Are self-help businesses successful because the gurus are using their own business success principles, or are they successful because the product is so compelling (i.e. people buy hope)?

Anthony Robbins built a large, successful business, which he claims he did because he followed his own teachings. But would those teachings work if his company sold some other product besides his teachings?

In other words, if I wanted to become successful using Anthony Robbins' success principles, would I have to start a self-help company to do it? Or will the principles transfer to other businesses?

asked 14 Jan '10, 03:49

Vesuvius's gravatar image


I think this is a great question - it basically comes down to whether you can really teach anyone else how to follow in your own footsteps, which is what the (genuine) self-help gurus are trying to do.

And I think the answer is less obvious than it might first appear.

I used to think, probably like others, that there is some absolute body of success knowledge which, if you could transfer it somehow into someone else's mind and into their own life circumstances, would make that person as successful as the person espousing that knowledge.

But I think that answer is too simplistic and is overlooking something important.

I hope the following quote speaks for itself:

Those who desire to help others should be aware of the operation of universal laws.

Let's say a great philanthropist with a lot of money decides she will educate the entire masses of planet earth into greater awareness.

She spends a few billion dollars advertising on TV, radio, and newspapers; she hires people who travel to remote villages everywhere in the world, spreading the philosophy that everyone is capable of living lives of great abundance and peace.

What will happen?

Only those who are a vibrational match to this philosophy will resonate with it. It could be on TV and radio every day, but if someone does not resonate to the message, it will not sink in!

That is why it is futile, and unnecessary, to help a person who is not asking for your help. You are not a vibrational match to their desire. If you were, then your help would have been requested, or at least accepted.

Quoted from Essays - Ken MacLean

Also, consider how many self-help books have now been written, and indeed how many ideal ways of life have been espoused through religions, philosophies and other schools of thought.

Has anyone ever come to an agreement as to which is the right way?

No, and there will never be agreement because our desires (and non-physical intentions) are all different, our environments are all different, the life events we have experienced are all different, our beliefs are all different and, as quoted above, the Law of Attraction will only allow you to influence people who are already a vibrational match to what you are teaching.

So, to answer your question, Anthony Robbins' success teachings (which I personally admire and have used myself) will only genuinely help those in the long run who have already (perhaps unconsciously) embraced them.

Mr Robbins might be able to use his own principles to run other successful businesses (unrelated to Self-Help) but, unless we are already in harmony with the knowledge he teaches and, are ready for it, it would not benefit the rest of us in the long run.

To me, that's why the Self-Help industry is onto a long term winner. We'll carry on buying courses, books and attending seminars in the vain hope of stumbling across that elusive silver bullet of success that the creators of those products are achieving for themselves...but we'll never get we'll just carry on spending and spending and spending...

Until we come to a realization that the path of success has to be one that we carve out for ourselves personally - through a personal understanding of how the Law of Attraction operates - we will be wasting our time and money.

Sorry Anthony :)


answered 14 Jan '10, 08:08

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 14 Jan '10, 08:20

The principles transfer to any business.


answered 14 Jan '10, 04:13

shazsays's gravatar image


The thing is that all those guys made their millions selling their self help seminars, books and tapes. In other words they achieved success teaching others to be successes!

This isn't putting down Law of Attraction, it is saying pay attention to people like authors from the old books, Dale Carnegie, Ester Hicks although she did get rich from her teaching only is one of the good ones to be paid attention to as many do. The other thing is when you buy books by people like well known million or billionaires most those where written by ghost writers. Understanding this you can see why it can be difficult getting the real needed stuff, from the stuff that gets in the way and distracts, example: Henry Ford was furious over 16 Laws of Success and had Napoleon Hill change wording that was the key to understanding. Still it is one of the best set of books ever on success.

The founder of Neo-tech Dr. Frank R. Wallace was a millionaire maybe billionaire to start with he built his millions from DuPont in other words he became a millionaire long before teaching others how and his understanding of value teaching.


answered 14 Jan '10, 06:59

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 14 Jan '10, 19:36

I knew Tony Robbins shortly after he first started. He originally built his knowledge from Werner Eckhart, hypnosis and Jim Rohn. Then working in the principles of Bandler and Grinder (NLP) who got their information from Dr. Milton Erickson. Tony also went to Fiji and saw the firewalkers, incorporating that into his seminars.

Formal training began with Jim Rohn. Tony was living in a VW and had hair past his shoulders. He was too big for the beetle and the top of his head stuck out through the sunroof.

He went to an introductory talk by Jim Rohn and was entranced. Having no money, he went to Rohn and asked him if there was some way he could help sell the seminars in excanage for taking one. Rohn refused telling Tony that if he, Rohn, agreed to do that, it would set a precedent in Tony's mind to allow others to do the same. So he told Tony to go get the money and come back when he could pay.

This was an very intelligent action for Rohn.

I got to know Tony quite well, though we have not communicated in the last 20 years. I was one of his trainers and did therapy work under his auspices in Atlanta.

My feeling is that he was not a good businessman in a traditional sense. His greatest flaw was trusting the wrong people. He saw goodness in most people and some let him down terribly.

When I met him, Tony had just bought a Bell Jet helicopter. Little two seat black aircraft. He loved flying it low over the ocean near his Del Mar beach home. Called it "helicopter surfing." He told me that he took a man who applied for a position as his vice president for a ride. Tony told me flipped the copter over and was falling upside down. He looked the candidate in the face and said, "Do you really want to work for me?" The man said, "Yes." Tony hired him. Tony was prone to a 'little' exaggeration, but I am sure something like that happened!

His absolute passion was to lead seminars! Helping -- pushing people to their limits and beyond. He loved doing this even though he paid a price. His back hurt often, he made enough money to live out the rest of his life by the time he was 31, but he kept on teaching despite the pain.

"If you can't, you must, if you must, you will!"

He is a great man. I learned a lot from him. He has considerably more depth than the Infomercials convey.


answered 09 Mar '12, 17:03

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

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