Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from a longer interview with Tony Robbins that appears in the October 2016 issue of Inc. magazine. In other excerpts, he talks about about knowing when to pivot and how best to hire your next employee.
--As told to Inc. magazine
The biggest illusion people share with me is "I started a business so I can have more free time." That's like saying you had a child so you could have more free time. That is dumb, right? It's another reason people fail. My view is that if your business is your mission, if it's truly something you love and live for, it's an extension of you, it's like a child for you--then this idea of work-life balance is the biggest bullshit on the planet. Every achiever I know has more work than he or she could ever do. What it really is is work-life integration.
My previous wife, Becky, worked with me. That isn't why I got a divorce--we're still good friends. She was just a very different person from me. I was 24 when I married her. She was 12 years my senior and had been married twice before, with kids from both of those marriages, and I was really in love with them--I adopted them all as my own. If you could imagine, I was 24 with an 11-year-old daughter, a 5-year-old son, a son on the way, and a 17-year-old son who was a drug addict and alcoholic. At the time, my business was taking off and I needed to integrate those two things--my work and my personal life.
I don't think it's a mistake to have your family be a part of your business if they really want to be there. Not that you're asking them to be there or demanding it. I believe it's really useful, because families often come apart if they're not involved in the business's mission.
My wife, Sage, is my executive producer and we're around each other 24/7. I have a phenomenal relationship with her. You can't work with somebody in business if you don't have a great relationship already; it's obviously gonna affect the business. She's an acupuncturist, phlebotomist, and nutritionist, and in the beginning I thought, this is her deal. But she did things for me, and I did things for her. I brought scale to her. She was happy talking to a couple of people, and that would have been it. Me, it's got to be millions of people I'm touching. So I taught her how she could have more impact, and she's gotten me to consider even more the one-on-one-coaching side of things.
My wife is not required to do anything she doesn't want to. My biggest thing, for anybody I've been in a relationship with throughout my life as an adult, is I want her to be able to do whatever the hell she wants. I want to provide the resources for someone to do that, so she can do whatever lights her up. But my wife was lit up by the same mission that lights me up.