20 Facts About Self Help and the Self Improvement Industry

Protect a Property from the WeatherSeptember is National Self Improvement Month, a time to reflect upon your life, set new goals and take strides to make personal changes in order to achieve the life you truly wish. Observed every ninth month of the year, it gives us the chance to not only support and encourage your personal growth, but also illuminate the self-improvement movement. Today, we’re going to look at the immense business that serves the public’s thirst for self-help.

So to celebrate Self Improvement Month, here are 20 fascinating facts about the self help industry:

  1. In total, the self-improvement industry is worth $11 billion just in the U.S. every year.
  1. The industry is still on the rise with 5.5% growth annually, and a projected 6.1% annual growth rate in the future per Marketdata Enterprises.
  1. There is no denying that self improvement has become big business, with tens of millions of people around the world look to make positive changes in their lives ever year with the help of self help products, materials, and services.
  1. Live training seminars that look to motivate, empower, and teach people to reach their potential are now a $500 million industry.
  1. But these days, the fastest growing segment of the self-improvement seminar industry is virtual seminars, events, and coaching. Webinars, teleseminars, and other virtual communications methods have in part replaced expensive and time-consuming travel.
  1. There are approximately 18,000 life coaches working in the U.S. alone now with exponential yearly growth, although the industry is still largely unregulated.
  1. Self help and personal growth books have been huge sellers for decades now, with an estimated $776 million in sales for 24 million Americans every year.
  1. In fact, there are almost 15 million books about dating and relationships sold every year!
  1. Books about some sort of self-betterment are so popular that they have even sprung a new classification of psychological counseling called “Bibliotherapy!”
  1. Who uses self-improvement most commonly? The typical self-improvement disciple who might buy books, attend seminars, and utilize coaching is a woman who is middle-class and well educated.
  1. But a highly sought demographic is also corporations, as speeches, training and seminars for businesses bring in big bucks.
  1. Other than relationships, the most common goals that people want to achieve through self-help books include increasing happiness, weight loss, success, money, and spirituality.
  1. In fact, many self-help gurus and popular systems know this, and release a series of books, seminars or products that touch on all of these themes.
  1. They realize that people who look for self-improvement materials have a high “Recidivism rate,” most likely buying at least one before in the last 18 months.
  1. Most historians point to the self-improvement movement starting when the first book about that topic was published way back in 1859, entitled, “Self Help.”
  1. But in reality, the origins of self help go back decades earlier, to the book “The Constitution of Man,” written by Victorian phrenologist George Combe in 1828, followed shortly by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Compensation.”
  1. In 1936, self help icon Dale Carnegie released one of the most famous books of all time, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and then later, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” both of which are some of the most popular books ever on Amazon.com.
  1. In the 1950s and 1960s, research into self-improvement got an empirical boost from Abraham Maslow, who explored “Self Actualization” as the ultimate goal of any human being on top of his, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”
  1. But the undisputed modern self-help guru is Tony Robbins, who brings in more than $80 million a year from his books, seminars, appearances, endorsements, videos, and coaching, making him the most profitable self improvement brand of all time. The 56-year old Robbins is now worth an estimated $480 million.
  1. But the award for the best selling self improvement book of all time goes to “Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray, selling 50 million copies and spending an incredible 121 weeks on the New York Times best seller list.

You can follow all of the discussions, happenings and content this month with the hashtag, #SelfImprovementMonth