My Personal Memorial of Zig Ziglar ~ DeWayne Owens


Ladies of Brake 5  ~  I want to introduce you to a long time friend, DeWayne Owens.  DeWayne is an amazing motivational speaker and I believe a person called to bring radical change into the lives that have ears to hear his words.  Knowing his relationship with motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, I asked DeWayne to share with you how his life was changed when he met Zig and their journey of friendship. God knows how to connect His children in order for their destiny to be accomplished.    Therefore, I encourage you to read his personal memorial of Zig Ziglar.  Be inspired to embrace change as is demonstrated in this wonderfully written memoir of how one person’s life changed another.  The cycle is never ending . . . .

DeWayne OwensMotivational Speakerwww.dewayneowens.com
DeWayne Owens
Motivational Speaker
http://www.dewayneowens.com

DeWayne Owens is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, author, and trainer. He is also the proud pastor of Kingdom Faith Bible Church in McKinney, Texas. DeWayne’s speaking programs focus on educating, informing, and equipping people with the tools, wisdom, and motivation to maximize their productivity in their personal and professional lives. What makes DeWayne Owens especially unique in the speaking industry is his passionate desire to help others discover their purpose in life and how their purpose applies to their careers. For more information about DeWayne Owens visit http://www.dewayneowens.com. To find out more about his ministry visit http://www. kingdomfaithbiblechurch.org

My Personal Memorial of Zig Ziglar

I distinctly remember the first time I heard of the name Zig Ziglar. It was May 14, 1995, the day after the death of his oldest daughter Suzan. There was a small article written in the Dallas Morning News. I remembered the article because Zig’s name was so unique. That name Zig Ziglar had a nice ring to it. Other than reading the article that day, I really did not know anything else about him and I definitely could not have anticipated the profound impact this man would have on my life in the near future.

Zig Ziglar and DeWayne Owens
Zig Ziglar and DeWayne Owens

During the time I read the article on the death of Zig’s daughter I was in the midst of a drug addiction that started fifteen years prior to my reading the article. I was a regular user of crack-cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, speed, and an assortment of other pills. I used just about every drug except sticking a needle in my arm. One year later I was a point in my life where I wanted to stop the drug usage in my life. I stopped using drugs cold turkey and began to fill the void of the absence of drugs and turning away from my drug using friends by seeking information on how “successful” people became successful.

In the summer of 1996 I went to an all-day financial empowerment conference. The day long program featured a couple of motivational speakers. It was the first time I heard a motivational speaker. At the end of the conference I could not tell you much about the information I received regarding finances, but for the life of me I could not get the image of that motivational speaker out of mind. Little did I know at the time was that I had connected with my date with destiny. The motivational speaker encouraged us to go out and buy books, videos, and cassette tapes from various nationally and internationally recognized motivational speakers which included Zig Ziglar. There’s that name again with the nice ring to it.

Zig and DeWayne
Zig and DeWayne

In 1996 I was not big on reading so I immediately went out and purchased several of Zig’s motivational cassette tapes. I committed to listen to the tapes during my commute to and from work. Listening to those motivational tapes of Zig Ziglar absolutely blew my mind. I had never heard anyone speak the way he did before. I had never been more encouraged about my life before listening to him. Not only did he dare me to dream and think big, but he actually had me believing I could really do big things. I wanted to be like Zig, in that I wanted to be an encourager of people and felt the best way I could do that is by becoming a motivational speaker also. Zig Ziglar helped to install purpose in my life and I knew I would never be the same again.

Fast forward to 1998. By this time I had been doing a little motivational speaking after spending a year and half learning the craft of speaking through Toastmasters International. I was living in Carrollton, Texas, which unbeknownst to me at the time was where the Ziglar headquarters was located. I met Zig’s son Tom and Ed Bianchi, who was then over the human resource division, at the gym we worked out. At the time I was working at Job Corp as a Career Advisor and they thought I might have some helpful information to share at the Ziglar Corporation regarding working with at-risk youth. I was so thrilled to have been asked to come speak at Zig’s corporation, but the bigger thing for me was the fact that I was going to finally meet the man who literally helped me to change my life around, Zig Ziglar. Fortunately the speech went well; unfortunately Zig was unable to attend the presentation that day.

I was asked to return several months later to present again and this time Zig was there. My first encounter with Zig Ziglar was a precious learning moment for me. I expected Zig to be this bigger than life figure who would just overwhelm you with his presence, but the man I met that day had to be one of the most humble men I had ever met in my life. Zig Ziglar was an international icon in the business of motivational speaking and training. He had already authored several best-selling books, an award winning speaker, and recipient of numerous merit awards. Despite all of the celebrity status and recognition that Zig had received, I did not see even a remnant of egotistical pride in this man. Zig went out of his way to come and meet me, make me feel at home, and made me feel very special in his corporate house. Zig had a way of making you feel like, despite the number of people in a room, you were the only one in the room who had his attention. He was such a natural encourager and he loved to laugh. Humor and jokes always flowed from the mouth of this man who truly loved people. Above all else he was a godly man who always spoke highly of his wife Jean or affectionately known as the “The Red Head” every opportunity he had. He was a man devoted to his God, his family, his church, and helping to empower the lives of others.

Over the years I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a motivational speaker, author and trainer. During those years I would spend time with Zig and his son, Tom receiving advice on several different levels. Zig would share with me stories of how he started in the speaking business, his business successes and his business failures. It was Zig who led me to explore the spiritual aspect of my life. When I first heard of Zig Ziglar back in 1995 I was not a believer in God. It was through listening to Zig’s tapes on goal-setting that I was led to explore spirituality. As a result, my exploration led me to ultimately become a born-again Christian in 1996. The story Zig loved to share with me and I heard him share on countless occasions with others, was meeting Sister Jesse, an older African-American woman who led him to Christ. Zig said when Sister Jesse talked to him about Christ he was 40 years old and broke. He told me that once he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior he never had to solicit another speaking engagement again for the rest of his life.

Zig Ziglar is arguably one of the greatest orators of all time. His platform skills were flawless and he uniquely owned a style of communication that was authentically “Zig”. He was an excellent motivator of the human spirit unlike any speaker I have ever heard before. His greatness on the platform is only exceeded by his greatness off the platform. In other words, he not only talked the talk, he walked the walk. On November 28, 2012 the Lord brought his beloved servant home. I, as well as thousands of others who have had a connection with Zig, will dearly miss him. I will always be encouraged by his spirit of feeling compelled to help with the spiritual and personal-develop of others. I remember a few years ago when I was considered for ordination to become a pastor I struggled with receiving such a recognition of honor. I was already satisfied with my career as a speaker and holding a leadership position in my church. To become an ordained minister scared me and I felt like there would be a big conflict between ministry work and my career work. I took my conflict to Zig for advice. Of course I was expecting a long drawn out philosophical explanation as to what to do. Zig simply said, “If God told you to do it, you better do it.”

Today I am a speaker, author, trainer, and ordained pastor of Kingdom Faith Bible Church in McKinney, Texas. It turns out that as a pastor I still did not have to give up the motivational speaking business! On December 1, 2012 the Zig Ziglar Memorial Service was held at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. It was a beautiful service honoring a beautiful man. The service moved me to tears and I just did not realize until after Zig was gone how much of a positive impact he had on me and the direction of my life. I am a better man today as a result of my friendship with Zig Ziglar. To my friend, mentor, and brother-in-Christ, I salute you, and I look forward to seeing you at the top in heaven one day.

DeWayne Owens is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, author, and trainer. He is also the proud pastor of Kingdom Faith Bible Church in McKinney, Texas. DeWayne’s speaking programs focus on educating, informing, and equipping people with the tools, wisdom, and motivation to maximize their productivity in their personal and professional lives. What makes DeWayne Owens especially unique in the speaking industry is his passionate desire to help others discover their purpose in life and how their purpose applies to their careers. For more information about DeWayne Owens visit http://www.dewayneowens.com. To find out more about his ministry visit http://www. kingdomfaithbiblechurch.org

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