All In Podcast

27: Transforming The World with Stuart Tan

Daniel Giordano

About Stuart Tan

Stuart got to where he is today because he was really bad in school at one point! As a young kid, Stuart was failing school-in Singapore. Culturally, there is a lot of pride in doing well academically in Singapore and it was really quite the shock that, not only was he not doing well, he didn’t seem to care. He really hated studying and just wanted to ‘get by’.

His mom got so worried about school that she enrolled him in some enrichment classes. That’s where things started to change for him and put him on the path that would become his future. Those classes gave him a new-found interest in learning and he started doing so well that one of his classmates thought he was cheating! Stuart told him he made a turn-around because of the extra classes and offered to teach him the same. That first experience of sharing what he was learning, something that someone else could also use to improve, is what set everything in motion.

Not surprisingly, he became involved in teaching personal development. He was aligned with what he wanted to do but as an introverted kid, the thought of getting on stage to teach programs was unheard of. When he taught his first seminar, LEAP, to about 250 people, he looked up and saw 2 of his secondary school teachers were there and could not believe their ears!

He continued to teach, but it wasn’t necessarily about the money and was more of a hobby. He truly enjoys helping people live fuller lives. But, in 2002, the opportunity did come for him to start benefitting financially from his programs. That first year, with his business partners, he made $1.35M in revenue, which would grow close to $15-17M by the time he left, less than 10 years later. They had expanded into 7 countries and, at his peak, was training 16 hours a day.

He loves every moment of sharing with others that there IS joy in learning and this year marks his 22nd year as a professional trainer.

Most Influential Mentor:

  • He wouldn’t discount any human that has passed through his life ever. Every single person has been a role model, whether negative or positive. Yes, even having a negative role model is beneficial because you can learn from their mistakes.
  • However, Dr. Richard Bandler, the founder of NLP, has been his biggest inspiration both professionally and personally.
  • In some of Stuart’s darker moments, he had to learn how to shift his mindset and adopt a more positive approach to life. He knows that every success he has now is a result of the way of thinking he has adopted over the years from Dr. Bandler’s influence.

Biggest Challenges and Lessons:

  • His biggest challenges came in 2004 and 2012, both as a result of being betrayed in some fashion by those he trusted in his business.
  • The 2004 challenge taught him that he needed to change his mindset and be more forgiving. He and his partner at the time used the lessons from that experience to elevate everyone that came to their training. They were transparent and honest and it was probably some of the best he ever delivered.
  • Today, he doesn’t regret going through it because it was a coming of age and he learned how to forgive others.
  • The lessons he learned from 2004 were necessary for what came in 2012-instead of pointing fingers and blame, he took the responsibility because, although he didn’t commit the wrong, he had made the bad decision of being too trusting.
  • This was also a major turning point because it was when he made the decision that money was easy to find. Even with thousands having to be repaid, the struggle was more emotional. He won over people by being honest and never losing his cool and he financially recovered very quickly.

Dealing with Dark Moments:

  • Whatever is happening in your life at the present moment, you can rise to the occasion. The universe is not out to ‘get us’ and put us in a bad place. Dark moments are there as an opportunity for us to elevate ourselves. There is an opportunity for learning and for change in every bad situation that comes into our lives.
  • Dark moments are anywhere and everyone will experience them-the worst thing you can do is throw your hands up and give up.
  • Anything that is given to us is a gift. If he hadn’t experienced 2004 and taken the opportunity to change his mindset, he wouldn’t have been prepared for 2012 and it would have been horrible.

Advice on Being ‘All-In’

  • Everyone deserves a chance to be authentically themselves. Don’t try to fill someone else’s shoes. If you’re not being yourself, you’re not going to enjoy what you’re doing.
  • If you’re facing problems right now, those same problems have been faced by thousands before you. Look for the experts and the answers. It can be as easy as finding a book on Amazon. Just reading one book could literally change your life.
  • Remember and focus on the moments that you can really relish and be grateful for. They will sustain you.

Favorite Quote:

  • “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” (Fritz Perls, ‘father’ of Gestalt Therapy)
  • “A lot of people know how to feel bad for no good reason. Our mission in life is to learn how to feel good for no good reason.” (Dr. Richard Bandler, founder of NLP)

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About the Instructor