Firstly, a thank you to Miles Beckler and his video on Greedy Gurus for inspiring this post.
What Is A Fake Guru?
A question many people ask is what even is a ‘fake guru’? And I think we all know deep down that we’re referring to scammers.
So What Is A Scammer?
A scammer is simply someone who promises you the world, then takes your money, and then fails to deliver on what they promised. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt here and say that not all scammers are intentionally malevolent, however anyone who accepts money, but does not deliver on what they promise, is a scammer.
I think this goes without saying, but nobody wants to be scammed. We all work hard for our money, and it breaks our hearts when someone takes it, and can’t deliver on what they actually promised us.
What’s An Example Of A Scam?
This article isn’t going to name any names, I’m not here to put any specific people down (for legal reasons), but rather to educate you, to keep your eyes opened.
An example scam might be when you’re watching a YouTube video and one of these ‘fake guru’s’ says: “Hey!!! I’ve got this great, amazing, perfect system, that works 100% of the time always, and never fails, and best of all is EASY to implement. So EASY infact that my 98 year old GRANDMA and my 3 month old niece can do it. If they can, then what’s your excuse??. Pay me $1,000 and we’ll instantly turn that into $10,000 next week. That’s a 1000% ROI!!! Stop being dumb and working a corporate job, this will get you to the top so much faster”.
See what I mean? Even though I completely made that example up, we can all still resonate with seeing similar videos when we scroll YouTube. Puke.
Fake Guru’s vs Real Business Owners
And this brings me to an important point, and a slightly sensitive topic, which is: so what’s the difference between the fake guru’s and the real business owners, and why Arthur, should we trust you anyway?
It’s a great question. I love it when these influencers say things like “that guy is completely full of BS, but I’M completely trustworthy. Trust me instead”. Yeah…it’s not going to fly. If you’re trying to discredit other people, while trying to pretend you’re saintly, it doesn’t look good. In fact in stinks pretty bad.
So I’ll just go ahead and say it: you shouldn’t trust me.
Please don’t trust anything I say, or take it as gospel. I am not your guru. I am here to provide the best possible information that I can, but everything I say should be carefully reviewed and examined, and if you think I’m full of BS, great, don’t listen to what I have to say.
But if you read my words and they resonate with you, and you fact check them, and you try them out and they work – excellent – I do appreciate your willingness to believe in me enough to give it a go.
My goal in life is quite simple: to be a long term successful businessman. And I can’t do that if I lie to people and rip them off. If I sell BS, by the time I’m 70 I won’t be living a very happy and successful life if everyone from the government to the taxman to the FBI to you is trying to rip me apart.
So if I want to be a long term successful businessman, I need to do everything in my power to give you the best and most accurate information I can. Let’s focus on the long term win-win here.
Why I Don’t Call Myself A Guru
I’m a businessman, plain and simple. If you want to call me a guru that’s your decision, but I’m not advocating for it.
Why don’t I call myself a guru? Because it’s too self-important. Anyone who is a self-described guru or ninja or oracle, is too full of themselves, or ‘puffed up’ as SN Goenka would say.
Maggie Thatcher had this great quote: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
I have the same philosophy with calling yourself a guru – if you have to tell people that you are, then you aren’t.
How To Spot A Fake Guru
So this brings us to the question of how to spot a fake guru in the first place. What are the tell-tale signs to look for that tip us off to their potentially shady business practices? I’ve prepared a list of 11 tell-tale signs to determine whether you’ve got a fake guru or a real business owner on your hands.
Fake Guru: Tells You That It’s Easy
Real Business Owner: Tells you That It’s Hard
This is the fastest tell. As soon as someone starts hammering on about how easy something is, run. Without sounding negative, nothing in life worth doing is going to be easy. If it was easy, it would already be done by now.
If it was so easy – why aren’t THEY doing more of it? I love these fake guru’s who advertise that they have any easy solution that could make thousands and thousands of dollars – great, why are they advertising it? Why aren’t they doing more of it themselves? Why are you trying to sell me and get me involved? OH WAIT – it’s because you’re selling BS and you need my money to pay your rent.
Now to be clear, I’m not advocating for living an intentionally difficult life. I do everything I can to live a long term easy life. But the road to a long term easy life, often means a lot of hard work and suffering in the short term.
Here’s my view: Would you rather take the easy road today and the hard road tomorrow, or take the hard road today and enjoy the easy road tomorrow? There’s no avoiding that eventually in life you’ll have to take the hard road. And personally I’d rather do it while I’m youthful and full of energy.
For me, working a corporate job and being an employee is hard, and I wanted to by my own boss, which is easy, but in order to be my own boss I had to put in a lot of hard work today, so that I could make it easy tomorrow. See how this works?
Fake Guru: Tells You That It’s Fast
Real Business Owner: Tells You That True Mastery Takes Years
Like music to my ears, those words ‘fast’ and ‘easy’. It’s wonderful, human beings today are just wired to be triggered by those words. We want fast, we want easy, we don’t want to work hard and we want it done yesterday.
Great, there’s just one problem, you fall victim to fantasies when you believe that such a thing is even possible. There is no fast solution to the top. Delivering real results and real value takes time. Trust takes time. Relationships take time. It takes time to learn everything that you need to learn in life.
When the giraffe is born and comes out of the womb, it can walk and gallop and feed and basically do it’s own thing (albeit a little weak).
When a human baby is born, it is effectively useless for about 18 years (and even that’s being generous). Human beings don’t really become functional and useful until they hit about 30 or 40 years old.
Why? It takes that long to develop skills, to learn stuff, to master a craft, to make friends, to build relationships, to do apprenticeships. It takes time. And any new skill in life is going to take time to learn.
I love these gurus who act as if you can just learn everything you need to know about marketing in a weekend. Like that’s all there is to it. What a joke.
Fake Guru: Hates Hard Work
Real Business Owner: Loves Hard Work
Fake Guru: Sets Unrealistic Expectations
Real Business Owner: Sets Realistic Expectations
Fake Guru: Needs To Feel Popular
Real Business Owner: Doesn’t Care About Being Popular
Fake Guru: Is In It For Short Term Riches
Real Business Owner: Is In It For Long Term Wealth
Fake Guru: Reveals 95% But Leaves Out The Secret Sauce
Real Business Owner: Tells You Everything You Need To Know For Success
Fake Guru: Heavy Focus On Selling And High Pressure Sales
Real Business Owner: Heavy Focus On Delivering Quality
Fake Guru: Has To Convince You Hard That His Solution Is Best
Real Business Owner: It Is Self-Evident That His Solution Is Best
Fake Guru: Is Loud And Hypey
Real Business Owner: Is Calm And Respects Himself
Fake Guru: Tries To By Your Friend
Real Business Owner: Works To Be Your Ally
Fake Guru: Uses Expensive Cars And High Production Video
Real Business Owner: Only Needs A Whiteboard
Fake Guru: Feels Too Good To Be True
Real Business Owner: Feels Like You Discovered Truth
Fake Guru: Doesn’t really understand what a business is, but can go on and on about the importance of Facebook Ads or ‘funnels’.
Real Business Owner: Sees and understands the big picture. He sees the entire ecosystem and how each piece fits together.
Fake Guru: Needs You To Buy An Extremely Expensive Course Before You’re Ready
Real Business Owner: Can Warm You Up With An Inexpensive Course To Prove He’s Legit