Jim Rohn, a figure often hailed as the grandfather of personal development and America’s foremost business philosopher transformed countless lives with his compelling wisdom and profound teachings. Rising from humble beginnings, Rohn became a beacon of inspiration, illuminating the path for those seeking to improve their lives, reach their full potential, and achieve enduring success.

His speeches, filled with practical advice and insightful anecdotes, resonated with many, turning the ordinary into extraordinary. This article aims to shed light on the life and accomplishments of this self-improvement titan, revealing how he became a pivotal figure in the realm of self-improvement.

Just as Rohn himself said, “Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become”, let’s delve into the journey of this legend, uncovering the magnetism behind his success.

Who is Jim Rohn?

Jim Rohn was a formidable figure in the world of self-development. Born in Yakima, Washington, in 1930, he embarked on an incredible journey that transformed him from a farmer’s son to a millionaire entrepreneur and renowned motivational speaker.

His life was a testament to his belief that self-development is the key to a successful and fulfilling life. Rohn’s teachings, grounded in principles of responsibility, hard work, and self-discipline, have inspired countless individuals to achieve their potential and lead lives of significance.

He was more than a motivational speaker; he was a mentor, a guiding light, and most importantly, a man who practiced what he preached.

Jim Rohn Biography - Peter Boolkah

Website: jimrohn.com

Jim Rohn Biography

Born on the 17th of September, 1930, in the small town of Yakima, Washington, Jim Rohn came from a farming family. His entry into the professional world was not marked by any extraordinary events but began with a humble job as a department store clerk. However, Rohn’s ambitions were larger than his circumstances. In due course, he established his own business, stepping onto the path that would ultimately lead him to become a coveted entrepreneur.

By the late 1960s, Rohn had sold off his business, pivoting towards a new journey that would mark the beginning of his legacy in the realm of self-development. He started sharing his insights through seminars and workshops, focusing on a blend of personal growth strategies and business acumen. His first public seminar was held in 1963, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, California. His words echoed with his audience, making him a popular figure in the realm of motivational speaking.

Rohn’s influence didn’t stop at seminars and workshops. He ventured into the literary world, penning several books that shared his unique philosophy towards self-development and business. His writings further amplified his fame, making him one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in America. Among those who found inspiration in Jim Rohn’s teachings were luminaries like Tony Robbins and Mark Victor Hansen, underscoring the powerful impact of his philosophy.

Jim Rohn passed away on December 5, 2009, but he left behind a legacy that continues to inspire and motivate individuals toward higher achievement and personal fulfillment.

Early Life of Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn spent his childhood as a farm boy in Idaho. Rohn grew up in a humble setting far removed from the affluence he would later come to know. His parents, Claire and Emmanuel, were hardworking folk who instilled in him a sense of convention and practical wisdom.

Rohn’s early education, though modest, sowed the seeds of his storytelling prowess, a gift he inherited from his father. Yet, throughout his school years, Rohn felt a growing disconnect. He yearned to learn about life, not merely absorb traditional academic knowledge. This thirst for knowledge led him to make a bold decision – he left college after only a year to immerse himself in the real world.

Unfortunately, this path initially led to hardship, and by the age of 25, Rohn found himself bankrupt and mired in debt. His early life was, therefore, marked by a series of trials and tribulations, setting the stage for the extraordinary journey that would follow.

Jim Rohn The Professional Career Journey

Now that we’ve delved into the early years of Jim Rohn’s life, let’s turn our attention to the pivotal juncture where he transitioned from enduring hardships to embracing success. This phase of Rohn’s life is marked by ceaseless striving, outstanding achievements, and immense growth, serving as the cornerstone of his legacy in self-development.

Entering the World of Business

Rohn’s venture into the world of business came as a stroke of serendipity when he met his mentor, Earl Shoaff, at a local Rotary Club event. Shoaff was a successful businessperson who took Rohn under his wing, imparting invaluable wisdom and igniting a spark in the young man. He coached Rohn with the fundamental principles of life – constant self-improvement.

Under Shoaff’s mentorship, Rohn embarked on a journey in the direct selling business, working his way up from a distributor to eventually becoming a millionaire by the age of 31. It was here, in the heat of the entrepreneurial battleground, that Rohn honed his philosophies and sharpened his understanding of success, failure, and the nuances of life.

His time in business not only furnished him with wealth but also embedded a profound understanding of human potential and the power of personal development – a knowledge he would later share with people all over the world as a motivational speaker and self-development guru.

Turning Point in His Career

In 1963, Rohn’s career took a pivotal turn when he was invited to share his journey and the philosophies he had cultivated at a local Rotary club event. Initially, he spoke in front of small, intimate groups, sharing his experiences and the wisdom he had gleaned.

However, it quickly became apparent that his extraordinary insights and common-sense approach resonated deeply with his audiences. His speeches were filled with truth, wisdom, and practical advice, making the intricate workings of self-development and success accessible to all.

Eventually, Rohn transitioned from business to full-time motivational speaking, dedicating his life to teaching the principles that had brought him success. This marked the birth of a new era, with Rohn emerging as a beacon of wisdom and inspiration in the realm of self-development, his teachings becoming a guiding light for countless individuals around the globe.

Jim Rohn honed his craft like a skilled artist for more than four decades. His work has empowered individuals worldwide, enabling them to shape life strategies that broaden their horizons and redefine the boundaries of what can be achieved.

Jim Rohn Mentees and People Which He Has Influenced on Them

Jim Rohn’s profound insights and practical wisdom helped motivate and shape an entire generation of self-development gurus, as well as executives from America’s top corporations. Renowned figures in the realms of self-development, entrepreneurship, and motivation owe a significant part of their success to Rohn’s teachings.

The following section is dedicated to those influential individuals who, having been touched by Rohn’s wisdom, went on to make their mark on the world.

Mark R. Hughes, founder of Herbalife International

When we talk about Jim Rohn, it’s impossible not to mention one of his most notable mentees — Mark R. Hughes, the founder of Herbalife International. Hughes encountered Rohn’s teachings at a pivotal point in his life. Rohn’s philosophies about self-development, hard work, and success greatly influenced Hughes and became the bedrock upon which he built Herbalife International.

Hughes often attributed his success to the invaluable lessons he learned from Rohn, citing his mentor’s teachings as the force that propelled his business to global recognition. It’s a testament to Rohn’s enduring legacy that his wisdom continues to guide business people like Hughes, long after his passing. Rohn’s influence on Hughes is a clear illustration of his far-reaching impact on the lives and careers of those he mentored.

Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker

Brian Tracy, another luminary in the field of motivational speaking, also found an invaluable mentor in Jim Rohn. A successful business leader, author, and motivational speaker, Tracy admired Rohn’s ability to distill complex ideas into simple, actionable principles.

Rohn’s teachings on self-development and achieving success significantly influenced Tracy’s methodologies and approach to life. Rohn’s principle of taking responsibility for one’s life resonated deeply with Tracy and became a cornerstone in his teachings. Additionally, Rohn’s emphasis on continuous learning and self-improvement has mirrored Tracy’s career path — a path characterised by constant evolution and learning.

Tracy has often spoken highly of Rohn’s impact on his life and career, illustrating once again the profound influence Rohn had on shaping the lives of many successful entrepreneurs and speakers.

Tony Robbins, life strategist

Perhaps one of the most renowned figures who was profoundly influenced by the teachings of Jim Rohn is none other than Anthony Robbins, widely known as Tony Robbins. As a young man, Robbins attended one of Rohn’s seminars, which sparked a transformational change in his life. Rohn’s philosophies regarding self-development, self-discipline, and the power of positive thinking resonated deeply with Robbins, shaping his approach to life and success.

Robbins often shares that it was Rohn’s simple yet profound wisdom: “For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better” that became a guiding principle in his personal and professional life. This led him to pursue a career as a life strategist and motivational speaker, directly impacting the lives of millions of people around the globe.

Mark Victor Hansen, American inspirational speaker and trainer

Mark Victor Hansen is another noteworthy figure who has been deeply influenced by the teachings of Jim Rohn. Co-creator of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series, Hansen is widely recognised for his ability to inspire and motivate individuals to achieve their personal best.

The influence of Rohn’s teachings on Hansen’s life and career is evident in his work. In particular, Rohn’s emphasis on the power of the individual to effect change and his belief in the limitless potential of human beings is mirrored in Hansen’s motivational speeches and writings.

Hansen’s ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series, replete with stories of resilience, faith, and the indomitable human spirit, aligns closely with Rohn’s philosophy of self-development and self-improvement.

Everton Edwards, Entrepreneur and Business Coach

Everton Edwards, an entrepreneur, and business coach, is yet another individual who was greatly influenced by Jim Rohn’s teachings. Edwards’ entrepreneurial journey was significantly shaped by Rohn’s philosophy of ‘working harder on yourself than on your job’. This concept encouraged Edwards to invest in personal growth and development, which in turn, profoundly impacted his business ventures.

Rohn’s teachings guided Edwards in navigating the complexities of the entrepreneurial landscape, enabling him to overcome challenges and seize opportunities effectively. Edwards often credits his business acumen and success to the lessons learned from Rohn, highlighting the power of self-development and continuous learning. Today, Edwards, like Rohn, is dedicated to empowering others, imparting wisdom, and sharing the strategies for success he learned from his mentor.

This once again illustrates the far-reaching impact of Rohn’s teachings, inspiring not only the individuals he directly influenced but also future generations to strive for personal and professional excellence.

Todd Smith, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker

Todd Smith, a successful entrepreneur and motivational guru, is another exemplar of the enduring influence of Jim Rohn’s teachings. From a young age, Smith was introduced to Rohn’s philosophies about self-development and success, which had a profound impact on his entrepreneurial journey.

Smith adopted Rohn’s principle of daily self-improvement, leading to significant growth both personally and professionally. This philosophy became the cornerstone of Smith’s own success, as he built several thriving businesses, motivated by the desire to improve and the ambition to succeed. Smith, like Rohn, emphasises the importance of self-discipline, goal setting, and the power of positive thinking in his lectures.

In his role as a motivational speaker, he carries forward Rohn’s legacy, inspiring others with the lessons he learned from his mentor. The influence of Rohn’s teachings continues to guide Smith’s actions and decisions, demonstrating the timeless impact of Rohn’s wisdom on the lives of those he inspired.

Jack Canfield, Co-Author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”

Jack Canfield, best known as the co-author of the widely successful “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, also stands as a testament to Jim Rohn’s enduring influence. Canfield’s approach to self-development and the principles of success resonate deeply with the teachings of Rohn.

From the outset of his career, Canfield adopted Rohn’s philosophy of personal accountability and continuous self-improvement. This concept of taking ownership of one’s life and actions is central to Canfield’s own teachings and is evident in his best-selling books. It was Rohn’s emphasis on the power of the individual to effect change, and his unfaltering belief in human potential, that shaped Canfield’s understanding of success and achievement.

Harv Eker, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker

Harv Eker is an internationally renowned entrepreneur and motivational guru who, much like the aforementioned individuals, has also been greatly inspired by Jim Rohn’s teachings. Known for his book, ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind’, Eker’s philosophies about wealth, self-development, and success echo the cardinal principles propounded by Rohn.

Eker’s guiding mantra, “How you do anything is how you do everything”, bears a striking resemblance to Rohn’s belief in the importance of self-discipline and personal accountability. This principle underscores Eker’s teachings on the correlation between one’s mindset and one’s level of success, mirroring Rohn’s emphasis on the power of the individual to shape their destiny.

Eker’s success as an entrepreneur and his influence as a motivational guru are testament to the profound impact of Rohn’s philosophies. Like Rohn, Eker continues to inspire millions with his wisdom and insight, propagating the enduring influence of Rohn’s teachings on self-development and success.

positive attitude

The Five Fundamentals of Life and Success Jim Rohn

1. Philosophy

Jim Rohn’s teachings place a significant emphasis on the power of personal philosophy. He believed that our philosophy, the set of beliefs and principles we hold, forms the foundation of our life and determines the trajectory of our success. According to Rohn, a strong and positive personal philosophy can serve as a compass, guiding our actions, decisions, and responses to the circumstances we encounter.

He postulated that by honing our philosophy, we can directly influence the quality of our lives. Rohn’s philosophy encourages individuals to adopt a proactive outlook, asserting that we are not mere products of our environment, but rather the architects of our own lives.

2. Attitude

Jim Rohn firmly believed in the power of attitude in shaping one’s destiny. He stressed that our attitude directly influences our perceptions and responses to the events and circumstances in our lives. Rohn saw attitude as a powerful tool for change and progress, arguing that by cultivating a positive and resilient attitude, we can handle life’s challenges more effectively and seize opportunities when they arise.

He emphasised that our attitude, more than our aptitude, determines our altitude in life. In essence, a positive attitude propels us forward, enhancing our ability to learn, adapt, and grow. Rohn’s teachings encourage individuals to maintain a positive attitude, no matter the circumstances, asserting that it is not what happens to us, but how we respond, that truly matters. In emphasising the power of attitude, Rohn inspires individuals to embrace a mindset of positivity, resilience, and relentless pursuit of personal and professional growth.

3. Activity

Jim Rohn underscored the significance of activity in the pursuit of success. He often stated that our lives are shaped not merely by what we know, but by what we do. In other words, he believed that knowledge without action is unfruitful. Rohn championed the idea that success is a result of consistent, purposeful action.

He encouraged individuals to actively apply the principles of self-development and self-improvement, regardless of how small these steps might seem, as they can lead to significant transformations over time. Rohn’s philosophy of action emphasises the importance of initiative, diligence, and resilience. He taught that one must not wait for opportunities to arise, but rather to create them through focused and persistent action.

4. Results

Jim Rohn was a strong advocate for the concept of result-oriented living. He believed that our actions, attitudes, and philosophies inevitably manifest in the results we achieve, both personally and professionally. Rohn often stated, “Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to catch butterflies.

Success is something you attract by the person you become.” This underscores his belief that our personal growth and the implementation of our knowledge are the prime determinants of the results we obtain. He encouraged taking personal responsibility for outcomes and maintaining an unwavering focus on achieving desired goals.

5. Lifestyle

Jim Rohn firmly positioned lifestyle as one of the paramount pillars of success. He postulated that how we choose to live our lives can profoundly impact our journey towards success.

Rohn propagated a lifestyle of balance and moderation, heavily focused on continual self-development, physical well-being, strong relationships, and meaningful pursuits. He often stated, “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” This underscores his belief in prioritising personal health and well-being. Moreover, he emphasised the significance of cultivating enriching relationships and encouraging individuals to surround themselves with people who inspire growth and positivity.

Famous Books by Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn authored countless authored countless books and audio and video programs. Here are the most groundbreaking books that encapsulate his philosophy and teachings:

  • “7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness” — This book serves as a practical guide that combines Rohn’s philosophies with actionable advice to create a roadmap for attaining wealth and happiness. In this book, Rohn provides powerful strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
  • “The Art of Exceptional Living” — In “The Art of Exceptional Living,” Rohn explores the concept of leading a balanced, fulfilling, and enriched life. He delves into the importance of self-development, goal-setting, and maintaining a positive attitude.
  • “Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle” — This book presents Rohn’s philosophy on life and success. He reveals the five key components of life that influence our future – Philosophy, Attitude, Activity, Results, and Lifestyle. Each component is discussed in depth, providing the reader with profound insights into how they can shape their own life.
  • “Leading an Inspired Life” — This is a collection of Rohn’s most potent teachings. The book is a treasure trove of wisdom, including inspiring stories, personal anecdotes, and practical advice on how to lead an inspired life.

Popular Jim Rohn YouTube Videos

Jim Rohn’s YouTube channel hosts a wealth of inspirational and educational content, offering viewers a comprehensive insight into his philosophies and teachings. Here are some of the most popular videos:

  • “The Best Year of Your Life” – In this video, Rohn provides viewers with practical strategies for making the most of each year. He touches on goal setting, self-development, and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.
  • “How to Gain Financial Freedom” – Rohn shares his insights into managing personal finances, investing wisely, and building wealth. His easy-to-understand approach makes financial knowledge accessible to all.
  • “Take Charge of Your Life” – In this presentation, Rohn emphasizes personal responsibility and the power of taking action. He encourages viewers to become the masters of their fate.
  • “The Power of Ambition” – This video explores the concept of ambition and its role in achieving success. Rohn discusses how ambition drives action, fosters resilience, and inspires personal growth.
  • “The Day That Turns Your Life Around” – Rohn shares personal anecdotes and stories to inspire viewers to seize the day and make the most of every opportunity. He stresses the importance of decisive moments and the impact they can have on our lives.

Jim Rohn Awards

Throughout his illustrious career, Jim Rohn received several awards and accolades, a testament to the significant impact of his contributions to the field of self-development. A notable achievement was his induction into the Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame. This prestigious honour recognised his exceptional influence as a motivational speaker and his instrumental role in shaping the direct selling industry.

Another noteworthy accolade in Jim Rohn’s career was the National Speakers Association CPAE Award, which he received in 1985 from the National Speakers Association. This esteemed award is bestowed upon speakers who have demonstrated exceptional command of the spoken word, achieved outstanding accomplishments in their careers, and have elevated the speaking profession.

Additionally, he was posthumously awarded the Master of Influence Award by the National Speakers Association (NSA). This award is given to individuals who have notably elevated the speaking profession, further emphasising Rohn’s enduring legacy in the field of personal and professional development.

Jim Rohn’s Net Worth

Jim Rohn died at the age of 79 years on the 5th of December 2009. His estimated net worth was reported to be a staggering 500 million dollars. He’s a self-made millionaire and one of the most influential self-development gurus who amassed his fortune primarily through his public speaking, numerous books, and informative seminars. The biography of Jim Rohn includes multiple prolific written works such as: ‘The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle’, ‘The Art of Exceptional Living’, and ‘Twelve Pillars’.

Rohn’s enduring legacy continues to motivate individuals globally, his wisdom reaching and influencing countless lives. His teachings, championing the principles of personal accountability, perseverance, and self-enhancement, have been widely adopted in a myriad of personal growth initiatives and workshops.


At what age did Jim Rohn become a millionaire?

Jim Rohn became a millionaire by the age of 31. His wealth can be attributed to his successful career as a self-development speaker, author, and business consultant. His early success within the direct-selling company, Nutri-Bio, laid the foundation for his wealth.

However, his transition into motivational speaking and writing truly amplified his financial success and helped him write his success story. His timeless teachings have continued to inspire and guide individuals on their path to success, further cementing his legacy in the field of self-development.

How did Jim Rohn influence modern personal development speakers and authors?

Jim Rohn has had a profound impact on modern personal development speakers and authors. His philosophies and teachings have been adopted and adapted by some of the most influential figures in the field, including Tony Robbins and Les Brown. Rohn’s emphasis on principles such as self-responsibility, goal setting, and continuous learning has provided a foundational blueprint for self-development.

His approach to motivating and inspiring individuals is often echoed in contemporary teachings, demonstrating his enduring influence. Furthermore, Rohn’s unique ability to distill complex concepts into easily understandable and actionable advice has shaped the way self-development content is delivered today.

Did Jim Rohn have children?

Yes, Jim Rohn had two children. His personal experiences as a father greatly influenced his teachings, particularly in the areas of personal responsibility, fostering a positive attitude, and setting clear goals.

He often spoke fondly of his family and credited his children with providing him additional motivation to succeed. His life experiences as a father and family man provided a relatable and human touch to his teachings, making his philosophies resonate strongly with many individuals worldwide.

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