Consider these 3 real-life examples/incidents.
I met this lady in a restaurant at Koh Samui, Thailand. She recognized me because of my tattoos on my body/face and also because of my presence online. And she knew I was an Personal Branding Strategist. So she approached me with regards to my services.
So before accepting her as my client, I asked her information about her and what she did. And so she told me that she was a…..
- Yoga Expert
- Anti-Aging Coach
- Spiritual Guru
I kept quiet.
She gave me her Social Media links and I told her I would get back to her after doing my ground work.
As I did a background check, I found out that this woman in Australia did odd jobs — everything from gardening to working in gas stations to being a dishwasher at a hotel. Yoga she did as a hobby in Australia. However, one fine day she decided — enough is enough. She wanted to change her life. So she decided to move to Thailand to enjoy the a cheaper and more affordable life. And so she came here and became a Coach & Expert.
Now she didn’t have any credentials related to her field.
She didn’t have years and years of experience in her field as an expert.
However, once she landed in Thailand, she created a facebook fan page, she created a pay $10 per month website about what she offered and now she was ‘an expert’ in Yoga, Anti-Aging & Spirituality.
When I inquired about her knowledge & expertise, she let me know she was constantly reading books, watching youtube videos, learning from online courses, going to seminars & practicing her art. And that is how she was now ‘an expert’
So then I asked her what the problem was and she responded, “Everything is fine. Its just that I am unable to get any customers and I am not making any money. So can you help me make money out of this?”
Oh yeah — she also offered to give me a very attractive commission if we could ‘work together’ or ‘collaborate our creative minds’ (in other words, I should offer my services to her for free).
Young man whom I personally knew in Dubai, UAE for more than 10 years. He didn’t have anything spectacular about him apart from the fact he was good at speaking confidently in front of crowds. We used to keep in touch once a year or so. So we weren’t necessarily the best of friends or die-hard buddies as such.
One day as I was finishing off a business meeting, I bumped into him in a hotel lobby. He was completely decked up sporting a suit with all the accessories — a extra large bling watch, a really bright shiny red tie, leather bound folder in his hands — in fact, he even had a young female whom he introduced as ‘his colleague’ — whom apparently was his ‘assistant’.
Amused at all this, I asked him what was he doing to which he responded he was….
- A Certified NLP Coach
- A Certified Handwriting Analysis Coach
- A Certified Career Coach
- A Certified Life Coach
- A Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques Coach
- And very soon he was going to be a Hypnotherapist for which he was going to get his certification done
I listened to him for sometime and then I scratched my head wondering how in the world did he certify himself as an expert in all these disciplines in a matter of a few months. In fact, his entire demeanor was that of some ‘hyper-perfect high-energy motivational coach of the 80’s’ who wanted to tell me how amazing I was, how much potential I had and how he was going to ‘unleash’ it — that if is I subscribed to his seminar or attended his talk.
He was gracious enough to invite me to his talk but I let him know I had other things in mind. And I watched in amusement as the young man whom I knew all these years was now “certified” in all the possible pseudo-scientific garbage on the planet — all within a few months and now was “an expert” coach who would change & transform peoples lives through changing their handwriting or by hypnotizing them or by giving them advice on life (though he was pretty young himself).
Oh… by the way… did I forget to mention — his business card has the title “Dr.” in front of his name as now he was ‘qualified’ with these amazing scientific qualifications.
This Russian woman was a client of mine for 7 years where Personal Branding was concerned. She was into modeling, beauty, fashion, public speaking & photography. However, she was also struggling as the industry she was in was pretty cut-throat and though she was making money, she was also spending large sums of it trying to live the high-life.
One fine day she let me know she would be discontinuing my services as she found a better coach. It did come as a surprise to me, especially given the fact we had such a close knit relationship for all these years. And when I did inquire about who her new coach was — she let me know it was confidential.
So I respected her privacy and space and we ended our coaching relationship.
A few days ago, I found a website link of hers online (on linkedin). When I clicked on it, it took me to her new website. On that website, it stated that she was now a Spiritual Coach who “helped aligned people’s Chakras to be in sync with the universal law of attraction.”
I browsed through her profile as I saw magic crystals, ying/yang products, products that would increase a person’s “vibrations” and bring them in sync with the “quantum field of higher consciousness”
I scratched my head wondering who hit her on the head with which massive object.
The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?
Now, I know what you are thinking.
I am a Coach, Trainer & Mentor myself.
So why am I pointing fingers at someone else who has taken more or less the same journey as me?
Now — there is a difference in what I do versus what these individuals are doing.
I focus on:
- Business, Marketing, Sales, Negotiation & Speaking
- Earning more money through one’s individual brand
- Leveraging the power of Social Media/Internet to make money
Now NONE of these skills are related to any hocus-pocus, pseudo-scientific & superstitious nonsense. In fact, where people need to use commonsense is that you cannot and do not become an expert by being handed a piece of paper that states “Certificate of whatever” that too by some individual running an institute or private training company. I mean seriously — which medical journal, scientific paper or science based research supports crap like NLP, Handwriting analysis, Hypnosis, Chakra-healing, crystal healing, EFT and all the other bullshit which you can learn from any so called ‘expert’ and become another ‘expert’ yourself?
In fact, the bigger question is — how comes all these so called experts who currently do all this mumbo-jumbo were once dishwashers, cleaners, bartenders, baggage handlers, sales executives or odd-balls of society?
Simply because they tried their hand in everything that was measurable and realized they were good for nothing. So why not jump into stuff you cannot measure and make money? After all — how can you measure predictions, palmistry, astrology, crystal healing, handwriting analysis or life coaching?
The problem stems from the fact that people do not realize at the end of the day all this Coaching business is nothing but a “BUSINESS”. This is exactly what it is — A BUSINESS where the person who is doing the work or imparting the service/knowledge has to make money or profit. And what better way to make money other than talk some amazing talk that goes over your head, which you cannot measure or understand and where you can make easy money? After all — isn’t it all net-profit end of the day when you get paid money for talking and giving words, sharing your ideas and ‘verbally’ sharing your expertise? Tell me — what are the overheads of doing so? You do not have to buy any product (unless you are storing ‘magic’ crystals), you do not have to store anything in the warehouse (having a few books, tapes & CD’s can be stored in a cupboard), you do not have to offer any warranty (the money back guarantee gimmick some internet marketers follow). Whatever it is you do — well, is net-profit. So isn’t it easy to just dress-up as a ‘professional’ and impress the world with some fancy-pansy canned bombastic statements about how you would change their life IF and ONLY IF they subscribed to your course, attended your workshop or took your services? Isn’t this what ALL internet marketers, coaches and guru’s are doing? ‘
What Lies Ahead?
As I look at the landscape, I see the rise of many more such self-deluded healers, trainers, consultants, coaches & scammers. They may have the best of intentions but in all seriousness — they are just fooling themselves including the people who subscribe to their services. In fact, the virus is now fast spreading towards the younger generation as well. Today it is not uncommon to meet some 13 year old kid who is ready to advice me on Social Media strategies, sell me his Instagram services, market to me his SEO expertise or simply give me advice on how to go viral. In fact, how complicated can it be? It is as simple as creating a new facebook account, stating a facebook business page or fan page, setting up some cheap website, creating a youtube account — and volia! You are good to go and conquer the world. Isn’t this what everyone is doing?
I see this happening day in and day out. And given that I have many people who subscribe to my content, follow me or are part of my groups — it is not uncommon to hear yet another new ‘strategy’ from yet another hopeful individual who hopes to make it big in today’s big bad business-minded world. After all — don’t we all want to be rich?
I would just conclude in the wise words of my friend Joe who once told me, any monkey can ask his father to purchase him a DSLR camera, with which he can take 100 photographs, upload them on his NEW facebook fan page (it is always ‘my name’ + photography page), get 100 friends of his to like & comment on his photographs and give him the encouragement that he is going to be the next big thing. Sadly, after a few weeks of the excitement dying down — when people are fed up and tired of liking his pictures, commenting how amazing they are and sharing it (spamming) on other peoples walls — does he wonder…. hmmm…. when am I going to make some money out of all this internet fame? And that is where reality hits them.
The bottomline is this — whatever we all do — we do it with the agenda to:
- Make money
- Enjoy the process of making money
- Be able to sustain and survive this process for the long term
- Build a sustainable future doing it
- Have fun doing all this.
This is what all of us want, hope and strive for.
But given how the landscape has changed over the years with all the nonsense that is now coming up especially in the Coaching, Training, Teaching, Mentoring & Service based industry — I am for one left with my head scratching and wonder “What the hell has gone wrong with people?”
I guess there is nothing you or I can do other than ask ourselves this question. And as we do it, maybe once again we will be bombarded by some successful guy on a youtube video who shows you his Lamborghini parked in front of his super expensive house, with super hot babes surrounding him, letting you know he is today earning 9-figure amounts because of a ‘secret technique’ he followed. And which he wants to share with you FOR FREE… All you need to do now is if you want to change your life, just watch his video by clicking the link below, joining him for his free seminar and then subscribing for his $67 program that had helped him generate the Billions of Dollars in revenue he is enjoying today…..
Sounds too good to be true right?
After all — what do you have to lose?