We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Self-Help Guru?

By A. Gamm
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term “guru” means "teacher," but the word is generally used to describe anyone who has a profound amount of knowledge and wisdom on a given subject, usually from personal experiences and teachings. A self-help guru is a person who has undergone a dramatic, but positive, change in his or her life and uses what he or she learned from this change to help others better their own lives. Normally, a self-help guru provides insight and advice as well as challenges people in need to help them reach their own life-changing realizations. This is done either in an individual or group setting.

There are many techniques employed by a guru, but only a few are used by the majority of gurus. Within a group setting, the self-help guru organizes meetings and set goals for the group. He or she also offers advice to anyone who requests it and encourages those in attendance to continue on their personal journeys toward betterment. Often, the guru will use this as an opportunity to meet a potential client to help on a more personal basis.

On an individual basis, the guru may be more accessible. Typically he or she will be on-call most hours of the day. He or she will also provide more advice and direction in how the client thinks and acts on an everyday basis. This includes teaching the person how to shift his or her thoughts to more positive attitudes and teaching meditation or yoga techniques to ease the mind and relieve stress.

There is an on-going debate as to what makes a person a legitimate self-help guru or someone who simply claims to be one. More traditional people believe that a true self-help guru must spend years reflecting upon their Inner self and receiving teachings from an already established guru. These traditionalists believe this is the only way to reach a true epiphany that may benefit others. Those who are more contemporary in their thinking believe that anyone who has undergone such a change and can actually use this to benefit others can become a guru.

While most self-help gurus are sincere, there are cases of unscrupulous self-help gurus. There have been cases when a self-help guru has manipulated clients, friends and family to give him or her money in exchange for help, advice or a self-help program. In some of these cases, the self-help guru may then disappear with the money. In other cases, the self-help guru may convince his or her clients to do things that may put them at risk.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By burcidi — On Dec 28, 2013

I think it's very difficult to find gurus who just want to help people. They all say that, but I feel that most of them are just after money. Self-help books are an industry now. A lot of money is made off of them and other activities. Many gurus have workshops and events that people have to pay hundreds of dollars for to take part in. I think a guru's advice should be free for those who need it.

By bear78 — On Dec 27, 2013

@fBoyle-- Of course self-help is when someone helps themselves. But in order to do this, we all need a different outlook on life, tips and recommendations.

Each one of us have a very different way of thinking, we have a different life philosophy and we don't see things as others do. It's very difficult for someone to change themselves if they don't know what the other alternatives are. Some people get ideas and advice from their doctor, others from their family and friends, and others from gurus.

The authors of self-help books are also gurus. A self-help guru is someone who basically shows the way and who encourages a transformation. But only the individual who is seeking help can accomplish this. Without interest and effort, it's not going to happen even with the help of a guru.

By fBoyle — On Dec 27, 2013

Isn't self-help when someone helps themselves? If a guru is helping, then it's not really self-help, is it?

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.