Wait, what does this topic have to do with marketing for financial advisors?
This is an example of an overlap post. An overlap post covers a topic where your interests overlap with the interests of your prospects! I know that many of my clients are Tony Robbins fans, so I can infer that my prospects are, too. I recommend an overlap post once per month. And who hasn’t wondered what really happens at a Tony Robbins event?
The first time I attended a Tony Robbins event was five years ago with my brother, Michael, at Unleash the Power Within in Orlando. We had talked about going for years, then I splurged and bought us tickets for Christmas. It was a big purchase at $1,000 plus roundtrip travel to Orlando in my mid-twenties, but I figured a weekend of bonding with my big brother would be worth it, even if Tony Robbins turned out to be a flop.
We entered the convention center with trepidation, at first discussing the money-back guarantee within the first 24 hours of the event if things got too weird. People were dancing, jumping up and down, and high-fiving each other. The first hour was awkward and uncomfortable, but six hours later, we were clapping and screaming along with the rest of the folks, then walking across the fire that night shouting “Yes!”
In the five years following that first event, my brother and I have achieved the most audacious goals we set. We both earned our MBAs from UC San Diego and paid off over $200,000 of student loans each. He completed two IronMan Triathlons and I climbed Mt. Whitney three times. What’s more important, is we both set out and found our spouses and got married.
Now I don’t mean we just bumped into some strangers in a dark bar and tied the knot, we each found our perfect partners; the ones we had worried might not exist. Mike’s wife, Nicole, is an IronWoman Triathlete, a top fitness blogger, a successful CPA, and above all that, she’s drop-dead gorgeous and has a heart of gold. They are a perfect match of Vegans who have a beautiful daughter together.
When I made a list of my perfect partner, I required that he must be at least 6’2” (since I’m 5’11”), intelligent, have an excellent career, a quirky sense of humor, enjoy climbing mountains, and ride a horse. It may surprise you to know that they don’t make that particular combination too often, but after 16 first dates with prospects, I met Josh and he proposed to me on the top of Mt. Whitney one year later. Last October, we attended the largest event Tony Robbins has ever held, Unleash the Power Within in Los Angeles with over 10,000 participants.
Top athletes, business executives, and celebrities swear by Tony Robbins’ teachings. Thousands of his followers have used his philosophies to turn their lives around, earn millions, achieve their dreams, and find happiness. Many of us followers know that his events work by our own successes. But how? Here’s what really happens at a Tony Robbins’ event:
1. You jump up and down screaming.
You will laugh, you will cry, and you will hug complete strangers. The events are intense, reaching 16 hours long some days. But time flies as you listen to stories, watch Tony work his magic on audience members, role play scenarios with partners, and jump up and down screaming. The goal is to get into a peak emotional state to motivate extraordinary results. To accomplish this, Tony involves music, lights, physical activity, and lots of yelling.
2. You learn the foundations of success.
Tony teaches basic life lessons we all should have learned in grade school, like:
- Your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of your peer group.
- Leaders are readers; make reading a priority within your daily routine.
- Life will pay whatever price you ask of it.
- Your daily habits create your life.
- Men aren’t just hairy women that need coaching, they’re fundamentally different from women.
- There are only six human needs and everything we do is in an effort to meet one of those needs.
3. You get hypnotized.
I happened to look at my watch before the portion of the event where Tony himself hypnotizes 10,000 people lying on the cold concrete floor of the Los Angeles convention center. Then, I looked at my watch again as soon as we were awoken, after what felt like five or ten minutes. I was surprised to find that almost an hour had elapsed.
The feeling of having been hypnotized is similar to when you see a chair fly across a room in a horror movie, unexplained, yet the main character remains in the ghost-ridden home. While I know something strange had happened, it didn’t seem altogether dangerous, so we went on jumping up and down and screaming.
4. You set big goals.
Tony’s ideal goal is something that walks the tightrope between so impossible you think you can’t achieve it and so thrilling you can’t wait to make it happen. Throughout the weekend, you set huge goals and create the motivation to pursue them.
5. You walk across fire.
I had walked across the coals five years prior and noticed they were quite hot, so this time, I tip-toed across quickly. Josh seemed to think there was a gimmick or a safety system in place, so he walked across slowly and flat-footed, like Bigfoot. As we walked back to the hotel, the bottom of his feet started burning and by the next morning, they were blistered and burnt. I’m sure you can get hurt, but that adds to the point of the exercise: to teach yourself that you can do things that seem crazy if you’re determined.
6. You role-play important skills.
There are a variety of helpful exercises that teach skills including negotiations, influence, and building rapport. You workshop with strangers as well as your partner. I still use the exercise I learned to get into peak state before I do any public speaking or presentations.
7. You learn how to start each day.
Tony teaches a ten-minute “priming” exercise that involves gratitude, visualization, and physical activity. Josh and I repeat it each morning to get our days started right. The finale is some jumping up and down yelling “Yes!” while the blender makes our morning smoothie. It makes our dog pretty confused, but it’s a lot of fun and reminds us of the weekend together in LA.
8. You break through limiting beliefs.
Through the course of the weekend, you work to uncover and examine the beliefs that are holding you back. We all have them, but it can take some guidance to see them objectively. By analyzing your limiting beliefs, you can create a plan to break through them.
9. You bond with the person you came with.
There’s a section of the event where you turn to whoever is standing to your right and tell them your greatest fear. In doing so, you realize how unlikely and ridiculous the fear sounds when articulated aloud.
Getting a sense of other people’s fears helps you understand the insecurities we all face. Over the course of the weekend, exercises like this bond you with the person you came with, fostering a deep sense of understanding and camaraderie that you’ll never forget.
10. You change your life.
The grand finale of the weekend is the Dicken’s process. It is probably the most important part of the event, and by far the most difficult. It’s a Neuro Linguistic Programming process designed to enact behavioral change.
Children are removed from the audience for exercise, which includes screaming, crying, even vomiting in some cases (not mine, thankfully). It’s incredibly testing and each participant endures the process completely alone in the dark. Spouses are warned not to comfort each other, no matter how upsetting the experience. It’s rough; both times I thought to myself afterwards that I don’t know if I could do it again, but both times I have come out a changed person. There’s nothing like it.
Since UPWLA2015 in late October, I’ve hit the first goal I set, to double my business revenue doing what I love. Another of my goals is to purchase a plot of land to eventually build our dream cabin in our favorite place, Idyllwild, California. I also aim to release a best-selling book, which is half written as of today! I have no doubt that this event was powerfully impactful to the trajectory of my life and I look forward to returning to UPW again some day.
Tony Robbins’ events may be a little kooky, but they allow you to spend time bonding with loved ones, creating compelling goals, and drafting an action plan for success. If you’ve even thought of attending an event, make this year the year. See his upcoming events here: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/events/.
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