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Local man becomes Zig Ziglar trainer

Those familiar with Zig Ziglar, a legendary motivational speaker for business, know the value of anything his name is a part of. And now, Walmart Fleet Safety Manager and longtime Brookhaven resident David Simmons is part of the Ziglar legacy, having graduated an inaugural training seminar class held by the Ziglar family business.

Last November, Simmons joined 25 other inductees in a series of seminars and work sessions meant to train trainers, and ultimately become a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer. Business owners, corporate trainers, ministers and motivational speakers from all over the globe were in Simmons’ class. The class is based on the life’s work of Zig Ziglar.

Ziglar, who died in 2012, is best known for his positive, motivational speeches geared at raising the performance of the salesman, CEOs, businessman and professionals. Ziglar coupled messages of Christianity with his own tried and true personal and professional attributes, eventually developing a core set of principles he practiced throughout his career and life.

Ziglar authored more than a dozen motivational books, gave thousands of motivational speeches and attained great heights as a salesman. In his books and speeches, Ziglar outlined the principles he had learned and encouraged others to utilize them.

In the sales world, attaining Ziglar-like success is often the highest honor, an achievement so monumental that only a fraction of the competitors involved actually achieve it. Similarly, the vetting process for becoming a certified trainer at Ziglar Inc., is just as selective, Simmons said.

“It’s an extremely extensive background check and vetting process. They will know everything there is to know about you. It’s also a personality test. Becoming a trainer is becoming a leader.”

With the certification, Simmons is now able to hold workshops and seminars, and give keynote addresses to individuals and businesses seeking a competitive edge. It is something Simmons would like to do full-time.

“Helping people with setting goals and establishing ways to achieve those goals is one of the things I have learned throughout the years. It is something I would like to impart to others.”

For the last 27 years, Simmons has overseen and trained Walmart drivers on safety and defensive driving, to ensure they are in DOT compliance. His area covers the panhandle of Florida, southern Alabama, all of Mississippi and into southeast Louisiana.

An essential part of Simmons’ duties is to train other Walmart employees. His role is also to motivate and encourage them to achieve the company’s goals, and personal ones as well.

In pursuit of a spot on the Ziglar team, Simmons said he participated in several workshops in Texas, including a four-hour seminar meant to build a positive self-image. A positive self-image is the necessary foundation for all other attributes, Simmons said.

The goal of the self-image workshop is to refine skills that develop good relationships with others, set clearly, defined goals and develop a good, positive mental attitude, Simmons said. Other characteristics that trainees must possess include a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed.

Simmons traces his fondness for Ziglar, and the life approach he imparted on him at an early age, to Ziglar’s first book, “See You at the Top.”

“This is a book I have used throughout the years in my career, spiritual and personal life. It has brought a balance between all of those things. My dad and I used to read it and study it back when I was a teenager.”

Simmons says the training he received at Ziglar Inc. is a special honor, and he is determined to share what he has learned with others.

“What do we want out of life? We want to be happy. We would like to be reasonably prosperous, have good relationships with co-workers and family. We would like to have good health and desire lasting success.”

These are some of the things I can help people attain, Simmons said.

Popular Zig Ziglar Quotations

“You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.”

“People say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough people to get what they want.”

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. “If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”