As the niece of author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, Christy Ziglar didn't have to look far for inspiration. "He inspired so many people to take action to change their lives," she says. "I think one of the things that most impressed me about Zig was the very unique way that he was able to deliver perfect nuggets of wisdom in humorous and practical ways that would resonate with everyone." Christy decided to continue in those footsteps with her unique children's book series, the Shine Bright Kids stories aimed at helping kids learn to make better choices in life.
How did you first decide to write these books?
Because of my background as a financial planner, I was asked to help develop a financial literacy program for first and second graders in the Atlanta Public Schools several years ago. It was during my work on that project that I first became aware of the need to teach our kids how to make better choices. It became clear that until kids could learn to say 'no' to the instant gratification, no amount of talking about saving or budgeting was going to make a real difference. As a mom, I'm always looking for creative and fun ways to teach valuable life lessons. My twins have always loved books so it seemed natural to write a children's story to provide a relevant context to convey this concept of delayed gratification and waiting for the very best. As soon as I started working on my book, "Can't-Wait Willow!," I began to think of other characters and stories that would highlight equally valuable life skills and so, the Shine Bright Kids series was born.
How has your uncle influenced your career and personal life?
I love hearing stories from so many people who share how one of his tapes or books directly impacted their life. It wasn't very long after I'd written the stories that I had a "middle of the night" moment when it occurred to me that the life lessons and values I was trying to teach through my children's stories were the same leadership principles and motivational messages that my Uncle Zig had spent his life teaching to adults.
Best takeaway from becoming an author?
It is so much fun to see a book come to life! I never realized how challenging and how rewarding writing a children's book could be. My favorite thing is seeing childrens' reaction to the story and hearing from the parents about how the book is helping their family become more purposeful and proactive in general.
Best message to pass on to children?
It's simple. Choose Right. Shine Bright.
My family! I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who is my best friend and two incredible kids that make everything more fun.
Best way to spend your free time?
I love to have adventures and I love to be outside. Whether it's exploring a new part of town, going on a hike, having a picnic, or just hanging out in the backyard, there's nothing more cherished than some unscheduled time.
Best thing you've learned from your uncle?
My two favorite quotes from him are, "It's not what you've got, but what you use that makes a difference," and "You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
The people who help you be your best self:
My husband, my kids, my family and my favorite friends.