#ThinkpieceThursday – Zig Ziglar Rules for Success

Zig Ziglar recently passed away.  He was a motivational speaker and author.  My father was a Mad Men era ad man.  He always liked Ziglar’s comments and books.  Here are Ziglar’s top ten rules for success– with my comments on how they apply to writing.

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”  This is a great one to remember when rejection feels like failure.  Just because you have a bunch of pitches or scripts that haven’t sold doesn’t make YOU a failure.

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”  When you are pitching a project are you clear about the company’s mandate?  Have you researched their past films or television shows?  How does your project fit in with their goals? How would it enhance their portfolio?  Different producers and production companies have very different taste.  Don’t waste their time or yours by pitching something that doesn’t fit in with what they want to achieve.

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” Write for at least one hour every day. Find ways to keep yourself motivated every day.

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.” Be a creator as well as a critic.

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”  Does your story have a strong emotional through line?  The definition of entertainment is to feel something.  What does your story make people feel?

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”  Be hopeful and optimistic, be prepared, and be flexible.  Most people miss opportunities because they can’t see them coming.  The best goal going o into a pitch meeting is to create a relationship, not sell a project.  Getting another meeting should be the objective.  The longer you can engage others enough to ask “tell me more” the better chance you have of success.

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”  To have a friend you must be a friend.  Writing tends to be isolating.  Find ways to be of service to others.  A generous spirit is always repaid ten-fold and in very unexpected ways.

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Set small achievable incremental goals every day.  Find time to write every day even if it is only for an hour.

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” A good attitude is crucial to being a success and appreciating success once you are there.

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”  This speaks for itself.

Half of being a writer is selling yourself and your projects.  Learning how to sell with authenticity and integrity is crucial to success.  Ziglar is a great mentor.

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