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My Epiphany

I’ll leave the names out of this, since it isn’t flattering.

Awhile ago I bought an audiobook from a couple of self-purported business gurus about taking one’s business to the next level.

It is very hard to find quality intermediate to advanced level business self-help material. The majority of the material in the field targets the beginners: people who want to start a business, people who are still dreaming not doing.

As I listened to this book, one of the “gurus” was describing his “credentials” and something about it just did not sit right with me. He was talking about his “successes”, yet what he was describing smelled like obfuscated failure.

For example, he talked about his first business as a telecom startup, how it got up and running and that eventually he “walked away from it”. Huh?

People do not “walk away” from successful start-ups. If they’re tired of doing it or want to move onto something else, they sell it. They cash out and move on. You walk away from smoking ruins and train wrecks, not successful start-ups.

My bullshit detector was tingling, but this guru’s next “business success” story was the clincher. You see he started talking about a company I knew fairly well. In fact, they had been customers of mine years earlier. A very good friend of mine was at one point the CEO of this company, and I seemed to recall that it not end well.

I sent my friend an email:

Hey, how goes? I’ve been listening to an audiobook about growing your business and lo and behold ________ ________ is in it talking about his huge success at Company X. Weren’t you the CEO there for awhile? Do you know this guy?

A few hours later he replied:

Yo dude, that’s funny. Yes I know _______ _______, I was brought in to replace him after he was fired by the Board. He burned through close to 100 Million in funding and we ended up in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

At that moment I realized it. The awful truth:

Being successful in business is not a requirement of being a successful information marketing guru.

To be a successful information marketing guru you need only to tell a Good Story

I realize now why it is so difficult to find quality business self-help and business building advice at the intermediate to advanced level: because it is so much easier to sell to dreamers than it is to sell to doers. So 99% of the self-appointed “gurus” just pick the low hanging fruit: they tell a good story, press that desire button in as many dreamers as possible, and rack in the cash.