Ep 176: Lessons in Personal Branding from the Ziglar Family with Tom Ziglar



“You can have everything in life if you help enough other people get what they want,” these are the famous words of Zig Ziglar that the Ziglar Inc brand continues to live by.

In today’s episode, we get together with Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar Inc, Author, Speaker, and proud son of Zig. His most recent book is titled Choose to Win: Transform Your Life, One Simple Choice at a Time.

In our conversation, Tom speaks about the challenges he faced in continuing the family brand and legacy. Tom explains how once he changed his mindset and stopped trying to emulate his father, he was able to fully tap into his skills and understand how best to serve the company and its clients.

Later in our conversation, Tom addresses the pandemic, the changing nature of work, and why employees should expect more from their company leadership.

Tom introduces the concept of asynchronous vulnerability to illustrate how to nurture the human spirit in a digital environment.

Join us for an honest conversation about understanding yourself, helping others, and prioritizing a high quality of life while achieving your work goals!


  • An introduction to Zig Ziglar’s son Tom Ziglar.
  • Tom talks about taking over the reins of his father’s business and the future of the Ziglar legacy.
  • Hear about the Ziglar brand being built on a personality and why it poses a unique challenge for the company’s branding and legacy.
  • How Tom had to reimagine what Ziglar Inc. would become without Zig in 2019.
  • Tom talks about how they restructured the business’s focus to serve particular groups of people.
  • An introduction to their company’s approach of encouraging, transforming, equipping, and supporting.
  • How they built their new program to align with somebody who is already a coach, speaker, or trainer in a niche.
  • The number one issue in large companies today is the health and wellbeing of their employees; why this is the biggest performance challenge.
  • “Quality of life leads to quality of work” and how the Ziglar content is geared to address that.
  • The pivot that Tom made for the company from speaking to coaching.
  • How Tom altered his mindset to embrace his strengths rather than try to emulate his father.
  • The ways the company changed to incorporate speaking and coaching as it transitioned to include the Ziglar legacy certification.
  • How Ziglar partners with their clients to fully utilize their library of content.
  • The importance of quality of life in your work life.
  • Tom introduces the concept of asynchronous vulnerability.
  • What kind of qualities and leadership style employees are looking for in companies.


“My challenge was that our brand was built on a personality. And it doesn’t get better than Zig Ziglar.” — @TomZiglar  [0:02:47]

“If a high standard of living is your goal, quality of life almost never goes up. But if quality of life is your goal, standard of living almost always goes up.” — @TheZigZiglar [0:07:07]


Tom Ziglar has had the rare privilege of spending his entire life surrounded by world-class leaders, innovators, and motivators.  Family dinner included the presence of the world’s TOP motivator, his father, Zig Ziglar. 

As CEO of Ziglar, Inc., Tom Ziglar carries on the Ziglar philosophy: “You can have everything in life you  

want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”   

Tom’s book Choose to Win, published and released in March 2019, expands the Ziglar branding and philosophy to include the secret to winning at life is one good choice at a time.  A more productive, fulfilling, and meaningful life is available to those willing to follow his easy-to-implement sequence of making one small choice at a time through the time-tested seven key areas: mental, spiritual, physical, family, financial, personal, and career. 

Tom speaks around the world to billion-dollar companies, small business owners, and prestigious academic institutions, including Cambridge and Harvard.  Leadership, business, and performance are among Tom’s favored topics. 

The Ziglar brand is more relevant today than ever. Ziglar has exceeded five million likes on Facebook, and The Ziglar Show has become one of the top-ranked business podcasts.  In 2020 Tom conducted over 300 webinars and podcasts and launched the Ziglar Coaching System, licensing and equipping over 150 coaches to teach the Choose To Win and See You  At The Top programs.  The world is hungry for inspiration, motivation, and hope. With Tom’s innovation, Ziglar has become the go-to resource! 


Tom Ziglar on Twitter

Tom Ziglar on LinkedIn


Choose to Win: Transform Your Life, One Simple Choice at a Time

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on Twitter

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Well, if you followed me for a while, you’ve probably heard my stories about me being mentored by the one and only Zig Ziglar and getting to be backstage with him at the get motivated seminars and having dinner with him and his son, Tom, and his wife, the red head. And that is how I met the man that you were about to meet Tom Ziglar, who is Tom, who is Zig Ziglar son, and is today the CEO of Ziglar. And Tom is an author and a speaker as well. He had a book come out recently called choose to win, which they’ve expanded into a coaching program. And he now carries the reins of the Ziglar family. Of course their philosophy is really based on what has become just a worldwide famous quote. You can have everything in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want. And so I thought it would be good to talk to Tom and catch up with him. We haven’t talked in a little while and hear everything that’s going on at Ziglar. And some of the story about how his dad built his personal brand and what they’re doing now in the succession and the legacy and transitioning to everything that Tom is doing. So Tom, welcome to the show, my friend, well, it’s great to be here. Rory, it’s been too long, right? I’m excited for what you’re doing and just honored to be on. Well, thank you buddy. I was trying to think I there, I have a video on my YouTube channel unlisted, I think is the first time you and I met, which was at dinner with your mom and dad. And I think I was like 23, which means we’ve known each other for 15 years now, already. Which is, which is wild. Give us an update on what’s what’s going on over there at Ziglar. And you know, I just, I think it’s fascinating. Your dad has such an incredible legacy inspired so many people. It’s really exciting to see that everything is still going and it’s transitioning. So talk to us a little bit about, like, when did you take the reins? What has that been like and where are you guys at now? And, and, and what is Ziglar focused on as Ziglar legacy? Yeah, well, since we’re talking about brand building you know, my challenge was our brand was built on a personality and it doesn’t get better than Zig Ziglar. And you know, who in the world influenced more people through his spoken word on stage, and then through his books and his audio programs, I mean millions and millions, but he told us, I mean, he told the whole family, he told me that his gifting is not our gift, right. I mean, he, he could reach into the bootstrapper the individual and inspire and motivate them to become the person that God created them to become. And each of us have our own gifts and talents. And so at the end of 2019, I really sat down and I said, well, what do we do at Ziglar now? Because as much as I would like to speak, like Zig Ziglar, I can’t neither can anybody else I’m not, Oh, welcome to the club. Right? Like he was a one of a kind. So what in, what year was that you really started? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for 20 years because you know, the transition and everything. But I looked at where we were at the end of 2019, and I said, how w how has our company transformed? And so I wrote these words down. And so I want you to think about when dad was leading and his voice was out there. His market was everyone. I mean, it, if somebody wandered in off the street, their life was, was likely to get changed if they just came with a friend or whatever, because he, he really spoke to that individual. And now we, we do the same thing, but we’re very focused. There are four groups of people that we work with, people who are intentionally building a legacy. So these are very successful people who are looking at, you know, what am I going to do next? How am I going to impact my family and my business so that it lives on the ripples through eternity. Then we work with coaches, speakers, and trainers. And so what we decided to do was to equip coaches, speakers, or trainers with our life-changing content, so that they could take it and go and reach their own community. And so that’s really the focus of what we we do. And we do that in four ways, by encouraging, by transforming, by equipping and by supporting. And so anybody who comes in and they’re going to find all the Ziglar material we’re going to encourage you, we’re going to help you transform. And then if you’re called into one of those areas, Hey, I want to, I want to build an intentional legacy, or I want to take this material and speak on it or train on it, or coach on it. That’s where we get into the equipping and the supporting. Yeah. Well, and I think a brand builders group, a lot of what we do is we help draw out of people, their own content. We help them create their own original IP, their own sort of like thought leadership, but many, and I would say most coaches and a lot of the most successful ones do this, where they get certified and trained in an, in an existing curriculum with an existing brand, like what you guys are doing. And so, so if I hear you, right, you are now licensing the, basically the the Ziglar content, so that coaches, they don’t have to actually create their own content. They can just basically take yours and go out and apply it directly to people. Absolutely. And that’s one big category. And let me just give a, a common the second category, and that’s this, we built our program to align with somebody who is already a coach or a speaker or a trainer in a niche. And what they need is, is they got all the professional experience. They’ve got the industry scars, they’ve got the network and they’re going to get the attention in their area, but they also might want to dig into the foundational quality of life things. And here’s a big trend. That’s just happened. In the 1970s. Dad said this, this is, you know, dad’s like when I look at his material and what he was saying 50 years ago, and all the research, that’s proven it out, it’s, it’s unbelievable. But he said this. He said, if, if standard of living is your goal, quality of life almost never goes up. But if quality of life is your goal standard of living almost always goes up. So you fast forward to the pandemic. And now everybody’s working from home and there’s all these new pressures and changes and challenges and disruptions. The number one issue in large companies today that HR, all the reports have shown is the health and wellbeing of their people. In other words, the life stress that’s happening is the biggest challenge to productivity and performance bigger than the technological challenges. And so what does that mean? It means this, that the world at large organizations have realized beyond the lip service, the quality of life equals quality of work. And so the way we work with leaders who were coaches and speakers and trainers, is they speak in their own area of expertise. And when you dig in, you realize that the challenges in that organization are usually relational hits. It’s usually problems stemming from individuals who don’t know how to do life. And we provide that content, that material that allows them to add that to what they’re already doing. How did you, I guess, come up with that? Or how did you transition? I mean, that had to be a pretty big transition in terms of you taking the reigns and figuring out the business model. Cause I feel like when your dad was around a big part of the business model was, was speaking. Right. I mean, so you’ve got speaking and then, and then like tape tapes and CDs and like the, the recordings and where you guys weren’t at least, I, I don’t remember you having have been as much of a coaching model back in those days. So that’s a, that’s a big pivot that you’ve, that you’ve made as the CEO. Right. It’s a big pivot. And it happened, let’s call it part one, part two. So part one is I just started speaking and it was gut wrenching. I mean, not that I did a bad job necessarily on stage, but I hated it. I mean, it was just the anxiousness and all these things. And I had to go and sit with myself and say, why, why is this such an issue? Because dad never put pressure on me. So in my head, I had told myself, people want to hear Zig Ziglar. They want me to be like dad. And I translated that into, I have to speak like him. And so what I’d done is I’d bought it and bought into a lie that had been telling myself. And so immediately I started working on that mindset and I said, no, people want me to be me, but they want me to have the same principles and values that dad had. So that allowed me to, I’m a why behind the why guy? I like to know, you know, I like a lot of evidence. I’ve got a dry sense of humor. And so once I became myself in leading, then you start noticing, okay, who, who gets naturally attracted to this? And what are my talents? So dad was speaking, I’m more a trainer and a coach. I like a little bit longer. And so we created our Ziglar legacy certification where we work with speakers and trainers to go teach it. And then the coaches started showing up from, from every direction and even crazier. It was a lot of business owners came in and said, Hey, I don’t want to make a business out of this, but I do want to take this back to my own company. I want to develop my own people. So that’s been a great, and so, so first I had to realize, quit trying to be somebody else, what are my gifts and talents, and then how do my gifts and talents best serve our customers. And so that was the, that was the graduation or the, the timeline, if you will. And then what’s the, what is the organization look like? Like how many people are on the team, like employees versus contractors in terms of like how you support. Cause you guys just to be clear, you don’t do coaching per se, you license your content to coaches. And like you mentioned, like maybe business owners to go out and, and teach the content. Although you do provide support some support to the coaches, but you’re, you’re you’re, am I understanding that right? That’s right. So this is kind of cool. We have three employees. Wow. Okay. And then contractors is everything else. And we have about 200 and some odd Ziglar speakers and trainers, and about 150 Ziglar coaches. Wow. And these coaches and these speakers they’ll have their own brand. And it will say Ziglar legacy speaker, or choose to win coach or see you at the top coach Ziglar coach. And so that’s how we kind of partner with them. I love that. Yeah. I mean, I think that is, is so cool is yeah. Who doesn’t want to be associated. I mean, anybody who, you know, has known the brand, it’s like who doesn’t want to be associated with it and, and be able to talk about those principles. And so I think that’s part of why I’m asking is just, I think it’s a really great model. Like it’s a very great it’s you guys are in a licensing model where you have figured out if we can, if we can take our content, which we do content really well, your dad created all this content. You’ve created all this content. If we can take all of our content, package it up so that people don’t have to create their own content, they can use it or use it. In addition to the content they’re creating, you basically got this, this license licensing model and a wonderful network of people who you do, you know, are like friends and comrades, as well as people helping market the brand and like push the brand out there. That’s awesome. And, and people are attracted off of the quote that you mentioned at the beginning. You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want, that’s why they come in to Ziglar. And then we help them gain clarity on what, what does balanced success mean for them? What’s their purpose and what’s their why. And then we have decades of content that we equip our speakers and our coaches with to dig deep on that. And you know, one of the cool things that I love is that when corporate world says quality of life equals quality of work, they’re recognizing that people are spiritual. And so I see, you know, one of the big disruptions that’s coming is I think the spiritual conversation is it going to be politically correct and dangerous anymore? It’s, it’s literally going to be, Hey, you know what? I want to be successful. I want to spend time with my family. I want to live in Costa Rica. I, you know, that’s what a top performer is going to say. And these principles and values are important to me and who they are and who do they want to work for? If I’m a top performer and I can work anywhere in the world, I’m going to want to work for leadership that says, you know what, you’re right. We value that we, we understand that life is more than getting the next project done. And what’s weird about it in a very cool way is that once you start to support that productivity and performance goes up, everybody thought when we went home for the pandemic, that it was going to kill our performance for people who could work remotely performance went up. Yeah. I mean, I, I think that is so valuable and important. I think the, the human spirit has in many ways just been ignored at the workplace for too long, just viewed as just, you know, some hands or a cog to produce something and, and people waking up to the quality of life. And I think the other thing that’s driving that trend is that leaders are waking up. Cause they’re going, man, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m burnt. Like I’m, I’m toast. Like, you know, the, the raise isn’t worth it, the title isn’t worth it. Like I’ve had two divorces or whatever, you know, like they just I haven’t had two divorces for those of you listening. I’m, I’m still married to AIG, but I think people are going, yeah, there’s more to it than this. And so what I heard you just say is you think that part of the future includes just as people are waking up to this idea that the whole person is you know, fitness and you know, like finances outside of work and free time. Do I hear you saying that you think that the faith conversation is also coming up is going to be coming up more and more in, in the workplace environment? I do. And the reason for that is, and I’m going to give a new term that I’ve landed on and there’s so much going on. So here, so here’s the term that I’m kind of coining in that and that’s this ACE, asynchronous vulnerability. So we now live in an asynchronous world, which means that people in different locations in different times zones are working on the same project together. And they’re doing it through technology, you know, Slack or Google docs or whatever they’re using. But we also know that the, the, probably the number one aspect of a winning team or organization is vulnerability. Lindsey only talks about it. Renee Brown talks about trust and those different things. And vulnerability means that if I have a doubt or I don’t understand something, or I have a crazy idea, I can throw it out to my, my team. And I know it’s a safe place. Well, that’s difficult to do around the conference table. It’s really difficult to do if you live in different countries in different time zones. And you’re only communicating through a static document in zoom, right? And so what creates an environment where somebody would be vulnerable in this new world? It comes down to virtues like kindness and respect and all the spiritual qualities that we talk about. The old style top-down leadership do it because I said, so command and control. You know, this is the way it’s going to be. That’s gone. The millennials are pretty much ushering that out anyway, but now through a camera, if you tell somebody what to do over a camera, they start looking 46%. I read a study this week. I think it was a Microsoft study. 46% of employees are going to look for a job somewhere else this year. Wow. That’s crazy. So what are they, you got to ask yourself, what are they looking for? In my mind, they’re looking for a coach leader, somebody who’s collaborative who asks questions, who’s more focused on the growth of their people. Then the results. Let me say that again. They’re more focused on the growth of their people than the results. Not that they don’t want results, but that they know this when a pandemic black Swan happens and you try to revive a business plan based on an environment that no longer exists, you’re doomed to failure. So what, what old-style companies and organizations do is they beat that horse. That’s lying on the ground, hoping that it will get up and run it’s because they’re focused on results. If they were focused on growth, they would look outside and go look at all this opportunity. People have more problems than ever before. This is a buffet for us because our people are growth oriented and they get excited about embracing the change and some of that. And so leaders who embrace the growth mindset, which I love all the research that validates what that started in the see at the top book in 1974, people who embrace that, they’re the ones who do well in a time like this. And when we look at technological convergence and the things that are going to come in and change, I mean, Warren w when we do this podcast five years from now, we’re going to have on glasses and the video screens going to be on the back of our lenses and our brains going to think we’re having coffee together. We won’t even know we’re not in the same room. So why would we ever go into the office if our brain thinks we’re in the office? Why would we go? It’s a, that’s what I’m wanting. Yeah. It’s a wild time. I mean, I, I, I think that, and I love just this. It’s kinda just like developing your people and not just focusing constantly on profit. And it’s like, that’s what a leader is. It’s, it’s like, that’s, that’s who I am willing to submit myself to. As someone who’s looking after me versus someone who’s just trying to get something out of me. And yeah, certainly principals and virtues. Your dad made a career out of talking about long, long before. You know, there was the data and the, and the trends. Let me ask you this, Tom, where should people go? If they want to plug into what you guys are doing and, and you know, just get connected to you and the team and, and what’s happening in the Ziglar these days, I’ll make it easy. Kind of one of these weird, crazy guys. So first is easy. Just go to ziglar.com. You can check out what we’re doing, but if you, if you want to reach out to me, just, just email me, Tom, at ziglar.com. So That’s pretty, that’s pretty easy. Thomas Ziglar, Thomas ziglar.com or go to ziglar.com. I, I mean you’ve always been so approachable, my friend, and you’ve always been so supportive of me and Ajay and the stuff that we’re working on. You know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve felt almost like a distant part of the Ziglar family, as I Imagined, probably millions of people do. Because your whole family has that now You got brothers and sisters all over the world, and it’s just unbelief. If there’s anything that I could, that I would say about the legacy is I could walk into any room and I’m speaking to friends and family. I mean, it’s just amazing. Yeah. Well, we wish you the continued best for you and the family and the friends. And you know, of course, the honoring memory of your father who carries a dear spot in my heart and always will. And thank you for coming on and giving us an update and you know, tuning in. So we’re praying for you guys, appreciate you.

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