Saturday, January 03, 2009

My Blog has migrated! to

By Jim Cathcart

During December 2008 I converted all of my blogs and websites to ONE comprehensive new website/blog at Or just type in "" and most browsers will take you there. 
The new site has 138 blog posts on it (all of the older ones plus some new ones) and 
it has over 50 pages of data, lists, photos, video clips and links for you. 
Please explore it and let me know what you think. I'm eager to make it the perfect resource for you and self-expression vehicle for me. 
Email me your comments at 

Have a very happy 2009! 
In the Spirit of Growth, 

Join Me at SynergyStreet!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Motorcycling Mulholland Highway

By Jim Cathcart

This week the 10th annual Tiger Woods Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament is being played here at Sherwood Country Club and after a morning workout followed by roaming the golf course with the players I decided to go for a motorcycle ride. A day of self-indulgence, Ahhhhh. Life is sweet. 

I recently bought a FlipVideo Mino video recorder. It's small enough for a pants pocket and has a mounting clip for my motorcycle's handlebars. Plus it records sound and self-focuses and adjusts for lighting. It's perfect for what I did today. 

I mounted it to my motorcycle, first on the back for a rear view and then on the front as I rode through Sherwood and Decker Canyon Road and up to Mulholland Highway. I then rode to The Rock Store, the famous motorcycle cafe hangout where all the movie stars like to congregate. Jay Leno is a regular there. Here's a photo of him that I took with my phone when he drove up in a Deusenberg one Sunday. Followed by a shot of the typical gathering of bikes there. 
Well today I affixed my trust FlipVideo to my bike and took off to ride my favorite roads. I've uploaded a portion of the ride to YouTube so you can see what it looks and feels like from the cockpit of my FJR1300 on a typical solo ride. (I ride slower with a back seat passenger.) On this ride I rode slower in the curves when there was shade because the road was wet & cold there. 
Above is a Yamaha factory photo of my bike. 

Anyway, it was a great ride and I hope you get a bit of the joy that I experienced today by watching this 4 minute video. 
Hope you enjoy it. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Heartbreak Hiking Fools on Lang Ranch Trail

By Jim Cathcart

In an earlier post I mentioned my hiking habit. The title was "In Praise of Mountain Hiking". Well, my group is called "The Heartbreak Hiking Fools" after one of our least favorite and most pain-inducing hikes on Heartbreak Trail.
Today we hiked Lang Ranch trail, aka Phelan's Pholly (after Des Phelan who found the trail first).

Yesterday I bought a new FlipVideo camera and took it along today to capture the trail, the level of exertion and the group.
Here is the video, with 16 short pieces strung together without transitions. You'll notice the abrupt changes in scenery.
The entire hike to the top took me 36 minutes and 23 seconds but the video is only about 7 minutes long. I hope you enjoy it.

Read my earlier blogpost if you want to form your own hiking/biking/exercise group. It has many good ideas for how you can create a group that requires very little maintenance yet lots of fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Motivation: Boys & Their Toys

By Jim Cathcart 

What motivates you?

Last weekend I rode my motorcycle, a Yamaha FJR1300, from Thousand Oaks, CA to Phoenix, AZ and back. I was there to attend a conference of the National Speakers Association. I'm a past president of NSA. 
The motives that caused me to attend were:
  • The need to stay up to date on developments in professional speaking
  • Concerns about the economy and seeking ways to deal with it 
  • A desire to spend time with my trusted colleagues and friends 
  • and an excuse to go for a long motorcycle ride. (Probably in that order.) 
I met with publishers, speakers, authors, internet marketers, trainers and humorists. We all compared notes on what we were doing differently in this volatile marketplace. It was well worth the trip. 
While attending this event I got in 17 hours of motorcycling (much of it across the vast Coloradoan Desert), borrowed the guitar from cowboy guitarist Doug Smith, and played about twenty oldies songs for my colleagues at one of the dinner events. 
I also met with my buddy John Schaefer and got to see his Titan Custom motorcycle. Take a look at these photos! His bike cost more than twice what I paid for my first home! 
Mine is the blue Yamaha, his is the extreme custom. I don't know whose Lamborghini that is but I'm grateful for the eye candy of having it there. 

No, I didn't ride in my business clothes, and I'm not telling you this story to brag. Well, not completely anyway. What I want you to notice is how much fun I was able to have while attending a business conference. You can do the same in your own way. 

Look at the events you have coming up: business meetings, outings, projects to work on, assignments to complete, etc. Then ask yourself, "How could I incorporate a little fun into the experience?" (And maybe save some money at the same time. My ride cost me hundreds less than a plane trip with all its attendant expenses.) 

Could you do the work in a more enjoyable place?
Could you involve some other people in the experience to increase your learning or ease your workload or change the nature of your experience? (I once had a book to read for work and my sister and I read it aloud to each other alternating chapters. We both learned and it was more fun.) 
Could you combine your workout with a needed discussion, maybe meet a colleague for a run or visit to the gym? 
Are there some uncommitted times available for you to insert a bit of fun into your work? 
Would it help for you to take the long road to the event so that you get some "windshield time" afterwards in which you can reflect on what you've learned? 
Is there a free evening where you could go to dinner with new friends or colleagues and build some relationship assets? 

The key to all of this is for you to be pro-active. It only gets better when you decide to make it so. Now, get out there and have fun...whistle while you work. 

P.S. Stay tuned to for the big changeover. We will be converting my website and my blogs into ONE new website with blogs and videos galore. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CanDoGo motivational video clips

By Jim Cathcart

Last year I joined with Tom Hopkins, Tony Alessandra, Patricia Fripp and many others to contribute short video and audio messages to This is a website that, at that time was selling training and motivation clips to be included into a company's sales management software. The idea was to have brief idea clips from top sales trainers at your fingertips.
Well, I have some exciting news. CanDoGo is now free!

Yep, they have decided to change their revenue model and to offer their messages for free. Check them out and let me know if I can help you to further improve your own skills or motivate your team to more innovation and initiative.

Here is the message I received from Michael Norton this week:

"I want to help you win:

CanDoGo’s exclusive Expert Sales, Leadership and Motivation Advice is now free!

That's right, free advice from Zig Ziglar to turn temporary setbacks into new successes. Free advice from Tony Parinello in reaching the Very Important Top Officer. Free advice from Dr. Tony Alessandra on building relationships and from Jill Konrath on selling to big companies. Free advice from Tom Hopkins. Free advice from Dr. Denis Waitley. Free advice from Andrea Sittig-Rolf, from Keith Rosen and from dozens of other experts.

CanDoGo offers more than 10,000 short, concise pieces of advice in video, text, and audio from over 150 of the greatest leaders, authors, speakers and motivators. Tips on leadership, motivation, sales techniques, networking, negotiation and much more, all there at your fingertips right now to achieve, succeed and thrive.
Visit the redesigned No registration required. Find what you need and plug it right into your workday. Forward the tips to your friends and family.

Everyone can benefit. Tell your friends and colleagues. Why not forward this email to them?

Enjoy, and best wishes on your road to success!

Michael Norton

Founder and CEO, CanDoGo

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rethinking: 10 Strategies for a Challenging Era

By Jim Cathcart

In October of 2008 our markets and institutions experienced a permanent shift. That's twice now since the Millennium that the game has changed. On September 11, 2001 I was shocked into the awareness that not only had we experienced a tragedy of epic proportions, we had also experienced a permanent shift in our daily life and business patterns. Never again could we trust at the level we had trusted before. That was true for our military and domestic defenses and now we find it true for our economy. 

Now is a time for us to rethink virtually everything. 
We have entered a challenging era, one in which previous assumptions about what was safe and what would work are no longer reliable. We must increase our scrutiny of our businesses and our lives before some government agency does it for/to us.

Here are 10 areas worth re-examining: 
  1. The value we deliver to our customers. What do they really get by doing business with us? Is the cost worth the outlay or can we make it more valuable to them without unduly increasing our cost of delivery? How can we increase their satisfaction right now?  I call this "Up-Serving", looking for ways to be of more service without more cost. 
  2. The customers and markets we are pursuing. Is there another group or subgroup that could benefit from and afford our offerings? Are we seeking the optimum consumers of our services? Can we offer more or different products/services to our existing customers? Should we be pursuing customers who were never on our radar before? 
  3. The safety of working here. Is this a place where workers can relax in the assurance that we are looking out for them as well as our owners? Do we seek ways to show our people how much we value them? Do they truly know that they are appreciated? Do we listen to them, really? Do we protect them? 
  4. The margin of profit from each of our endeavors. Are we truly spending $100 time on $100 activities or do we often expend prime time on low payoffs? Let's become more efficient and more effective simultaneously. 
  5. The attitude we show day to day. People who work with us and buy from us are acutely aware of our own fear or confidence. We need to be intentionally and consciously building optimism and inspiring innovation. The only posture to operate in during challenges is Proactive & Positive. We need to be watching for ideas and opportunities on every front, especially from our own workforce. 
  6. Sales efforts from every level. Nobody is exempt from sales efforts unless they plan to leave the organization. At times like this we need every clerk, assistant, technician, accountant, machine operator, driver, courier and cook to be "Thinking Sales." How and where can we see an opportunity to help someone else at a profit? All of us circulate in the world and become de facto ambassadors for the company. That means we are walking sales reps even though we may never make a sales presentation, nor ask anyone to buy. Let's train everyone to recognize sales opportunities and show them how to pass along the leads for our best responses. Incentives will help too. 
  7. Our own work patterns. What worked last year may not work next year. We may have to begin doing some things we thought we had outgrown. It may be that we will need to re-ignite some old practices in order to generate new business. What time each day does your truly productive work begin? What do you regularly spend time on that has a low payoff value? Where is the highest and best use of your time? 
  8. In what ways are we "spoiled"? Have you grown accustomed to certain luxuries or freedoms on the job that no longer make sense? What items that were once goals & dreams have you lately come to consider as entitlements? Lean and mean is the need right now. Roll up your sleeves more often and do what must be done. 
  9. Our primary relationships. Everything we do is done through others on some level. When we change the nature or mix of whom we spend our time with, we also change our results. Give some strong consideration to who you'd benefit from associating with and who might be holding you back. Cut back on the limiting relationships and increase the high payoff ones. (See my other posts about Relationship Intelligence).
  10. Our expenditures. This is where most organizations begin their reactions to challenges. But most organizations don't do very well. Those who thrive in tough times are the ones who realize that nobody ever saved their way to more income. You don't increase sales by cutting expenses, you do it by increasing the payoff from each expenditure. Look for ways to increase high payoff expenses and eliminate low payoff expenses. Ask what items and efforts could be re-purposed toward sales. 
The biggest challenge in meeting tough times is MINDSET
As FDR said, "the greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself." Mindset is the beginning point for all behavior. We must cultivate an abundance mentality: there is opportunity out there and we will find it. We don't have to fear our competition, we simply need to value and serve our customers. We needn't worry about customer's being loyal to us, we will begin by being more loyal to them. 
The second challenge is SKILLSETS. We must assure that everyone obtains the skills they need in order to:
  • increase sales, 
  • improve service, 
  • identify opportunities, 
  • generate innovative solutions and 
  • sustain optimism. 
You don't just become better by deciding to. You must have the training, information and inspiration to do so. 
The third challenge is SYSTEMS. We must systematize processes and set standards that cultivate the right habits for success. 

When we do these things, challenge will be our friend. Let me know how we can help you communicate these messages, train people in these skills and refine the systems needed to make success a habit, even in tough times. 

Jim Cathcart 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Storytelling to Teach Success Principles

By Jim Cathcart

I recently spoke at the National Speakers Association convention in New York City to about 200 of my peers on the subject of using stories from your own life experiences to teach the lessons in your speeches and seminars. 
It was just over 9 minutes long and is presented here for your enjoyment. 
Feel free to pass this along to others. 
Drop me a note once you've seen it and let me know if ever I can help you craft your own presentation or deliver a speech to your organization. 

To schedule me for your group contact your favorite speakers bureau or contact my management team at 
To see all of my topics, video clips and books visit
Join Me at SynergyStreet!