Stop Blaming the Gurus

Back in 2005, before I started my first business, I went to an event for female entrepreneurs.

The guest speaker looked like cash on stilettos. She wore a perfectly tailored, white designer suit. Hair, makeup, jewelry — everything about her seemed to glow.

Surely, she could see I didn’t belong there. I tried to make myself smaller in my chair.

The speaker told her rags-to-riches story and offered us the chance to buy her $600 program to launch an online business.

It looked impressive. And it came with weekly coaching calls to ask her any questions you had along the way.

I hadn’t invested that much money in myself since I paid college tuition, but I needed guidance to get my business off the ground. Isolated in my suburban neighborhood, I was spending a lot of time researching and not getting much done.

I gritted my teeth and spent 600 bucks. I walked away with a thick three-ring binder packed with instructions, templates, checklists, and worksheets.

I was ready to launch!

Doubt Sets In

I did launch an online business. And over the next few months, I made zero dollars and zero cents.

Some people might say that stylish business guru ripped me off. But they would be wrong.

I ripped myself off.

A few weeks in, I started to doubt my ability to follow the plan.

I showed up for the coaching calls, but I was too afraid to ask any questions. Surely, I would sound like an idiot, and no one on the call would ever want to work with me again.

Then I started picking and choosing the parts of the plan I thought would work best for me — in other words, the parts that didn’t challenge me too much.

Ultimately, I stopped using the program altogether.

I wasn’t convinced I had what it took to be successful, so I slowly sabotaged my own efforts. I had nobody to blame but myself.

It Only Works If You Work It

I dumped that first business idea and eventually found something I’m much more passionate about. So it all worked out for the best for me — sort of.

I’m sure I could have grown my current business much faster if I’d taken the time to go through the process that first time around.

More than a decade has passed since I met that business coach, and from the looks of things, her business has exploded. I hope that’s true.

Over those years, I’ve taken a lot of courses and completed a lot of programs that gave me results in proportion to the effort I put into them.

No, you don’t need to spend money on every bright, shiny course that shows up in your inbox. But when you decide to invest in a program, complete 20% of it, and don’t get results, don’t blame the person who sold it to you.

You can’t say a program doesn’t work if you haven’t actually worked it.

But you also don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Odds are that someone has already created a plan to get you pretty close to where you want to go.

And the fact is that you are fully capable of executing the plan successfully.

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