As many of you know, Zig Ziglar one of America’s foremost motivational speakers, passed away last week at the age of 86. Throughout his speaking career, Ziglar impacted thousands of people with important messages about compassion, hope and positive thinking. In remembering him, I’d like to focus on three valuable lessons he left behind to us as entrepreneurs.
“It’s not where you start, it’s where you go.”
As business owners we often begin with the minimum, whether that is minimum start up financing, minimum time, or minimum staff. It is a leap faith for all of us to take that small investment and make it into something bigger. Zig Ziglar reminded us that our goals, determination and strategies are more a determinate of our progress than our humble beginnings. Any person can be given a set of tools, but it is the creative and forward-thinking entrepreneur who builds a business with them.
“Expect the best, prepare for the worst, capitalize on what comes.”
Owning and running a business, like so many other things in life, is a dynamic and perpetually changing endeavor. Every day you are challenged with new situations and problems to solve. Customers come and go, staff is hired and dismissed, and yes, your bank account levels will rise and fall. And with all these things your stress level will wax and wane as well. Agility, inner strength and a calm state of mind help to keep us on track though all these ups and downs. Ziglar reminded us to anticipate all the changes and react with a strategic point of view.
“You will get all you want in life if you help other people get what they want.”
Many of Zig Ziglar’s messages focused on friendship and appreciating the things in life that money could not buy. In the same vein, he recognized that we are all interdependent on one another. Rather than encouraging a room full of business owners to focus on fulfilling just their own needs, he reminded them to solve the problems of others. In the full circle of relationships, those people will someday reciprocate. As managers in a business that depends on staff performance, this is a valuable lesson indeed. By helping those who work for you to feel content in their jobs and satisfied in their own progress and development, they in turn will take pride in being better employees.