Born Hillary Ziglar in
southern rural Alabama, “Zig” Ziglar and family soon moved to Yazoo
City, Mississippi, and the salesman, motivational speaker and born-again
Christian hasn’t looked back. As a child of the depression, Ziglar
says he struggled with basic insecurities and small expectations
for years. After a discharge from the Navy in 1946 Ziglar studied
at the University of South Carolina.
However he soon abandoned his studies and began selling aluminum
pots door to door for the Wearever Aluminum Company.
But he still struggled:
“During the [first] two and a half years all I did was prove
they had been right not to hire me in the first place. It was really
a question of survival. When our first baby was born, I had to literally
go out and sell two sets of cookware in order to get her out of
the hospital.” Ziglar’s turnaround came during a regional
sales meeting when a Wearever executive pulled him aside and told
Ziglar, who was shocked that the executive even knew his name, that
he had been wasting his time for the past two and a half years.
Although Ziglar thought he was hearing a prelude to a dismissal,
the executive told him that if he’d only recognize his ability,
he’d become “a great one.” Soon thereafter Ziglar
was 2nd of some 7,000 Wearever salesmen.
Ziglar’s second revelation
came in 1972 while floating in his trademark arrow-shaped swimming
pool of his suburban Dallas home. Reflecting on his recent experience
of being born again in Tullahoma, Tennessee, he said to himself,
“Lord, I know you put this whole big universe together, and
I know that someday you’re going to take it down.” Then,
after a shooting star passed his gaze, Ziglar heard the following
from the heavens above: “That’s right boy, and don’t
you ever forget it.” This would not be God’s only direct
contact with Ziglar: later Ziglar would hear The Creator interrupt
his telephone call to tell him that if Ziglar “would leave
it up to [Him, He] would take care of [the] little things for [Ziglar].”
And Ziglar’s works reflect
the beliefs of a born-again Southern Baptist who frequently chats
with God. The best selling See You at the Top warns that
“our creator decreed that the man is the head of the household”
while Confessions of a Happy Christian admonishes that “[i]n
Rome and Greece and all of the other eighty-eight civilizations
that fell, homosexuality was the final straw.” Horoscopes
are “Satan’s daily bulletin, published in Hell.”
Still, the main focus for Ziglar’s written works has remained
improving the self-esteem and results of sales people across the
world. If the electronic presence of his name (which has spread
like a rash over the Internet) should give any indication, Ziglars
fans are devout and numerous.
features a wealth of information about Ziglar, his corporation,
and his various books, videos, and training systems for personal
and professional development.
Yazoo County Convention
and Visitors Bureau
- Confessions of a Happy Christian. 1982.
- Dear Family. 1984.
- See You at the Top. 1984.
- Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World. 1985.
- Steps to the Top. 1985.
- Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale. 1985.
- Zig Ziglar’s Favorite Quotations. 1990.
- Ziglar on Selling: The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete
Sales Professional. 1991.
- Courtship after Marriage. 1992.
- Over the Top. 1994.
- Top Performance, by Zig Ziglar and Jim Savage. 1995.
- Breaking Through to the Next Level. 1998.
- What I Learned on the Way to the Top. Honor Books,
- Confessions of a Grieving Christian. Thomas Nelson
- Zig Ziglars Life-Lifters: Moments of Inspiration for
Living Life Better. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 2003.
Articles and Book Reviews:
- Friedman, Robert. “Inspiration Inc.” Esquire (September
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