Limited Time Offer! Schedule your FREE business coaching session and scale your business smarter & easier! Reserve My Spot

Success! Your account information has been updated.

close icon

This episode is a business coaching course that explains how to advance your career in your workplace.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotable: "Think like an acorn. Grow where you're planted and then branch out."
  • Lesson Nugget: Be more interested in doing a great job than anyone else in the office.
  • Mystic Statistic: "Only 13 precent of employees worldwide are engaged at work." - Gallup

-Jim, I am so excited that you're here right now, and I'm also excited because we are actually going to be answering a real life question from a Thriver.


-We encourage you guys, as you're watching, there's that ask the-- the ask the guru.

-Easy for you to say.

-Whew. Not so much. Ask the guru button right into, because we take these very seriously, and we're here to help. So I'm going to read this question here. This is from a Thriver in Toronto, Ontario. You know who you are. They say I graduated from university, and I have a degree in business management, yet I got hired at a very entry level in my company. I've been here three months, and I get paid well, but I feel like I'm not getting ahead or making any progress at all. How do I keep from getting stuck, and how do I make sure that I'm not wasting my time here where I could be managing somewhere else?

-Interesting combination of things. Paid well, entry level. Those two usually don't go together, but that's good. Good that you're getting a decent pay for what you're doing. Degree from university, good for you. Congratulations. Been here three months and feel like I'm not getting hit. Three months? Really? You just started. Hey, you don't even know where all the files are yet. No, I would say for one thing breathe.


-I appreciate the fact that you're motivated enough that you want to get results and you want to get them now, but chill. Give yourself a little breathing space, and then let's unpack this and look at what your questions are.

-Yeah, there's three main things that kind of come to the surface, I think. The first is they're wanting to know how to get promoted. Second is how to stand out at work, I think, because obviously you can't get promoted if you're not standing out, but then also how to make sure that they're not wasting their time, how to decide if this job is a good use of their time. So the first one, though, how to get promoted.

-Let me take the third one first.

-You do it.

-If this job is a good use of your time. Yes, it is, because it's the job you have. So don't worry about changing yet. I mean, you can set a goal to change and move to a different position, but this is the job you've got. So make like an acorn, grow where you're planted, then branch out. So how do you distinguish yourself at work? One way to distinguish yourself at work is be more interested in doing a good job than anyone else around you. Be more interested in advancing your organization than anyone else in the office. Be more interested in helping and supporting the other people than anyone else in the office. I'll guarantee you you will stand out and stand out rapidly, because that's so rare. It's so rare for a person to be genuinely engaged in doing their job well.

I mentioned in a previous session that I worked as a clerk at the housing authority in Little Rock, Arkansas many, many years ago. I had no authority at all. I was the bottom of the totem pole, the least-- what-- power of anybody in the whole organization, and I was getting paid $525 a month, which was just above minimum wage at the time. And I had a wife and child at home, and I had lots of responsibilities, and thank heaven my wife was working too, because we wouldn't have made ends meet otherwise. But I didn't do what I'm suggesting to you, and so I just rocked along, and nothing got better until one day I heard Earl Nightingale on the radio, the commentator who was considered the dean of personal motivation, and he inspired me that day in that little message to take an interest in my job and to start thinking about how I could advance the organization and help it succeed. So I started reading books on urban renewal, and I started finding better ways to do the things that we did there in the office like filing and so forth.


-And my boss came to me, and he said, hey, they want you to go downtown to the main office and meet with Jim McKinnon, so I drove downtown to the main office, went into Jim McKinnon's office. He said we want you to leave the field office and move in here. We're making you a staff assistant. You report directly to the board of directors, and you'll be my associate. And we'll give you that corner office over there.


-All right, and they gave me a raise.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget : Great opportunities only become available to those who take every assignment seriously.


-So this was wonderful.


-And it was a job I didn't-- a career I didn't necessarily want. But I just got such a better job that all of a sudden, it was fascinating and fun and I got involved. And about two or three months later, they had a employees' association meeting-- I didn't even know there was one-- and elected me president.

MAN: Wow.

-I didn't attend the meeting.

MAN: What?

-Now, think of this. This happens in a lot of organizations. They had an employees' association. They held a meeting. They said we need a president. Who could we get to be president? Let's do it to Jim. So they did. They elected me president and came and told me, you're the president of the employees' association. And I said, well, I didn't even know there was one. And they said, well, ha, ha, ha. So they thought this was a funny joke.

Well, I said, if I'm the president of the employees' association, then I need to know what the employees are interested in and concerned about and what the employer is interested in and concerned about and I need to take this seriously. So I did.

MAN: Wow.

-And I found out that there were lots of opportunities. So I went in and sat down with the president of the association and asked him questions. And then, I met with a lot of the employees and I found out what they were interested in.

I got free parking. We had all been paying for off-site parking. I got free parking across the street from our building for all the employees. I got all kinds of new things. We organized a big annual picnic and had a lot of fun. And people got engaged and I even got-- I don't mean engaged to be married. I mean engaged on the job.

And I found that in one of the offices, there was a big satchel filled with records. Remember records, CDs that were this large? Well, these were records from Success Motivation Institute by Paul J. Meyer out of Waco, Texas. And it was a motivational recording series. And I took them home and I put them on my record player because I still had one at the time. And I listened to him and I got inspired by that.

And that led me more and more into the field of personal development, which made me more and more valuable on the job, which ended up getting me another promotion. And then, I got a job offer outside of there that was much more attractive and started my career in the field of personal development.

-This is awesome. So you specifically, though--

-And I started as a government clerk at 500 bucks a month with nothing going for me.

-I love this. This is huge. This is a real-life story of how this works.

-You can do this.

-Yes. And the way it all started was you deciding that I'm going to take more interest in the company, in my job, and the people around me and over-delivering. And you stood out, got promoted--

JIM CATHCART: Absolutely. And I wasn't even in Toronto, where they have Cathcart Street, thank you very much.

-Whoa, whoa.

-Toronto, which is the home of Four Seasons hotels and Resorts, Isadore Sharp, and Toronto, where I will be on August 5 of this year.

MAN: Wow.


MAN: I love it. This has been hugely helpful. I'm hoping that you guys were writing this down. You know who you are, the person that wrote this in. But thank you so much for your time and for sharing specific action items and lesson nuggets with us.

-Give my best to the folks in Mississauga, Ontario.


Let's Get Started. Try Us for $1
Login Try Us for $1
search icon
What do I do next? Ask our Mentors any Business Question.

Ready to Thrive? Log In to your Account.

Login with your email
Please enter your email.
Please enter your password.
Login with social accounts
Signup | Forgot password?

Forgot Password?

Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.

Sign up to Thrive15

and get unlimited access to 1,700+ courses
  • Full Access

    $ 49 /mo
    Try it free
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • save $98 on an annual membership


    $ 41 /mo
    Save $98!
    Try it free
    *Billed as one payment of $490.
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • Thrive15 group memberships

    Team Membership

    Need to train five or more people?
    Learn More
Graduation Cap Icon College student? Sign up for $19/month. Learn More

Contact Us

Give us a call or send us an email and we will be in touch as soon as possible, or sooner than as soon as possible.

Email: info@thrive15.com
Phone: 918-340-6978
Prefer communication by smoke signals?

Ask us a question!

We want to answer you, no strings attached. How can we reach you?

Please enter your name.
Please enter your phone number.
Please enter your message.


Let us know what's going on.

Please enter your subject.
Please enter your message.
Even more feedback