How Tony Robbins was raised

Tony Robbins is one of the most renowned life coaches, self-help authors, and motivational speakers in the world. He is known for his high-energy seminars and his ability to motivate people to take action and achieve their goals. He’s helped millions of people across the globe to overcome their issues and achieve success.

Robbins became a best-selling author and millionaire by the time he was 26 years old. This success, however, was not the result of a stable, supportive upbringing and a great education. As we’ll find out, Robbins had a challenging childhood and it took an inspirational event to change his trajectory.


How Tony Robbins was raised


Tony Robbins was born in Glendora, California, in 1960, and was raised in North Hollywood by his mother. He was the eldest of three siblings and the family lived modestly. The Robbins family experienced a lot of financial instability, which greatly impacted Tony’s childhood. He has described his home life as “chaotic” and “abusive”.

“I had to protect my brother and sister, so I became a practical psychologist just out of necessity.”

According to the biography “Tony Robbins: The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success,” Robbins’s mother was a heavy drinker and had a series of husbands, creating a tumultuous home environment.


Tony Robbins’ childhood

In his teens, Tony was already tall – 6 feet 7 inches – a result of a pituitary gland tumour. Although this condition brought its share of challenges, Tony didn’t let it deter his spirit or ambition. He cites his unstable childhood and family situation as catalysts for his future success, as they instilled in him a deep desire to overcome adversity and create a better life for himself and others. Robbins often speaks about his early experiences in his motivational speeches and books, including “Awaken the Giant Within.”

Robbins has described being physically abused by his mother as a child and that he was even chased out of the house by her with a knife when he was 17 years old. However, in a CNBC interview, Robbins attributes his difficult relationship with his mother as a key reason he became successful.

“If my mom had been the mother I thought I wanted, I wouldn’t be as driven; I wouldn’t be as hungry. I wouldn’t have suffered, so I probably wouldn’t have cared about other people’s suffering as much as I do. And it made me obsessed with wanting to understand people and help create change.”

Despite the hardships he faced, Tony showed an incredible ability to self-educate and learn from his surroundings.


The turning point

At the age of 17, Robbins left home, never to return. He took a job as a janitor after school and never attended college. On the weekends, he helped people move house to earn some more cash. On one house move, he cheekily asked the landlord, a family friend:

“My dad said you used to be such a loser, and how come you’re so successful now?”

The landlord told him that he started to turn his life around after going to a Jim Rohn seminar, which he described as “a man takes everything he’s learned in 20, 30 years of his life, and he pours it into like four hours.” This was the beginning of a dramatic change in Robbins’ trajectory.


So one week, Robbins decided to do something different with his earnings.

“I made this big decision to spend a week’s pay ($40) to go to Jim Rohn’s event, and I sat there and I was mesmerised. And that’s what started the game for me.”

Robbins described Rohn’s approach as captivating, and said it captured what he was trying to get from life at that exact moment.

“[Rohn] gave me a way of looking at life that allowed me to not ask life to be easier, but to ask that I be better. He got me to realise that the secret to life was to work harder on myself than my job or anything else, because then I’d have something to give people. And he really shaped me.”


Inspired by Rohn’s teachings, Tony made the decision to pursue a career in motivational speaking, setting him on the path to becoming the world-renowned life coach and author that he is today. This part of his story is detailed in “Tony Robbins: The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success” and in several interviews Robbins has given over the years.


Bestselling speaker and author

Robbins is best-known as a motivational speaker and his live events have become the stuff of legend. He has written many bestselling books, but the two considered his most famous are Awaken the Giant Within and Money, Master the Game.


Awaken the Giant Within - Tony Robbins's book


Book cover of Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins’ net worth is now an estimated $600m.

One conversation, one event, one realisation. Sometimes that’s all it takes to change someone’s path.


Check out the creating of another successful individual who’s investment strategies have influenced millions of people; the childhood of Warren Buffet.