Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

4 Success Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tony Robbins is a business and life strategist who helps people achieve personal and professional breakthroughs. He has reached millions through his wildly popular motivational seminars, his coaching of CEOs, U.S. presidents and billionaire hedge fund managers and his five internationally acclaimed books.

Joe Berlinger is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose films include the landmark documentaries Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a film that re-defined the rockumentary genre. In addition to his documentary work, he is a two-time Emmy and Peabody winner and has created many hours of television as both a producer and director.

After attending Robbins’ "Date With Destiny" event, Berlinger felt compelled to share his experience with the world through film. His team embedded themselves into Robbins’ event to give viewers an immersive look at the seminar. After years of planning and editing, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru was released in July of 2016.

In this unique interview, Robbins and Berlinger come together to discuss creativity, vulnerability, risk and reward. How can entrepreneurs and artists face repeated failure, criticism and rejection, and still find both achievement and fulfillment? The duo shares four steps:

1. Fix yourself first.

“Start where you are and solve your own challenges before you try to solve challenges for someone else,” Robbins says. Only then should you share what you learn with others. Robbins does not mince words about the “bastardized” state of the online coaching industry, in which many try to coach others when they have not yet produced results in their own lives.

Realize, though, that this process is a long one. To have a massive impact like Robbins or Berlinger -- saving someone from suicide, exonerating the wrongfully accused, creating or completely changing an entire industry -- takes decades of practice and commitment.

“Have some patience and know that you’ll overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in a decade,” Robbins says.

2. Forego the safety net.

At the start of his career, Robbins would speak to uninterested, distracted crowds and push himself to gain their attention. Once he could command rooms, he started coaching people through their phobias on the spot, live and in front of crowds. The chance of failure was high and there was no backup plan.

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in life and work, it maybe be that you’re playing it too safe. “All passion is found in uncertainty,” Robbins explains. “There’s no net. I’ve got to go out there, and there’s these people from 72 countries and their lives are on the line… and I’ve got to deliver.”

While Robbins solves people's problems on the spot, Berlinger puts his life’s work on the line again and again, trusting that he can find the truth through filmmaking. “I don’t have a script," Berlinger says. “I basically have to jump out of a window and hope that there’s a mattress on the other side to catch me. This kind of film is a huge act of faith to find the story.”  

3. Focus on the mission.

All of the aforementioned risk brings extreme pressure. How do Robbins and Berlinger deal? First, they hold tightly to the belief that they can execute the task at hand, thanks to years of practice. Second, they focus on their mission, which they both describe as seeking out the truth. In fact, this was Berlinger’s biggest piece of advice for aspiring creative entrepreneurs and filmmakers. “You have to, in your gut, believe in what you’re doing," Berlinger says. "You can’t take no for an answer."

Robbins chimes in, “When you have a mission that’s larger than yourself ... when you believe what you’re doing is so important ... I see it as a privilege. I see it as a gift.”

4. Foster gratitude and appreciation.

Many creative individuals, especially those with years of experience, have a bias toward cynicism. This makes sense if the cause of cynicism and skepticism is, as Robbins explains it, a defense mechanism. Creatives put their souls into their work, then send that work out into the world for feedback. This can wear on a person, and the way to fight it, Robbins and Berlinger agree, is by practicing gratitude.

“When you don’t fully appreciate [life], you cheat yourself,” Robbins says. Our ancient brains, he explains, are wired to look for danger in order to survive. We must rewire our brains to look for and appreciate the positive aspects of life each day. The ability to overcome the law of familiarity and truly appreciate life is a skill people are not really taught, Robbins says. The key is to be able to stop and find joy, pleasure and appreciation at any point, even when your business isn’t producing or critics tear your work apart.

This shift in Berlinger, after attending one of Robbins’ events, prompted his eventual documentary. “It was eye-opening for me to appreciate my life," Berlinger says. "I get to make films for a living? How lucky am I?”

Watch more videos from "The Pursuit" on the show's YouTube channel. 

Related: How One Lifestyle Entrepreneur Went From His Sister's Couch to the White House

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical and provides partners with distribution on as well as our apps on Amazon FireRoku and Apple TV.

Click here to become a part of this growing video network.


How to Lead Calmly and Effectively While Your Business Experiences Growth

The co-founder and CEO of Komodor discusses his company's journey and his advice for entrepreneurs who find themselves in the spotlight overnight.

This Meta Leader Has Interviewed More Than 300 Job Candidates. Here are Her Pro Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Job Interview.

Meta's head of Global Environmental, Social, and Governance Business shares her dos and don'ts when it comes to the phases of a job interview.

This No-Code Platform Just Closed a $55.5 Million Round B

The co-founder and CEO of EasySend shares how his company creates digital customer journeys and his advice for entrepreneurs looking to break through the noise.

This SaaS Founder Sold His Business to Oracle for $9.3 Billion

In November 2016, NetSuite was acquired for $9.3 billion. Founder Evan Goldberg explains how it happened.

These Founders Started Their Company With a $300 Investment. They've Now Done $1 Million in Profits.

Watch this exciting episode of 'Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch' to learn about Canadian legging company Rose Buddha and see which hopefuls are able to land investor capital.

This Digital Campaign Celebrates the Fast-Growing Workforce of Web Creators

Elementor's VP of Marketing discusses the company's digital campaign and how web creators fit into the larger creator economy.

Watch the 60-Second Pitch That Landed a $500,000 Investment

Find out which companies impress our investors on another exciting episode of 'Elevator Pitch.'

Why This CEO Believes Entrepreneurship Is as Important to Learn as Geometry

Ayele Shakur shares her bold plan to make entrepreneurship education a requirement for high-school students and explains why business leaders should get on board.

How this Healthcare Entrepreneur is Disrupting the Fertility Space

The Founder and CEO of Inception Fertility shares how his family's road to parenthood inspired a brand that's making fertility treatment more accessible and the patient experience at the heart of what they do.

Can a Sex-Enhancement Product Score a $100K Deal in 60 Seconds?

Don't miss the new 'Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch' episode. Watch now!

Why This Company Is Providing Financial Services for the Blockchain Space

The co-founder and managing partner of Nexo shares how his company has expanded from a lending service to a 360-degree financial management platform.

This Doctor Uses Machine Learning to Identify Overlooked Causes of Infertility

The founder of Pregmune shares how his company is revolutionizing the treatment of fertility care.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.
  • Watch our staff interview top entrepreneurs and report on location in these exclusive videos.