Zig Ziglar & The Passing Of The Torch

As most of you know or have guessed, I am a big fan of Seth Godin. His ideas about freelancing, marketing, and entrepreneurship have so tightly integrated with my philosophy of business that it's hard for me to tell where his ideas stop and mine begin. 

Not too long ago Seth posted on his blog that his longtime mentor and friend Zig Ziglar had died. Zig was Seth's hero, and I decided to find out what Seth found so fascinating and inspiring. 

I checked out Ziglar's Leadership and Success Series from the library, and listened to it. It's a lot of common sense, pseudo-biblical advice about best business practices, living by the golden rule, and managing your life. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was great to be reminded of Ziglar's central point: keeping a positive attitude and helping others is the best asset you can develop.  

The other big take away from the talks were how things have changed drastically in the last 20 years. Ziglar gave the speeches in 1992, and his idea of the good life is a corner office at a Fortune 500 company, a loving family, and golf on the weekends.

My generation has a different definition of success. Gone is the long term security of corporate employment. Most of my friend's offices are their smart phone and laptop. Most of us have been so burnt by dysfunctional families that we want no part of marriage or commitment, and I've got exactly three friends that even own golf clubs. 

Which is why I read almost everything Seth Godin writes. Seth saw the trends, saw the Enron scandal, the push for ever lower prices, globalization. He correctly realized that we'd all be swimming solo career-wise sooner rather than later, ready or not. No more big companies to hide in, where if you just kept a smile on your face and a song in your heart you'd fit in and get promoted. We all are becoming freelancers, even those working in those increasingly bureaucratic Fortune 500 companies. 

Zig Ziglar has so many foundational principles of good business, and those will remain relevant and timeless. Seth Godin lays out the path ahead. It's not as rosy as Zig's, but I believe it's the truth. 

Rest in peace, Zig. May your principles never die.  

Photo courtesy of Brian Bloom