TONY Robbins is a self-assured man. But you would have to be when you’re the world’s most famous motivational speaker.

Not that ‘motivational speaker’ is actually a term he subscribes to — he prefers ‘life strategist’ or ‘business strategist’. “People don’t know what else to call me,” he told “[People watch my seminars] for a few minutes and it’s like a rock concert. It’s like a warm bath and there are 10,000 people shaking the building. I know how to blow the doors off. It’s motivating.”

Robbins is an empire unto himself. For decades, his fans have been lapping up his pearls of wisdom, paying to see his shows and buying up his books and tapes. Nowadays, you’re just as likely to find him doling out strategy advice to corporate boardrooms as preaching to convention centres full of aspirational people yearning for more than their lot in life.

Growing up “extremely poor”, the 55 year old can now call people like Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Hugh Jackman his clients and friends. So what has he learned from hanging out with the uber-successful?

“The one most universal trait is hunger — that drive that never seems to go away. There are lots of intelligent people but the most successful are always hungry and driven — be more, give more and create more. Be the driving force in sports, business or anything else.

“A lot of people don’t feel hungry anymore and it’s about getting people to reignite that. I think you have to decide what you want in your life. Some people want more and the ones who want more are the most successful.

“There’s only one word for happiness and that is progress. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
“But while it’s great to achieve, you also need to find fulfilment. Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure. Look at Robin Williams. He made everyone happy but himself.”
Asked, in our aspirational world, if it’s ever okay to not have ambition, to just be content, he said it’s more about “discovering a life that’s possible”.

“In my experiences, you don’t have to be [Salesforce CEO Marc] Benioff, but you can’t take your relationships for granted. What is your vision for your life? Is there a gap in some area — your body, career, relationship? I want to know what you want; what do you want if you have no fear of failure? Then let’s make life on your terms.”

Tony Robbins will be in Sydney in April for the National Achievers Congress.