The Best Zig Ziglar Quotes that Will Inspire Your Success



“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar had a way with words.  Here is my Zig Ziglar quotes collection where you can see his words in action.

I organized my Zig Ziglar quotes into some simple buckets for browsing.

It’s a big list.

I think you’ll find a phrase or two that resonates with you.

One way to make the most of the list is to look for three quotes that you want to remember.

Top 10 Zig Ziglar Quotes

  1. “Be helpful.  When you see a person without a smile, give him yours.”
  2. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
  3. “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”
  4. “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.”
  5. “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.”
  6. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
  7. “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
  8. “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”
  9. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
  10. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”


Here are Zig Ziglar quotes about our abilities and capabilities:

“Ability can take you the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”


“Ability is important in our quest for success, but dependability is critical.”


“Don’t become a wandering generality.  Be a meaningful specific.”


“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.”


“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.”


“Far too many people have no idea of what they can do because all they have been told is what they can’t do.  They don’t know what they want because they don’t know what’s available for them.”


“Other people and things can stop you temporarily.  You’re the only one who can do it permanently.”


“This I do know beyond any reasonable doubt.  Regardless of what you are doing, if you pump long enough, hard enough and enthusiastically enough, sooner or later the effort will bring forth the reward.”


“Too many people spend more time planning how to get the job than on how to become productive and successful in that job.”


“What you do off the job is determining factor in how far you will go on the job.”


“When your image improves, your performance improves.”


“You already have every characteristic necessary for success if you recognize, claim, develop and use them.”


“You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”


“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”


“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”


Here are Zig Ziglar quotes about ambition:

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”


“A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.”


“Action often precedes the feeling.”


“All of us perform better and more willingly when we know why we’re doing what we have been told or asked to do.”


“Ambition, fueled by compassion, wisdom and integrity, is a powerful force for good that will turn the wheels of industry and open the doors of opportunity for you and countless others.”


“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”


“If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive.”


“It is easy to get to the top after you get through the crowd at the bottom.”


“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”


“Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.”


“Obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.”


“Obviously, there is little you can learn from doing nothing.”


“The basic goal-reaching principle is to understand that you go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will always be able to see farther.”


“The only way to coast is downhill.”


“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to his or her commitment to excellence, regardless of his or chosen field of endeavor.”


“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”


“When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.”


Zig Ziglar had a lot to say about attitude:

“Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.”


“If you have enough push, you don’t have to worry about the pull.”


“Most of us would be upset If we were accused of being ‘silly’, yet it comes from the old English word ‘seilig’ and it’s literal definition is ‘to be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous.'”


“Of all the ‘attitudes’ we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.”


“Our favorite attitude should be gratitude.”


“Some people find fault like there is a reward for it.”


“The more you express gratitude for what you have the more you will have to express gratitude for.”


“The way you see people is the way you treat them.”


“There are seldom, if ever, any hopeless situations, but there are many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.”


“There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”


“We all need a daily check up from the neck up to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes.”


“What comes out of your mouth is determined by what goes into your mind.”


“When we clearly understand that there is no superior sex or superior race, we will have opened the door of communication and laid the foundation for building winning relationships with all people in this global world of ours.”


“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”


“You cannot tailor make your situation in life, but you can tailor make your attitudes to fit those situations.”


“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Business Success

Here are Zig Ziglar quotes about business success:

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.”


“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”


“Keep your thinking right and your business will be right.”


“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”


“Selling is essentially transference of feeling.”


“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”


“The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.”


“When a company or an individual compromises one time, whether it’s on price or principle, the next compromise is right around the corner.”


“When management and labor (employer and employee) both understand they are all on the same side, then each will prosper more.”


“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”


Here are Zig Ziglar quotes about our personal effectiveness:

“Every choice you make has an end result.”


“Everybody says they want to be free. Take the train off the tracks and it’s free-but it can’t go anywhere.”


“It’s not the situation, but whether we react, or respond, to the situation that’s important.”


“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”


“It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.”


“Just remember, when you should grab something, grab it; when you should let go, let go.”


“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”


“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.”


“To respond is positive, to react is negative.”


“When you exercise your freedom to express yourself at the lowest level, you ultimately condemn yourself to live at that level.”


“With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.  With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.  With fear and guilt removed you are free to be and do your best.”


“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.”


“You cannot solve a problem until you acknowledge that you have one and accept responsibility for solving it.”


“You don’t drown by falling in water; you only drown if you stay there.”


“You have to be before you can do, and do before you can have.”

Friends and Family

Here are Zig Ziglar quotes on friends and family:

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”


“If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.”


“Kids go where there is excitement. They stay where there is love.”


“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”


“Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do in planning the marriage.”


“Our children are our only hope for the future, but we are their only hope for their present and their future.”


“People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.”


“Start your child’s day with love and encouragement and end the day the same way.”


“The best thing a parent can do for a child is to love his or her spouse.”


“The best way to make your spouse and children feel secure is not with big deposits in bank account, but with little deposits of thoughtfulness and affection in the ‘love account.'”


“The best way to raise positive children in a negative world is to have positive parents who love them unconditionally and serve as excellent role models.”


“When someone we love is having difficulty and is giving us a bad time, it’s better to explore the cause than to criticize the action.”


“When you put faith, hope, and love together, you can raise positive kids in a negative world.”


“Your mate doesn’t live by bread alone; he or she needs to be ‘buttered up’ from time to time.”

Personal Development

Here are Zig Ziglar quotes on personal development:

“Building a better you is the first step to building a better America.”


“Happiness is not pleasure, it is victory.”


“Life really is like a grindstone, in that it will either grind you down or polish you up.”


“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.  Make motivation a habit and you will get there more quickly and have more fun on the trip.”


“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing-that’s why we recommend it daily.”


“Take time to be quiet.”


“The greatest single cause of a poor self-image is the absence of unconditional love.”


“There’s not a lot you can do about the national economy but there is a lot you can do about your personal economy.”


“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”


“When I discipline myself to eat properly, live morally, exercise regularly, grow mentally and spiritually, and not put any drugs or alcohol in my body, I have given myself the freedom to be at my best, perform at my best, and reap all the rewards that go along with it.”


“When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.”


“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”


“You can finish school, and even make it easy — but you never finish your education, and it’s seldom easy.”


“You can get everything money will buy without a lick of character, but you can’t get any of the things money won’t buy: happiness, joy, peace of mind, winning relationships, etc., without character.”


“You must manage yourself before you can lead someone else.”


“You will make a lousy anybody else, but you are the best you in existence. You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility.”


Here are Zig Ziglar quotes about positivity:

“Are you a SNIOP?  Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence Of Others?”


“Be helpful.  When you see a person without a smile, give him yours.”


“Before you change your thinking, you have to change what goes into your mind.”


“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.”


“Don’t be distracted by criticism.  Remember-the only taste of success some people have when they take a bite out of you.”


“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”


“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”


“Failure is an event, not a person.  Yesterday ended last night.”


“For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”


“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”


“If you don’t like who you are and where you are, don’t worry about it because you’re not stuck either with who you are or where you are.  You can grow.  You can change.  You can be more than you are.”


“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.”


“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”


“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.”


“If you’re sincere, praise is effective. If you’re insincere, it’s manipulative.”


“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.”


“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”


“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”


Here’s Zig Ziglar quotes about personal success:

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life.  You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”


“If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.”


“Man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”


“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the got to have it scale.”


“Money will buy you a bed, but not a good night’s sleep, a house but not a home, a companion but not a friend.”


“Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wants to find out for themselves.”


“Remember there is plenty of room at the top-but not enough to sit down.”


“Remember, you can earn more money, but when time is spent is gone forever.”


“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.”


“Success is dependent upon the glands — sweat glands.”


“Success is in the details.”


“Success is like a ladder, and no one has ever climbed a ladder with their hands in their pockets.”


“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.”


“Success is not measured by what you do compared to what others do, it is measured by what you do with the ability God gave you.”


“Success is one thing you can’t pay for. You buy it on the installment plan and make payments every day.”


“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”


“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”


“The door to a balanced success opens widest on the hinges of hope and encouragement.”


“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”


“The price of success is much lower than the price of failure.”


“You build a successful career, regardless of your field of endeavor, by the dozens of little things you do on and off the job.”


“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”


“You don’t ‘pay the price’ for success-you enjoy the benefits of success.”


“You enhance your chances for success when you understand that your yearning power is more important than your earning power.”


What are your favorite Zig Ziglar quotes?

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  1. @ Ershad — Pithy and powerful.

    @ Srinivasan — Ziglar’s quotes are a timeless gift — he leaves behind a powerful legacy.

  2. I like the one about building a better you is building a better America (or community). When I say that growing a joyful spirit is the best way to benefit our world, people look at me funny, but this is just what I meant!

  3. @ Galen — It’s so true.

    I’ve long been a fan of lead yourself from the inside out, and that greatness is contagious, joyful spirit and all.

    It’s up there with “be the change you want to see.”

  4. I had the privedge to see this wonderful man in person. He was an awesome person and left such a legacy. Is his “red head” as he so affectionally called his wife living? He had such wisdom. I plan to place one of these quotes on my classroom white board each day to encourage and motivate my students.

    Thanks Zig

  5. Personally this is my favorite of Zig Ziglar Quotes: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing-that’s why we recommend it daily.”

    Anyway, love most of Zig Ziglar quotes, truly motivational and inspiring. 🙂

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