Vail Daily column: Hope, encouragement, success and Zig Ziglar |

Vail Daily column: Hope, encouragement, success and Zig Ziglar

Michael Norton
Vail, CO Colorado

“The doors of hope swing widest on the hinges of encouragement.”

Zig Ziglar

Born in 1926 and passed away in November 2012. And somewhere along the way, Zig Ziglar went from selling pots and pans door-to-door, to being considered the world’s ambassador of hope, encouragement, motivation, and success.

As you read my thoughts this week, please do so under the umbrella of success. Because at the end of the day, Zig Ziglar was about success and helping individuals, small business owners, and large corporations succeed. So whether we grew personally, professionally, or spiritually because of Zig, that would have been his definition of success. Check out his “Strategies for Success” program at it is a life changer.

Yes, this is a tribute column to a man that has changed millions of lives for the better. And yes, that is millions with an “M.” For each one of us whose life has been positively impacted by Mr. Ziglar, we certainly care about the other 999,999 plus people who have experienced a positive change in some way because of Zig, but we are intimately familiar with how he was able to influence and change our own personal situation.

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I attended his funeral and memorial service. It was a sad, happy, motivating, and inspiring event. What you would absolutely come to expect from Zig Ziglar, even as he left this world and entered eternity. During the services people in attendance and even those who spoke during the service used one word descriptors of Zig to try and capture his essence and who he was as a man, a husband, a father, a friend, a coach, a motivator, and a believer in God. Words like coach, teacher, motivator, consistent, encourager, leader, salesman, genuine, Christian, and mentor were shared and accurate.

In his speeches Mr. Ziglar focused on five key areas of life: Healthy self image, positive attitude, winning relationships, setting and achieving goals, and hope. Now it didn’t matter what your role was in life or what job you had or who you were related to, his message was meant for every single person on this planet no matter who you were and where you were from. Race, religious belief, family history, work history, past, present, or future didn’t matter to Zig because his purpose, his passion, and his intent was to be a difference maker in our lives, each and every one of us.

For those of you that read my column each week, I feel like even though you may have never met Mr. Ziglar you do know him and have known him ever since I started writing this column. I say that with confidence because everything that I write, even though they come from my personal experience and observations each week, are founded, grounded, and based on the impact Zig Ziglar has had on me for the past 26 years.

“The doors of hope swing widest on the hinges of encouragement.” I remember the first time I heard Zig say this. He was the master encourager, the ambassador of hope, and the most genuine and consistent man I have ever had the blessing and privilege to know and work for. My hope and my encouragement to you is to keep looking for ways to encourage others, build them up, inspire and motivate them, and help them become the person that you know and that they will soon discover that they are meant to be.

“You can have everything in this world that you want, just as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” This is Zig’s most famous quote and I am here as living proof that he lived this principle every day of his life. He helped me become the man, the husband, the dad, the friend, the employee, and the believer in God that I am today and I will be eternally grateful.

A good tree can only bear good fruit. Zig’s son Tom, or should I say Tom, the proud son of Zig Ziglar is the CEO of the company and he is continuing the vision and mission of his dad. For any of us, our hope would be that we would leave a legacy for our children and they would continue that legacy. For Zig it truly transcends his immediate family. He has changed the face of the world, sometimes thousands at a time and sometimes tens of thousands at a time, and sometimes even just one person at a time.

For many years I have heard hundreds if not thousands of Zig Ziglar stories from people all over the world. Anyone who ever had a history, or encounter at a seminar, or just read his books or listened to his audio programs all shared what that meant. I would love to hear your Zig Ziglar story at and when we all look forward with hope it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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