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Too many of today’s aspiring public speakers, authors, and coaches are the slimy scrapings at the bottom of the barrel of the unemployed.

The more likely she is of requiring urgent psychiatric help, the more likely she is to proudly label herself a “Life Coach,” and most “Sales Coaches,” unfortunately, in the words of Del Boy, “couldn’t flog a black cat to a witch.” A few savvy entrepreneurs are profiting wildly from the raging egos of entitlement age stoners by getting them to fork out huge sums of Mommy and Daddy’s money (or their hard working spouse’s savings) for printed books that they will never sell and “book signings” frequented by relatives and friends who feel sorry for them.

Most of today’s “business coaches” are desperately broke characters teetering precariously on a fine line between narcissist and confidence trickster; most have never actually run a business or even enjoyed a random sampling or spot audit of the life of a real entrepreneur. Some may, to their credit, have dipped their toe in the world of business long enough to fail miserably. I suspect a large percentage of them secretly harbour a burning desire to work for the government, where there will be no consequence for their ineptitude and tardiness and where they will earn an income well in excess of their limited abilities and intellect.

And where do these aspiring speakers, authors, and roaches – sorry, coaches – gather to assail one another with their hype and hoopla and imagined accomplishments? At “Business Networking Meetings,” Chamber of Commerce events, network marketing get- togethers and the like. There, they feel accepted as they try to hawk their wares to other broke people and wear name tags and feel important. They can go home with full bellies and tell their long suffering spouses how hard they worked, or return to the basements of their parents’ houses or their neighbours’ coaches and light up their marijuana joints.

If I’ve ever seen a perfect example of “muddying the water,” this is it. Capable coaches are flinging their shingles onto the woodpile and reverting to being entrepreneurs; I’m one of them. Those who wrote books that weren’t filled with plagiarism, self aggrandizement, and lavish padding are deciding to use their skills in their own businesses instead of casting pearls before undeserving, unintelligent, and unappreciative swine. Elvis has left the building, to be replaced by a seething herd of inept impersonators – cheap, gaudy imitations and forgeries of the real thing.

As always, the cream will rise to the top, while the fakes will be forgotten and fade into obscurity. Meanwhile, those with real skills and abilities have moved on to greener pastures.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com

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