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Fake Guru's and Self Help Frauds are Waiting to Scam you

They all lie to make a profit off your sad life

By Liam M Published 2 years ago 5 min read
Fake Guru's and Self Help Frauds are Waiting to Scam you
Photo by Nadir sYzYgY on Unsplash

Do you have a burning desire to change your life, to reach your goals of earning passive income watching your bank account grow?

Suppose you answered yes, then you a prime target for the self-help market. the gurus within will sell you a dream to make themselves rich.

The world of Self-Development

Did you know that self-help is growing at phenomenal rates? In 2016 the self-improvement market was worth $9.9 billion; of course, this number increased significantly due to the pandemic, hitting $10.5 billion in 2020, and is estimated to grow to $13.2 billion by 2022. This is an industry preying on people just like you.

This industry focuses on self-development in basically all aspects of life; fitness, stocks and shares, freelancing, mindfulness, the list goes on. With an industry value in the billions, it is clear that these people make a living selling the dream through various media sources. The internet has only opened up the playing field, making it easier for fraud to spread the word.

But self-help isn't a new idea from the internet era. The idea has been around for centuries; during the 1600 and 1700s, books told men how to behave in polite society (maybe some modern men should read these books). Books on a variety of subjects kept getting produced through the years. As with all self-help, the "advice" rarely functioned when readers tried to put it into practice.

In 1913, GK Chesterton wrote a piece against the popularity of such books telling people how to succeed. "They are books showing men how to succeed in everything," he wrote; "they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books."

So this isn't a new and a modern problem; the internet has only made it easier for fake gurus to force-feed you regurgitated information.

A vicious cycle

The world's economy is vicious: the wealthy get richer and the poor are in more financial trouble than ever before. But, this isn't news to you or I. The internet has allowed people to be constantly bombarded daily with images of wealth. Meaning you, the viewer, see the wealth available and wants a piece of the pie. The experts seized this opportunity to make money by selling the knowledge they have. They realised a growing population of people who were hungry for help and knew they could offer it to them with an inflated price tag.

From the knowledge they have. It is not a good idea to claim that they make "some" money, but provide so much valuable information to people that it can change their lives PAUSE.

Where it all starts

Tim Ferris' idea of living an easy life is to outsource your work. In the most basic terms, he spreads the idea that you should pay people to do the work for you. This is of course how labour works. But with Tims idea, you should outsource your work to places like India, where you can pay minimum wage for maximum returns.

In other words, you have to take advantage of people to make yourself comfortable. Unfortunately, thousands of millionaires have followed this narrative. Let's not even get started on the billionaires.

So back to the gurus.

It is common knowledge that being an entrepreneur means identifying a problem in society and then selling the solution. Your problem is the lack of money in your account or your happiness and health. And the gurus have a solution that will magically help you solve it. This makes self-help so damn appealing. It is a place where everyone appears happy and content with life; they have zero problems because they've passed them on to others. The gurus know you want this life, you want this control and power.

A world in which reading a book can make you feel like the most powerful human ever. One where you're growing and improving faster than your peers.

Until reality sets in.

Why do you get that feeling

Well, dopamine is strongly associated with pleasure and reward. But it's not the reward itself, but the expectation of a reward that influences emotional reactions. This is the hormone responsible for cravings, pleasure, and addiction, which is why self-help is addictive and pleasurable. Once you read a book or watch a YouTube video, dopamine is flooded into the brain. You feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment as if you are moving forward in life. So you consume more content and spend more money in the quest to "improve" when subconsciously, you want to get that pleasurable feeling from the dopamine.

The gurus hack into this feeling by drip-feeding you through self-development programs and courses. Over time you will become more willing to spend money as you chase that feeling of success. If you follow a particular method, then soon you will also be successful.

The negative side

A study conducted by psychologists at the University of Montreal found that consumers of self-help books are more sensitive to stress, whilst showing more depressive symptoms than those who don't read such literature, which makes sense to me. With self-help, you're meant to be constantly happy. Which is quite hard to do when the gurus tell you to work harder, be more productive and positive, just be better. This can be physically and mentally exhausting; no wonder you constantly feel like shit. And no throwing more money at self-help won't help you.

What to do instead

  • Learn about a subject you genuinely enjoy. Educate yourself on the ins and outs. Build your passion in your free time; you don't have to make money off everything. Happiness is more important than money. Do not just follow the advice of someone who says it works. Instead, improve your craft.
  • Gurus are incredibly expensive, and you don't need them. If you want to learn to search the internet, you can probably find it for free. If not then head to websites like Udemy, Coursera, etc etc. You'll pay a fraction of the price for the same, if not a better source of information.
  • If your journey sucks, it's okay to give up. Toxic positivity will tell you that it's not okay to give up on ambition. However, you should not forget that not all businesses/ambitions work in every market and all places. To put it simply, you must work hard at doing the right thing and not just working hard to get the job done.
  • Don't believe the hype. If someone is selling you something that seems too good to be true, then it is. Be extra cautious with your money. You can spend it on better things, don't waste it making a fraud's bank account bigger.
  • Aim to be happy, not rich.

The dream

It's easy to get lost in the world of self-help whilst feeling like you're making progress. After finishing another chapter in your new book and watching yet another YouTube video, you feel accomplished.

Only when you step away from the moment and reflect can you realize that nothing has changed. You are faking progress whilst wasting time. Instead, use your time more productively and do the things you enjoy. Make art, write, exercise. Stop trying to monetize every damn thing you do.

self help

About the Creator

Liam M

** I am trash **

Brit living in Germany, living the sober life. I grew up as a trash bag, but now I associate as a human.

Writing about life, sobriety, money and all things in between

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