what The Lord has his plate for me today.

Blessings and I would love to come and visit you all. Are you still in Texas?

Michael J. Billoni

Billoni Associates

President of Fun

I wrote this for my motivation blog. I think you'll all enjoy it. Good memories. Love you guys!

Chief Attitude Officer: Gratefulness Part saying "Thank You" introduced me to Zig Ziglar

Craig Daliessio

In 1982, I took a job selling expensive men's suits in a high end department store. I had never sold anything before in my life. I worked hard and treated every customer with kindness. One day, a good customer came into the store and gave me a book. The book was called, "See you at the Top" by Zig Ziglar. I had never heard of Zig or the subject of motivation. I read it anyway and halfway through the book, I knew it would change the course of my life.

Several months later, I went to hear Zig speak. It was transforming. I waited in a long line and met him. He must have seen something in me that I didn't see in myself. He talked for several minutes and I told him about my goals. He assured me that I would reach them. I did. I would have never even set goals much less achieve them if I hadn't read Zig's book.

I continue to base my entire life on Zig's principle of helping enough people get what they want. I've written a book that helps people learn the skills they need to get the job they want.
One of my new goals is to be a guest on Zig's podcast. I've attached a press release about my book. Send me an email if I can share with your audience.

The Art of Getting Hired Press Release

Bradley Justice

I have been following your Dad for a long time and I am glad that you are following in your father’s footsteps and continuing with your fathers work as well as adding your own touch to it. You are truly blessed.

As you know God works in mysterious ways and has a tendency to use people at the right time when you need him.

Last year our house was hit by lightning while we were in it. We were blessed that we were not hurt and the damage to the structure of the house was minimal. A lot of things inside the house had to be replaced but we were blessed and God took care of us in many ways. My daughter wrote on the chalk board on the laundry room door a couple of months before the lightning strike “I will praise through the storm” from a song she heard. We didn’t notice it till after all the dust settled. It became our new motto as well as “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

As I sat down this morning at my computer at work and started to go through the dozens of emails. Your email this morning about "Do you ever feel like life has you in a vice?" stood out of all of them. For some reason it came in plain text instead of the regular format. My eye instantly went to it and it brought tears to my eyes. Our finances are very tight and medical bills even though we have insurance, it makes our finances even tighter. I have been going back to school and am having issues juggling family, work, and school. I tore my rotator cuff and severed a biceps tendon and had to have surgery earlier this year and I am also juggling Physical therapy a couple days a week. My wife was diagnosed with a mass on her thyroid a couple of weeks ago. She had a biopsy this past Monday and we are awaiting the results of her biopsy this Monday. We are praying that they can treat it without surgery and it is not cancerous. With all this going on we have not been sleeping very well. Your list of pressures seems like you were looking at my life.

I don’t want to seem like I am complaining, but I thought that is the only way I can tell you how much I needed that email this morning.

I know that God is big enough and he will take care of us. He always has and we will continue to praise Him through the storm.

Thank you Tom for your ministry. It really makes a difference.

Ken Dominiec

Remembering Zig Ziglar Larry Davies

Years ago, before becoming a pastor, I took a business trip to Dallas, Texas. The purpose was to learn how to teach, "Born to Win" a motivational seminar designed by Zig Ziglar. While there, I was given a book also written by Zig: "Confessions of a Happy Christian." That night, I read all of “Confessions” in the hotel room. Zig’s experiences touched my heart in a way that dramatically changed my life. I literally could not stop reading this special book.

The next morning after staying up all night reading, crying, thinking and praying, I gave my heart and soul to Jesus Christ.

When Zig Ziglar died a few days ago, I lost a friend and mentor. Many times over the course of my life and career Zig offered encouragement. He signed the book that changed my life and added a verse from the Gospel of John that continues to guide me and my ministry today.

John 15:5-8: "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father."

Zig also gave me a lapel pin with the symbol of a fish. Drawn through the fish symbol is the number 7. Zig designed the pin knowing people would ask: “What does the pin mean?”

Zig would answer, “the fish means that I am a Christian. The 7 is a reminder that I am to practice my faith all 7 days of the week.” Zig knew this pin would provide an opportunity to talk about our faith in a nonthreatening way to friends, family and even complete strangers.

For many years, I have worn the fish and seven pin and explained the meaning. I have also given hundreds of those same pins away and often hear of others telling the same story. So, in addition to helping me renew my relationship with Christ, Zig also taught me how to share my faith with others.

Author, motivational speaker, super salesman, Sunday school teacher; Zig Ziglar epitomized his most famous saying: “You can have everything in life that you want if you just help enough other people find what they want.”

Rev. Mark Miller a fellow pastor and Zig fan shared a list of Ziglar quotes. I remember them all:

  • “Your attitude plus your aptitude determines your altitude.”
  • “The elevator to success is broken, but the stairs are always available.”
  • “Some people find fault as if there is a reward for it.”
  • “Positive thinking won’t allow you to accomplish anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
  • “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time."
  • “Those who dare not, do not.”
  • “If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.”
  • “A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they get a job.”
  • “People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
  • “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”
  • “If you have stinkin’ thinkin’, then you need a checkup from the neck up.” (My favorite).

Mark went on to comment: "Some people might find Zig’s little quotes and comments to be a bit old fashioned or even a bit cheesy. But I find them to be funny, inspiring, consistent with scripture, and therefore true. Most of all, I find them to be motivational. And we all need a little motivation now and then."

Since that time in Dallas, my life changed dramatically from business leader to pastor to supervising pastors. More than ever, I remember and rely on the lessons learned through the teaching and example of Zig Ziglar.

Several years ago, Zig fell down a flight of stairs and sustained a serious head injury. At eighty years of age, Zig lost much of the energy and vitality that made him famous. Yet, in the midst of everything, Zig maintained his enthusiasm for living. “Focus on what you can, not what you can’t do” became his new mantra. “It isn’t what happens to you, but how you respond that makes the difference.”

Zig Ziglar’s final book written with the help of his daughter, Julie, documents his final years following the fall: “Embrace the Struggle: Living Life on Life’s Terms.”

“If you will embrace the struggles that come your way, you will go farther, faster and be blessed by the unexpected turn of events more than you could possibly have imagined.” Even in his final years, Zig Ziglar provided a powerful lesson and an awe inspiring example of how to deal with tragedy and how to live out your final days.

The introduction ends with the following statement: “My wish for you as you journey through this book is that you will count your blessings until your gratitude bucket is full, and if you or someone you love is in a struggle, take courage and press on because, as the Ziglar family has learned, it is in the depths of the struggle that God reveals His eternal blessings.”

My life has been blessed over the years knowing and learning from Zig Ziglar. My life’s goal has been to be the same kind of encourager and mentor for others that Zig has been for me.

My final words come from Zig himself: “Go as far as you can see, then you can see farther.”

Larry Davies