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Thu 5 Sep 2019 09:15 AM

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Video: The $1bn life coaching industry and Tony Robbins explained

Were you there at the Tony Robbins show last night?

If you actually paid anywhere between $400 and $5,400 for the show, then you must really believe in the idea of life coaching and the various life coaches that have earned a name and the humongous bucks doing what they do.

The life coaching industry is an estimated $1bn business expected to grow 6.7 percent to $1.34bn by 2022, according to marketresearch.com.

What is the average income of a life coach then?

Somewhere between $27,100 and $73,100 a year.

What do you have to do to become one?

Complete 60 hours of training to become a member of the International Coach Federation.

So what exactly is the issue here, you may ask?

The big fat promises. Take the Robbins’ Achieve the Unimaginable seminar in Dubai last night, for instance. He claims to help you “discover your greatness, live your passion, attract wealth and abundance, achieve your goals and master massive success” – all in less than 24 hours (10 hours, to be precise).

So if you’ve been to one of Robbin’s shows, you will realise that it is a big production in itself. dazzling club lights, pulsing club music and the hyper energetic show put forth by the man himself and some psychologists actually attribute the way his shows are produced and presented to the impact he has on people.

Dr Saliha Afrida says, “Robbins’ production elements, including music, sound and room energy, results in a placebo effect as attendees’ bodies release chemicals such as dopamine, which helps control emotional responses such as feelings of pleasure as part of the reward and motivation system; and creatinine, which is a compound produced by metabolism”.

Sure they can have some very strong short term impacts, but how long do they last and is there any real impact at all or is just an illusion?

He’s also been caught in the eye of some controversies like the Buzzfeed investigation.

Buzzfeed News revealed a year-long investigation based on leaked recordings, internal documents and dozens of interviews with fans and insiders who claim that the celebrity life coach “berated abuse victims and subjected his followers to unorthodox and potentially dangerous techniques. And former female fans and staffers have accused him of inappropriate sexual advances”. This piece actually came out a year after he criticized the #metoo campaign.

There were also some issues when he came to Dubai last for the World Government Summit when some attendees left the session because of “differences in UAE traditions and culture”.

But to be fair, its not just him, but a lot of his fans have gone on the record to say how their lives have changed because of Tony Robbins. Psychologist Hiba Balfaqih and founder of The Smash Room says he is the man who changed her life after having stumbled upon him while battling diabetes and depression, and losing AED1.5m [dirhams] in a business deal.

There are so many more people across the world for whom he has been a total life changer. And the fact that he has famous and influential friends helps to – I mean he did make his millions by “rewiring” people like Donald Trump to Oprah Winfrey to Princess Diana and Bill Clinton.

But these people could probably afford his $85,000 exclusive annual membership programme. How about the majority of the others, the fans that idolise him and watch every single one of his podcasts, pay hundreds and thousands of dollar to attend his show – are their time, money, and devotion directed towards a genuine person who can actually change lives or is he just another millionaire self-help guru capitalising on all of these blind emotions.

(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)