Our Love/Hate Relationship with Gurus
Editorâ€™s Note: The following post is a piece by Jim Kukral, former Managing Editor of ReveNews and author of Attention! This Book Will Make You Money. Jim provided the link to the survey below, which we included, because it should make both for some great insight and allow for an interesting followup to this piece. Enjoy.
The definition of a guru is: â€œ1 : a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism 2a : a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern b: one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent c: a person with knowledge or expertise : expertâ€.
Thatâ€™s certainly a favorable definition; donâ€™t you think? According to that definition, I believe it would be hard to find anyone who wouldnâ€™t want to be regarded to in that manner. I know I would.
Yet, when you put the words â€œonlineâ€ or â€œWebâ€ or â€œsocial mediaâ€ in front of the word guru, you get a much, much different definition. Normally it involves much negativity and provokes words like â€œscam-artistâ€ or forgive my French, â€œassholeâ€.
The World Hates Gurus?
Yes, people seem to really dislike online gurus. Or do they? Is it possible that maybe they just misunderstand them and pick on them? Thatâ€™s one of the questions Iâ€™d like to discuss with you today.
But wait, thereâ€™s more!
So where did it all go wrong? At what point did a real-life guru who happens to know a lot about a topic, who sells or promotes the knowledge or skill on the Web become a bad thing? And, whoâ€™s to blame?
Blame The Info-Marketers?
It would be really easy to place the blame on the long page sales letter information marketers of the world. You know what Iâ€™m talking about. Those ridiculously long one-page sales letters that you have to scroll fifty-times to get to the bottom of, only to see a big â€œOrder before itâ€™s too lateâ€ button. Is it their fault?
Blame Billy Mays?
Direct selling has been around forever. From the markets in Jerusalem in Jesusâ€™s time, to the boardwalks in Atlantic City in the 1900â€™s, where people like Billy Mays got their start. Itâ€™s just selling a product, nothing more, nothing less. But something happened when sales shifted to the Web. Suddenly, instead of being a salesperson, Billy Mays and his like became gurus. Why? Are they to blame?
Blame The Consumer?
Yeah, you. You wanted it faster, cheaper and more of it. You bought into the lifestyle dream. You believed (and still do) that you could make millions without working by buying a $2,000 product. Maybe youâ€™re to blame? Maybe, just maybe, youâ€™re angry after you realized you donâ€™t instantly make millions just by opening the 22-disc DVD launch set you ordered. You are cheesed off because you realized you spent $2k and then you had to actually work to make it happen. Yeah, maybe itâ€™s yourself you should blame?
Whatâ€™s your take? Iâ€™d love to hear from you. If you have a moment, please consider taking this short anonymous survey about online gurus. When youâ€™re done with that, please leave a comment below and tell me whoâ€™s to blame for the anti-guru sentiment.