As Tony Robbins winds down a day in which he shared eight full hours of motivation and inspiration with The ASI Show Chicago audience, he focused on the importance of branding. “If you’re really a great brand, people start using your name to explain the category,” Robbins said in the last hour of his presentation. “That’s when you own a market. A commodity becomes not a commodity when you’ve successfully branded your company or your product.”
It was that message that Robbins hammered home toward the end of a day of dancing, jumping, self-revelations, and inspiration. “To effectively brand yourself and your company, you have to do so much more than anybody else does that you dwarf them,” Robbins said. “Every person in this room could do it. You have to outwork people to build your brand.”
To enforce that, he told a story of a guy in Encino, CA, who was struggling to make it as a real estate agent. He was 21 years old and not offering anything special or different than other established agents were offering in the area. And, in his first year of business, he didn’t sell a single home. Then he saw a game-changing opportunity. There was a six-week long trash strike in Encino, and the trash was piling up on street corners, and owners of plush homes were getting antsy. This guy then hired a company to pick up all the trash – at great expense. “He couldn’t afford it, but he cared about the community, and wanted to build his company,” Robbins said.
He didn’t advertise the effort, but dumbfounded and happy home-owners began to find out that he was behind it. His phone started to ring off the hook, as locals offered to pay him back. He wouldn’t accept their payments, but he told them to think of him the next time they were looking to buy or sell a home. “In the next seven years, the guy made $2.8 million in commissions,” Robbins said. “There wasn’t a single home sold in Encino that didn’t go through him. What can you do that’s different and you can build around? What do you want to be known for? Why should clients do business with you versus anyone else? Go answer these questions now, and you’ll be successful.”
Nicole – fitness and dance enthusiast here. So, after a bass-heavy impassioned flurry of club music that had attendees grooving together in groups of three and five, even on top of chairs with arms in the air after an emotional level, Tony Robbins took things back down a notch to talk about how to succeed in an area attendees want to improve.
“What’s an area you feel really strongly about?” Robbins asked the crowd. “Say, ‘I’m a master of whatever it is’ – that’s where your focus goes, and the energy flows.” The point is that if you’re masterful or successful in one area, you’ve got all three “pillars of success” in place. If there’s an area you’re not successful, you’re probably missing at least one or two of Robbins’ pillars.
Time to drill down. Robbins explained the first pillar: First, get laser-focused on that area – name it, be clear about what you want, and define compelling reasons for wanting to achieve it. With his typical bombast, Robbins, yelled, “If you want to lose 25 pounds, say why you want to do it – you want to rip off your shirt and say, ‘Look at me!’
Next, after you really know what you want and are motivated to go after it, get the best strategies, mentor, tools, map, coaching, to achieve the results you want. “I wanted more energy at one point, so I found like the greatest amateur athlete, this guy who ran 1,000 miles in 11 days,” said Robbins, who says that his “guru” learned how to do this from a South American Indian tribe that as a group annually runs 76 miles in a day. “So, he taught me the strategies. I got a play by play what he did, and I got more energy. In the area you want to improve you haven’t found the cutting edge. You need to go make that your drive.”
Finally, kick yourself into action. “Unlock and unleash. Take massive action. Achieve, succeed, contribute and celebrate,” said Robbins, who said that here you might start feeling conflicts like, “I want to make everyone happy but I want to always tell the truth.” How do you solve this conflict? “You’ll keep taking steps back or you’ll just give up,” he said. Robbins said to resolve these conflicts, you need to put yourself into a better state, which is a theme he’s been driving home all day – that is, remember what your mental and physical states were when you succeeded in a truly spectacular way.
“Look, what it comes down to a lot of the time is accepting what you’re afraid of,” Robbins said. “Courage is when you’re scared shitless and you do something anyway.”
July 17, 2012
Michele here, appropriately covering the portion of Tony Robbins’ presentation that has to do with getting past negativity and self-sabotage. I get it because my default attitude is snark, misanthropy and nihilism. According to Robbins, people like me have “life conditions that do not match their blueprint.” Meaning, one’s life’s conditions are not aligned with their expectations. Bring on the karmic cleanse and attitude adjustment, Mr. Robbins!
One attendee bravely stood and announced to the crowd of hundreds, at Robbins’ urging, where her main pain point resides:
“I’m unhappy with my weight,” she said.
“Why?,” Robbins asked.
“Because I’m fat,” she said matter of factly and to the howls and applause of the audience.
Robbins maintains that progress in life is the key to happiness and that we “grow or die.” “You need to change the filter of your life and your perspective from what’s missing in your life and focus on what you have.”
Pain, Robbins says, provides three choices:
“Sometimes not getting what you want is how the universe makes things work out,” Robbins says. “Without making mistakes, there’s no growth.” (Side note: It’s amusing, incidentally, that Tony Robbins is not unfamiliar with “working blue,” and peppers his speech with colorful cursing akin to a sailor on shore leave… He’s sassy!)
Learned helplessness breeds the “Three Ps,” Robbins noted: “If your problem involves Permanence, Pervasiveness and is Personal it can be difficult, but it’s not insurmountable. Changing situations and story telling alters your life condition and things will improve.”
Robbins also said that if one wants freedom in their life, they should expand their blueprint. “You can’t control relationships, but you can alter your blueprint” and manage expectations.
And as I’m ready to sign off and turn over the blog for the next hour to my colleague Nicole Rollender, Tony Robbins – who always seems a little too “evangelical” and rah-rah – won me over with this missive: “Are you unhappy in life? Get over it, dipshit.” Rock on, you crazy giant.
How would you describe life? Is it fun? Is it exciting? Is it completely, utterly lousy? Understanding how you feel about life AND how your customers feel about their lives can actually help you sell to them more effectively. “You can determine how people look at things very quickly, even in a few moments,” said Robbins. “To influence another human being, you must know what already influences them.”
The first step to improving business relationships, Robbins believes, is to figure out what makes YOU happy. If your answer is money, your happiness probably won’t last. “In 2006, at the highest financial level that we’ve seen recently, studies showed people were the most unhappy,” Robbins said. “When I go around and talk to people, my goal is to help them have a life that’s fulfilling. If you’re not happy in your life, this is all a waste of time.”
So what then is a formula to happiness? “Happiness is when your blueprint or core expectations in life match your present conditions,” Robbins said. “The formula for unhappiness is when your life conditions do not equal your blueprint. If you’re massively off of it, you’re going to be miserable. If you’re unhappy, you also tend to believe change is out of your control.”
When you determine the triggers of personal happiness, you then can turn your attention to making customers happy, Robbins said.
Some people buy from you just because you put them in a better state by being around you. Tony Robbins provided proof of this concept when he asked audience members to greet their seat members in the normal manner that they’d greet a stranger. The usual bland handshakes and quick “hellos” ensued.
Then, with U2’s “Hello!” blasting, he made them jump up and down to get their energy up, and then greet those same seatmates as if they were long lost friends or lovers. All of a sudden, the energy in the room changed. One woman bounded down an aisle, hands waving in the air as she greeted a stranger with a warm embrace. Kisses were exchanged by people who hardly knew each other. One six-foot-tall man grabbed a five-foot-tall stranger and whirled him around in a circle, his legs dangling in the air.
“How did that person make you feel?” Robbins asked the crowd, who of course universally agreed that they felt great after the unusually-personal exchange. The point: energetic, happy people are going to give a much better impression to clients and prospects than “the boring people that call on them every day,” Robbins told the audience.
So how to rev yourself up to be the kind of person people want to be around? Robbins had plenty of ideas, including acting out what it would be like if your favorite team won the Super Bowl (which, of course, he had audience members try), and changing your movement (think jumping, galloping, and fist-pumping). Doing these type of exercises before an important sales call or client meeting will put you in the right frame of mind, Robbins said.
“You can be someone who sucks all of the energy out of the room, or somebody who lifts people up by your energy,” Robbins said. “Which one do you want to be?”
“Decisions = destiny. If you want to change your life you have to make new decisions,” Robbins says. But we make three decisions, all subconsciously.
First, what should I focus on? The experience today requires that we have to take control of our own focus. You want to change your life, change your focus, he says. When you focus on what you can control your self esteem explodes. “When you spin out of control, focus on where you want to go or you’re going to hit the wall,” Robbins says.
Second, what does that mean? The moment you give meaning to something it changes your life. One word can change the meaning of everything. “The minute you give it meaning it creates emotion and emotion equals life,” he says.
Finally, what should I do? “If you’re feeling love you are going to respond very differently than if you’re frustrated,” Robbins says. How depressed or excited we are can go back to the three decisions. “If decisions are what shape my destiny more than anything else then what shapes my decisions,” he asks. Well, how you are feeling will determine how you make decisions. If you are in a lousy state, you will make lousy decisions. If you are in a great state, you will make great decisions and you can control that.
It’s all about energy. Energy comes from psychology and spirit, not food and sleep. For example, people who have charisma have a lot of energy. For inspiration, Robbins shares a story of a 72-year-old woman who had been running marathons and iron man competitions beginning at 40 years old. At 70, she vacationed in Hawaii and entered an iron man competition. A huge wind caused her to crash on the bike course and she was badly hurt. So the event organizers changed the rules that no one over 70 could compete. However, on her 71st birthday she went back to compete and they would not allow her, but she said it was a free country and she did the swim, bike and run on her own causing the organizers, out of embarrassment, to reverse the rule.
Therefore, the message: if you can have the same spirit and energy, you can better control your destiny and decisions.
July 17, 2012
Ask people why they fail and they give you a number of excuses: We didn’t have the right people, we didn’t have the right technology, we didn’t have the time. “They’re saying they didn’t have the resources,” Robbins said. “But it’s not a lack of resources that’s screwing them up. It’s a lack of resourcefulness.” Emotions – creativity, flexibility, compassion, vision — are the ultimate resources.
He brought up Walmart’s Sam Walton as an example. He had vision, started small and built an empire. In 1974, comparable retailers K-Mart and Sears were kicking ass and Walmart had a mere 78 stores. Today, Walmart has 10,000 stores and pulls in $444 billion in sales. K-Mart merged with Sears after bankruptcy.
Sam Walton was fearless and fear is the biggest impediment to success. “The biggest fear people have is I’m not enough and I won’t be loved,” Robbins said. “But you can change those thoughts and emotions by changing your physiology – the way your body moves.”
At that point, he told the audience to get up and stretch and go through various gyrations as loud pumping music played. He then instructed them to turn and massage the shoulders of the person next to them. “Most people don’t ever celebrate,” Robbins said next. “Turn to your partner and celebrate like crazy and see if they can outdo your energy.”
The whole room erupted with cheering, jumping and fist-pumping. It was a sales rep’s Super Bowl. “I know it’s not your typical business seminar, but they’re boring as shit,” Robbins said.
July 17, 2012
Backstage before beginning to talk to a packed ballroom in Chicago, Tony Robbins is warming up – very actively. He’s jumping on a trampoline. Smacking his own chest. Punching the air as if it was his mortal enemy. The warm-up routine gets him excited to finally jump on the stage and clap along with the audience to The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” And, when he starts talking to his energized audience, his message is abundantly clear: Buck up and face the truth.
“Good leaders see things as they are, but not worse than they are,” he said. “Too many people make things worse than they are and make up euphemisms for their situations. You’re not big boned, you’re freaking fat. Face the truth like it really is.”
Robbins implored his audience to be honest about their own business – and to capitalize on the current economy. That’s right, he painted the picture of a struggling economy and then congratulated the audience for operating within that economy today. “This economy right now is winter. It’s snowy and windy and you don’t know from day to day whether you’ll be able to get where you need to go,” Robbins said. “Personally, I love winter for business. It wipes out the crap, and gets rid of all the nonprofessionals. This is when you can steal market share and capitalize on the problems of others.”
But to do that, Robbins said, you need to see things a little better than they are – and clearly evaluate the situation around you. To Robbins, success at this point is all based on a strong mentality. This, he says, is what you have to tell yourself: “Winter is MY season. I was made for this time. This is where I come out stronger than ever.”