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False Profits

"In the old days they used to be called hustlers. These days they’re self-titled ‘thought leaders’."

We’ve come to a point in the development of the personal and business growth movement where I'm at the stage of feeling compelled to call bullshit on a significant section of it.

Bullshit that there’s some kind of impending force that says becoming an ontra-pra-noor is the be-all and end-all. I’m tired of the faux humility, the faux successes and the faux “I’m a leader in this field so do what I say and you’ll be a success too” false prophets (profits?).

I’ve been involved in this scene since 2012, hung around in the networking groups, both on and off-line, watched the businesses come and go, and heck, even saw my own offerings change and transform with new knowledge and market savvy.

I’ve worked my way through the charlatans and I’m surprised they’re still finding people to take on their overblown promises. Fortunately I’ve found a tribe of people who are similarly horrified at what we see, and we tend to have some things in common – we quietly deliver quality services, we feel revolted at the empty ‘rah rah’ cries of ‘look at me’ seen on social media and we’re bone-weary of picking up and helping to put back together the broken and disappointed spirits and businesses of those who’ve fallen prey to the aforementioned False Prophets.

I’ve also found certain things to be true;

There are so many people preaching how they’re a success and if only you’ll sign up for their $20,000 program you’ll be a success too, but the problem is, the only thing they’ve ever been successful at is selling $20,000 programs to people who want to be a success.

They’ve never mastered a craft or service or product and then successfully sold that because of its quality and utility. They're big in the numbers game - have an email list big enough and within it there will be at least some people who are desperate or ignorant enough to cough up the cash.

They don’t have reams of testimonials from people who’ve succeeded on the back of what they’re selling, and the only famous reputation they have is the one they’ve paid for through old-fashioned marketing. In the old days they used to be called hustlers. These days they’re self-titled ‘thought leaders’. Ho hum.

Bullshit that somehow there is this supposedly causal link between ‘doing what you love’, wealth and spirituality.

Spirituality and science have been co-opted by new-age capitalists, hustling by telling you that the reason your business hasn’t worked out yet is because you’re not ‘aligned’ spiritually or psychologically - but if you follow their $20,000 program they can fix that for you!

Now, the last time I looked there wasn’t any actual relationship at all between being spiritually or psychologically aligned and being up there in the business world - take a look at Donald Trump! Meanwhile, Jesus was a humble fisherman, Mohammed fed the poor before he fed himself and his family, and artistic genius Vincent Van Gogh died in poverty and obscurity.

Making money is a talent that has nothing to do with any kind of alignment except the intention to make money (which is neither a good nor a bad thing in itself).

Your own spiritual and personal growth takes time, and work. In our insta-world, more and more people are seeking the 'hack' that will help them cut quickly to the shiny success bubble. Hate to tell you, but that hack does not exist.

It’s true that the changes your development may make to you will become apparent in your outward world, but they may or may not be monetary.

These modern hustlers would have you approach that incredibly important work with the sole objective of building wealth, and while there’s nothing wrong with that per se, it will mean that you’re restricting yourself before you even start. Development is all about discovery, but if you’ve decided what that discovery needs to be before you start, then it’s not discovery, is it? It's project management.

The more honest hustler will tell you they’re selling you a process but beware those who wrap it up in any flavour of spirituality. This thinking seems to be made from equal parts evangelical Christianity, the Victorian idea of god deciding your station in life and a sanitised version of 80s philosophy ‘greed is good’.

Additionally there’s the aspect of implying that you’re not already financially successful because you’re not good enough yet, but you will be when you buy their $20,000 program. Bullshit.

If you get another ontra-pra-noor, ‘thought leader’ or ‘business guru’ trying to sell you their latest get rich quick scheme and you’re tempted, check their track record, and ask for the name and contact details of the last batch of people who used their program with success. I’m fairly sure you won’t get a reply email from most of them.

By all means make money and conduct trade, and do it fairly and openly.

By all means embark on spiritual and personal growth and development, and do it with the perspective and excitement of the true explorer.

But if anyone tries to tell you that they hold the key to your financial success through your spiritual and personal development, tell them to piss off!

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