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 YouTube Channel!🔥 

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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1,687 responses to “Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins”

Annet Vogels
September 11, 2020 at 5:02 pm

I love (!!) your approach - don't speak so speedy though!!

Kayleigh Kann
August 27, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Hey, an aspiring frontwoman here, and I am constantly in search of a way to keep me obsessed with the right focus. As an artist, I get distracted, so when I found tony, I started to truly focus in on my dreams and aspirations. I’ve not attended a seminar, but I’ve watched him on YouTube. I’ve heard him repeat some information a different way a few times over the years. I searched up the story he was referring to, it was only a date issue, but he was off by about a half of the amount of time he was saying. I know it’s not a big deal, he may have just thought it was different, but I watched two different videos with different answers. That made me uneasy as I am very connected to honesty. I forgave that, but also heard another story that sounded way too familiar to something I’ve heard before. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know it’s a story I didn’t hear from tony...
Who knows, I could be going nuts, but I am one to always question the truest intentions of others. I just want to see real life role models who practice exactly what they preach. If you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk.
I’m still going to read his book on finances and do my best to absorb some new information. I hope I’m able to move on as it probably isn’t that much of a big deal, but it lead me to this page out of curiosity.
Peace and love to you all.
-Kayleigh Kann ???

Celso Fraga
August 25, 2020 at 4:37 am

Thanks! You masterfully put in words something I've been pondering about these events and the hype of some public speakers. I wonder how long this energy boost lasts and would love to see some real statistics on longer-term results for the attendees (as you said, isn't easy to admint a bad day at the cassino). In my opinion, most of these 'coaches' border the unethical exploitation of human struggle. Unfortunately, I end up placing them all in the same basket, rotten apples, or not. Thanks again for sharing.

Zelda Johnson DNMc MSPH MA
August 18, 2020 at 3:13 pm

That was such a well-balanced critique and observation of your experience. I was impressed that you were aware enough to take the opportunity for personal growth your way after being disappointed with the TR event. You should be proud. Continued success.

August 18, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Oh in addition, as a seminar developer as well, those were good tips. I too don't like "felly-touchy-cheesy" breathers just for the participants to feel engaged. I also took note that focus, even if for a few topics is better than rambling on and being all over the place.

August 16, 2020 at 4:50 pm

Thank you for sharing. Reading your article, I realised you are very advanced in your development and the event was a bit too superficial for your level. I am not denying that he has great ideas and he had helped a lot of people , but I know for sure this type of events are not for me. I just saw the documentary on Netflix, Tony Robbins - I am not your guru, and I saw the power of big crowds in action...plus I think these seminars are way too expensive. One participant sold her furniture to join. Way to cultish for my style.

Ashley Nancw
August 8, 2020 at 5:42 pm

I really appreciate you putting this out there. I went to an event based on Tony Robbins' by someone else and he didn't take care of his people who didn't drink the kool-aid. It's dangerous stuff. The long hours are to wear you down so you're more impressionable. Again, not bashing Tony, but the long-hours aren't altruistic.

Diana McIntyre
August 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm

After I became a doctor, I worked in a private clinic, but I wanted something more exciting, so I turned to Tony Robbins. I have never attended any of Tony Robbins’ seminars, but I have watched his videos. They transformed my life. I quit working in the clinic, and I became a ship doctor on a luxury residential cruise ship that sails worldwide. After that I became a concierge doctor, so I now work as a personal doctor to a pop star (my job includes traveling with him on concert world tours) and my salary is a 7-digit income. I also have a
song-writing contract with a major record label to write songs (lyrics with music) and to record the demos (the pop songs can be used by recording artists who are signed to the label). I don’t have my own fragrance line, but I partnered with Coach fragrances and I make money from worldwide sales (I love creating scents for both men and women). I am in the middle of talks with some television producers. They want to produce a weekly reality t.v. show about my life as a personal doctor to the pop star. Some people go to Tony’s seminars; some get one-on-one coaching from him, and some watch his YouTube videos. His coaching or coaching style may not be for everyone, but it certainly worked for me. It’s all about what works for you as an individual. Prior to watching Tony’s videos, I had watched the videos of other LOA/motivational coaches, and none of them worked for me. Tony’s did!

September 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm

I feel identified with you somewhat. I’m a pathology auditor who used to work for an agency auditing pathology departments across several hospitals in London. My expertise is in forensics and there aren’t many of us out there. I accepted that the agency took a cut from my pay however, I didn’t like to turn work down just because I had an agent. I was really frustrated for about 2-years. Then I went to a gala dinner and Tommy Robbins was there talking to Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey. To cut the history short, we ended up talking about people in need and how the Clinton foundation was helping with vaccination programs. He unexpectedly ask about me personally so, I told him that I was just a pen pusher and I only found money in errors and inefficiencies for hospitals. He asked how much was my last audit. When I told him £4.3 Million for a hospital department alone and about £36 Million in the previous year... he jumped with excitement and encouraged me to go it alone. I went back home fully energised and called legal assistance the very next day.
Fast forward a decade and I’ve taken on employees whom I personally trained to be able to take on more work and I have never looked back to just having a job.
The 20 minute chat that I had with Mr Robbins have been the most significant in my entire life.
Interestingly, I too watched his YouTube videos and still do. That’s why I found your post. Thanks for sharing your amazing history ?

July 31, 2020 at 5:25 am

Great article. What was Tom’s last name who you said has a great YouTube channel around the same time you were talking about the importance of managing your calendar?

Melanie B Gerard
July 31, 2020 at 2:41 am

Good for you! You figured-out ,early on, that something wasn't right for you, so you ended it. Why waste time? Why care what others think? I would have done the same thing. Good job!
Personally, I could never attend a Tony Robbins event. It reminds me too much of Evangelical Christianity.( I find religion to be a very dangerous thing...... I prefer not to be a sheep.)

Pamela Berglund
July 28, 2020 at 9:11 am

This was an article that I needes to read. I never truly believed in Tony Robbins because of his rars attitude. I am on my way to starting a life coach business for seniors (elderly) and would never charge prices that would break the bank. Nobody is wirth that much.

July 25, 2020 at 4:51 pm

I loved the come back challenge. Life changing. But the virtual UPW rubbed me the wrong way. Over 8 hours spent solely on trying to up sell us (on 10k + offers) when we’re vulnerable and exhausted. With the goal of making us feel like shit or chickens if we don’t take the leap. I know I’m in the minority here, but this past virtual UPW left me on a funk - but at least I tried I guess.

July 22, 2020 at 12:08 am

Thanks for your thoughts he seems a little cheesy to me

July 21, 2020 at 1:51 pm

I addend his online virtual 7 day event , and then signed up and attended the UPW Virtual last thu-sunday 4 days. I have running my own Financial Services Brokerage for 17+ years, and have been to uncountable training, workshops and conventions. I've also been running our own events for as many years. Everyone develops their own style, and the Best are always evolving. I learned a lot, and I was also triggered by some of the issue you pointed out, and there is also a reason TR is the best at his craft. I have decided to study all of his current material and apply was is relevant to my business, before I invest more $$$ in his future content. I am a Firm believer in staying Until the end, with the belief and hope that the 2% I need and value, may come at the very end. thank you for your post

July 20, 2020 at 11:06 pm

I just did UPW as a four day zoom conference since Tony can’t do seminars anymore. I was very excited about it but my opinion mirrors yours, almost to a T. The days started at 10 am and went on some days past midnight! The last day was supposed to end at 8pm and didn’t end until midnight!! He says he is delivering more value. Please. So much of it was a waste of time. Easily 50% and yes - some nuggets buried in between dance parties. People seemed to love it. I was a little sorry I spent $350 but at least now I know.

I thought he was very arrogant. And a big name dropper but still very likable. I learned some things but I’m going to have to take a few hours and try and figure out what I did actually learn.

It was an experience for sure. I just wished it had not cost me two days off work.

People were commenting on all the sales pitches and not liking them and commenting on one of the speakers having a boring presentation and not did he go off about it rather than listen to his own advice to listen to the customer!! Instead we all got a lecture at 11 pm. Weird.

I’m probably glad I did it but would never do again unless, like you said, very specific material. He was all over the place!

July 19, 2020 at 4:44 pm

I don’t understand this... God gave me a wonderful family and my own gifts. I’ve never understood name dropping or the need for RaRa Clubs. A job well done is worth doing right, do unto others as you would have done unto you. And believing in oneself and loving oneself is paramount to being able to receive the same in return. My parents always told me “can’t never could unless you tried”. If you try and still don’t like it you don’t have to do it again.

This conference to me, is costly. My healing comes from walking on the beach or listening to soft music. A 3 day self reflection would be well spent in a coastal beachfront condo, not lining the pockets of a self acclaimed motivational speaker.
That’s my 2 cents

July 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm

So did you get your refund?

July 16, 2020 at 10:01 pm

To the guy in the video
Not sure were you saw Tony selling supplements
I’ve been to every event and never did see that
You said you really liked a couple concepts(like success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure)
That concept is a pretty big one and he can go on for hours on it. Especially important to people building companies and ignoring everything else in their life. They find they are still unhappy after a big payday they though would fix them.
If that concept is all you took away it could be life changing. That should have been enough.
Most of what tony deals with is the emotions and psychology of why you do what you do and how to change that. If your looking for a cookbook there are plenty of people on YouTube dishing that out.
I think you should have stuck it out.

July 14, 2020 at 11:57 am

I was at one of Tony Robbin's unleash the power within. During the fire walk, I scolded my feet really bad. I will take responsibility for being extremely tired after 2 flights and little sleep. The fire walk was at the end of the day. I may not have followed directions, I had walked on fire before with no problem at all during a Peak performance retreat unrelated to TR. I felt tired before the fire walk but confident I would be ok. I wasn't my feet were severely burned. I asked for help and no one could find help for me. They said the health care team was gone and they walked me to several rooms while I could barely walk, his team found no one to help. I had to walk to my car and the pain was unbearable, then when I got to my destination I had to walk on my knees to my daughter's house. Her and her husband are medical professionals and they could't believe my feet. They gave me some temporary treatment since it was late. Next day I was treated by a doctor, I had 2nd and third degree burns. I felt so terrible that so many people walked on fire and there was no first aid anywhere.

Mona rogers
July 13, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Why is a woman by the name of yvette ywono bka queen Ra saying she's gonna be working with tony robbins also going on stage with him when she has just started getting to know him at first she was saying how she dislikes him. I think it's bcuz shes collecting money from her followers on you tube & periscope she's a big hypocrite..

Rob Liano
July 10, 2020 at 5:57 pm

You lost me when you said selling from the stage was a conflict of interest. It's what a high percentage of speakers do or, are encouraged to do. In fact, it's often the only compensation, as in, no pay but you can sell from the stage. I guess you haven't been to that many seminars.

You also said "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!" Yes, at times, thoughts pop into your head while in the middle of conversation but be honest, did you really lose track of the entire message due to this?

Lastly, logic would tell us that Tony claps like that so he doesn't damage his hands over the long term. Have you ever clapped that much for that long?

My thoughts are you wanted to find a way to capitalize on Tony's fame to promote yourself so you wrote this article. I hope it works but, I also think you'll never accomplish as much as Tony has, even if you had two lifetimes.

O. Nate
July 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

Like many of the people who attended the Come Back Challenge, I got a lot out of the event. There were some practical bits that apply to many people. TR definitely comes across as having the right intention to give hope to those needing hope and bit of direction in these unpredictable times, especially for those state side.

I am in Ireland. Life has resumed. We are getting on and adapting.

As a teen I had an aversion to TR. Where as now, after doing some serious development and taking other development courses, I see the benefits of UPW. Regarding KK, name dropping, and the hypnotic state... this does concern me.

KK... is annoying, very enthusiastic and cheerful, she definitely appeals to the younger crowd, next generation of consumers for TR???

Name dropping... let's get on with the material.

Prizes and such: power of influence 100%. If you are popular, you win. People who have taken his courses before have an increased chance of winning. Bring your friends and win, at least this is how it occurred for me.

Hypnotic state... when you watch the material after the fact, you see patterns.

The Come Back Challenge definitely cleared a space for new opportunities, for a new approach, and for making sh!t happen. I am looking for to the virtual UPW, quiet honestly.

I really enjoyed taking the Land Mark Forum in Vancouver Canada. I took the basic, advanced, and SELP. Your participation is awarded. You get 1:1 coaching when you play full out and are willing to be vulnerable.

The cost for Land Mark Forum, full course basic to SELP is equal to a diamond ticket. However, the time duration is significantly longer. You get a lot of 1:1 training and interaction in the the small classrooms in SELP.

Good luck everyone and thanks for providing a space .

J. Forrister
June 30, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Thank you. Very enlightening.

Philip Matzigkeit
June 30, 2020 at 11:33 am

I walked out of The Forum and a friend who traveled the world doing trainings for the equivalent of the German Peace Corps congratulated me on early graduation. Sounds like you've done so much inner work already that you're well beyond this.

July 3, 2020 at 8:24 am

I liked your comment here. There's a TR group on MyApp presently and I think some realistic input could be very balancing from you. ?

June 28, 2020 at 5:28 pm

I’ve never attended a Tony Robbins seminar, but I read Awaken the Giant Within and am currently attending his 7 day Challenge on Facebook. Some of it is very good, some of it appeals to certain personality types; like those who enjoy jumping and clapping for no apparent reason. And then meditate. Good people with issues who also drink celery juice Instead of coffee. Those who suffer with money problems but found the cash to go to an event.
But I’m no saint. I like to learn from smart people, and Tony is smart, but I wouldn’t be able to dance in a well lit room by myself, notwithstanding the guy trying to massage me.
I don’t like mayonnaise either, just in case you’re wondering what else I don’t like. But I do like the Hawaiian saying Tony teaches to love offenders, something like “I was wrong, I’m sorry, I love you, forgive me” . I probably butchered it but you get the point, offering a healing moment can go a long way. Maybe I should go to his next event.
Here’s a thought: if you’re stuck, your life sucks and you dread tomorrow maybe you should do something about it.

July 3, 2020 at 8:25 am

I liked your comment here. There's a TR group on MyApp presently and I think some realistic input could be very balancing from you. ?

July 6, 2020 at 2:27 pm

I think it’s called Ho’oponopono - I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.

Suehila Smith
August 27, 2020 at 6:49 am

And Kristin, you just redirected my thoughts from Tony Robbins to Joe Vitale. Thank you, dear Kristin, for sharing.

Lisa Hoffman
June 27, 2020 at 12:43 am

This was a great article! I got roped into doing his new comeback challenge, and it's really a popularity contest, NLP on crack for the simple minded. We would get prizes if we posted or jumped up and down enough? And then what after the challenge? A reduced price for another webinar for $346? I hated how his assistant KK talked to the audience as if we were 5 years old. I'm a preschool teacher and found her tone about as pleasant as nails on a chalkboard. I'm dumping this challenge and found something much more fufilling.
It's called taking a hike. Thanks again for your great vid!

July 10, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Roped into? By whom, ghostly forces? Be accountable for your choices at least.

August 2, 2020 at 11:23 pm

I bought an online course, for about $2 500. (Five easy payments...I know 😉
With Dean Graziolo or someone.

I do not live in the U.S, so to do any of the live webinars meant being awake at all times of the night.
Great way to think clearly.

The Mastermind facebook group, kinda made me ill.
Loads of people posting either annoying whines about how they had not been able to face doing any of the 'work',
Or people all power dressed and going on about their new found'superpower'...facepalm.

I tried putting up make-up less, honest, vulnerable video posts about my journey, only to have them denied...I'd said SOMETHING wrong, about something.

Im dedicated, passionate and goodness knows, a sucker for punishment, so I tried a few angles.

Eventually, I just asked for my money back, to which the team said, they would stop taking payments...AND I could have the rest of the course free...but no re- imbursement was offered.

Initially, that felt like a win, so I kinda tried again. Very proud of my new found negotiating skills and self empowered approach to taking on life.

But...nothing changed, just people who could not spell (or use spellcheck apparently) trying to recruit me into their coaching business...or people taking weird professional photo's so they looked 'superpowered', or,

One couple even rang me at stupid o'clock, I talked to them for upwards of 2 hours.
I think I really helped him in particular.
By the end they asked me to be their client, and I COULD PAY at my own pace.
Wow! Thanks, but you took 2 hours of my sleep, I helped straighten you out...and now I get to pay...hhhmmm.

I apologise. I am weak.
I just couldn't watch the train wreck of desperation any longer.

I asked for a full refund by the end of the working week.
Thank you very much.

I DID get a follow up call, which was nice.
I got to say...hey, all good, but no I am not interested in another course, I think the point is to get free, not addicted.

No regrets.
I tried and I can't help it.
I like Tony Robbins.
He is a GREAT salesman.
Wear people out, emotionally overload them, use colours and symbogy to create visual connection.
He gives people what they pay for.
He gives money back...after a bit of haggling.
No crime. No snake oil. No 'magic'
He is living what he is teaching.

Most people are just paying to watch it.
More fool me!

*after watching 'I am not your Guru', I was a bit confused about him again.
Some moments were great, funny, raw.
Then I noticed...oh look it's all the white, attractive people who get 'chosen'.
And changing microphone colours to symbolise the Chakra system for key emotional moments?
From yellow - solar plexis or gut feeling to green -heart chakra- opening, connection love.

Little things...huge visual and subconscious impact.
Quite interesting.

Anyway...rant over, off to dissect some other poor soul trying to get some $$$....

June 26, 2020 at 3:44 pm

I attended his UPW seminar 30 years ago and really enjoyed it. I loved the energy, exercises, firewalk and his intensity. I'm currently on his Facebook live free event this week and he's still the same person he was 30 years ago. The guy is brilliant in my honest opinion. He's studied so many people and knows his stuff. What he says makes sense to me. Yes, he brags about celebrity connections, curses too much, and comes back late after breaks and apologizes when we know it's because people are still lined up outside the venue buying more of his products. But who cares! There is no one else like him and never will be. Learn while he can still do this. Pretty soon, there will be just books and tapes. He can't do these live events forever.

June 25, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Great article !! thank you for writing this. I think it's possible to LOVE Tony Robbins and also read this article and not freak out. As a lover of Tony Robbins it actually comforted me because along with the LOVE and euphoria, i also feel a bit empty and sad ... That I'll go home and as much as I do to make my life better, this experience will be in the past and not my real life. I never will forget what a difference Tony has made on my life and in no way do I think expressing this is a disrespect to him or the experience. I can see that the author is saying exactly this !!! So this helps.

June 25, 2020 at 8:42 am

I really appreciated reading this-Ive gotten a lot out of Tony Robbins too and am a die-hard personal development person whose overcome incredible things and appreciate ways Robbins has helped in real ways. At the same time I feel often like these events can ask a person to surrender critical, personal thought-Like any dissatisfaction with anything is immediately fixated on the participant-this “group think” now makes me really uncomfortable-Id prefer to spend three days with folks who wont go friggin nuts on if im not ALL IN on everything that’s happening -where’s the space for free thought and an individual’s own sense of what’s best for them in a space like that? I do not like that Robbins cultivates a space where he can get thousands of people to turn on the one person whose seeing he isnt a Deity-beautifully demonstrated in a lot of the comments on here of people freaking out you dare to have your own mind about whats best for you . I appreciate you encouraging people to always keep thinking for themselves.

susan charlton
June 25, 2020 at 6:32 am

I love Tony. I did UPW 19 years ago, DWD a year later, Leadership Academy after that. I’ve often thought of going back but I haven’t. Since then I’ve expanded my consciousness. A lot.
UPW is a wake up experience maybe for those who haven’t done a lot of self/development. If you were in that market your experience would likely have been different.

June McDonald
June 24, 2020 at 10:58 pm

Noah, I read your article yesterday (June 23rd) after I attended my first ever Tony Robbins event the 'Comeback Challenge'. I immediately thought 'this guy nailed it'. It's a ra ra session, there's a lot of name dropping, and yes TR has a weird hand clap. Then I attended day two today. I realized that I'm extremely judgmental and critical of myself and of others and I hate being out of my comfort zone. Yesterday, I would have made the same decision you made after day two. Walk out. After you walked out on the 2nd day, what you ended up doing on the 3rd day is that you stayed in your comfort zone. I now understand what I've been doing for the past few years, I like staying in my comfort zone. When I don't like something - I just walk away from it. This time, I'm going to stay the course. I'm doing to complete the 7-day 'Comeback Challenge', get out of my comfort zone, and hopefully I'll be less critical and judgmental of myself and others. I also realized that TR has a right to name drop, his weird clapping makes me laugh, his loud voice keeps me focused, and if people want to pay $$$$ to be part of the experience he offers - then so be it, because I paid to be part of it. And if there's one lesson I've learnt in life is that - the lesson I learn from any experience depends entirely on me.


July 5, 2020 at 3:14 pm

I did the first day of that free seven day challenge and had never seen Tony Robbins perform before. I’m from NZ where hyped up events are a bit uncomfortable for most people living here. We are a bit conservative. It was all a bit weird and I skipped through day one in 5 minutes and learnt nothing. What you are saying is bang on. I’d never pay to go to a thing he was running. I did have a tiny thought that I might be missing something in the other six days but when I read he was telling people to drink celery juice I had a good laugh and knew my decision to not watch had been the correct one. I went out and got a new job instead which has boosted my confidence more than tony Robbins. Sorry TR you are an interesting person but I don’t really need you right now.

June 23, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Thank you for posting this.

Mark Pace
June 23, 2020 at 2:08 pm

I have just tried Tony’s comeback challenge on Facebook. Firstly, the presenter before seemed so forced and not genuine and kept repeating how fabulous he was, then we did a warm-up with Bryan that got us going. Finally, after 20mins he arrived. Sadly I lost him when he denuded the vivid-19 pandemic and after 40mins I was still eating for something.
All a bit much, maybe I needed a more individual approach to life coaching.

June 22, 2020 at 9:49 am

I felt this evaluation/opinion is like an advertisement riding on Anthony Robbins namesake to advertise your own company. If it was not so, why the need to put in your company name here and provide youtube links on your business, mentioning your credentials if it is just for the sake voicing your opinions? I just don't get it. Remove those, then it is genuine evaluation without any frills tagged.

B Messmer
June 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm

Interesting — and I tend to agree we grow more in the intimate ( there’s zero intimacy in 10,000). Not that large gatherings aren’t wats to teach things but life altering teaching is generally going to be done in smaller, safe, trusted groups.

Sky Walker
June 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Tony Robbins is a Master Hypnotist and that is why he does what he does with his music, excitement, repeating, questions, story telling etc. It's all about him getting the group into a trance. At one of his seminars he had 1200 people dancing like maniacs doing the massage thing when suddenly I snapped out of his subconscious control and watched a wild, fun party, that I was no longer a part of at that moment. When I looked at Tony and he was grinning away, twirling the crowd with his craft and totally appeared to be laughing and mocking his hypnotized fans. Then I heard a voice in my head that yelled Tony Robbins is a wizard which I truly believe, but had never before considered. Also, like me, many people have boring useless lives and going to his events are the most exciting thing that ever happens to them. Unfortunately, people are desperate for his help and spend money they can't afford to get it. One time, the decisions his team made at a one week long event ruined my time. I was 110 lbs. and an absolute health nut which they knew due to the pre-event survey they have you fill out. The Robbins group coupled me with a 400 lb garbage eater as a room-mate. We had absolutely nothing in common and did not like each other from the get go. I realize this was done to 'challenge' us, but we didn't go there for that and I didn't appreciate wasting 7 thousand dollars to argue with her on who had to sleep on a roll out bed. Since she was Aunt Hugey with a warped back from her weight, she thought she should get the mattress and box springs, so it became a big contention. No one should have to pay that kind of money share a room with a single bed. Was it worth the money? Hell no, but I did have a good time when I wasn't in the room with Ms. Opposite. At another event Tony laid a trap for a stupid person and I got caught in it, but what happened next was unbelievable. Tony Robbins lost his entire composure at my idiot response and then he responded to me, "May the Russians cut off your arms and legs!." What the fuck? Is this who he really is? It certainly appears so to me. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about his Russian friends mutilating me because he doesn't have any and they think he's a fraud and won't let him back in their country after they felt ripped off when they did, so he better worry about his own legs and arms. It appears he couldn't get them hypnotized after he showed up 3 hours late and their translation machines didn't work. I did have a lot of fun at his "shows" and made some good changes and liked him until he pulled the Russian torture curse on me and life is still good without him. Plus, I get to keep my money. -Tony, it's hard for a rich man to get into heaven when he has so much money because that is where his faith is, so why don't you start giving it away and quit hoarding it? I could give you some good pointers and maybe even keep you out of hell. Thank you for this posting opportunity.

James Van Leuven
June 19, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Hey. Didn’t finish the entire vid. Got the gist of it (I’m quick like that).

I ended up here to even read/watch this (scanning is wayyyy faster ?) because, as with all things in my life? Due diligence requires me to check and test everything. So I googled “Tony Robbins scandals” and by the 2nd page of #metoo crap links (which I didn’t click cuz meh the narrative is the same, just insert name of anyone someone has a problem with and there you go - now we have another #metoo accusation which goes nowhere).

Now why did I perform my due diligence? Well this advert came up on youtube when I was about to watch a car review, and although I always click the skip button or mute the advert? I actually watched it. It was for the TR Comeback Challenge.

Now... I’ve never read any of his books, never watched an infomercial. Haven’t even - in fact - ever watched an interview or for that matter, know anyone who has ever been to an event! But I figured - why not. This is something I should at least try once and it’s free and I don’t have to fly to the US of crazy people in a race war post covid (yeah that’s happening right now).

I don’t feel as though I have anything that needs a reset. Don’t struggle with love. Am not disillusioned with my life. All in all? I’m pretty content. I will - literally - decide on the first day, when my reminder goes off? To listen or carry on with whatever I’m doing because right now? That is more important than listening to someone talk for 2 hrs.

So your take was very interesting. Especially as I’m now being horribly inundated with ding ding ding from facebook that I actually disabled notifications for the “TRCC Group”

I’m reading the intro’s etc and people’s “needs” and honestly? No disrespect for anyone in the group? But for me? I see a lot of lonely damaged people. I feel for them. My heart goes out to their loneliness.

But again... doesn’t apply to me. I am loved. I feel love with everyone in my SOI - because I’ve spent almost 60 yrs tossing toxic and embracing challenge, critiques, and encouraging transparency- because I’m transparent.

So thnx for expressing what I’m already starting to realise for me - and this event doesn’t even start until next week!

As one of the other commentors indicated. Not everyone needs the help! So cheers! And carry on carrying on!

June 13, 2020 at 4:02 am

Something similar happened to me like this once. In retrospective, it was a great decision, and actually (for a while) I thought "I should've done that sooner." Everyone's different,man, life is complex. Listen and act accordingly to what your inner voice says; you won't regret it -that's the case for me.

Great article/post ?

David Connolly
June 7, 2020 at 10:40 am

This would make a great short movie.

June 26, 2020 at 3:19 pm

You cannot be serious

Walter Liewald
July 2, 2020 at 9:59 am

Totally get it! Thanks
I just walked out of a free online challenge this week that is designed to funnel for online UPW.
Saved the 2k saved ticket and hotel, but most importantly saved TIME.

Like you, had a great day
A few minutes of all out (tabata like) exercise in the morning
Helping migrant online for free
Home made espresso (best $50 investment of the year)
Protein shake with berries and granola (recovered herbalife for years)
Water, water, water
Reaching out to 88 of my contacts on LinkedIn about my new project
Online meeting with probono lawyers to help migrants
Online math class for my son visiting his mom.
Mentoring call with one of the contacts that responded and liked my project
Online seminar on immigration watching authorities wash their hands.
Online hazmat training with my volunteer firehouse.
Lunch or dinner
Feeling bad about the news
Thinking legal strategy
Going to bed knowing I did my best that day and I can do better tomorrow.


John Gedwill
June 6, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Clearly you weren't able to fully commit to the experience and process. You couldn't abandon your insecurities and inhibitions and just allow yourself to just be and act without fear. In everyday life I feel uncomfortable with random dudes massaging me. That's because of insecurities, homophobia and inhibitions. Tony's events are about letting go, taking off the masks, no fear and no bullshit. We live in such a bullshit world that letting go of it seems incredibly uncomfortable.

However the biggest reason why you REALLY left didn't have to do with any of that. You left because your standards are being met. Sure you would like to improve but youd be happy with marginally improvement because you see yourself as doing pretty damn good already. You're more successful than most people, you're very proud of your achievements and feel very satisfied by them. You're not who these events are for. These events are for people who are living below their standards and need to be dragged out of their comfortable yet unfulfilling ruts of mediocrity. Choosing what is easy and convenient over choosing what will bring long term happiness. They need to be made uncomfortable, they need to be pushed and massaged and taught to have the courage to dance like nobody's watching in a a room of 10,000 people. This is for the people who want drastic change and need to be put in a scenario that is drastically different from every day life to wake them up.

June 12, 2020 at 12:37 am

Appreciate your honesty, and I understand a lot of it as I've been to a UPW myself. But I'll have to agree with John. The entire event is about letting go, you weren't comfortable, so you left. And that's okay too. But I think it has more to do with your own psyche/thought processes and your own desires/mindset than anything Tony could've or would've done differently. to be stuck in your head throughout so much of the seminar is probably something to look at more than the ra-ra nature of the event. They are what they are. They may or may not change. But ultimately, they help people. Lots of people. Me included. So I am very grateful to Tony Robbins and this article title feels a little click baity. though sidebar: I personally think his events should be cheaper to serve all income-levels.

June 24, 2020 at 7:18 am

You're AWFULLY judgemental and critical aren't you? For someone who claims to be so evolved you certainly need to respect a person's values and healthy boundaries. Because all you sound like is someone who has drank the Tony Robbknd Kool-AID that made Tony a very rich man.

July 22, 2020 at 8:53 am

Thank you so much! You nailed it!

June 4, 2020 at 11:39 am

Love this, refreshingly real. You left when it felt right for you. It is about you after all. Still you agreed with some things and not so much others. The critical voice had to come through to evaluate what you experienced.

mike podolinsky
May 31, 2020 at 9:44 pm

I attended a rare 1-day programme of Tony's in the early 1980's. One guy in my party walked out. I stayed to see what would happen after the fireworks as he ran down the aisle, the 'conga-line', hugging sessions and other silly stuff. (I hug my family & brother's in Christ at church, but not total strangers.) Other than a few good quotes, that was about it. I was disappointed in the ROI. BUT... I am spoiled! I'm was a student of E. James Rohn and I would take 20-40 pages of DETAILED notes from a 4 hour evening seminar, not 2-4 quotes or ideas per hour. I only got ONE page of notes from Tony's 1-day... less than I'd get from an 'average' book. Interesting, Tony used to sell tickets for Mr Rohn, which is how Tony got his start. Noah, what you did after you left made an awesome list. MUCH better use of your time. I'm 65 & a lot more sand is in the lower half of the hourglass than in my top half. I value it and it appears, you value the 'sand' you've been blessed with, too. God bless you and thanks for the post. It's a reminder to ensure I always receive and GIVE value.

May 30, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Hahaha you are so honest i like your page i agree with this stuff about tony r

Roger Huntman
June 14, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Excellent article. As an author I dont say that easily. Knowing what you want to get out of one of Tony's seminars, is key.
I utilize many of his resources and techniques and I have always wanted to attend a seminar. To be honest, I dont know what I would want to work on. My attendance would be just to be a fan boy, and to say I've done it.
I feel that's the wrong reason. I would be taking a spot that someone else could have, and they might NEED it.

May 29, 2020 at 7:04 am

Thank you for this refreshingly honest and balanced review of your experience. Tony R has never appealed to me to many of the same reasons. A gathering of thousands of people and too much hoop la leaves little room for genuine reflection or growth. You are past Tony R and will bring into your life path those developmental teachers and tools that you are ready for. We are all growing ~ Tony is where he is and has been for 30 years ~ sure he has grown as a slick presenter (and a rich one indeed) ~ but has he actually consciously grown or evolved himself? Big Question.

June 5, 2020 at 4:41 am

Thank you for your take on it. I'm appalled by a few nasty comments here. You were very clear, in not bashing him and just pointing out what didn't work for you. I would not enjoy his show but it's something a few people in my life would love and it would help them. Like you said, we all have different needs and different tastes.

Simone Rousseau
May 28, 2020 at 6:20 pm

I really enjoyed the 3 day UPW workshop in Sydney Australia back in the early 90's, i even did the firewalk on the hot coals after 2 hours of positive and fear releasing mantras! Yes it was cheesy and i dont personally like hugging strangers or dancing with them and i found it a waste of time. It was very motivating and he definitely knows how to pump up the audience and make them feel invincible for the amount of time and weeks on end after. However, there is no follow up just hype and generally people with issues, self esteem emotional abuse, whatever need ongoing support, some sort of therapy to make significant change and rewrite and reauthor the stories of their lives. To make real change can take sometimes years, not 3 minutes of announcing your heart felt problems to strangers. Then you go home to nothing. So although i found it very encouraging, it definitely gave me a feeling of bad after taste in my mouth, of lack lustre with the thoughts of now what? After studying counselling myself i can see the benefits of ongoing therapy/support to assist individuals to build their bridge from what they are to who they want to be and be there as they cross it.

May 27, 2020 at 8:11 pm

This dude sounds like someone who can taste a coconut by licking its hard shell ?

Roger Huntman
June 14, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Excellent article. As an author I dont say that easily. Knowing what you want to get out of one of Tony's seminars, is key.
I utilize many of his resources and techniques and I have always wanted to attend a seminar. To be honest, I dont know what I would want to work on. My attendance would be just to be a fan boy, and to say I've done it.
I feel that's the wrong reason. I would be taking a spot that someone else could have, and they might NEED it.

May 27, 2020 at 12:43 am

I did the exact same thing when I went to his seminar UPW in Chicago. I left though early in day 2. I was lucky though I didn’t buy a ticket. My ticket was comp’d by Tony. To me it just didn’t feel right. I was not into the ra ra stuff.

Vicki Royal
May 26, 2020 at 9:04 pm

Do not believe this bullshit article!!! Tony literally saved my life!!!

Ben Key
June 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm

I agree!

August 18, 2020 at 3:23 pm

I agree with the price. You really want to help people? Make it a modest price. How about scholarships?

Vicki Royal
May 26, 2020 at 8:36 pm

I think you are a fucking asshole!! If his seminars only help 1 percent of the people who attend. If just one person...doesn’t commit suicide... because he gave them hope. What he does and says is worth it! Maybe he didn’t change your stupid life!!! But he changes people’s lives every single day!! I have been suicidal and hospitalized for it 3 times... I took an entire bottle of pills and tried to go through with it once. Tony inspired me and changed my life. You have no CLUE how many lives he has saved!! You are a fucking asshole, dick!! Success isn’t all that matters... he saves peoples lives! You make me want the vomit! I hope and pray... no suicidal person reads your bullshit article!!! You are scum!! People...may die...because of your horrible, bullshit opinion of Tony Robbins!!! He saved me life! You shouldn’t be allowed online you fuck!!!!!

June 5, 2020 at 4:06 am

LoL hopefully someone here can attend another Tony Robbins seminar on respecting other people's opinions. Each person has their own experience of Tony Robbins; just because one person walked out (respectfully), it does not invalidate your experience and necessitate calling them names. It's wonderful that your experience with Tony Robbins was life-changing, but you have inspired no one here today...
I would have to agree with the author that there just isn't enough "meat" in the content...
Less hoopla and orchestration and more substance, please... my main issue with "breakthrough" experiences, while they can hopefully cause a shift, the more important part is the follow-up, the ongoing work, and therefore I have huge issues with the high cost of the "one-time experience" cost vs charging less for one hyped experience and providing more extensive, long term support. After experiencing speakers like Tony Robbins or Harv Eker, hopefully you will graduate to speakers with meatier content, for example Dr. John Dimartini.

August 27, 2020 at 6:58 am

Hi MaryAnne! Thank you for sharing. I am visiting Dr. Dimartini's website right now.
Your input is greatly appreciated, bless you.

June 5, 2020 at 4:43 am

Vicky, obviously he didn't change your life by the nasty comments are making. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Ben Key
June 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm

I am glad that the people that are offended by his cussing walk out and leave. Makes the % of the quality of the people that stay engaged in the message better. With all the things going on in this word we have morons focused on cuss words!? Talking about don't sweat the small stuff! Fuck them!

June 24, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Sounds like someone may need to attend a few anger management workshops. Maybe Tony's events were not as effective as you may have thought.

Ever think that some of us are already living the life we want? That we don't (gasp) actually need Tony's advice?

August 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Vicki. I am sorry you felt insulted. I did not find the article that bad or worth such profanity. I get it. Tony helped you and is a possible idol. The article did not slander Tony, just point out some of the gimmicks that were used that the writer did not feel was worth his money or met his needs. So, did you miss the part where Tony indicates live and let live?

May 26, 2020 at 7:44 pm

I agree, I'm not a big fan of his either. Especially when I saw him downgrading a woman in his audience. He's all over the place and I haven't met one person who has actually done anything. I saw him saying he paid for a group of 6th grade students to go to college but yet, no one can find any of those students.

June 5, 2020 at 4:39 am

Thank you for your take on it. I'm appalled by a few nasty comments here. You were very clear, in not bashing him and just pointing out what didn't work for you. I would not enjoy his show but it's something a few people in my life would love and it would help them. Like you said, we all have different needs and different tastes.

Ben Key
June 5, 2020 at 12:44 pm

And what would you do if I showed you some of them?