They say we should all teach what we need to know, rather than just what we already know.
And, like everything “they say”, it can be empowering or detrimental, to yourself and others, depending on how literally you take it.
For instance… the concept of “acting as if”, or “fake it till you make it” can be very powerful. If you “be” what you want, and “do” what it takes to get there, you can “have” whatever it is that much quicker.
This be-do-have principle says that if you want to be a singer, you tell the world you’re a singer, and then you sing your little butt off as you practice every day, and then you become a talented singer who can carry a tune across the country and back, smiling every step of the way as you entertain everyone you meet.
And from a journalistic perspective, it also makes perfect sense. If you enjoy investigating and learning what you need to know, and then passing those gems of knowledge on to others by publishing or producing something they can benefit from, you’re empowering yourself and your audience.
For instance, I’ve been writing a lot of parenting articles lately, as you can see from my portfolio. But I’m not claiming to be a parenting expert… I’ve only been a parent for 10 months! What I am claiming to be is a writer who is passionate about researching and discovering new things that can help me on this parenting journey, and sharing that treasure with others in the same boat.
Yes, it’s “teaching”… but I’m not really the “teacher”.
The disconnect comes when I see people — especially in the personal development field, but sometimes in online marketing too — who are claiming to be experts in what they need to know, rather than investigators.
- They try to teach people how to make money or have prosperity consciousness when they’re flat broke.
- They try to teach people how to manifest a soul mate when they’re single… for the 12th time.
- They try to teach people how to build a newsletter list when they’ve only got 52 subscribers.
- They try to teach people how to get traffic to a website, when they can’t get enough traffic to their own website to make money off the very product that’s going to allegedly teach you how to do it.
This isn’t “acting as if” — being the person you want to become before you’re actually that person — this is being incongruent, and not walking the talk.
As one of our renegade teachers says, “That dog don’t hunt.”
We saw an episode of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where he kept having run-ins with “sample-abusers”, who take too many free things while not respecting others. Well, going too far with this principle would make you a “faker-abuser”.
The difference is the involvement of other people as students, rather than just viewers, and the guise of being a “guru” rather than a “journalist”.
See, if you say you’re a singer — and try to ENTERTAIN OTHERS while you’re still hitting bad notes half the time — you’re a visionary with drive and ambition who will make it, if you don’t give up. Yes, you’re “teaching”… but from the standpoint of inspiring people with what’s possible, not “how to do” something.
If you say you’re a singer — and then try to TEACH OTHERS to sing before you can carry a single note in a paper bag — you’re a fraud.
We know someone who just wrote a book on manifesting the perfect relationship, based on a 10-year relationship with an alleged “soul mate” that she divorced two years ago. I don’t want to learn about how to have a thriving relationship from someone who can’t keep her own together.
We know someone else who was so fed up with the negative thoughts and emotions permeating every minute of every day that he decided to teach people how to stamp out negativity. First of all, he’s barking up the wrong tree — it’s not about getting rid of negativity. Life is about the balance of yin and yang, up and down, black and white.
Secondly, he was trying to to be the “anti-negativity guru” while struggling daily with the nonsense he was preaching. Now he’s decided to go back to what he does best — interviewing the TRUE experts in his original field of expertise.
We also know someone who’s been complaining that he can’t make money “selling stuff” in the “manifestation and metaphysics” niche, which he calls his “true passion”, so he keeps promoting products about internet marketing to pay the bills, even though he hates it.
Hey, I wouldn’t buy anything from him either! If the guy can’t make manifestation tools and techniques work for himself — he can’t manifest a success, or a way to make money from his “true passion” — then why should I take his word on the effectiveness of any manifestation product, whether his own or someone else’s?
Seriously… if HE can’t make that product work for himself, what can I possibly learn from him?
And the truth is, most people can smell that type of fraud from miles away… hence the reason he can’t make money in that niche.
I’ve heard cynic after cynic complain that “the only people who make money with the law of attraction are people who sell products about the law of attraction,” or “the only people making money with internet marketing are those teaching others how to do internet marketing,” but that’s so off base.
While there are some people making money selling information about the law of attraction (or any other aspect of personal development), they’ve usually got experience manifesting other things and successes first.
While there are some people making money teaching others how to make money online, they’ve usually had success selling other stuff online first — and can use themselves as case studies.
Anyone teaching what they don’t know usually gets ferreted out pretty quickly, because they smell like a fraud, and nobody’s going to be able to know, like and trust them.
The bottom line is, congruency is required in anything you do if you want people to feel the passion, integrity and good-heartedness you possess.
If you’re trying to dress a poodle up like a Great Dane, you’re not gonna get very far… ’cause that dog don’t hunt.
But if you’ve got a Saint Bernard with a barrel around his neck, rescuing his 60th victim, you’ll always be showered with gratitude… and lots more opportunity to serve.
Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life!