More and more, people are going to school and getting degrees, and learning new things. Now, there’s no doubt they may be able to teach you something you didn’t already know, but does that automatically make them a guru?

This is a question that comes up a lot in marketing and business. What makes a guru anyway? What qualifies somebody to be your mentor or coach…or do they need any special qualifications at all?

Honestly, it can depend on who you talk to. Some people look at the credentials of the guru, or expert, as their marketing or business background, maybe the school they went to, and whether or not they hold an MBA in marketing.

Those kinds of credentials are great, but a real guru/coach/mentor practices what they preach. In fact, when you work with a real guru, you should be thinking G-U-R-U…gee, you are you!

It’s can be relatively easy for someone to tell you how to use social networking, set privacy settings, how to post content, and give you other marketing and business advice on properly using social media to make money in your business. But, what happens when you notice that they haven’t actually used their own social media platforms in a week, or a month or more? They’re not practicing what they preach.

The question becomes, and you have to answer this for yourself, do you want to take advice from somebody who isn’t following their own advice.

The point is to start looking at your support a little more realistically. If you’re hiring someone to do your marketing, or taking tips from someone based on the headline “12 million Dollars in 12 Days,” or “Instant Marketing Guru,” be a little critical, a little skeptical, and use your critical thinking skills.

Obviously, the person is trying to catch your attention with the headline, but you have to ask yourself if what they’re promising is realistic or not.

The point is simple. Know who you’re working with, who you’re learning from, who you’re studying or coaching with. Those are your hard earned dollars being put into those investments. If who you’re learning from or working with isn’t practicing the very things they’re telling you will work, then it’s time to reconsider that investment.

A guru isn’t a larger than life personality who yells louder than the next guy or gal. A true mentor/coach/guru is somebody who is walking the walk, not just talking the talk…they are the person who is working in and on their businesses everyday – or who did for a lot of years and is now teaching those concepts to others.

So, don’t go looking for a guru – go out and find somebody you resonate with, that you relate to and who has the experience you’re looking for to work with and learn from.

That’s the person you’re looking for anyway.

Author's Bio: 

Diane Conklin is an author, entrepreneur, coach, consultant, event planner, speaker and copywriter. Diane is a direct response marketing expert who specializes in showing small business owners how to integrate their online and offline marketing strategies, media and methods, to get maximum results from their marketing dollars. Diane also shows entrepreneurs and small business owners how to outperform their competition by measuring their marketing, and strategically use multi-media campaigns to stand alone in their marketplace as the go-to provider for their products and services.

She is the co-founder of Complete Marketing Systems and for more than 15 years has been showing small business owners how to start, build and grow Information Marketing businesses where they take knowledge they already possess and turn it into passive, ongoing, leveraged profits.

Through her company, Complete Marketing Systems, Diane helps event promoters market, plan and manage their live events, workshops and seminars, using cost effective, multi-step marketing strategies that put butts in seats, without the promoters losing theirs. As an Event Marketing & Planning expert, Diane has planned and produced multiple events grossing over $1,000,000.00.

As a business and marketing strategist, Diane has been involved in numerous campaigns grossing over $1,000,000.00 in sales several times in her career.

Diane has proprietary home study systems, coaching programs, and provides done-for-you services in the areas of Social Media, Information Marketing, Direct Response Marketing, Direct Mail and Event Marketing, Planning and Management.

As a speaker, Diane has shared the stage with the likes of Joan Rivers, George Foreman, Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Lee Milteer, Harry Dent, Lee Phillips, Fabienne Fredrickson, James Malinchak, Dov Baron, Peggy McColl, Marshall Sylver, Alex Mandossian, Marie Forleo, Barbara Corcoran and many others.

Diane was voted Information Marketer of the Year for her innovative marketing strategies and campaigns.