I read a story about Tony Robbins, the mega-watt coach to billionaires and King of all motivational life coach types, and how he didn’t make it on a sports team in high school.
Did he work hard to improve and come back like Michael Jordan did after getting cut from his freshman basketball team?
Tony Robbins decided to become a sports journalist instead.
Did he take classes? Edit his school newspaper? Intern for the LA Times? Start a blog?
He printed up business cards that said Sports Journalist and just did it.
Now look at him.
A weekend with Tony in Fiji is like the Holy Grail of “I’m a Big Shot.” And it ain’t free.
Full disclosure, I have never met Tony Robbins. #incaseyouwondered
Nor have I met any of the other so-called gurus who are out there, leading the masses to greatness: Gabby Bernstein, Glennon Doyle, Brenè Brown, Marie Forleo, Jen Sincero, Denise Duffield-Thomas, and the list goes on…and on….and on….#noreallyitkeepsgoing
Michael Beckwith, Martha Beck, Tim Ferris, Sheryl Sandberg, basically anyone on Oprah’s Lifeclass.
So, Who’s Your Guru?
Who do you follow? Fawn over? Buy every book, go to every workshop, watch every video, share every meme?
Me personally? I have a love/hate with Elizabeth Gilbert. And a nothing but love with Anne Lamott.
I have flirted with Marie Forleo (and am still paying for it), and Jen Sincero, and DDT. I’ve checked out others too. #imnotimmune
I’ve watched the videos, the “summits”, the TEDtalks, attended a “retreat” or two.
I am no better – or worse – than many of you.
But I have a real issue with all of us chasing the unicorn of success based on someone else’s success based on our belief – our desire – to be like them.
Where’s the Beef? or the Tofu, even?
I happen to live in an area that places a lot of stock in the idea of self-improvement, self-help, manifestation, positive psychology, angels, gifts, and all that. #itscalledcalifornia
And my town is smack-dab in the middle of it.
In fact, there is a place, let’s call it an “institute,” where a lot of folks just like me go to get training in how to be life-coaches, business consultants, guides, or whatever…
They are very successful, lots of people count them as their “gurus” and you can tell who has trained with them because they use similar sales language and tactics.
If I listen to one I end up with my head cocked like a dog thinking have I heard this before?
Everyone’s “message” is just a little bit different, with a slightly different “ideal customer” or “avatar,” but the idea is the same.
Hire me. Buy my workshop. Join my group. Buy my book. Come on retreat with me.
Listen to me tell you how to build a list, a business, a living by having people hire you. Go to your workshops. Join your groups. Buy your books. Go to your retreats.
I can tell you what to say when they say they can’t afford it.
But what – exactly – are they selling? To me, it kinda just feels like multi-level-marketing for our generation.
Where is the soul? The meat, the protein of this meal you are serving me?
What the fuck is the what?
Trust Your Gut
What it boils down to, for me, at least. Is that no one trusts themselves.
We all want someone else to tell us what to do. I’ve even joked about it with my friends – Hey, I can tell you the same thing but it’s free so you won’t do it. But if Oprah/Marie/Tim said to you’d pay for the opportunity.
Even though most of us – after reading all these books, and watching all these TEDtalks and listening to all these podcasts – know more than we realize about starting a business, growing a business, or even what we should do with our lives.
Isn’t that ultimately what we are searching for? Someone else to tell us what we should be doing with our lives? Or that what we are doing is just fine.
You are enough.
Where’s the money in that? Where’s the money in someone telling you, Hey, just slow down. Tune in to your gut. Live your life with eyes open. That’s all you need to do.
Well, that’s not very fucking shiny.
But it’s true.