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Me, Myself and Tony Robbins

Recently, I attended Tony Robbins’ Business Master Course.  It’s a 10 – day course broken out into two 5 day sessions.  I attended Session One.  5 days?  Tony Robbins?  My partner River Cohen and our friend Ian Lopatin, Founder of Spiritual Gangster invited me to go with them.  They are both TR raving fans. To prep, I packed Aloe Vera for coal walking, and watched “Going Clear,” the Scientology documentary, just in case TR was really a cult.  Admittedly, I was cautiously pessimistic.  I was wrong.  I learned more about myself and my business than all of my self-help and business books combined.  Especially, “Art of the Deal”.  Sorry.  This blog is not intended to replace Tony’s teachings, that would be offensive.  However, writing helps turn conscious learning into subconscious behavior.  I’m already sounding like TR.  I’m also hoping something in this inspires you to take action, whatever that action might be.

TR’s brand to the “doubters” ranges from a testosterone junky to cult leader.  I quickly learned the doubters mistake TR’s belief in the power of physiology for something else.

“Motion creates emotion”

Over 5 days we danced, sang, screamed, high-fived and raged just like the Stone’s concert I attended this summer.  Hmmm…. why is TR teaching a business course and making me feel like he’s Mick Jagger and I’m at a rock concert?


It’s because it’s all about the “State” your mind is in when you (or your employees) really want to influence behavior.  Get up.  Blast your favorite song.  Dance in your office.  Then, make the sales call or commit to a goal.  It works! This simple concept has already changed my perception about everything.

“Ok, I feel much better now.  I don’t even think I’ll need the Aloe.  TR, I get what you are doing to me.  I’m in “State”.  Let’s go!”

“People don’t buy products; they buy emotion”

“You want raving fans, not satisfied customers”

“Fall in love with customers, not your product”


I really do love our product, but TR’s right.  It really doesn’t matter how I feel about our products and services.  Are we really solving our ideal customer’s core needs? According to TR there are 6 Core Needs of every human being.  And you better know and deliver products and services that solve your client’s most valued need.


  1. Certainty
  2. Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Love and Connection
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution


For PCIHIPAA, our customer’s core need is Certainty.  My core needs are Love, Connection, and Tequila.

“What business are you really in?”


TR took us through an exercise to improve the elevator pitch.  Most business descriptions are boring and don’t put you, your employees or your prospects in the right state hearing or reading it.  For example, when people asked me what we do, I’d say, “We take the guesswork out of compliance,” or “We are a Compliance as a Service company.”  Well that sounds like an aphrodisiac for nothing.  But now understanding “State” and “Human Needs” I came up with:

“We improve the lives of healthcare providers by removing compliance uncertainty, insuring data security, and saving them time and money along the way.”

Not perfect.  But better?

“Business is two things; innovation and marketing”

“You are either going to be disrupted or be the disrupter”

“Always find ways to exceed your customer’s expectations or desires”


Business Mastery exceeded my expectations.  The agenda was packed (way more than expected).  Speakers were funny and engaging.  TR brought energy, perspective, and amazing insights.  His ability to easily teach and summarize complex business problems, helped provide a growth roadmap that any attendee could follow.  The simplicity of the message and the number of key takeaways, also exceeded my expectations.  It was apparent that TR worked hard on exceeding our expectations over the 5 days.  I never attended a conference that went 10am to 11pm some days.  It only took me 3 days to forget about the price I paid.  We always talk about “under promise and over deliver.”  But now I’m pumped to really deliver value beyond our customer’s expectations and imaginations.  Raise the bar.  And raise it high.

“Complexity is the enemy of execution”

“Simplicity is power”


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“Solve problems that really matter”

“One idea can change your life”


One example, we went through an innovation exercise. TR taught that new questions, new perspectives and new voices all drive innovation.  This one question will completely change the way you think about your business.


“If 100% of your growth had to come from client referrals, what would you do differently?”


Uh… everything.  New questions drive innovation.  New perspectives drive innovation.  New Netflix shows drive insanity. I left Business Mastery with my head spinning around how do we really exceed our customer’s expectations?  How do we really create that unexpected WOW?  We need to create an emotional connection.  How can we make someone smile?  It’s not easy to make people smile when discussing HIPAA compliance or payment processing.  Greatness isn’t easy.  Up for the challenge?



“Every business needs an irresistible offer”

“What does your ideal customer really want?”

“Provide more value than anyone else”


Most businesses have offers, but are they really irresistible?  Over the 5 days, TR interacted with many attendees to help illustrate the need of an irresistible offer.  Most examples involved some type of guarantee.  What can you guarantee your ideal customer to remove as much of the buying friction as possible?  What are they afraid of?  Find out and guarantee they have nothing to fear.  The guarantee equates to put your money where your mouth is.  If you really believe in your products and services, guarantee your clients will never regret their purchase decision.

“Proximity is power”

“Give more than you expect to receive”


These two principals have been critical to TR’s success.  His philanthropy is his passion.  One reason he’s able to devote material resources to his passion, is because of the opportunities his network has provided; his “proximity”.  I get it Jeff, it’s important to network.  Yes.  But network up, down, sideways and keep it constant and consistent.  Your proximity to influential people will accelerate your success.  Sounds simple.  But it has to stay front and center for it to happen.

“Ordinary consistency produces extraordinary results”

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”


TR walked us through an exercise where he helped drive 134% growth year over year in a “perceived” efficient sales channel.  Imagine if you are a mature business and someone walked in and said, “We are going to grow this business over 100% next year.  Everyone ready?”  I learned you can’t just walk in and dictate “how” to grow.  If there is no belief, there will most likely be failed execution.  The state of the mind is critical.  Especially from those being asked to do the job.  If you are the owner, don’t underestimate the perception of your dictatorship.  If you can’t influence limiting beliefs, you will not succeed. TR provided tools to suspend disbelief, and actually turn beliefs around. Once people believe, anything can be accomplished.  This was probably one of my favorite exercises.  I have way too many limiting beliefs.  However, I no longer think Carrot Top is better than Celine Dion.


“If you are in a business, you have problems”

“The secret is knowing which problems to solve”


Our greatest resource is time.  Running a business is a daily time allocation exercise.  TR teaches to work “on” the business, not “in” the business.  Easy for a billionaire to say who has hundreds of employees reacting to every word, every problem, every motion.  In fairness, TR came from nothing.  He’s worked his way to billionaire status. The lower the floor, the higher the ceiling.  I would not classify TR as normal.  He’s definitely abnormal.  But over those 5 days he made me a believer.  A believer in myself, my friends, my family, my wife, and my life.  Thank you River and Ian for pushing me to attend.  And thank you Tony Robbins.  Say YES.  Say YES.  Say YES.   Tequila?

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