Jim Cathcart
Jim Cathcart
Jim Cathcart is a Hall of Fame professional speaker, a sales consultant, a strategic advisor to ATRA, and a regular contributor to GEARS. You may reach him at Cathcart.com or send him a message through GEARS. See his 110 video lessons for free at Thrive15.com/acorn.
Start Up Again
We recently became “reverse Okies.” In the depression era, Okies were the people who fled the “Dust Bowl” of Oklahoma’s drought and headed to California for the weather and better opportunities. You may have seen the movie or read the book Grapes of Wrath. It provides a graphic explanation of the motives and challenges experienced by the people of those times. Paula and I moved from C...

The Virtual Era
One day, when my grandfather, Clarence Earl Cathcart, Sr. was courting my grandmother, he rode by her house, standing on two horses, riding them in tandem down the road. I guess he was a show-off sometimes like I am now. Earl Senior grew up at the end of the Agricultural Era. Even though he worked for the railroad and later for the telephone company, most of the world was still farming, and it see...

Hold a Grand Re-Opening
As our country begins the process of re-opening, holding a Grand Re- Opening for your business is worth considering. Think like a start-up business. Maybe it’s time the world becomes familiar with your business. Make your business great again! Start with the assumption that today is the first day of your new business. How are you going to tell the world about your business and what you can do...

Team Meetings: A Necessary Evil?
In our current business climate, clear and timely communication could be a matter of life and death. Meetings, whether in a group setting or by web conferencing, maybe the most efficient way to communicate information to your team in the shortest amount of time. However, meetings are among the most despised events in the business world. Meetings are valuable if you do them well, and horrible if...

Creativity: Get Outside Your Own Point-of-View
She came back again and said, “There’s still a problem that happens around 60 miles per hour.” You’ve already checked the transmission three times. All tests provide a clean bill of health, but the customer still complains. Your best technicians have looked at it and found nothing. Maybe it’s time for a little creativity. Perhaps there’s a different way of looking at this. Bill, the...

Halif - What Do We Have In Common?
On a recent lecture tour in Malaysia, I met a “busker”, a street performer who was working in hopes of tips. This man was disabled and had an artificial leg. He was sitting on the dirty pavement and playing an old weathered guitar as he did his best to sing popular tunes, many of them from American artists. Normally, I will just leave a tip and walk on by, but on this day, I stopped to list...

2020 Vision
I predict that journalists everywhere will soon be writing articles about “2020 Vision.” It’s just so convenient to think about the year as a metaphor for “perfect vision.” What this means to you is the calendar can become your daily reminder to see what you most need to see. For instance, here are some things you need to consider for a more accurate, 20/20 vision of your company. ...

Locus of Control
“Why doesn’t that guy just do what needs to be done? He always waits for me to say something!” Yep, that’s the case, exactly. Some people need a stimulus from others, while some provide the stimulus on their own. A popular concept in psychology is “locus of control.” It refers to where the controlling energy originates - outside of you or inside of you. Those whose locus of contr...

Why?
The person who only knows how, may have a job, but the person who understands why, will do it better. “Why?” is a question that can only be adequately answered with a statement of purpose. Asking “Why do we do this?” is the same as asking, “What’s the purpose of doing this?” Most people don’t inquire about the purpose. Day after day, people simply do what’s put before them withou...

Customers Aren't Always Right
Rule #1: The Customer Is Always Right. Rule #2: When the Customer Is Wrong, Read Rule #1. OK, that’s clever, and it’s a good philosophy for running a customer-oriented shop. But what if the customer really is wrong? We’ve seen lots of occasions where the service advisor convinces the customer that their problem was with the transmission, but it turns out to be with a different comp...

If Only They Had Told Me
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W hen people don’t know what’s going on, they often assume the worst. For 16 years, I drove a delightful little 2003 Thunderbird, but at 142,000 miles, and it was becoming a less appealing investment. I listed it for sale, and a buyer took one test ride and bought it from me that same day. Then I traveled to San Diego and bought a used Jaguar XK8, a luxury sports car I had wanted for years. Th...

What's The Point... Of View?
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Brad pulled into the service bay and said, “The noise is back!” Our faces dropped as we all knew that this third service was going to be mostly a waste of time. Brad was known to be a complainer. He could find a cloud on any sunny day. Last time he was in, there was, “An annoying sound every time it shifts gears.” Upon checking, we determined that the transmission was operating almost perf...

Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid
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What scares you? For most people it’s uncertainty that scares them the most. In a doctor’s office when they say, “Brace yourself, this procedure might hurt a bit.” What do they mean? Is it going to be blood-curdling-scream pain or grit-your-teeth pain? The fearful part is not knowing which. You can handle most any pain briefly, but what if it gets worse or lasts longer? That’s wher...

Ambition: Kick It Up A Notch
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What is the current setting of your ambition? Are you eager to grow your business? How much? Is there a point where it would grow too much to suit your tastes? How about too little? What’s the set point where “that’s enough” to you? Everyone has what I call their personal velocity. It’s a combination of their patterns of energy and drive. Some folks have high velocity, most have mo...

Do People Stay for Pay?
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What causes people to stay with an employer? This has been studied for decades and it’s been proven again and again that their paycheck is important, but it’s definitely not the most important item. I’ve shoveled dirt and gravel; unloaded boxcars; repossessed log trucks; collected past-due bills; counseled destitute people in the ghetto; stood guard in the cold and rain; pushed cars uphil...

Love to Learn
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When my son was very young, I once lulled him to sleep by chanting, “I love to learn!” softly, over and over. It was my feeble attempt at using subliminal psychology: Feeding a suggestion to his mind, like they do in hypnosis. I didn’t know what I was doing so I doubt that it had an impact, but my intentions were noble. And, happily, I can report that, as an adult, he does in fact love to le...

Who Would You Like To Work With?
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The most reliable source of good new employee referrals is recommendations from existing employees… that is, if they’re committed to helping the business succeed. When we’re sending someone in for an interview just to help them out or do a favor for a buddy, then the shop’s success isn’t our foremost consideration. But it must be, because that’s who we’ll be working with. What tra...

Engineering 101: Don't Postpone a Step
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Today, as my motorcycle crested the hill above Camarillo, CA, a woman in the car next to me told me that I’d lost a saddlebag. Glancing down I could see it was true. The left-side bag was gone! I checked the right and it was still there. Then I said about a dozen cuss words inside my helmet and pulled over. I wasn’t cursing the bike, the bag, or the motorcycle “gods.” I was cursing my o...

Smokey and the Bandit
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Once, in La Jolla, my wife and her sister were walking among the shops and they encountered Burt Reynolds, the actor from Smokey and the Bandit. He was gracious and friendly to them and my sister-in-law was imprinted for life! She lives in Oklahoma and to bump into one of her favorite movie stars on a trip to California was just… the best. An actor I got to know briefly was Hal Needham, the m...

"Fun, Fun, Fun"
Bit by bit over the years, I’ve been renewing and customizing my 2003 Thunderbird. I love this car! For me, it’s what Ford originally called the T-bird: “A personal luxury car.” It rides like a full-sized car, has a 3.9 liter V8, and yet it looks and feels like a sports car. Recently I took it over the hill from Thousand Oaks to the beach at Malibu for a Malibu Autobahn™ road rally....