20 pictures from my time with Zig are here on the FreeAgentUnderground
In keeping with my belief in community, I was accompanied by my dear friend and partner Chuck Bowen, as well as Dave, Jonathan and Trish Munson. Dave owns Saddleback Leather Co. and Jonathan and Trish work with him there. We all went to lunch together, then Chuck and Dave actually sat in the studio for the show.
The time was a pure gift. Zig amazed me. He's 83 and showing his age, yet full of heart and encouragement and exhortation to play big! He impacted all of us in a significant way…on multiple levels. He shared openly with us, and held our feet to the fire to encourage others and achieve more.
I could write a novel on the rich experience I had with Zig and Tom Ziglar and everyone involved. But you are here for…you. As you should be. So I'm going to list out the highlights out of my notebook that I had on hand…literally as they happened. As it turns out…this almost is a novel:
Will, Skill & Refill
This actually came from Tom first, then Zig repeated it later. These are the necessary ingredients to achieve more: 'Will' is your attitude, heart and passion. 'Skill' is the how-to and technique. 'Refill' is what makes you sustain success. I really appreciated this because it's the 'REFILL' I think most folks miss. You don't just get new knowledge and make it happen. It's got to be daily deposits and steps. Thus why we created Free Agent Academy where we are talking 24/7 together.
Know what you're talking about
Literally, right out of Zig's mouth. That's it regarding success in work. Know what you are talking about, and here I'll ad lib…that you need to stick to what you know and don't talk much outside of that. Everyone tries to showcase knowledge in too many things. Know one subject, know it well, and speak on that. As a piece of that he also said, "The truth is always in vogue." So speak truth. Speak what you know.
Encouragement is the fuel of hope
Ultimately that was Zig's main charge…to encourage others. That encouragement is missing for most folks and it's our responsibility to give it voraciously. Think about it…who really encourages you? Supports you and gives credence to your hopes? And who do you do this for? Look at that title again regarding hope. You have a hope…which is void without 'fuel', which is encouragement! Not just generic pats on the back…but real world encouragement that validates and equips that hope?!
This…is the heart of Free Agent Academy, so was a dramatic confirmation to me in what we are doing here.
Courting your spouse
Zig came back time and time again to his marriage and his love and admiration for his wife Jean (aka 'The Redhead' or 'Sugar Baby'). His platform here is "If everyone courted their spouse AFTER the wedding like they do BEFORE…the divorce rate would plummet 90%. So…there you go. Deal with THAT in your marriage. How did you treat and pursue and serve your spouse before you married? How are you doing now? I bet you stink in relation. And I bet like me, you have a list of reasons. Work, kids and other circumstances. Well, tough. We'll always be busy. We've got to do it anyway.
Sharing your faith
Right off the bat in Zig's speaking career he was cautioned not to openly share his faith…which is a Christian faith. Upon hearing that, he immediately felt God told him that was some of the worst advice EVER. And he of course shared his faith publicly from the get go…and the rest is history. He's arguably one of the most influential men of the past century. We're in a society today that is less and less tolerant of stances of faith, especially Christian. Yeah, well…Christ and His disciples were martyred for their professions of faith. I'm sure your persecution will not be so severe. Speak it with boldness and compassion and don't back down. If you hide your faith…I'd argue you don't really have much of any.
Read to teach
Zig reads 3 hours per day, always. And always non-fiction…his intent is to read information that he can then teach. So if we look at him as an example…then we need to get to reading good info so we can pass on great counsel!
How to be the best parent…
…make sure your marriage is healthy and the best example it can be. When he once asked Tom as a child what he most liked about his Dad…Tom's response was "I most like how he loves my Mom." That pretty much says it all eh? So what are you more focused on…being a good parent or a good spouse? Ditch the former and focus on the latter. Our society cops out on being a good spouse by hiding behind our parenting. If we really have our kid's best interest in mind...love your spouse well. See the bit on 'courting' again above.
Sex before marriage
Dave Munson asked Zig at lunch, as Zig was talking about his wife, when was the first time he'd held Jean's hand. Zig replied…on their wedding day! And went on to say that the only thing he wanted from her prior to their marriage was for her to say "Yes!" How does that relay to today…where folks feel they must fully 'test drive' their spouse first?
Due to his father dying early, he worked full time from the age of 12. And he didn't complain. Look how it paid off. What is your 12 year old doing? I came home with a more concrete plan for my kids to get to work. Next week they'll have a booth at our local Farmer's Market, selling their Aspen wood furniture and home roasted coffee and African beads.
In your work and your message (and your work should BE and HAVE a message at the core)…be polarizing. Be bold. Make a stand. Amen!
He states often that he never worries. I'm not going to define that, it's an aspect of faith. And I…don't have it figured out. Something to aspire to for sure.
God don't make no junk
People sell themselves short and limit their potential. This is a big one for me…as the primary problem folks deal with is not a lack of ideas or abilities, but just faith in themselves. The world will fight to pull you down and keep you in it's system. Your friends and family will caution you against stepping out to pursue anything more and different. You've got to come to the point of believing in yourself…in who God made you to be and what He's enabled you to do and be capable of. And take action. This takes us back to...'faith.'
The key is asking for help
That's it. He says he owes his success to asking for help. Nix your pride or fear or insecurity and just ask. I'm a product of this. In my past, I didn't ask, I went it alone. Today I'm flourishing and spend half my days asking for help and counsel and advice. And I see those who are really succeeding and overcoming being the biggest students and 'askers.'
This is the key benefit to Free Agent Academy. Community. Counsel. Guidance. Encouragement.
Write a book
Zig is adamant that everyone does it. No excuses. Doesn't have to be published or even sold. Write a book. Write about what you care about, or write your story. I'm in the process of doing both. And I've got to share this…
Long ago he did a 3-hour workshop for the Mary Kay organization. She (Mary Kay Ashe) asked him to do a 6-hour seminar. So he created new content. That content became 'See You At The Top' which has sold millions.
In prep for my appearance on the Ziglar Success 2.0 Show I finally created the outline to the book I've been writing content for. So Zig is now part of my story…!
Right away in Zig's offices is his 'Wall of Fame.' Literal pictures of all the folks in his life who have benefited his life in significant ways. This was funny, and poignant...he said there were two folks on there who he didn't really even like much. But they gave great value to his life and he's grateful to them! He implored us to create our own list of people who have given value to our lives. I'm making my list...
It's never too late
This wasn't a quote from Zig, I'm saying it in response to a reality about him. The Ziglar we all know…the speaker and motivator and inspiration…didn't really start till after he was 45 years old. That is when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and his speaking career really started in earnest. Look what he's done in almost 40 years since then. I just finished his autobiography. It's amazing what he did in the first decade alone. So if you are reading this and you are 73…you can still knock it outta the park by the time you are Zig's age. He's writing two books right now!
I'll end with this, because he did. He said, "Find something that encourages others and do it regardless." So in your pursuit for free agency, find what you care about and can offer value to others with…and use it as a platform to inspire and encourage others. REGARDLESS!! Regardless of your:
This journey to knowing your calling, finding a viable work opportunity within that, owning your work (self-employment) and using it all to inspire yourself and in turn inspire others…is your responsibility. Not for your own good, but for others! Do it…regardless. Don't get caught up in our world's agenda of all efforts being to pad our own comfort and security. You can be comforted and secure in eternity when you die. Till then, do what you are supposed to do…regardless.
My immense thanks to Tom Ziglar, his sisters and staff, and of course Zig...for giving me this opportunity and experience. For enriching my life and hopefully through me…enriching the lives of others. Of you.
Be blessed today.
20 pictures from my time with Zig are here on the FreeAgentUnderground Facebook fanpage: