In the mid 90’s I had the pleasure of meeting a very inspirational speaker who taught a great lesson to me by answering one question. His answer has helped to mold my philosophy on how to treat people – regardless of who they are and how much money they make – with respect and high regard.

I was born and raised in Nashville, TN. Though by the mid 1995 I had lived in Japan, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Vermont – Nashville was always the landing pad in between those other cities. One year after starting up my consulting company I worked in the back of the room doing book sales for a company called RGA. Each year RGA, owned by Charles Whitnel, would put on an incredible event focused on empowering individuals to be their best. In 1995 Zig Ziglar was one of the featured speakers for this grand event. Because I worked the back of the room, I had the pleasure of meeting him.

I had made my mind up that when I met him, I would ask one question. The question that was most pressing on my heart at that time was, “how do you overcome the fear of success?” As soon as I had the chance, I asked.

He looked at me, smiled, looked down at the floor for a second and responded, “Son, the best way to overcome fear is with integrity. Always be honest with yourself about whom you are; always be honest with others. Don’t compromise what you believe in, and remember that fear is nothing more that false expectations appearing real – as I have written about in my book.” He then smiled again, gave me a pat on the shoulder, and continued on his way. The smile was as if he totally understood what was in my heart.

All I could say to myself after that interaction was, “Wow! I just spoke with Zig Ziglar, and he answered my question. I must be somebody!” I went home later that day and read his book, again. I read his book many times thereafter. Subsequently, Zig Ziglar’s philosophy, along with the late great Jim Rohn and others, has had a major influence on my life. What does this have to do with you?

It has everything to do with you. It was my experience, yet today it becomes your lesson. Your path has crossed this philosophy, and for good reason.

Perhaps its time to examine your philosophy of self treatment. In other words, if you are honest with yourself, then it makes it much easier to be honest with others. If you have high standards about your personal work ethic, then you will not only hold others to high standards, but you will honor the standards of others.

I talk to home-based business owners who usually say, “I tried this business, but it didn’t work.” More times that not, after asking many questions (rather that to assume) about why their business failed, it can be traced back to their personal work ethic and lack of clarity about where they are headed.

Before you begin to dive in to a home-based business (or any business for that matter), make sure that you have self examined and know your business ethic. Be clear about your goals and objectives and make sure they are linked directly to your dream(s).

Below are some considerations before diving in. If you already have a home-based business, then it may not hurt to slow down and honestly respond to these questions in the quiet space of your home and your heart.

Are you disciplined enough to stick to a daily process?
Do you have what it takes to withstand rejection while keeping your eyes on the prize?
Is your vision clearly defined in your minds eye?
Do you share you vision with those who care about you?
Have you examined and clearly defined your philosophy about money, wealth, family, business, and all areas of your life?
What is your reason for having a home-based business? In other words, aside for making extra money, what is your “WHY”?
Have you taken the time to clearly define your goals?
Have you turned your goals in to clearly understood and defined objectives?
Do your goals and objectives support your overall dream(s)?
And finally, what are the very simple actions you can take each day that will allow you to realize your overall dream(s)? These actions become your daily process.

Taking the time to honestly respond to these questions will help to clarify your business, and thus will define your daily actions. Remember, fear is nothing more than false expectations. What makes the fear real is when you believe in it more than you believe in your dream(s).

Everyone experiences fear. The difference is in how we manage it. If the only expectations you hold on to are those that will manifest your dream and vision of your future, then your actions will eventually be focused on that manifestation, and the fear will subside.

That is the lesson I received from the brief, incredible, and life changing interaction with Zig Ziglar in Nashville, TN. I owe a major thanks to and am grateful for Charles Whitnel of RGA who allowed me to support that event by working the sales tables.

What are your lessons about life? Do you appreciate them? How often to do you share them? And more importantly, how often do you live by them?

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