I have directly or indirectly coached so many of the people many of you refer to as "gurus" a term I feel is so miused because franky ANYONE who teaches for a living is a guru. But the way it is used in IM is to refer to an "elite" group of marketers who are more celebrities than just marketing coaches. These guys should be called "Celeb markters" because that IS what they are and what causes so much rife for some marketers. The majority of IMers and many non-IMers are in fact ALL GURUS because they TEACh others for a living.
I would like to see the term used in the right way eventually but that's up to you IMers.
But I digress. Like I was saying... I was at the start of IM before all the rules and strategies you know and follow today were perfected, I helped to discover and perfect many of them.While I have made my share of mistakes in online marketing (everyone has, everyone, it's part of the learning process for all of us), I am also one of the most successful and widely respected IMers from the old school group many of you newer marketers may not even know.
There are top level senior warriors that will easily back that up, just ask them.
Now, don't for a minute think that any of it was easy. It was hard work from the first day. Some of it had to do with fighting to make a name for myself even though I had one of the so called weirdest sounding names online at the time. Some of it was tough because I had to fight with less than perfect technologies, outdated banking systems and many other roadblocks that IMers in the USA were immune from. When I eventually moved to the UK some of that changed and I'm grateful. But despite all the stress and work involved, I loved IM and led by example as best I could.
So, it makes me cringe whenever I hear IMers make DOWNRIGHT prejudiced, biased statemets against people from Nigeria believing them to be scammers before they have even related to them. This is esepcially painful when those statements are made WITHOUT ever being qualified and making it clear it can't possibly be ALL nigerians that are scammers.
Listen, there are MANY people who read and take on everything they read without questioning it depending on the source. This forum is one of the most trusted sources of content in IM so it hurts business when people post up "Nigerian Scam Alerts" that have NOTHING to do with IM but which eventually end up in battles against nigerian IMers as well.
What makes it MOST annoying is when these newer Nigerian warriors usually so desperate to be accepted here start to follow the same trend and post up Nigerian Scam Alerts which from my investigations are not even justified based on total lack of evidence, and which have NOTHING to do with IM, but which eventually end up giving a bad name even to honest Nigerian IMers.
These posts are ALLOWED to stay up and even allowed to go nuts. So, I got tired of it. And decided I would speak my mind in my own thread.
The fact is when I started IM in 1997 I made it clear I was Nigerian because I wanted to make it clear to Americans, Europeans, Brits, Asians and Australians that there are Nigerians who are ethical business owners. I was tempted to hide myself behind a pen name in 1997 because I was sure no one would want to deal with me and I would suffer from the prejudice.
But thankfully, a Polish friend of mine warned me against that stupid move and convinced me that if I came out as who I really am I would be respected and remembered if I did well. I took that advice and worked hard.
Nigerians became trusted. So many non-Nigerians became my customers, friends and students. It was a job well done and the door was open (I felt permanently) for my ethical Nigerian brothers and sisters to make it in IM due to what I and other well known Nigerians had achieved on everyone's behalf.
So, imagine my disappointment when I see newer warriors spewing all these prejudiced comments that affect business for me and other well meaning Nigerian warriors and IMers in general.
Please guys, stop the prejudice. If you have facts, state them otherwise you're just hurting others for no reason.
This post was inspired by many of the Nigerian Scam alert posts right here in the forum and especially by a post made my one very misguided newer Nigerian warrior marketer who posted a totally ridiculous Nigerian Scam alert that had NO CONNECTION to Nigerians even by his own admission in his OP.
I started to realize that if no one did anything it could easily only get worse.
So, I wanted to make it obvious to all who are prejudiced, there are more ethical Nigerians out there than you can shake a stick at. Many of these foolish Nigerians and non-Nigerians who send scam emails to unsuspecting people world wide have nothing to do with us or many of the people who run ethical local businesses too. Please STOP painting us with the same brush.
We hate these guys as much as you do and we fight it in numerous ways. It doesn't help if while we're fighting it, you're attacking us too from all sides.
I started this post with the headline "Nigerians are at it again" because I knew that would catch the attention of some if not all those who are eager to dump on Nigerians as well as those who thankfully argue in our favor even if they are not Nigerians themselves. But really that headline refers to the following story on Oprah... Author Uwem Akpan's Biography - Oprah.com
The Nigerian based priest that wrote a book and was found by Oprah's team (he didn't from what I understand market himself to them), and then invited to appear on the Oprah show because his book was added to Oprah's book club list is just ONE of the Nigerians I refer to as ethical business and non-business people. There are MILLIONS of people like him you will probably NEVER hear about.
However, please take the time to investigate what you are talking about and avoid prejudiced comments they will eventually reflect poorly on you anyway as prejudice always does. But even ignoring the bad karma that is likely, consider that there are fellow warriors like you who just happen to be from Nigeria who are ethical and just want to make a living like you.
Stop making it unduly hard on these guys. It's just a heart felt request from a warrior who has more than paid his dues. You may do with that what you will.
Take care folks and thanks for reading,