Tony Robbins’s clients have included celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Serena Williams, and Nelson Mandela, but the world-renowned life and business coach has also helped countless ordinary people through his books, videos, and conferences.
Robbins is bringing his own special brand of guidance to Canada at the end of the month through his Power of Success seminar, appearing in Toronto on Sept. 26 and Ottawa on Sept. 27.
Several other speakers will appear at the one-day conference, which will include training in sales and marketing, communicating and negotiating, motivation, and personal development, among other areas.
Today a self-made multi-millionaire, Robbins never went to college. He grew up in a poor family in Southern California in a home he has described as chaotic and abusive.
But it was in that home where he learned the power of compassion. One Thanksgiving, when Robbins was 11 and there was no food in the house, a stranger came to the door with two large bags of groceries and an uncooked turkey in a pan.
The stranger’s kind gesture had a profound effect on Robbins, whose father often used to say that nobody cared about anyone else.
“The idea that strangers cared about my family just completely changed my experience of life,” he said in an interview with CNN.
‘Find a way to serve’
Robbins left home at age 17 and soon took the initiative to invest in himself by spending $35 to attend a three-hour seminar taught by motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn. It was a major sum since he was then only earning $40 a week as a part-time janitor. He soon began promoting seminars for Rohn, and his career grew from there.
In one of his best-selling books, “Money: Master the Game,” Robbins writes that “[Jim Rohn] made me stop focusing on what was outside of my control … and taught me to focus instead on what I could control. I could improve myself; I could find a way to serve, a way to do more, a way to become better, a way to add value.”
He eventually became wildly successful, and his commitment to feeding the hungry and giving back grew along with his success.
For three decades Robbins has supported hunger relief. He currently has a nationwide campaign through the Feeding America network of food banks that aims to provide 1 billion meals to Americans in need by 2025, while urging corporations and individuals to match his donations.
The Anthony Robbins Foundation’s International Basket Brigade provides baskets of food and household items for an estimated 4 million people annually in 56 countries, according to its website.
In addition, Robbins has initiated programs in more than 1,500 schools, 700 prisons, and 50,000 service organizations and shelters, among numerous other philanthropic activities. He has also donated all the profits from “Money: Master the Game.”
‘Paying it forward’
“I am not doing it because I am a good guy. I’m just paying it forward,” he said in an interview with Marie Forleo, host of MarieTV.
Robbins has often said that his early hardships made him more compassionate and allowed him to better understand others and to help them make changes to improve their lives.
“People forget what a little bit of caring can do to inspire, to move somebody, and I don’t even know to this day who fed my family that day, but if they’re out there, if they’re still alive, I hope they see and hear this story and know what’s going on,” he told Forleo.
“That person made a giant difference. It wasn’t just feeding, it was caring, and that’s what I think changes people’s lives.”
Robbins has coached and inspired more than 50 million people from over 100 countries through his audio, video, and life training programs, his website says.