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HOT TOPIC How deep does this "FAKE GURU" market actually go?

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TreyAllDay

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Hey All,

Just a bit of a rant/curious what peoples opinions are. How do you all gauge business courses, business gurus/personalities online, advice, etc? Who do you like, and what do you like about them? Or do you avoid the whole online business guru/advice/courses market all together?

I know MJ had a section on this but I've noticed how difficult it is to tell if people are legit. IE: I looked up to guys like Daymond John and watched all his interviews, but then I noticed he's licensing out his name to do online webinars on "making money" in my city. I was just watching Shark Tank and he was blatant doing product placement for a phone. Why would someone so successful bother? Same with Grant Cardone - seemed legit at first but why are these guys charging $4000 for seminars on sales? You don't seem to ever see guys like Mark Cuban or Elon Musk selling courses or doing product placement for an extra buck.

Is the internet an unreliable place to find these podcasts,courses,advice, etc? All one big upsell?
 

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Mattie

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I've listened to a lot of individuals over the last 29 years, but more so in the last ten years on a regular basis. I believe you can tell after awhile what separates the legit from the the fake guru's. This depends on what social class they're aiming for in their area as well as social group. Of course, they adapt it to the level a person is at in their growth and psychological development. In 2018 online you will find more individuals who are just following the trend and the heard.

These ones to me seem to be a lot of the blind leading the blind. They're young, naive, and don't have experience. They do have knowledge and education, but they mislead people because if you don't have the life experience you're only projecting what you hear and believe it may be line in the process. You might have the words, but may be giving inaccurate information since you haven't tried it out yourself, experienced whether it works or not. I've run into some who deliberately sabotaged their audience.

I think for the famous authors, there's some who have gone through the process and might be aiming at certain parts of the process and journey. There are others who have gone all the way to the top, know the process, have the experience, and have good intentions of giving valuable information to help us learn. While this may also be debatable on what they're talking about in a particular niche. There are others who do add in the bells and whistles and do what you're talking about.

Even in clothing and presentation you can tell who will last long-term and short-term because of their appearance. When I watch a lot of them, I kind of get a impression right away just by the way they present themselves. What's in the background, who is in the back ground, what is the video about, what kind of advice, what is drawing attention to them. Some of it is more entertainment than actual business oriented or actual valuable information. Which comes down to who is watching and why? Some of it is aimed at side walkers, slowlane, and fastlane. For me it's just been weeding out what is valuable and throwing out the junk. If I find something I feel is important I'll make notes.

in 2018 I'm not inclined to waste my time on listening to just anyone. I think that comes along with maturing, growing, and developing. You know what to spot and eliminate. Where your focus goes, your attention goes. You can waste your time focusing on the wrong people. I've heard there is a point where you just have other people do all the researh, read books, and not wast your time at all.

You have to remember there are different human developmental stages. As an author I've noticed with some I have followed over the last 23 years there content, books, and video's grow with them and depending on where they're lives have taken them. This is every writer, authority, and leader.

You can only teach what you know, where you're at in the process, and what you've experienced. This is where most people will find out there are fake guru's, but you don't know they are until you've weeded through a lot of them over a long-period of time, get familiar with how things work, and educated just on the process of business, what happens behind the scenes, and how it is created. If you're just the average person unlike ourselves being in this forum, they're unaware of the dynamics of creating a informational product. They don't know where it comes from. They just turn on a video, buy a book, check one out of the library, or buy one based on reviews if they read it. We've all done this.

Back when I was younger, I did the same thing. I would hang out in book stores, stand there sifting through the isles of books, reading the covers, and buy one. Little did I know I would be in this forum, become a writer, and author myself, learn how it's all created, the hard work, dedication, and devotion.

I do have to laugh because in 2011 I thought writing a book was easy. You just sit down and write a novel and it will sell. No that's not exactly how it works. There's so much to learn about writing a novel and getting everything structured, organized, dialogue, screen writing, novel writing, and a whole list to learn. There is even the element of business, publishing, editing, advertising, and of course if you're just the buyer and consumer of any product you will have no clue about the work that went into the product. You are just concerned with what's in front of your face and whether it sounds good by how it's described, what it can do for them, and whether they feel it's something valuable at the point in their life they find it.

You make money off people not being educated and I suppose this is the lesson we learn if we choose to educate ourselves and learn a different angle of life. My favorite guru is Bear Bryant and what he taught he Juncition Boys.
 
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MTEE1985

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All with a grain of salt. There is some tremendous content out there, there is much more that is absolute garbage.

The message in Unscripted I think you’re referring to is whether these “gurus” are wealthy from what they publicly preach or covertly practice.

I respect MJ because he accomplished first and then wrote about it. I respect Daymond John because he was a grinder and made it happen first before his writing.

My personal philosophy is to stick to reading books. If the book is good and they’ve ACTUALLY done what they are writing about then I’m interested in other content. Much easier to put up content online and portray success than it is to sell millions of books.
 

rogue synthetic

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My personal philosophy is to stick to reading books. If the book is good and they’ve ACTUALLY done what they are writing about then I’m interested in other content. Much easier to put up content online and portray success than it is to sell millions of books.
This is the secret, here. Over the last 2 years I have read I don't even remember how many business books to get a feel for the territory. If an author says something that hits me in the gut, I trust that feeling and I'll follow it down the rabbit hole for a few steps.

At the minimum a book will be a good indicator of whether you want to move ahead.

Another thing: excluding the really high-ticket stuff, the $5K courses and the $25K plus mastermind groups which I can't comment on, I haven't come across a case yet where there is new information at the higher level.

Most of the big name players I've dealt with will spill the beans (or most of it anyway) in the front end offer. They're making the green on the back end, with the audience that wants more hands-on or DFY services.

You can trust your BS detector most of the time. If you're here and you've been around this stuff for a little while, you'll start to get a sense for what is legit and what is garbage.
 
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TreyAllDay

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I respect MJ because he accomplished first and then wrote about it. I respect Daymond John because he was a grinder and made it happen first before his writing.

My personal philosophy is to stick to reading books. If the book is good and they’ve ACTUALLY done what they are writing about then I’m interested in other content. Much easier to put up content online and portray success than it is to sell millions of books.
Agreed - it sounds a bit stupid but MJ is almost the only "expert" I trust because he's upfront that his book is fastlane, for example. But even the people who have "DONE IT" I have a hard time trusting lately because it seems like a lot are just moving from hustling to using their reputation as a crutch for these courses, books, etc. Tony Robins hustled and built a successful business but now he's selling this bullshit financial advice.
 
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TreyAllDay

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You can trust your BS detector most of the time. If you're here and you've been around this stuff for a little while, you'll start to get a sense for what is legit and what is garbage.
Agreed on the BS detector!
 

MTEE1985

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Exactly right about leveraging their reputations for more money. So that is where as stated above you have to use your personal BS meter and decide what is useful to you.

I am a fan of Tony Robbins work in general because he achieved so much from humble beginnings. Would I have been an early adopter of his? Hell no because he didn’t have any credibility when he was starting. I’ve also read “Money” and thought it was a waste of my time.

If I can get just one little thing out of anything I read then I consider it worthwhile. Anything more is a bonus. You’ll probably never agree with 100% of what somebody is putting out there.
 

dzackb3l

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Cheers from Edmonton :) I saw that one for Daymond the last couple of days on my FB Feed. Same with Cardone, I have always liked the guy but then started to feel that he is a little bit off. About a year ago I went to an event where they claimed Robert Kiyosaki would be there, but no, some random guy shows up starts talking about Real Estate Investment and all that BS, then join us for our seminar in Calgary for $997 or whatever that pricing strategy they are doing now, and the funny part, NO QUESTIONS were allowed. He had a script to recite and that was it.

I would definitely join the rest of the people around here and say that your best bet is since being here, you would clearly be able to identify the BS from the legit. Another one super ANNOYING in my world is, TAI LOPEZ, this guy is just unbelievable, I don't know how he made all the money he claims to have etc... But clearly, from selling all the programs and books etc... you can be more than a MILLIONAIRE! Then invest that money elsewhere. MJ, by the way, talks about this in Unscripted and in some of his YouTube videos.
 

Merging Left

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I think your point about Elon Musk etc is really excellent has somewhat shaken my hyper reality...

I mean you're absolutely right. How come you don't see the founders of AirBNB, Uber, Dropbox, Netlfix etc doing infomercials and posting gimmicky sales blogs?

Excellent point.
To play Devil's Advocate, you don't really see those folks hosting free informational sessions, either. They're too busy running their companies. I bet they would charge for their time if they had an info product.

You can get business advice from Mark Cuban on Clarity.fm... for $166.67/MINUTE.
upload_2018-8-8_14-32-51.png
That's $10,000/hour. Sure, it's a conversation tailored to exactly your situation (maybe?), but is it that much different than a $2,000 seminar from another successful entrepreneur-turned-mentor?
 

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I know it might be unfair to some of the real people, and might throw the baby out with the bathwater....

But when I see multiple tiers of pricing to "get access to someone" and their info, I call the BS on it and move on.

BTW I don't mean a book and then a consult. I mean the whole "my day rate is X" or you can "fly out to my boat" and also "mastermind with me on FB for X" etc type of stuff
 

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I still wish I could wrangle Tony Robbins to get the ten bucks back I paid for his shitty book. He's arguably the king of the gurus, to the point where he has very intelligent people fooled that he knows what he's talking about. I guess physical stature and acting lessons can get you pretty far in the world of canned bullshit.

Aside from him, you can't swing a dead cat and not hit one. Just have to be vigilant in discerning logical arguments from canned Barnum statements. 80 percent of anything worth listening to comes from only 20% of the voices.
 

MJ DeMarco

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How deep does this "FAKE GURU" market actually go?
Very deep.

Won't name names but...

It's been proven you can get rich faking that you're rich.

That reality has blown up the market with a bunch of bro-marketing posers who do nothing but rip other people's content. They have nothing original, not even the rented exotic car.

but then I noticed he's licensing out his name to do online webinars on "making money" in my city.
Ah yes, the RK / Whitney business model. This is the old "free workshop" where you're greased for an entire day, told about the benefits of upping your credit card limits, and then told that your "Exclusive training" will only cost $10,000. But act now and run back to the room where our support staff is standing by as we'll only accept 100 spots. ;)

Tony Robbins to get the ten bucks back I paid for his shitty book.
Which one? He's got some good ones, and some bad ones...
 

IceCreamKid

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"I'm a millionaire, just buy my course". Hmmm sounds legit.

I bought a few courses in my earlier days. I wouldn't recommend buying 95% of the courses out there. Why? Because they don't usually teach you how to offer anything proprietary. Something UNIQUE. The Purple Cow.

I'm sure you know how it's super trendy right now to be starting up your own Social Media Marketing Agency(Thanks Tai Lopez!). Literally EVERY DAY I get some inexperienced guy calling my biz with the same pitch probably given to them by a guru...

"Just to prove my worth I'll run FB ads for you without charging any fees for now, you just pay the ad spend". EVERY DAY I get these calls and I hate it. I admire and respect the hustle, but there's no unique selling proposition there.

Build a biz that offers something proprietary so you don't have 1,000 other people giving the exact same pitch. You'll have less competition(especially at the higher end) and will be able to command a higher price.
 

jcvlds

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Build a biz that offers something proprietary so you don't have 1,000 other people giving the exact same pitch. You'll have less competition(especially at the higher end) and will be able to command a higher price.
Hey @IceCreamKid, I have read through so many of your threads and love everything you share.

In your last quote for something proprietary, do you mean a “unique” spin to pitch your product/service/offer?

I actually just read your carpet cleaning thread today, so got me thinking with this post.. what ‘unique’ thing were you offering in that biz that other carpet cleaners didn’t have?

How can a social media ads manager pitch his service differently to you if it’s really the same service anyone else could offer, like carpet cleaning?

Would love some wisdom :) thanks!





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IceCreamKid

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In your last quote for something proprietary, do you mean a “unique” spin to pitch your product/service/offer?
I just mean that you need some kind of angle that no one else is offering. It could be anything i.e. really good branding, superior customer service, better smell, better taste, anything.

I actually just read your carpet cleaning thread today, so got me thinking with this post.. what ‘unique’ thing were you offering in that biz that other carpet cleaners didn’t have?
1. All employees are licensed by the IICRC and background checked so you know you're not letting a criminal into your home.
2. A proprietary blend of polymers, surfactants, and other cleaners for a superior result that stays cleaner longer.
3. When we're on our way, we text you a link that shows you where the truck is in real-time(similar to Uber/Lyft)
4. Guaranteed arrival on time or the cleaning is free.

An important thing to mention is that none of these angles were my own idea. I browsed a ton of Yelp reviews from competitors and compiled a list of all the 1-star reviews until I started seeing what many of them had in common. Then I addressed all of the most common complaints in my advertising.

We live in such a distracted world these days so it's easy to forget that the core of business is about understanding what the market wants and giving it to them. You just have to make sure to wrap it in a pretty bow because it's human nature to buy based on emotions, not necessarily on what's logical.

How can a social media ads manager pitch his service differently to you if it’s really the same service anyone else could offer, like carpet cleaning?
For social media agencies, I think I'd just go the Andy Black route where basically I'm building my own brand. For example, everyone at this forum knows Andy as THE Adwords guy.

So perhaps get some credibility by doing interviews, get into the newspaper, get some video testimonials, do whatever you can do build the personal brand.
 
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The Abundant Man

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I think your point about Elon Musk etc is really excellent has somewhat shaken my hyper reality...

I mean you're absolutely right. How come you don't see the founders of AirBNB, Uber, Dropbox, Netlfix etc doing infomercials and posting gimmicky sales blogs?

Excellent point.
That's not their focus. Elon Musk doesn't care about infomercials. He only cares about going to Mars and a green planet Earth.

Uber-Let's have regular people drive you to where you want to go.

Netflix-You can rent DVD's online. Wait...now you can have all your favorite movies and tv shows online for just a monthly price.

AirBNB-You can travel for cheap by renting out other people's homes.

These companies are bringing...value.

People who charging an exorbitant amount of money are...people who just want money.
 

MTEE1985

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What was bad about Money: Master the Game?
There was nothing new about what he wrote about. Tony made his name (and money) by changing peoples lives. I found this book very unlikely to do that for anybody. It was 700 pages boiling down to: dollar cost average in a low cost index fund.

Again, I’m a Tony Robbins fan, just not this book.
 

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MTF

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Another thing: excluding the really high-ticket stuff, the $5K courses and the $25K plus mastermind groups which I can't comment on, I haven't come across a case yet where there is new information at the higher level.

Most of the big name players I've dealt with will spill the beans (or most of it anyway) in the front end offer. They're making the green on the back end, with the audience that wants more hands-on or DFY services.
Plenty of people look for a magic pill, thinking that a more expensive product will solve all their problems. More expensive stuff rarely has super transformational secrets that will FINALLY (for a low payment of $3,997) get you a hard body without all the hard work or a highly successful business with one hour work week.

But this isn't about the information. It's about the psychological impact of higher prices.

To give you an example, sometime ago I joined Steve's coaching group ($197/month). A lot of the stuff shared in the course wasn't new to me. I had read it many times before.

Yet, my life has dramatically improved ever since I joined the group. If Steve gave me this information for free, I doubt I'd act on it. But since I paid for it (and not a meaningless amount like $10 for yet another book, but $197), I took it more seriously. I had to justify the investment to myself so I had to act on the advice.

When you receive information for free or even for a low price, this effect is non-existent or weak.

That's why experts charge so much money and offer more expensive products even if the content is almost the same. I had a problem with that in the past (how can you charge people so much for information?), but now that I understand the psychology behind it (and the value it provides to clients who would otherwise not act on the advice), I think it's smart (obviously I'm talking about people who share good advice, not fake gurus).

When you're selling information, you aren't really in the business of selling information. You're in the business of transforming lives (doesn't matter what your niche is, the end result is to inspire your client to act on your advice, even if you give advice on landscaping) - and charging high prices is one way of making sure that a higher percentage of people will benefit from your advice and value it more.
 

Fotis

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I believe the main reason you see some successful guys bottling their knowledge in courses/books/audio/etc is because information-marketing has amazing profit margins. Simple as that. For a low cost, you can easily add a new income source - especially when you've become successful in one area.

More:

This was something I understood from Dan Kennedy, but "value" is super subjective to some people.

Sure, somebody might believe value = how much of XYZ product/service you give me.

But for someone else, value might be to have a 30-minute call each month with your favorite guru. Or you might consider it valuable to brag about how your marketing consultant has 43 years of experience.

As for me: I'm a books/pdfs guy so I mainly invest in those. If they have some kind of advice that it's quickly applicable to what I'm doing, I apply it and watch the results.

Finally, a thought on why some people pay the 5k and 25k seminars: Connections. They won't learn something new, but they can meet someone who can help them take their business and income to the next level.
 

G. Wellthy

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I’m taking Brian Rose’ Business Accelerator course right now. It’s $2k. I do feel like the cost has pushed me to take action at their pace which is, perhaps embarrassingly, faster than I would have accomplished the steps on my own.

I’m paying for accountability basically. Painful to admit but that’s the reality. Certainly no new content to really synthesize for the first time. I do like that he credits the people with that particular point.


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rogue synthetic

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That's why experts charge so much money and offer more expensive products even if the content is almost the same. I had a problem with that in the past (how can you charge people so much for information?), but now that I understand the psychology behind it (and the value it provides to clients who would otherwise not act on the advice), I think it's smart (obviously I'm talking about people who share good advice, not fake gurus).
Funny you say that right now, as I just finished saying the same thing in my testimonial for Steve's group.

This is exactly why I was so confused when I first found Jay Abraham. I knew he charged $25K for a consultation, and here he is giving away more stuff for free than most business gurus will sell you for $2997. It didn't click until later that this is what he was doing.

And then it occurred to me that this was a strategy I'd stumbled on myself a long time ago when I was involved in fitness/nutrition coaching. I posted tons of free information on forums & blog posts and even put out some free and cheap ebooks back when everybody else was doing $47 Clickbank PDFs. My rationale was, I know my stuff, and the information doesn't matter because most anyone reading it, potential clients or competitors, couldn't do anything with it. The magic was in the service and the support, not the message by itself.
 

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I "got" my hands on a lot of this thousand dollar plus courses and tbh its nothing special. There is no secret.

Suprise surprise.

And as a lot of people here said, its just rehashed content over and over. But hey, if you can repackage the same shit into 10 different packs, its 10 different shits with good sales copy.

After a while, you will realize that the only thing standing between you and "success" is doing it.

No book, course or coach is going to get you there.
 
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TreyAllDay

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Another one super ANNOYING in my world is, TAI LOPEZ, this guy is just unbelievable, I don't know how he made all the money he claims to have etc..
It's been proven you can get rich faking that you're rich.
This is what I think I'm realizing. Aside from what they SAY they've done, I've NEVER heard of these guys for anything but these courses. Tai Lopez said he made millions in various businesses, this Gary Vee guy I can't stop hearing about owns a huge "National Marketing Consulting" firm with global clients, I've never heard of these guys except for their courses they are selling.

Has anyone heard of Sam Ovens? I'm seeing his crap non-stop, never heard of the guy and apparently he's some Forbes-ranked (makes me wonder if this Forbes list can be bought) multi millionaire.

And they want to teach people how to be better social media consultants and trade their time for money? What about barriers to entry, time separation, automation? Such a joke lol.
 

eliquid

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At the end of the day,

There is a lot of things going on for a lot of different reasons.

We won't be able to pin it down.

1. Some products priced at $3997 are worth it, some aren't ( speaking about value here )

2. You can't judge your middle by someone else's beginning ( or end )

3. What you happen to know as common, someone else doesn't know at all

4. $3997 is either too much for you, just within reach, or easy for you to fork over

5. Everyone is willing to pay to save time, money, or reduce/exclude pain

6. People buy stories. Logical people buy action/direct tips/help ( us ) but there more normal people than logical people, so stories ( rehashed content ) is easier to "sell" because there are more of those people.

7. You can fight all day for a unique advantage and "moat", but someone is going to come along and rip off your UVP and moat. Once that happens, more copy cats see it and copy it. After a while your UVP and moat no longer matter. It's just a matter of when, not if. Did you make enough "hay while the sun shined" or not? This turns into a constant battle of coming up with more and more UVP and moat to stay ahead. It's a "keep creating new blue oceans" almost when it happens. Everything has a season.

8. There is no intrinsic value on information. What you teach me is only worth what I am willing to pay. You can say this is worth $10,000 because you normally charge that to others, but it is only worth what I willing to pay since there is no intrinsic value on it. Only once I pay, can I determine really if it was worth it or not based on what I paid you. This skews what value is as a whole.

9. Because of how our minds work, we shortcut a lot of our decisions making skills in life every day. One of the shortcuts is that a higher price dictates higher quality. But also see #8 above.

10. Almost no one knows me in the real world compared to say Tai Lopez. However, I bet I know more about PPC than most PPC consultants in the world and I know more than Tai. However, should that prevent me from charging $3997 for a course in PPC? A lot of people would say yes because they havent seen what I have done before and they don't know me. However, my course would prob teach you more about the business of PPC than others and be worth $3997.. but again see #8.
 

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, this Gary Vee guy I can't stop hearing about owns a huge "National Marketing Consulting" firm
Check out his books, he took his parents liquor store to a $60,000,000 business before he starting his marketing firm.

I’m not saying dive headfirst into anything he’s selling, but he knows his shit and outworks 99.99% of people.
 

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Oh yeah! Sam Ovens, almost fell for that one about 2 years ago when he first started popping up all over my YouTube videos and FB feed. But I have some sort of built-in social filter, if someone doesn't make it through, there is always something shady about him. Just like when MJ doubts somebody and then that somebody gets uncovered.

Gary Vee at least has some books and free podcasts. But again, does it really add value?! I don't know - After reading MJ's books, I just don't know if I can find somebody who would appeal to me anymore.

But one that we haven't mentioned yet and is REALLY REALLY REALLY killing me, is Dan Lok :rofl: specially in a video where he's in the back seat of a Bentley with an amateur Green Screen, to make it look like the car is moving... Oh Gosh! So much noise in this GURUs world.

MJ is right, they make money by faking that they have money then they start investing to generate more income - It probably is DEEPER than we can never imagine. My current solution is to MUTE all that crap and stick to the CENTS to make CENTS!
 

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