Oli Norman was training to be a lawyer without ever wanting to be a lawyer. Through some very interesting experiences, he’s now a live event creator, restaurant and bar owner, and successful entrepreneur. However, the path he took to realise his potential was… unconventional to say the least.

Whilst travelling in Asia, Oli uncovered a staged documentary created by a production company funded by a member of the royal family. After selling the scoop to Piers Morgan and the Mirror, Oli had the startup funds to start his business idea that would eventually evolve into itison, Scotland’s biggest deals and events website, although he wasn’t sure what it was going to be yet.

Oli explains the importance of knowing your self-worth, following your passion and the happiness that can come from taking risks. In typical Oli Norman fashion, these pearls of wisdom are found through other fantastic stories like firing all his clients to pivot the business only for them to join the new company or buying bars and restaurants in Glasgow so long as they are on the cycle from home to the office!

This is Oli’s Path for Potential.

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Oli’s Bio

Oli Norman is the founder and CEO of itison, founded in 2010 on a mission to help local businesses connect with more customers. Today, itison speaks to 1.7 million members and connects them with over 5,000 businesses.  At itison, life is all about the experience. Oli creates those experiences through itison’s major events team, producing and directing events for over 300,000 ticket  holders annually to the likes of GlasGLOW and Elfingrove.  Oli also owns and operates 7 of Glasgow’s leading hospitality businesses, including Brel, Sloans and Epicures.  

Oli is passionate about creating fun work environments, growing teams and businesses and ensuring itison is a force for good in our local communities having created itison us which donates thousands of experiences to local charities annually. Itison has a team of over 250 and is a Sunday Times top 100 employer. 

“Focus on what makes you happy”

An unheard clip from Oli’s episode. Mark mentions Oli’s business portfolio of restaurants and bars in Glasgow which are all, conveniently, on the route from Oli’s office to his home. Instead of being just an eccentricity, Oli finds that this brings focus to his business which he used to struggle to do. Mark and Johanna show, in a wider sense, how chasing happiness in your career can help you avoid burnout, improve your well-being and keep you motivated to reach your potential.


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Episode 3