While working as a part-time janitor at 17 years old, Tony Robbins was broke, barely making $40 a week. Looking to change his life, he splurged on a $35 three-hour seminar with personal development coach Jim Rohn. “It turned out to be one of the most important investments of my life,” Robbins said in his 2014 book “Money: Master the Game.”
“He gave me a way of looking at life that allowed me to not ask [that] life would be easier, but to ask that I’d be better,” Robbins said in a tribute after Rohn passed away in 2009. “He got me to realize that the secret to life was to work harder on myself than my job or anything else because then I’d have something to give people and he really shaped me."
Rohn grew up on a farm in Idaho in the 1930s and 40s and got into the personal development industry thanks to a mentor of his named Earl Shoaff. Rohn went from working as a store clerk to speaking for money at high schools and colleges. He eventually made between $3,000 to $8,000 per lecture, in addition to profits from the videos, cassettes and books he sold. He became a millionaire at age 31, helped others create fortunes of their own along the way, and met Robbins nearly 16 years later when the struggling teenager showed up to a seminar.
“That man, that seminar, that day — what Jim Rohn did was put me back in control of my own future,” Robbins writes in his book. “I took [his] message to heart and became obsessed — I would never stop growing, never stop giving, never stop trying to expand my influence or my capacity to give and do good.”
Here are three lasting lessons Robbins took away from his mentor.