Performance strategist Tony Robbins knows all too well that life coaches are often seen as snake-oil salesmen.

Despite the skepticism surrounding self-help books and related seminars, Robbins has amassed an impressive list of clients during his career, from politicians to celebrities to billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, with whom Robbins has worked for more than 20 years.

During a recent video interview with The New York Times, Robbins discussed his new book, Money: Master the Game, and why helping people like Jones "systematize" and "maximize" is not just a lot of hocus-pocus.

According to Robbins, your ability to do your job has a lot to do with your emotions and the way you think, whether you're an entrepreneur, politician, or financial executive. "Our emotions play a huge role in our performance--or lack thereof--and I know how to help people make a shift in their psychology," he says.

While many people are motivated by money, autonomy and the ability to grow are more powerful incentives, he says. "There's only so much you can give out of the margin of a business," he adds.

The source of happiness, in his view, comes down to one word: progress.

"Progress equals happiness. We're not supposed to sit at the table of success and just feel good about ourselves forever," he says. "What makes us feel alive is growing."

For more on Robbins's latest book, check out this excerpt on Inc.com. In it, he sums up his feelings about money this way:

"In the end, money isn't what we're after...is it? What we're really after are the feelings, the emotions, we think money can create."

Published on: Jan 22, 2015