Did you know that the self-help industry is an $11 billion dollar strong industry? Yes, a lot of people read self-help videos, watch motivational videos, attend seminars, and always want to gather inspiration from the self-help gurus who impart valuable business and life lessons. The industry is a recession proof industry, or so is believed by many. Many of the self-help gurus and motivational speakers are controversial.

For example, the man who tops this list, James Arthur Ray, once had to serve prison time as three attendees in a spiritual retreat held by him were left dead. Despite all those legal troubles and controversies, motivational speakers make a heck lot of money. Here are just a few of the wealthiest of them. Certainly, the list does not end here as you can find many other speakers who are also super rich.

James Arthur Ray: $2.4 Million


James Arthur Ray decided to optimize his visibility by making TV appearances on a number of popular TV shows such as “Larry King Live” and “Oprah.” He also appeared in a popular movie called The Secret. Ray was convicted of an act of negligence, in which three people died. His net worth amounted to roughly $2.4 million. His attorneys argued in court that he was completely broke and could not afford bail. The ‘Law of Attraction’ guru was finally granted bail in 2013. Ray is now trying to rebuild his lost empire. We are not sure if he can get back his lost glory, but James certainly lost the trust of millions of his followers.

Les Brown: $10 Million

He’s a former politician and also a widely acclaimed author who accumulated a net worth of $10 million. He is also an Emmy Award winner and has worked for radio and as a public broadcaster. His company used to produce CBS talk shows. “The Les Brown Show” and “Rolanda” are some of his brainchildren. He hosts now a radio show in California and officially resides in Florida. Brown also became famous for marrying R&B icon, Glady’s Knight. Knight counterclaimed that Brown’s claim about her leaving Brown was untrue, as it was Brown who sent her divorced papers and severed all communications. Marred by controversies all his life, Les Brown still makes an insane amount of money as he charges $40K per engagement.

Zig Ziglar: $15 Million

“You can succeed at almost anything for which you have unbridled enthusiasm.”  Zig Ziglar


Zig Zigler was previously a salesman, and later he turned into a motivational author and speaker. He also amassed some $15 million with his superb oratory skills and great persona. The author, who mostly talked about Christian values, had also penned some self-help books that address many personal, social and professional issues.

He died a rather untimely death in 2012, but his company still offers various motivational training programs. Zig nicely integrated Christianity and its core concepts and value systems in his discourse, which helped him a lot in reaching out to people who are staunch believers or are simply God-fearing individuals.

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