Writing Lessons from Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins, one of the world’s biggest life and business coaches, says that one of the shortcuts to success is modelling others who are already doing what you want to do. So if you want to write a book that sells millions, inspires countless people to improve their lives, and catapults your career, let’s model an author who’s done just that: Tony Robbins. Today I’m looking at the writing lessons we can learn from his awesome book, Unshakeable.

I’m Liz, the writer behind Green Goose Ghostwriting. I help entrepreneurs who want to write a book to demonstrate authority in their niche and get more speaking engagements. I write their book their own voice so they can share their message, inspire others, and finally level-up their business.

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins with Peter Mallouk is a step-by-step playbook to transform your financial life, and it’s designed to be a quick-and-easy version of Tony's mammoth New York Times bestselling book Money: Master the Game.

My husband and I are pretty new to talking responsibility for our investments, planning for retirement, and all that boring grown up stuff. So we learned a lot from this book!

And part of why we learned so much was because this book is so brilliantly written. It’s clear, easy to follow, engaging (which is saying something for a book with a whole chapter on taxes). And there were three key lessons I took from this great writing.

Lesson 1: Write like you speak

Okay, I listened to this on audiobook so it literally sounded like Tony Robbins! (He narrates part of it plus there are two other narrators.)

But he writes like he speaks. He uses the same language, phrasing, contractions, and jokes that he uses in real life. If you’ve heard any of his interviews or seen his Netflix documentary, you’ll know what he sounds like. And his writing “sounds” just the same. 

People love learning from Tony Robbins because he has this infectious energy and a compelling way of being that draws people in. If he tried to write “properly” like we’re taught in school, using full sentences, never starting a sentence with a conjunction, whatever, he would lose that magic that makes it his voice. He’d lose the unique energy that people are attracted to.

And people will be attracted to your unique voice, if you just quit hiding it behind trying to sound smart. So, talk normal. And write like you talk.

Lesson 2: Repeat and repeat again

I once heard Oprah say that the key to a good speech is to tell people what you’re going to tell them, then tell them it, then tell them what you told them.

So you start by saying, “Today I’m going to tell you about x, y, z,” and you give them a quick summary. Then you tell them your points in more detail. Then you end by summarizing, again, what you just told them. So you say, “I hope you now understand x, y, and z.”

That’s great advice because, unfortunately, we all need to hear things multiple times before the message sinks in.

We all need to hear things multiple times before the message sinks in.

We all need to hear things multiple times before the message sinks in.

Just kidding.

But that’s what Tony’s book does beautifully. Every chapter starts with a summary. In this section we’re going to talk about… whatever. Then he gets into the meat of the subject. Then he ends each chapter saying, “You now know that …” and he summarizes it again. 

You may think it’s a waste of words or patronizing to go over things more than once, but it serves your reader well. It guides them through the learning process so they can retain the information you’re sharing. And after all, what’s the point of telling people something if they’re not going to be able to remember it?

So repeat, and repeat again.

Lesson 3: Face the objections

There’s a moment in this book where Tony talks about taxes. He introduces the subject, then says something like, “I can see you rolling your eyes and going to sleep. But don’t! He’s why you should pay attention to taxes.”

He acknowledges that taxes are boring as all hell, calls out the reader for rolling their eyes (in a nice way), and faces the objection head on.

The objection is, “I don’t want to read about this because it’s boring.” He straight up recognizes this and tells us why we should read anyway.

If you don’t mention the objections, they don’t go away. Your reader won’t forget why they aren’t totally on-board with what you’re saying. The objections just become more engrained.

It’s better to talk about them head on and take the opportunity to change the reader’s mind. Maybe you will change their mind, maybe you won’t. But you definitely won’t if you ignore the objections.

So there they are...

So there are our three writing lessons from Unshakeable by Tony Robbins: write like you speak, repeat your message again and again, and face the objections.

If you want more advice like this to improve your writing, enter your email below and you’ll get 15 writing tips from today’s top entrepreneurs. I’ll also send you more cool stuff about writing for your business every week.

See you next time.


P.S. Wondering why there's no video this week?

I'm sick. Again. Not too bad, but I do sound like Darth Vader. Which I guess is appropriate since May the Fourth will be here soon. (May the Fourth also happens to be my birthday. Coolest date of the year by far.)