Have You Hugged Your ‘Guru’ Today?

Rick Beneteau shares his philosophy for success: “Our mission in life is to better the lives of others. In doing so, our life is made better.”

Strange title for an article, don’t you think? But it did get
your attention, and I want to hold it because I have something
very important I want you to read, so please let me explain
*why* I chose this title.

I dislike the term ‘guru’, at least when it’s applied loosely,
as it is on the Internet. I’ve never thought of, or called
myself a guru, but I’m referred to as one pretty often. So are a
lot of other Internet marketers.

My article is not about ‘gurudom,’ though. It’s about the
responsibility to those people who hold us in high enough
regard to think of us as a guru, or an expert, or just
someone who can help them along their way, and ask for our

Allow me to share a thought from my upcoming print book:
“Our mission in life is to better the lives of others.
In doing so, our life is made better.”

If you find yourself in the position where people are asking
for your expertise and help, there can only be 2 reasons for

1. You are the Real McCoy and people trust that you can
offer genuine and helpful advice and assistance, or

2. You’ve done a pretty good job of pretending to be the

Hopefully you fall into the category of the former.

Now, you really have only 2 choices when someone does ask for
your help:

1. You can make an honest effort to lend a helping hand, or

2. You can ignore their request, or, perhaps try to sell them
the latest, greatest product that will solve their problem
and make some money in the process.

This article would not exist had it not been for a rather
lengthy and heartwrenching email I received the other day. It
came from a customer of mine, now a friend, who has been
struggling the past few months trying to make a go of it in
the Internet marketing arena. Very tough assignment as a
newcomer in this post-September 11 economy especially in light
of all the marketing products flooding cyberspace these days!

What was remarkable about his take on things was his statement
that of all the “gurus” that he had purchased products from
(most of which promised additional help after the purchase),
and had requested some simple guidance from, I was the
*only* person who ever responded. More than a couple of times,
as I recall. What a sad state of affairs, in my opinion!

See, I made a vow when I began to notice (uncomfortably) this
guru phenomenon that I would do my very best to help anyone who
felt I could help, and asked me for it. To me anyway, it’s not
only an honor and a priviledge, but a duty. To this day, I
believe I have lived up to that pledge (and much to the once-
in-a-while dismay of my family members who understandably
grumble about the endless hours I spend answering email 🙂

As I did with my former pre-Internet mainstreet business, my
inner heart tells me this IS the way that I need to continue
to do business online. Why?

I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this philosophy is
largely responsible for the success I have enjoyed for the
past 4 years, while so many are struggling or have failed on
the Internet. You must have come across countless success
stories of *real* gurus who have achieved massive fame and/or
wealth from simply focusing on the needs of, and helping,

Giving=Receiving is really one of the few great laws of this
wonderful universe!

Having said that, there is usually a yang for every yin,
right? And here’s that side of things.

*Some* people will try to abuse your giving spirit and attempt
to dominate your time, as if it was their God-given *right*.
You must be able to recognize when you’re being taken
advantage of and then politely say, like I do, something like
“the clock will have to start ticking now and my consulting
rate is $495.00 per hour.”:-) You’ll see how quickly the
conversation stops!

There will be others who are simply “takers”, that will not
even acknowledge, let alone thank you for your help. Weeks
ago, I spent over an hour (on a Sunday nonetheless) doing some
research and responding in-depth to a very difficult question
(this should really have been a consultation!) that was posed
to me by someone in seemingly dire circumstances. Sent the
email twice (again a week later/neither bounced) because I
sensed the importance of a resolution for this person and
didn’t want to take the chance they overlooked it. Not a hi,
hello or how are you from them since.

I’ve never expected any kind of “award” for efforts like this,
but a nice email from someone stating they are appreciative of
your efforts is always a nice little reward. Sometimes the
reward can come in the form of a high quality fruit-and-
truffles package that arrives every Christmas without fail
from a wonderful couple I helped just one time a few year ago!

But neither thankless or intrusive people should ever have the
power to make us stop helping those who need our help. It goes
with the territory of being in a position to influence and
even lead, a position that quite frankly, we should be very
grateful to be in.

My advice is simple, but not always easy to follow through on.
If you find yourself in the fortunate position where people
think enough about what you have to offer that they will ask
you for help, then make the same vow I did. Help them. Every
last one of them!

In cyber-terms, Sell a MEG but Give a GIG. It will surely help
others, but in the end, it will help YOU even more!

© 2002 Rick Beneteau

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