Many of you know how I feel about "gurus" in general which is why I never put myself in that same category. Unfortunately, over the years, I've sort of been pushed into the guru category which is one of the main reasons I've decided to start stepping back to start focusing more on my investing, writing, and raising my daughter.
Today I get this email from a "guru" who is in the copywriting space. I won't name any names except to say that his initials are R.B. and he's written quite a few books on how to be a successful copywriter. (Won't take you long to figure out how he is by going on Amazon.com and putting 2 & 2 together, if you care to know that badly.)
He goes on to rip apart this "pitch fest" seminar that he apparently was invited to take part of this past weekend but decided to refuse because of his long list of "reason" which just outed him as the selfish prick that he really is.
Coincidentally, this is the same "pitch fest" event in LA that I attended this past weekend that started on Friday and ended Sunday...and it was the single most incredible event I ever attended in my entire life. It's called the Story Expo and it's for writers of all genres including novelists, screenwriters, and even people who write comic books.
Well, this is the same event (of which he didn't attend, I may add) that he was ripping apart sooooo...let's just say that my perception of what his spoiled-brat rant about it was ended up rubbing me the wrong way.
The only thing I can relate this rant to would be that of someone who thinks he's that of a much higher station in life, demanding a bunch of ridiculous concessions for being a speaker of this event (in which he turned them down) because they didn't offer to pay for his airfare, lodging, food and didn't offer to pay him to speak. Additionally, they wanted him to pay a small amount to speak there including offering the event a cut of the proceeds of any of his product sales.
I understand being upset about having to pay to speak there but my sources at this expo state that it was such a minuscule amount of money that it was well worth it to be able to promote yourself and your products/services to have instant exposure to literally thousands of people over the course of 3 days that you'd never have exposure to ever, at any time!
I was gathering that this guy thinks he's so high up the ladder -- like Beyonce or Jay-Z -- that he deserves a bunch of concessions in a "rider" (as they call it) such as a first class plane ticket, a limo to pick him up from the airport, a suite for a room, ten grand to speak for 90 minutes, and on and on.
Here I am laughing because this guy is "washed up" at best if he was anybody at all to begin with (since he was never a "bestseller") plus it made me realize that he really isn't any type of marketing expert at all.
Because if he was, he'd know how to "work the system" at the expo by not selling product there and still capturing a ton of money in the process!
What I noticed with the top speakers there is that they sold nothing. That's right! They sold absolutely nothing.
Instead they did what I call a "take-away" technique. They offered something of such extremely high value and either drove you to their website to get it (and you'd have to be crazy to not want it), they'd pass around an email list (to sell you something later which they'd never have to split with the event people), or they'd make you email them (and they'd give out their personal email address) to get this incredible ebook, PDF file, or whatever in which they would, in turn, probably sell you something (or add you to a list).
And this is the "new way" of selling. The old "hard sell" method of getting people in a room for a sell-fest the whole time is a long-gone strategy that we simply don't use anymore.
Except that this "guru" was so incensed over the prospect of not getting paid what he thought he deserved (including getting his ridiculous rider of concessions) that he didn't see the opportunity that I saw.
Time for him to retire.
When you are in the business of helping people and it turns out that it's really all about you (the "guru") then it means 2 things: (1) you're a selfish prick who never cared about anyone but yourself and the money you can make all along, and (2) you have no room in the business of being a "guru" in today's society where people have to help each other because that's what it's all about now.
This is one of the reasons I'm in "semi-retirement" right now and still kicking around the idea of completely exiting stage left come January 1st. I've always loved the notion of helping people but sometimes it's come to me as a great financial loss. My seminars, courses, and videos I sell barely cover my overhead which has frustrated me to no end. This business model I have cannot sustain itself the way it is yet I keep doing it because I like the success stories I have and I love helping people.
When students (or prospective students, i.e. "tire kickers") email me about getting my stuff for nothing my response is: (1) I'm barely covering my overhead as is and, more importantly (2) if you personally have no financial investment then it becomes personally worthless to you (from a psychological standpoint) and thus you do nothing with the valuable material, even though you know it can make you millions of dollars! (Basic psychology, folks!)
So, did I write this guru yet about my thoughts? No. But that email will go out today. There's no way I will read something like that and not respond. Will he listen? No. He's an old man with an old mentality and he won't side with anything I say unless it shows him in a positive light or I shoot him a compliment. (This is based on past experience with this guy.)
And, for the record, he is not the best copywriter to learn from! Even though I'm not a huge Dan Kennedy fan, you should learn copywriting from him and not the guy I'm talking about. (Get The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy...it's the only copywriting book you need and you can go to Amazon.com and get his first version of the book usedliterally for pennies plus shipping/handling.)
What does copywriting have to do with anything? It has everything to do with everything in marketing!
If you want to sell anything to anybody, you have to learn copywriting. This is one of the many things I'll be covering at my event that is coming up this Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles. (And yes, there are some seats left if you want to join us. Click here
for registration information!)
So, once I blast out my personal email response to this guru who sent an email blast to me, I'm expecting a very rude response back. Many times older people think they know all when, really, sometimes you have to listen to the "kids" in the world because, by golly, they actually may have a better perspective (especially in today's changed world) on abetter way to do things. Unfortunately, older people (many times) don't look at it that way and shut themselves down to new ideas. (Shoot me if I ever become an old lady like that!)
I guess I'm changing the rules a little. Yes, respect your elders but no, older doesn'tnecessarily mean wiser. In fact, many times, it's actually the opposite. Especially in today's day and age!
See you at the top!