Who Inspires Tony Robbins?

Why these 6 people made the life coach’s list of people who have influenced him

Marie Speed

Tony Robbins says there was no one to mentor him growing up, and he credits books for starting to show him the way. Throughout his life, however, he has partnered with or learned from several people from a wide array of disciplines.

Here are the six people on his tribute list:

First and foremost is early mentor Jim Rohn, an Idaho farm boy and Sears clerk who made it big as a motivational speaker and author. He presented seminars all over the country for 40 years, was a millionaire by age 31 and wrote 17 books. Robbins met Rohn when Rohn was about 50, and he just 17. “He was a beautiful man,” Robbins says, who taught him “happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live and what we do with the things we have makes the biggest difference in the quality of life.”

In the 1970s, John Grinder co-created “neuro-linguistic programming” (NLP), a communication approach that combines a person’s neurological processes and behavioral patterns that its founders believe can be changed to achieve specific goals. Robbins says he became partners with Grinder soon after meeting him, and NLP is how he “learned to do things like wipe out a phobia.”

Robbins started out actually coaching Peter Guber, the chairman of Mandalay Pictures (most recent films, The Kids Are All Right, Soul Surfer and Bernie, with hits including Rain Man, Batman, The Color Purple, Midnight Express and many more). Guber also owns the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Dodgers and is chairman of Dick Clark Productions. Robbins says, “I’ve known him for 25 years—we mentor each other—there is not a more creative human being I know.”

Robbins is also an unabashed fan of casino magnate Steve Wynn, whom he describes as “one of the smartest, most passionate persons you would ever meet—with the highest standards. He is a force of nature.”

Robbins also cites Mark Benioff, CEO and founder of SalesForce.com, as a mentor. Salesforce.com is a cloud computing company Benioff started in 1999, and Robbins says it has been cited as the “most innovative company in the world” by Forbes four years in a row. “He came to my seminar, and he said his ‘sales force would not exist without Tony Robbins.’ He is a genius at innovation.”

Finally, Robbins points to Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment Corporation, as a great influence. With a net worth in the $4 billion range and ranked by Forbes as the 108th richest American, Tudor Jones is a financial mastermind. He also created the Robin Hood Foundation. Robbins says, “I learned from him how to win, no matter what happens.”