Enough Already (Or, My Constructive Rant On The World Of Internet Marketing)

I have to say something. I have to put it here, in writing, in public, for all of you to see and read, and yet there is that fear of “naming names” and putting myself into the fray.

There is a very real and dangerous and pervasive (and largely still-untold) story of deception and ego and, for lack of a more proper term, bullshit, going on right now in the world of the Internet.

So I will try to give the story and keep it to a story about me. Even though it is so not about me.  I will try to make this, as my bff Elizabeth has advised me when it comes to the intersection of speaking your truth and being useful, “it’s about making it a constructive rant.”

I could name names. I have seen and read and heard A LOT. Way more than I ever let on, except to my very tiny Inner Circle.  I could give you links to websites, at least one of which you probably already know and maybe even check regularly, of people who do this more boldly and publicly and regularly than I do. I could tell you stories of deception, collusion and a system set up to guarantee that its “shareholders” fail – yes fail.

Yes, I have “dirt” that would probably make your head spin.

But, at the end of the day, all of that would have me come off in some sort of sour grapes, angry fringe kind of way. And not only would that be an inaccurate representation of who I am, but it would likely cause you to discount what I have to say (as you likely already do those “kooks” out there whose blogs, tweets and every waking second are dedicated to telling these stories).

So…in the interest of keeping to my constructive rant advice, I will try to take the high road and stay on point:

There are lots of people “out there” who are followed like gods. They are “liked” on Facebook and retweeted endlessly on twitter. Even the most seemingly obvious or innocuous things they say are elevated to Mt. Sinai status. Their emails go out to thousands. People are waiting with bated breath for what they will say next.

You get the picture. Starting to think of some people you know (or know of) who match this description?

Frankly, all of that is fine. I never got what it was about what most of these folks were saying (or doing or thinking) that was so profound, but live and let live. If you like it and it works for you, that’s all that matters.

Except that…. well, I don’t think it works for you. I believe that about 90% of these people and their systems and quotes and services and ideas are regurgitated, tired, sorry, useless and/or your basic smoke and mirrors. I also hear, time and again, about so many of them who “secretly” aren’t making the money they say they are, whose personal lives are disasters, who haven’t paid their affiliates or employees, who have to issue refund after refund on crappy products…and so on and so on.

Most of the people making these promises are tied to what I believe is an even bigger and more insidious picture. This picture is all about the hints and promises of riches, freedom, endless travel, more time with kids/spouse/friends, passive income (as in making money while you sleep) and a cubicle-free lifestyle that can be whatever you want it to be: “Follow me, quote me, sign up from my email, believe in me, come to my event and poof!  you will be like me – rich, happy, glowing, always-positive and successful.”

These wonderful promises are also often tied to pictures of palm trees and pools and hot chicks and cool cars and dollar signs. Some even use hypnotic language to seemingly gently but very effectively reel people in to the dream, to the “If I Buy This, Then I Will Have This” way of thinking. (I have experienced this “Verbal Brainwashing” first-hand. No one is immune.)

Folks, that is some dangerous shit.

There are lots of desperate people out there. And lots of not-desperate-but-just-regular people out there, too. People who want a change. Who want out of their 9-to-5. Who want more time with their kids. Who want to find love. Who crave a real vacation. Or nice dinners out. Or the red car of their dreams. Heck, what about the people who want their freakin website or blog to make money already?!

They. Just. Want. To. Find. The. One.

You know…The One

The One who has all the answers.

The One with the System to lead you to the Promised Land….YOUR Promised Land.

The One who knows how to use that fancy talk stuff and will teach you, too!

The One who was once as down as you are but now knows the secret to the way up!

The One who “comes out” against all of the other Ones to tell you how not like them he/she is.

Yes, The One who will make all of your dreams come true.

OMG I want The One – don’t you?!

(This would likely be another part where, if I were so inclined, I would cite specific examples. But I can’t. For one, this is not my battle, thank goodness, as I have taken myself out of contact or connection with anyone who in any way represents this way of doing “business.” For two, I’m not up for any kind of legal issues, thank you very little. I mean, I got divorced without a freakin lawyer for heaven’s sake. And for thirds, been there, done that. I had my own thankfully-brief foray into the bowels of IM where was I duped and over-promised in what I have to admit was a unique way.)

What really matters is that I made it through and have learned from my mistakes. My reason for writing this is not to “out” anyone or point fingers. It’s actually bigger and better than any of that crap.

So, Allison, why are you writing this at all? Why now, today?

A couple of reasons. For one, I read something this morning on one of “those blogs” that just infuriated me. Even those few who seem like “the good guys” turn out to be part of the problem. Hard to know anymore who is truthful and who is for real. People want to believe that “this one” is different/better. There are lots of regular people who want desperately to believe that the answer is “out there” or that the right coach/guru/system is just waiting for them.

They sign up, pay, wait, hope, expect…and more often than not are disappointed.

I also want to remind you. To remind you that “There but for the grace of God go I.” In other words, YOU could be the duped one. Whether emotionally duped, duped of your time, duped of your money, even your reputation. Duped. Fooled. Tricked. Lied to. You. Yes, you.

Sometimes it starts small, you find some big dude (or gal)’s stuff. You think they are cool. They are so smart! And the pictures of their kid/girlfriend/Caribbean vacation/camping trip/exercise sessions are so funny/cute/cool! And they care about us because they share their private pictures with us and tell us about their private lives and let us in on their cool offers before the rest of the world knows, oh, well, duh, we are Facebook friends with them after all—it doesn’t get more special than that!

It isn’t hard to believe them. To believe in them. Because we want to. And we so want what they say they have and what they say we can have…with their help.

No matter how or where it starts, it does so easily and so so often. Sometimes you just need to be reminded. Reminded that you are the one who has all the answers already.

Yes, YOU!

You can do what you want, have what you want, be who you want.

But (and you knew there was a but….) the “secret ingredient” is not in a box or a pdf download. It takes work. And patience. And trust…in yourself. You will make mistakes. Some private, others public. Oh, and you may not make millions.

I’d be leaving something out if I didn’t tell you my most personal reason for writing this: I need to remind myself. I am currently moving into some new areas of doing business and serving (or trying to) people. I am working on creating quality writing programs that I believe can be life-changing.

It is hard, on many levels, to promote your own products and services. It is easy to fall into the hype and promise trap. Sure, I could write some pretty compelling stuff to get people to do lots of things that would likely line my pockets. Isn’t that what everyone else is either doing or trying to do?! But, alas, I really, really enjoy things like looking at myself straight in the mirror in the morning and sleeping soundly at night, so I opt for the more honorable – and often harder – routes.

It takes work and discipline to avoid cookie-cutter “systems,” pages full of empty promises and other means of promotion that we have, sadly, become accustomed to. It isn’t always easy. It sounds far less sexy than what is being promised out there.

So what’s the big conclusion?

Just like those “gurus,” I don’t have your answers! I am not going to tell you to start researching and going to these “expose” blogs (though they can be amusing and, despite their tone, quite accurate) and frequenting these forums which, from what I have heard, are just one disaster after another.

The more you mire yourself down in that “information,” the less you will be doing your own work and getting what needs to be done done. The more you swim in that swamp, the more mucked-up you will get.

And nothing…nothing!…takes the place of action and clarity. Coupled with your intuition (you know, that voice in side that tells you when things or people are “icky” or awesome!?), those are actually the secret ingredients you need. And lucky for you, you already have them (free of charge, no less).

I’ve stopped searching for The Answer or The Person Who Has The Answer. I’ve started to trust myself. I hope the very same for you.

So here’s the thing: You are not alone. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Don’t make this about outing or venting or stewing or hoping, hoping, hoping. Make it about what works and what you plan to do next: Right now, tomorrow, next week. Make it about believing in yourself and doing the work.

Don’t hide…let me know in the comments below what you think.

Allison Nazarian

Copywriter | Ghostwriter | Author | Writing Seminars | Teacher | And…MOM

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Comments

comments

  • Michelle Russell

    Wow. I mean . . . WOW.

    THANK YOU for being brave enough to put this out here in black…erm, grey and white, Allison. I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues as well, because i’ve observed myself falling into the same pattern of wanting the magic bullet and forking over money time and time again. Even while right in the midst of recognizing the pattern while re-enacting it.

    To give Internet marketers the benefit of the doubt, I do believe that many are truly sincere about what they’re offering. Of course, many are not–caveat emptor, as always, but as you’ve observed, sometimes it’s SO hard to know.

    I’ve invested in many “infoproducts” and courses over the past couple of years, and I’ve finally realized that (aside from the obvious scam artists out there with their “Instant money while you sleep!! Automatic turnkey system!! No work needed!! crap) it’s seldom a matter of the quality of the product. Many of them are very good indeed, as long as you’re careful and research what you buy.

    So if the products are good, why don’t they work as advertised? Because where many marketers fall short is failing to mention the fact that you have to, um, **use** the information or the system. I think they often gloss over it because they can get away with it…it should be obvious enough not to have to mention, right? But this, intentionally or not, plays on the “magic bullet” psychology that’s so darn powerful.

    The best Internet marketers don’t do this. They will tell you, right up front, that you need to do some heavy lifting on your own. The ones who are willing to tell you that their products and systems alone won’t make you rich without some serious effort on your part? Those are the honest ones. And even then you should check them out until you feel good about buying from them.

    Personally, I’m taking a course from one of these folks right now, but I very deliberately went into it as a way of (1) making a commitment to myself to do the work, and (2) having a kind of scaffolding in place so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

    However, I’m 100% clear that **I** have to do it. I’ll have to work at it every day, try things (even and probably especially things I’m not yet comfortable with), tweak things, and tap what is–yes–ALREADY IN ME to make what I want to happen happen. No illusions there.

    But it took me a long time to get to the place where I could say that. And even now I am not immune to the empty promises, even when I suspect they’re empty. That siren song can be SO compelling.

    Brava, Allison, for saying what what in your heart about this. Brava.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Michelle,
      I totally agree that there are those who are sincere, who are real, who have something tangible and meaningful and valuable to offer. I hope I am one of those, and I suspect you are too. What happens, and I'm not entirely sure why, is that so many of the real ones keep quiet. Concurrently, so many of the BS artists flap their mouths and post their blogs and email their lists without stop. Sort of “the lady doth protest too much” kind of thing — the more you have to tell me how rich, happy and successful you are, the more I wonder whether you really are, ya know?!
      I don't know what's next for all of this or us. I do know that the vast majority of people in Internet Marketing or anywhere for that matter are decent and honorable people. It's the snail oil salesmen who get all the ink, though.

  • http://www.krisenkindt.com Krisenkindt

    Great post! And just in time for when I am back home and with time to comment, cause this one I just could not leave without my 2 cents (or rather 5 Dollars).

    I do feel the same about many things that are being shown off on the internet. Many times I even wonder if that’s all they are, because I cannot believe you can make a living out of some products because the selling seems so shady. I do not know the products, because I didn’t buy them, because my gutt feeling (which you named, and which I think is hugely important) told me not to.
    The sales pages to me often look like a cheap shady TV infomercial looks on TV. You know, the type where Martha and Tony with big hair and whitened teeth tell you about the wonderful belly trainer belt that makes you look like Schwarzenegger (as proved in videos of other people, because Martha looks like her Gym is her Plastic Surgeon and Tony usually sells BBQ Grills which sell better so he wears the beer belly look). The amount of superlatives, the sold amazingness, and the overdone glossy-shiny-sexyness of those products is too much to be real, and I think, luckily most people know that and fall don’t fall for it (or just once).

    Some other books or courses on the other hand are really good and have great tips, but you have to always take it with a grain of salt. Its like a diet. There is thousands of them, everyone says they are right, and you have to go and inform yourself, understand human biology, know what you can and what you can’t do with your own body/strength/will and then pick something that fits and DO it. Oh and yes, every diet, every single one, tells you to exercise to make it work. Just reading David Kirsch’s book won’t make you skinny if you don’t follow it and take on the extra (and hard) work of a workout. A self-help book, course, or forum membership in the analogy won’t help you if you don’t understand to pick out what the important tips are and what’s just glossy sell-helper speak that won’t work for you, it won’t turn your life around if you don’t use the tips, work hard to achieve it.

    A special mention needs to be given though, to the whole “just find a niche market/affiliate niche, set up a sales page, drop ship, make money while you sleep” programs. I do often think that those totally underestimate the moral, and ethical responsibility they have in front of their customers/trainees when talking about how easy it all is.
    Niche marketing is not as easy. If it was, I would be running tons of affiliate programs and just sit back and watch the money roll in. First of all, finding a product and its market isn’t as easy as it sounds, and secondly, if you have any self respect you don’t want to fool your customers with diet pills and other scams so it needs some testing and investing, and try and error is too expensive for those kind of experiments.
    I am a coach for many start-up teams in a big German business plan competition. It runs in 3 stages and we bring the teams from their first ideas to a full business plan, their own forecasts, market researches, financial planning, courses on entrepreneurship, taxes, insurance, and finally meetings with VCs and Business Angels to get them started. The first thing we ask them: “Where is your market, and how big is it?” You can have the best product in the world, if no one needs it your in trouble. And if you don’t constantly evolve, customers move on. Most of those “have people work for you and wait in a hammock to check your bank account and see the money rolling in” forget to mention that. It makes the whole thing a scam more often than it helps, and sooner or later (hopefully sooner) the wonderful theory of demand and supply will kill that phenomenon, cause people get smarter.

    Then again, if you don’t trust big company’s that promise in their commercials that your clothes will be whiter than white with their product, because they “just want your money”; then why would you trust individuals who sell something you can hardly test or check-out before hand and of whom you don’t even know if they make enough money to sustain their website next year, not to speak of paying employees.

    It comes back to gutt feeling, when buying, and the will to take on some hard work and commitment when trying to take on whatever one has learned from it. Someone mentioned it in the comments below before: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Wow, thank you for taking the time to write this (and read and write all over my blog last night! makes me happy :).
      Totally agreed re gut feeling. Our gut DOES know! That said, trust is important and I don't like a “trust no one” mentality because that boomerangs back to us too in all sorts of negative and unwanted ways.

      • http://www.krisenkindt.com Krisenkindt

        Yes, totally agree. Trust is very important. You just need to combine it with looking for “what fits you” and “what your gutt tells you”. Combine all three and you won’t go wrong too often. :)

        Oh and PS: I love writing comments (just as I love live discussions over wine… haha). Well actually, I love writing. Once I start it just pours out. Often though, the moment to sit down, clear the head and read and write is missing unfortunately. But last night, as you saw, I had all the time of the world… :D

      • http://www.krisenkindt.com Krisenkindt

        Yes, totally agree. Trust is very important. You just need to combine it with looking for “what fits you” and “what your gutt tells you”. Combine all three and you won’t go wrong too often. :)

        Oh and PS: I love writing comments (just as I love live discussions over wine… haha). Well actually, I love writing. Once I start it just pours out. Often though, the moment to sit down, clear the head and read and write is missing unfortunately. But last night, as you saw, I had all the time of the world… :D

  • Ginnysheen

    Yikes! Makes me grateful that I’m a reader, rather than a writer.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Ha! Never a dull moment, Ginny!

  • ReadingLisa

    Hi, Allison. Thank you for the informative read. As a Twitter user who follows people for sports, news and educational news, I have never had an experience with a social media marketer. However, in the event that I likely will, I feel more “armed” and knowledgeable due to your blog post.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Lisa!
      Great point that not everyone in twitter or anywhere for that matter has this experience or lives in this world. There are lots of more “normal” (haha) people out there in normal jobs who have issues and experiences, but not these perhaps.
      thank you again!

  • http://elizabethpottsweinstein.com ElizabethPW

    Yes. You don't need to be saved. Because you will save yourself.

    Actually, you already did.

    #loveyou #thatisall

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Life has been so much better since I returned to the Saving Business.

      • http://www.happysimple.com Barb McMahon

        Add me to the list of people who fell in love with you reading this!

        There’s nothing I can add to all the great comments, but thank you so much for writing this, for having the courage to say what needed to be said.

        And what I really, really wanted to hear for awhile now!

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    Amen. That is all.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Ali :)

  • http://www.bsetc.com Erin Blaskie

    Amen Allison!! I wrote a blog post awhile back about my own mindset shifting on all of this business stuff. Instead of chasing after the elusive million bucks, my priorities, my success gauges and the reason I work has changed into something way more important.

    Having worked with 300 online entrepreneurs from around the globe and seen their business first hand, I can tell you that what you are saying is absolutely true. There are the empowerment coaches with extremely low self-esteem, the law of attraction gurus who are super negative, the team building experts who can't keep a steady team to save their business, the money coaches who are flat broke… etc. It seems that a lot of the people who have a cult-like following really don't walk their talk in real life.

    I've also seen people take out a second mortgage and dip into their children's education funds to pay for high priced coaching programs and events… Change their business models a gazillion times because their newest coach is telling them something new… and for what? They end up poorer and more miserable at the end of it all.

    I strive to be one human. If you meet me in real life, I'll be just like I am on Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's how I run my company now too. Authentic, easy and I don't follow the tactics that others use to sell their stuff. It does make selling harder because you want people to know what amazing value you are providing without it sounding like yet another pipe dream.

    In seven years of being an online entrepreneur myself, I've never bought an ebook, a teleseminar recording, a coaching session or anything else. I've invested in tools that make my business more efficient but as for figuring out what works and how to be successful, I had to figure that out myself because otherwise, it would come off fake as hell. It took me awhile to really figure it out (I was also 21 when I launched my company so I was personally growing too) but I have hit a stride that I feel happy with online. It's not perfect but it's more me.

    Thanks for writing this post and for taking the high road too. It's refreshing to hear other people being disgusted by the current state of Internet marketing. I am too.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Wow Erin,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your story.

      One part you talked about that I didn't touch upon here that I agree is SO SO SO important is the part about being the same person “in real life” as you are online. People meet me and they are like “you look just like your picture!” or “you act exactly the same!” and they seem surprised. Well, yea, why wouldn't I?! I mean, if I make my profile picture look like Angelina Jolie, chances are you will figure out sooner rather than later that I don't exactly look like her.

      The Internet is in so many ways a “great equalizer” and for many people, for better or for worse, it allows them to be who they always wanted to be but never were or could be before. I think people like you and me, maybe because we have been on the “Webz” for a while, can spot a fake from a mile away but I do believe that most people still cannot. Or even if they can, they want to believe so they go along with it.

      I'd love to read that post of yours if you share the URL.
      xo ~ Alli

  • http://twitter.com/cmartell Christine Martell

    Yes, more of this needs to be said. Buying stuff doesn't take the place of doing!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Agree!

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    I wish I had read “Good to Great” a couple of years ago when I was deep in the throes of this stuff (like you said, no one is immune).

    Jim Collins identifies key factors that take a good company from a great one, and the big eye-opener for me was the idea that there HAS to be a momentum-building period for the business. You have to get traction, build momentum and work through a build-up phase before you can launch yourself into being an extraordinary business.

    The “Goo-roo” spends a lot of time talking about short-circuiting that momentum. Leapfrog, don't ladder climb. Problem is, you've got to take those babysteps so you lay the foundation to leap from.

    But we get lured into a “faster, better, EASIER” way. As you said, “THE” way.

    Got me once, shame on you… Got me twice? Shame on me.
    We perpetuate this nonsense with the lotter ticket mentality.

    Want to know something else I'm finding ironic? Most of the guru's I've seen around didn't make the big bucks by doing what the guru's in their arena were doing. They did it by listening to their own voice, following their own truth, and creating what their gut told them would work.

    If we're going to model something, we should be modeling that.
    Looking forward to meeting you in a couple of weeks in Atlanta. Great post!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Hi Lisa!
      Totally resonating w everything you mention and reference.
      Especially the part about doing the work, taking each step, learning the process instead of desperately seeking the faster, easier, but-wait-there's-more way. In the end, that was always always takes longer and is likely more painful. Like someone I know who does everything imaginable to save money/cut corners and every single time ends up paying more bc they don't do it right the first time around.
      Lessons, lessons, lessons.

  • http://twitter.com/gopalo PALO!

    I KNEW I wasn't the only one who saw that the emperor is naked. Caveat emptor. Most of the people who have useful skills are getting paid to do those things, not telling others how.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Naked and, as it turns out, way more cellulite and love handles than I have! LOL.

  • http://twitter.com/LotusAmy Amy Miyamoto

    Allison, Thank you for voicing what so many of us have been observing, thinking, and working toward creating a new paradigm. Awareness of what is not working is where it starts. Next is having the willingness to step into our own power and trust that we have the foundational answers within first and the tools around us will follow as we trust and follow our own guidance rather than someone else's big name “template.”

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Amy!
      Yes, awareness is where it starts. The willingness you talk about is then a bit tougher, a bit scarier. When I am afraid or holding back (as I was on this before), I know I am not totally trusting and doing what needs to be done. So I wrote this, and figured as long as I tell the truth (or my truth) and lay it out there, I don't need to worry about anything else. Tried to be fair and tried to make this in some way speak to others rather than seem like me complaining or being angry.
      ~ Alli

  • http://www.PracticeMakesImperfect.com Michelle Russell

    Gaaah!!! I just posted a super-long comment that I think just got gobbled up by the ether. (sigh) Maybe it'll appear later, but if not, the gist of it was “Amen, sister, and thank you.” :o)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      It's there, see below! :))

  • Danielle

    I.Totally.LOVE.You!

    Allison, I think I have a serious girl crush on you:-) Enough is enough already; the systems, the blueprints, the 7 figure income bullshit. Now I'm not saying that I'm totally opposed to making 7 figures (ha!), but people get lured in by these promises of easy dollars for little or no work (myself included once upon a time!) and then can't understand why it's not happening. There is no substitute for action…(and again, some people are yelling 'massive action', yada, yada, yada)…but how about consistent, purposeful action that moves you ever so closer to your sweet spot?

    We need guidance sometimes in discovering our secret ingredients…but ultimately as you said, YOU are the who knows what is best for YOU!

    Thanks for your awesomeness and being YOU!

    xoxoxo,
    Danielle

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Eh_Young Chris Eh Young

    Wow, very well said. It is unfortunate that it has to come to this. We have lost the ability to trust those who say they are trying to help us. It makes it even harder for those who, authentically, are trying to help to actually do so.

    So many internet marketers are selling unproven theories and pipe dreams to those who can barely scrape enough together to buy them. I don't know how they sleep at night and I don't know how they can look in the mirror every morning without throwing up. The up side is that Karma is a persistent b*tch and it will come back around.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Chris and I agree that it is unfortunate. So much freedom and space and tools we have — not always used for the best.
      “Karma is a persistent b*tch” <— could not have said it better myself
      ~ Alli

  • Barbara Winter

    Bravo! I have been perplexed that so many snake oil salesmen keep thriving and finding a new group of people to dupe, month after month. Thanks for saying so.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      I think it is all so unregulated still and thus so many can get away with so much. I mean, it's not like they are murdering or pillaging, right? So all sorts of people can get away with all sorts of things that maybe on their own aren't massive crimes but, when looked at together, are, IMO, criminal on many levels.
      ~ Alli

      • http://www.ravenlightstudio.com Liz Schneider

        New people will keep buying because they have no clue that some of these “systems” and “formulas” are hollow promises. What is sad is that even if enough customers (who have purchased these systems and failed to reap the promised rewards) speak up, someone is going to see them as sour grapes or didn't do it right or something, rather than put credence into their complaints. It is funny that when someone criticizes, we always say “consider the source” (but not you, Alli, you are a solid gold source! :-) ), but when someone claims these amazing results/benefits, enough people are not saying “consider the source” there too.

  • http://www.myrecipeforlife.com/ daniellemmiller

    I.Totally.LOVE.You! Like I'm pretty sure I have a serious girl crush on you;-)

    Enough of the blueprints, the systems, the formulas, and the 7 figure bullshit promises. Been there, done that…(and I didn't even GET a tshirt..just a ton wiser and lighter in my wallet!) Nothing, I repeat nothing, takes the place of action and clarity (and not the MASSIVE action that some say you need to take, but purposeful, consistent actions) that take you closer to your sweet spot and make you feel fulfilled along the way. Like you, there have been times when I briefly (very briefly!) thought about some easy ways to bring big bucks in fast, but I cannot do it and be able to look at my children or my husband (much less myself) in the eye and know I was operating from a place integrity and honesty…total yuk!

    I tend to zig when others are zagging anyway, so why change now;-)

    Thank you for your awesomeness!

    xoxoxo
    Danielle

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      LOL, I'm flattered re the Girl Crush!! :)
      I TOTALLY agree re action. Massive action can not only seem like an overwhelming thing but it just isn't sustainable day after day. But consistency in small daily (like every single day) actions is possible and doable and WILL move mountains. (I think this is the process the Japanese call “Kaizen.”)

      “I tend to zig when others are zagging anyway, so why change now;-)” <— LOVE

    • http://peggiearvidson.com Peggie

      Um. I think everyone knows about my girlcrush. #buti'llshare

      • http://www.myrecipeforlife.com/ daniellemmiller

        LOL..sorry Peggie I didn't know, but thanks for being willing to share;-)

        I love her so much that I posted twice!! ack..me and technology *sigh*

  • annettenack

    Thank you so much for posting this Allison. I've been feeling this way for a while, since I actually starting opening up my eyes and closing my wallet.

    Like really? Am I the only one not drinking the Kool-Aid and believing all of this hype? I'm so glad they're telling me how authentic they are. My mom always taught me that if someone has to tell you how good/cool/amazing/smart/beautiful/authentic they are, then it's all just a bunch of crap.

    And I completely agree.

    Maybe I just see things differently now. I haven't made the millions yet or any of the other lifestyle teases I've been inundated with but I'm okay with that. As long as I'm living through my truth, through my own values and my own gut, I'm doing just fine.

    I do plan on doing events and all of that fancy-smancy stuff but I've already decided that I won't be that hard to reach talking head spouting loads of crap that people want to hear just to make my wallet fatter & them feel better. Just my 2 cents.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you for reminding me of that word “authentic.” I especially enjoy the people an systems that teach you how to be authentic, which, by its very definition, is not teachable. But anyway, I agree with you about the millions vs being able to go with your gut. That is priceless. And don't get me wrong — I would love to make oodles of money month after month. Not because I would do things differently in my life or make huge purchases, but just for that peace of mind knowing that all bills are paid for the forseeable future. Maybe pay off my house. But to sacrifice who I am, what I stand for, my good name, my morals or values for the big secret to all of that? No thank you!

  • Lisawells

    Oh Allison – Thank YOU for this post. I know exactly what you are talking about. It's at the point that whenever I see a sales page that features a boat or talks about how she's on a 3-month vacation .. I'm ready to call “bullshit” and move on. Just being real.

    I really feel for those people who buy buy buy when a lot of what they are being promised is already inside the person. Maybe they just need the reassurance, clarity, accountability – not sure. But unless it's cold hard training, not sure I would invest. I've been burned a lot too. Just this year I purchased an e-book that was supposed to teach me something 'new' and I wanted to provide a favorable review for my readers, but instead it was full of crap I already knew and a bunch of self-promotions. Ick.

    If only everyone was transparent. From now on, if you tout your big list then I want to see screen shots. And stop telling me percentages, I want to see the actual numbers.

    Thanks again for this post – loved it!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Lisa!
      So much effort is put into the “show” or the “game,” meanwhile – newsflash! – being real really isn't that hard.

      • http://www.lisarwells.com Lisa Wells

        That's exactly what it feels like sometimes – a show, a game, tricks, formulas…

        Let's take a real world example – Ryan Deiss' basic SEO program sold for $1,997. How is that ok? (BTW I don't think he's a sleazy marketer because I just bought one of his programs last month). But $2K for BASIC seo information?

        Come on now. His sites don't get sales because of the search engines – 95% of his traffic comes from his partners (er um I mean his “syndicate” if you listen to Frank Kern) with huge lists and timed launches.

        But $2K to tell me “secrets” such as submit articles, update content, comment on blogs for backlinks, keyword research? Sorry, the beginner can learn all that WITH hands-on help at NAMS for a fraction of the cost.

        The vast majority of people whom I've worked with in this industry are good people. But these others try to pass themselves off as enterprising entrepreneurs but in reality are just a bunch of hypey snake oil salesmen.

        FYI, I learned SEO for FREE years ago from Cricket Walker at http://www.gnc-web-creations.com – check her out, she's awesome.

  • shawnacevraini

    This is so awesome! Thank you Allison! I've searched and searched and wondered and wondered if what “they” say is true?? The biggest thing I've learned – take it all with a grain of salt and work my butt off doing what I THINK is right (not what anyone else says) and “get 'er done”. Like you say: “And nothing…nothing!…takes the place of action and clarity”

    Thanks so much for this truth-telling! As always, you RULE! ;)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you Shawna! Grain of salt is important — yes! Of course there is much out there that *is* of worth, but none of it comes with a magic wand or fairy dust. Do I wish it did? I don't even think so because the working part is actually kind of fun. But don't tell anyone ;)
      xo ~ Alli

  • http://mominmanagement.com Daria

    This is the first article that I’ve read of yours. I really like your style! I look forward to more…

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you!

  • http://saltydroid.info/ SaltyDroid

    Allison ::

    That was a great post/sentiment.

    I can't imagine whose glorious work you obliquely reference … but it sounds like a brave/crazy person who deserves free cupcakes and ice cream for life.

    If you “make it” without “keepin' it real” … then you didn't. Cheating isn't winning. Maybe you can cheat to “get ahead” … but sometime before you get to the finish line … trouble is going to catch you.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Agree on all counts. Trying to act totally cool and normal that you commented on my blog….OK, carry on….
      ~Alli

  • http://www.facebook.com/kymleee Kimberlee Morrison

    Sometimes people get caught up in the hype and forget that the main ingredient for success is often hard work. There's not short cut. I've unfollowed a few people on twitter, people who are considered “people to follow” because I see what they have say and its either not for me or I can see through it as straight up bullshit. *shrug* to each his own, but I'm not following some blowhard for the sake of being connected to someone I “should” be connected to. #justsayin

    I also have to say that I love how real you are. Yes, real. I love your no BS attitude. So thanks for the reminder that the answer is within. :)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      (love your pic with your little boy!)
      Thanks K, that means a lot and especially coming from you! Totally agree re following people or getting their emails or whatever. You “have to” follow these people. Well, no I don't — why?!
      Being real has become really easy. Not sure what I was so scared of :)
      xo ~ Alli

      • http://peggiearvidson.com Peggie

        If everyone found the time (right) to unfollow all those people who we “must” follow — okay not everyone, just the no BSers, those “must” follow people would see a MASSIVE change in their numbers. As it is, with lists is the uber multiple hundred thousands, it takes a lot of “unsubscribes” for them to notice. (Not like me who notices every one. sigh)

  • http://twitter.com/derekebrown Derek E Brown

    I like those mystery boxes on Ebay that you pay like $10 bucks for and maybe, just maybe, you might find something awesome in them. What seems to promise riches turns out to be Silly-Bandz.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Girl 1: What is that Silly Band shaped like?
      Girl 2: It's a circle!

      What are Silly-Bands?! Plain-old rubber bands, right? But someone puts a color on them and a new name and a cute package and voila!

      I feel ya on that one.

  • http://www.beawesomeonline.com Kevin Powe

    This is AWESOME, Allison. You wrote EXACTLY what I've been thinking, but far more eloquently.

    It's the same bullshit trickery that Amway pulls, with the same promises and scams.

    EVERY piece of advice offered in exchange for money should be followed up with a practical, workable example. The number of times you hear waffly garbage like “You just need to make the pie bigger…”

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Totally true Kevin. I was thinking of Amway last night — I'd seen that they do commercials on TV now with green fields and smiling kids and sweet music. I couldn't believe it!? But you know what? People will buy it, literally and figuratively. Which really sucks.

    • http://twitter.com/delthedad Del

      Or maybe try and see what else is out there before settling with one service, group, blogger, etc. I guess more and more are seeing the BS and stating an opinion… :)

  • http://twitter.com/jenlouden Jennifer Louden

    oh thank you! I have wanted to write this post for a year but could figure out how to say it. It makes me want to never ever offer anything to anybody again. Thank you!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Hi Jennifer, you bring up a good point because many of us do have great services/products to offer and part of my fear in even writing this was: “Am I shooting myself in the foot financially?” And that does scare me. Then I start with the whole “This is my livelihood, I'm a single mother, etc etc” thing and then finally I was like “truth, truth, truth” and the rest will take care of itself.
      Thank you so much for your comments :)
      ~ Alli
      P.S. Your name/website was sent to me as someone worthy of following/connecting with (total truth :))

      • http://peggiearvidson.com Peggie

        the scary shit is the important shit. I'm predicting you'll grow (financially and leaderly) because of it. Trust my predictions because I read hands. lol.

        • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

          yay. scary but yay.

  • http://peggiearvidson.com Peggie

    OMFG. so I don't have YOUR answer. shit. now i have to go ahead and stick with my answer.

    “It takes work and discipline to avoid cookie-cutter “systems,” pages full of empty promises and other means of promotion that we have, sadly, become accustomed to. It isn’t always easy. It sounds far less sexy than what is being promised out there.”

    Like you – growing in integrity is a balancing act. I'm glad you're making this point. Because knowing we have our own best answers is the key to actually changing the world.

    You can guide them with your gifts and your example — as can we all. there is always something we know that can help and ease a transition to the places we want to be — but nope, I'm off the admirer's track — unsubbed from those peeps that were making me feel WORSE everytime I got their email, saw their tweets or caught a FB update.

    I trust my intuition — do not spend money with anyone or anything that makes you feel bad. period.

    Oh and I will name one name. (not to say these people are necessarily in the same sandbox — but ego unchecked — James Arthur Ray.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      growing in integrity is a balancing act <—- #brilliant

  • lipdesign

    Bravissima darling! and thank you … because …

    I bought into the crap. Books and info products gathering dust on the shelves, some unopened. A couple of bad coaches who left me in the same place where I started. All because I didn't trust myself or talents. After all, I was a designer who simply designed stuff for peanuts that the client wanted right? Because they wrote that check, right? Wrong.

    “The more you mire yourself down in that “information,” the less you will be doing your own work and getting what needs to be done done. The more you swim in that swamp, the more mucked-up you will get.” <—- Hello, My Name is Lori and I got stuck here for, oh, 3 years? Debriefing is an arduous process. No wonder I'm confused.

    However, things are changing now. I follow w/ my intuition and started to trust my instincts. One step to moving closer to my center is detaching myself from the icky people and things that I followed down a rabbit hole. I know I'll gain the clarity about what I can do. Create services that are useful — without the bullshit, or magic bullet or empty promises. With all the fun and passion and heart and energy and yes even the curly hair that is so much a part of me. Peggie said it beautifully: “Like you – growing in integrity is a balancing act. I'm glad you're making this point. Because knowing we have our own best answers is the key to actually changing the world.” Long story short, I need to unconditionally trust myself or I'll never get off the pot.

    • http://peggiearvidson.com Peggie

      you are so curly-haired-rific (and god I wished for curly hair all my life). trust – is like the elusive perfect lover — only there when we are fully present, eh? It is, according to my fingerprints, my key life lesson – this learning to trust in myself and therefore you. So I bought and drank so much freaking kool-aid to fit in with the cool kids that I can hardly stand it.

      Now, I'm detached from them. sending them (as Eat Pray Love puts it) “Love and Light” and letting them go.

      • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

        Very proud of you! And thank you Peggie too. I always try to remind myself of that EPL “Love and Light” idea too. Not always easy but better for all of us! (copying this below too).

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Very proud of you! And thank you Peggie too. I always try to remind myself of that EPL “Love and Light” idea too. Not always easy but better for all of us! (copying this below too).

      • lipdesign

        Funny I just say the movie last week — got lost in it for what it was, yet I took away the “Love and Light” message. It stuck with me … so yes, I'm sending “love and light” to all that I'm detaching from (today is Day 1 of Bindu Wiles The Shed Project; perfect timing). Thank you Alli and Peggie!

        Peggie — it took me 40 years to accept the curls. All I wanted to be was “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (brady bunch)

        • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

          LIP:
          I was eating breakfast at a bagel place a couple of weeks ago. I saw a woman whose daughter has known my daughter since they were in preschool. I don't know her that well, but she is nice, she's a neighbor and she always looks great.

          Her dark silky hair which is usually stick-straight was kind of wild and curly and it looked amazing. So I said to her:

          “I guess you decided to go natural and just let your hair be wild and awesome?!” (Or something along those lines.)

          So she tells me,

          “No, the stick-straight hair is my natural — it took me a long time to make it wild and curly like this! “

          Ha!

  • http://MrMomWorld.com Bob Snitchler

    Reading the comments here it seems you've really hit a nerve. I would love to find that magic formula that would make me debt-free overnight and rolling in cash. But the basic skeptic in me says if you're just promising the results without disclosing the work involved, the action plan, if you will, I'm moving on. Thanks for posting this. (I've noticed there are no comments defending any of the folks you so carefully left unnamed!)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you, Bob. When you find the quick fix that works, let me know!

  • meganmatthieson

    I want NAMES damnit! Maybe after I ply you with a drink or two in Vegas. :) (there are no shortcuts, no freebies, no magic fairies. just hard work and grace) xo

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      LMAO. I am a huge motormouth after just one drink. Your job will be easy.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraScholz Laura Scholz

    Alli, I love you and your honesty and your brilliance and your character and your soul. And the other reason I love you? You've never tried to sell me a damn thing, even though you know you're the first person I'd hire or recommend for copywriting.

    I've said so much over DM and ranting here in person to Tim, but you are spot on. Strip away the fancy Thesis–um, Genesis–themed WP blogs, the five figure speaking gigs, the endless promises of making money on the internet–and well, it's all just a lot of noise–sound and fury, signifying nothing. I put much more stock in people like you, like my clients and other kindred spirits who are doing REAL work in a way that is authentic and sincere.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      “Talk more, do less” ~ I try to remind myself this every day. Some days better than others :)
      xo

  • http://talkingshrimp.com/blog LBelgray

    I think the worst trick of all is the answer to: “But I don't have the money.”
    People with this pretty sensible objection often hear, “That's a scarcity mentality. You need to think abundantly [read: spend money] in order to generate abundance.”
    OR: “Success often requires a leap of faith.”

    I feel so bad for these people who are deep in debt and buy into that. Signing up for program after program that you can't afford is just another form of gambling. Except there's never a jackpot.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      You are so right-on on that point. I feel bad for the people on the paying end and wonder about those on the other end — do they *really* believe that (which is scary and weird in and of itself) or do they know it is BS and still use it (even scarier)?!

    • http://rawfoodswitch.com Nathalie Lussier

      Gah yes! The whole “success requires a leap of faith” thing is horrible, and so many people get into debt hoping “This one” is the one. Grr.

  • brittmichaelian

    Yup, just had this BS conversation last week and am planning to do a spoof video (from my beautiful room at the $80 a night Excalibur in Vegas) while at Blog World to show what it's really like… I do think it all boils down to trial and error, but I also think a lot of success has to do with knowing what you really want and then balls out- going for it! Stay tuned for the video ;) Great post, as always Ali!

    • http://ustarvideos.wordpress.com Owen O’Malley

      I would like to see the video…too.

    • http://ustarvideos.wordpress.com Owen O’Malley

      I would like to see the video…too.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Can't wait for that video either!

    • http://rawfoodswitch.com Nathalie Lussier

      Hey Britt! I'm also staying at the Excalibur and would love to meet you at BlogWorld while we're both there. :)

  • http://twitter.com/delthedad Del

    I think this fits well with mom blogging. My wife is one so I have been in contact with many out there.

    It does seem with so many new mom bloggers, that they run to anyone that has several thousand plus twitter followers and some reviews on their blog. But they need to read those tweets and blog, and get to know the person before they go throwing their trust and dreams, and backing into one person.

    One person that may seem like the greatest person to one, may in reality be a similar to a devil in sheep's clothing.

    Great post, nice to see someone can think with their head and not just think “will this make me lose followers or get nasty comments, or worse yet not get any comments cause you pissed off the wrong group of bloggers or wrong blogger.” People don’t need to be apart of a group to succeed. You may be better off being independent and getting to know more than just a few people.

    It’s good to learn and discuss what bothers us. What you’re talking about, I have thought, but someone like me saying something means nothing. I am too new and have had some lies made up about me from mom bloggers with a thousands of twitter followers. Too bad I can’t find those free follower lists they signed up for, or make the sad move to purchase traffic to make myself seem like I have more influence and pull than I do.

    Hopefully I don’t come of sounding like I am ranting, because I am not… :-)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you!
      I agree that voicing our thoughts — respectfully of course — even the negative ones, isn't automatically ranting. The group mentality is not a necessary ingredient for success, you are right on that!

  • http://www.YourBusinessYourSelf.com Sue Mitchell

    Love what Lisa shared about Good to Great and not shortcutting the process. To me, creating a business is a form of self-expression and a way to be in charge of your own life. Handing over the reins to a guru and placing the whole emphasis on making a lot of money fast is completely missing the point.

    There's a lot of soul-searching that goes into creating a business that truly reflects who you are and fits with your values and priorities. To go through this process is a fantastic exercise in self-development and creative expression. It's very sad to me that so many people have not only gone into debt buying these exorbitantly priced programs, but have also missed out on the opportunity for reflection and growth that entrepreneurship can provide.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Great point, Sue, about our businesses being extensions of who we are — and then handing them over to someone else. Not always easy, but perhaps the only way it can be to be the real thing.
      Thank you!

  • SeaGal

    “Sometimes it starts small, you find some big dude (or gal)’s stuff. You think they are cool. They are so smart! And the pictures of their kid/girlfriend/Caribbean vacation/camping trip/exercise sessions are so funny/cute/cool! And they care about us because they share their private pictures with us and tell us about their private lives and let us in on their cool offers before the rest of the world knows, oh, well, duh, we are Facebook friends with them after all—it doesn’t get more special than that!”

    Um, isn’t this what your pals do?

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Not sure if the “this” you refer to is the thinking the person is cool or actually being the cool person. Regardless, I can only speak for myself. I can barely speak for my two minor children, let alone other adults (even my “pals”) out there in the world.

      So speaking for me, everything I do “out there” is uniquely, totally, purely (and sometimes-weirdly) me. I am the exact same person sitting here right now drinking coffee at my desk and sweating as I am if you met me in a bar or at Blogworld or at the grocery store.

      Most people, I am finding, crave realness in their lives so they are naturally attracted to people they see actually living in that realness (most people still do not live in theirs). If people think that I am cool, awesome. If they like my writing, even better. If they think I am useless or that my writing is crap, that is OK too. I can't control them and can't speak for anyone but myself.

      Thanks so much for the comment.

  • SeaGal

    “Sometimes it starts small, you find some big dude (or gal)’s stuff. You think they are cool. They are so smart! And the pictures of their kid/girlfriend/Caribbean vacation/camping trip/exercise sessions are so funny/cute/cool! And they care about us because they share their private pictures with us and tell us about their private lives and let us in on their cool offers before the rest of the world knows, oh, well, duh, we are Facebook friends with them after all—it doesn’t get more special than that!”

    Um, isn’t this what your pals do?

  • http://twitter.com/eagledove11 eagledove11

    Hi Allison,
    I've read your article twice now and every comment (currently set at 56) ~ so really I just want to say 'Ditto' to everything that your commenter's (is there such a word? !!) said, rather than just repeat!!
    However I will add that I too love your posts and this was another excellent one !!
    Thank you!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you! :)

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    Glad you didn't name specific people or sites. We all have 1 or 2 in mind I am sure. Thanks for a nicely written reminder that the American way of today, the quick & easy way to a better everything (I always think of the 10 minute exercises & diets) is really cheating: cheating yourself out of life and appreciation of results from hard work. That's it in a nutshell for me. I preach that to my kids regarding schoolwork and their friends and never letting someone cheat from them but instead to show them how to do it. I guess it really applies to life. Thanks Allison-just had a smack-my-forehead, wish I'd had a V8 kinda moment. xoxo

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      I'd love that diet. Sigh.
      :)

  • DavidMcGraw

    Thank you for this thought provoking post.

    Generally, I agree with your post. I also remind myself that marketing is sometimes selling the invisible and we cannot satisfy everyone all the time.

    A few weeks back, I was participating in a twitter chat. A so called Marketing expert said twitter was only useful for sharing links. The masses swarmed to support his knowledge and wisdom. Me, I throw up in the back of my mouth. Screamed BS and called him out. Of course, he did not reply. This individual has nearly 300K followers and almost only tweets links. Is he wrong? Maybe, maybe not. From his perspective and following size links are all that may be important. I may disagree with his tactics, but that does not mean he is wrong. Only Mr Bigshot and has audience can decide.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Interesting example. I wonder what it is that makes those 300K people follow. Does he even follow back? How is that a dialogue or conversation. If I wanted the one-way broadcast from their end, I'd sign up for their emails. But to each his/her own, right?
      Good point, btw, re selling the invisible. Totally true.

  • http://frankdickinson.me/ Frank Dickinson

    “I’ve stopped searching for The Answer or The Person Who Has The Answer. I’ve started to trust myself. I hope the very same for you.”

    Enough said.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      :) Thank you.

  • http://andydolph.com Andy Dolph

    I got lucky. My Internet Marketing journey was with one ofthegenuine guys, who does what he says he does. It still wasn't right for me, though. It took a while, but I finally realized that its just not who I am, and worse it's a turn off to my right people. Still, I learned a lot that I took with me. But I was really lucky that i started out with someone real.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Yes, for sure there are real and good and smart and honorable people out there and despite my bad experience, that has been the majority of my business life as well (thankfully).
      Thank you Andy!

  • http://survivingnarcissism.com/ Jesse

    I'm a newbie – blogging for one year now. I see the shiny people with the cool friends, sexy hair, attractive sites, awesome sounding lives, and promises of riches. I have limited funds and have been tempted to throw my precious pennies at the shiniest of them.

    Each time my point finger hovers over the “Buy Now” button, I hear this voice say, “What are you doing? You are smart. You can figure this out. You've learned so much already. Do it your way.”

    Maybe I'm just not following the shiniest ones… or maybe the voice is right.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      I think we can be shiny and not be slimy, ya know?! :)
      And good for you for listening to your voice!

  • http://membershipjedi.com MikeCassidy

    Allison,
    I would hardly call this a rant, though you're serving as the voice of many in expressing the frustrations we have all faced. I'd call it a much needed state of the union of social media. I have succumbed (once – lesson learned) and I've seen people in desperate positions (unemployment stats anyone?) spend obscene amounts. There is no holy grail other than one's true self. Funny how a slick guru will preach 'authenticity' and 'transparency' while posting a pic from that vacation to their aunt's timeshare in Boca from their mom's basement (almost a rant). Everyone in social media has worth — what's important is to find those that don't insist on a credit card or paypal for engagement and sharing. You can find all this and more in my e-book and subscribe to my disqus comments via paypal (just kidding). Thanks so much for sharing this profound post — may it become viral and serve as a wake-up call to the shucksters soiling the greatest playground of expression and ideas.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thank you, Mike. (And LOL on the cc/Paypal)

  • Chakajazzy

    I was in a group that paid $1997 for Product Launch Formula a few years back – what a joke, a person could have got that info from a book at the library.
    Biggest shock was from a person much higher up the food chain that I admired for a decade, well one day I was at the university library looking at the classic copywriting/direct marketing books from decades past, and I couldn't believe starting to read, word for word, what I had listened to him preaching as his almighty teaching … I did compare the book to a recording – the amount he charged people to basically read an old book to was, well, 'nuff said ….

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Surprised, but not.
      Nothing new under the sun in general, so taking existing info and making it into your own is not a crime or misstep on its own…but then charging 2K for it and touting it as a “secret” is, IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/MikeLaMonica MikeLaMonica

    The scariest posts are the one's where you have that pit in your stomach when it comes time to hit the “publish” button. I'm glad you did and it's obvious others feel the same.

    FYI, I'm always honest about money I don't make.

    ~Mike

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Agree re publish.
      Love your honesty always :)

  • http://rawfoodswitch.com Nathalie Lussier

    Alli, this is great. I don't know whether the big gurus who schlep their stuff are doing it because they want to deceive people, but part of me says they believe in what they do. I've met some coaches who do and are exactly what they say they are. So I know there's a whole 'nother side to this. Like you said you are a business person, and putting yourself and your material out there is your livelihood.

    I believe in the quality and life-changingness of the stuff I create and offer, but I use internet marketing to sell it… otherwise people wouldn't find out about it, and wouldn't benefit from making changes to their lives. So it's obviously not the internet marketing that's to blame, but rather how people use it.

    There's definitely some people that I wouldn't buy from with a ten foot pole (credit card on a pole?!) but I think you mentioned something important here. Using your intuition to make decisions about your business. Intuition, baby, intuition!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Yes re intuition!
      And, yes, there are SO many good people with legit and helpful and valuable services and products. The challenge is in separating the good from the bad. Not always easy but the all-knowing voice inside DOES help.
      ~ Alli

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Powerful stuff, Allison. Thanks for posting this.

    I have been blogging of for just over a year now. I have learned from many good people, but I have also seen the scammers.

    The ones out there trying to make a buck and pretending to be gurus.

    I too have tried not to be “taken.” Once almost attended a social media workshop being put on by two individuals that were highly recommended.

    Did my research and found out that neither of these “gurus” had a website, nor were on Twitter, nor had any followers of any kind.

    The sad part was they were being pushed by some of the big names in the industry.

    There are some great, honest people out there. But, beware the posers. :)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Thanks again Craig for this comment and your email.
      Agreed on all counts!

  • http://twitter.com/SharieOrr Sharie Orr

    Hi, Allison.
    Very timely post. Love your style and your attitude (authentic!).
    Just read a similar post yesterday by a long-time copywriter whose
    points were that all the guru-garbage a millionaire does not make.
    That a bit of (oh-the ugly word) WORK is required.
    He also suggests taking the “free stuff” they offer. Study their marketing
    methods. Just don't part with a cent-unless and until your due diligence
    has proven beyond doubt that any “paid” anything is FOR REAL.

    It seems to be a running theme for those who tend to value honesty
    and integrity more than dollar signs. “Heresy!” say the many…

    Funnily enough, these two blog posts hitting my computer screen and my
    brain about 24 hrs apart seems a little more than happenstance…
    And it's got me thinkin'.

    How does an otherwise intelligent person, a capable word-able, independent-thinking,
    practical-living person (ahem! that's me) fall into such a mindless foray of trash?!
    “Hi. My name is Sharie. And I'm an IM-fluff buyer and believer.”
    Well, they do say that admitting the problem is 9/10 of the solution, right? ;)
    Lemme add “former” to the above.

    In my “real” life, people do respect me. They know the above-mentioned traits actually do
    apply. So maybe my real fight here is one of self-esteem. No real epiphany there, unfortunately. Just gotta learn to put myself out there a little more and provide the
    services that I know I am qualified to do and that will help people. And believe it's okay
    to be paid for those services.

    Phew! Bill me later for the psych session… :)

    Anywho-great find, this blog of yours.

    And nice to meet ya.

    Sharie Orr

    PS-I'm an INFJ also, FWIW ha!

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Hi Sharie!
      Thanks so much for your comment. Would love to read that blog — maybe you can email me the name or link privately if you don't want to post it here?
      I think a part of ALL of us wants to believe – I mean isn't easy and sure-thing a more attractive prospect than hard and iffy? I say YES! Combine that with the vulnerability we all have, especially when “down” or in the midst of a rough patch (maybe a divorce, a lost job, a death in the family, a kid leave home, whatever) and that's a pretty good recipe for “falling for it.”
      ~ Alli
      P.S. Yay INFJs!

      • http://www.sharieorr.com Sharie Orr

        I sent that blog info to you thru your contact form on your site. :)

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  • JackiYo

    Sometimes it's very hard to tell the difference. I heard Scott Stratten referred to a snakeoil salesperson today! I think that's a case of sour grapes…

    I, too, spend some time in MLM hell. With a company I had to leave because I couldn't get over the connotation *I* had (along with most of the public). I liked the thought behind the products, but it was more about getting recruits than helping people, so I left. And I'm embarrassed to ever mention I had anything to do with them. People look at me differently when I do. Hate that.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Nothing to be ashamed of! Many are totally legit, people make $ (working at it, not magically in their sleep) and the products are good. But unfortunately all the “bad” ones gave all of the rest the bad name.

  • http://www.twitter.com/unmarketing unmarketing

    Look Naz, instead of writing an entire post about me, you could have just emailed me…. sheesh

    • JackiYo

      I agree. A bit passive-aggressive. ;)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Every once in a while there is something somewhere on the Internet that is *not* about you Scotty. :)
      ~ Alli

  • http://www.steadyflowcontent.com MonicaWB

    Things I heard on teleseminars last year (when I first stumbled into this craziness):

    - Skip your mortgage payment if you have to (Seriously??? Houses are being foreclosed left and right and this b*tch is telling people to skip a mortgage payment!? If the call hadn't been muted, I probably would've said something before hanging up.)
    - Thanking people profusely for spending time with her on a “live call this evening,” and going on an on about how important it was to be together “live,” feeling the love and energy (it was a recording! I'd heard it before when I signed up with a different email address. It just took me a minute to realize it.)
    - When you invest a certain amount in yourself, you open a cosmic hole in the universe that allows people to invest the same amount in you. People will not invest in you until you open up this hole in the universe by paying me… almighty master of the universe.

    It would be pure comedy if not for the fact that people are falling for it so hardcore. I think others said this already, but it makes me think of the weight loss infomercials – especially, the newest ones, telling people they can lose 100 lbs. by exercising a few minutes a day. Scientifically/mathematically impossible! But people are desperate. So sad.

    I have absolutely no problem at all with the idea of modeling systems. I also don't have a problem with the idea of people selling programs and information products. I don't even have a problem with many of the marketing and sales tactics when used responsibly. But I do think the prices are often absurd (insane!). And if you have to use high-pressure tactics and coercive language to get me to buy your marketing program, obviously your marketing program doesn't work unless I am also willing to use high-pressure tactics and coercive language to sell my stuff. Which I'm not.

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Hi Monica!
      That mortgage payment thing really upsets me. And angers me. Seriously?! How is this still happening?!
      And I agree w everything you say in the last paragraph about so much of it being ok and fine and acceptable. But to put these pricetags on info that is available FOR FREE and to be coerced and, yes, brainwashed is criminal. Now I am upset all over again… :)
      ~ Alli

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  • Mkbrouse

    Nice post – found you from the Droid and think you have great points.

    “But (and you knew there was a but….) the “secret ingredient” is not in a box or a pdf download. It takes work. And patience. And trust…in yourself. You will make mistakes. Some private, others public. Oh, and you may not make millions.”

    Being one of them. ;-)

    Thanks!
    Michelle

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Hi Michelle,
      I checked out your blog and you beat me to the commenting :)
      (Loved the title of your post that SD referenced — AWESOME! and LOL)
      Nice to see another “normal” mom, person, writer just speaking the truth about all of this.
      Thank you!
      ~ Alli

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurence-Flynn/100000330685618 Laurence Flynn

    Heh, people that make money telling you how to make money. Some of these guys have new products coming out every 6 months – the time it takes to develop a new scam*cough*product. It amazes me that people don't really that there is no way the person that developed the product could actually have time to use his own system. It's all pure speculation and regurgitated content, wrapped up in a new piece of paper.

    And don't get me started about bloggers that blog about blogging. They are have their own little incestuous circle too.

    Yet another thing that gets to me is the Personal Development industry and the gurus that make cash telling people how to improve their lives. They have all these techniques that they have used to become sucessful – telling others how to become successful. Are we noticing a pattern here?

    Finall, it's easy to make money on the internet if you have a real passion. Don't even think about all that affiliate marketing crap, I mean who wants to be a used car salesman online. Follow your own path, monetise your own passion. Passion and sheer drive and the belief in yourself that you can do whatever it is you want to do. Create your own universe, don't live in someone else's.

    • http://www.YourBusinessYourSelf.com Sue Mitchell

      What you said, Laurence! I love it when someone else can crystallize in words ideas that have been swimming around in my head in a confused mess. :)

      • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

        Agreed Sue!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurence-Flynn/100000330685618 Laurence Flynn

    Ack, double post. :)

    • http://allisonnazarian.com/ Allison Nazarian

      Well, it was doubly good :)
      Thank you for this, Laurence. I agree with everything you say and sadly it is all true.
      Seems like we are in the same place now — instead of focusing on all the crap, we are looking forward and at the positive and the promise.
      As you said, “Create your own universe, don't live in someone else's.”
      Amen.
      ~ Alli

  • http://www.Michelle-Adams.com Michelle Adams

    Wow Alison, you've shown some fantastic courage here.

    You said:

    “Even those few who seem like “the good guys” turn out to be part of the problem. Hard to know anymore who is truthful and who is for real.”

    I'm seeing more and more of this. Just when you think someone 'gets' it, they're retweeting shit, promoting the cousin of the friend of the same old crowd. Seems there's a new kind of way of flying under the radar, of 'not being' in 'that tribe', but really they're just groups who are hybrids of the perpetual product launchers.

    I've almost given up on trusting anyone much and wish I'd never really stumbled upon the Internet Marketing/make money online scene. Not normally one for regrets but it's just not something I can be happy about in any way much. I've made a good amount of money from things I'm still proud of, but I could have been establishing something much more real, much more authentic. I have met some great people though and they help me see that online business doesn't have to be about squeezing $1997 out of every person I can, who I can then say 'should have known better' than to bet the farm and be hypnotized by hypnotic marketing. I've watched footage of these guys say 'but don't use this for evil, you need to be careful with this stuff.' Oh the irony.

    Looking forward to having a wander around here and reading more. :)

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  • http://www.laurenluquin.com/ Lauren

    I hear you! I am currently writing a similar post, just with less words. I like how thorough you are though. It’s all true. My main issue is people looking for a guru. I do not promote that or subscribe to that way of thinking… I want to help women realize they are their own guru. To feel empowered within…

    • http://loveyourmessbook.com Allison Nazarian

      HI Lauren, When I re-read this post over the weekend after Amanda shared it on FB, my first thought was “Wow, this is long.” LOL. But the truth is the truth, and it stands for me, still. It was a very hard lesson for me to learn — a real emotional and financial blow — but one of the best ones ever.

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