Strange title for an article, don't you think? But it did get your attention, and I want to hold it because I have something very important I want you to read, so please let me explain *why* I chose this title.
I dislike the term 'guru', at least when it's applied loosely, as it is on the Internet. I've never thought of, or called myself a guru, but I'm referred to one pretty often. So are a lot of other Internet marketers.
My article is not about 'gurudom' though. It's about the responsibility to those people who hold us in high enough regard to think of us as a guru, or an expert, or just someone who can help them along their way, and ask for our help.
Allow me to share a thought from my upcoming print book: "Our mission in life is to better the lives of others. In doing so, our life is made better."
If you find yourself in the position where people are asking for your expertise and help, there can only be 2 reasons for it:
You are the Real McCoy and people trust that you can offer genuine and helpful advice and assistance, or
You've done a pretty good job of pretending to be the above.
Hopefully you fall into the category of the former.
Now, you really have only 2 choices when someone does ask for your help:
You can make an honest effort to lend a helping hand, or
You can ignore their request, or, perhaps try to sell them the latest, greatest product that will solve their problem and make some money in the process.
This article would not exist had it not been for a rather lengthy and heartwrenching email I received the other day. It came from a customer of mine, now a friend, who has been struggling the past few months trying to make a go of it in the Internet marketing arena. Very tough assignment as a newcomer in this post-September 11 economy especially in light of all the marketing products flooding cyberspace these days!
What was remarkable about his take on things was his statement that of all the "guru's" that he had purchased products from (most of which promised additional help after the purchase), and had requested some simple guidance from, I was the *only* person who ever responded. More than a couple of times as I recall. What a sad state of affairs in my opinion!
See, I made a vow when I began to notice (uncomfortably) this guru phenomena that I would do my very best to help anyone who felt I could help, and asked me for it. To me anyway, it's not only an honor and a priviledge, but a duty. To this day, I believe I have lived up to that pledge (and much to the once- in-a-while dismay of my family members who understandably grumble about the endless hours I spend answering email:-)
As I did with my former pre-Internet mainstreet business, my inner heart tells me this IS the way that I need to continue to do business online. Why?
I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this philosophy is largely responsible for the success I have enjoyed for the past 4 years, while so many are struggling or have failed on the Internet. You must have come across countless success stories of *real* gurus who have achieved massive fame and/or wealth from simply focusing on the needs of, and helping, others.
Giving=Receiving is really one of the few great laws of this wonderful universe!
Having said that, there is usually a yang for every yin, right? And here's that side of things.
*Some* people will try to abuse your giving spirit and attempt to dominate your time, as if it was their God-given *right*. You must be able to recognize when you're being taken advantage of and then politely say, like I do, something like "the clock will have to start ticking now and my consulting rate is $495.00 per hour.":-) You'll see how quickly the conversation stops!
There will be others who are simply "takers", that will not even acknowledge, let alone thank you for your help. Weeks ago, I spent over an hour (on a Sunday nonetheless) doing some research and responding in-depth to a very difficult question (this should really have been a consultation!) that was posed to me by someone in seemingly dire circumstances. Sent the email twice (again a week later/neither bounced) because I sensed the importance of a resolution for this person and didn't want to take the chance they overlooked it. Not a hi, hello or how are you from them since.
I've never expected any kind of "award" for efforts like this, but a nice email from someone stating they are appreciative of your efforts is always a nice little *reward*. Sometimes the reward can come in the form of a high quality fruit-and- truffles package that arrives every Christmas without fail from a wonderful couple I helped just one time a few year ago!
But neither thankless or intrusive people should ever have the power to make us stop helping those who need our help. It goes with the territory of being in a position to influence and even lead, a position quite frankly, we should be very grateful to be in.
My advice is simple, but not always easy to follow through on. If you find yourself in the fortunate position where people think enough about what you have to offer that they will ask you for help, then make the same vow I did. Help them. Every last one of them!
In cyber-terms, Sell a MEG but Give a GIG. It will surely help others, but in the end, it will help YOU even more!
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? 2002 Rick Beneteau. Discover answers to your most perplexing personal and business problems. Learn the simple secrets that allow success, happiness and wealth to flow into Your Life. The World's Top Leaders in Self-Development and Wealth Building are waiting for You in Rick Beneteau's Brand New Community, PeopleBuildingPeople.com! Rick even stopped publishing his popular, money-making ezine The Mirror to put this together!
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