SL062: The First Principles Of Speaking – with Jim Cathcart

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First Principles Of Speaking

First Principles Of Speaking

In today’s episode Jim Cathcart talks about The First Principles Of Speaking.

Ever wanted to know what the first principles of speaking are? You know, the timeless strategies for building a successful speaking business? In today’s interview James Taylor interviews speaker Jim Cathcart about:

  • The giants of professional speaking
  • What really matters in the speaking business
  • Creating a body of work

Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

James Taylor
Hi, it’s James Taylor, founder of SpeakersU. Today’s episode was first aired as part of International Speakers Summit the world’s largest online event for professional speakers. And if you’d like to access the full video version, as well as in depth sessions with over 150 top speakers, then I’ve got a very special offer for you. Just go to InternationalSpeakersSummit.com, where you’ll be able to register for a free pass for the summit. Yep, that’s right 150 of the world’s top speakers sharing their insights, strategies and tactics on how to launch grow and build a successful speaking business. So just go to InternationalSpeakersSummit.com but not before you listen to today’s episode.

Hey there, it’s James Taylor and I’m delighted today to welcome Jim Cathcart. Jim Cathcart CSP. CPA is one of the most award winning professional speakers on planet Earth. His TEDx video is in the top 1% or 130 130,000 videos. And in addition to this, Jim is in the speaker Hall of Fame. Say And Monty Hall of Fame and has written 20 books. He speaks several weeks a year all across China and his entrepreneur in residence for the School of Management at California Lutheran University. And if this wasn’t enough, he’s also a professional guitarist, Mountain Trail runner, and motorcyclist. And it’s my great pleasure to have Jim with us today. So welcome, Jim.

Jim Cathcart
It’s wonderful to be with you, James. Thank you.

James Taylor
So share with everyone what’s happening in your world just now.

Jim Cathcart
Oh, war. Wow. Let’s see. Well, the mountain trail running. I did that yesterday morning. And then I’ve been planning my next trip to China, which is August 26. And I’ll be doing two or three cities over there speaking to thousands of people at a time with a translator standing at my elbow. So I do one paragraph, another paragraph. All day long. That’s a little awkward at first, but you get the rhythm down after a while and I’ve got seven books in the works. I’ve been written and published 20 books. Let’s see. I’m looking for co authors. So if there’s someone in my field who knows me and my works, and they’re interested in collaborating with me, then I’d be interested in hearing from them and I’m playing rock and roll spent a couple hours doing that with colleagues yesterday and God’s great beers delicious.

James Taylor
So life is good. So I mentioned you are a CPA, he became Hall of Fame. So for people that don’t haven’t heard of CPA, what is it and the history

Jim Cathcart
it comes from an organization called the National Speakers Association, which is a US based but now worldwide, as well. association of people who speak for a living you know, speakers and trainers and keynote speakers. And consultants and entertainers and all kinds of people from all walks of life. They’re about 5004 or 5000 members in the US, and several thousand more around the world. And I’m a past national president of that group. I joined back before the invention of dirt. I joined in 1976. I was 30 years old. I’ll save you the math. I’m 72. And I joined in 76, when we had about 200 members and then many years later became their national president. They bestow an order of honor each year called the speaker Hall of Fame Award and its designation is CP a II Council of beers award for excellence. And then CSP is certified speaking professional which is an earned designation rather than an award. And you get that through years of study and practice and success. And that little fella over in the corner you can see over my shoulder, there’s a statute. That’s Cabot Robert. He’s the founder of the National Speakers Association. He passed away about age 97, several years ago, but he started it all. And that’s an award they give each year to sort of a lifetime achievement award to the person that feel as behave most like our founder in supporting and encouraging others.

James Taylor
So I was I was in India last week. And while I was there, I was speaking for some other conferences and events and clients about why I was there, I managed to go and hang out with some of the members of the professional Speakers Association of India, which is wonderful member of the global speakers Federation just started. We were just talking about our speakers we admired as you can look for, and I mentioned a couple of other, the older names from the I guess from the world of speaking and Match some of these names in a second. And they hadn’t heard. So I thought one thing I’d love to do on this call because because you have this this kind of deep history with the speaker’s community, and with the National Speakers Association, who take us back a little bit for those who are some of those kind of early speakers that maybe are not with us anymore, that any speaker that’s watching this just now, they should go find those YouTube videos, find those audio audio tapes, if there’s only tapes, mp3, they should go and check them out, because that maybe we’ve kind of forgotten what the what the game is about speaking,

Jim Cathcart
right? Yeah. By the way, last week in Denver, Colorado, I was at the global speakers Federation meeting. I was I was making a presentation on behalf of the new China Speakers Association that I’m co founding with, with people there. When I joined the NSA National Speakers Association, there were, as I mentioned about 200 members. Well, all my heroes were among those 200 members. And my speaker heroes were the Great’s of the day. You know, people like Zig Ziglar, who was new at the time, and Zig passed away now but he became a good friend of mine over time. Og, man Dino, oh gee, man Dino. His real name was Augustine men Dino and he was the author of many, many million million dollar books, the best known of which is the greatest salesman in the world. Gosh, W Clement stone was the owner of combined insurance company of North America and it made well it actually became the sort of the bill gates of his day was the richest man in America for a while, and I got to know him and work with him briefly. Earl Nightingale was my personal mentor, the main one that inspired me he was on radio more than on stages, but enormously influential, you should look up Earl Nightingale comma the Strangest Secret And there were YouTubes of these folks. You can see them, you know, gosh, Dr. Kenneth McFarland, he seldom mentioned but he was one of the people that inspired all those other people I just mentioned, and I had a chance to briefly know him. Have it, Robert, the not Roberts. But Robert, like a first name. That’s his last name Cabot, Robert. He was the founder of the National Speakers Association. There’s one more guy who was the one who invited me in. And that’s bill go g o v. And Bill was the first president of NSA. And just funny as could be, he was a sales motivator. And all of those people, I was standing around looking up to them, you know, and thinking, gosh, could I touch the hem of your garment? And I went to my first convention, and I was I’m a rosy cheeks, 30 year old newbie, right? And I’m there around all these people that I’ve known about how Heard recordings off. And I just, I was just amazed to be there and a little odd. And so I went to all of the meetings of the convention that I could. But there was one meeting that I couldn’t afford it was $40 extra. Whoa, in 1977 $40 extra was a lot of money. And so I went across the street and bought a hot dog from a street vendor. And I came back and I stood outside the meeting room for the $40 banquet. And as the door would open, people would come and go, I would listen to the speakers speaking. And I remember when people would come out, I would hold the door for them for a moment and let it close more slowly so I could hear a little bit more, because as soon as it was closed out, closed out again, you know, so long since finished my hot dog but thinking back on that now I’ve been the the president of NSA received the golden gavel award from Toastmasters International, I’ve been celebrated all over the world as a successful speaker in one way or another, you got 20 books and 3200 paid speeches to my credit now. And reflecting back on that. I still feel a little bit like that guy inside, you know, the one that was standing in the hallway. I still feel like what an amazing privilege to be in this and to be getting away with being considered an insider.

James Taylor
But But it’s interesting because you obviously have this interest like I do in music. And often they have these documentaries where they look at the the musical, the tree, the musical tree, oh, bang. And, and I often wonder, I don’t know if someone’s done this in terms of the speakers because there’s oftentimes I’ll hear a speaker who’s a new speaker, rather the new speaker I’ll hear them say a line. But I’ll be having a conversation with them. And they’ll say, I really like what you did. Then he said, Oh, I got that from this person. Right? It actually it didn’t come originally came from like Zig Ziglar, or it came from somewhere else is kind

Jim Cathcart
of Zig got it from, you know, Norman Vincent Peale, or Dr. Peale. Got it from Napoleon Hill who wrote thinking grow rich or whatever, you know, it goes all the way back. For others. We’ve been able to trace these things back is to the late 1800s, early 1900s, a man named Samuel smiles. And he was one of the early early success gurus in America. And another one that came along that was a huge influence. Elbert Hubbard Hubbard died of when they sunk the Lusitania ages ago, back the beginning of World War One, that timeframe. Yeah, it’s just an amazing legacy.

James Taylor
So now you’re going out to you in China a lot. You’re helping set up the China’s Speakers Association, and which is, obviously, there’s a whole new flourishing of new countries bringing new Speakers Association, lots of new speakers coming up. What are some of the what are the big differences that you notice a new speaker starting now as opposed to when you when you were first getting started? And also what some of the the opportunities, some things that you didn’t you didn’t have that the speaker today has?

Jim Cathcart
well consider that when I started. I had been a trainer, I was teaching other people’s courses and I thought this is fun. I like this. I don’t want to be a teacher in a school system. But I but I love teaching and I love helping people succeed. But there was no internet at all. There was no there were no cell phones. Everything was home phones, you know dial phones, or pay phones. We put in the coins which to a lot of people Today is a foreign concept phone books. What what’s a phone book, you know, this was before fax machines. So there was no email. People if you wanted to communicate it with snail mail only you write a letter or you take a document, you put it now envelope, lick it, stamp it, take it to the post office or give it to your post man. And, and they were all men at the time. And then, you know, you wait. So the time gap between wanting or intending something, and achieving or receiving it was huge compared to today. I mean, this morning I i’ve been online I’ve communicated with probably 25 or 30 different people direct one to one communication, not real time, because they’ll probably read it later today or maybe even tomorrow. But they were able to send me a message and I got back to them. Like that. Plus, if I needed information before responding, I went on line. Siri, hey, what’s James Taylor’s middle name? And what’s his jacket size right now and and she probably knows that she’s searching for that as we speak. By the way, I know Siri. honest truth. I know personally no Siri, the lady that made voices in Zurich. Her name’s Karen Jacobson. She lives in New York and she is the Australian accented voice of Siri. She’s also the GPS girl who’s in a billion. Let that sink in GPS systems around the world. She’s the one that says recalculating. Yep. So what’s the difference today and then then it was slower then. You had to go to the library to do research. physically go to the library. Today, you can find answers instantly while you’re sitting at the dinner table, which is rude. But possible, and that Wow, what a different world. Now you say okay, yeah, but there’s so much more competition today. Granted, there is when I became a professional speaker, motivational speakers we’re not even known Have you would tell someone, I’m a motivational speaker and trainer, what’s that? Well, I deliver speeches and you know, teach people success methods that help them do better. Really, people pay for that? You know, I mean, honestly, it was a there was no file in people’s head for that data. And today, everybody says, you may like Tony Robbins, you know, yeah. And who I know, by the way, you know, I’ve done a firewalk with him. I’ve had lunch with him and been around him a half dozen times. And he’s probably the best known because he kind of a rock star in my field. But today, the opportunity is just enormous because people already believe at all that you is a good idea. I had to sell that idea. Because people say no and I graduated school. I’m done learning I’m going to work now. And companies would say no, we don’t bring in outside trainers, you’re not in our field. What could you teach us? Well, I could teach you sales techniques. I could teach you effective listening how to be a better leader, how to not know. You don’t know our business. And so today, heck, you can know somebody’s business fairly well in an hour. Just doing web searches, you know, we know it well enough to at least talk intelligently about it and ask the right questions. So today, I think it’s easier but there’s so many others out there you’ve got to you got to really be the real deal and stand out and do your homework and, and be outcome oriented for your client. You got to honestly want to help Zig Ziglar had a famous quote, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Well, I’ve altered that just a little bit. To make it more directly applicable, people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. So if you sincerely care about helping other people, today, there are more ways to do it more easily and more rapidly than there ever have been in all recorded history.

James Taylor
So we now have obviously a lot more speed as the velocity is a lot faster, which obviously increases competition because yourself and you know, the even the speakers before you the the Auckland dinos and Zig Ziglar as they kind of laid the groundwork, they were the path founders there as well. But I’m also wondering, what you know, people will like scientists will often talk about first principles, things don’t really change or someone like Charlie Munger, who’s Warren Buffett’s business partner, right? Well, he says, always look at what the first principles, you know, what’s the what’s the things that remain? So what are some of those first principles that regardless of whether you are a speaker in 1960, or you were the speaker and now in 2020, that don’t really change

Jim Cathcart
that. That’s a great question. By the way, whenever I’m doing speaker schools and I do that pretty frequently teach other speakers how to do their, what they do. Um, the first thing I start with is I tell them, Look, let’s talk about what matters. The speaker doesn’t matter. The audience doesn’t matter. The message doesn’t matter. And they go away, wait, wait, hold it, there’s nothing left to wait for it. What matters or at least matters most all those things matter. But what matters most is what the audience can do with the message from that speaker. So that’s a first principle, the only thing that really justifies all these people coming together. And you being in front of them with a message is whether they can benefit from the message or not. Because if you’re just there to tell stories and put on a show, then bill yourself as an entertainer and get a smaller fee, or become a big, big celebrity and get a large fee. But if you’re there as a speaker, professional speaker, your job is not to make sounds is to have an impact on the listeners to make a difference for them. So someone says, Jim, you’re a motivational speaker, motivate me? And I tell them no, and they say what? So motives aren’t something you give people, there’s something you stimulate that live within people. If If I come to you and I put a gun to your head and ask for your money, if you don’t want to continue to live, the guns not a stimulus, it’s not motivating you. So you’re just saying Take your best shot, right? But if you want to stay alive, you’ll probably give me your money. Now, I didn’t motivate you. The desire to live is what motivated you. And the gun was just a stimulus that threatened the desire to live. Right? So how do you motivate employees find out what they want, find out what they care about, find out how they’d like to be treated, find out what makes them go home at the end of the day, saying, Man, that was a good day. I’m so glad I work here. Or wait till I tell you what I was able to do for a customer today. You know, when you find those motives inside your people, then you can stimulate those motives with the right kind of actions, right kind of rewards, right kind of incentives, things like that, and the right kind of human treatment. You know, most people don’t leave when they leave a company when they quit. They don’t leave the company, they leave a person. They leave somebody they don’t want to work with anymore. And look at it that way, it makes things a whole lot simpler and easier to understand. Oh, here’s another first principle. Customer Service should be given, not pursued. Customer Loyalty should be given, not pursued. So when you say we want to increase customer loyalty, I’d say great. How are you going to be more loyal to your customers? And they say to me No, no, no, you don’t get it. We want the customers to be more loyal test. Okay, got to start somewhere. How are you going to be more loyal to them? Like when on the days when they’re not buying? What are you going to do that makes them know that you care? No, Jim, you don’t get it. We just want them to buy from us again next time. Yeah, yeah, that’s called greed and selfishness. Right. Let’s talk about customer loyalty. What would make somebody say I am so glad I do business with this person or this company. The way they’re treated and the way you honor your word.

James Taylor
And sometimes these, the unexpected. I mean, I think some of the actually, even some of the bureaus that I work with is bureaus.
the good ones that are you know, that there’s some things that they’re just, they’ll see something and they’ll just, they’ll send some something to me, they email me something. And it’s nothing about it’s not transactional in any way. But they know I’m interested in that or they know that my partner is interested in something just now and it’s and it can help grow up it can help grow our business. So it’s just about showing Ron Kaufman the speaker, he talks about he talks about careology which I love. Yeah.

Jim Cathcart
Very, very dear friend of mine. Yes. He

James Taylor
talks about his idea of moving away. We can just be in customer service, but actually what his customers have you break it all down is Caring is really a very, very deep level.

Jim Cathcart
One of the books that I’m best known for is this one, relationship selling. And the whole idea of relationship selling is not just being nice to people, that would be courteous selling, I guess, relationship selling is based on the idea that business is about serving people and gaining profit by doing so. So business is all about making the world a better place and being rewarded for having done that. So relationship selling assumes a relationship is an asset or it could be a liability. But if you look at all your connections with with all your customers and would be customers, as the beginning of an enduring, long term relationship, then yes, you can intelligently cultivate each of those connections to where there’s an acquaintance And then from an acquaintance to an affinity or you know, you like each other, trust each other a little bit. And then over time you get to where you rely on each other. And then you don’t ever want to lose each other, you know, so you can take it from just I see you, I’m not a threat to you, you’re not a threat. To me, that’s the basic beginning of a possible relationship to I do until death do us part, you know, and between those two extremes, there’s a whole lot of trust building. And you don’t build trust from the outside you earn it and it’s given from the inside so the other person always controls whether there’s trust being bestowed or not.

James Taylor
And has as the the whole the area of selling in selling your speaking programs wherever they may be. Has that changed significantly over the years or are we still Is it still pretty much a very similar type of thing you the individual techniques and may have to But fundamentally, the strategy is the same.

Jim Cathcart
Well, fundamentally, the strategy is the same, but the steps required are so vastly different. Like I used to make, I don’t know how many phone calls a day, but I was in a typical year delivering about 120 speeches in different cities around the country. And I was mostly domestic us back then. But I was constantly on the telephone. And I would call a company, you know, just completely out of the blue, I would call someone for the first time ever and say, Excuse me, do you hold conventions for your company or your industry? Well, yes, we do. Well, which department handles that? Oh, that comes from the executive department. Okay. Would you please transfer me to them? So I get transferred to the executive department and I’ve got my own little checklist of the questions I need to ask not a script, but a guide, you know, kind of like speech notes, but not a speech script. I would I would talk about meetings and I would ask them, Do they ever use outside speakers? And what is the purpose of the of the meeting typically? And how do people respond? And what do you consider, you know, the most successful recent meeting you help? So I would have to interview people quite a bit just to find out, is there a possibility they’re going to book an outside speaker, and most of them didn’t. And I had about five sales to make sell them on the concept of using an outside speaker on the the belief that teaching soft skills like human human relations skills, and such would be a useful thing. Instead of teaching the latest engineering technology, I had to persuade them that having an outsider who was beginning to understand their business could still benefit them because he’s teaching universal principles, and then teach them or convince them that a keynote speech could lead to a seminar could lead to a group Discussion could lead to everybody reading a book and discussing the book and applying it in there that about you know, so I had all these things to convince them off and I was selling audio cassettes and they had reel to reel they had record players and they had eight tracks. And so I had to sell them not only the recordings, but the idea that listening to a recording could teach you something because that was not considered a given. And then I have a kick to sell them a cassette player and batteries. I honestly did. I had to sell a cassette player and batteries so they could consume my product.

James Taylor
As I’m hearing you talk about this chip, I’m just thinking, Wow, we have it so easy now online courses, online memberships. We I could think of an idea this morning. I could film it this afternoon and have it being sold later this evening directly to the car.

Jim Cathcart
You could be sitting there saying okay, I want to sell to IBM Corp. gration or Apple or somebody, you know that some huge enterprise, that’s okay I want to sell to Amazon what, you know what are the principles? And you’re asking Siri what are the principles of enterprise selling? And she comes back with a whole bunch of websites and you click on there and there’s articles on when selling to a huge enterprise. This is what’s different from selling one to one to a small business. And then you say, Okay, well how do I find the headquarters office of Apple corporate and you know, Apple computers, and who’s in charge of their training department thing, and it’s there. Wow.

James Taylor
But regardless of whether you’re doing it back then, or whether you’re, you’re doing, you know, kind of selling now as I’m looking through in terms of strategy, you know, you got moving things from suspects to qualifying to prospects to come estimate to reflect customer and referral. So some other things stay the same. So there’s an there’s an intent, it has to be you say like an intentionality. To this there has to have to have a system.

Jim Cathcart
That comes back to my earlier statement you asked about first principles in speaking. And I said, it’s about what the audience can do with your message. In other words, it’s about serving people. Well, the same thing is true in selling. If you are there as a partner in problem solving, if you are looking for people to help instead of people to persuade, then you will be welcomed more often than rejected. But the key to it is your mindset. You’ve got to in your heart and mind, honestly want to be a value to someone else. And be willing to find a creative way to do that so that you can get compensated. And so if you go in as a partner in problem solving, you can talk to anybody whether you have a sale in mind or not. generate some pretty amazing conversations. I was once on the plane next to Kenny Ortega. Kenny Ortega was the man who produced the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He’s also the guy who designed the orchestration of the fountains in Las Vegas in front of Bellagio hotel, and produced the movie. This is it with Michael Jackson. And he was he’s an amazing guy. So I’m sitting on a plane flying from LA to Las Vegas. And he sits down next to me and we just start chatting. And I said, so what’s what’s your field? He said, Well, I, I create things. So really, what kind of things and he told me those things. And I thought for a minute and I said, the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Wow. I said I would think That the biggest challenge was keeping the flame alive inside each of the people. In other words, keeping the spirit of the Olympics, foremost in their minds and hearts, through all the 10s of thousands of people from all the countries all over the world, keeping that one central focus in everybody was probably your biggest challenge. And he looked at me and his mouth dropped open. He said, Nobody notices that. He said, that’s exactly what the job was. He said, my biggest challenge was keeping everybody engaged like that. Wow. He said, Here’s my card. If I’d never be helpful, give me a call. Well, okay. Now imagine If, on the other hand, I said Hi, I’m Jim Cathcart. I’m a professional motivational speaker motivation is a very valuable thing in our society. Wouldn’t you agree? How do you motivate the people in your organization? I mean, just that, right? Instead, I’m just talking with a guy and looking for something to admire and compliment. And as I heard it, I thought about it, and I thought deeper what’s the first principle? And then I commented on that, and it blew his mind. And he offered me his card. I never didn’t even have it in mind to ask for it.

James Taylor
That reminds me if I think Stephen Covey, I think he was a CPA as well as people of faith

Jim Cathcart
No, but he was definitely a major influence in my field. I knew him he hired me a couple times to present on programs appeals, and I shared the platform with him. amazing guy,

James Taylor
so he had that phrase, seek first to understand then be understood.

Jim Cathcart
Right goes that,

James Taylor
you know, rather than the, the selling as well and actually say something I’m thinking about something like Stephen Covey, and I’m thinking about some of those other names that We’d mentioned earlier. And I think some of those names that we did you know, the ones that you just said right towards the end like the Samuel smiles, for example. Yeah. And I’m guessing and I haven’t seen it, but I don’t know if Samuel smiles has a book, you know, what, whether there is or does

Jim Cathcart
not. In fact, I think the title of it was access. Okay, so it was a long time ago before anyone knew what that word meant.

James Taylor
So that leads me to my next thing, which is about what is the role of creating a body of work, and something that is going to go live live beyond you? that people can look back and actually, you know, 100 years 200 years time, there’s some universal principles, evergreen principles that you can say, right? Wow, that feels like that was written yesterday, just like today, you know, I that’s so interesting. You you’ve written 20 books. And I think, I often think our speaking is an amazing thing, but it’s quite an effect. All, like going to live concerts like you experience this thing and it’s fantastic. And then there’s a way for them. Yeah. But then his music is gone is gone. And we think about all those great music artists over the years who we were taught with fantastic life, but we have nothing to remember them by or to think. So. Where do you see where you are in your career just now and looking at looking back and thinking, what advice you can give to other generations? The role of work in today where maybe the person is the book?

Jim Cathcart
Yeah, you know, the famous, the secret the movie that came out. Rhonda Byrne did that a few years ago and, and it was focused on a principle from a book in 1910 called the science of getting rich by a man with the unfortunate name of Wallace wattles. It’s like, you know, john Thompson or something more Mainstream Wallace wattles but Wallace wattles had a very profound impact on on people’s thinking. His book, The Science of Getting Rich talked about the law of attraction, and how in in science or whatever in philosophy as well, that when a desire or a focused idea is is created, the energy from that draws to it other things. It’s like when you get a new car, and let’s say you get a blue Toyota, well, the minute you go on the road with your blue Toyota, you will start noticing blue Toyotas everywhere. Now, they were there already, but you never noticed them before. But now your attention is different. And so you’re seeing those opportunities where you never saw them before. Same things true in business when you focus on a goal. When you say I will become a professional speaker, full time professional Speaker and earn my living by sharing truths and motivating audiences. Well, that’s a big goal. But once you actually commit to doing that, you’ll start seeing opportunities to do it. So how do you write a best selling book, you say I’m going to become a best selling author? Well, there’s a difference between writing a best selling book and becoming a best selling author.
Let me explain that difference that I have many friends who are best selling authors, and many of them have best selling books. But some of them don’t. Here’s the difference, a best selling book, if you put it in a bookstore or online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or whatever, it’ll sell. Because it’s a best seller. It’s got a popular title. People love it, and they’re interested in it and they do. internet searches to find it. Okay, it’s a best selling book. a best selling author is let’s say it’s you and so you decide to Write a series of books you write your first one. And it pretty much captures your your life philosophy and your business strategy and your main story. And you go out and tell people about this book and you do the practices that would lead to selling many, many books. Well, it may never hit a bestseller list, but you’ll be ordering thousands of them to deliver to your audiences and to fulfill through your website and to sell in your own ways. It’s kind of like being a best selling act, you know, perform musical act. You can sell out houses and sell tons and tons and tons of merchandise from your concert, but never hit the main charts. And you can think back over the years there have been really noteworthy musical performers that have been that type. They never really were a chart topping performers But they made a fortune.

James Taylor
Yeah, that’s that’s interesting distinction I think about a good friend of mine who is not he’s not. He’s not known as a as a best selling author. Yet his last book sold 250,000 copies

Jim Cathcart
or beyond best selling. Yes,

James Taylor
it’s and because he was looking for a different thing he was looking for impact rather than maybe some of the bells and bells and whistles or making a New York Times bestseller. And because that book has been so it’s it’s a worldwide book. It’s not focused on just a particular one particular market. I think he said the other day he said one in 10 people in Iceland have got a copy of his book, which

Jim Cathcart
you’ve got that my friend Alan peace out of Australia is like that. Yeah, he’s got a book called why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps.

James Taylor
Yeah. I’ve ever seen him. I think it was hit with a him and his wife. We used to go out

Jim Cathcart
together. They still do. And I just got an email from him this morning. And his book is the number one bestseller in France right now. And he didn’t even know that it was selling in France,

James Taylor
is that difference between writing a best selling book and being a best selling author? Interesting. That’s an interesting kind of distinction there as well.

Jim Cathcart
Because if you’re a best selling author, then you’re cultivating in you the qualities, the skills, the strategies, the business practices that will constantly sell whatever it is you’re selling. If you’re selling coffee mugs, it’ll still sell well, because you’re the kind of person that knows how to do that, and has the work ethic and all the things that are needed to do it. So you’ll be a best seller. But your book won’t necessarily make you famous. Like mine. I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of books and recordings. Over the years, I’ve delivered all those thousands of speeches and received all these big awards. But if you were to ask a person on the street, in a business community or just in the social community Who’s Jim Cathcart? They would say, No clue. Because I’m not famous in a public sense. You know, I don’t appear in newspapers and magazines and television shows on mainstream media like, like, some people do like a Tony Robbins, for example. But I got a hell of a life going, you know, this has been great. And my colleagues admire and respect me and I love them and and respect them. And, you know, this just ain’t a bad deal. Oh, and I did a TED talk. I was asked to do a short TED talk and I did an eight and a half minute TED talk in Delray Beach, Florida TEDx, the independently organized TED event, and it went viral. It I’ve had 1,700,000 views of my little eight minute TED Talk which netted me zero dollars, much credibility and so many Any referrals that have made, you know, 10s of thousands off of it. And it’s just a little eight and a half minute thing called How to believe in yourself,

James Taylor
you can finally say you become an overnight success now, Jim, definitely 42 years. So let’s get some final questions, some quick fire questions. I’d love to know. I want you to imagine you’re on a long haul flight, maybe go in nature next flight to China and you can choose on that you’re seeing a business class or first class flight and you sit next, any speaker living or dead, you could be sitting next to them for the duration of that flight and they could be sharing with you you could be having a conversation. Who would that speaker be?

Jim Cathcart
Wow. Ah, another way I’ve done that with many of my heroes, you know, had long flights sitting seated next to them and just capturing the pearls of wisdom. I would think it has to be Zig Ziglar because he’s so much fun. You know, if I wanted to be inspired, I would go with Dr. Kenneth McFarland wonders most people today have never heard up, because he’s just so profound and he’s so absolutely meticulously skilled at delivering a idea or a message. I knew not to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and had a chance to work with him a little bit, and he would certainly touch your heart and inspire your mind. augmon Dino was a man. So easy to love and admire. But I think Zig would be the most fun so the flight would go fast. We would have a great time. He would appreciate my stories from the southern United States and I would certainly appreciate his because we both grew up in neighboring states, Arkansas and Mississippi. He was from Mississippi.

James Taylor
So I want you to tell us what’s in that in your speaker bag. What’s in that bag that you carry with you to all of your various speaking engagements. You’re You’re never leave home without

Jim Cathcart
actually Well, I never leave home without Is my notes to myself, I have a lot of thinking time, you know, I always have I, that’s how I started my career. Earl Nightingale said spend one hour extra every day studying your chosen path. Five years from now you’ll be a leading authority in that path. And sure enough, that worked for me. And I continue to do that to this day. And so I’ll take a blank sheet of paper. And I’ll just start thinking of all the projects and all the activities and all the goals and all the primary relationships in my life. And I’ll just list them all like crazy. And get them on there, maybe two or three pages worth. And then I’ll go back and look over that. And I’ll circle the ones that are truly like a killer app in a computer, you know, the ones that or that one drives so many of these others that I really have to achieve that one or nurture that one around. Whatever. And then I’ll look at the connections between all of them and do sort of like a big bizarre Mind Map, drawing lines and connectors. And then I’ll just keep that paper, I always date every every note page, so that I know when it took place, and I go back many times, 20 3040 times over a few years, and look at that same page and make other notes, and then create a new page that’s simpler and more organized, so that I can focus on that things on that new page. And that’s just been a great, great practice for me over the years. And I consume magazines, I don’t read them. When when I get it, I get several magazines monthly. And when I get the magazines, I immediately meaning that day, sit down with the magazine and start scanning it to see what’s of interest to me. And I try to read some of the things that aren’t of interest to me just to keep my mind better exposed to new ideas. And then, as soon as I’m done with that magazine, you know, I may tear out one article that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I toss the magazine and go on. So my wife has a whole bunch of women’s magazines that she’ll keep them to go back to the articles and so she’s got a stack this tall of her collection. I have a stack this tall of mine. And I get more information than she does. It was about and then talking about reading material. If you were to recommend one book, and one of your own books or a book to our audience, it could be a book on speaking or book on mindset or topics that you speak on. What would that one book be? You mentioned Stephen Covey. You know, his book that he’s best known for is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And that’s an exceptionally good book. We talked about augmon Dino, the greatest salesman in the world or any of his subsequent books, but I would start with the greatest salesman he I asked him one time what’s your favorite of all your books? Which one had the biggest impact on your career? He said, Well, you’ve read all my books. Jim, what would you say? I said, Well, my favorite of all your books is the choice. And no, no, excuse me, my favorite of all your books is the Christ commission, which is a story about a guy that didn’t believe what the Bible was saying. And and then he had an experience it was yanked back in time to Biblical days. And he went around and interviewed all the people that knew Jesus. What an amazing concept. Right? So this guy was an investigative reporter, and a non believer and somebody in in you know, the ethers grabbed him and took him back in time and said, Okay, here, talk to Paul talk to Mary Magdalene and talk to this guy. He was at the when the stone was rolled away, you know, talk to this guy, he was healed by him. So I said that was my favorite book, but the one that had the biggest impact on me was your first book, greatest salesman in the world. I said, Sony Now what what’s your answer? He said same as yours. He said the one I enjoyed the most was the Christ commission the one I that had the biggest impact on my life was the greatest salesman in the world.

James Taylor
different books different books and as

Jim Cathcart
you mentioned having neither one of them requires that you be Christian. Yeah, yeah. But first principle

James Taylor
was open the road the the was the book about Babylon that the no that was

Jim Cathcart
a place in George claisen who co wrote a book called The Richest Man in Babylon which was a similar parable to the greatest salesman in the world in that it was set back in biblical times with you know, a guy following the the camels on a merchant train that kind of stuff. Yeah, I’m

James Taylor
gonna I’m gonna have to go and download the Oakland Deena book now as well just to trap myself. So you talk about Siri earlier. What is is there isn’t a particular app or tool or A mobile tool, an app that you find particularly useful for doing the work that you do.

Jim Cathcart
It comes and goes, You know, I look at the apps that I use from year to year. And it it it’s not the same each year. So I don’t know, I just rely on the fundamentals, you know, just email and photos and, and Facebook and LinkedIn and things like that, that that’s pretty much me. You know, of course, I’ve got lots of videos on YouTube and, and that sort of thing, but I try not to get lured into becoming an Instagram Rockstar, or making Twitter which you have to feed all the time like a hungry little animal. You know, making that my main. No,

James Taylor
that is a big difference, obviously, from going back times. The old man, dinos and Zig Ziglar says, Wait, they would be thinking about these ideas all the time, they’d be speaking but then they’re there. Waiting output it was either in the form of a speech or maybe a radio series or maybe a book that was there that was there was

Jim Cathcart
an article or a newspaper article magazine article, that sort of thing. So and there were there were films, but there were actual films, you know, reel to reel movies, and they would film a speech or whatever, and then they would rent it to companies to go and show at their company meetings.

James Taylor
Okay, okay. So I guess big difference now because I can also see what a lot of speakers it whether it’s an a Twitter or Instagram, I can almost see them working on their ideas, as they’re doing them and especially on Twitter and slow form, I can see all that that’s things linking to that. And then, you know, a few months later, you see them speak up, okay. It makes sense now, because but they’re actually they’re kind of rehearsing in public or public.

Jim Cathcart
That That reminds me without Vimeo, And YouTube, I would feel severely handicapped. Because I have so many videos that I’ve either created or that have been done of something live that I was doing. They are a vital part of what I do now. You know, I’ve created online courses and video training and such. There’s a publisher mentor.com mentor ed.com that publishes one of my series here in the US. And those are just super important podcasts and, and online shows like this. That’s that’s the cassettes today, you know, those are the records those are the, those are the pamphlets or the books or the magazines of today. And and so you just hop on the train, or plane, you know, and you’ve got this little guy when I say train, I’m thinking of the bullet trains in China, as opposed to Amtrak going across America cuz people don’t do it as much here. But that’s that’s your whole suite of services right there.

James Taylor
Love that. Basically I think I think all these tools that we now have at our fingertips new online courses, including memberships and podcasts and video series and an online summit, like like this, this one, for example. And it wouldn’t have been possible, unless people yourself and the zig ziglar is an earl Nightingale’s had to first push that through. So people today know that they have a problem know that there’s something to be worked on where previously the university didn’t even know that they had a problem. And yeah, that was the first step is going to say Actually,

Jim Cathcart
that’s the thing today, the big decision is not whether we should train our people. It’s which training should we do next? And who should we go to?

Jim Cathcart
Yeah, is it there is a different level of fees, just just make yourself the best choice and then they’ll say Well, yeah, now of course we need it. So let’s go with you. So a final quick,

James Taylor
final question for you, Jim, I want you to imagine that you woke up tomorrow morning. And you have to start from scratch. So no one knows who you are. But you’ve got all the skills you’ve acquired over the years, but no one knows who you are, you know, no one you have to completely restart. Perfect. Would you do? How would you restart things? Well, first off, I’d be excited, not depressed.

Jim Cathcart
I would when we moved from La Jolla, San Diego to Thousand Oaks back in 2001. We didn’t know anybody but we moved here so that we wouldn’t have Los Angeles between us and our grandkids. And we wanted to be able to make that commute more easily. So we moved up here, and I said to my wife the first day I said, you know what I like about this. The uncertainty. I don’t know anybody yet. Yet being the operative word, right. And now I know people all over the community and they know me back. What I would do if I started praying Tomorrow with my skill set, and nobody knew me, and I had no business assets other than what’s in my mind and heart is I would immediately start going out and interviewing people about their problems, their challenges their issues. Because I know I would uncover some of those that I could I had a solution for. And then I wouldn’t try to sell something, I would look for a way to become their solution and get compensated for it. So that’s the thing if you’re a problem solver, you’ll never be out of work ever. I gave my my grandson who’s now 18 business cards when he was 10 years old. And I gave him a box full of business cards. That said, Jason Cathcart problem solver. I’m looking for one right now. I know I’ve got one here, nearby. Now I haven’t found it and I’m not going to do Take up your time with that. But anyway, I gave him a box of business cards. And he said, what’s, what are these? That’s their business cards. He said, What’s a business card? And I explained it. And he said, Well, what’s Cathcart Institute? I said, That’s grandpa’s company. What’s a company? And I explained it, and what’s jason@cathcart.com? So that’s your email address for real. He said, I’ve got an email address. I said, Yeah. And he said, Well, it says, problem solver. What does that mean? I said, Jason, you’re a thoughtful guy. When you look at something, you don’t just dive into it and start doing things with it. You kind of observe it and study it. And then you get involved and you seem to be a natural problem solver, and said, The world needs those. And that’s how people get paid. If you’re a problem solver, you’ll always be able to find work. He’s super cool. And I said we’ll have a nice birthday and then I went on my way this was at his screen. In the morning on his 10th birthday, and his mother’s a teacher at that school. And so I called later that night and I said, Sonia, what happened after I left? She said, Oh my gosh, every kid in the schools got one of Jason’s business cards. What do you think Whitney James think about this 10 year old kid gets a box of business cards for his birthday has no clue what that is. But it’s a novelty and it’s got his name on it. So he starts showing it to the other kids. every other kid says, What’s a business card? He explains it. What’s Cathcart Institute? He explains it. What’s Jason at Cafe? He explains it. What’s problem solver? He must have explained that 30 or 40 times that day. Now, how deep is that impression in his mind? At age 10, which happens to be one of the strongest imprint periods of your entire life. Yeah. Yeah,

James Taylor
that’s it as an amazing, amazing story. Well, Jim, thank you so much for coming on today. If people want to learn more about you learn more about Cathcart, cute and all the other things you’ve got going on just now where’s the best place to go and do that?

Jim Cathcart
I would say, Cathcart comm is the easiest start because it’s just my name. And if you type in Jim Cathcart comm, it’ll get you there too. But I own the domain for family name. And LinkedIn is another good one. Because on LinkedIn, I have a very robust profile. And it has videos that they can watch for free, and all kinds of other items in it like that. And I’d love to be helpful also that, you know, I’m so omnipresent on the web. You know, you can find me on YouTube, Vimeo, wherever, and watch videos and you hear me playing guitar and singing and all kinds of other things

James Taylor
they have. That conversation is just anyone watching this and listening to this just now especially if you’re just getting into the world of speaking You are part of a lineage a part of a heritage the good way is right. or other speakers who, just like us, we’ve used our, our voices, our bodies, our ideas on stage to be able to transform audiences. So you are not alone. You’re part of a great lineage. And so Jim, thank you for being part of that. That story and sharing that with everyone and I really look forward to us sharing a stage together in the future.

Jim Cathcart
Me too. Thank you so much. It’s been an honor.

James Taylor
Today’s episode was sponsored by speakers you the online community for speakers and if you’re serious about your speaking career then you can join us because you membership program. I’ll speak as you members receive private one on one coaching with me hundreds of hours of training content access to a global community to help them launch and build a profitable business around their speaking message and expertise. So just head over to SpeakersU.com to learn more.

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