In the highly-anticipated new book, What Is Your WHAT? Discover The ONE Amazing Thing You Were Born To Do, author Steve Olsher reveals his proven process for cultivating a life of purpose, conviction, and contribution. It is a timely, step-by-step guide that leads readers towards achieving both peace and prosperity sharing their unique gift with the world.
Features inspiring stories of trial, tribulation, and triumph, including seventeen public figures (e.g. Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and Jack Canfield) who Steve sat down with to discuss how they made their critical shift from pursuing commodity-driven opportunities to honoring their singular blueprint.
Author Steve Olsher is a 25+ year entrepreneur, founder of The Reinvention Workshop, and award-winning author of Internet Prophets: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal How to Profit Online. Steve’s singular approach to realizing permanent, positive change blends proprietary methods with ancient wisdom and revolutionary lessons from modern thought leaders.
By Steve Olsher
In 2009, I sat with my step-father holding his hand while he lay dying. Though he could no longer communicate verbally, I believe we are able to connect through that point of physical touch as I had a vision of my funeral… yes, my funeral, not his.
As I lay in the damp, dark casket being lowered into the earth, I could hear the words being spoken graveside: “Here lies Steve Olsher. He dedicated his life to chasing the almighty dollar.” That’s all that was said.
Those 13 words resonated to my core and slammed me with the force of a kick to the head. It was clear that my step father was imploring me to change course and consider the type of legacy I truly wanted to leave.
To that point, my career was focused on being an entrepreneur. Buy something, sell it, make money…end of story. From nightclubs and catalogs, to dot coms and real estate, if it paid, I was there. My existence was of benefit to me and those closest to me, but no one else.
In that ‘moment of truth’ my eyes suddenly opened. It was as if to that point I was awake, but not truly alive. I’ve always had this nagging feeling I was meant and made to do something extraordinary, but I had no clue what it was. It was clear, however to my step father, that I was headed in the wrong direction. He was showing me my inevitable fate if I maintained the path I had forged.
While I had no clue where to turn or what immediate actions I could take to begin impacting not only those who share this lifetime with me, but also those of lifetimes to come, instinctually I knew my first step was to put pen to paper and share the shortcuts, tools, tips, and strategies that had worked well for me in the hope of helping others avoid the same trial and tribulations I faced over the course of my life. My goal was to write my first book.
I began by listing thoughts and ideas—mantras if you will—that I followed in my daily life. Each began as a simple sentence with a general description of the concept. I then expanded upon each concept and developed a paragraph that went into further detail. This was roughly a two-month process.
My next step was to review each paragraph, eliminate those that either were unnecessary, duplicative, or couldn’t be expanded into a chapter and focused on the remaining topics. At this stage, while I didn’t have enough content to complete an entire book, I was comfortable with the overview in place and had confidence the final product would reveal itself in due time.
As I discussed what I was working on with peers and continued to write, ideas and exercises flowed through my fingers as if I was the messenger for something larger. Names, phrases, even exercises were created with little to no effort. The structure for a full book started to materialize
To this day, I have difficulty explaining where everything stemmed from as much of the terminology had never so much as flowed through my lips or represented reconstituted ideas. Within nine months, I had written over 80,000 words, organized the content into 17 chapters, and fleshed out three specific sections.
Declaring I had written the best book since the Bible, I researched self-publishing options, chose iUniverse, and was ready to release Break The Pattern and change the lives of millions. As part of their vetting process for separating the garbage from the transformative, iUniverse provided an Editor’s Choice designation for manuscripts worthy of such distinction. Knowing that my book would fall into the latter category, I ponied up the dough and waited…and waited…and waited.
Four months letter, the review arrived via email. In a nutshell, it read: “This is perhaps the worst book ever written.” Clearly, this email was not meant for me. Within minutes, I dropped a line to the reviewing editor and asked if this was a mistake.
Nope…no mistake. In fact, the editor suggested that I reconsider publishing the book altogether. Ouch.
After picking my jaw up off the floor and a couple of weeks of shifting from anger to depression to determination and finally resolve, I decided that if I was going to attempt to pursue writing as a career, I needed to hire a professional writer who can teach me how to actually write. I posted a number of ads on various sites and found a qualified editor via ASJA. We came to financial terms, I sent him the manuscript and payment and hoped for the best. Approximately six months later, my book was finally ready for review.
Reality check #2—my glorious 80,000 word diatribe was butchered to less than 40,000 words. What I said in a page, he said in a paragraph. What I said in a paragraph, he said in a sentence. And, much of what I wrote was eliminated.
Worse yet, my voice was gone. The book was now written as though he came up with the concepts, ideas, theories, and strategies and I was nowhere to be found in the entire manuscript. I was beside myself.
I picked up the phone ready to go to war. We discussed his process and his overall take on the book. He assured me that the book is still mine, it just needed serious tightening but, in his opinion, it was now a book worth publishing and, perhaps, even landing an agent to represent it.
While I appreciated his kind words, I was hurt. I spent a great deal of time and energy writing Break The Pattern and what I held in my hands was no longer reflective of what I wrote… or was it?
Within two weeks, I buried my ego and became comfortable that the book was, in fact, still mine. I quickly realized there is a HUGE difference between tweaking and refining what someone else wrote and staring at a blank page and coming up with words, ideas, theories, strategies, and exercises on your own.
My editor had simply made the book, dare I say it…better, and he suggested a new name--Journey To You. I added the subtitle--A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be and, together, we had written a very good book. It was during this process that I became clear that there is a substantial difference between writing and being a writer.
26 months after I began the process, Journey To You was finished. I found an awesome cover designer on CrowdSpring.com and opted to self-publish via Lightning Source. While the idea of securing an agent and pitching the book to big publishing houses piqued my interest, all of the research I did showed that my platform (how many people I can reach on a continual basis) was far too small to warrant a publishing deal.
In 2010, Journey To You was named Self-Help Book of the Year by USA Book News. As a first-time author, gaining even the slightest bit of recognition is a victory. Being recognized on that level was truly humbling.
Today, the length of time it takes me to write, have my editor review the manuscript, and bring a finished book to market is typically less than 10 months. Over the years, my writing has certainly improved but I am in no position to take full credit. Yes, my writing is better because I’ve been willing to continually practice, but the key to my development as an author is largely due to witnessing how a professional writer masters their craft.
Whether as a hobby or as a profession, if you have the desire to write, do it. You have incredible gifts to share and knowledge someone is waiting for you to impart.
In the words of one of my coaching students Jay Foster, the key to creation is:
First, get it out;
Then, get it right;
Then, get it right all the time;
Then, teach it to others.
No matter what you create, you’ll look back on it down the line and feel you could have done better. That’s just human nature. Whatever you create, it will never be perfect. You’re never going to get it write. It will be what it is and reality dictates that it will absolutely be good enough.
The world is waiting for you. We’re ready to read what you have to say.
Steve Olsher is America’s Reinvention Expert and has taught thousands how to NICHETIZE!™ (nitch a tize) by identifying and monetizing their WHAT—that is, the ONE thing they were born to do. His singular approach for realizing permanent, positive change blends proprietary methods with ancient wisdom and revolutionary lessons from modern thought leaders and forms a proven system for ultimate achievement in business and life.
Steve is the author of Internet Prophets: The World's Leading Experts Reveal How to Profit Online and also of USA Book News’ Self-Help Book of the Year, Journey To You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born to Be; he is the creator and host of Internet Prophets LIVE!; co-star of the groundbreaking film The Keeper of the Keys with Jack Canfield, John Gray, and Marci Shimoff; and has appeared on ABC TV, FOX TV, CNBC.com, and more than 200 radio shows including national programs hosted by Lou Dobbs, Jim Bohannon, and Mancow Muller.
Steve is a successful entrepreneur who’s applied his business acumen and communication skills to a wide range of endeavors. He has worked as a radio and nightclub DJ (Mr. Bold); owned his own alcohol-free nightclub at the age of 20 (The Funky Pickle!); launched the first wine and spirits store on CompuServe’s Electronic Mall in 1993; launched one of the Internet’s first fully-functional eCommerce websites in 1995 (LiquorbyWire.com); founded Bold Development, one of Chicago’s largest boutique real estate development companies; founded and teaches The Reinvention Workshop; and is the co-founder and Chairman of San Francisco-based Liquor.com.
Steve has earned the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, training under the late Carlson Gracie, Sr. All of his varied, real-world experiences have contributed to the concepts found in his award-winning books. Steve lives in Chicago with his wife Lena and their three sons Bobby, Isaiah and Xavier—who remind him every day why his motto is “Let Love Rule.” Meet him and receive free NICHETIZE!™ training at HERE.