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 term 'guru', at least when it's applied loosely, as it is on 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 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 lives of others. In doing so, our life is made better."
If you find yourself in position where people are asking for your expertise and help, there can only be 2 reasons for it:
1. You are Real McCoy and people trust that you can offer genuine and helpful advice and assistance, or
2. You've done a pretty good job of pretending to be above.
Hopefully you fall into category of former.
Now, you really have only 2 choices when someone does ask for your help:
1. You can make an honest effort to lend a helping hand, or
2. You can ignore their request, or, perhaps try to sell them latest, greatest product that will solve their problem and make some money in process.
This article would not exist had it not been for a rather lengthy and heartwrenching email I received other day. It came from a customer of mine, now a friend, who has been struggling past few months trying to make a go of it in Internet marketing arena. Very tough assignment as a newcomer in this post-September 11 economy especially in light of all marketing products flooding cyberspace these days!
What was remarkable about his take on things was his statement that of all "guru's" that he had purchased products from (most of which promised additional help after purchase), and had requested some simple guidance from, I was *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 once- in-a-while dismay of my family members who understandably grumble about endless hours I spend answering email:-)