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How I Met Zig Ziglar

Bob Mohr of Master Marketing Association, who had brought J. Douglas Edwards to Detroit, came to me to sell some tickets to a program featuring Zig Ziglar. By then I was director of training for Lee Real Estate, and was the guy to go see if you wanted to get the Lee people to turn out for a program. “I’ll make you a deal Bob,” I said. “If one hundred percent of our people buy a ticket, will you arrange dinner with Zig Ziglar and me?”

“It’s a deal”, said Mohr.

Well, I didn’t quite deliver 100%, but it was a solid 90%, the highest participation ever from my company. Bob didn’t get me a dinner with Zig, but he did manage a breakfast. To me it was like having breakfast with my hero.

“I have a goal,” I told Zig. “By April 1979, I want to address an audience of 2,300 people. If you could give me one piece of advice, what would it be?”

I had been collecting advice from every possible source, and I had done an article for a professional journal on about a dozen pieces of wisdom.

None quite had the impact of Ziglar’s wisdom. “Sure Floyd, I’ll give you some advice,” he said. He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a copy of his book, See You at the Top. He opened it and signed it in the front. When he handed it back, I looked at what he had written. It read: “You’re a winner. John 15:5-7.” “There’s your advice,” he said. I stared at it in puzzlement. I had been reared in the Catholic Church, but that didn’t mean I paid close attention to the priest’s homilies, and I sure didn’t spend a lot of time reading the Bible on my own. As far as I was concerned, John 15:5-7 might have been an incomplete telephone number.

So I got a Bible from my mother and proceeded to look up this verse. I didn’t know what to expect. Within the scriptural citation I found a powerful piece of advice that was even briefer than Zig’s note in the front of the book. It read: Ask and Ye Shall Receive. What I began to realize was that the way to “ask” is to set a goal and commit yourself to fulfilling it. When you do that, things start to happen. I’m so grateful for that breakfast meeting so many years ago. We went on to have a long lasting, close relationship. I will cherish his friendship for always.

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