Recently I read an email from a person who positions herself as a coach, but she is really a “live the life of your dreams” guru who sells pie-in-the-sky promises. She may be a fake guru, at that. In the email, she “confessed” to some spur-of-the-moment and expensive splurging and wasting of both time and money. In the interest of keeping her identity private (but if you’ve read the same email, you might figure it out), I’m not giving her name, and identifying details are changed.
Running around the world when there’s work to be done
Confessing that instead of being wise and effective—and instead of being a good steward—you wasted a few thousand dollars and and a few days for no good reason . . . and saying that’s the reason the work you’ve committed to doing is late . . . .
Is that supposed to come across as cute? I don’t find it cute. It says, “Oops, I’m impulsive and unreliable and you really shouldn’t trust me.” Not a good thing for someone who is trying to win you as a coaching client to say, is it?
Or maybe we should interpret that behavior as extravagant and spoiled: “I’m so rich I can be wasteful.” Being wasteful is not to be aspired to. It’s never excusable to waste a lot of time or money, no matter how much one has of either one. Okay, okay, so we all waste a little bit of money (anything to drink except water can be considered a waste of money) and time (facebook ring a bell? It’s not all business networking, even for me).
So, yes, we all waste some time and money. I don’t think anyone expects perfection there. But dropping a few grand for something that could have been done for zero dollars? And wasting a few days running around the world “relaxing and luxuriating” when you should have been working on something you’d promised to have done? That deserves time in the poor steward’s prison.
I think emails like that are supposed to inspire envy and desire to have what she’s offering, and I’m sure it works on plenty of people, but it sure didn’t do that for me.
Fake guru selling snake oil
After seeing multiple emails from this person, my overall impression of her is that she’s a poser who is capitalizing on the desire that lazy and greedy people have to get a better life without working for it. She has a “free email” (e.g., @yahoo.com) email address. That’s right, she doesn’t even have an email at her own domain.
Every businessperson should have an email at their own domain. If you’ve been around a while with a Gmail address attached to your website, then you’ve been grandfathered in and it’s free, but if you’re new, it’s $5 a month to have a Gmail account that is an @yourdomain email address. Having an email address at your domain is professional. The @yahoo, @hotmail, @surelooksfaketome email addresses are not professional. If you can’t afford the five bucks a month for that, then you sure aren’t flying around the world living a dream life. If you’re claiming that you are, then you might be a fake guru.
Fake gurus don’t want you to look behind the curtain. They make their money off of selling pipe dreams, and if enough people see the reality, then the fake guru might have to get a real job or start providing something that actually does have value, just like the rest of us do. They don’t want you to pull back the curtain. I do.