Getting Ziggy With It

When someone mentions the words “successful business person,” who comes to mind for you? Over the years there have been many innovators who stand out in the crowd. From Ted Turner to Marissa Meyer, each tycoon has his/her own strategies to reach the top. Wouldn't it be nice to be a fly on the wall in Sheryl Sandberg's house or Donald Trump's car? While this isn't possible, we can glean useful advice from those who've already shared it.

One of the most memorable salespeople of all time was the late Zig Ziglar. A motivational speaker, trainer, author and World War II veteran, Ziglar is renowned as the number one salesperson for multiple companies. The Coffee County, Alabama, native lived to the ripe old age of 86, and left a legacy of quotes behind.

An article by Kevin Kruse on,, Zig Ziglar: 10 Quotes That Can Change Your Life, recounts Ziglar's decuple in descending order. Our interpretations follow.

10. “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
When something you attempt doesn't work out, it's important not to get into a downward spiral of self-blame. Separate the “event” aspect from the “person” aspect; this way, you'll be able to take a step back, sum up what happened, and prevent the same mistake down the line.

9. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
This is classic, tried-and-true advice. Quite simply, you get what you put out there. Give and you shall receive in kind. Change your focus from self to global, and you will reap the rewards.

8. “People often say motivation doesn't last. Neither does bathing—that's why we recommend it daily.”
This wry saying is all you need to stay the course and remain inspired to do your best not only Monday through Friday, but always.

7. “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
No one enjoys being critiqued, particularly not publicly. While constructive criticism is helpful and useful, if you can give a compliment instead, it's the wiser course of action.

6. “People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
Once you identify your customers' pain points, you can zoom in and provide the solution they're seeking. They'll be happy you were able to provide them with what they wanted and needed; you'll have gained a loyal client.

5. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
With each new opportunity, go in with an optimistic outlook. Be ready for any reaction, whether positive or negative, and make the most of what you encounter.

4. “If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere.”
By making yourself available and helping others resolve their issues, you gain trust. Show people your sincerity, pay it forward when you can and they will react in kind.

3. “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
The mere creation of a well-planned objective puts the desired result into motion, with 50 percent of the work already done.

2. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
The importance of this phrase cannot be understated. Go into every opportunity with a smile and be genuine. You may get 100 no's before that one “yes,” and your disposition along the way counts. Just that one closed deal could result in repeat business and multiple referrals.

1. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
When you visualize a goal, you've just turned it from notion into possibility. Follow through with a plan, ample effort and you will bring your idea to fruition.

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