No Guru

First off, I’m no guru.

Every once in awhile I go and visit some of the old blogs that first inspired me to start my online presence. You may have heard of a few of the survivors on the list: Michael Hyatt, Zen Habits, Goins Writer, and Becoming Minimalist. I’ve discovered two things:

  1. Half of the blogs I used to follow have disappeared from the Internet.
  2. Most of the other half are doing the same thing they did 10 years ago.

What were the second half doing ten years ago? They were teaching others something. How to start a business, to be more productive, to write, or to become a minimalist. Some of their websites have changed. They’ve updated to newer and more sleek themes. Others still look exactly as they did 10 years ago, but now offer more courses and products, and yes, even the minimalists offer you more.

The authors of the blogs that have survived and flourished have done so by playing the role of the guru. They’re often self-proclaimed gurus, which smells disingenuous, but in time some may actually become more authentic merely by their continual presence.

I played that game for most of ten years. But I came to a single conclusion. Although by trade I am a teacher, I’m no guru. That’s right. Giving others advice and acting cocksure that I’m correct is just too much for me to bear. Kudos to the ones who can play that role.

Until mid-2021, I still owned and operated four blogs. Cowboy Zen and Anderhill Music are both gone, their remains incorporated into this website. My old Dan Erickson site and my minimalist-advice site, Hip Diggs, will both be timing out in the coming months. Although I saved all my old content, I’m letting most of it go because it was mostly just me telling you what to do, or how to do something. But I’m no guru.

Instead, I prefer this simple space to create and share what I create. It feels more natural. It’s also helped me to let go of the need to write on demand. I’m able to step away from niche and stop repeating myself endlessly. I no longer need to feel special or important. Not being a guru has its perks. More people should try it. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.