Rebel Uprising Podcast

Overcoming the Challenge of Being an Overlooked Expert


My husband and I love to play the game “spot the character actor” when we watch TV. 

You know, the actors that make you say, wait, what have I seen that person in? Why do they look so familiar? Because they’ve been in freakin’ everything.

But you have to google them to figure out their names and what else you’ve seen them in.

And I believe those actors hold the key to how we overcome being the overlooked expert.

Because you don’t need to be Brad Pitt famous or a web celeb to be known for what you’re good at.



In This Episode:

  • What we can learn about being visible to the right people from the red stapler guy from Office Space
  • Why not following the path of the web celeb means redefining success
  • Why your marketing needs to change when you step away from the visibility pyramid

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:



Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:


Dr. Michelle Mazur (00:00): My husband and I love to play the game spot the character actor when we watch TV. We often say, "Wait, what have I seen that person in before? They look so familiar." Now, I'm a fan of prestige TV. No real Housewives for me. Give me Succession, Severance, For All Mankind, Better Call Saul. That's the kind of TV for me.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (00:26): And there's one actor that I see in a lot of the shows I watch, and it's the red stapler guy from the movie Office Space. Remember the movie Office Space and how there was that one character who was so unappreciated, they kept stealing his red stapler, they moved him to the basement, and basically they fired him not by telling him, but they just decided not to pay him anymore? And I see this guy so often, I scream at my husband, "Look, it's the red stapler guy," whenever we're watching TV. And I believe he, the one looking for the red stapler, holds the key to how we overcome being the overlooked expert, because you don't need to be Brad-Pitt famous or a web celeb to be known for what you're good at. So let's do this.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (01:31): You're listening to the Rebel Uprising Podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping passionate business owners become recognized leaders who make more money and impact the world by turning their messy, complicated ideas into thriving thought-leadership businesses. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, and I'll be your no-BS guide in the art of building a business that gets noticed. Each week, I share strategies, tools, and insights on how to turn your complicated ideas into great messaging and solid business structures. Are you ready to create an uprising in your industry? Let's do this.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (02:13): Red stapler guy gets around Hollywood. He's been in Barry, Succession, Book of Boba Fett, Perry Mason, the new one, not the one from a million years ago, The Good Wife, Veep, Boardwalk Empire, Brooklyn Nine-nine, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons. Okay. With The Simpsons, who hasn't been in The Simpsons, right? Justified, Hot in Cleveland, Fargo, the TV series, Get Out, the movie. This dude is in freaking everything.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (02:42): So you think you would know his name, right? That he would be ubiquitous as Tom Cruise or Samuel Jackson, or even Meryl Streep. And I had to Google his name for this episode. The actor with all of those accomplishments, the red stapler guy, the guy that I really enjoy his performances on TV, I didn't know his name, but once I Googled, his name is Stephen Root. Ever heard of him? I doubt it. But you have probably seen him.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (03:21): Stephen Root took an untraditional path to Hollywood success. He didn't try to climb the Hollywood blockbuster ladder. He got really good at his craft. He niched down into a specific kind of actor. He made his work known to the right people, the casting people, the agents, the directors, the people who were the decision makers and could give him a job.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (03:51): Let's face it. If you Google Root and you see a picture of him, you know he's not the Hollywood type. He's just exceptional in everything he does. And if Stephen Root was in online business, he would be amongst us. He would be an overlooked expert. And if you haven't listened to the last episode on the overlooked expert problem, go check that out now. But this overlooked expert, they're the person who is exceedingly good at their work. They have years of experience. They've been obsessed with the study of their work, and they've got skills galore.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (04:37): But what can we learn from our beloved red stapler guy? Well, we can learn that you don't have to chase the web celebs or that idea of celebrity to be known to the right people for your work and in demand. And we can actually opt out of that pyramid of visibility that I talked about on the last episode, where the web celeb sits at the top, their affiliates and acolytes are in the middle level, and then the rest, the rest of us, those overlooked experts, because in order to be a web celeb, you might have to make a sacrifice that you're not willing to make.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (05:25): Let's just look at what all of the web celebs have in common. Again, you need to have a very large audience in order to make your business model work, because you have a highly leveraged offer where you are not directly working with clients. That is not your job, but instead, your job really becomes that being that spokesperson of your brand. Typically, you're going to have a team. The goal is to make a million dollars or more. You're going to need to run ads. You might have to sacrifice the quality of your work because you're serving so many people. And because you need so many people, you have to have that cookie-cutter formula or blueprint for the people who enroll in your offer to follow.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (06:18): I know I've had my own rumblings with this, this idea of what kind of business do I want to have, because let's face it, it's super attractive to be very, very well-known for your work, whether that's well-known like Seth Godin or Adam Grant or Marie Forleo or an Amy Porterfield, or whoever that web celeb that's popping into your head right now. That's attractive, plus they're selling you on this lifestyle that they have.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (06:51): And I really believe that in the online space, there's a predefined version of what success looks like. And if that version of success is the success you know in your soul that you want, then, by all means, you should go for it. And also, I'm kind of surprised you're listening to this podcast, but I'm glad you're here.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (07:19): Or if there's something about those role models, those web celebs and what their success looks like, that doesn't sit well with you, you could be more like a Stephen Root and carve out your own path to success. You can be in demand like him. You can be appreciated and seen by the right people who will always promote you or hire you or refer you, and you can create a business on your own terms.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (07:55): I know for me, one of the things I am not willing to sacrifice that I would have to do if I wanted to pursue this path of web celebrity, I would have to sacrifice how I love working with people, because I love one-on-one work. I love the conversations I get to have with my clients. I love learning about their business. I love helping them realize the value of their work, create the message. And if I was to become a web celeb, I would just have to scale that. I couldn't be that intimately involved in people's businesses. And those conversations I have are part of what I value about my work, right?

Dr. Michelle Mazur (08:41): So for the overlooked expert, the solution to having our work seen and have it be in demand is not about climbing that visibility pyramid. It's not about joining a 25k mastermind in hopes that the web celeb shouts you out to their audience, so your audience grows, or affiliating for that web celeb, so some of their glow and their audience rubs off on you. We can opt out of the pyramid of visibility, just like Stephen Root opted out of being a huge Hollywood star.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (09:26): And when we opt out of the pyramid of visibility, we really get to define what success looks like for ourselves and our own businesses, because for me, success does not look like having a seven-figure business. It looks like paying myself exceedingly well. I want to pay myself $100,000 a year, and I know exactly the amount of revenue I need to make in order to pay myself. And then that money will help me build wealth because that security is so important to me, right? That's what success looks like to me, and I realize that I don't need a million-dollar business to do that.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (10:08): And when we opt out of the pyramid of visibility that I talked about in the previous episode, you get to work with the people you love and still get them real results, because you have a certain kind of person that you're best suited to help, and you can work with them. You get to share your expertise on stages and on podcasts, where those people hang out. For me, it's about creating a satisfying and meaningful business versus the one that we're just doing for all the money and the lifestyle. That will never be my version of success, even if it's yours or maybe there's part of that that's really appealing to you, but you have to figure out for yourself.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (10:58): If you want to escape being the overlooked expert, then the real solution is to become visible to the people who matter. And now, that doesn't mean that you're never going to have to market again. I'm sure you're like, "Oh, please, Michelle, tell me that I'll never have to market myself again." No, no. You'll need a different approach to marketing. Like Michael Lewis saw in his podcast, you need a different approach to marketing, but you're going to need to tell your story in a way that matters to other people, a way to communicate your value to carve out your own unique niche, and that's what we're going to be talking about in the next two or maybe three episodes. How do you go from overlooked expert to the visible and valued expert who is known to the right people? And remember, we don't always have to be an overlooked expert. We can become known, but it's about becoming known to the people who really matter to you and to your business.

Dr. Michelle Mazur (12:11): Hey, if you're listening to this episode and feeling like you're the overlooked expert and it's time to make your expertise visible to those who value, need what you do and will pay you for it, one of the best ways to do that is to start advocating for your work by creating a message that resonates with your right client and shows them why your work matters to them. Now, this is the exact work we do in the 3 Word Rebellion Messaging Intensive. Come partner with me to create that one-of-a-kind message that creates demand for your work and your expertise. You can get started by going to, that's the number three,, and request a free consultation with me. I'd love to help you get your amazing work out into the world.

Create Your One-of-a-Kind Message

Your 3 Word Rebellion is the Key to Growing Your Business & Impact

Yes! I’m ready to rebel!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This



Create your one-of-a-kind message that is the ultimate hook and the message you want to be known for!

The 3 Word Rebellion is the key to go from business owner to thought leader.

Read our Privacy Notice. Unsubscribe anytime.