Motivating Action: How to Become an Expert and a High Achiever

Author and Speaker Jim CathcartJim Cathcart is no stranger to the motivational speaking circuit. Among many other achievements, he is listed in the professional Speaker Hall of Fame, named as one of the top 100 minds on personal development and received the Golden Gavel Award, an award also received by the man that inspired Jim to develop his expertise in personal development and sales – Earl Nightingale.

Commit One Hour a Day to Become a Subject Matter Expert

In the 70s, Jim was going nowhere fast. He was a self proclaimed loser. He was working in a job that didn’t inspire him; he had no money in the bank, no college education and was out of shape and overweight. Then he listened to Our Changing World, a radio show where Nightingale encouraged listeners to become an international expert in any field in five years or less by studying an hour a day. That one tip motivated Jim as it resonated. He realized it was something he could do to turn his life around. He chose to take action. Jim immersed himself in learning all there was to know about the field of personal development and sales. He listened to the entire Nightingale audio library. He was hooked and began selling the recordings.  He was very successful at selling Nightingale’s recordings and then began making his own recordings and other materials. This led to his booming success including 16 books and speaking engagements all over the US, Canada and internationally.

Ironically, years later, it was Nightingale that called Cathcart out of the blue because he had read an article by Cathcart and wanted to sell Cathcart’s recordings! Then, when Nightingale passed away, his widow asked Cathcart to speak at his memorial. This was an incredible honor for Cathcart.

One Small Step a Day to Reach a Goal

886194_10152241716792340_1737679142_oCathcart’s philosophy on reaching a goal is to commit to one small step. As Jim describes in this inspiring episode of the Saturday Morning CEO Talk Show,  he wanted to lose 50 pounds but wasn’t athletic. He decided to commit to putting on running shoes every day and getting out the door. Did he run or walk every day? No, but he stuck to his commitment of putting on the shoes no matter what he was wearing or how busy his day was, the shoes went on. He went from not exercising to running five miles to going on strenuous hikes. All from his one step a day commitment.

The Person I’d Like to Become

After one of Cathcart’s talks, a young 19 year old man, Tim Seward, asked Jim for an inspirational quote – something to help motivate him every day. Tim was operating a mobile Tidy Car franchise detailing cars. Cathcart responded with:

How would the person I’d like to become do the things I am about to do?

Tim wanted to be the International Sales Leader for Tidy Car. So he started to dress like he thought the International Sales Leader would dress and detail cars and promote his business like he thought the International Sales Leader would do. His business grew, and grew…until he had to hire employees and open a brick and mortar location.

Tidy Car called Cathcart and asked him to come to present a white Corvette to that year’s International Sales Leader. You guessed it, Tim Seward. However, what was remarkable was that Tim was more than 300 points ahead of the second place competitor for the award. And, only a point separated the next top competitors.

When Cathcart congratulated Seward for the award, Seward reminded Cathcart about the question he offered him as a motivational tool.  Steward also explained that when he was invited to the convention, he knew he was in the running but wasn’t sure he’d won. He again asked himself, “How would the winner of the National Sales Leader competition travel to the convention?”. He bought a one-way first class ticket. He had his ride home.

Cathcart expresses this concept concisely by saying:

Don’t think like an acorn, think like the oak. If you think like an acorn, you’ll remain squirrel food.

So don’t remain squirrel food. Start today by asking yourself:

  1. How would the person I’d like to become do the things I am about to do?
  2. What is one small step I can commit to each day to get towards a goal I want to achieve?
  3. Am I willing to commit an hour a day to study a subject so I can become a subject matter expert in less than five years?

We love to hear your thoughts and feedback on these articles. Please share your goals, successes and challenges with us and the other readers. You are not alone and you may just inspire someone else to achieve their goals.

Watch the archived episode with Jim Cathcart which aired Feb 8, 2014 on the Saturday Morning Success TV Talk Show Archives.

The Saturday Morning Success TV Show airs every Saturday morning from 9:30-10:30 am Pacific Time.  The show Airs on Verizon FIOS 45 & Time Warner Cable 26.105 in Riverside County, California.

The show is also archived on Vimeo for viewing anytime.

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Joni Rose

Joni Rose

Joni Rose is Saturday Morning CEO's blogger. Joni writes about her passion - professional and entrepreneurial development. She has an extensive background in adult education and training program management. Her consulting business, Career Minded Consulting Services, focuses on helping companies take a mishmash of training courses and create a training program that helps recruit, train and retain great employees.

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Joni Rose

Joni Rose

Joni Rose is Saturday Morning CEO's blogger. Joni writes about her passion - professional and entrepreneurial development. She has an extensive background in adult education and training program management. Her consulting business, Career Minded Consulting Services, focuses on helping companies take a mishmash of training courses and create a training program that helps recruit, train and retain great employees.

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11 Responses

  1. Jim Cathcart says:

    Joni you did a masterful job of capturing my story and message. Thank you very much!

  2. Naomi Temple says:

    You did an amazing job at highlighting significant learning points in the content and complimenting our guest speaker. You are a huge asset and credit to the team. Welcome again! Loved it! <3

  3. It’s validating to read that about the running shoes. I started doing the same thing with workout clothes, just putting them on in the morning – and, keeping them on after my workout, which often led to an additional workout. Unfortunately becoming who I wanted to be didn’t motivate me in this particular area though, my one step a day is not as pure as Cathcart’s. I had to bribe myself with Netflix to get myself on the treadmill. Not proud, but I will admit it! Read more here: https://suite.io/lisa-cdeluca/68t52jm

    Nice article Joni.

    • Joni Rose Joni Rose says:

      Thanks Lisa! Self-bribes are a great way to reward good behavior in my books! Whatever works, right?

      • I know but I feel like such a slacker next to Cathcart! He wants to be a better person, I just want to watch TV. It wasn’t a reward, it was, “Yay, I get to watch Netflix now” but I would only watch it while on the treadmill, so that’s how I got myself to work out. Well, like you said, whatever works:-)

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