Yesterday I told you about a new program from John Reese called Money Mindset designed to help you to overcome Information Overload. I commented on the irony of an Internet marketing guru selling a product to teach you how to cope with the very overload created by the Internet marketing gurus.
It's easy to blame the gurus for their enticing offers, the oodles of free stuff you feel you need to see and their big bonus offers on every must-have product launch.
Who's Fault Is Guru Greed?
But I also believe you have to look inside and accept responsibility yourself.
No guru I know about - but do tell if you know different - has every stood over a prospect, loaded pistol in hand and threatened to shoot your wife, children and your dog unless you not only buy but also accept the first two upsells.
It doesn't happen so while you need to be protected from the money grabbing, devious, manipulative Internet marketing gurus intent on bleeding you dry of spare cash, you also need to be protected from yourself.
The Need For Self Discipline
You need a system for establishing self discipline and I am speaking as an addict myself.
The buyer wants to buy so the seller has to provide the emotional buzz and the rational reasons why buying X makes more sense than either buying Y, paying off part of your credit card debt or even ...saving the money for a rainy day.
It's obvious why the money-grabbing gurus want your hard earned cash but why do you feel the need to keep buying more and more stuff that you never get around to look at or listen to?
Four Reasons To Keep You Buying & Chasing Guru Greed
I think there are four reasons that people get locked into the guru greed trap and keep buying:
- You don't know where you want to go. You have no vision.
- You don't know what you need to know and you have low self esteem so you believe you know less than you do.
- You are a perfectionist and you don't want to take action and risk making a mistake or not "maxing out" your potential.
- Buying makes you feel you feel good because you are taking positive action and in control, even if buying is all you do.
Let's take a look at each in turn.
No Direction - No Vision
The first reason is that you don't know what you want.
You don't have a vision beyond "I want to earn money on the Internet".
Without any vision, you don't have an "opportunity filter" to identify what fits with what you want and what doesn't. (I recommend you read Are You An Opportunity Seeker?)
So everything that comes along with impressive stories of "I made $17,927 in 37 minutes on Tuesday in my boxer shorts" gets your greed and envy emotions stirred up and you think
"I want that!"
You look at the price, you look at the bumper bonuses and you have this compulsion to buy.
So you do and the credit card is maxed out again.
But if you have a vision and your opportunity filter, you start looking at the offers differently.
You can ask
"Does this get me to my vision easier and quicker or could it be a distraction?
"Is this solving a constraint that is holding me back from reaching my vision or will it create more delays?
When you have a clear target to aim for and you are focused, it is much easier to say NO then when you have a general desire to make money online. You are much less of a candidate for guru greed.
You Don't Know What You Need To Know And That Makes You Feel Bad
I believe in learning and the value of education and training and it is much better to buy a course for a few hundred or even thousands of dollars than to make mistakes that cost you ten times as much.
There are some great beginners courses out there that will give you an excellent understanding of the fundamentals.
I used to recommend
Unfortunately it was taken off the market in 2011 but I hope it returns as it is excellent.
Then work through the training not once but at least twice so that you can see the big big and the finer details.
Then take action on what you have learnt and you will keep learning as you are doing.
Did you know that one of the biggest Information marketers, Dan Kennedy says that 80% of people who buy won't get through the stuff leaving 20% who will get their money's worth and only 5% will really benefit in the way they expect.
Frightening statistics and I have heard Dan say that he used to fight against it but everything he tried, didn't work. Those are the statistics. Always have been and always will be.
You need to take action - and if you don't act on the first course, what is the realistic chance that you will act on the second, the third, the fourth...?
Only then will you be in a position to understand what you need but it will be based on an assessment of how your business or money-making scheme is going and what is the constraint.
When you can see what's holding you back, you can do something about it.
For example if traffic is the problem, you know that means you need SEO, pay per click or some kind of joint venture referrals. Decide which and go back over what you already have and make sure that you are doing what you should.
The guru courses are filling a need, even a hunger that you know you have and you will be eager to put what you learn into action.
But what about the non-availability of the gurus stuff outside of product launches.
If the gurus are greedy enough to manipulate you through the scarcity principle of product launches, then they deserve to miss out. I know of very few who are so far ahead of the crowd that makes their stuff the one and only one to get. There are other quality programs available as evergreens.
You are in control and you can stop the guru greed. You just need to decide to do it.
You Are A Perfectionist
This is me and it may be you.
I always think there is a bit more I can know - and indeed since my business is advising other businesses - I think there is always a bit more that I should know to do my best for my clients.
It's nonsense but I have a hunger for knowledge, an intellectual curiosity.
I was listening to Rich Schefren yesterday on one of the League of Extraordinary Minds broadcasts talking about experts writing books for many years, gradually perfecting what they have only to find that no one outside the family buys it.
Chancers come along, knowing a tiny fraction of what the experts know, listen to the market, find out what they want, outsource the research and even the writing of the book and concentrate 100% on the marketing...and create a book which is a huge success and loved by its readers.
Hopefully there is a middle ground - a genuinely excellent product - but the idea rang true with me.
The gurus are the gurus...and surely they know stuff that lesser mortals like you and me don't know?
Sometimes they do but sometimes they don't.
How often have you read a highly rated book and thought "it's a good book for newbies but I didn't learn much and certainly not what I expected to learn?"
Perfectionism is a huge problem for me in terms of books, webinars and my membership club. Strangely enough its not a problem with my blogs so there is hope...
I think the difference is that in the first I am asking people to pay and therefore people deserve the best I can give. My blogs are free.
But if you also suffer from this, your desire for perfectionism feeds the guru greed - you want their knowledge and they want your money.
Buying Feels Good
I've read that buying can actually make you feel better if you are feeling low or even lost.
It's a sign of power and doing something. A feeling of taking control.
But you can't confuse the high you get from buying the latest guru product and having access to it when so many other people desire it but can't afford it - or aren't willing to bump up their credit card - with the feel-good high you get when you see results from taking action.
I remember when I was in my teens and Dad started putting on a bit of weight around the middle. So he bought an exercise book and read it...and much to my Mum's horror after she's been following a strict diet, he lost a bit of weight.
Dad never did the exercises but reading the book moved him closer to his goal.
But life isn't normally like that.
You get results by doing.
Don't confuse buying, learning and taking action.
Controlling Your Guru Greed
This is turning into a bit of a rant - and no I've not got a product to sell - but it is a subject I feel deeply about.
This may even cost me money as you decide not to buy something you don't need and I lose affiliate commissions.
C'est la vie.
At least I know I will have done right by you.
So my system for controlling guru greed is broken down into five steps.
Step 1 - decide what you want - get yourself a vision
Step 2 - learn the basics you need to move towards your vision
Step 3 - take action and go as far as you can
Step 4 - take the time to look at your business and see where it can be improved. What is holding you back.
Rich Schefren made the great point of distinguishing between buying stuff to raise your potential to earn money and improving your utilisation of what you already know.
If your utilisation % is low, take it as a clear sign that you don't need more guru greed stuff. You need to master what you've already got and start implementing.
Step 5 - when you know what you need, it's now time to go back into the market clutching your credit card.
Controlling The Free Stuff, Launch Freeline Content and Bonuses
The business model of giving free stuff away is well established but the idea is not to fill your hard disk with pdfs, mp3s and videos that you've not looked at.
It's best not to follow every big launch, no matter how exciting it is - especially because your guru greed hunger is likely to be triggered and you will end up buying more stuff.
Start keeping an Information Resources Log of what you've got (both the free stuff and what you've bought) - a spreadsheet is best since it lets you sort it in different sequences.
Record the guru name, title, location and subject / problem you think it solves.
Then keep a record of what you've watched/read and what you've acted on. Yes, record what you've done because of the training.
So if you download four mp3s on SEO and you decide you need to know more about SEO, these become your first port of call rather than searching Google for "SEO training" or following the next SEO based launch.
Only when you've gone through what you've got - and taken action - are you in a position to judge the value of the next SEO training. If it tells you what you already know it is a waste of money and time.
And if you get hooked by a guru in a product launch, take a look at your Information Resources Log and see what you've already got.
If there's stuff there you haven't read/watched/listened to - then it's telling you something about what you really think about the guru once you are out of the excitement of the product launch.
If you've given up your time and attention to study the material but you can't see any actions you've taken, then again the message is clear.
You are not ready to buy.
If you thought the stuff was good, give it another read and this time focus on identifying actions you can take and then do them.
The only exceptions to this are if there is some big change in technology or law that renders previous advice either irrelevant or unreliable.
My information resources log has helped me and currently stop me from buying anything else from:
and many more - they provide top quality programs but I've not maximised the value of what I already have.
It doesn't stop me having huge respect for them but until I have cleared my information log, it is not the right time to buy any more - no matter how tempted I am.
Narrow Your Focus
You have to be selective about who you give your precious time and attention to and I think one of the problems is that people try to follow too many people who deliver training that is too specialised.
This is where the generalists have the edge over the specialists.
If you are looking for a comprehensive program to build a substantial Internet business (rather than one to give you a bit more pocket money), I recommend the Business Growth System from Rich Schefren. The downside is that it is expensive.
For lower cost courses, I've found Ryan Deiss a source of excellent, very focused, practical training at a fair price. I'd start with membership of Digital Marketer Lab (monthly or annual) which gives you plenty of resources for Internet marketing.
Generalists help you to put things into perspective. A specialist has to convince you that your problem has its root cause in their area and, to fix it, you need them.
You Have The Power To Control Guru Greed
I have played up the bad guy role of the gurus but many of them in my experience are sincere in wanting to help their followers to make more money.
They also want your money since it keeps the wheels turning in their businesses, funds the lavish lifestyle they brag about and gives their ego a boost.
You have the power to take control and stop guru greed.
It is within you to start earning more than you are spending.
I hope I have helped and you won't need Guru Greed Anonymous!
Salty Droid And The Exposures Of the Gurus
If you haven't seen the Salty Droid blog, then you should.
I don't approve of everything that the author, Jason Jones does or says but you'll know from the tome of this blog that I believe people often need to be protected from themselves.
The Internet marketing world is dominated by some expert marketers and some step over the line between ethical persuasion and outright manipulation and deceit.
The Salty Droid blog can be a deeply depressing place to spend much time (you have been warned) because it does attract plenty of cynical haters who want to vent and see any marketing as a rip-off.
I don't agree - the big problem is that people buy good but expensive courses and don't do enough with them and therefore don't get value for money. Is that the fault of the marketing gurus?
Jason has been interviewed on a very respectable blog - SEObook.com - and I recommend you read it.
Let Me Know What You Think
This is an issue that means a great deal to me.
I want people to make money on the Internet and I believe in the high value of quality business advice.
I despair when I see people struggling. They need help but they are either too proud, too mean or too stupid to get it.
But I also despair when I hear stories of people paying thousands and thousands of dollars for information products, training courses, seminars and even coaching programs and they don't lead to action.
The first group put themselves on the slow path to success.
The second group take a step backwards and are worse off because they have bought stuff that doesn't pay off.
All because they were sucked in by guru greed.