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We had the honor of connecting with Michael Ray Newman, the CEO of Zig Ziglar International! This interview is so special for us, because at Everyday Power we are huge fans of Zig Ziglar and his work.
Michael Ray Newman is a businessman and entrepreneur to the 10th power, having bought and sold dozens of companies. However, becoming the CEO of Zig Ziglar International (ZZI) is one of his proudest professional accomplishments and highlights in his extensive business portfolio. But Michael’s success wasn’t a straight line to a pot of gold. Instead, he faced many painful setbacks and learned how to overcome them, only to propel him 10 steps forward.
In this interview we were able to discuss success, impact, influence, resilience and obstacles. Michael provides us with wisdom and action steps that will leave us inspired and ready to put the work in!
We hope you enjoy!!!
Inspirational Interview with the CEO of Zig Ziglar International, Michael Ray Newman
Jeff: Michael thank you so much for joining us at Everyday Power. I’d like to open up with one of your quotes. You once said:
Michael: Yeah. It’s servant leadership. I was taught servant leadership before it was cool. This was like the early 2000s, they came out with servant leadership, which is exactly what we do. And it all stems from the one-minute cassette tape I had when I was in my early 20s, and I was lost, and I felt like a total failure. I was at this garage sale buying these baby clothes for my little unborn child. She’s 25 now, and she’s about to get married next year…
Michael: Thank you, Jeff. Her boyfriend asked for her hand over Thanksgiving. I want to hit him and cry at the same time.
She’s my baby girl but he’s a good dude. He’s been around for a while now. We love him. But anyway, I mean, I got my girlfriend pregnant. I was lost. I was unemployed, I had no money in my pocket and I’ve never needed money.
If I needed money, I simply thought, “How am I gonna make it?”
I was in college at that time. I was living my dream, which was dating my hometown sweetheart and playing college football and just hanging out.
So I couldn’t get this guy to negotiate baby clothes and he wouldn’t come down on price. And then there were these boxes of cassette tapes. And I’m a child of the 80s and all their hair bands…and I looked at one and it said, Zig Ziglar. And I said that’s probably a good hair band!!
Michael: On those tapes I found out what my mission statement for life was. And, on every company I’ve owned since then, and I’ve owned more than a dozen companies, my mission statement has stayed the same. This mission statement is simple: you can get whatever you want out of life, if you just help enough people get what they want. I’ve been buying some companies for a while now. I’ve been amazingly successful. I’ve been able to impact generations of my family around this mission statement. But there was a time when I had nobody on my side. I was in my car by myself and Mr. Zig Ziglar told me that “everything’s going to be okay, if you just go help other people get what they want.”
Jeff: What does that look like in real life?
Michael: It looks like different stages of growth. The first one is survival, which I was in during my 20s. I figured out how to pay the light bill and take my wife out for dinner every once in awhile.
Then, the next stage is success. And, of course we all have different definitions of success. But significance – that’s the goal.
Significance is when you can help other people be successful.
Jeff: In your bio, you talk about success and significance coming after decades of work. In a world where people want instant results and don’t always have the patience to stay their course, what advice would you give people who are looking to become significant?
Michael: I’m gonna tell you brother, It’s going to be long and hard road. And, in life something is waiting to sucker punch you.
I mean, you’re gonna get sucker punched at the back of the room, over and over and over again.
It’s crazy because every single thing I failed in, every single thing that I’ve done, whether it comes to selling knives door-to-door or building technology companies, I’ve always been able to learn and use what I learn to become more successful. And in my day, you had to learn from experience. There was no Google or Youtube, to teach you how to work on your car or change a tire or build a business.
Now the only problem is that you really gotta be careful of who you’re learning from, because if somebody’s life coach is just 27 years-old, you might wanna step back a second. So there are benefits and pitfalls, but there are really a lot of credible people out there that can get you educated much faster.
There’s a very good methodical path that you can take. Why? Because you are born to win. There’s no doubt. You are not born to suck. God did not make you to fail. We’re born to win, but before you can expect to win, you have plan and prepare. And, as long as you’re always prepared, planning and preparing and always, always, be prospecting to be successful.
Jeff: Michael, the name of our blog is Everyday Power, and it’s where we make inspiration and personal development today’s breaking news. The blog was created when I was a 7th grade English Teacher in Harlem, NYC, and I was sick and tired of watching my kids use the computers in class to look up gossip, drama, conflict, and clothes. I found that inspirational and self-improvement information didn’t seem as relevant to them as gossip. So our goal, is to make self improvement as captivating, relevant and widespread as gossip, conflict and drama. My question to you is, how do you define “Everyday Power”?
Michael: I love what you just said. I love your mission. I just went off on my Facebook Live this morning about that. About self-talk and about how what we put into our mind is exactly what we are. The people you surround yourself with is exactly who you are. We’re engineered for success and we’re endowed with the seeds of greatness. But we must work at it every day. We have to be deliberate in what we do every day. Today. Right now. That is Everyday Power.
Then, go as far as you can go and when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.
But you got to trust yourself, you gotta believe in yourself and most importantly, you got to trust the process of being able to take it. Like my granny said “a mile is a trial, but an inch is a cinch”, right? That’s what she always taught me when I was younger and now we say things like “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” And we all know that..just keep on chewing.
We have to live the day. We have to be successful today. We have to be successful this morning and be successful when we get up. Because the most impactful person you see in the beginning of the day is you. Your attitude determines your altitude.
Jeff: I love it. Michael, a lot of people will read this interview and will want to learn more about you and your work. Where can they find you?
JM: Thank you, thank you so much Michael.