A woman courageously leaves her job. She chooses entrepreneurship, because she wants to be free. She works hard to liberate herself from limiting thinking and conditioning, because she wants to be free. And she then chooses to step into the role of liberator, so she can help others be free.

She hears a guru tell her that she can be a guru too. Why not? He’s offering a free video course. Before long she’s run up her credit cards, and is heavily financially and emotionally invested in the dream of staking her own claim in the American Guru Rush! She learns how to promote her guruness–how to present herself in a way that others will pay her for her knowledge.

She buys some coaching courses, tries to build her own web site, does some Google Advertising. No results yet, but she’s almost there! She’s out of credit on her card, but she can’t give up now. A true American Guru never quits, never admits failure. A coach tells her she’s focusing too much on the “negative.” She just needs to “act” successful, and present an image of success so that people will believe that she’s successful and want to buy her product! She doesn’t feel so comfortable with this. Isn’t it dishonest? “No,” her guru says, “Not if you have a money-back guarantee.”

The Guru-Maker Industry: Those who are helping people to position themselves as experts, package their wisdom and promote it to many.

Hey, I am a part of this industry in a sense. I desire to help other people provide for themselves and their families by helping other people with my tools.

It’s a bit like being a real estate broker during the housing bubble. Times were good then. Real estate brokers were helping people become home owners. The real estate brokers were getting rich, and the home owners too, as the value of their homes rose. Good times for all. Right up until the bubble burst of course.

(Personally, I feel we have a lot more pain to face in the housing market, as the government is trying to re-inflate the bubble instead of allowing for a correction, but that’s another issue entirely!)

As the housing industry collapsed, many people lost their homes. It triggered the financial collapse, and people lost their jobs. People who lost their homes and jobs often lost their marriages too. And then their sanity.

Reaching this pain point can be a great opportunity. It can come with excruciating grief, humiliation, anger, etc., but if the culture itself is unsustainable… best to WAKE UP sooner rather than later, right?

Well there’s a bubble in the Guru-Maker Industry, and there are indeed many profiting from the bubble, and many legal and illegal rackets going on inside the bubble. As with any bubble, everyone’s getting drunk with the temporary excesses).

And like any unfair system where some are taking advantage, others learn to hustle to not be taken advantage of and to get their piece of the pie. A lot of internet marketing gurus are hustlers like this–gaming a system that might otherwise game them. By “hustle,” I just mean using street smarts to survive and get ahead. Then there are the dating gurus, who lead “boot camps” in streets and bars for guys looking to overcome their fears with women. These guys are hustlers too, providing value for a fee.

Entrepreneurs in general, one could say, are hustlers too. The system is failing lots of people these days, and so we learn to do what we need to do to survive. Masses of people became mortgage “gurus” during the housing bubble. They became part of the grand financial-housing-mortgage racket .

(By the way, I recently watched a great documentary that shows the rackets and hustles going on in Brazil from many different perspectives. The film is banned here in Brazil, but I was able to watch it on YouTube.)

In a system that’s hustling you, what will you do? Some learn to hustle! “OK, I just bought a $2,000 program that’s going to tell me how to make money online. I kind of feel ripped off, but hey, if I can learn to hustle people by selling my own $2,000 programs the way this guy does–why not?! Everyone’s doing it.”

There are also structural things about our culture and our economy, which feed and perpetuate the Guru-Maker industry bubble, but as is the case with any bubble, people don’t like to FACE reality until AFTER the bubble collapses. In the housing industry, for example, few people wanted to FACE the signs, and FACE the dynamics that perpetuated the bubble–and contrary to what Ben Bernanke said, some people DID see it coming!

Maybe you’ve seen the videos of this man, warning everyone well ahead of the collapse? No one listened. They were drunk on the good times. He even spoke directly to the mortgage bankers industry very bluntly before the collapse (fascinating!). Few listened.

Let’s turn our attention back to the Guru-Maker Industry Bubble.

There’s a great demand for entrepreneurship these days. People want to learn how to start a business, and are willing to pay for this education. You can buy businesses that have practically been all set up for you–franchises, network marketing distributorships, and plenty of other biz opps offer us a “business in a box.”

Beyond entrepreneurship, though, there’s an ever growing demand for “enlightened entrepreneurship.” People want to make money while making a difference. And why not? It’s a beautiful thing.

The Guru-Maker Industry sells products that meet this demand. It tells people, “Yes you too can be a well-paid expert, and I will show you how!” In many ways we can lump network marketing into this Guru-Maker Industry, as the standard strategy is to position one’s self as successful in the network marketing business and then make money by enrolling others who you will mentor.

Again–in many ways it is a fabulous thing–people in this Guru-Maker industry are out to help individuals rise into their own power and confidence, attain “freedom” and impact the lives of others too.

But there’s a big bubble building, and it’s bound to change the way the industry operates. So what? So, the people spending thousands on the next course to teach them how to do what the Guru did, are investing in something that I believe is fundamentally unsustainable, something that MUST collapse upon itself.

This post is not to convince those who are drunk on Gurus and Guruship. It’s merely food for thought for those who dare to face what’s happening, and prepare accordingly.

My concern here is for the Rising Visionaries. Those individuals who are courageously facing the crises in our world, and are taking initiative to create a world beyond the unsustainable bubble world we live in today. These well-intentioned folks are being sold American Guruship as “The Way” to make the difference they wish to make in the world.

The American Guru way comes with pitfalls that the Gurus won’t talk about, trust risks, reputation risks, stress risks, financial risks, etc. To face the truth and speak the truth in this industry is to risk your “expert status,” the respect of your peers, the inclusion amongst your peers, your income and your livelihood. And the nature of the industry is very pyramid-scheme-like. It’s based on selling folks on the idea that they can sell other folks on becoming well paid experts, and those folks and those folks, ad infinitum.

In this kind of a situation, truth tellers better keep their mouths shut. Because no one wants to ruin it for everyone. In fact, it’s best that we all stay positive, keep hoping audaciously, and BELIEVE! YES WE CAN! This is so American. And it’s beautiful. Except when you’re on the titanic.

No one likes the whistle blower, the truth-teller. At least not the people at the party!

Americans (and people in other cultures who are idolizing and emulating American Culture) are particularly vulnerable to this (legal) racket. Now, to be clear, I believe most people who are selling you things to help you become a “well paid expert” have good intentions. And in many ways, they’re simply doing the same things that their mentors do. It’s the way the game works, and it’s there’s nothing inherently illegal about it.

I could spend a lot of time and words here defending those who are teaching others how to be teachers, those who are coaching others how to be coaches, promoting to others how to be promoters, etc. (Hey, I am entering this industry as well, of teaching folks how to make a living by using my methods.). But let’s just get on to the business at hand.

However, I’d like to focus on protecting YOU, as someone who is probably involved in this industry one way or another. I’d like to point towards the iceberg, which may be in front of you, and then you can do what you like about it.

So, the Guru-Maker Industry sells the dream: You too can be a guru. You can be a well-paid author, speaker, coach, consultant. It’s a beautiful thing. But just like the stock market in the 90′s, the housing market in the 2000′s, it’s a bubble that capitalizes on the American’s desperate hope for freedom and status.

I’m going to present the bubble more clearly below.

- Fed by debt
- Fed by American Dream ideals
- Dependent on illusion
- Fundamentally unsustainable
- The illusion is propped up by those profiting from it, who are also those desiring to protect it
- The illusion is kept in place by the desire of the people at the bottom to believe it can continue forever
- Bound to result in lots of suffering for many
- There people at the bottom are taught to copy the dishonesties of the people at the top, and keep the illusion alive
- As things get worse for an individual or the industry, there’s an incentive to present an illusion that everything’s OK

Now I’m using the term, “Guru,” very loosely. By it I mean someone who is viewed as an expert in a certain industry. America, in particular, loves them some experts! As much as we like to rebel against authoritarian regimes (The British King for example), we like to have our own resident gurus, and we love the idea of becoming revered as an expert ourselves.

In part it’s how the culture functions. Our lives are so complex these days that we’ve become dependent on experts. We’ve grown dependent on “experts” to tell us how to do even the simplest and most instinctual acts, such as breastfeeding. We are naturally expert breast sucklers from birth (I for example, have NEVER needed a course on that!), and our mothers are natural infant feeders. But so estranged we’ve become from ourselves and our natural guidance that we fear trusting ourselves.

It’s a dangerous role–to put yourself out as an authority figure in cultures that have been traumatized by and subjugated to the will of external authorities, who themselves have been traumatized by the culture.

This conversion created for VisionForce’s emerging ExploreForce. Details at http://www.visionforce.com/explore

(to be continued)

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