How to Avoid the Cult of the Business Guru

How to Avoid the Cult of the Business Guru

Most businesses are not making the money that they wish. In fact, many businesses are running in deep debt. They have underperforming employees, poor systems and procedures, and pitiful profit margins. 

This is a painful situation to be in. In the past, this was also a private situation to be in. 

The situation has changed because social media is a powerful storyteller. You can now privately watch all the public “gurus” that claim to be making gobs of money and promise that you can too with their “secret systems.”   

Personally, I don’t think “secret systems” are very helpful to business owners. In fact, I think “secret systems” are most often unethical sales ploy.   

Real “secrets” are reserved for the CIA and companies doing sensitive research and development.  

In today’s residential business world, there are no “secrets.” There are only those who have the information and implement it, and those that don’t.  

Instead of subscribing to the “secret system” gurus, you can find much more helpful information from the groups that openly share content and resources. 

You can also find great value in companies that charge for assistance, implementation, and training.  

Paying for an education is smart. Getting help in implementation is smart. These things produce results that you can measure and see the impact of in your top and bottom line.   

Investing in “business gurus” that advise a cult mystic is not wise. “Gurus” will drain you of your money and kick you out when you have nothing left to offer.  

 If you are looking for business help, you can use these guidelines to make sure you are avoiding the “gurus.” 


How to Spot a Business Cult Guru  

 1. They oppose critical thinking.

 Critical thinking is in opposition to the guru. They don’t want you to think, they want you to “feel” and “trust” them. You can see this opposition in play if you ask the guru questions that are counter to their teaching. You can also see it when the “guru” is stumped. Instead of answering with “I don’t know,” they answer in code. They give you an ethereal response that makes no sense. It’s not up to them to make the answer clear; it’s up to you to figure it out. 

2. They believe they have some special gifts that are only unique to themselves.

“Gurus” often think they have received some type of special revelation or special gifting. And that they are the only ones that are truly capable of sharing this with you. If a person starts claiming some type of special gifting or knowledge that came from the “universe” and all you have to do is pay them lots of money to learn it, run from those people. 

3. They tell you that you can’t be successful without them.

 “Gurus” have very low self-esteem. It’s why they are constantly telling the world how great they are. It’s also why they tell their followers that they can’t be successful without them. This is a type of narcissism, and it’s not healthy. Avoid people that tell you they are the only way you will be successful and happy. 

4. They won’t reveal to you their practices and teachings until you join.

Secrets and mysteries are the building blocks of the “gurus.” And it’s bull crap. There are no secrets. The information is out there, and it’s constantly evolving. A real coach knows that he or she teaches what is working now and studies the field for how things are evolving. This means that learning is a constant and collaborative effort. Learning doesn’t exist in a secret vacuum. 

5. They pressure you into making a fast decision.

“Gurus” use super high pressure because they want you to join their “business cult” before you have a chance to think. Never sign up with a coach until all of your questions are answered, you’ve interviewed their clients, you understand the offering, and you have calculated the return on value. 

6. They tell you it’s all your fault!

Gurus don’t take blame. They can’t, because their ego can’t handle it. Instead of taking the blame, they berate and embarrass their followers for being losers that “just don’t get it.” Real business coaches understand that the results of Success and Failure is a shared journey. Real business coaches adopt the results of their client’s business as their own and do the work to make it succeed. 

If you are interviewing a coach or a best practice group to help your business, and they show any of the warning signs above, then I advise you to not hire that person. You have identified a warning sign of a “business cult guru.” 


I hope you have found this article helpful, and I hope that you will consider Service Excellence Training, Service Roundtable, and the Preferred Partners of Service Roundtable for your business coaching needs.  

You will find that the partners of Service Roundtable will provide solutions based upon your needs. They will educate you about their services, and give you options to consider.   

Good coaches will never pressure you or ask you to pay for their services if they can’t produce a profitable return. 

I hope to speak to you soon, and to help you Turn Learning Into Earning!

Todd Liles is the founder of Service Excellence Training and the creator of the PRESS PLAY Training System.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!


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