This Man Wasted $250,000 on Fake Gurus

In the areas of health, wealth, love, and happiness, there’s people selling you coaching services and courses. Yet one revelation I’ve had that’s rocked my world is that the people who have the biggest following online usually aren’t the best teachers who can get you results or may even be frauds. They’re the best atĀ marketing and getting attention.

Instead, what you should do is focus on their testimonials pages and success rates. Are their students actually getting from point A to point B as much as you want? Or are their testimonial pages filled with empty generic compliments, like “He made me feel more confidence” or actual tangible results? How many testimonials are there? Do none exist?

I guess I came to this understanding after watching a couple YouTube videos and talks from people, including Leon Hendrix’s video about wasting over $250,000 on “financial gurus.” One of his points is that the bigger the guru, the more he has to dumb down his advice to be generic enough for the masses to understand, which means it’s often not the most important advice that will actually get your business off the ground.

The best marketers are often praised for their ability to sell products and services, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best coaches. A coach’s primary role is to help others achieve their goals, and that requires a different set of skills than those used in marketing.

Marketers are typically focused on persuading and influencing others. They may use tactics like storytelling, emotional appeals, and social proof to get a lot of attention and persuade people to buy what they’re selling. While these skills can be useful for a coach, they aren’t indicative of how impactful the product or service is.

Being able to get a million views on a video is a different skill than actually being able to get a client to a muscular physique or a certain financial level.

Another reason why many financial gurus are frauds is that they often make exaggerated or false implied claims about their track record. They tend to point to the one, two, or twelve people who made huge profits from their teachings. However, these claims are often exaggerated since they fail to mention or point to the thousands of other people who went through their program who didn’t succeed. I think now, they’re legally obliged to put a footnote that says results aren’t typical.

The same effect happens across health and love. Jeff Nippard, Chris Elkins, and Gokuflex are three physique and fitness influencers I follow. They all offer coaching services. Their bodies are world-class. Yet just because they did it for themselves and have a big following, how good are they at helping someone who lacks the discipline and loves junk food to get to a similar state? I am considering getting coaching, but at the same time, I look at Chris’s Testimonial page, and see only a handful of people. And most of them look like they already had pretty good discipline and bodies in their Before shot, so they really just needed an extra push to get farther ahead. That’s totally different from someone who’s overweight or is really skinny and wants to gain. Plus, there’s the question of was the After shot enduring or did they return back to their old ways after those few months of cutting for the photo or competition?

As far as love, there’s a long list of dating coaches and gurus with this problem. I ran into a Facebook Ad from this guy called Daniel Jacob (likely not his real name), and found out he’s pitching these five-figure dating weekend bootcamps. The shocking part is that he posted photos or clips of these monthly/weekly bootcamps and there’s a dozen or more guys attending each time. Yet when you go to his website (I’m not going to link it to promote him), his testimonial page is filled with just a handful of quick quotes about how they made the man feel more self-assured or confident, no real tangible results with women. Sometimes, I feel like these gurus get away with it because they’re great marketers and salespeople and the customers are desperate enough. As long as they sell you on the perception that the product you bought was worth it, that’s all that matters regardless of the results after. I’ve heard similar mixed feelings and/or positive sentiments from people I know who have finished similar bootcamps.

There’s also been a rise of new female dating coaches in the last year off TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube. These women (Dating by Blaine, Courtney Ryan, Billie Rae Brandt) generate sometimes hundreds of thousands of views per video and sit on a chair giving advice directly to a camera off based on theory. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to calculate that Blaine is making a lot of money when she sells her courses for four-figures and she claims she’s had thousands of students go through.

At the same time, I can’t help but to recall all the advice I’ve gotten from women over the years that sounds good in theory, but doesn’t work in practice. For example, Billie says in one of her short videos to use “Hello, how are you?” or “Am I interrupting? Hi, I am …” as an opener to a group of girls. It’s funny because Derek Halpern of Social Triggers recommended something similar in a YouTube video years ago to improve your business networking. The funny thing is I am often at networking events or approaching groups, and that often doesn’t work for me. There’s usually a silence, they’ll acknowledge you, but then, they’ll go back to their private conversation and exclude you unless they’re really nice. In real life, people can be mean (or just bored or honest in expressing they’re not interested)! I found I really have to drive the conversation forward further or contribute something funny, entertaining, emotive, or creative to drive the conversation forward. I still sometimes resort to that if I’m lazy or just to drill it in that it doesn’t work. But there’s all sorts of other factors in real life that affect things, such as Derek probably being higher perceived status in these venues, the person approaching being very attractive, or it’s just theory-based advice which is wrong. It’s so easy to sit on a couch and theorize what works and doesn’t work – it sounds accurate in your head, and then if you’re an attractive women or get a lot of views, people assume there’s credibility to your advice even when it’s really just well-intentioned but bad advice.

Despite all that, I have often considered and/or gone through with purchasing programs or coaching in all these categories. The fact is that my world of what’s out there is limited (it’s a crowded space, marketers need to pierce through) and the amount of choices are limited (sure, many testimonial pages could be better, but out of the options, I know are none of them are that great). Sometimes, I just feel like it’s worth it to take the plunge and risk by trying it rather than sitting on the sidelines, not investing in myself, remaining cynical. You could sit back, continuing to trying to figure it out on your own, only to waste years not making much progress (been there, done that), or you can take the risk and try to find the best mentor you can, knowing that the world of mentors out there isn’t perfect or filled with flawless credibility. Most advice out there isn’t the 100% complete truth but closer to that direction than if you did it on your own. Do your best to sift through the crap. Still invest. And you’ll still come out better than before.

Finding a credible dating coach that gets results can be a challenge, but there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success.

  1. Look for coaches who have a proven track record of helping their clients achieve their goals. This may include reading online reviews, asking for references from past clients, or checking to see if the coach has any certifications or qualifications.
  2. Make sure the coach’s approach aligns with your personal beliefs, style, and values. For example, if you are looking for a coach who specializes in helping people find long-term, committed relationships, you may want to avoid coaches who focus on helping people have casual flings or one-night stands. In Josh Waitzkin‘s book, he reveals that he had a famous chess coach that had an aggressive play style that didn’t suit his personality; the coach was a poor fit and he didn’t grow until he found a different coach.
  3. Consider the coach’s availability and accessibility. It’s important to find a coach who is available when you need them and who is willing to make time for you and your specific needs.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good coach should be willing to answer any questions you have about their approach, their qualifications, and their success rate. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or to speak to past clients to get a better sense of what working with the coach will be like.
  5. Trust your instincts. If a coach seems too good to be true, too shady, or if you have any doubts about their credibility, it’s best to trust your instincts and look for a coach who is a better fit for you.
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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.

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