In Defense of Self Help ‘Gurus’ without Certifications or ‘Credentials’

Self-made multi-millionaire Tony Robbins has established himself as one of the top Life Coaches and Motivational Speakers in the world, despite not being in possession of a college degree

I recently had a follower of mine point me to a YouTube podcast where the host was taking some ‘jabs’ at the idea of men and women operating as professional ‘Dating Coaches’ and ‘Love & Relationship Experts.’  One of his arguments was that ‘practically anyone’ can call themselves a ‘Dating Coach’ and/or ‘Love & Relationship Expert’ because these two professions do not mandate that one has any type of official certification and/or college-related credentials (such as a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and/or Ph.D. in Psychology or Sociology).

If you read my article right here on The Negro (click here), I already pointed this fact out.  So, for the most part, he is absolutely correct.  Practically ANYONE could claim that they are a ‘Professional Dating Coach’ and/or a ‘Professional Love, Romance, & Relationship Expert.’  There are no credentials or certifications that are absolutely required for these professsions.   So, this YouTube host will receive no major disagreements from me in that regard.

The truth is, anyone can call themselves an ‘actor’ or an ‘actress.’  No man or woman needs to be in possession of a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in Theatre & Drama from Yale or Northwestern to pursue a career in acting in the Entertainment Industry.

Anyone can call themselves a ‘businessman’ or ‘businesswoman.’  No man or woman needs to be in possession of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or have an MBA from Harvard or Stanford to become a businessman or businesswoman in this society.

Anyone can call themselves a ‘Fitness Trainer’ or a ‘Healthy Eating & Diet Coach.’  No man or woman necessarily has to be in possession of a license, or any other type of formal certification to perform in those roles with their clients.

Author, Self Help Guru, and Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins is a multi-millionaire Life Coach.  Robbins does not, to my knowledge, possess any sort of college degree, any sort of license or certification, or any other type of ‘formal credential’ (see related article here).  Yet Robbins might be arguably the most financially successful self-help guru of his generation.


If anyone is interested in pursuing a career as a professional ‘Dating Coach,’ ‘Relationship Expert,’ ‘Life Coach,’ ‘Financial Advice Guru,’ or any other type of Self Help Adviser, the first thing they need is a valid reputation for wanting to help people, and more importantly, being relatively successful in helping current and former clients.

In a word, this type of reputation for wanting to help people solve their respective problems – and being relatively successful in doing so – is known as credibility.  No man or woman can attract a high number of clients to their self-help advising business without some degree of credibility.

Credibility should be established either before one begins their career, or at a minimum, in the early stages of that person beginning their career.

You take me, for example.  Beginning with 1985 and in the years that followed, I developed a reputation among many of my close friends and former lovers for being exceptional at using verbally smooth and seductive X-rated erotic dirty talk with women, and particularly, in my very first conversation with many women.  As a direct result, I ended up engaging in sexual activities with a good number of women in less than 72 hours after I first made their acquaintance, and in many instances, I even engaged in sexual activities with women in less than two hours after I first made their acquaintance (without any alcohol or drugs being in the woman’s system, and without me offering these women any sort of financial compensation, such as a Call Girl or street prostitute).

Sure enough, by the 1990s, I had many women referring to me as ‘The Master of Kinky Sex Talk’ and ‘The King of Verbal Eroticism’ and other similar nicknames.  One nickname that I received from a former lover and her girlfriends in 1999 stuck with me, and that nickname was ‘The King of Verbal Seduction’ (a nickname which I frequently use in my marketing materials to this day).  I mention in one of my books, Oooooh … Say it Again, that starting with 1999, I have earned money from hundreds of women by operating as a self-employed male phone sex companion for women (or, what I lightheartedly refer to in the book as a ‘phone sex gigolo’).

My reputation for being exceptional at erotic dirty talk and hot, kinky phone sex with women gave me a high degree of credibility with men and women I was acquainted with even before I published my first paperback in 2006 and soon after declared myself a professional Dating Coach later that same year.

I did not need a college degree in ‘Human Sexuality’ or ‘Language & Linguistics’ to develop my penchant for highly arousing erotic dirty talk.  I did not need a Ph.D. in Relationship Psychology in order to help my male clients significantly improve their verbal communication skills and verbal seduction skills with women.

I feel as though I have an above-average degree of credibility in many areas related to operating as a professional Dating Coach, but again, the one area I most prominently hang my hat on is the area of teaching men how to become more ‘verbally smooth,’ more ‘verbally erotic’ and more ‘verbally seductive’ with women. If anyone doubts my aural sex and verbal eroticism talents, all they need to do is listen to one or more of my episodes of my show The Erotic Conversationalist.


The main reason why many self-help advisers seek out official certifications and credentials is simply to reinforce and offer a ‘boost’ to their credibility.   Credibility is everything to a Life Coach, Dating Coach, Seduction Guru, Love & Relationship Expert, Marriage Counselor, and other similarly related career choices.

For example, if you call yourself a “Marriage Expert,” at minimum, you would have to be currently married, and more importantly, be happily married to your spouse.  The moment news spreads that you are having problems in your marriage or your marriage is headed toward divorce, your credibility as a self-proclaimed ‘Marriage Expert’ is going to plummet like a brick being thrown from the top of a 30-story building.

A few careers that usually require some sort of educational credentials, licensing, and/or formal certifications are Marriage Counselors, Divorce Counselors, and most professional Sex Therapists.  Also, if you are dealing with men and women who have suffered a high degree of emotional trauma or some degree of mental illness in their past, it is usually required that you have some sort of license or formal certification to prevent yourself from being sued if that mentally ill client goes out and commits murder or suicide as a direct result of the advice you passed on to them.


In order to establish yourself as some sort of Self Help Adviser or ‘Guru,’ you must offer advice to people that has a high potential to genuinely help people solve their respective problems.  The problem with some self-help advisers, is that many times, they offer advice to people that either does not help that person solve their problems at all, or worse, their advice creates more problems than it actually solves.

Exceptions aside, normally one can tell who is offering valid advice vs. invalid advice by how well that person’s books are selling, and how long they have been in business.  If a self-help guru does not have at least one eBook, one paperback, or one hardcover book published, I would be very wary of that person’s advice.  Because this means that they are probably just regurgitating advice they themselves heard from some other self help coach, and none of their advice is original, and is not primarily based on their own research, their own experiences, and their own unique perspective and observations.

So, to answer the question again, “Can ANYONE call themselves a professional ‘Dating Coach’ or ‘Relationship Expert’?”  Sure, they can.  But the more important questions are, “How many clients can they attract?  How many years can they remain in business?  How many self-help books have they sold to readers?  What is the basis for their credibility in offering the advice to clients that they do?”

Make sure you receive the right answers to those questions.

More about Alan Roger Currie can be found on; Visit Currie’s main website to find out more about his Email consultations, Skype & Telephone consultations, and One-on-One / Face-to-Face Coaching sessions.  Currie also has an active YouTube channel where he offers his own unique brand of knowledge, wisdom, insight, and general advice related to dating and relationships.  If you are a single heterosexual man, and you want advice on how to develop the confidence and courage to be more upfront, specific and straightforwardly honest about your sexual desires, interests, and intentions with women, check out Currie’s eBooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks.



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About Alan Roger Currie 91 Articles
Alan Roger Currie is the author of a number of eBooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks, and is best known for the ground-breaking best-seller "Mode One: Let the Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking"; Currie is also a professional Men's Dating Coach who has worked with clients all over the world, and has conducted speaking engagements and workshops in many cities both in the U.S. and internationally. Contact him at