7 Real Estate Investing Lessons We Can Learn From Tony Robbins

by | BiggerPockets.com

I’m not really the world’s biggest Tony Robbins fan.

Love him or hate him – it’s undeniable that he’s had an enormous impact on millions of people having sold over 30 million motivational tapes, published at least three best sellers and done tens of thousands of seminars.

For me, I’m more of a Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale kind of self-help guy.

But my acquisition manager Bill Roberts is what you would call a Tony Robbins FANATIC. In just a few weeks, he and his bride are driving to some hotel in New Jersey for a weekend seminar to see the seven foot tall giant with the flashy smile live – then take a stroll on some hot coals.

Bill’s been talking about it for weeks now…listening to his “Personal Power” tapes over and over again in the office and generally getting all “Robbinsed-out” in preparation for the big event.

And I have to admit – working with Bill side by side over the past couple of months – the whole Tony Robbins thing has started to rub off on me a little bit too.

I can’t say I’m going to be driving 400 miles anytime soon to walk on perfectly good charcoals that would be better utilized to grill a nice rib eye…but I have come to really respect his message and what he’s all about.

What I respect most though, is the obvious effect the Robbins message has had on Bill. I’m talking about tangible effects he actually puts this stuff into action. Most people never even take the cellophane off the box – but not Bill.

And I can’t help but get motivated by it as well…

Bill has been the driving force behind our house flip business achieving a whole new level of success – and now that I’ve been force-fed his message over the past few months, Robbins’ guidance has definitely played a role. And these seven lessons below can perhaps help you to either take your real estate investing career to a new level – or to just get it started in the first place.

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7 Real Estate Investing Lessons from Tony Robbins

1. Leverage The Power of Focus

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power.”

In real estate investing you can get so distracted – especially when you’re reading all the great info here at BP. As Brandon Turner once wrote, there are 101 ways to invest in real estate – so you have many many choices if you want to get into this industry.

With all that opportunity comes the “shiny object” syndrome – constantly chasing many different paths – but never really mastering any one.

I’ve been guilty of it too – heck we’ve gone into modular homes and some other kinds of investing. But I’ve always come back to the core – namely responsible renovating through house flipping and long-term buy and holds.

Focus is power as Robbins says – and a focused person can accomplish more than 100 people who are just merely interested.

2. Realize That Decisions Decide Destinies

“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”

Every idea of yours starts with a thought. That thought then becomes a thing. When you act on that thing you make decisions – and as Robbins says: decisions decide destinies!

Whatever your decision is – to start flipping houses, to sit on the couch and do nothing, to go to your first REIA meeting, to aimlessly wander on Facebook for hours, to make your first comment on the Bigger Pockets forum are all decisions that you took action on. All these things will then have consequences based on that decision.

Whatever decisions you make in your life, will add up to create the sum total of your life. As Robbins says: your life is the results of your decisions you’ve made so far.

3. Major in Major Things

“Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”

Don’t get caught up in the small things in life. Think big and dedicate your life to achieving big things, but remember that those “big things” are going to be different for each of us.

For me – it was “how can I take my real estate investing business to the next level?” My answer was taking on Bill the Robbins disciple as my acquisition manager. Then it happened.

Maybe for you if you’re just starting in real estate investing, it’s just buying your first flip or your first buy and hold – whatever it is, constantly think bigger and bigger. Major in major things and not in the minor things. It’s far more fun this way instead of the other.

4. Take Action!

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”

If you’ve been reading here on the Bigger Pockets blog for any time at all – you may not realize it – but you actually have more than enough knowledge to start investing in real estate right now! The problem is you think that you don’t.

You can keep reading, watching videos, ordering courses and asking question here on Bigger Pockets – which, don’t get me wrong – is good to do, but at a certain point  you have to take action!

Wouldn’t right now be a good time?

Overcome your fears, get out there and start attending real estate investing meetings, talk to realtors, start scouting out properties, talk to potential investors.

If you continue to print out “really good articles” and place them in a file next to your desk then never actually do anything… you are not real estate investing. You are just waiting to start real estate investing…

Instead, start taking action and start actually doing it. Now!

5. Find a Mentor

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

Robbins had a mentor and his name was Jim Rohn. Robbins realized that the fastest way to get his career going was to NOT re-invent the wheel – but to observe success from others and then just do what they do.

There’s no sense in re-creating the wheel. Find someone who’s already invented the wheel and then copy their formula. You won’t do it exactly like them – but you’ll have a huge head start than if you did it all on your own.

As Robbins says: Follow a leader, think like a leader, act like a leader, and you will become a leader!

6.  Set Goals and Challenge Yourself

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals; that is, goals that do not inspire them.”

According to Robbins, the path to success is simple:

(1) Decide on what you’re absolutely committed to achieving through inspiring goals

(2) Take massive action

(3) Notice what’s working or not

(4) Change your approach until you achieve what you want while using whatever cues life gives you along the way

Simple right?

It all starts with knowing what you want – and this comes from setting inspirational stretch goals for yourself.

Your goals are like a little internal compass guiding you subconsciously along a pathway to success. When combined with positive thought and positive self-expectancy, the formula is very powerful – simple – but powerful.

And it all starts with inspiring goals that compel you to action.

7. Make Small Changes to Your Self Talk

“When it seems impossible, when it seems like nothing is going to work, you’re usually just a few millimeters away from making it happen.”

So many times, we hear negative thoughts in our heads when things don’t go right. It happened to me last week when a deal I thought was going to close in a matter of weeks now may not ever close. It was really bad news to hear on a Friday.

The negative thoughts started coming…fast.

So many times, we hear in our head the negative thoughts that hold us back from success. You may hear them saying things like: “This real estate investing is way too much work, I’ll never get it done!” or “I’m not smart enough to be successful in real estate!”

Not exactly positive self – talk…

Bill gets himself out of negative state by commanding himself out loud – they are called “incantations”. It’s amazing how the power of positive self-talk, just making a little shift can start to change things for you.

After he does his incantation, makes the small change, he then gets back on the phone and calls another prospect. And now I’ve started to do it myself.

It’s not all going to go right for you in your real-estate investing career – it never will in fact. But when you make small changes in your self-talk you can overcome any obstacle and move on to the next task.


If you’ve made it this far, please leave a comment below! What do you think? What are your tips to keep yourself going investing in real estate? Please leave a comment below and let me know!

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

About Author

Mike LaCava

Michael LaCava is a full time real estate investor, house flipping coach and the President of Hold Em Realty located in Wareham, MA. He runs the website House Flipping School to teach new real estate investors how to flip houses and is the author of “How to Flip a House in 5 Simple Steps”.


  1. I like your writing style Michael! For me, having a big enough #6 makes all the difference. Getting clear on what is really important to me, ie, the ‘Why’…..makes the ‘How’ so much easier. Awesome post.

  2. Stephanie Dupuis on

    Hi Michael! Enjoyed the article. I’m also more of a N. Hill person.

    I keep myself on a positive track by reading my big goal every day in the morning when I wake up and at least one other time – I read it out loud. I believe my goals. Really believe them deep down.

    When things aren’t going how I’d like them, I remind myself this is temporary, I reach out to others (who usually provide the reality check I need or some other helpful insight to get out of the rut I’m in), and I also keep up the positive self-talk combined with action. I say good things out loud. I let myself hear positive things to myself.

    Keep reaching higher. Continue to visualize better things. If I’m trying to do something that’s already been achieved by myself or another person, then I can certainly achieve it – it’s only a matter of time. Further, I believe my ability is limitless – so when I come across obstacles, I build myself up.

    That’s how I keep myself going in RE.

  3. Enjoyed the article, never really got into Tony but like you I too have been a vigilant reader of the likes of Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale. These are the authors I overcome negative thinking with (my books are a bit worn), once you can control your own thought process it is amazing what one can accomplish – use positive actions, use positive self talk and you will succeed!

  4. I’m a Tony Robbins fanatic.

    He’s been our life and business coach for years. Without him, we wouldn’t be nearly what we are.

    We’ve walked on coals and climbed, then jumped off a 70 foot high telephone pole (the pole made the coals look like a cake walk), and I had always been terrified of heights.

    Tony has made us think so far outside the box we don’t even see a box anymore, and he has proven to me how my limitations are my own and only exist because I allowed them. Others talk and write about it, he creates a personal physical shift. No one like him, and we’ve listened to most of them!

    Thanks for the post. Glad to know you have a Tony fanatic on your team.

  5. I’m also a Tony Robbins fan. (I only walked on hot coals; did not have the chance to jump from the telephone pole!)

    There was one exercise in particular that was instrumental in making a big change in my life about 20 years ago, and I use this exercise still today. Here it is…

    If you are dissatisfied with your life and you know you should take action but can’t find the motivation, sit down and close your eyes and imagine what your life will be like five years from now if nothing changes; if you don’t take any meaningful action to change your life. So in five years, your life might not look too bad, but now imagine 10 years if you don’t do anything different. And then imagine 20 years from now what your life will look like if you don’t take any action. For me, that was an eye opener to realize I’d be an old lady, hating my job living in a city I hated. That Tony Robbins workshop got me to move from NYC to LA and out of a job I hated to be independent, which I have been ever since.

    I have the tape set; it would be a good idea for me to refresh myself again!

  6. Michael Dorovich on


    It is funny you say you are not a Tony Robbins fan, because I felt the same way. Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, I could listen to them and others, but for some reason I refused to listen to Tony Robbins.

    After meeting successful investor after investor who all cited Tony Robbins specifically as their one source of inspiration or motivation, I decided I had no choice but to listen to what he has to say, and listen to every word. Literally the top 3 multifamily investors I know are all big Tony Robbins fans.

    As Bruce Lee said, ‘you should know that it doesn’t matter where you learn it from, if you can use it, you should learn it.’ I have been going through the Personal Power II cds for 15 minutes a day, and I must say that it only helps steer you in the right direction.

      • Michael Dorovich on

        Hi Elizabeth,

        It was pretty simple. After doing a real estate training with a friend who was listening to the 28 cd Personal Power II cds along with his partner, he started buying 50+ unit multifamilies not too much later, and I was making little progress. I studied everything else except those cds.

        After listening to a few other Tony Robbins cds, I was still resistant to them. Having copied the 28 cd set from the library onto my hard drive, one day I decided to just listen for 15 minutes per day and take detailed notes.

        Might as well go with the most thorough approach and use what is proven.

        • I just bought the Personal Power CDs. I will also take copius notes, thank you for the suggestion!

  7. Just what I needed to read today. We are just in the beginning stages of our rei career and have been running into obstacles, not really roadblocks, but certainly big ole speed bumps. Thanks for the timely article!

    • Hi Angie
      The road is not straight but as long as your make your corrections along the way you well end up back on the road closer to your destination.
      Myself and no other real estate investor is immuned to bumps along the way.
      Just keep moving.

  8. Michael~

    I don’t know if the phrase, “Contempt prior to investigation,” resembles your previous feelings, but I am certainly guilty of such thinking.

    It is humbling when I realize that something I had held in low-regard, or even dismissed, is seen working in my own life – much less, by proxy.

    Uh oh, I was wrong! Again…

    It’s our awareness of these situations wherein we can make positive change & grow our life / business / relationships, et al.

    I will certainly take a look at Robbins books after reading about your experience.

  9. Dmitriy Fomichenko

    Mike, a very well written post. Like you mentioned, it is important to take action and a lot of people rather end up within analysis paralysis. Further, you said it right, it’s important to use others’ experience. In Tony Robbins’ words, it is not about re-inventing the wheel but learning from the success stories of others and then write yours.

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