All posts by Glenn Plaskin

Finally at the Printing Press–so Break Out the CHAMPAGNE!

After months of writing a book—recording and transcribing interviews, composing multiple drafts, plus the editing and copy-editing—it’s finally time to PUBLISH!

This is the fun part of book writing–the final result of a huge amount of work.

At last, rather than just reading your book on a computer screen, you can hold in your hand an actual printed book, the tangible result of your vision.

I can never forget the time I held my first book, the biography of legendary concert pianist Vladimir Horowitz. The book took 3 ½ years to write, and at last, it was done.

And so it is for Frank Fiume, a pioneer in the youth sports industry and founder of i9 Sports, nation’s leading franchisor of youth leagues and camps.

After almost a year of intense work, Frank has finally completed his personal memoir, RUNNING WITH MY HEAD DOWN, a captivating account of his family history and the trajectory of his business.

(He’s even got a second book on the way, an inspirational business memoir that will be commercially published. So stay tuned.)

As Frank demonstrates, when you have a passion and purpose, and when you’re laser-focused upon it, anything is possible.

You can overcome bankruptcy, as he did. You can counter-punch any naysayer, as he did. You can take calculated risks, as he did.  And you can triumph over physical illness, reversals of fortune, and loss.

The final result is THE BOOK.

As you can see, the printer sent us these moment-to-moment photos from the production line of RUNNING WITH YOUR HEAD DOWN, each book wrapped by hand.

The 570-page volume has been bound into a deluxe hardcover edition, with burnished gold letters, embossing of the book jacket, and hundreds of interior photographs that illustrate the story.

It’s the best of memoir writing—when the words on the page match the photos, bringing the story to life for every reader.

It’s an unforgettable experience for every author, a true cause for celebration. So congratulations Frank!

Here’s a little excerpt:

What am I meant to do with my life? What is my destiny? And how am I going to get there?

These were some of the age-old questions that most preoccupied me from adolescence through young adulthood.

Repeatedly, when in doubt about my future, I’d turn to my dad for his advice. As I think back on it now, I was really asking him: What is my purpose in life? Dad, who was a self-confident, successful medical professional at a prestigious Manhattan hospital, would always respond to my question in the same reassuring way: “Don’t worry about it. You’ll figure it out.”

But how? First, I had this insane misconception that I was going to wake up one day and have a life-altering epiphany. I figured I’d hear the voice of God telling me exactly what to do with my life, like something out of the movies. But it never happened.

Then, as a naïve college student, it seemed as if the happiest people were the ones who found the Holy Grail of purpose, while those who didn’t were doomed to struggle emotionally and financially. (I didn’t want that to be me.)

So I put a lot of pressure on myself, wanting to find out why I was put on this earth. How would I know when I found that purpose? What if it was too difficult to attain? Who would help me get there? I guess you could say I wasn’t exactly a go-with-the-flow kind of guy, so these questions about my future gnawed at me for years.

To this day, I’m intrigued by how people solve the puzzle of their lives—discover their passion, find their purpose, and earn a good livelihood, one hopefully leading to another.

And as a bonus throughout the upcoming book, you’ll read about how Frank was inspired by the work of the world-renowned peak performance coach Tony Robbins. We witness the profound impact of Robbins signature seminars such as Date With Destiny  and Unleash The Power Within. That’s where transformation begins. 

 

From Bankruptcy to Millions: One Story, Two Books That Inspire

Frank’s favorite Yankee, Graig Nettles

Sometimes, one childhood event affects everything that follows it, as if the clues of destiny were left right at  your doorstep.

A bestseller on the way

That’s the way it was for a kid from Queens named Frank Fiume, who at age four, was taken by his parents to his first baseball game–a pivotal event that began a lifelong passion for the sport, which became the pathway to fortune.

As he remembers it in his upcoming book, RUNNING WITH MY HEAD DOWN: A Memoir Of Perseverance and the Search For Purpose

Young Frank all ready to go!

“With thousands of fans pouring into Shea Stadium, the anticipation and energy of the crowd was electric. For a little kid like me, it was a magical sensory experience, complete with the smell of popcorn and hotdogs and vendors everywhere, hawking food, T-shirts, and baseball hats. Could there be a more perfect place? Not to me. It was love at first sight.”

From that day forward, Frank became obsessed on the game, mastering the names of players and statistics, collecting baseball cards, and later managing amateur leagues of his own, the first of which he sold for $1.8 million.

He  ultimately became a pioneer in the youth sports industry, founding i9 Sports, the nation’s leading franchisor of youth leagues and camps, which has, since 2003, generated over $200 million, with 2 million registrations in 900 communities across 30 states nationwide.

What was the secret of his success?

Passion for the game. Laser-focus. Total Commitment. And the determination to never quit.

As he says, the fastest route from home plate to first base is RUNNING WITH MY HEAD DOWN—a metaphor for life that became his mantra.

When the first-time author called me up on the phone, he presented the intriguing premise to write two books—one a privately-published legacy volume intended just for family and close friends; the other a slimmed-down business memoir, to be commercially published, focusing on Frank’s rags to riches story.

None of it came easily. Traumatized after his parents divorce, Frank was living in a roach-infested tenement apartment, his mom working two jobs to make ends meet. “I vowed that when I grew up, I was never going to experience poverty, and that if I ever got married and had kids, I would never allow them to suffer because of it either.”

As the story evolves, no matter what happens to Frank–being degraded and underestimated as kid, taking the wrong professional route as a medical equipment salesman, or encountering competitors who attempted to squash him–HE NEVER GIVES UP and HE NEVER GIVES IN.

Frank and his family, daughter Taylor-Marie, wife, Nadine, and son, Frankie

At one point, overcome with debts after a bad investment, he declares bankruptcy. But it isn’t long before he  pulls himself back up again, building his business, creating a happy family life, and becoming a serious student of self-development too, drawing inspiration and business acumen from peak performance coach Tony Robbins.

All of it combines into a riveting American success story, one driven by perseverance and guts, and the willingness to run with your head down, getting to your goal no matter what the obstacle.

 

 

The Ironman Book

Passion is the fuel of success. So when you’re driven by something you love to do—your talent and energy always brings with it fulfillment.

Take the case of one of my self-published clients, Steven R. Adams, a Cincinnati-based criminal defense attorney who has competed four times in The Ironman Triathlon World Championship—the most treacherous one-day endurance race in the world.531309BD-8A63-4916-B305-441A166F19B7

To get through it, as Steve notes, “You have to swim like you’re gonna drown, ride that bike like you stole it, and run like they are chasing you!” And so he did.

Years later, when Steve came to me to write his first book, he wanted to incorporate the same lessons he’d learned as an athlete into a unique system for showing young lawyers how to become successful solo practitioners.

The result: Practice Law Like An IRONMAN, Unbeatable Checklists for any Lawyer Creating and Building a Solo or Small Practice, a 300-page guide climbing the charts on Amazon.  

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It all started when Steve, a natural promoter with a zany sense of humor, flew to New York to meet me with two heavy spiral-bound notebooks. There were 1,000 pages of ideas he had gleaned from landmark books in the field of business and self-help.

My mission was to synthesize all that material, interview him, and turn it into a book that would capture a succinct inspiring message for thousands of lawyers.

What was totally unique about Steve’s vision was that, instead of a technical narrative tome, he wanted to produce a checklist book, an easily-digested step-by-step guide. This format allows the reader to think in bullet points, to stay focused on a logical sequence of steps to attain each goal.

Although I know almost nothing about law—other than paying my lawyer when needed—the challenge is one of the gifts of being a ghostwriter. You take on an assignment, and throw yourself into it, riding a steep learning curve to the end.

Like any  Ironman, you have to set a goal and stick with it no matter what. Creating a book from an initial vision is like an athletic competition–it takes focus, energy, discipline. But it’s always worth it.

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Backstage With Trump

It all started at the Phil Donahue Show in December l988. There I was, in the green room, interviewing Donahue for a Family Circle magazine profile.Donahue

And one of the guests on his show that day was the 42-year-old mogul Donald Trump, then rapidly expanding his empire with casinos, hotels, an airline, you name it.

I spotted the blonde-haired king of glittering high-rises standing alone in the wings, open and interested as I approached him, no handlers in the way. I told Trump that I’d just been hired by the New York Daily News to write Sunday magazine cover profiles. “And YOU’RE my first choice!”

“Call me,” he answered briskly. And what followed was a four-year adventure in Trump Land: The first was a story called THE PEOPLE’S BILLIONAIRE.Trump MagTrumpPlaskin2

But that interview was just the warm-up.

The following year, over a period of six weeks, we spent 11 hours together, for the Playboy Interview, one of the few times in the magazine’s history that they put a man on the cover.TrumpPlayboytrumplayboytext

I probed about his roots and life story, about his ideas about business and politics, and the result hit the front pages of the New York Tabloids.

To this day, the Trump Playboy Interview hangs on the Republican Presidential nominee’s  office wall, framed in gold, as many things are in Trump Tower. And even now, as he’s running for President, the viewpoints he expressed in our interview long ago are still relevant, this according to The New York Times, which recently called the interview ‘prophetic.’ During the Republican Convention, National Public Radio also fleshed out the Playboy Interview and Trump’s relationship with the media. And if you want to listen to the RADIO INTERVIEW version of it, it includes my viewpoint and other commentators, some of whom are drearily negative.

From my original introduction:

“At Trump Tower, after being visually frisked by a troop of basketball-player-tall bodyguards, I entered the inner sanctum. There was Donald Trump, as he would be for most of our sessions, slumped behind the cinnamon-colored desk, slung comically low in his chair…‘I think best this way,’ he’d deadpan.

“Supervising his office like an exceedingly well-run vaudeville show, executive assistant Norma Foerderer would wander in with another gold-framed magazine cover to put up on his wall–or with a seven-pound cheese-cake or a stuffed skunk. Trump would take calls during our interview–never for more than a few minutes–that invariably ended with, ‘OK, baby, you’re the greatest.’ Then secretary Rhona Graff would walk in, bearing little yellow slips of paper announcing calls waiting: down-on-his-luck financier Adnan Khashoggi, asking to have lunch; a hotel executive, dickering to sell yet another big hotel…. By the time Duchess Fergie called about borrowing his brand-new accident-proof helicopter, and Don Johnson to borrow his city-size yacht, I was dizzy.Helicopter

“We began our first session hovering above the East River in the cobalt Darth Vader helicopter. Donald Trump was strapped into taupe leather, good-naturedly hyping his empire below.”

After this interview was published, I continued my Trump rounds and did two more interviews that were intriguing exclusives,  subsequent covers stories with his first wife, Ivana, and his second, Marla–this a print interview given only to me during the height of the tabloid circus that followed Trump as he ended one relationship to begin another. Ivana was, without doubt, the most stunningly-groomed woman I’d ever seen in person, an executive at the Plaza Hotel with impeccable standards. When I later met Marla, she was obviously exquisite looking, but ever so young and idealistic.
IvanaMarla Cover2

Later, when my Turning Point book was published, Marla flew to Chicago with me to appear on Oprah.

None of this would have happened had Donald Trump not allowed himself to be closely questioned.

MarlaCoverFolliesMarla

As in interviews today, this mercurial, controversial figure is leading with his gut, just as he always has, following his intuitions and instincts. And while he  often expresses intense disdain for media reporters, he certainly remains the master of the game.

 

 

Capture Your Story– And Publish It Now

Everyone has a book inside them…just waiting to be written.Magic book

In fact, 81% of all Americans say they want to write a book, but never knew how to get started.660_typing

Whether it’s a memoir, a family history, or a book about  business, you have a unique story, but no easy way to tell it.

Rather than spending months, or even a year or more laboring over a 300-page book, with months of interviewing and research, there’s a faster, more affordable option.

In fact, a concisely dramatic book of 75-100 pages can be finished in 90 days. This is the perfect GIFT for: The Holidays, Family Reunions, Birthdays, Business Landmarks, Wedding Anniversaries, and Remembrances For Those Departed. 

Using my process of flash interviewing, instant transcription, and professional editing, a dream becomes a reality, and quickly.

The result is an Autobiographical Scrapbook memories2, putting down on paper your unique memories, using  your own voice and reminiscences from your family and friends. This is a picture of your life. This is YOU, and those closest to you, talking anecdotally about the highs and lows, the triumphs and disappointments, all of it told in a fluent, dramatic narrative.

Here are your stories about the people who were most influential in your development,  your views on the world—the history of your work and your relationships, your first loves, alex-pettyfer-gabriella-wilde-endless-lovethe discoveries,ss the trips you took, your family’s beloved PETS–bb-code-for-forums-url-http-www-imagesbuddy-com-cute-little-dogall of it captured once and for all.

The result is a professionally-published volume, printed on demand in whatever quantities you like, complete with black and white or color photos and/or illustrations and copies of important mementos collected over a lifetime. Gift-wrapped and ready for any occasion.

Some may remember the NBC hit show—This Is Your Life— in which a celebrity is surprised on-air and taken through his entire lifetime in front of a life audience, with appearances by colleagues, friends, and family.

Now you can have a literary version of the show—a narrative scrapbook of memories, a lasting legacy, and a fun tribute, to all you’ve experienced.

 

rGtrT

On The Radio: Never Let A ‘Low’ IQ Stop You From Meeting A First Lady

NEVER listen to anyone who denigrates your potential. As a kid, I did~and it almost ruined my life, dimming my prospects.

glennkidWhen I was in 5th grade, my mother and I were pulled into the Principal’s office to discuss the ramifications of my D- average: “Don’t feel bad,” the genius told my mother. “Although your son has a low IQ, garbage collectors can be happy too.”

Great advice! It was a TURNING POINT that would forever change my life. And years later I wrote an entire book titled TURNING POINT, about how every one of us faces trials and crises. How do we get through them? And what do we learn? 519TzPxk1PL._UY250_

The humiliation of being called stupid stayed with me for years. You can see it in my shaky smile from a class pictureGlennteeth.

And as my mother said just yesterday: “That principal was unbelievably mean and stupid….I was  appalled at the time by what he said.”

Compounding my misery was the abuse I took for years from bullying male classmates.

Gym class was a horror. Getting beat up and pushed around was commonplace. And  I had no way of fighting back effectively, either verbally or physically.

Nor were there teachers who intervened, as they might today, aware that traumatizing any child that way is unacceptable.

And thereafter I escaped into fantasy, what some might  call “visualization,” imagining a greater, more glamorous life, hoping that one day I’d do something notable that would prove my worth.

I  spent hours escaping into magazines, reading about the lives of movie stars and politicians.  I was particularly fixated on then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Everything she did seemed magical to me.b5b9d34b5bb72c7c9cca056ab450443e 7523ef4199faabffbf313d36c0c194b6

I dreamed of one day of even meeting her. How ridiculous it must have seemed. There she was the most famous woman in the world; and here I was, just a kid in Buffalo with a low IQ! I had as much chance meeting her as I did appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. Her glamour was beyond imaginable. b995a842837e8b8d8cefe60883d2ef29[And how incredulous when years later I was on the phone with her and meeting her for lunch. She would even write a letter of recommendation for me.]

Flash forward: In a RADIO INTERVIEW released today, I explain to the host Kevin Horek, a journalist for TechZullu and an upcoming media personality, how it all happened—how I came to New York with no friends, no money, no job, and no writing experience–and how I sold my first book anyway, the BIOGRAPHY OF VLADIMIR HOROWITZ.  We also talk extensively about the process of ghostwriting and how the entire process works. 51S14Ix4f9L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

I always say, if I could do what I did—anyone out there with a dream to succeed and perseverance can do it too.

Poison words like these must be dismissed: ‘You’re too young…or too old….too skinny or too fat….too dumb or uneducated….it’s never been done.” And one of my all-time favorites: “Get Realistic.”

Don’t!

Kick Me In The Wheels, and Lift Up My Hood

Creating a full-length book for a  client is like constructing a house from the ground up, or like manufacturing a car–both of which have thousands of moving parts.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-house-under-construction-image2306615Mini-car-assembly-line-001

A typical non-fiction memoir has  65,000 to 100,000+ words, with multiple chapters organized into a cohesive structure, each sentence customized to create momentum and interest. The process takes months of work, sometimes more than a year, including creating a story board, a chapter line-up, hours of tape-recorded interviews, transcription, composing text, followed by multiple re-writes, editing, and copy editing.

So what should writing a book from scratch cost? In the magazine world, for a seasoned writer, a fee of $2 per word is not uncommon. In the book world, it ranges from $1 to $2 per word, depending on many factors–the length of the manuscript, the number of months involved, the extent of the research, the supplementary interviews required, and the project’s deadline.

But remember, regardless of cost, creating a book is not just a business, but an art. It’s like commissioning a painter. In centuries past, great noblemen (and women) imagesMona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouchedwould have a self- portrait created by a master artisan in the court who could capture their aura,  facial expression and body language, down to every wrinkle on a silk blouse or leave on a background tree.

Writing a book is no less detailed an art. So when choosing a ghostwriter, you must look at their past “portraits”–their track record, published work, style, and, not least important, their reputation on the Internet.

In addition, as I’ve said in a previous blog, CHEMISTRY between the Author and Ghostwriter is  paramount. Your personalities should click. There needs to be a natural conversational rapport between you, a meeting of the minds, with both people on the same “wave length.” If you’ve got that–you’re well on the way to building a compelling book that will attract readers to it.

Before the work begins, there must, of course, be a discussion of price. It’s not quite like buying a car–though authors should feel free to kick me in the wheels and lift up my hood, as they examine my background.

Unlike an automobile assembly line, books cannot be made in duplicates, following a cookie cutter approach. ford-model-t-assembly-lineEach book is unique. So you must choose your ghostwriter carefully. For starters, in my case, check out my Official Web Site, My Latest Book, and the site exclusively for Ghostwriting.

In any case, this is the assessment period and it’s important. So feel free to ask lots of questions.

In the end, you can find someone to write a book for almost any price imaginable, just as you can buy a used car for almost nothing or pay into the six figures for a top-notch car.

No matter what, first things first. Define your budget, then find a great writer who fits into it, someone who is reliable and consciousness, experienced, and produces work that captures your voice and message.

Like a fine piece of furniture,quality and workmanship are top priorities, davidroentgenattributes that will stand the test of time, creating your legacy–and increasing the likelihood of substantial book sales.

Typing Or Talking: Which Will It Be?

Unknown-1Before starting work on any book, it’s essential for me to understand YOU.

How do you most effectively communicate your ideas and express yourself? What makes you come alive?

Some people are natural talkers. Their thoughts just pour out of them in a stream of consciousness, one thought flowing logically to the next. No problem.

Whether they’re talking on the phone or delivering a speech, they perform extemporaneously, spinning their ideas into an integrated whole.

670px-Talk-With-a-Deeper-Voice-Step-1In fact, if you ask a natural talker, often an extrovert, to type out or write out their ideas, they often stiffen up. Their natural rhythm is thwarted. Why? Because typing or composing in long hand either slows them down or inhibits them.

Many critique what they’re SEEING, trying to make it perfect as they go, rather than allowing their thoughts to flow—and having them edited later.

One of my celebrity clients, a motivational speaker, would always tape-record his initial thoughts for a chapter in advance of our work together. This recording would capture the essence of his vision.

j-k-rowling-writingOther authors, however, articulate their thoughts and emotions effortlessly while TYPING or WRITING it all out in long hand. JK Rowling, for example, says she “still likes writing by hand. Normally I do a first draft using pen and paper, and then do my first edit when I type it onto my computer. For some reason I prefer a black pen to a blue one, and in a perfect world I’d always use narrow feint writing paper.”

VanityFairColorJackie Collins says: “I write in longhand. I want that black felt tip pen and I want that yellow legal pad and I’m good to go anywhere in the world.”

For a memoir, authors often present their initial writings in the form of a journal, a diary, or a daily log. It’s almost as if they think through their fingers, their thoughts flowing naturally onto the screen or paper. Often, as introverts, these authors would prefer to initiate their ideas in a tangible form.

So which are you—a talker or a typer? Most ghostwriting clients, I find, would prefer to be INTERVIEWED, allowing me to steer the conversation and extract from them all the detail needed for an expressive chapter. These conversations are recorded and transcribed and form the essence of the raw material that will ultimately be refined for the book. Remember: What you write is a lasting legacy. Home-page-logo

However, if you’d prefer to write out your thoughts, inevitably, we STILL need to do conversational interviews to supplement what we have.

No matter what you do—talk or type or longhand– a ghostwriter then FILLS IN, EXPANDS,  REWRITES and ENHANCES the narrative, turning something interesting into something magnetic.

86In the end, my job as a ghostwriter is to SQUEEZE the juice from the orange, extracting everything I can in order to capture your thoughts and emotions in a compelling way. So before we even begin, we always experiment a bit and see which method works best: A phone call? An in-person interview? Reading already-prepared written materials?

Once we settle on what works best for YOU—the  magic begins.

Orange-vs-Orange-Juice

Turning A Ford Into A Ferrari

Determined first-time authors are sometimes able to sketch out an entire first draft of their book, capturing the basic themes, and even the overall chapter structure. But while many of the fundamental ideas are laid out on the page, the result is not yet a finished book. As Ernest Hemingway once bluntly put it: “The first draft of anything is shit!”
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In writing my own books, for example, including a 650-page biography of VLADIMIR HOROWITZ, or years later, my memoir, KATIE: UP AND DOWN THE HALL, I always started with roughly getting the general flow of ideas onto the page without worrying too much about making it perfect. Remember, it’s a work in progress, not a monument.

The mistake that many first-time writers make is trying to make each section perfect before they move on to the next. Not necessary. By the time an actual book is finished, it will often go through multiple drafts.

So the FIRST draft is a little like looking at a blurry photograph.
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You can get the general idea of the image, but it’s fuzzy and unfocused, though it’s a great start. After all, nobody expects you to reach the summit all alone. And that’s where a ghostwriter comes into play.

I recently had a prospective client submit a first draft of a self-help inspirational book about how how to find a career that most closely corresponds to ones true calling and passion. Not least important, this book proposed to demonstrate how you can turn that calling into a profitable business. One sub-section was titled: “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”

As an example of how a kernel of an idea can be transformed, I took just that one paragraph, digesting its overall message, and then re-wrote it. It’s the before and after:
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Before:

Anything is possible. An easy thing to say and more intensive to produce, but note I said “anything,” not “everything.” The same theory applies to if you chase two rabbits at the same time, there is a good chance both will escape. That is why your dream, along with your action plan is critical – to making what you want possible for your life, a reality. Listen, anything is achievable, it’s just a matter of time and approach.

After:

You often hear the maxim that ‘Anything Is Possible.’ But to those who may be stuck in a rut or burdened by a financial, physical, or emotional challenge, this may sound like just an easy thing to say.
To those skeptics, attaining a great dream may seem all but impossible.
But it isn’t.
I believe that anything is possible, but notice I didn’t say “everything.”
To attain success, you need single-minded determination. You also need to be physically energized and laser-focused, rather than chasing off in different directions. If you attempt to fulfill two goals at the same time, you may not succeed in either one.
As the adage goes: If you chase two rabbits, both will escape. So in a culture driven to distraction, it’s essential to remain concentrated on your dream.
And to make that dream a reality, your ACTION PLAN, as we define it, is critical.
Armed with that, it’s just a matter of time before what you imagine is achievable.

After the author read it, I was touched by his note to me:

“Glenn, I am sitting here after reading looking at the copy as a kid does with his
hands and nose pressed up along side the glass window of a Ferarri dealership
wishing that some day he could have one of those.”

022111_some_old_ford_tferrari340competizionegI never thought of myself as a Ferarri!–but what a compliment.

In any case, what the ghostwriter can do is take the image you have in your mind and produce from it a fleshed out picture. This means that anyone with a great idea and the support of a ghostwriter can make their book come fully to life, and it doesn’t have to take more than 6 months to get the job done.

If YOU could write a book about anything at all, what would it be?

Tony Robbins Uncensored

In between writing books, nothing compares to interviewing world figures for Playboy, the  venerable magazine that  features the most extended interview format in publishing today.

Playboy CoverDon’t just read it for the pictures!

UnknownUnknown-1Unknown-2Unknown-3Everyone from Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand have done the Interview–and in the September issue, on newsstands now, you can read my exclusive interview with the king of coaches, Tony Robbins.

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Our 8-hour conversation originally banked in at 100,000 words, the size of an entire book. We then took the  most riveting portions of it. And voila–read it for yourself.

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The father of what has become an entire industry, Robbins is the world’s pre-eminent peak performance coach today, earning $30 million per year.

Unknown-8Unknown-9Over three decades, four million have attended his seminars, 50 million have purchased his tapes and books, and he’s  worked with luminaries beyond the expected:

Unknown-4Unknown-5Unknown-6Unknown-7Bill Clinton sought his advice as president. Serena Williams relied on him to avoid on- court meltdowns. Princess Diana bared her soul to him in Kensington Palace. Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins, Quincy Jones, Andre Agassi, Donna Karan and Greg Norman have all turned to him.

And now, his compelling message, in a detailed interview, is here for you. You’ll hear firsthand how his troubled childhood influenced his Herculean drive to teach millions, and how he transformed himself from a 17-year-old janitor into a 24-year-old millionaire.

On why people don’t succeed:  “The ultimate thing that separates people is finding a mission greater than themselves.  But most people major in minor things.  They know more about Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashians than about their emotional lives.  They start out with dreams but get slapped down by disappointment, which takes a bite out of their confidence.  So they travel through life with less than they deserve and come up with a story about why.”

On changing your life:  “People say it takes 10 years to change your life.  It’s bullsh*t.  It takes a moment, a second, yes.  But it may take you 10 years to get to the point of finally saying, ‘Enough.’ (People) feed their fear because they are deathly afraid of failing, of not being enough.  They will say, ‘I can’t lose weight because I’m big-boned.’  I say, ‘No, you’re freakin’ fat!’  You don’t like your body, your job, your relationship?  Change it.  It’s obvious.  But most people won’t do that.  It’s too scary.”

On his “very intense meeting” with President Obama:  “I was invited to a private meeting with 18 business leaders, most of them Silicon Valley billionaires.  I started off saying, ‘Mr. President, I voted for you before, but how will things be different four years from now?  You haven’t passed a budget.  Even Democrats aren’t supporting you much.  And why didn’t you support Simpson-Bowles?’  The audience was a bit shocked.  (After continuing to criticize Obama’s record) Someone came over and touched my arm and said, ‘I think that’s enough.’  To the president’s credit, he said, “No, Tony is generating some creative tension here.’  At the end, he looked at me:  ‘Tony, you made me think today.  Talk to my chief of staff.  Let’s set a time for you to come to the White House.’”

On his second wife, Sage: “(I am) the happiest I’ve ever been. Sage is one of the greatest gifts God’s given me. My whole life is driven by love. It always has been. It’s never been driven by material things—which are just benefits of doing something I loved.”

On monogamy: “I don’t know if monogamy is right for everybody. I wouldn’t have believed it was possible before. When I got divorced, I didn’t believe any man could stay with one person and be fulfilled. But I believe in it 100 percent today.”’

glennPtrobbinsfiji

Together with Tony in Fiji, and after taking a leap