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This episode is a business coaching course that teaches to commit to the first step.

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

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Action Step: Commit to something you want to do and do not stop doing it.
  • Notable Quotable: "Keep pumping when you're seeing no results...yet."
  • Notable Quotable: "Success is unreasonable. It is abnormal to succeed."


-So talk to me about-- I guess if you could talk to the thriver here who's saying this seems incredible, it's amazing what Jim has done--

JIM: Yeah, good for Jim, but it doesn't relate to me.

-There's no way I could do that.

JIM: Yeah. Well, neither was there any way I could do that when I was working at the housing authority. I, you know, I didn't have the advantage of being a great student or having mentors around me or having a well connected dad that could open doors for me. I didn't have money in the bank. I hadn't inherited anything.

INTERVIEWER: You don't need any of that, you're saying.

-No. And I wasn't an athlete. You know, so I had basically nothing going-- I tell people I was a nice looser.


-I was a guy you'd be happy live next door to because I'd be a good neighbor and a good friend and a good person. But I wasn't going anywhere.

-I love it. So we've given specific action steps here to the thrivers. One, choose what you're wanting to do.

-That's right.

-Two, start doing it. And three, don't stop doing it.

JIM: That's right.

-And you mentioned--

JIM: And by the way, that's really, really seriously. Don't stop doing it.

-It's huge.

-Don't expect to see progresss-- it's like Zig Ziglar's old analogy of the pump.


-You know, pumping water. He said you got to prime the pump. So you got to give before you get. And then you've got to keep pumping until the water comes from way down deep in the well up to the top. And then once the water starts flowing, you can slow down and you can pump like this. But until then, you've got a pump like crazy and keep pumping when you're seeing no results yet. Yet is a wonderful word.


They say I can't do that. Yet. Meaning I don't have the skills and knowledge that help. I don't have the opportunity yet. It's not that moment, but I could do it later.

-So the turning point moment for you, I know, I've gotten to talk to you a little bit off camera. And you talked about how taking those initial baby steps were big.

JIM: Yeah, that was huge.

-What did that look like for you when you decided I'm going to start, which is our second action item here? Is just starting anywhere helpful?

JIM: Well, yeah, it actually is. You know, it's just like turning one page. I was in Tulsa. I had gotten started. So things were going pretty well.

I got really active in the Jaycees, the Junior Chamber of Commerce. And their national headquarters was in Tulsa. And I'd been hyper involved in the Jaycees in the state of Arkansas, 400 meetings in two years after work for no pay. So that means every day after work, after working at the housing authority, I came home wife and son at home, and I would have dinner with them and then I would go to a Jaycees meeting. You know, it was like a rotary meeting or that kind of thing, lions.

So I went to the Jaycees meetings and I got involved in the leadership training programs that they had. And that got me involved in more of them and more of them. And so I literally did 200 meetings a year for two years in a row. And I was always gone between like 7:00 and 9:00 PM.

And you think, well, Jim, that's just, that's just unreasonable. Yes, it is. Success is unreasonable.

-Success is unreasonable.

-It is abnormal to succeed. So doing the normal things won't lead you to the extraordinary results that you're seeking. So I had gotten involved in the Jaycees, did well in Arkansas, got an opportunity to apply for a job at the US Jaycees headquarters, got it. Moved to Tulsa. Now, I was 200 pounds. I had stopped smoking, but I was still fat.

-You're 200 pounds still.

-Right. And I was out of shape. I had not been an athlete. And so I decided, you know, many times during my life I've gone on diets and lost weight. I know I can lose weight. That's not my goal. I want to become slender.


-Now, what's the difference between losing weight and becoming slender? One's temporary, the other's permanent. You lose weight, you make gain weight. But if you become a slender person, you don't have to worry about weight for the rest of your life. So I went from being an overweight guy for the first 26 years to being a slender guy for all the rest of those years of my life.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: When you have decided on the goal you want to achieve, commit to the first step to get started.
  • Lesson Nugget: If you want to succeed start with the small, first step and the rest will come more easily.
  • Ask Yourself: What can I commit to doing to better myself?
  • Lesson Nugget: If you are able to truly commit to the first step on your way to success, the subsequent steps will follow.
  • Notable Quotable: "Show up. If you don't show up, the game is off. Make committing to show up your biggest thing; make it literally fanatical."
  • Definition Magician: Fanatic - Marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.
  • Recommended Reading: The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino
  • Recommended Reading: Live A Thousand Years - Giovanni Livera
  • Recommended Reading: See You At The Top - Zig Ziglar
  • Recommended Reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey
  • Recommended Reading: Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

[INTRO MUSIC] -Well, I figured I got 50 pounds I want to get rid of. -OK. -I wanted to weigh around 150. -Right. -First thing I need to do is start eating better, and the second thing I need to do is start behaving more vigorously in my life. -OK. -So what I'm going to do is commit to the first step-- literally step. The first thing I wanted to do was start running. -Right. -And I'd never run. And it made my lungs burn and my legs ache, and it hurt. -(CHUCKLING) It didn't feel good. -So I said, well, I can't get myself to run every day, but I can get myself to take the first step every day. What do you mean? Well, here was my commitment. Now this sounds absurd. -OK, tell me. -I guarantee you, if you want to succeed, and you commit to the little first step on things, you'll do the second step more often-- and the third, and the fifth, and the hundredth step more often. -That's huge. Yeah it is. -You're saying if you want to succeed, you start with that first step, and the second step will start coming for you. -You say, I want to read a book. OK, I don't have time to read a book. Good-- open a book. Read one sentence-- one. So they get the book. Now then, the biggest obstacle's overcome. You've got the book, you open the book, you read one sentence. Chances are good you're going to wonder what the second sentence is. And if you've got a minute or two, you'll read the first paragraph. And you think, I've got to put a bookmark in here, because that that's interesting stuff. You come back later, now you're going to read the whole book. -So I said, I'm going to put on my jogging shoes-- which were new. I didn't have jogging shoes. I had to go out and buy a pair of shoes. I put on my jogging shoes and walk to the curb. And people say, well, that's ridiculous. That didn't do anything for you. Yes it does, It gets the book in front of me. In other words, it gets me outdoors, equipped to go run. Big, big gap between equipped to go running, and running. But if I'm not equipped to go run outdoors, I'm not going to run, right? -So what was your commitment to? -My commitment was to put on the shoes and to go to the curb. -Every day? -Every day, without exception. Without exception-- if it's raining, I go. -Weekends? -Weekends, cold, hot-- didn't matter. Last minute-- like one night, my wife and I were dressed up and I was in a suit and she was in an evening dress, and we were going to some event. And I hadn't run that day, or hadn't exercised. And I said, wait a minute. And she said, well Jim, we're almost late. And I said, yeah, I'll be right back. So I went in the house, took off my dress shoes, put on my running shoes, walked out to the curb, walked back in the house, took off my running shoes, put on the dress shoes, got back in the car, and left. -She said, well that's just silly. And I said, you're right. It is. It's silly to people who are not committed to succeeding. But for a thriver, if you want to succeed-- if you want to make a difference in changing you into the person you're capable of being-- you find the things like that you can commit to the first step-- the first, literally, step in my case to get you started. And the rest of it will follow, because you've already got the intent that will drive that. -And so what I did led to my becoming a runner. Now, at first I would run like to the tree-- here, across the room, basically. -We've got some B-roll of where you used to run. -Well, that's right. Right there on Riverside Drive. So I would walk across the street from my house to Riverside Drive where there was running path, and I would run as far as my body could go without it hurting-- which would be, at first, just to the first tree. And then I'd say, well, if I'm at the tree, I could run to that pole. -Why not? -Well, I could run to that little curve in the path. Oh what the heck, if I slowed down a little bit, I could run a little further, and I can run to the bridge. And so each time, little incremental steps. And I wouldn't commit to a five mile run. I'd commit to just being there. Show up. If you don't show up, the game's off. So show up and make committing to show up your biggest thing, and make it literally fanatical. And look it up. I mean literally, textbook, dictionary fanatical. -We'll throw up the definition here of fanatical. But you're saying that first step. You just get out there and do it on a daily basis, creating that habit. -And if you can get you to commit to the tiny, teeny, little easy steps, then committing to the next step is not going to be nearly the challenge. -This is huge. This is huge. -And I lost 52 pounds, and got in shape for the first time ever. And today at 68 years old, I'm a runner. I do mountain hiking and trail running three days a week in California. -You didn't stop. -I didn't stop. And I work out in a gym, and I play rock and roll music, and life is good. -This is life changing. I mean, this is huge. -Oh, truly life changing. -This is life changing. If we actually are able to apply what you're saying right here-- taking those little steps-- this is life changing. And I know for you, a lot of it was getting your mind set right, reading these books-- you mentioned a few of them. If you're talking to the thriver right now, what are some books you recommend that they grab to start? They're wanting to change their life. -I go back to the classics. I would say Og Mandino's "Greatest Salesman in the World." -OK, that's first. -But then there's a more current book-- "Live a Thousand Years" by Giovanni Livera, which is a modern equivalent of "The Greatest Salesman in the World" with a different storyline, but kind of the same underlying intent. Zig Ziglar's "See You at the Top" is one of the classic books that I found the most entertaining, and at same time, highly practical. Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." There's so many like that. [INTERPOSING VOICES] -Think and Grow Rich, of course. -Those are five right there that you're saying helped change your life. And now it's your turn as a thriver. Take that first little step, and it can happen. I love it. Thank you so much for your time, Jim. -You bet. [CLOSING THUD]

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