As the United States goes through what is possibly the most divisive election in ages, we find ourselves in (needless to say) very partisan times. Indeed, one poll found that a full 61% of Americans believe we are on “the verge of Civil War.” This is certainly hyperbole. But if “divided we fall” has any truth to it, we are certainly falling.
Added to these tensions is a pandemic that is driving more and more small businesses out of business and keeping many people unemployed. At the same time, wage growth is slow and income and wealth inequality continue to increase (even if the statistics given are often misleading or exaggerated. And every metric of partisan division—most notably my Facebook feed—is basically off the chart.
Gurus Are Selling FOMO
And into this mess steps in a particularly annoying brand of individual, intent on lining their own pockets or padding their fragile ego by injecting content-consuming “normies” everywhere with a highly toxic dose of FOMO directly into their striatum.
I’m sure you’ve seen these jokers.
The gurus trying to sell their $10,000 course on real estate investing (or cryptocurrencies or drop shipping or Amazon FBA or day trading or some other multilevel marketing scam). For some reason, their “educational videos” usually have a Lamborghini in them. Maybe scenes from a Caribbean vacation, a few supermodels, an entourage of guys in suits with sunglasses walking decisively in slow motion. Someone’s probably smoking a cigar (presumably Cuban).
It’s really rather sad actually.
Many such gurus have what seems to be an almost identical approach. Yet even with what appears to be a boilerplate sales pitch, many online gurus have gotten in way over their heads in all sorts of ways—from making up fake credentials to forging income statements to plagiarizing—whether plagiarizing other gurus or trying to plagiarize their own students.
(For those interested in how the guru method works, this video by James Jani has the best breakdown of the “fake internet guru” I’ve seen thus far. It’s definitely worth checking out.)
One of the things that’s so refreshing about BiggerPockets is that it avoids “get-rich-quick” marketing, sleazy sales tactics, and high-ticket “trainings.” Instead of charging many thousands of dollars for false promises it favors free educational articles and podcasts, as well as books that cost all of $20.
I’ve dealt with these gurus overcharging and lacking substance before, but here, I want to focus more on their fakeness. The extreme but illustrative example of Lee McKenna from a few years back is telling.
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