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Identify and monetize your niche – Steve Olsher

♪ [music] ♪ – [David] Hello, everyone. I'm David Laroche, and today we are with a new guest, Steve Olsher. He's the author of the 2010 Self-Help Book of the Year, Journey to You, and he's the Founder of The Reinvention Workshop. So hello, Steve. – [Steve] Hey, David. How are you? – Fine. Do you want to introduce yourself? – Sure. I mean, you definitely covered a little bit there. I am a lifelong entrepreneur. I got started very early in the music industry, and owned my own nightclub when I was actually younger than you. I opened a nightclub when I was 20 years old, and so got involved in the internet space very early. We actually launched on CompuServe's Electronic Mall in 1993, so you may not even have been born yet, or just a couple of years old at that point, and then launched on the internet in 1995 with one of the first fully functional e-commerce sites. So I've been involved in a number of different industries from catalogs and dot-coms to real estate, and other types of ventures over the years. But currently, for the last number of years, I've been the Chairman and Co-Founder of liquor.com. Like what you drink, liquor.com. As an author and a speaker, my work is primarily focused on helping people “nichitize,” as I call it, which is all about identifying your niche and learning how to monetize it. It's based on really being able to answer the key question that I've now worked with thousands of people to help them answer, which is, “What is your what? What is that one thing that your soul is compelled to do?” – Can you tell us how to define a what? – Well, I mean, it's a little more complicated than a simple statement. But ultimately, your what is that which has chosen you as opposed to that which you have chosen. So it really is an integral part of who you are. It's already in your DNA. It's already part of your blueprint. It's simply something that you can either spend a lifetime denying, or you can just really recognize and enjoy, and embrace who you inherently are so that you can then share those natural God-given talents with the world. But ultimately, your what is the one thing that you were really born to do. – A lot of people who are following me ask me, “I don't know what is my way. I don't know how to fight with.” Do you have some exercise, exercises, to… – Yeah, sure. There's a program on an online university course, which is called udemy.com, and then there is a course that I teach which is called The Reinvention Workshop. So The Reinvention Workshop is a great way to get started. I also have my book which you mentioned, Journey to You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, which you can actually get for free at journeytoyou.com. So I'll include that as well. – So find the book and try every of your exercises? – Yeah. I mean, it's definitely a great way to start. It's just, it's one of those things that either you really are very familiar with who you are and what you're compelled to do, or you just need some assistance. Most people fall into the category of needing some assistance to really try to ask the right questions and get to the point of being able to come up with the answers that they need in order to affect not only who they are, of course, but also those who share this lifetime with you. – I have another question. How to find your niche? – Well, I mean, it goes back then to what we were just discussing, which is understanding really what it is that you're compelled to do. See, the problem for most people is they chase opportunity where they see the potential to do something for someone, or maybe it's a personal need that they have and they create something around that, as opposed to creating the opportunity where it stems from within and really giving of yourself to the world in a meaningful way. Where it's not based on what you believe that other people need or want or the opportunities that you see. It's based on what it is that you are inherently driven to do and are compelled to do, and creating something around that which has meaningful impact on the world. So it's really important to avoid looking at what is outside of yourself to identify that niche and really move within and be able to be clear on the three parts of the equation. Which are what your inherent gifts are, what the vehicle is that you'll use to share those gifts with the world, and then the people that you are most compelled to serve. If can answer all three of those questions and have those three elements of the equation established, then it becomes pretty powerful. – Great. Thank you. Thank you. – Mm-hmm. – How to become a world-leading expert? – I mean, that's really, really hard to do. Anybody who says otherwise is trying to rob you or something of this nature. But it's a very difficult process. I mean, that is the truth. As you know, there are millions of people out there with podcasts and millions of people with interview shows, and millions of people with books. – Yes. – So it's not easy. That said, it's not impossible. – I think it's a good thing to say it's not easy, because when you search on the internet you find how to become rich in 2 days, how to be an expert in 20 hours. – Yeah, exactly. So there are a lot of people out there who want to take advantage of those that want to have that type of recognition, have that type of exposure, have that type of position. I mean, the reality is, like I said, it can be done. It can absolutely be done. But the key is to start very, very narrow and choose one particular subset of the population that can most benefit from what it is that you are driven to do. So from your perspective in so far as helping younger adults with their self-esteem and gaining confidence, and so on, then that's a wide-open market. I mean, there's a lot of opportunity there for you to focus on teaching young people how to accomplish what you believe they need in order to be successful in life. Naturally, you can move outwards from there. But by simply starting with focusing on the young generation, our youth, I mean, you're doing a phenomenal service. Because clearly if you can create strong young adults, they will become strong adults. So it's a phenomenal service that you're doing for society. – Okay. So you have to focus on one thing you do very well, and work a lot on this domain and continue? – Yeah. Because ultimately, what will happen is as you build up a strong following in that particular community, then they tell others about what you are doing and other opportunities will become apparent. So it's really important to try and serve that one market very, very well and serve them with all of your heart, and do it consistently every day… I mean, just a really concerted effort to focus on that one market. It could be a year from now, it could be five years from now, but at some point you will find that people recognize you as an authority in that particular niche, in that particular market, and then other opportunities will arise as a result. – According to you, for instance, I give tips about self-confidence to public to audiences. The adults may be 40 years old, and the youth people. According to you I have to choose one of these niches, or I can do the two? – Well, I mean, look. I would never suggest to you that you stop doing something that is fulfilling for you. If you have good experience in both arenas and both are going well for you, then I would certainly suggest that you continue down those paths. Now, if one is doing really well and one is just doing sort of okay, well then I think the one that's doing sort of okay is a distraction. So ultimately, you have to understand where the bulk of your income, the bulk of your market is and move your focus completely to that, and let the other one go. Now, if they're both identical, then maybe you just keep going on those paths until one becomes more clear than the other, in so far as focus. – What are the keys of success? – Yeah. I mean, it really all boils down to… Well, one of my favorite quotes, and I will read it to you because it comes from this book which is Journey to You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be… I really love this quote which is by a gentleman by the name of George Sheehan. It's right here on the introduction, and what George said is that success is really all about having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you were meant to be. So I do believe that if you have the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you were meant to be, then that's as successful as you could ever, ever be. I mean, success is one of those sort of… In English, we call it a mirage, an illusion. I don't know what the French translation would be, but it's something that doesn't exist. We believe that if we have x or y or z, then we will be successful, then we will be happy. But reality is that genuine happiness only comes from a place of achieving inner peace. So it never works the other way around, and that's where a lot of people get it wrong is they believe that happiness is an external opportunity and something that can stem from outside of yourself. Ultimately, that's an illusion. That's a fallacy. Success in and of itself is meaningless. I mean, it doesn't have a definition. If you asked Mother Teresa when she was alive if she was successful, I'm sure she would've said, “I was very successful. I affected thousands and millions of lives in a positive way.” From a material standpoint, obviously she never succumbed to the material desires that most of us have in the democratic societies. So it's really a point of understanding who you are and what it is that you're compelled to do, and sharing those gifts with reckless abandon so that nothing else gets in your way, nothing else really is your focus outside of friends, family, etc. But the point being that success is like one's journey, and what I say in the book is that the journey really it is like this, where the destination, if you will, is the road. So ultimately, that's what you want to be is you just want to be on the road of life. I mean, that's the destination. That's when you become successful, when you're on that road. The journey of moving down that path ultimately is the destination. So it's a little hard, probably, to translate literally. But the point being that there is no such thing as being successful or not being successful. That's purely a state of mind. – So can I sum up in saying that succeeding is not the ability to set goals, but the ability to know yourself? – I think that is a good way to think about it. Yeah. I mean, what happens with goals? Right? So you want to have €20,000 in the bank, and once you have €20,000 in the bank, then you think you're going to be happy. You're going to be successful. Everything is going to be the way that it is. I mean, I can't speak for your financial position, but let's assume you then achieve that goal of having €20,000 in the bank. So what happens then is that these arbitrary goals that we set then become eliminated like a line in the sand and we scratch it out, and we simply set another goal further down the line. – Right. Yes. – So if you wanted to have €100,000 in the bank, well you get €100,000 and the next thing you want €1 million. I mean, it's like it never, ever ends. It's always a continual destination that you want to get to and you feel like once you get to that point, then amazing things can happen. But it never works that way. – Thank you very much. Another question, how to create your ideal lifestyle? – Again, it really goes back to understanding what your priorities are, and understanding the impact that you want to have on both those who share this lifetime with you and also those of lifetimes to come. I mean, that's ultimately what it's very important to understand as you look to create your ideal lifestyle. Because ultimately, your ideal lifestyle might be to want to have a wife and children, and be able to put food on the table and take one nice vacation a year, and have a nice roof over your head without living extravagantly. But during the day, have impact on those who can really benefit from your gifts and from your messaging, and from your talents. If you spoke to two schools, potentially, a week, then that might be your ideal lifestyle. I mean, it's not as easy as saying that this works for you and this works for everyone. Because ultimately what works for you may not be what works for your friends, and what doesn't necessarily work for your family or people that you're in business with, etc. So I think the way that I'm dancing around this question really boils down to being clear on what is your ideal lifestyle. I think once you can define what that is for you, you then may look at it and reexamine, because ultimately what you think it is that you need is not actually what you want. So you may think you need \$1 million in the bank, or €1 million in the bank, or something of this nature, when in fact it's not reflective at all of what your actual needs are. So you've got to be very clear on what your wants are and what your needs are, and be clear on how to really make sure that they're aligned. Because ultimately, we find as human beings that what we want and what we think we need are often very much disconnected. – When did you understand that? – Yeah. No, it's a great question. For me, and a lot of what I do in terms of my teaching is trying to present to people the information that I wish that I would've had when I was your age, and younger even… But certainly at your age, it's a great point in time to really be able to learn how to live. Because in school they teach us how to read and write, and do some math, but no one really teaches us how to live. So we kind of go through our own guessing games of what it means to live and to be successful, etc. So my turning point was actually about five years ago now, where I was with my stepfather, who was on his deathbed and he was very much a father to me, and I was holding his hand in his final days and I actually had a vision of my funeral. Not of his funeral, but of my funeral, and I could hear the words being spoken graveside which were, “Here lies Steve Olsher. He dedicated his life to chasing the almighty dollar,” and that's all that was said. It was clear that that was in fact how I was living my life, where I was living my life in a way where everything was about the dollar, everything was about the money, and without really considering what it was that I was actually wanting to do with my life and why I'm here, and what it is that I'm really compelled to do. That's really when the light went off. I mean, we kind of stay on a certain path until you realize there's another road. So it was at that point where I was able to realize that there is in fact another road, and I started down that path so far as education, taking seminars and learning more about who I am. It really has made all the difference. But ultimately, it's very important to try to get on the path of understanding who you are and what you're compelled to do, and what it is that you really need as opposed to what it is that you think you want. Because once you're able to do that, that's when the pressure really comes off. I think the problem for most of us is we're underneath this perceived pressure of having to do things and having to accomplish certain things, and it really weighs us down. Once we're able to sort of shirk, step to the side, and shrug it off, and then just kind of raise up again, that's when you have the ability to start doing things based on your terms. That's what's most important, is being able to live life on your terms. – Thank you very much. ‘ – Yeah. – So we could introduce a new course in the schools, How to Live. – Yeah, for sure. Actually, it's interesting. I mean, that is one of the things that is pretty near and dear to my heart, which is education and creating curriculum for students. Which is not dissimilar to what you're doing in certain ways, but actually making more of a formalized curriculum that helps people really become clear on how to live, because schools do not do a very good job of that. – What is your message for young people? – Yeah, sure. The main takeaway that I hope that you get from this is that life is yours to make and yours to create, and ultimately you have a gift to share. It is your responsibility to honor what God has given to you and what is within your DNA, within your blueprint, within your wiring. It is your responsibility to understand what that is and focus on what that is, and avoid being steered in one direction or another based on the agendas of other people. So ultimately, until you're paying your own way and you have your own apartment, or you have your own life, if you will, you have to listen to your parents. You have to listen to those that are paying your way. But at the same token, you do need to understand that you have a choice, and life is all about choice. At some point, it's going to show up in either a very obvious or a very subtle way, where you hit that fork in the road. You have to continueally choose the paths that are most congruent with who you are and what it is that you're compelled to do. So if you find yourself down a path that you didn't choose, you have no one to blame but yourself. Ultimately, to blame others for being where you are is an effort in futility. I mean, it's really a waste of time. It's a waste of energy. You have to take full responsibility for where you are in your life, because ultimately it's your choice and your choice in the long run will be much better served by understanding what your what is, and pursuing your what with fire, with passion. Ultimately, it will never steer you in the wrong direction. It won't be easy all the time, by any stretch, and you may not be making as much money as some of your friends and your peers for now. But in the long run, you'll be much happier and you will be paid extraordinarily well over time. – Thank you very much. Another question about youths, I'm sure you can help about that. I have a lot of young people who are coming to me and saying, “Me, my father or my mother, my parents, don't believe in me.” – Yeah. I mean, look. The reality is that, like I said, until you're paying your own way and until you have your own apartment, you're paying your own bills, you're putting your own food on the table, at some point you can't continue to argue based on the agenda of your parents. They are in control of your life at this point. Now that said, if you know that this is something that you want to do, then what I would recommend you do is get a job, start working, start saving money, and be very clear on what it is that you want to do. So that when the time comes and you are able to move out on your own at 18 or 21, or whatever it might be, that you're in a position to do that so you can pursue what it is that you're compelled to do. But ultimately, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't take the money, if you will, from your parents and not expect anything in return. So long as you continually take, you're not in a position to dictate, to make demands. So that's where it's really important to become an adult and be prepared to become an adult. But for now, you want to write that down. You want to write down all your ideas. You want to keep a journal. You want to learn as much as you can about the industry. Use the internet to look at all the free videos you can without spending any money. Talk to as many people as you can about the industry, and be prepared so that when it's time to actually make that jump that you're not just starting from ground zero. You've already been researching and investigating, and looking at what that industry is all about and what you have to do so that you can hit the ground running when it's time. But ultimately, you don't… I mean, I don't know how it is in Europe. But I know in the States when you're 18, you're technically considered an adult. So if the agenda of others until that point is not subscribed to, well you have to be respectful. You have to be considerate of their wishes, of their demands. But ultimately, you need to be in preparation mode to make that move when it's time. So it's tricky. I mean, it's definitely tricky. But at the same token, 14 is very young. Some people know what it is that they're compelled to do right from the get-go, which is amazing and I'm always amazed by people who know from a very early age what it is that they want to do. But ultimately, you're just not in position at 14 to make demands and that's the reality. So you've got to be prepared for the time when you are able to make the leap forward and begin doing something on your own. – Thank you very much. – Yeah. – The last question, it is for people who want to become more self-confident, to increase self-confidence. According to you, how to become self-confident? – Yeah. I mean, really it's a matter of understanding who you are and honoring your unique self. People respect those who are polarizing, state their opinion, have an opinion, and are willing to have people line up on this side or on that side, because not everyone is going to agree with you. But ultimately, it's really a matter of being very true to who you are, and ultimately a matter of listening to the voice that you have within that is instructing you to do x, y, or z. If you're willing to honor that voice and listen to that voice, then you're absolutely going to be in position to do some amazing things. Because ultimately, the outside world can never provide the map for you. They can provide general ideas and direction, but the map comes from within. – Thank you very much. – Sure. – Thank you for all your answers. So you can find his book on Amazon, and you can show it. – Mm-hmm. Here, I've got two books. So we've got Journey to You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, and then the other book which is all about the internet, which is Internet Prophets: The Worldly Experts Review on How to Profit Online. Actually, interestingly enough, there's a French version of Internet Prophets. – Oh, great. – Yeah. I forget, Internet d'Prophetes or something like that, but there's a French version on Amazon right now of Internet Prophets. – Oh, yeah. The Prophetes d'Internet. – Yeah, exactly. – Perfect. – Yeah. There you go. – Okay. Thank you very much, Steve. – All right. Thanks, David. Appreciate you having me on. ♪ [music] ♪

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