The Internet is filled with people who teach you all kinds of stuff. They are the gurus of marketing, cooking and philosophy. And it's tempting to follow their advice and then find out it doesn't work.
Because most gurus aren't eligible for any following, there are some varieties of gurus. One where she has developed a following because she was successful once. And now she thinks she is eligible to teach how you can be successful too. That one success isn't an indication of anything. For all we know, it might be luck. And even if she used some strategies and there is wisdom, it might not apply to all the other people.
Then there are complete frauds who don't have any substantial success or knowledge. But they know enough to fool beginners. They do this by promising all the success via a shortcut which often involves paying them money. And before you see any success, you find out that their terms had no warranty, and you have nowhere to go for the failure and loss of money. All you can do is watch them lure another beginner into falling into their trap.
How did we end up here?
Gurus have been traditionally at a very high standard. To be called a guru, you must have wisdom, knowledge and calibre accumulated over the years. You teach the textbook and life lessons and draw parallels from life and its meaning. A student would surrender herself 100 per cent to the guru.
And in return, all the guru would ask is guru Dakshina - a small token for her service. The term guru has a deep meaning attached to a knowledgeable person's trust, beauty and depth.
That's what caught the attention of scammy people. The more pious a word is, the more it can be used to scam people.
Create an illusion that 1000 people consider you a guru, and someone along the line will fall for you. And before they can come to their senses, you would have looted them of all their time and money.
How to navigate through all the gurus?
If someone is self-proclaiming they are the guru, then stay aware of them. A true guru won't call herself a guru or mentor. It's the people who seek guidance who will give titles to the people who help and guide.
Always be sceptical of anything and use your experience, wisdom and knowledge to find the gurus you seek.
If there is money involved in becoming a part, then stay away. It's okay to pay for knowledge, but most of the knowledge needs to be free, so you can get a sense of whether or not you need deep knowledge.
Stay away if you are being paid to bring someone to buy anything. It's how cults are started by luring existing members to bring in new members. Affiliate marketing is different from this.
Be open to multiple gurus. Find someone you feel can guide you, and then start consuming their content. You can have multiple gurus at the same time. And if someone feels they aren't providing enough value, leave them mid-way. There are no rules you have to follow on the path to becoming excellent in your way.