Guru Fatigue: Getting Paid Without Being The Wizard

Guru fatigue

I was glad to read this, since it’s stuff I’ve been thinking about as I work on Mediapunk and the hypersigil project:

Truth is, I’ve seen an increasingly level of what I’d call “Guru Fatigue” these days.

For a long time, the wisdom in the word of “making money from what you know” was you had to position yourself as the wizard. The top dog. And, for certain clients and fields, that’s likely still true.

But, over the last few years, I’ve sensed a growing movement of people who are really looking not for the opportunity to worship at the feet of the guru or rulebook, but the chance to connect, to be listened to, to be valued, to join in something bigger than themselves, to be inspired and rekindle hope and to learn something that will take them or their companies a serious bit further down the path than they are now from somebody who’s a serious bit further down that road…who they trust.

They’re not looking for the wizard, but rather, someone real they can trust to get them to the next level. Which, interestingly enough, is much closer to the literal definition of the word guru.

Jonathan Fields: Guru Fatigue: Getting Paid Without Being The Wizard

See also: Brave New Development


  1. Ironic coming from social media guru Jonathan Fields. Perhaps the real trend is to be a guru but portray yourself as “one of the commoners.”

  2. I wasn’t familiar with Fields before. You don’t like him?

    But yeah, if there’s a backlash against “gurus,” the people formally known as gurus will just rebrand. Just like “self-help” has become “personal development.”

  3. See my articles on “authenticity” as the new style in marketing:

  4. Yes exactly. “I’m not a guru” is the new branding for those who play the social role of guru. “I’m just being authentic” is the ultimate character for the professional salesman to play, for he couldn’t possibly be manipulating you to buy from him if he’s just being himself, right?

  5. Mediapunk…Or Everypunk. It’s a fine line…

  6. Like Bill Hicks said, the anti-marketing market is a good market.

    Anyway, what I found refreshing here is the suggestion that anyone can be a teacher, you don’t have to be an unassailable expert (none exist anyway).

  7. It’s not the wisdom of the crowds, but the wisdom of one person in the crowd (I didn’t say that, maybe Tapscott). First, we couldn’t find or connect to the crowd. Now there are too many crowds, too many connections. I think you hit on a big thing here: Web 2.0 fatigue. networking fatigue. Status fatigue. Email – Google fatigue. Or maybe it’s just bloody hot here in the UK and I’ve got election fatigue. Certainly one area where gurus are lacking.

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