I can understand how people could think that the online business and success industries are full of scam artists. I mean it is possible that a person may purchase many products from these people and not get very positive results and make the conclusion that what these people are selling is to blame. That they tricked you into buying the material. Instead of getting any results from "self help" it just becomes "shelf help".
Then I started to think about this some more, and tried to figure out of f all of these people really are just trying to trick me. Is it possible that these people genuinely have valuable information to contribute and there is something that I am doing that is slowing down the benefits I get from this information?
I thougt about traditional universities. Well known universities offer several thousand classes each semester. Imagine of the way the university worked was that each professor would send out marketing emails to prospective students and the students just went to whatever class they felt like. Now, this might be an interesting change to the way universities work, though do you think it might make it difficult for the university to have some control over what they are certifying with their graduation diploma?
How would the university guarantee that someone that says they have studied electrical engineering, really has studied the proper courses? What if this student just took one electrical engineering course and the rest of the time took athletic courses? So what do universities do? They come up with a plan and say that there are certain required courses and then depending on the goal of the student, there are other courses for the student to choose from.
You notice that the student selects the goal, we call it a major, and the university supplies the plan. The allows the student to focus their choices of classes. So even though based on the goal/major the student selected they only end up take less than one hundred classes and there are still several thousand classes, this can still mean that these other thousands of classes are still quality classes, they just don't fit into the student's goal.
In the "real world" you don't always have somebody to choose your goal or make the plan to achieve the goal. If you have a job, then your company and boss usually choose the goal and make the plan. To truly be successful, you might want to consider being in control and making your own plan.
The marketing emails I receive, are the marketers trying to make the goal and the plan. Their goal is obviously to sell the product. Let's turn that around and follow the university example. First, work on being clear of your goal. When you are clear of your goal make some plan, even the most simple plan, to achieve your goal. Now with your goal and plan in hand, you can now find out what knowledge you would like to get to achieve your goal. When you know what knowledge you are trying to get you can filter through thousands of marketing pitches to find the few that will be the most benefit to you.
Just like in the university example, if you randomly read and try to follow all of the marketing material you receive, it may be difficult to achieve your goal. Instead, think about just choosing one or two teachers and learn from them. This just means that these teachers fit your goals at this time. All of the other people offering to sell you information, may be offering quality product and at this time, you are deciding that their material will have to wait for another time.
As usual, 1) Be clear of your goals, 2) Take action towards your goals, 3) Review how your goals and actions are working for you, and 4) Persist in your process of continual improvement.