The personal development and self-improvement industry is a highly profitable one, pulling in over $12 billion in proceeds per year, in the United States alone. With women as the target audience, there is no shortage of books, podcasts, training programs, and coaching services to get you on track to living your best life. Some of the industry's top dogs have created brands that are internationally recognized (I'm looking at you, Oprah!),while amassing millions. Where spirituality and marketing meet, these self-help gurus have cashed in on self-improvement in a big way.
10 Tony Robbins: $500 Million
Tony Robbins is one of the most successful self-help gurus, active in the 'scene' since 1978. Known for his world-class, interactive seminars, Robbins has used the themes in his book Unlimited Power to transform the lives of thousands of people. He has written five books, and is very active in philanthropic ventures, such as Feeding America and Operation Underground Railroad. In 2016, the award-winning documentary Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, was released to critical acclaim.
9 Deepak Chopra: $80 Million
Indian-born Deepak Chopra is one of America's most beloved New Age coaches. As an advocate for alternate-medicine and natural healing, Chopra is trained as a physician, and practiced medicine before he emigrated to the United States in 1970. He has written over 80 books, with 21 of them being New York Times bestsellers. His views have been criticized for their lack of scientific reasoning, but Chopra maintains his spiritual views, despite the skeptics.
8 Oprah Winfrey: $3.5 Billion
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most renowned self-made billionaires in the world. With a career spanning nearly 5 decades, she has established herself as a leader in the personal development world. Following 25 years as the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she went on to found the OWN-Oprah Winfrey Network in 2008. Focusing on personal development, and interviewing leaders in the industry, she has continued to bring spirituality and wellness to the spotlight. Her net worth is an incredible $3.5 billion dollars, much of which she donates to charitable causes.
7 Eckhart Tolle: $70 Million
Eckhart Tolle rose to fame with the publication of his 1997 bestseller, The Power of Now. The German-born spiritual teacher joined forces with Oprah Winfrey in 2008, when they released a 10-part webinar series focusing on many of the themes covered in his 2005 book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In his late 20's he suffered a major depression, and subsequently found enlightenment by observing his life, rather than jumping to find solutions and quick fixes for his problems. His transformation allowed him to see the world as a miraculous journey,
6 Jack Canfield: $20 Million
Jack Canfield is an American author and motivational speaker, best known for the inspiration collection Chicken Soup For The Soul, which he co-wrote along with Mark Hansen. The series has expanded since the original version was released in 1993, and now includes over 250 titles. His 2005 self-help book, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, focuses on the importance of goal-setting and visualization when creating a successful life. At 75 years old, he continues to be active in the coaching industry. His company The Canfield Training Group hosts several workshops per year, aimed at improving self-esteem, building confidence, and creating a wonderful life. His net worth is $20 million.
5 Gabrielle Bernstein: $3.1 Million
Gabrielle Bernstein is a life coach, spiritual leader, and motivation speaker who has risen to international fame in the last decade, thanks to the success of her self-help books. Her third book, May Cause Miracles: A 6-Week Kick-Start to Unlimited Happiness, reached millions of readers. She has subsequently released 3 more books, including this year's, Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life beyond Your Wildest Dreams. A kundalini yoga teacher, she has focused most of her career around the teachings found in A Course In Miracles. Her 2011 TedTalk has been viewed over 1 million times, and she is a regular contributor to the OWN Network Super Soul Sessions. Her net worth is $3.1 million.
4 Elizabeth Gilbert: $25 Million
Elizabeth Gilbert is the acclaimed author who wrote 2006's Eat, Pray, Love. The book was a huge success, and stayed on The New York Times Bestseller's List for 187 weeks. In 2010, the book was adapted to the screen, with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem playing lead roles. After she divorced from her second husband, she had a romantic relationship with Rayya Elias, her female best friend. Following a commitment ceremony in 2017, Rayya tragically passed away of cancer, in 2018. Gilbert continues to write fiction and non-fiction, and maintains a very active social media presence, where she often shares uplifting and inspirational advice. Her net worth is $25 million.
3 Esther Hicks: $13 Million
Esther Hicks, also known as Abraham Hicks, is an author, speaker and spiritual 'interpreter'. Along with her late husband, Jerry Hicks, she wrote thirteen books about the Law of Attraction, many of them published under Hay House. Hicks narrated and appeared in the original version of the film, The Secret. Her life's work has been focused on teaching people how to create the lives that they want, by following their emotional guidance systems, and tapping into manifesting techniques. Due to the success of her motivational workshops, Esther now hosts a special cruise that offers a full itinerary of events and speeches. Her net worth is $13 million.
2 Brendon Burchard: $7 Million
Brendon Burchard is a motivational master, author, and performance coach. High Performance Habits, released in 2017, was a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller. He has several online courses and coaching programs with the Oprah Winfrey Network, and has reportedly trained over 1.5 million people online. His lust for life and super enthusiastic attitude have made him a favorite in the personal development niche. He has a net worth of $7 million.
1 Lewis Howes: $12 Million
Lewis Howes is a former professional football player who established himself as a leader in the coaching world. His podcast, The School Of Greatness, was launched in 2013, and has approximately 4 million monthly downloads. He recently launched a television show called Inspiring Life with Lewis Howes, which is an exclusive Facebook Watch program. His book The Mask Of Masculinity, which teaches men to embrace their vulnerability, is a must-read for our generation. His net worth is $12 million.