When I think about success and motivation, one of the first names to come to mind is Tony Robbins. Success guru to Presidents, athletes, and Oprah, he has in a career that’s spanned over 30 years, accumulated wealth, fame and influence. He’s also a perfect subject for a Profile in Persistence.
Born on leap day in 1960, Tony Robbins did everything early. He was reading at 3, had a huge vocabulary and carried full conversations very young.
When he discovered that baseball wouldn’t be his career, he dove head first into sports journalism. At the age of 14, he interviewed sports broadcasting giant, Howard Cosell. When he was 15, he was offered a job as a television reporter and was on the air until his mother thought the exposure wasn’t good for him and pulled the plug.
At the urging of his high school guidance counselor, he left school and worked as a janitor until he got a job working as a salesman. He was a natural and his career really took off.
When his employer took him to see a Jim Rohn seminar, he was transfixed and soon went to work for Rohn selling seminars. He was 17 years old and earning $3,000 a month. Incredible money for someone raised in poverty.
With the sky as the limit, he opened his own office when he was 19 years old and worked like a mad man to make it a success. It paid off as before long he was earning $10,000 a month.
All of his life he had dreamt of making it big and it seemed as if he had. Until he fell.
Burned out and depressed, he was discouraged to find that the money didn’t make him happy. He began to sabotage himself by missing key meetings. He ate his feelings and gained a massive amount of weight. He went from having it all to moving into a one bedroom apartment where he spent most of his time watching Luke and Laura on General Hospital. The bottom was hard and he was only 21 years old.
As quickly as he fell, however, his turnaround was just as swift.
He woke up one morning and forced himself to go for a run. There on the beach, he deiced to turn his life around. What followed was truly stunning.
He discovered that by taking control of his mind, his emotions, and taking massive action he could turn his life around. When he discovered this, he found a way to teach it.
Using the newly discovered Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP) he began helping others turn their lives around they way that he had. When he added fire walks to his program, he began to draw crowds.
Constantly working to improve himself, his seminars grew and grew. Attracting at first hundred and then thousands of people. Taking every free media opportunity he could get to showcase his skill and showmanship, he built himself an empire.
Late night infomercials in the late 1980’s sold his books, seminars and audio programs all around the world. It’s been said that at any hour of any given day, a Tony Robbins infomercial is playing somewhere in the world, making him the longest running TV act in history.
Tony Robbins is a uniquely American success story that may from the outside, appear to simply be rags to riches story. To say that,however, would be a disservice. To quote his mentor Jim Rohn, “things don’t just happen, things happen just.”
If he hadn’t fallen, he wouldn’t have discovered his ability to transform his and other lives. His perseverance to overcome his challenge is an inspiration to all of us making him a true Profile in Persistence.