Life Is an Echo: The Extraordinary Zig Ziglar

He lived well…

I came across a quote by Zig Ziglar today which led me to Life is an Echo. It’s an excerpt from See You at the Top. It was rejected by 30 different publishers before it was ever printed. The publishers weren’t impressed with this humble salesman. Before today, I knew so little of the history of this self-made man. I’m so blessed by taking some time to learn more. I hope you will feel the same.

Zig Ziglar was born…

in the tiny Alabama town of Enterprise in 1926. It’s one so small that you really have to be looking to find. Blink and you’ve missed it. It’s the land of cotton, soy beans and corn. It’s most known for a Boll Weevil Monument and peanuts. Moreover, Dale County is the Peanut Capitol of the World. It’s as Americana as it gets. I’ve passed through Enterprise a hundred times over the years, always on my way to somewhere else. You’d think I would have seen the sign saying “birthplace of our most famous son.” But this is where Zig lived his first five years. I can’t help but think of the influence this land had on him.

When I read Life is an Echo today, Enterprise ran through my mind. See You at the Top is about kindness and striving to do the right thing. It’s about treating people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s about HOPE. It’s about anticipating good things from people. If you know of Zig, then you know this is his theme song. Zig had a strong belief-system that started back in the red, Alabama clay.

Reap what you sow

Zig’s dad was a farmer. It makes me think of my relative who farm’s a few miles from his birthplace. I have learned so much from him. He is very wise. He can repair and build anything. In fact, he could have been any number of things. He loved that red clay he was born on and chose to be farmer. I’ve seen him throw on a suit, meet with a banker in town, and finance next year’s crops despite a “very bad year.” He made me realize farming is hard work. I know that farming is a lot like life. “You reap what you sow” has true meaning to both farmers and life. Tending. Patching. Watching. Waiting. Praying. Repairing. Studying. Resting. Adjusting. Testing. Crying. Rejoicing. Working. Working. Working.

Less than 2 years after the start of the great depression, Zig’s father relocated the family to Mississippi. He moved them so he could manage another farm in very bad times. A year later, when he was just 6 years old, his father died of pneumonia. Two days later, his little sister died. He was one of 12 children then raised by a single mom in a slow-recovering country. Can you imagine the pain for that little guy? And yet, he accomplished so much. If anyone had a reason to live a negative life, it might as well be him.

Black Monday

I know this story well. My grandfather died exactly 2 months after “Black Monday.” At 27, he left a young widow with 3 small children at the worst possible time. The oldest was my 5-year-old mother. She and her siblings were all separated and forced to live with relatives. My grandma returned to her parents’ home for several years. She made and sold queen-sized, hand-pieced, heirloom quilts for $2 each to survive. (I’m blessed to have 3 of her quilts. They are each works of perfection.)

My mother told endless stories. People who didn’t farm were starving. Mom learned to cook complete meals and do difficult farm work while her mom worked the farm. At 5, she could kill, clean, cut up, and cook a chicken by herself! I know how this impacted my reality: I was raised by two depression babies. Knowing all this, Zig’s positive nature intrigues me even more.

I’m including Life is an Echo below. Read it. Reflect on the countless masses of men and women Zig Ziglar helped over the years. He was the college drop-out who became the world’s most famous salesman. Life is an Echo was more than his “swan song.” As you read it, think about his simple beginnings during the worst financial time America has ever seen. Here’s my takeaway: DO YOU have a good reason why you can’t succeed THIS year?

Zig Ziglar, Life is an Echo

Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow you reap. What you give you get. What you see in others exists in you. Regardless of who you are or what you do, if you are looking for the best way to reap the most reward in all areas of life, you should look for the good in every person and in every situation and adopt the golden rule as a way of life.

It’s a universal truth that you treat people exactly like you see them. It’s also true that all you have to do to find “good” or “ability” in a person is to look for it. Once you find that “good” or “ability” in the other person, you treat him better and he performs better. So it’s good “business” and good “humanness” to be a “good finder.”

Well said, Zig.

Are you struggling to succeed in a sluggish economy? If so, share some of your stories or tips that keep you motivated and positive like Zig. Just leave a comment below.

The Echo Effect of Social Bookmarking

A short time ago, I was preparing an SEO Case Study using some recommended Web 2.0 strategies and I thought my notes might be an interesting read for someone on the same path of learning.

I have a series of five websites that are four months old. Each site has about 5-700 pages indexed in Google, some pages indexed in Yahoo, but almost nothing in MSN, according to the data at Marketleap. All of these sites were roughly built by following the business plan outlines and ideas offered by Rick Butts.

This experiment intends to combine the idea presented in an Internet Marketing Secrets Podcast, (to pre-schedule blog posts intended to take over the top search placements for details surrounding Big Public Events that are already scheduled to occur) and utilize methods of Web 2.0 marketing that are currently proving effective, (after posting to your blog, announce it on several web2 sites. Then bookmark your post and the announcement pages on social bookmarking sites).

The measurement of success will be – the number of people who sign up to download the ebooks that are offered along side announcements about the event.

As I’ve been carefully targeting a narrow set of niche keywords, I’ve been monitoring the resulting changes in the top 30 ranking websites.

Just as before, I’ve been able to quickly grab several of the top placements for my keyword phrases. Results are showing up where I own four of the top 10 and fifteen of the top 30 searches on my phrase – because I’m using a series of five blogs on WordPress, a series of five independently hosted websites and a blog on LiveJournal. In addition, I’ve been posting summaries of my blog posts to three document and news release websites like Scibd and Propeller.

After all these co-ordinated posts are completed, I’ve been following directions and bookmarking the articles and the article summaries with ten or twelve popular social bookmarking sites using Onlywire service to make it easier.

I started to see by blog posts appear in the top search results first – often within an hour. Soon these listings are overtaken by the new release sites. After a day or two, my hosted website pages begin to show in the top 20 to 30. To my delight and surprise, within another day or two, I begin to see even more top rankings because of the “Echo Effect” of Social Bookmarking.

The ‘Echo Effect’ occurs when the RSS feeds from these Bookmarking sites are picked up by other sites and blogs around the internet. Google is indexing these feeds, giving my campaign more top rankings and more links back to my original article, resulting in an echo effect of even more website traffic.

Of course… this gives me lots of new ideas for marketing in new Niches – and inspires me to continue building a complete list of web 2.0 sites that Google loves.

Here’s to Business on the Internet!

Life is an Echo!

I read a story today that relates a story that applies to everything we do and become in life, and the causes for it. It starts off with a boy and his father hiking through the mountains. The father gets a little bit ahead and the boy slips and bangs his leg on a rock and yells, “Ouch!” Almost immediately he hears “Ouch” coming right back at him. A little startled he yells out to the mountains, “Who are you,” thinking it was someone mocking him.

He gets the same response. He then yells, “You coward,” and just the same way it has been happening, he heard the same response! Getting more frustrated and about to burst into anger, he looks to his father and asks him, “What’s going on?” His father just smiles and says, “Son, pay attention!” He then yells back to the mountain, “I admire you, You are a Leader, You are a champion, You can do anything!” With each phrase he received the same response in return.

The boy looks and little confused so the father explains, “Son, people call this an ECHO but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Life is a reflection of our actions!” If you want more live in the world, it first starts with creating more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team or your employees, become more competent yourself. If you want more respect, give more respect. If you want all out massive success, help others to become successful.

This relationship applies to everything, in all areas of life. Your life is not a coincidence…it is a reflection of YOU!