gu·ru [goo-roo] – noun
Any person who counsels or advises; mentor, or a leader in a particular field.
Based on the definition above, there are several of us in the seller-financed industry that might be considered ‘gurus’. After all, we post helpful articles on websites such as this one, and offer guidance to those who ask follow up questions. We teach at industry conventions and have decades of experience buying, selling, and/or brokering real estate related cash flow notes.
However, the present-day guru differs greatly from us on that last point. In fact, I have never transacted business with a single self-proclaimed ‘guru’ selling their wares today. This is because ‘gurus’ don’t have decades of practical, hands-on experience: In most cases, they’ve never even done a deal in the area of their supposed expertise. They are hucksters, con-men, snake-oil salesmen – their job is to sell dreams; they convince you their lives are full and yours is empty. Their prescription: Write a check for $15,000, take two aspirin for the ensuing headache, and don’t call them in the morning.
Look around: At any one time, there are dozens of ‘gurus’ playing three-card monty with your psyche during the infomercial extravaganza that inundates cable TV each night. They prey on the insomniacs who can’t sleep for fear of not knowing how they’ll put food on the table next week. They convince you the riches are yours for the taking. They tease you with success stories of people you’ll never meet, showing copies of commission checks that are likely fabricated. They make money not from the business they profess to know, but from the money you pay to learn what they don’t know. (By the way, if you’re not following me right now, I can understand why you’d follow them.)
As the former Editor of a prominent industry newsletter and a practitioner of the note business for almost 18 years, I am asked almost daily why I don’t do webinars, write ‘how-to’ manuals, and sponsor ‘bootcamps’ and ‘workshops’. I have many scripted, smart-aleck responses to that question, and one unscripted, completely genuine one: I’m too busy working the business. Ever wonder how all the ‘gurus’ have all this time to mentor you? Is it because all their actual deals just close themselves? Wake up, people! There are no ‘actual deals’! There is just you and your money, and they simply need to find a way to part YOU from IT! That is their job!
My job is to find deals that make sense and get them to the funding table. If I train hundreds or thousands of others how to do that (and trust me, you’d learn the right way to do things!), have I not just created hundreds or thousands of competitors? Why on earth would I do that if my primary responsibility was to source and fund deals?
I’ll put my resume up against any self-proclaimed ‘guru’ out there. I guarantee I have more transactional experience than any of them. I can also guarantee that any of them who claim to be millionaires got that way not through ‘working the business’, but by ‘working the dreamers’. In other words, upselling the sheeple is far more profitable (and much, much easier) than getting their hands dirty in the business.
There are a select few ‘coaches’ or ‘mentors’ out there who will teach you what you need to know, and at a reasonable price. I know the ‘real deals’ from the pretenders because I’ve likely done business with the ‘real deals’ in the past. They succeeded in the business and are now sharing their knowledge with others. These people don’t call themselves ‘gurus’, because they’re not that pompous and ignorant; they call themselves coaches, mentors, trainers, teachers…you know, words that don’t rhyme with “screw you”.
Before you go and drop several thousands of dollars on a course or seminar you learned about at 2:35 am on Lifetime, shoot me an e-mail. Even if I don’t tell you what you want to hear, I’ll tell you what you need to hear. If you want to learn from actual practitioners in the business, try the products sold on this website. I’ve known and worked with its founders for almost 20 years; I think that qualifies me to give a substantive recommendation.
If you choose to disregard my advice, I would at least like to participate in your fleecing. Please mail me a blank check and provide the approximate balance in your checking account. I will promise to make you rich working less than 60 seconds a day, and show you the best way to make use of the private jet you’re sure to buy with your first of many millions. If you fail, it will be because you didn’t buy my Platinum, Titanium, [insert whatever precious metal you choose here] Package for only a few tens of thousands of dollars more. Regardless, I offer a money-back guarantee that expires the day before you authorize payment. You can’t lose! CALL NOW!!!
About the Author: Clint Hinman is the President of Proficient Note Buyers LLC, a buyer and broker of non-performing notes/loans and REO. With over 17 years of experience in real estate-related cash flows, Clint is part investor, part broker, part consultant, and part plain nuts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.pronotebuyers.com.