Where Did All the Gurus Come From?

Personal Branding

Is the digital age also the era of the guru? I am not sure about you but the one thing that I have noticed is the abundance of gurus in business right now.  Everywhere you turn, there is another person claiming to have mastered the universe.  It spans from sales to marketing and from Facebook to Twitter and so on. Where did they all come from?  Maybe, they were there already and I had not noticed them.  I doubt it.  The internet and social media were steroids to the guru community. It is unbelievable how many folks there are claiming to have the recipe for the “secret sauce.”

The odd thing is that it is industry agnostic and it seems to keep growing and growing.  I know what you are thinking right now.

What about you, Mr. Personal Brand expert?  Who are you to give out advice?

Great question, and one you should be asking.  I do not claim to be anything other than a person who is deeply committed to the space, and insightful enough to capture my experiences and share them with you.  You can dismiss what I say or choose to try something new based on what you read.  Regardless, I will keep writing and sharing.  The difference between many others and me is that although I take what I do quite seriously, I do not take myself that seriously.  In the interim, the gurus will continue to write and pontificate about how they solved the Rubik’s cube quicker than everyone else did.  The challenge that I find is on the client side.  There is so much noise out there that it must be incredibly difficult for customers to discern what is real and what is not.  Well, there is a way to help them and it begins and ends with your personal brand.  Like many of you, I had no idea what I was doing either although I did know what I wanted.

Here are a few random ideas that helped me stay focused in differentiating my brand:

  • What do you have to offer that they cannot get anywhere else?
  • If you are not known for one thing, you will not be known for anything
  • You cannot be an original by imitating other peoples work
  • Take a stand for what you believe in and do not apologize for being “you”
  • Sell process instead of programs
  • Trust is your most valuable currency

It is by no means easy but nothing great ever is.  Stay focused on creating an authentic experience and your brand will resonate amongst all the other hype men.  Good luck!


Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, professional speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations.  He is an avid storyteller who has the unique ability to connect with audiences by inspiring them to be the change they wish to see in the world.  A graduate of Colgate University, he lives Southern CA with his wife and four daughters.  You may contact him via e-mail at devin@devinchughes.com.  Follow him on Twitter.  Connect with him on Facebook and Linkedin. His website is http://www.devinchughes.com/