Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins

Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins

After paying $2,000 for a ticket to Unleash the Power Within

After the 3-hour flight out to California…

After fully committing, with a completely open heart…

I walked out of Tony Robbins' seminar.

In this post, I will share why I went to Tony's event, what it was like, and why I walked out. I will also show you what I did after I left, and what I learned from the whole experience.

If you're skeptical of friends who say, "You have to go see Tony Robbins..."

If you're on the fence about Unleash the Power Within ($2,000) or Date with Destiny ($5,000)...

This article is for you.

If you'd prefer to watch a video about it:

"But doesn't everyone LOVE Tony Robbins' events? Are you just a hater?"

I know the diehard fans -- the self-proclaimed Cult of Robbins who "drink the Kool-Aid" -- are already having doubts about this article.

"This guy wasn't truly committed. He didn't do the work, because he was afraid. Now he just wants to act like he's more enlightened than everyone else."

None of that is true.

Btw -- If you hate reading, happy to send you personal day productivity checklist:

Here's what you should know about me…

I have a ton of respect for Tony Robbins. I've read (or listened to) several of his books. I'm amazed by what he does (I recently shared how he gets 1 million visitors per month), and wanted to experience his coaching in person. A lot of my friends are big TR fans, and they all gave strong endorsements for UPW.

I'm not "better than you" for walking out. I'm not writing this because I'm a sophisticated aristocrat who turns his nose up at self-help groups. At many points in my life, I've been a total mess. I've written about depression and addiction. I wrote about the most embarrassing and painful period of my life (then I published a book about it).

I put in the work. I've had a ton of failures, and a few huge successes, because I'm constantly trying new things. Like how I built an 8-figure business. Or how I intentionally gained 40 pounds in 2015, then got into the best shape of my life in 2016. It wasn't easy to eat so much food, or to go to the gym every week, but I put in the effort to reach my goals. (You can read more about my goals in 2020).

I've read hundreds of books and taken action, because I am 100% in on improving myself. (Here are 18 books that changed my life). I've also publicly documented my self-improvement journey for the last 15 YEARS. If that's not "doing the homework," I don't know what is.

I've attended a lot of paid seminars before, and loved them. A few events that changed my life were Gayle Hendricks' Big Leap event and David Deida's workshop. Both were three days long, 5–8 hours per day. I didn't even consider walking out of either. I've even hosted my own seminars! Last September, my company AppSumo hosted our second annual conference, with over 200 attendees. I'm astonished Tony hosts events for 10,000 people at a time.

SumoCon 2016

This article isn't "fear-driven." I committed to the event for seven hours. The only thing I was afraid of was wasting more time. Besides, I believe in helping people overcome their biggest fears -- like talking to strangers, or starting a company. I now have had time to reflect on this experience.

Finally, Tony Robbins is one of my customers. In addition to Appsumo, I run a sister company called Sumo. Tony's team uses our products. Do you really think I'm dumb enough to bash one of my highest profile customers? Hell no. This article is written with love.

In other words…

I'm not hating on Tony Robbins, or people who love his events.

I'm just defending a viewpoint few people ever bring up in public: the negative experience.

Most people are hesitant to talk about experiences that make us sound foolish. We diminish our losses, we downplay the bad stuff -- especially if it goes against the crowd.

Think of Vegas.

Hardly anyone says, "I lost $2,000. It was a waste of time and money."

We always say, "It was fun! Almost broke-even. Hashtag WORTH IT."

For me, UPW wasn't worth it.

BONUS: Get the checklist to build your own Personal Development Day


My Experience at "Unleash The Power Within"

In the days that lead up to the event, I felt nervous. The discomfort was reassuring.

I'm going in the right direction.

The two areas of my life I most wanted to tackle during the event were:

  1. How to better position myself to be in great relationships.
  2. How to create a work environment that continually motivates and excites me.

Before the seminar began, I had a chance to talk with my neighbors. One was a recovering Jehovah's witness. The other was transitioning jobs in Los Angeles. We had a nice discussion about why we were there, what our struggles were, and what we hoped to get out of the seminar.

Then, Tony came out on stage.

Tony's presentation skills were incredible. The guy has been doing this for 30 years, so I expected him to be good. He was great.

Some of the things Tony did really well:

  • He encouraged us to meet our neighbors and keep each other excited.
  • He kept participation super high. He continually asked everyone to raise their hand and say "I" if they agreed. He also let the audience finish a lot of his sentences ("The truth will set you ____").
  • He challenged us: "I'll deliver but you have to promise to commit. If you sit down during the dancing, then you aren't committed, and you aren't going to get what you came for. Play full out with me."
  • He repeated things over and over to drive points home and increase retention. He also backed up his claims with statistics.
  • He told great stories and incorporated a lot of humor.

Of course, there were some things he did NOT do so well…

  • At times, he was all over the place. "Let's work on what you're afraid of… Now let's talk about how to get anything you want… Focus, mean it, do it!"
  • There was conflict of interest. There's a day where we talk about health and nutrition... and then he sells supplements. Tony also mentions his other events, and encourages you to sign up for more seminars during the middle of UPW.
  • He name-dropped and bragged constantly. Credibility markers are essential for a presenter to be taken seriously -- especially with an audience of 10,000 people. And we all know Tony has done some amazing things. But the number of times he mentioned his relationships with presidents, celebrities, and business people was overkill. We get it  —  you have a private jet.
  • Finally, Tony has the weirdest clap I've ever seen.

In the first few hours of the seminar, we danced (a lot), massaged our neighbors, fanned our neighbors, did aerobic exercises, pumped our fists, watched Tony run through the audience like some idol, and other ra-ra tactics.

Still, these were minor annoyances. Those come with any event. None were deal-breakers.

But as the day unfolded, I began to question whether this seminar was a good use of my time.

Want more personal development stories, like what I learned from Tony? Check out my podcast
Tony called on people in the front row and recited their names. Which made it seem like he knew everyone in the audience, though I'm sure they were his VIP ($75K per year) customers.

He called on John.

"What's your issue, John?"

John wasn't loved.

Here was Tony's response:

  1. Everyone in the crowd faces that issue.
  2. John should come up with a new name. "Edward."
  3. "Edward" walk towards Tony like a bad-ass.
  4. Tell Tony you are unleashed (basically).
  5. Everyone in the audience say "I love you, John."

Problem solved.

Of course, no one expected Tony to solve John's emotional issues with some light role-play and applause. The whole sequence was superficial (and entertaining).

Still, John clearly has deeper issues around his family. He wasn't loved enough.

What then?

I wanted John and Tony to go deep.

I wanted to go deep.

I wanted to do the hard work we needed to do.

Then we had to massage our neighbors. Again.

Okay, I understand we need to break through social discomfort and energize ourselves, but I don't enjoy random dudes touching me.

Hour 7…

I looked at the agenda for the next three days.

Nutrition. Interesting.

Then booklet work.

For two days.

I looked back over my notes.

Sure, there were some great takeaways, like...

Dedicate time every week to work on yourself. Reflect upon whether you are growing, and making progress.

What are you scared of right now? How can you move towards that? Discomfort is your growth!

Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.

Look at things from appreciation and gratitude. Instead of complaining about traffic, appreciate that we have cars to get us to places faster.

Modeling is valuable. Study and replicate the people that have already figured out what you want to do.

What's a goal that excites you? What goal would genuinely energize you immediately?

What distractions are holding you back from your goals? Remove them.

These are his quotes I turned into instagram memes.

"No growth in comfort."

"Success is how much uncertainty you can deal with."

"Your worst day can be your best day"

"Complexity is the enemy of execution."

"Have hunger that's insatiable, always expanding."

It finally hit me. Dread.

I was officially dreading the rest of the seminar.

To stay for three full days felt like a self-imposed prison, rather than an opportunity to genuinely grow.

I thought about what I most wanted to get out of my time, and whether this event was the best use of it. I decided it would be better for me to work on my specific issues, one-on-one with a friend.

So, I walked out.

Did I feel embarrassed? Yes.

Did I feel disappointed? Yes.

But what I really felt, more than anything else…


Empowered to make choices about what I want, and empowered to turn down the things I don't.

What I Did After I Left

Rather than fly home, I planned a "Personal Development Day." Here's what I did the following day:

  • Drank coffee
  • Went on a 3-hour hike to discuss personal and professional growth with a friend
  • 90-minute personal development discussion (recorded on video)
  • Ate a healthy lunch
  • Reviewed some of Tony's other materials
  • Read a book
  • 60-minute discussion with my mastermind group, where I shared some of my biggest issues
  • Got a massage
  • Sushi dinner


Get my Personal Development Day checklist


This may have been the best part about Tony's personal development seminar -- it forced me to create my own.

Final Thoughts

Tony has great intentions, a strong presence, and it's clear most of his attendees feel the event is worth the investment. I am in the minority, who asked for a refund.

A quick Google search shows his net worth in the several hundreds of millions. So luckily my refund request didn't break the bank.

For many of his attendees, it seems there are deep-seated issues with a lack of love, and the belief that they are not enough.

If you struggle with those issues, then Tony's seminars might change your life.

For a few days, you will feel loved.

For a few days, you will feel like you are enough.

That's intoxicating, and many attendees (understandably) go back for more.

For my friends, the seminar was overwhelmingly positive and deeply moving. For me, it felt superficial and cheesy.

I don't plan on attending another Tony Robbins' event. But I would, if his team made a few big changes:

  1. More time to talk with the people around us. The most valuable time, for me, was when we shared our lives with each other. We all attended for personal development, and we all faced similar challenges. Bonding over common ground was great, and I wish there was more time dedicated to it.
  2. Shorten the seminar to just ONE day. Less dancing, less hoopla, less fluff... Just get to the meat. We wouldn't need to be "awakened" every 20 minutes if the event didn't take so long. (Then again, maybe it's dragged out to create the sense that we got our money's worth.)
  3. Focus. The seminar felt too general. I know it's impossible to custom-tailor an event for 10,000 people, but more specific topics would have helped.

My good friend Tynan said it best:

"If you never quit, you probably aren't trying enough new things."

I don't regret attending Tony's seminar.

Nor do I regret walking out.

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1,604 responses to “Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins”

May 15, 2020 at 10:57 pm

Hello Kris,
Thank you for sharing your heart and being transparent. I resonate with your thoughts. I used to be a big fan of Tony Robins work and many other self-help gurus. I tried similar substances as you as well. I was constantly trying to improve myself, find fulfillment and love but I realized through some very hard lessons how unfulfilled everything I was doing was making me. Like I could never be satisfied. Maybe one day I would reach a point where I felt great then I’d be down the next and I just kept searching and searching. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and had an encounter with Jesus Christ that I realized what had been missing, what I spent my whole life in search of. I just never knew it was Jesus who was and is the answer. I was an atheist for the majority of my life. I never understood religion but when I encountered Jesus I realized its not about religion. Religious people hung Jesus on the cross. It’s about a personal relationship with Jesus because He is the door to God and God is love. The Bible says we all have a void in our hearts and the only way it can be filled is with the love of God. This is so true. My heart overflows with joy now. I found so much healing from my past, my entire life turned around and now I am gratefully and humbly fulfilled. It is Jesus we search to know. He is the truth. There is so much darkness in this fallen world filled with sin. Jesus never sinned and yet still choose to die for us on the cross to take on our punishment for our sins so we would be forgiven and reconciled back in an intimate relationship with God. I would love to tell you more about Him if you’re interested. I have a YouTube channel. Feel free to check out sometime - Kaely Leeyer. God bless you and may you have a beautiful rest of your night.

May 15, 2020 at 4:10 am

Once you discover you are god, you can either help other people to discover that they are god or you can trick them into believing that they are missing something, which you can give them.

May 11, 2020 at 3:19 am

I agree with you...to solve my unique personal problems ...I need to face them one on one ...not get distracted from facing them....the seminars are good for broadening one's perspective but not solving individual issues

Jean Marie Blissett
May 7, 2020 at 10:39 am

I also left UPW, after day 2, which btw, was NOT hosted by Tony, he doesn't appear, I guess he recuperates. After the firewalk went off at 2 in the morning on day 1, for no apparent reason other than to whittle down the numbers, I was annoyed. And then no Tony on day 2... That was enough for me. Did not need to stick around to be sold supplements. Not bitter, glad I tried it, was in the cheap seats for $500, so felt like i did ok, just couldn't sit there anymore.

Anthea Lutchman
May 6, 2020 at 10:02 am

I Love that you were confident enough to make a decision based on how you felt.
All I've done is watch him and I agree with most of your comments. The swearing did not sit well with me and I think it's disrespectful on every level.
Granted he is good and makes some very valid points.

May 6, 2020 at 4:05 am

I had depression, i was suicidal cause i couldnt find a specific goal in life, constantly changing careers and partners. So I saw the Tony documentary, utube vids and was very inspired. I was contemplating attending his show. The money was 5K & plane tickets, so i went back to Tony's story. He had a broken background and his success story was being a speaker and these seminars. His business plan seemed to be increasing ticket prices and attendance everytime. By doing that, he appeared to no longer focus on you and your problems, but on a mass of people. It felt like an evangelist gambling on the majority being happy with the show and non believers wont rise, if they do they get the ticket money back. I felt Tony is running a perfectly hidden pyramid scheme. Even though his videos online really helped me, they were edited and selected among hours of footage. I feel he has calculated perfectly the number of money returns in order to be able to still grow and scale as a business. I feel only success stories of the audience will rise, but not the ones who didnt get anything. I also dont feel like i have to use disclaimer, so Tony believers dont get angry as you seem to do Noah. I felt you were really defending yourself, as if anyone who just disagrees should explain themselves.
In conclusion, Tony worked for me from a distance without paying and also seeked other ways to become aware of who i am, what do i have to work on, use all my skills and turn my mind in a more positive way and move on.

May 11, 2020 at 8:17 pm

I found that the teachings of Ramana Maharshi are far better for focusing and finding the true self.

April 26, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Always interested to hear other opinions about TR. I went to Business Mastery...loved it, also hated it. For a lot of the same reasons you list: constant up-selling, name dropping, insecure people looking outside themselves (i.e. at Tony) for help with their unhappy lives... But at the end of the day (5 days actually), the takeaway was the same as yours - it's up to me to improve my self/business/relationship/etc, nobody is going to do it for me. Tony is a champ at driving that home and has been from the start. But in the same way Tiger Woods has a swing coach, people should not be ashamed to seek help outside themselves from time to time. Keeps your edges sharp.

Bill shadrick
April 24, 2020 at 10:34 am

Dang, why does everyone need help. I love my life. If something knocks me down I just get up. And learn from it.

Justa guy lockeddown
April 22, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Why require a email to comment? Commerce reasons I suppose. I did like the article.
Always was interested how Robbins could milk so much money out of insecure people (Most people are insecure to one degree or another) Again I liked the article

Natasha Kimberley Richardson
April 22, 2020 at 10:46 am

This is such an informative honest and revealing post. THANK YOU for sharing all you have done. Ive never wanted to go to one of his workshops but always been curious to how he justifies charging the amount he does relative to the 'takeaways' and lessons he teaches. Thank you. Natasha x

April 18, 2020 at 5:27 pm

I just read your story after Watching I Am not Your Guru and I think Tony has quite evolved since the days of promoting how to break through to a financial funnel of success. But I believe for those who can extract the juices from his beliefs and apply them, there is a ripe for success. What it taught me was that I can’t take a extroverts, high energy experience and ever own it. I am an introvert and alone time to energize, not collaboration. Which means my mentors need to be more in line with how my system functions. While harder to find them because there don’t gather, they live and are quite successful at leading very successful lives and do offer some exposure to their systems through books, civic callings,....First and foremost however, for me is asking what are my moral values, what line am I not willing to cross to accrue money. It certainly helps pilot you on careers that you can cross right off your list. And thereby expands other arteries for consideration. Good luck on your journey, made it consist of many areas of success.

April 18, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Thank you for having the courage to post this.
I have a feeling I would feel the same as you.

I went to Dr. John Demartinis event, the breakthrough experience, and a lot of the things you say about Tony resonates with Dr. John, like the name dropping and plus Demartini has no compassion (Unlike Tony).
He threw around statistics of his work, and I knew immediately he was lying because his method didn't work on me and I did the work and went to the front of the class for a one on one session because I wanted my moneys worth.

John, like Tony, was also trying to sell more of his stuff throughout.
Another thing I think these guys have been worshipped like idols and treated like Demi God's, which they are not, but it has gone to their heads regardless.

I think it's better to take advice from people who are less celebrity like than they are.

April 18, 2020 at 2:29 pm

Interesting how you utilized one of his well understood indirect techniques, basically critiquing, but no I’m not critical, I’m empowering change, to also promote yourself. Kinda fun. I’m not criticizing you for doing that ?. I think I enjoyed your video more than I would ever enjoy a seminar. Good luck. But you’re not getting an email that I actually check. Sorry.

Adam Fachler
April 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Riveting read. Kinda felt like I was there. And also: around three years ago, the same thing happened to me at one of Jeff Walker’s events. Like word for word. As a former educator, I thought the first day was just a string of missed opportunities for deeper conversations and problem solving. By Day 2... dread. So, I skipped it. Next day, I hiked to the top of a nearby mountain with a buddy, got a massage, and wrote an outline for what later became a book.

Think there’s something about sitting ass in chair for all those hours that makes people immediately desire to climb mountains and get massages? ???? ??? for the perspective.

April 17, 2020 at 12:43 pm

That string of ??? Was “todah rabah” But I got fancy with Hebrew letters that don’t render. Thanks for the insight as always.

Dina Hurtado
April 15, 2020 at 6:01 pm

Did you at least get your refund back?

Noah Kagan
April 16, 2020 at 9:41 pm

I did.

Cedric wood
April 7, 2020 at 10:53 am

Your title caught my eye. I always thought maybe his seminars would be fluff. I loved your take on it and what you said about it. You and Tony have inspired me. Thank you

April 3, 2020 at 12:56 am

Tony did deliver at the end, either intentionally or by coincidence. The fact that you got that insight in the middle of his seminar when you had a negative experience, for me it is worth all your money paid regardless if you enjoyed the seminar or not. Had you been sitting at home, it is very likely you will be the same person. Jim Rohn said it best: be a student of life, never miss anything!

Susan Provenzano
April 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Hello writing to you from Italy. I always wanted to go to one of those seminars but always thought it would be ..rather difficult for me to get a lot out of it...I sish I had the money to get him as a personal coach. I bet that would be really life changjng. So I agree with you. I would not go to one of those...Even if I would like to see him in action. I think I would feel much like you did and walk out.. P.S. not sure I would like all the massaging from strangers either..I know thats the point but...nah.

Richard Castro
April 1, 2020 at 8:07 pm

Just read your write up on your experience with TR seminar.
I’ve not taken his but have been curious for a long time to get solid objective feedback
I participated in PSI Seminars many years ago and was enlightened to say the least.
Let me know if you would like info as I found more impacting on me than my college experience etc etc I’m sure you get it.

Wayne Trout
March 25, 2020 at 5:12 pm

One very valuable thing came out of this for me. I need to schedule personal development days like the one you mentioned. Doing this with others of a like mind would be a great adventure and allow for that get to really to connect with others you were talking about that you wished happened at Robbins event. If everyone picked a place and kicked in 2k imagine the weekend you could plan and how much you could grow, together and personally. Anyone else want to meet for an event like this? Noah? Fellow Tacoheads? Noah, I'll buy your plane ticket and we all come up with the place and full agenda.

Richard Arnoldy
March 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm

Have read through the reply’s below ——- seems like these replies are from attendees who before attending the seminar didn’t have a clue where to start or how to be successful in their personal life —- so nothing lost by attending. Sounds like WANT TO BE’S WANTING TO BE SOMEBODIES and can’t figure it out yet.

Brian Joseph Kelsch
March 23, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Ironically, a Tony Robbins "event" is for people who don't want to face themselves or their demons or problems. The whole concept is about deflection and denial. How do you face yourself jumping up and down, walking through hot coals or dancing? It's all about distraction and distancing yourself from who you really are.

And it's the ultimate validation in this culture of group think and group everything. Nothing gets done in a committee contrary to what big business and the self help gurus want you to believe. But this is a very unpopular idea only put forth by us introverts and those who see that the emperor truly has no clothes on.

Sonja Froneman
May 15, 2020 at 9:46 am


Brian Joseph Kelsch
March 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Dancing and massaging strangers? I would rather have root canal. The public will always be drawn to charismatic extroverts because everyone wants to be like them, charging huge amounts of money to massage their own egos. And everyone hopes that the group experience will "heal" them and everyone hopes that whatever superpowers this man has will rub off on them. Doesn't happen.

In psychiatry this is all called "magical thinking" and Mr. Robbins excels at tapping into this. As the old sales adage goes "don't sell your product, sell yourself" and Robbins does this perfectly. He does have the greatest job, he gets validation from the masses along with a huge paycheck. Sounds like heaven to me.

March 27, 2020 at 5:07 pm

You should have the root canal. 🙂 Rest of us will work on ourselves either at Tony's seminar or thru other teachers. My life is 1000 % better because I attended that seminar AND THAN $10k MASTERY UNIVERSITY and made seven figures since those changes. He is just another teacher but works for millions and not because they all did not have enough love in your life... I do personal development days every day not one day because of people met at that seminar. I am glad it did not work for you so you found another teacher because i would be worried if it worked for millions and you. Good luck as with your narrow perspective, you may need it.

March 22, 2020 at 8:22 am

I think its much more in the struggle alot of people dont want to be real or honest because it hurts and it never really accomplishes anything. Ill bet anything that really has made improvements or accomplished anything took some major perseverance and pr breaking down some walls to do so. I hate when im being honest about something and someone says to me your just so negative I mean really because Im telling the truth most dont want that. You have some areas you want to do more in and accomplish and chances are likely you may have to overcome and break down some major obstacles to do so it could be painful but you may also become the master of your environment in the process.
The truist of friends mentors and others who want and are willing to help will be honest and even lend a hand to get you there with real action or input

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling - 1865-1936

William Makary
March 21, 2020 at 4:39 pm

very interesting way of thinking. thanls for sharing your feelings and experiences.

Andres Salom
March 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm

It takes courage to do what you did. And most important is that sense of fulfillment that makes you realized you did not need it to be there. That was what you were looking, that’s and you found it.

Donna De Lisser
April 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

But it cost him $2000k to find that out. ! Hope he got a full refund

March 14, 2020 at 10:01 am

You have taken many personal development courses already and you are probably ahead of many people. You are almost in mastery so in order for you to enjoy UPW, you must dig deeper to get more out. Repetitions is the mother of all skills. Your Goal is to get so good at what you are doing so you can get as many people as Tony one day. Your current audience is 200 and your goal is learn how to increase that. ???

Michael Bachmann
March 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm

I appreciate your thoughts and experience that you shared. I was set to attend UPW in San Jose next week. I canceled because my partner does dialysis and they urged him with the Corona Virus not to be in such a large crowd. I thought about going without him however it was his Christmas present and if I went and caught the virus and brought it back to him it could kill him because Of his immune system.

I have been to Date with Destiny and Business Mastery 1 and loved every minute of each event (except being cold).

Jim Warren
March 6, 2020 at 2:27 pm

I attended Business Mastery and it really sucked. I have seen Jim Rhon 2x, Tony previously 2x, then paid $6k for complete non-sense. Dancing, singing, crying. Really? I'm a grown-ass man w/3 companies looking for a kick-start. Now I have asked for a refund and my 'coach' wants to schedule meetings instead. When?

The Light Warrior
March 16, 2020 at 10:20 pm

For a man with 3 companies, a psychologist might ask you what void you are trying to fill?

I saw a few clips of Tony, after friends raved about him. All I saw were his choppers, and I sensed exactly what he is - a con artist. Sure, he has some good advice, but nothing you can't find elsewhere, from better teachers (and some books). Sure, he draws lots of paying customers, and lives like a typical wealthy materialist.

So did PT Barnum.

This isn't enlightenment, nor happiness, nor success - it is only materialism.

I'd prefer listening to Bentinho Massaro or James Gilliland or Maryanne Williamson. The materialism bent is so out-of-phase with spiritual development, and isn't that what we all truly need?

I'd like to see the data on how many lives Tony has impacted (and to what dollar amount). I suspect his pitch appears much less compelling in the hard light of fact and logic.

Sonja Froneman
May 15, 2020 at 9:52 am

You are enlightened! Agree!!!

March 3, 2020 at 9:28 am

Thank you for writing about your experience. I did not walk out of my UPW seminar, but I share similar sentiments about the experience. In addition to what you mention, my husband did not favor the idea that the program ran late into the night. I, too, admire and read Tony Robbins material. I even used one of his coaches, not once but twice. I’m now getting a masters and am a certified life coach as well. Mind you, UPW is included in the hefty fee for a coaching Pkg. I paid for it, but I still won’t go. I Don’t like jumping around and massaging people zi don’t know. And Tony wasn’t even in the room; he was on a screen. I think Tony Robbins is fantastic! I’m just not a fan of the seminars. Thank you for your post.

Tracy Bleau
March 2, 2020 at 8:15 am

I have never attended any seminars ever. But would love to hear more of what u have to say. I am from Ontario Canada. Just need to know where to start? A book ? A seminar ? Etc. Thanks for article. Tracy

February 29, 2020 at 10:28 pm

Non-believers May think I am crazy but trust me. All of your life issues can be solved through Jesus. Nothing else works. I’ve been through it all and he and his teachings were the only solution.

Thurman Todd
March 22, 2020 at 3:05 pm

You are right about that. Being saved by Jesus Christ, was THE life changing event for me. I'm not rich, but I'm happy. My riches are not of this world. He completely changed me, and now I have peace, faith in my future, appreciation for every day of life.

April 3, 2020 at 1:27 am

That is absolutely true! all answers we seek in this life, have already been addressed by God and searching for answers elsewhere is a task in futility

Richard Salerno
February 27, 2020 at 9:03 pm

Very interesting read was just on the live and began thinking the same thing hype like bust a move or youlll miss da boat- going to let it sail

john charos
February 26, 2020 at 10:16 am

i am still waiting on a refund from november

March 2, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Hi John charos, did u ever receive your refund and if so please share any advice you may have. I am struggling to get them to agree to refund an upcoming event. He might be great but my experience with his client services people has been pretty excruciating. I regret ever making that purchase 100%.

Steve B
March 13, 2020 at 5:20 pm

I attended UPW in 2012 in London with my (now) ex-wife. She wasn't really into the idea, and told me to sell her ticket in the weeks before, but then I heard a voice in my head which said "Sell BOTH tickets." I had every Tony recording and book, listened and read for several years, got me out of a deep hole of depression etc. This was the first UPW in the UK for years, and I so wanted to go, together, do the firewalk... I ignored the voice.

We went, and on day 1 he not only started swearing, something he virtually never does on all the recordings I have, but he was blaspheming and putting swear-words into the mouth of God. My ex was very religious. "Who's the best trainer? Gaaad, cos when you say you got nothing left, he says, 'F**k you, give me four more!'" Really didn't go down well.

To try to save both the marriage and my sanity, I went and asked for a refund. Had to deal with an extraordinarily rude Australian guy, who said if we surrendered our manuals we'd get a full refund.

Do you think we ever got even one penny...?????????

It's a business. A machine. It's ruthless.

The blasphemy and swearing didn't bother me, but the jumping up and down, getting in a 'peak state'? That's not me, and it seemed to sit badly with a lot of people. "What do you love?" Some people shouted 'money' or 'me'... The answer that came to me was 'Peace and quiet.'
"What do you hate?" 'This noisy sh*t'.

I have tried to listen to the old recordings of Tony several times in the years since. Can't do it. It all feels incongruent now.

I'm sure people like Tony, Richard Bandler, John La Valle etc start with good intentions. By the time they're successful, most of them are starting to believe their own hype.


Michelle K.
February 22, 2020 at 12:45 am

Fantastic! I loved your story/explaination/review.. thank you for writing it, so clearly . So amazing ... I have not , and never will attend. Now, I know why.

Sam Dauniika
February 21, 2020 at 4:43 pm

There’s one thing you didn’t mention also, and that is his language? Language is a sure fire indicator of ’superficial’. The true seeker of truth will be conflicted with the shocking language. He never spoke like that back in the day. For example, when one goes back to look for the derivative of the ‘F’ word! ANY profane word! that word is the most insulting word in the human dictionary. Profane words did not originate from men of integrity, who were ethical, honest, spiritual giants. No good can come from that word. It’s like teaching a true principle of happiness from a contaminated vessel? This is what I feel you felt. The minute I hear that language from a teacher, I’m out. I do it so my kids know the true character of loving people who can assist them with their heartfelt issues. It’s one of those blatant issues of human behaviour where now we are calling ‘good’ bad and ‘bad’ good. It can never be because there are laws of behaviour that can’t be broken.

Levi Knox
March 16, 2020 at 4:14 pm

It’s also said that people that don’t swear are hiding something or aren’t genuine. They’re words. Get out of here with that crap. Who cares if people cuss. If it isn’t coming from ill intentions then it’s not harming anyone.

Sam Dauniika
February 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

There’s one thing you didn’t mention also, and that is his language? Language is a sure fire indicator of ’superficial’. The true seeker of truth will be conflicted with the shocking language. He never spoke like that back in the day. For example, when one goes back to look for the derivative of the ‘F’ word! ANY profane word, that word is the most insulting word in the human dictionary. No good can come from that word. It’s like teaching a true principle of happiness from a contaminated vessel? This is what I feel you felt. The minute I hear that language from a teacher, I’m out. I do it so my kids know the true character of loving people who can assist them with their heartfelt issues. It’s one of those blatant issues of human behaviour where now we are calling ‘good’ bad and ‘bad’ good. It can never be because there are laws of behaviour that can’t be broken.

February 18, 2020 at 7:08 pm

I agree with you on a lot of what you have to say, I got through the 80’s because of Awaken the Giant cd’s,, my son’s hated it because they had to listen in the car, yet they remember the meat of the lessons to this day,,to me that’s phenomenal! I was at a one day seminar and suffered tremendously with the jumping and bouncing, I would like to go to a three day seminar, but 5-10 thousand people sounds horrible even if I was healthy, never mind suffering with fibromyalgia and bouncing and suffering
If he can reach through and help 100 in the 10,000, that seems like an incredible accomplishment ! I admit, I am drinking a watery glass of the Koolaide?. I have just downloaded a program to work on at home,, it works just as well without the noise. Kudos for your candor and honestly. Cheers

February 24, 2020 at 7:28 am

Ok everything you said came right out of my mind. I went but my ticket was 10000 in Las Vegas and I got a d iij account because my mom spent so much so it was ONLY 5000. Anyways I was the only one that walked out for a refund.. it's a joke. I can read people so good and the reason he attracts people is because he has more money and acts like it!!! But what really gives him the edge is all the drugs and hormones dude takes that we csnt even afford to hear the names of. I'm almost certain I saw him take sever bumps of coke or something more designer everytime the lights dim. It's a fckn joke. If I was Tony ide go ahead and become a dictator. Lol. Anyways he got ahold of something because way later in life he grew like 3 times his size and that's when the money started flowing. People are dumb. It was prison for me too.

February 16, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Perhaps people need to keep in mind that:

1) Tony Mahavoric (Robbins) is the head of a corporation and the reality is it requires to earns billions per year and requires a constant influx of money coming in to cover huge expenses.

2) Tony's corporation pays him a big chunk of money per event personally which is needed to support his luxurious opulent lifestyle so that he does not look bad in front of his billionaire friends... Friends such as accused sexual assault rapist Stephen Wynn, the Vegas casino mogul who got started thanks to the Detroit Mafia, as per this report and others: https://gangsterreport.com/steve-wynn-the-mob-casino-tycoon-walked-on-wild-side-in-early-days-building-his-gambling-kingdom/

2.1) Why does Tony hang out with people who have alleged ties to the Mafia?? Because they don't have any money? Or the opposite?

3) Tony, who called Wynn a 'true friend' in 2011, defended Wynn in 2017 after he was accused by dozens of women of sexual assault, abuse and rape. Tony tried to characterize the #METOO movement as a vehicle for women to get 'significance.' Did he do this in order to discredit sexual accusations against his network that he has been 'working' to 'fit-in' for many years?
Reference: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/10/tony-robbins-praise-of-steve-wynn-sparked-his-metoo-tirade-in-san-jose-says-woman-who-challenged-him/

4) Mis-characterising the @METOO movement back-fired and triggered an investigation into Tony, initially published by BuzzFeed and other media, with several claims by his former staff, assistants, a head of security named Gary King, of inapropriate sexual behavior, plus accusations of forced sexual touching. Just recently in 2019, accusation that he molested an underage 16 year old teen when he was 25 years old, using his power and authority as speaker to manipulate this girl at a teen summer camp. Tony responded by suing Buzzfeed in Ireland where defamation cases are famous for being easy to win due to favorable laws that benefit those who have the financial resources to hire the best lawyers.

5) Tony's quote about success could provide hints as per his alleged behavior:
“Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” ? Anthony Robbins

6) In his book "Unlimited Power," Tony wrote: "I like to use the term W.I.T.—Whatever It Takes. Successful people are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed."

7) A question one wonders: If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, what does unlimited power result in?

8) Due to the major expenses of running his companies, everything that takes place at Tony's events is to predispose the audience (paying customers) to purchase even more products, events and other services.

9) Sales staff are trained to push prospect customers to borrow money and get into debt if they don't have the money to buy more products/events/services because Tony and his staff use affirmations to make themselves believe that 'the value of the material far outweighs the cost.'

10) Think of the purpose of making people dance, jump up and down, massaging each other, etc., as not unlike tenderizing and a steak before you cook it. WHEN PEOPLE ARE FEELING GOOD, THEY ARE IN WHAT TONY CALLS 'THE BUYING MOOD' - this is something he teaches publicly and not a trade secret.

11) Tony has learned from Jim Rohn and other masters, and has packaged all of their teachings in a way that offers value through his products/events/services, which have benefited many people.

12) Maybe Tony is right that the dozen of women who accused Stephen Wynn all lied or mis-remember being sexually abused (as he insinuates) and that the women and men who came forward about Tony's abuses, including the allegation of molesting an underage teenage girl, also all lied.

13) Maybe Tony is also right that the #METOO movement is full of ungrateful "victims" who seek 'significance' through revenge and the real victims are the men being accused (Tony appears to have little respect for 'victims' because he seems to see them as weak, lacking confidence -- does Tony see himself as a 'victim' of false attacks?).

14) Or maybe Tony is wrong that all these dozens of women lied in his insinuations about being sexually assaulted by himself and Wynn. Maybe most or all are telling the truth about the core of the abuse they say they experienced. Readers can review the allegations, the defensive positions and decide for themselves.

15) Even if Tony would have done what he is accused of doing, why would that stop anyone from attending his events, buying his products and purchasing his services?
* Does Bill Cosby's alleged abusive behavior mean that we can't watch reruns of the Cosby show anymore?
* Does the alleged sexual assault and rape accusations against his other good friend Donald Trump mean that you should not vote for Trump if you find he is aligned with your core moral values?

16) Despite rape accusations, millions voted for Trump, and thousands will continue to attend Tony's events despite his own sexual misconduct accusations. The readers can figure out why sexual abuse is acceptable today, and decide for yourself what is most empowering and most aligns with who you are.

17) Why would Tony be involved with Operations Underground Railroad, a project to rescue enslaved sexually abused women and girls?

19) If Tony is guilty of the crime and other allegations of sexual misconduct, should his work in rescuing sexually abused women and girls be seen as a sort of indirect Restorative Justice? If he is guilty, should he be forgiven even if he bullied his former head of security Gary King with threats of lawsuits, as he is now suing BuzzFeed, and may sue his accusers? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice

20) Why should those who are wealthy, and are well connected like Tony (est. $500 million plus) or billionaire Stephen Wynn, not be able to enjoy their success as per what Tony teaches below - should conscience and the lawfulness play a role?

“Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” ? Anthony Robbins

February 25, 2020 at 1:54 am

Incredible that you actually had time to type that. Wow just wow. Did you attend the seminar then? It looks like you accomplished quite a bit here?

February 29, 2020 at 7:34 am

Great expose
One big error
Trump has been accused of everything except rape He was accused of adultery with a stripper
Also most of what T R says is not a path to higher consciousness or social evolution, if that is what he pushes.
It’s the opposite.

March 29, 2020 at 3:02 am

Trump was accused of rape by his now ex-wife Ivana Trump.

March 3, 2020 at 3:40 am

@Morgan: Honestly not knowing someone personally, it's all "assumption" and repeating second-hand information about someone. (slander and or defamation of character).

I don't know the people you personally mentioned, so I'd never slander their names or reputation, regardless of fame, wealth or lack thereof.

Next, Tony has worked for decades to build both his wealth and his reputation, and like anyone with money, power and wealth, there are ALWAYS going to be swindlers trying to take a piece of their pie.
Especially, in a sue-happy country, where justice is not sought or defended, but rather the lawyers practice the art of deception and lies, usually making a mockery of justice.

I've never attended a TR Event, but I'd love to and will one day soon. The same with Dr. John Maxwell and even Grant Cardone and several of the other greats.

The problem most people fail to realize is, you can't help the masses with their personal, financial or business issues specifically, but most people have, had, or know someone personally who've dealt with most of the issues he helps with. (FYI; we have a duty and responsibility to apply the things and methods he shares, otherwise, you'll never be successful).
He does his events this way, SO you have a topic of connection and relationship.

People can go to any event and have a great time or poor time, it's your own personal feeling, perception, and lens. You go in expecting your life which you are very unhappy with to be miraculously changed, chances are, it's not happening.

You go in, expecting to learn something and even something new, to find value and to have a good time, you're going to get your money's worth and feel they should probably be charging double or tripple what you paid out. Everyone has a different lens, perception, and opinion, if you keep it positive and work to have the best experience, that's what you'll generally receive in life.

You manifest the things in life you experience, whether good or bad.

Jo Kur
February 15, 2020 at 1:21 am

I think you are better off by listening to Jordan Peterson, you will gain some more deep and meaningful thoughts...
Or just buy a whole bunch of Philosophy books.
Unfortunately this high profile gurus are charismatic beings that ended up disappointing because the lack of deepness.

Barbara Pearl
February 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm

Tony Robbins is an example of throwing shit at a wall and some of it sticks. Same for your article. You are both name-droppers.

Barbara Pearl
February 13, 2020 at 9:39 pm

I am a big believer in the idea that we have what we need inside.

February 13, 2020 at 7:57 am

It’s the brutal truth.. no need to soften it, I attended this seminar in 2013 and was literally too much fluff and bullshit I at times felt like walking out, instead I tried to stay engaged and feed into it. Really no depth, subjects are brought up and up to you to execute with no know how, where do you begin. Fact is, you really don’t need some one to tell you your flaws, you know them.. just take ownership and look in the mirror. No need to walk on coals to make a shift. Nike said it best, Just do it!

February 22, 2020 at 12:56 am

Hear ! hear!you should see his Netflix’s film. He literally said ‘ no one wants to know about him...only about unleashing power’ wrong.. he deflected , what I’d he hiding ?

Dane Hoffman
February 6, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Seriously dude, right on! This has got to be one of the most honest and introspective takes on personal development I have read in a while. Keep it up!

Lauren L Armington
February 1, 2020 at 12:27 am

I had to respect the begining and go through with reading when you warrend saying what some may think. Like others said I almost did'nt get to the part about Tony because of your Bussiness Plugs themselves. Its like the things you accused him of doing you kind of did with your artical. "KIND OF" I' m on the fence!! Imagine how many you did loose before they got to read the full artical. Or the ones who lost Flat out respect at the first sight of Plug and saw it as click bait

February 24, 2020 at 7:08 pm

If anyone wants to help should not charge such high prices, someeone who needs help has financial problems too, and don't have to spent more for just 3 day of noise:) Help supposed to be free and not only 3 days:))

March 3, 2020 at 3:45 am

Arzu, no business can afford to help for free. Just like you can't afford to work for free. Life costs, it's expensive and you have more respect for the person and their efforts if you have to pay them for their work.

The only thing in life that is free is death and that costs you your life and someone has to pay for your funeral.

You can't go see a doctor and do so for free, the entitlement mentality is nonsense. You have to work and earn your way and your pay.

January 29, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Feel the same about Joe Dispenza seminar