Are you interested in changing your way of thinking? Did you know with the right mindset you can achieve your goals? In this series, Golden Gavel Award winner, Jim Cathcart, will teach you how to take time to invest in yourself and increase your chances for success.Sign Up to Watch
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-I went from being a guy that was going nowhere-- a nice guy, but going nowhere-- to being a guy who was definitely motivated. And other people were saying, how do you keep yourself motivated? You know, they're coming to me for advice.
And then I ended up getting a job offer-- I got two job offers. One, I got a job offer to work on a political campaign to help organize a team of people and go out and do campaigning to pass a constitutional amendment in the state of Arkansas.
And then I got another job offer, Harold Gash said, why don't you come to work with me and sell Earl Nightingale's tapes? I said, well I'm no good at sales. He said, Jim, excuse me, but I've seen you. You sell all the time.
I said, well I'm not a salesman. He said, you just don't want to think of yourself as a salesman. You are indeed a sales person, and you sell every day, and you're very good at it. So you need to get that old thinking out of your mind by putting in a lot of new material, and you need to start applying this to what your best at.
I said, well, what do you think I'm best at? He said, helping people grow. I said, well that's the goal I set back in 1972 when I heard Earl Nightingale on the radio. I wanted to help people grow like he did.
He said, well, you're doing that. He says, so why don't you sell the Nightingale recordings as a product to help people do that? Oh, OK. So I got involved with him, and I did that for about the better part of a year.
And then I got a call from the United States Jaycees national headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And they said, hey, there's a position open, Leadership Training Program Manager. We'd like you to come and apply for it.
I stopped everything I was doing. I went to Tulsa. I applied for the position.
I went into the office where I would be working if I got the job, and I saw that there was a project, a workbook, that needed to be developed that the Jaycees we're going to publish. And it was the workbook to go with an audio program by the richest man in America at the time, W. Clement Stone. And Mr. Stone said, I need a workbook to go with this and the Jaycees can sell this album as my personal success series. And so the Jaycees needed to develop that workbook.
I didn't have the job. So I'm up in the office, I see the project. And they tell me, Jim, we've got some other people to interview today. We won't be able to give you an answer until tomorrow as to whether you've got the job.
And I said, well I could I make a request? If I'm going to get the job tomorrow, would you let me know today so that I can either to go home tonight back to Arkansas or make arrangements to stay over? They said, yeah, we'll be done by the end of the day. We'll have our decision clear and we'll be able let you know today.
I said, great. They said, where are you going to be? I said, I'll be here in the building.
So I went up to the empty office, got out the materials, and started completing the workbook. Some people came by said, who are you? I'm Jim Cathcart.
Who are you though? Well, I'm applying for the job for Individual Development Program Manager. Well, did you get it?
Not yet? So why are you working? Well, somebody's got to do. OK, and they'd go on down the hall.
Well, later that day, I got a call, please come back to the executive office. Al Simonson said OK, you've got the job.
Now, I want you notice, I acted as if I already had the job. Even if I hadn't gotten the job, I still would have done a good thing and would have scored points just for being the kind of person I was being, right?
I got the job request or invitation in the first place because of the way I had behaved back in Arkansas. Why did I do that? Because of the way I'd been retraining my thinking every day, listening to the recordings, and rethinking how life worked. What success was, who I was, what I was capable of, what I was not capable of, what was a roadblock, and what was not. I rethought my world because of the inspiration that I got from the training materials.
I didn't have the money, I didn't have the time, and I didn't have the thinking, nor did I have a group of people around me encouraging me. I had one guy, and he was the one selling the recordings. But because of that, and because of my discipline to ingest all of that and use it, my life was transformed... TCC Business School.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] -I've done all the things that all my heroes had done, and I even got to know Earl Nightingale, personally. Quick story. I heard Earl Nightingale on the radio in 1972. I was inspired by him. I bought his tapes from Harold Gash in about 1974 and spent a great deal of time listening to those tapes. And in '77, I went to the US JCs headquarters, and I worked there '75, '76, and '77, kind of overlap. I worked there then. And then I went into business for myself as a professional speaker. Years later, I moved to San Diego, California, La Jolla. And I was partners with a college professor there named Tony Alessandra, who is still my best friend today. Sitting in the office in 1984, to help you put all this in perspective, '72, '74. OK, by the way in '74, I started selling Earl Nightingale's tapes in Little Rock. '72 I heard him on the radio, and then I bought his tapes. '74, I'm selling his tapes for Harold. In 1984, I'm living in San Diego, California. I'm a full-time professional speaker. My phone rings, and it's Earl Nightingale. He said, may I speak to Jim Cathcart. Well, I almost fainted. I said, ah, guh, ah, which means this is Jim Cathcart. How may I help you? Because I was so choked up I didn't know what to say. And he said Mr. Cathcart, I just read an article of yours in the Nonprofit World Report on the subject of personality types. I think that would make a good audio album. My company produces those. I said, sir, believe me, in the depths of my soul, I know what you do, and who you are. And I explained to him the impact he had on my life. He said, well, thank you for that. He said, well, this would make a good audio album. I said, it is one. Tony and I went into a studio and created an audio album called "Relationship Strategies," and it was the first album ever on the subject of personality types in audio form. And today there are hundreds of them, different versions. But ours was the first audio album ever widely published on that subject. And he said, send it to me, and if we like it, we'll publish it. I sent it to him. He said, I like it. If you will rerecord it in a studio to our standards, we'll publish it. Nightingale-Conant published it in 1984. And in 1984 and 1985, they sold $3.5 million worth of that album. I went from obscurity to an international bestselling sensation in that two year period. In 1974, I was selling Earl Nightingale's tapes. In 1984, he was selling mine. Fast forward. 1989, I was president of the National Speakers Association, thousands of professional speakers, authors, consultants, experts. And I was going to have our big convention at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas. And I called Earl Nightingale about March of that year, and I said, Earl, I said, Mr. Nightingale, would you do me the honor of joining me at our speakers convention-- It's a non paid thing-- but would you join me on stage and let me interview you in front of our collected assembly of members, probably a couple thousand people, and just interview you about the evolution of personal growth and self development? He said, I might do that. Since it's a no fee thing, I can't commit to it yet, but I might do that. And I said, that's wonderful. Thank you. So a month or two passes. I get a call from his wife Diana. She said, Jim, I have sad news. Earl passed away.
[MUSIC PLAYING] -She said, we're not going to have a funeral. We-- at his request-- he was cremated and we spread the ashes here at home. She said, but I would like to have a memorial service for him at your speakers convention, because you're his people. I said, oh, we'd be honored. Oh, what a privilege. Yes. And she said, OK. She said, I want you to speak. I said, oh no, no, no, no. This is Earl Nightingale. It should be heads of state, captains of industry, royalty. People like that, that he knew, and the circles he traveled in. They should be the people speaking at his memorial. She said, no Jim. You're a product of what Earl was about, and that's why you should speak. You're the president of the industry association, and it all started with you studying what Earl Nightingale was teaching. You're the perfect person to be speaking at his memorial. That summer in Dallas, Texas, at the Anatole Hotel, up on the second floor in a large ballroom there was an assembly of hundreds and hundreds of speakers. One of the people in the audience was Earl Nightingale's son, David Nightingale. His widow, Diana, was the person facilitating the meeting, and she was showing some personal pictures of her and Earl. She played a short little video clip from fellow author and speaker Dennis Wheatley. And then she introduced me, and I told my story about learning from Earl. Now I want you to pause for a second, and I want you to notice that there was a fat government clerk who had nothing going for him in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1972. He didn't have money, he didn't have the attitude, he didn't have the faith in himself, nor the time to devote to personal development. But he bought the idea that an extra hour a day focused on studying the field he had chosen-- which in my case was personal development-- led to his not only becoming not a government clerk anymore, but being an expert in the field a personal development. Selling Earl Nightingale's materials, then 10 years later Earl Nightingale's selling his-- at Earl's request, by the way. I didn't make calls on Nightingale Conant to get them to adopt my album. They came to me seemingly out of the blue. And then, when Earl passed away I had the extreme honor and privilege of being the only outside speaker at his memorial service. When I say it's worth it, I mean from the depth of my soul. It's worth it to invest in yourself. Either way, do it or not do it, you're investing in yourself. You're investing in being an ordinary person that doesn't make a difference in the world and leads a very unfulfilling life. Or you're investing a little bit of each day in the person you want to be tomorrow, and you'll be living a life you will feel very satisfied with, and others will admire and praise.
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