Is this what a "guru" is? AND, if so, then maybe...

by gjabiz 35 replies
Perhaps someone can help me to get a clearer understanding of what a "Guru" is?

Here is what I think I'm seeing (but it could be a mirage).

Guru as it used here is an Internet Marketer that specializes in "how to make money from Internet Marketing"...is this close?

IF it is, then these gurus of IM are a part of a bigger classification we call Money Making Geniuses.

The "guru" is also a money-making genius, but he makes his money from selling information to other people who want to make money like he does. Is this about right?

YOU have Money Making Geniuses (MMG) in your neck of the woods. In days gone by we may have called these people Industrialists, Entrepreneurs or simply businessmen.

A look at any list of the richest people will show you there are scores of ways that these money-making geniuses do it. NOT all of them can be duplicated.

This forum is about making-money, right? And "mostly" from ONLINE activity, but you should know that there are a lot of opportunities off line, or in combination and there are MMG's hanging around your area just waiting to be asked, who will gladly share their secrets too.

If my understanding of what a "guru" is wrong, as it is used in threads such as "guru bashing", then please let me know what a better definition is, OK?

Thanks for your time and attention.

gjabiz
#main internet marketing discussion forum #guru
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeRogers
    I'd say that is a pretty fair representation.

    I believe that "Guru" means "Teacher" and, we do have quite a few of those in the Internet Marketing niche.

    While some actually do teach, there are those that are merely "shovel salesmen" who sell informational products. I've got nothing against that... We all need shovels but, I think from time to time, these are mistaken for teachers.

    I have seen threads here on the Warrior Forum that were classified as "Guru Bashing". However, if you drill down deeply enough and cut through the rhetoric, most of those are not bashing the man (or woman) personally; they are merely started as an objection to a certain marketing technique that the poster found questionable. Fair game in my opinion.

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
      Actually, when I think of "guru" in the IM sense of the word, it means you have risen to top...you are, in effect a superstar.....
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Originally Posted by Simon_Sezs View Post

        Actually, when I think of "guru" in the IM sense of the word, it means you have risen to top...you are, in effect a superstar.....
        Simon_Sezs,

        What if this happens behind the scenes? Can we have superstars without knowing them?

        And I'm still not clear on what IM is? If you sell golf balls online, and online only, are you an Internet Marketer?

        Then MikeRogers says;
        ***************
        While some actually do teach, there are those that are merely "shovel salesmen" who sell informational products. I've got nothing against that... We all need shovels but, I think from time to time, these are mistaken for teachers.

        I have seen threads here on the Warrior Forum that were classified as "Guru Bashing". However, if you drill down deeply enough and cut through the rhetoric, most of those are not bashing the man (or woman) personally; they are merely started as an objection to a certain marketing technique that the poster found questionable. Fair game in my opinion.
        ****************

        Then these "shovel salesmen" who get rich selling to the gold miners, if they share HOW they did it, do they then transition to a "teacher"?

        Aren't all so-called marketing techniques questionable to someone? And if they are "bashing" the technique itself, why does the guru matter? Is he being used as an example of someone using the questionable technique? It seems more personal to me but I'm having trouble understanding all this.

        giveusallfreedom makes this important point:

        There are a lot of people in your neck of the woods that are extremely successful that you can talk to and learn from.

        Your local S.C.O.R.E is loaded with successful teachers ready to help. Are these ONLINE gurus, ones that are now GIVING AWAY their information, are they the equivalent of the Service Corps OF Retired Executives? HMMM.

        Daniel Taylor:
        *************
        An internet marketing guru is someone who
        figured out the power of the mind/focus at some
        point in their life, and use it to create a life
        for themselves, which include being known
        in this field as a "guru".

        Anyone can be a guru in any niche if you really want
        to. Just put your mind to it and take action and
        never get to a point where you feel like you "know enough".
        **************
        Sir, I have NO idea what this means. The power of the mind/focus. Could you, perhaps, elaborate. Who sets out to be a guru? Is being a guru a good thing? Again, I'm lost on this reply...and then

        JT. That's funny, I get it.

        Thanks for your time and responses. I have to do some serious thinking about this guru thing.

        gjabiz
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
          SitePoint voted me Marketing Guru of the Year 2007.

          It doesn't mean anything other than their 200,000+ members voted for me more than the other candidates (the members elected the candidates they later voted on).

          I certainly haven't figured out "the power of the mind/focus".

          I am a prolific forum poster... at least 20,000 posts across the forums I am a member at, and most of what I do is sharing experience and code with people (if I weren't self-employed, I'd be a software engineer by trade).

          But I don't sell info products or ebooks or training courses. I prefer to sell real products and services that provide real value to customers. Lead by example I suppose.
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          • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
            I personally define IM as Internet Marketing. Put simply anyone who sells anything online is by definition an internet marketer.

            As for what makes someone a Guru? That is very relative. You can ask 10,000 people and get 10,000 different answers. Personally I define a guru as someone who has learned his chosen craft to the point of being a master at it and in turn takes that knowledge and shares it with others.

            As to how to become a guru? In my opinion it is to learn as much as you can about your chosen craft and to also realize that no matter how much you know that there is still more to be learned.
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            • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
              Well the dictionary doesn't let us be very liberal with our definition of 'guru' since it is a word outside of our realm..

              Webster 2 b & c: one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent; a person with knowledge or expertise

              So what is a IM (acronym for Internet Marketing) Guru? A Guru which is classified as such for his or her online ventures.


              Internet Marketing? Well... you'd be surprised at how wide and varied your answers would be here. Internet Marketing is simply marketing done on the internet. Some will have you believe it's article writing, product creation, graphics creation, copyrighting, pay-per-click, etc.

              Funny since given it's very definition... none of that applies (except maybe copyrighting if you try and stretch the actual role of a 'marketer').
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              • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                It's just one of the problems with getting some good "guru bashing" going.

                Most successful internet marketers don't see themselves as gurus...just
                ordinary people who are sharing their particular area of expertise.

                Many of the people sharing their expertise aren't necessarily the undisputed
                leader in that area...nor do they need to be.

                If someone can teach you something that helps you then their advice is
                valuable regardless of whether they're number 1 or number 1,000 in terms
                of sales or expertise.

                I find the term "guru" kind of stupid.

                Kindest regards,
                Andrew Cavanagh
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                • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
                  Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post


                  Most successful internet marketers don't see themselves as gurus...just
                  ordinary people who are sharing their particular area of expertise.

                  I find the term "guru" kind of stupid.

                  Kindest regards,
                  Andrew Cavanagh
                  Andrew,

                  The problem, for me, is that I see the successful internet marketers using the term "guru" and they do most of the bashing.

                  Example from the Copywriting field, you know a ton of successful IMer's selling How To Become a High Paid Copywriter course, right?

                  A ton of them.

                  Yet some of the biggest and most familar names post to their blogs or popular forums, and they warn their readers to avoid the "gurus".

                  If a newbie came across the many promotions for becoming a copywriter, and becoming one quickly, and making tons of money from doing it, rather quickly...and then the guy they signed up with...tells them, "it's not as simple and as easy as the GURUS make it out to be"...

                  well, it just mystifies me. There are even gurus who go out of their way to "attack" other gurus who are selling a very similar product...Copywriting Made Easy, Simple and Lucrative.

                  YOU've seen copywriting become a Biz-Op. How many copywriters will there be in 5 years since all the gurus (who tell you they are not gurus) are doing such a great job selling courses and mentoring programs?

                  But that is just one small part of it. Internet Marketing Gurus. They come in all shapes and varieties on a ton of different subjects. Just read the WSO forum to see that.

                  I'm trying to see how the successful interent marketer who IS a guru by the majority opinion, goes about bashing other gurus doing the same thing he is, that's all.

                  And is the guy selling golf balls successfully ONLINE only, is he a guru, or does he become one only AFTER he starts selling his "how I did it" information.

                  gjabiz

                  PS. Sort of like the KNOWN fact that only A-Holes drive BMWs...but the question that has stumped mankind for years is...Do only A-holes buy them? Or do you become an A-Hole after you buy one? Still a mystery. :0)
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                  • Profile picture of the author Simplweb
                    IM Guru:

                    Someone who is able to generate revenue selling products/services in markets OTHER than IM'ers.
                    Someone who is able to communicate their skills/knowledge to others
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                    • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
                      I was going through some text files on my desktop and came across one where I had pasted in something I had said in the Friday chats some time back....

                      "A guru is someone who can come up with their own ideas to work in their field, have the skill set to implement those ideas, and the disipline to follow through on those ideas."
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                      • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
                        A guru is someone so knowledgeable that other people approach that person to learn from.

                        Regardless of what the subject is.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                          Gordon,

                          Haven't seen you around much lately. Good to see you posting.

                          And why am I not surprised that you'd catch and address the ambiguity in the word?

                          As you can see, 'guru' has a different meaning for pretty much everyone who uses the word, which determines who they choose to label with it. There is some overlap, and that's where it's useful.

                          For people who use the word in the more traditional sense of 'respected teacher,' there isn't a lot of confusion. Those people rarely engage in 'guru bashing' as I use the phrase. They're also commonly the ones who are confused by the practice.

                          For most uses of the word, there are common requirements. These tend to be:

                          1. Degree of visibility. (How much do people talk about them, or see their names or content?)

                          2. Degree of expertise: Perceived or real. (How good are they at what they do? How comprehensive is their knowledge of their field of activity?)

                          3. Reputation for authority. (How likely are they to be assumed to be correct in their teachings on the subject?)

                          4. Degree of influence: Perceived or real. (How likely are people to act on their advice or suggestions, within their market?)

                          The more you have of each, the more likely you are to be referred to as a guru by the market. So, someone who is relatively unknown and invisible to this group, no matter how expert they are in their field, wouldn't get that label from many people in the group.

                          Conversely, it is possible for someone to be considered a 'guru' in this group, simply because they're highly visible here and have sufficiently high ratings for the other factors.

                          The most common targets for bashing have high 'scores' for visibility and influence. The scores for expertise and authority have to be at least decent, but they can range over a wide section of the curve.

                          Of course, as with any subjectively defined word, there will be people who disagree. They use the word to mean other things, and that's fine. Barring a definitive common usage, those are just as appropriate as what I'm suggesting. But this does pretty well cover what most people seem to imply by the word.

                          Does that help?


                          Paul
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                          • Profile picture of the author tiger325
                            When I think of "guru" I think of someone who made it and is now teaching what he or she knows.
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                          • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
                            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                            Gordon,

                            As you can see, 'guru' has a different meaning for pretty much everyone who uses the word...

                            For most uses of the word, there are common requirements. These tend to be:

                            1. Degree of visibility. (How much do people talk about them, or see their names or content?)

                            2. Degree of expertise: Perceived or real. (How good are they at what they do? How comprehensive is their knowledge of their field of activity?)

                            3. Reputation for authority. (How likely are they to be assumed to be correct in their teachings on the subject?)

                            4. Degree of influence: Perceived or real. (How likely are people to act on their advice or suggestions, within their market?)

                            So, someone who is relatively unknown and invisible to this group, no matter how expert they are in their field, wouldn't get that label from many people in the group.

                            Conversely, it is possible for someone to be considered a 'guru' in this group, simply because they're highly visible here and have sufficiently high ratings for the other factors.

                            The most common targets for bashing have high 'scores' for visibility and influence.

                            THE MOST COMMON TARGETS FOR BASHING HAVE HIGH 'SCORES' FOR VISIBILTY AND INFLUENCE.

                            Does that help?

                            Paul
                            Paul,

                            Thanks. I needed that. I thought maybe I forgot or in my old age had totally erased the meaning of "guru". I get it now.

                            I appreciate your time and answer. It is FUN, isn't it? ... this Internet thingy...some day, I'll take a stab at it myself.

                            But, just like my FICO score, I'll try to keep my visibilty and influence scores so low that not even a predatory lender would give me enough credit to buy a Starbucks basic cup of Seattle Joe. So low in fact that nary a warrior dare even to think of me as a guru for fear of the ridicule and scorn that would descend upon them like a flock of seagulls on a garbage scowl.

                            I'll continue, then, to fly low and collect the dough and retire any dreams I may of had of reaching guru status.

                            As always Paul, you are the like the Presque Isle Lighthouse in a dense fog, it is now clear sailing ahead for me into a safe harbor of anonymity (which is a couple harbors away from Erie).

                            gjabiz

                            PS. It is good to see you alive and kicking too...happy 100th birthday...HA!
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                            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                              Gordon,
                              I'll continue, then, to fly low and collect the dough and retire any dreams I may of had of reaching guru status.
                              You'll probably be happier that way.
                              the Presque Isle Lighthouse in a dense fog [...] (which is a couple harbors away from Erie).
                              Ah. Someone who's seen our magnificent park. That's always a Good Thing. I think it even beats Cleveland's "Emerald Necklace," which is saying something.
                              PS. It is good to see you alive and kicking too...happy 100th birthday...HA!
                              Ummm... Gordon? Have I told you lately you're a smartass?


                              Paul
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                              • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
                                All these is just mindless terminology. You'd want to concentrate on the bottom line, and that's the bottom line.

                                Fabian
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                                • Profile picture of the author williamstarrett
                                  Originally Posted by Fabian Tan View Post

                                  All these is just mindless terminology. You'd want to concentrate on the bottom line, and that's the bottom line.

                                  Fabian
                                  I agree whole heartedly with Fabian. Getting caught up with what's a guru, who's a guru, and what happens when whatever in the interpersonal dynamics causes a person to completely miss out on the realities of doing business and doing business better.

                                  Besides, the same people who freely use the word "Guru" seem to be the same people who refer to "Internet Marketing" as an industry unto itself while indeed it is not (I see it as a channel or means- not a what but a how).

                                  I liked that "Money Making Geniuses (MMG)" reference. Gave me a good chuckle.
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                  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

                    Andrew,
                    Example from the Copywriting field, you know a ton of successful IMer's selling How To Become a High Paid Copywriter course, right?

                    A ton of them.

                    Yet some of the biggest and most familar names post to their blogs or popular forums, and they warn their readers to avoid the "gurus".

                    If a newbie came across the many promotions for becoming a copywriter, and becoming one quickly, and making tons of money from doing it, rather quickly...and then the guy they signed up with...tells them, "it's not as simple and as easy as the GURUS make it out to be"...

                    well, it just mystifies me. There are even gurus who go out of their way to "attack" other gurus who are selling a very similar product...Copywriting Made Easy, Simple and Lucrative.
                    I actually can't think of a single leading copywriter who promotes his course this way.

                    Most actually talk about how brilliant the other great copywriters are and how much they've learned from them.

                    Kindest regards,
                    Andrew Cavanagh
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                    • Profile picture of the author Uanz
                      In my native language in Malay "Guru" means "Teacher" as well. Further check in Google, I found this article on its originality..

                      Guru - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                      So I guess.. Guru In Internet marketing means you have incredible knowledge in Internet Marketing Niche..

                      But then, bottom line is who cares.. Hahaha.. lol..
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
            Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post

            I certainly haven't figured out "the power of the mind/focus".
            That's not something I'd brag about...

            Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post

            But I don't sell info products or ebooks or training courses. I prefer to sell real products and services that provide real value to customers. Lead by example I suppose.
            Are you serious? Get off your high horse with that BS.

            You sell "real products". Actually if you used something called
            common sense, you'd see that information is the most
            valuable thing you can sell.

            I sell what you call "real products" like clothing, music, etc...

            And I sell information courses.

            Guess which brings in the most testimonials, and emails from people
            who tell me the information changed their lives.

            That's on a daily basis.

            I'd never stop selling information. That is how you touch/help
            and add value to peoples lives. Selling them a computer doesn't
            exactly do that.

            You are setting an example that your mind is still trapped in
            a little box.

            Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
    I'd have to agree with everyone's definition, but I think Gjabiz's point is important. There are a lot of people in your neck of the woods that are extremely successful that you can talk to and learn from. A guy I used to work for bought his rental business from the owner after working for him for several years. We was on track to be a millionaire by like 40 or 45. Granted that's not as fast as some of the "gurus" here, but it was smart and effective. He bought a proven business model and just let it do it's thing. All he had to do was show up often enough to make sure everything was running smoothly. Not a bad idea.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
      An internet marketing guru is someone who
      figured out the power of the mind/focus at some
      point in their life, and use it to create a life
      for themselves, which include being known
      in this field as a "guru".

      Anyone can be a guru in any niche if you really want
      to. Just put your mind to it and take action and
      never get to a point where you feel like you "know enough".

      Daniel
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      Self Actualization is one's true purpose. Everything
      else is an illusion.

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      • Profile picture of the author Johnson Tay
        Someone who Grabs U and Robs U...
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        • Profile picture of the author Barry Walls
          Originally Posted by Johnson Tay View Post

          Someone who Grabs U and Robs U...
          Someone who shags your girlfriend in front of you while showing you how to shag. Its always for your own good.

          But Id take lessons from him so that i could do the same...thats a guru.
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  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

    Perhaps someone can help me to get a clearer understanding of what a "Guru" is?


    If my understanding of what a "guru" is wrong, as it is used in threads such as "guru bashing", then please let me know what a better definition is, OK?

    Thanks for your time and attention.

    gjabiz

    It's like so many 'words' that have been hi-jacked recently.
    Take 'Gay' for instance. 30 years ago that simply meant that if you were 'gay' you were happy, full of life. These days it means you want to have 'same sex' relationships.
    Where's the connection???
    There is none. But macheavellion tactics by the 'thought police' among others have taken the innocence out of the word.

    With the word GURU, you're right, it does mean teacher. Which is WHY it's been hi-jacked by people who simply want to 'SELL' you products that 'supposedly' teach you something.

    Some GURU's are genuine teachers and 'worthy' of the description. But MOST are simply salesmen who have learned the techniques of the 'GURUs', have made an 'apparent' fortune by applying them, and wish to impart 'some' of that knowledge to make even MORE money.

    They are not GURUs, they are duplicators.

    In another instance. Some GURUs use the word 'LOVE' an awful lot in their promotions. (No names but we all know them don't we)
    YES, it is THE most influential word in our vocabulary. YES, it is the most 'hypnotic' word we can use in our salespages.

    But who are WE, or anyone else to tink we have the 'right' to hi-jack such an important word?

    Does anyone still know it's true meaning??
    Most people these days think it's SEX. Some think it's a way of saying goodbye. "love ya" at the end of each text or phone call.

    Blinkers OFF everyone.
    Open your eyes and see the 'real World' that's going on around you.

    Our vocabulary is being hi-jacked daily by those who would manipulate and control us.

    GURU = TEACHER. (NOT Salesman/woman)

    Rant over,

    Pete.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Pete,

      Yes, there are some cases of words being deliberately twisted, through the repeated addition of connotations that weren't originally attached to them. This is relatively common in political circles.

      That's not what happened with the word 'guru.' If you've watched for long, you'll notice that virtually no-one calls themselves a guru. Most of the people who get tagged with that label hate it, because it creates all sorts of problems and artificial distances between them and others.

      Circumstances change, language evolves. And people often miss it while it's happening.

      For example, unless that picture is really, really out of date, you're not anywhere near old enough to remember when the word 'gay' only meant a particular kind of bubbly, carefree happiness. (Hint: It's been more than 30 years since that word was commonly used in the way you describe. At least 40, and probably a bit more.)

      As another example, the phrase, "thought police."

      People regularly use that as though there were some conspiracy to control the language. There is not. It's simply a lot of groups trying to get their messages across, and disagreeing over the connotations attached to various ways of speaking.

      Exactly like you're doing now.

      There isn't a thing wrong with that. It's a natural circumstance of living in a varied and interesting world.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeRogers
        If the "Thought Police" really existed, I would have accumulated enough citations to wall paper my house by now. :p
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        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by MikeRogers View Post

          If the "Thought Police" really existed, I would have accumulated enough citations to wall paper my house by now. :p
          Just because you've been 'lucky' so far. Don't relax.

          Especially if you live in the UK.

          Pete.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Pete,

            Yeah. Someone born in 1950 would remember it, at least in the US. I didn't notice that you were in the UK. I don't know the timeline there. Almost certainly some years of lag, since that was primarily a US change at first, as I understand it.

            The effect we're describing, changes in the meaning of words, is the same. The only thing we disagree on is the intent behind it. I see it as an evolutionary process, in response to changing times and circumstances. You _seem_ to consider it a deliberate and co-ordinated effort at distortion. (I'm perfectly happy to be corrected if I'm reading your intent wrongly.)

            There wouldn't be much point to a discussion on those aspects of the thing, as there's no way to prove either belief.

            The evolution of language definitely has marketing implications, though, and would make for a fascinating thread. The trick would be to avoid inflammatory examples that would drive people into defensive positions, which are unproductive.


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author macchiavelli
              Ill keep it short and simple.
              A Guru usually makes more money teaching people how to be good at something then actually doing it him/herself.

              It can be profitable if you really teach good stuff.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jose Delgado
                A guru on IM means like Elvis Presley on country music or Britney Spears on Punk music.

                So yeah they are like Rockstars!

                PS: Did Elvis sing country and Briney sing punk?
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            • Profile picture of the author fred67
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Pete,


              There wouldn't be much point to a discussion on those aspects of the thing, as there's no way to prove either belief.

              The evolution of language definitely has marketing implications, though, and would make for a fascinating thread. The trick would be to avoid inflammatory examples that would drive people into defensive positions, which are unproductive.


              Paul
              You're probably right there Paul. I do get a bit hot under the collar when I see the way the whole world gets manipulated by 'words'.
              Our last prime minister 'Blair' was a master at it, and by him making the practise so blatant and open, it exposed the same traits everywhere.

              (My apologies for getting off-kilter.)

              Pete.
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      • Profile picture of the author fred67
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Pete,

        Yes, there are some cases of words being deliberately twisted, through the repeated addition of connotations that weren't originally attached to them. This is relatively common in political circles.

        That's not what happened with the word 'guru.' If you've watched for long, you'll notice that virtually no-one calls themselves a guru. Most of the people who get tagged with that label hate it, because it creates all sorts of problems and artificial distances between them and others.

        Circumstances change, language evolves. And people often miss it while it's happening.

        For example, unless that picture is really, really out of date, you're not anywhere near old enough to remember when the word 'gay' only meant a particular kind of bubbly, carefree happiness. (Hint: It's been more than 30 years since that word was commonly used in the way you describe. At least 40, and probably a bit more.)

        As another example, the phrase, "thought police."

        People regularly use that as though there were some conspiracy to control the language. There is not. It's simply a lot of groups trying to get their messages across, and disagreeing over the connotations attached to various ways of speaking.

        Exactly like you're doing now.

        There isn't a thing wrong with that. It's a natural circumstance of living in a varied and interesting world.


        Paul
        I agree. Real GURU's hate the label and do have it applied by others. But there are far too many who revel in associating themselves with the 'GURU' status because they know there are many who will blindly follow a 'GURU'.

        I'd have to disagree very strongly on the point that our vocabulary 'is NOT' being twisted against our will politicaly. (This post or forum is not the place though). If you know of a suitable political forum, I'd be only too glad to get into such a friendly discussion.

        By the way, thanks for the compliment. The photo was taken last year, and I was born in 1950. I remember very clearly the word 'gay' and it's true meaning.
        We had a girl at school whose name was 'Gay' and she lived up to the 'true' definition.

        Pete.
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