The name Zig Ziglar may sound like one I made up for a Zigzag Principle mascot, but it’s actually the name of a man who took 16 years of zigzagging to steadily reach his goal of becoming a motivational speaker.

Ziglar started out working as a salesman before he even realized he wanted to become a motivational speaker. However, when he heard his first professional speaker give a speech, he was instantly hooked and knew that was what he wanted to do for work. He identified his beacon in the fog.

Ziglar was wise! He knew that he could not quit his job and put his family at risk so he could pursue his dream. He knew it would be unacceptable for him to make it to his beacon in the fog without his family, and he understood that he had some big barriers to overcome before even achieving that goal was possible.

Instead, Ziglar worked for 16 years, zigzagging back and forth to get the experience he needed to reach his goal. He persistently maintained financial profitability by working in sales while gaining skills so he could reach his beacon in the fog. I don’t doubt that he faced many great trials in this long series of zigs and zags.

Yet in the end, it indeed paid off. Now Ziglar is not a solitary speaker trying to keep cash flow steady in his business, but instead he is a very successful motivational speaker with a thriving business. That expanded business may not have been part of his original beacon in the fog; however, he kept moving once he achieved his original goal.

Though I admit I’m a little sad someone else has a claim on such a great zigzagger name, I have to respect the constant determination it must have taken Ziglar to keep steadily building his skills and reputation to become what he is today. It’s an amazing accomplishment to build not just a business and see it become everything you hoped it would, but to build yourself into what you’ve wanted to be for 16 years.