How to Choose a Teacher

Whether you want a teacher of magic, marketing, or anything else, check out these seven cautionary tips:

1) When a teacher has a site, consider the following. If the site’s graphics speak to your heart, the offerings sound perfect, the sales pitch is passionate, and the testimonials rock, that is great. I hope it describes my site! But it is not enough. The truth is in the pudding: Is there content on the site, such as a blog that helps you achieve your goals? If not, the classes may be just as empty.

FeatherSquareS2) “$3000 worth of services for only $200!” might represent a great buy. Or it can mislead. What’s the point in spending even $10 on a lot of stuff, if all of it is garbage?

3) Beware cheap and free offers. There are many good reasons people give freebies and low cost services. One reason I give freebies is that I adore my clients, LOL. But some folks’ low cost or gratis items and services are the same ol’ info and tools that never helped you reach your goals.

4) Look beyond credentials to the person and lineage behind them. Degrees and certification might represent immense knowledge and experience, or they might indicate nothing of value. Even some prestigious credentials are worthless. We’ve all seen curriculums that receive a lot of positive attention that is undeserved. Trust your fine mind and gut reaction to determine whether a teacher and their material are worthy of you; your opinions—not credentials—are the final measure.

5) Use common sense regarding negative feedback about the teacher. On the one hand, ignoring others’ experiences can lead you down a path that you later regret. On the other hand, the brightest lights often attract the most attacks, including outright lies. Note whether bad feedback hints at its writer being on an ego trip or having a hidden agenda.

For example, some publishers hire writers to write negative reviews about competitors’ books. I’ve read Amazon reader reviews that refer to remarks and premises in my books that are not actually in my books. The reviewers argue so cogently against what I supposedly said that, had I not known the book’s actual content, I would’ve thought I am a creep who writes dangerous texts. In the same vein, people who want to monopolize and control the conversation in whatever field they teach will slander other teachers; their sheep-like students pile on more slander.

6) Beware the teacher who says—or even implies—that your own insights and experiences are invalid or second rate compared to what she can give you. A good teacher respects your experiences and insights. Some teachers think they are the only gate to knowledge, power, and victory. Ick! Do not bow down to any Grand Poobah of magic, marketing, music, or other field of study! Yes, a teacher might have unique material not available elsewhere. But that is not the same as stating or even implying that other approaches, including their potential students’, are invalid. A good teacher shares her insights and techniques, while also honoring your own, and helping you both deepen them and find more of them.

7) The newest is not always the best. For example, new rhetoric can hide the same old useless—and even oppressive—tools and ideas. Trust time-tested material: Go with someone whose work you trust because you benefited from their books, blogs, or previous services.

Bottom line: Your time and money are precious. Don’t waste either on false promises, dubious bargains, manipulative web design, and haughty leaders.

Hmm, there is an additional bottom line. I do not want you, years from now, to suffer by looking back and thinking that, despite everything you’ve spent on innumerable “amazing” items and services, your life didn’t improve. There is no need to spend years frustrated, spinning your wheels.

Instead, use the above tips. You deserve someone who meets your needs and respects your worth.

If someone you love is looking for a teacher, please share this post with them to spare them heartbreakingly mediocre teachers and Grand Poobahs.


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