This weekend, I was reading a post from a self-proclaimed “blogging guru” and it got me thinking…. what does it take to be a guru?
Authority or Guru
The first thing to clarify is the difference between an “authority” and a “guru.” Basically, if you can tell someone more than they care to hear about a topic, you are probably an Authority on that topic. It’s also possible that you are just boring – but lets try to keep things positive. Being an authority implies a great deal of knowledge in that specific area. It is pretty cut-and-dried.
A guru, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. In addition to a great deal of knowledge, it also implies a willingness to help others. In other words, a guru is a teacher. In today’s society, it usually means someone who will teach you – for a price.
So how can you tell if YOU are a guru? Well, it can be a little confusing – but there are a few unwritten rules.
1. Know It All
To call yourself a guru, you need to either have a vast knowledge of a subject or at least claim to have a vast knowledge of a subject. Who can really say when you officially become a Photoshop Guru or a Painting Guru. At some point, you just start using the term. If you can talk about a topic for 30 minutes – and still have people standing there when you finish- you might be a guru.
2. Subject Matter
Unfortunately, you can’t be a guru in anything you want. Certain subjects are off-limits. Basically, a guru is generally an expert in a field of study that is considered good or helpful. For example, you can’t be a Crime Guru – they are referred to as “criminal masterminds” or something like that. You could, however, be a Crime Solving Guru. See the difference?
There is no such thing as a Death Guru or Poverty Guru – they just don’t exist. If your field of expertise is in one of these fields, you probably need to forget about being a guru. Sorry.
3. Stuff For Sale
As far as I can see, the final requirement for being a guru is that you have to have some sort of product for sale. If you are an Kitchen Organization Guru, you better have a book-or even a utensil sorting tray- for sale. People like to buy things from gurus.
Can you imagine meeting someone who claimed to be a Marketing Guru, but didn’t have a marketing book for sale? You’ve got a better chance of stumbling across the Loch Ness Monster.
Hopefully that will clarify things a bit for everyone. If you read over the requirements and you have determined yourself to be an actual guru- congratulations!
If not, keep at it. I didn’t just become a Guru Guru overnight – believe me.