Tucson By Choice!: "Success Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity" Zig Ziglar

"Success Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity" Zig Ziglar

Lightning over Tucson, AZ

This quote from Zig Ziglar is framed in my office. 

I don't know if you're like me, but I'll admit to loving success, while struggling with the discipline required to prepare for that success.


  • exciting
  • necessary
  • builds on itself
  • attracts others
  • results driven


  • boring
  • tedious
  • necessary
  • builds on itself
  • habit forming

Forked lightning strike over Tucson, AZFor the longest time (actually, since I moved to Tucson ten years ago,) I've wanted to photograph a lightning strike. 

I've lived through the past nine monsoon seasons, admiring the fantastic lightning shows that the desert provides.

Each year I tell myself that I'm going to figure out how to photograph lightining. 

Each year, I failed to follow through.  I never took the time to figure out my camera or to plan a course of action.

The discipline of blogging for you on Active Rain changed that. 

Lightning strike over the city of Tucson, AZIn order to make my posts visually appealing to you, I learned how to use my camera to best advantage.  I learned to take action photos in series of three, with the camera doing the work.

Last night, one of the spectacular monsoon thunderstorms blew in from the southwest as I was closing up shop.

My Darlin' and I met for a mid-week dinner date, and by the time we were leaving, the storm was upon us.  This year was different.   I was prepared.

I drove to the top of Gates Pass, parked the car and began shooting pictures of the approaching storm.

Monsoon lightning over Tucson, AZSuccess!  It wasn't hard.  It just required a little preparation and follow- through. 

Now if I can apply that same discipline to my business...

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your local expert.

photos copyright Mike in Tucson


Digital Camera: 
Panasonic DMC-TZ1 (Lumix)
Cost:  $240.00 at Costco a year ago
Setup:  Hand-held, no tripod

Conclusion:  It doesn't take expensive equipment to do stuff like this!

Comment balloon 63 commentsMike Jones • August 07 2008 11:02AM


Great, eerie pictures. Veronica

Posted by Veronica DeCarolis (Weidel Realtors) about 12 years ago

The right time the right equipment and being in the right place at the right time a great combination.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 12 years ago

Awesome pictures!  Man, I need a great camera but it obviously takes more than that!

I am so with you on loving success despite hating to do those preparation activities.

I succeed only because there are enough things that I like to do that make money.  But if I could only learn some self discipline too.

Posted by George Wilson, Raleigh Cary Realty 919 439 0965 (Raleigh Cary Realty) about 12 years ago

Look Mike I figured out how to comment. Just love those pics along with the quote!


Debbie Bachel Tucson Home Ins. Agent

Posted by Debbie Bachel (Allstate Ins. ) about 12 years ago


It's not a great camera.  See my EDIT comment above in the post.  Anyone can do this.


I always carry my camera with me.  That way, when opportunity presents itself...  That's all there is to it.


Thanks for being the first to comment!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Nice pictures. How do you get lighting pictures...nice preparation.  Also I love Zig Ziglar!

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 12 years ago


I just took pictures of the black sky.  I must have taken 100 of them.  Five or six captured lightning strikes.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

I love your pics and I think Zig Ziglar is one of the best speakers there is. Thank you for the post

Posted by Pat Whitehouse, Broker/Owner (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) about 12 years ago


Thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate the kind comment.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago


Awesome photos!  I always get pleasure reading your posts.  I am so glad that you took the trouble to photograph the lightning.  I had the kind of day that needed this inspiration.  Thanks!

Posted by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) about 12 years ago


I'm glad it inspired you!  Thanks for subscribing to my blog; readers are my inspiration.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago


Lighting is easy! On film, even with a "Bronnie." Awesome with a Rollie. Fun with the 4x5 Graflex. Nearly imposable with my digital.

That said, your photos are specular!

Just what I'd except from you.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) about 12 years ago

Very nice, Mike.  You're 100% correct... a little preparation and you're halfway to success.  Great photo's!

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) about 12 years ago

Wow, that took some diligence!  Lightening is hard to catch like that.  I took a lightening photo back in 1984.  Once I figure out how to get it scanned in and clear enough to see I'll send you a copy.  Or, I'll just have to show you next time your up...

Nice shots.

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 12 years ago


The Zig quote is priceless today especially! Congrats on the incredible photographs, too. You really know how to have bunches fun while living and working.

Posted by Kevin Wood,, Tucson, AZ Realtor (Keller Williams Southern Arizona) about 12 years ago

Ah, yes. Good ol' Zig. His books have been on my shelves for many years. Preparation and planning remind me of one of George Harrison's songs off of his Brainwashed CD (2002, posthumous): "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 12 years ago

Zig Ziglar is a great motivator. I've read most of his books over the years. Great photos.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 12 years ago


You have, through your photos, impressed on me to take my camera with me everyplace.  Over the past couple of months now I haven't left home or office without it.  Thanks for the GREAT pics as always.

Don R.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 12 years ago

I love these. They would make nice background wallpapers for the computer too. I was just looking at some neat lightning photos yesterday too. They are always really amazing.

Check out: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/green/chi-chicago-lightning-storm-080506-ht,0,5196975.photogallery

It was really great talking to you this morning.I'll send some photos to you asap.



Posted by Venessa about 12 years ago

Great pics and I love Zig Ziglar - what kind of camera are you using?


Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Zig Zigler doea a fantastic job of motivating and teaching...love his stuff

Posted by Travis Newton, FHA, USDA, VA, LOAN EXPERT - Salem OR Homes For Heroes SALEM OREGON (Salem and Bend Oregon FHA, VA & USDA 503.931.4490) about 12 years ago

Mornin' Mike! As soon as I saw the name Zig Ziggler I just had to comment on this post! Years ago when we were first starting out in the real estate biz, my hubby Steve used to listen to motivational tapes for hours in the car on our way up to Lake Tahoe with our young boys. Zig was at the top of the list. My boys to this day recognize many of the top motivational speakers and have a "can do" attitude. "Welcome to My "Zig Zigler" World!" 

Posted by Diana Turnbloom, The Leading Expert in TC Services & Education (Escrowcoord.com) about 12 years ago

Mike,  I want to get some lighting strikes myself.  Thanks for the encouragement.  I was driving home a few weeks ago after a closing and noticed a rainbow.  I had just taken some pictures earlier and my camera was dead.  So, being ready and having a charged battery is half the battle. Wish me luck.  Great pictures.

Posted by Jimmy McCall, The Ex-Mortgage Consultant (JimmyMcCall.com) about 12 years ago

Hi Mike!  Great pictrures!  You've got some courage I must say!  Glad you weren't holding onto a tripod;-)

Posted by Judy Peterson, "Superb Service, Superb Results" (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox&Roach Realtors ) about 12 years ago

Gorgeous Mike! I love lighting pictures and what a great  quote to put with these pictures

Posted by Mandi Perkins (Pioneer Title Agency) about 12 years ago

Mike, I have the same camera and I'm in love with it.  I can't believe I went so long without it.   Awesome awesome pictures that you took with it!

Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) about 12 years ago

Stellar post, Mike - Zig Ziglar is just awesome - a real "in the trenches" philosopher and the pictures are terrific.

Posted by Regina Lundeen (Delaware Association of REALTORS®) about 12 years ago

What an experience.  How did your friend like the lightening show?  I bet it was a bit scary and exciting. 

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 12 years ago

Mike, amazing photos.  I lived in Las Vegas for a few years and absolutely loved monsoon season.  Mother Nature puts on quite a show in the beautiful southwest.

Posted by Kristina Pratt, REALTOR - SFR - GoshenRealtyGroup.com (St. Louis' Illinois Suburbs - RE/MAX Preferred Partners) about 12 years ago

WOW!! What beautiful photo's! You have inspired me yo go out and take more photo's of our beautiful mountains!

Posted by Jane Baer Broker/Owner Jane Baer Realty Blairsville, GA about 12 years ago


Beautiful photo images of Monsoon sky at Tucson.

Your "Success Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity".  I love the Zig Ziglar line.

Harrison K. Long, Explore Properties Group, CB Previews NRT

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) about 12 years ago

Excellent photos!

Sometimes it takes a little push to achieve excellence.

Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999 (Waterway Realtors® • South East Florida • Real Estate Brokers) about 12 years ago

Congrats Mike on getting those shots, they are great.  Glad you took the time to tediously prepare so we all could enjoy & you get to smile on your accomplishment.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 12 years ago

Great photos, and patience! I have one of those cameras that after you push the button it takes like 2 seconds for the picture to actually take. I would probably throw it to the ground before I would be lucky enough to actually capture a lightning strike. Time for a new camera I guess?

I Love the Quote, along those same lines, on my wall I have:

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"  By: Louis Pasteur

You gotta love how empowering a good quote can be.

Posted by Jason Daley, Kitsap County Real Estate, Bremerton, WA Real Estate about 12 years ago

Those are some very beautiful pictures.  I never knew that the Tucson area had monsoons.  You learn something new every day!

Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Very inspiring! I like Zig Ziggler also. Thank you for sharing the pictures and the story.

Mary Mayer

Posted by Mary Mayer (Meybohm ) about 12 years ago


I got a shot of lightening about a month ago.  Can't find it now. 

I did get hail today.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Hi there,

Great photos!

Ziz Zigler, what a flash back for me. He was the very first speaker I ever heard when I was a newbie in r.e. That was 38 years ago, it was amazing I couldn't sleep a wink that night after seeing him in person. Then I saw him again a few years ago as a guest speaker at my church in Garden Grove, CA. Loved em the first time and loved him the last time.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) about 12 years ago

Great shot Mike!! When I had my 35mm I really got into aperture and film speed  and all of that...then I went digital and got lazy!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Great shots, Mike!! I love your story--you make a good point! Good luck in your business...

Posted by Deborah Burroughs about 12 years ago

Mike - Fabulous pics.  I so love a great storm!  And Zig has been one of my heros since the late 70's.

Posted by John Morgan about 12 years ago

Congratulations on the feature!  You are a motivator in more ways than one!

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 12 years ago

Mike - we had one of these monsoons hit vegas this afternoon....about 5 minutes after I got in my car to head home.  Some 4 year old got hit by lightening.  thee were paramedics and abulances at almost evey street corner, many detours, took me an hour and a half and a half a tank of gas in what should of been a 15 minute drive.

Posted by Mary Warren about 12 years ago

 Mike, your  lighting pics have to be the most impressive shots I have seen in a very long time!

 Wonderful post and bad-a&*%$ pics.

Keep them coming!

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz about 12 years ago

Beautiful, dramatic shots, Mike. You must have had a very fast exposure to catch the lightning or exposed for a second or more? I've never shot lightning - I'm usually trying to get away from it. We have a guy in Central FL called "The Lightning Stalker" and he follows the storms. Crazy guy. Zig's quote is great and worth remembering. Thanks for both post and quote.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 12 years ago

placeholder to return your valued comments.  Good night!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago


Cool photos..... 


Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) about 12 years ago

Hi Mike,

Should you really be standing outside at Gates Pass during a lightning storm?  Better see me about some life insurance!  Ha Ha Ha.

Dana Lim / Allstate Insurance
Tucson, AZ.

Posted by Dana Lim (Allstate Insurance) about 12 years ago

Again, I am in awe of your photography skills Mike!  Whenever I am in need of a "virtual" vacation, I just hop over to your blog!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 12 years ago

Mike, great shots with your camera. I am so jealous....I'm not in an area where I can get good shots of the lightening. ;-)


Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) about 12 years ago

Absolutely gorgeous Mike. 

Posted by Rita Bradley, Valuation Consultant in Orange County California 949-916-3263 about 12 years ago

Awesome photo of the lightning strike - I love the monsoon season in the desert. I used to have a place at Havasu and we would set up our lawn chairs, and sit outside and watch the show!

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) about 12 years ago


I'm hoping that they weren't aluminum lawn chairs!  LOL




I didn't know that there was a place in Arizona where one couldn't get good photos of lightning.  The key is point the camera at the sky.  LOL


Thanks for coming by for your Virtual Vacation.  Come back often!


Let's get together about that life insurance policy.


Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Mike - Isn't it wonderful to reach a goal like that? Thank you for sharing your success with us, and putting what I, too, believe is a great motivational quote on Success. Your photos remind me of my sister's stories of hanging out in lawn chairs in her back yard in Lubbock TX to watch the incredible displays...

Posted by Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas) about 12 years ago

These photos look different on my old monitor.  Can't see the lightening.  Where have you been?? 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 12 years ago


I've been preparing for a short week's conference in Salt Lake City with Send Out Cards.  I leave this morning and return Sunday.


Thank you!  I don't know about sitting in aluminum chairs during a lightning storm...

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

just watch the amazin Michael Phelps show us what preparation truly can do for you.

Posted by Daniel Wexler (ReMax) almost 12 years ago


He was amazing, wasn't he?  Thanks for commenting.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 12 years ago

Great post.  I had the opportunity to see Zig Zigler in the spring.  Even though his health and memory are no longer the best, he was great to hear. 

The photos are wonderful!!!!! 

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

What great pictures.  Good idea to keep the camera in the car.

Posted by Dale Chicago Motivational Speaker almost 10 years ago


Are you an AR member?  Come on back and give us a link.  I'd like to know more about you.


Ziglar is always motivational!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 10 years ago

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

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 4 years ago

Hi, Inna. 

I first heard that said by Zig Ziglar, more than 40 years ago, and it's as true today as it was then.  :)

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 4 years ago

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