10 common traits of pretentious experts and fake entrepreneurship gurus

If you’ve been navigating the startup world for a while, like us, chances are you’re familiar with the topic we’re talking about here. Amidst the sea of ​​genuinely inspiring and eager-to-help individuals, you’ve undoubtedly come across some self-proclaimed entrepreneurship gurus and experts of various kinds. We don’t mean to offend if it happens…

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Pretentious experts and fake entrepreneurship gurus may be everywhere, however, there are certain telltale signs which will help identify them and protect yourself from being misled. Here are 10 common traits of such individuals:

1) They make exaggerated, unsubstantiated claims – Pretentious experts and fake gurus casually drop buzzwords, jargon, or speak of accomplishments without any real proof.

2) They delight in being the center of attention – Pretentious experts and fake gurus enjoy when the focus is on them. They are likely to make grandiose speeches, show off their knowledge and often monopolize the conversation.

3) They make promises they can’t keep – Fake gurus and pretentious experts will promise success and instant profits to motivate you to invest more into their services.

4) They push untested methods and ideas – They do not believe in testing and validating his ‘proven’ methods. Instead, they tend to take shortcuts and present quick options as the full solution.

5) They don’t admit mistakes or accept criticism – Fake gurus and pretentious experts rarely accept they are wrong or made a mistake. They may blame their failure on external factors or use reverse psychology tactics to divert away from the topic or push their ideas.

6) Their tactics are saturated – There are typically many others around doing the same tactics and methods, because the fake gurus have shared it in courses or online programs publicly.

7) They come from nowhere and disappear quickly – Fake gurus and pretentious experts tend to appear out of nowhere, are impressive for a short time, with many successes, but soon disappear before any real studies or achievements can be verified.

8) They focus on quantity, not quality – Fake gurus and pretentious experts move fast and aim to “close the deal”, rather than take their time to go through each step carefully, thoroughly and with precision.

9) They don’t add any real value – Fake gurus and pretentious experts tend to not go into the specifics, often offering vague advice with no concrete actions or suggestions.

10) They don’t emphasize the importance of hard work – Fake gurus and pretentious experts don’t talk about hard work, practice and perseverance. Instead, they are likely to focus more on tips and tricks, implying anyone can obtain success without putting any real effort.

At Ikaroa, we believe in learning by listening and paying attention to the experts in the field and verifying their expertise and what they say before investing time and money into them. Paying attention to the common traits of pretentious experts or fake gurus can save you from the wrong hands.


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