During our extensive research into all things Tai Lopez, we found the following claim repeated in at least six different publications:

  • Tai Lopez’s online course (The 67 Steps) is a complete rip-off of Jack Canfield’s book (The Success Principles).

Here’s what VICE wrote in a September 2015 article: 5

Others have argued that Lopez’s advice isn’t all that novel, since many of his talks piggyback off more established luminaries of the motivation and business spaces. Many point to Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles, a 2006 book with it’s own 67 steps, which they claim Lopez straight-up stole and repackaged.

Add to that the following information:

  1. January 2015 – Jack Canfield publishes the 10th anniversary edition of The Success Principles, detailing “67 timeless principles and practices used by the world’s most successful men and women.” 6
  2. September 2015 – Tai Lopez releases his infamous Here In My Garage video as part of a promotion for his online course. The course, entitled The 67 Steps, lays out “67 steps to getting anything you want out of life.” 7

With those facts laid bare, it’s easy to see why Tai Lopez has been repeatedly accused of ripping off Jack Canfield.

But did he really?

To find out, we bought and carefully reviewed both The 67 Steps and The Success Principles.

Here’s what we found.

The 67 Steps vs. The 67 Success Principles – A full comparison

Our process looked like this:

  1. We skimmed through the 10th anniversary edition of The Success Principles, taking note of the 67 principles and the core message of each.
  2. We watched all 67 video lessons in The 67 Steps, taking note of the core message of each.
  3. After each step, we tried to find a principle in Canfield’s the book with the same core message.

We then marked each step as having a good match, a partial match, or no match in the book.

The 67 Steps The Success Principles

Step 1. The Billionaire’s Brain & Jennifer Lopez’s Voice

You have to deserve what you want. 8

Good matchPrinciple 16: Be Willing To Pay The Price

Step 2. Blue-Footed Booby Birds, ESS, & The 500 Year Old Mind

You have to be able to adapt and change.

Good matchPrinciple 31: Embrace Change

Step 3. Sam Walton’s Night In A Brazilian Jail, Stealing From McDonald’s & Michael Jordan’s Humility

You can be outwardly cocky and still have humility. Real humility is listening deeply and constantly seeking out knowledge.

Good matchPrinciple 48: Be Hear Now

Step 4. Picasso’s Rising Tide & The Law of 33%

Using mentors to shave years off the learning curve.

Good matchPrinciple 44: Create A Network Of Mentors And Others Who Will Up-Level You

Step 5. My Poor Friends & Cameron Diaz’s Parrot

Start noticing the differences between rich/successful/healthy friends and poor/unsuccessful/unhealthy friends.

Partial match

Principle 9: Success Leaves Clues

Principle 25: Drop Out Of The “Ain’t It Awful” Club… And Surround Yourself With Successful People

Step 6. Sculpture vs. The Lottery & The Anthropic Media Bias

Success happens step by step. Embrace the grind. That is your life.

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 20: Commit To Constant And Never-Ending Improvement

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 7. Martin Seligman’s Salary Slave and Learned Helplessness

Stop being helpless. Take full responsibility. Figure things out.

Good matchPrinciple 1: Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life

Step 8. The Integrated Good Life & The Four Pillars Of Eudaimonia

Don’t compartmentalize. All parts of your life should work in harmony.

No match 

Step 9. Warren Buffett’s Book-A-Day Diet & Making War With A Multitude Of Counselors

Read more. Learn from the wisdom of others.

Good matchPrinciple 36: Learn More To Earn More

Step 10. Stoic vs. Epicurean Arnold’s 1,000 Reps, Apache Cold Showers, and the Spartan Whipping Post

Be brave, toughen up, face your fears, persist through difficulties, don’t always look for the easy way out.

Partial match

Principle 15: Experience Your Fear And Take Action Anyway

Principle 16: Be Willing To Pay The Price

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 11. The Whispers Of 10,000 Generations, Dunbar’s 150, & Evolutionary Mismatch

When you should trust your gut/intuition, and when you shouldn’t. Your lizard brain will often lead you astray.

No match (somewhat contradicts Principle 47: Inquire Within) 

Step 12. Mike’s Stack Of Resumes, My 96 Year-old Grandma, & Your Eulerian Destiny

How to create your one sentence destiny plan.

Partial match

Principle 2: Be Clear Why You’re Here

Principle 3: Decide What You Want

Step 13. The Amish Vacation, Tap Dancing To Work, & Avoiding What You Love

Set up a life you don’t want to escape from, but be wary of following your passion.

Partial match (though somewhat contradicts)Principle 38: Fuel Your Success With Passion And Enthusiasm

Step 14. The Shaolin Monk & Touching An Electric Fence

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Everything that happens to you is your fault.

Good matchPrinciple 1: Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life

Step 15. Descartes & Solving Problems With A Calculator

Learn basic math, be able to figure out probabilities and quantify risk so you can make better decisions.

Partial matchPrinciple 21: Keep Score For Success

Step 16. Rousseau, The Renaissance Man, & Iron Sharpening Iron

Know a little bit about everything. Be able to talk on many subjects. Explore different perspectives.

Partial match (though somewhat contradicts)

Principle 36: Learn More To Earn More

Principle 39: Stay Focused On Your Core Genius

Step 17. Elon Musk‘s 14-Hour Workday vs. The 4-Hour Workweek

You need work to be happy. Learn to love the grind.

Partial match

Principle 13: Take Action

Principle 16: Be Willing To Pay The Price

Step 18. Man-On-The-Moon Contrast Keeping Easy Things Easy

Use contrast bias to your advantage. Break things down. Don’t waste time/energy on easy things.

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 10: Release The Brakes

Principle 39: Stay Focused On Your Core Genius

Step 19. Amazon.com & The $32,000 Brain Budget

Invest at least 30% of your discretionary income in your own development.

Partial match

Principle 20: Commit To Constant And Never-Ending Improvement

Principle 36: Learn More To Earn More

Principle 37: Stay Motivated With The Masters

Principle 44: Create A Network Of Mentors And Others Who Will Up-Level You

Step 20. Richard Branson’s Hurricane & The Imaginary World Of Kanye West

Visualize what you want. Know how you want your life to be.

Good matchPrinciple 11: See What You Want, Get What You See

Step 21. Mastering The Four P.A.S.E. Energies & Casanovas Chameleon

Learn how to win friends and influence people.

Partial match

Principle 48: Be Hear Now

Principle 67: Connect With People Who Can Expand Your Vision

Step 22. The Seven-fold Path To The Obvious Signs

Use the scientific method to improve your life.

Partial match

Principle 19: Use Feedback To Your Advantage

Principle 30: Face What Isn’t Working

Principle 52: When In Doubt, Check It Out

Step 23. Landing Your Plane On The Great Wall

Embrace obstacles. Make a plan you can believe in, then execute by force of will.

Partial match

Principle 4: Believe It’s Possible

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Step 24. Gandhi’s Funeral, Stephen Covey’s Wars, & Flurries Of Activity

Begin with the end in mind. Focus on winning the war, not so much the battles.

Partial match

Principle 2: Be Clear Why You’re Here

Principle 3: Decide What You Want

Principle 7: Unleash The Power Of Goal-Setting

Principle 11: See What You Want, Get What You See

Step 25. Joel Salatin On Nature Laughing Last, The Respect Of Seasons, and The Terrible Twos

Respect nature and the seasons. Success takes time.

Partial match

Principle 31: Embrace Change

Principle 40: Redefine Time

Step 26. Belts, Suspenders, Failing To Fail, The Six Sigma Heartbeat, & How To Not Crash Your F-22

Minimize mistakes. Avoid single points of failure.

Partial match

Principle 9: Success Leaves Clues

Principle 19: Use Feedback To Your Advantage

Principle 30: Face What Isn’t Working

Principle 52: When In Doubt, Check It Out

Step 27. The Frontman & The Two Ways To Pick Your Trench Mate

How to assemble your support team.

Good match

Principle 25: Drop Out Of The “Ain’t It Awful” Club… And Surround Yourself With Successful People

Principle 41: Build A Powerful Support Team And Delegate To Them

Step 28. Lao-Tzu’s and John Wooden’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Eat frogs, even when you don’t have to.

Partial match

Principle 10: Release The Brakes

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Step 29. Stephen Hawking, Entropy, & Remembering The Future

Make the most of your time.

Partial match

Principle 13: Take Action

Principle 40: Redefine Time

Step 30. Peter Drucker, The Cluttered Attic And The Invention Of Rules

Identify and weed out limiting beliefs. Remove disabling ignorance.

Good match

Principle 10: Release The Brakes

Principle 33: Transcend Your Limiting Beliefs

Step 31. Delegating To Shalini & Sam Walton’s Over-The-Shoulder Style.

How to manage people. Trust, but verify.

Partial match

Principle 1: Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life

Principle 41: Build A Powerful Support Team And Delegate To Them

Principle 52: When In Doubt, Check It Out

Step 32. Slot Machine Probability & Chasing The Mirage‏

On a long enough timeline, if you keep doing the right things, you are likely to get what you want.

Partial match

Principle 16: Be Willing To Pay The Price

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 33. Teaching Pigs To Fly & Pushing On Strings

When to persevere and when to quit.

Good matchPrinciple 30: Face What Isn’t Working

Step 34. Bill Gates & The Ten Dark Years

Have a realistic timeline for success.

Partial matchPrinciple 22: Practice Persistence

Step 35. Ignoring The Ninety-Nine, & The One-Tenth Rule

Learn from the best. Ignore the rest.

Good match

Principle 25: Drop Out Of The “Ain’t It Awful” Club… And Surround Yourself With Successful People

Principle 44: Create A Network Of Mentors And Others Who Will Up-Level You

Step 36. The Sucker In The Room & The Lollapalooza Effect

Be aware of cognitive biases and how they are exploited.

No match 

Step 37. Why Restaurants Fail

To avoid failure you need a good network, good labor, and capital.

No match 

Step 38. Throwing Idiots To The Crocodiles

Invest your time and effort in areas where you have a natural advantage.

Good matchPrinciple 39: Stay Focused On Your Core Genius

Step 39. Alienating The 82% With Your Messy Message

Niche down. Pareto principle. Don’t try to please everyone.

Partial match

Principle 18: Reject Rejection

Principle 57: You Get What You Focus On

Step 40. Practical Pessimism, Paris Hilton’s Grandfather, & Contemplating The Downside

Have faith in the end-game, but confront the brutal facts along the way.

Partial match

Principle 4: Believe It’s Possible

Principle 5: Believe In Yourself

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Principle 30: Face What Isn’t Working

Step 41. Sam Chupp & Making, Watching, Wondering

Be curious. Learn things.

Good matchPrinciple 36: Learn More To Earn More

Step 42. Donuts, A $250,000 Check, And General Eisenhower

Prioritize. Put first things first.

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 42: Just Say No!

Step 43. 20% Weird Factor, The Cabbage Mind, & The Treachery Of Scoundrels

Be wary of weird and insecure people. 20% weird is okay, but watch out for people who are too weird.

No match 

Step 44. Six Pack Of The Mind

Prioritize. Put first things first. (Yes, essentially the same lesson as Step 42.)

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 42: Just Say No!

Step 45. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony & The Tyranny of The 1st & 15th

Develop an investor/entrepreneur mindset.

No match 

Step 46. Allan Nation‘s 1,000 Sheep And Not Doing It Small

Start small, and figure out systems that will allow you can scale.

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 20: Commit To Constant And Never-Ending Improvement

Step 47. The 5% Tweak, Nothing Janky, & When Good Enough is Perfect

Don’t be too much of a perfectionist, or too sloppy. Neither extreme.

Partial match

Principle 13: Take Action

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 28: Clean Up Your Messes And Your Incompletes

Step 48. Michael Jordan Swagger & American Idol Syndrome

What real confidence looks like, as opposed to being cocky/delusional.

Partial match

Principle 19: Use Feedback To Your Advantage

Principle 44: Create A Network Of Mentors And Others Who Will Up-Level You

Step 49. Why Jay Z And Warren Buffet Like Baseball

Slow and steady wins the race.

Good matchPrinciple 20: Commit To Constant And Never-Ending Improvement

Step 50. Mastering The Wrong Things & Blue Eyeshadow Numb-nuts

Don’t master the wrong things. Don’t trust or rely on people who are clearly not masters.

Partial match

Principle 39: Stay Focused On Your Core Genius

Principle 41: Build A Powerful Support Team And Delegate To Them

Step 51. Chatting With Wittgenstein’s Lion

Learn how to be persuasive. Speak to people in words they understand.

Partial match

Principle 48: Be Hear Now

Principle 51: Speak With Impeccability

Step 52. Pareto Efficiencies & The Business Triple Entente

Seek win-win.

Partial match

Principle 24: Exceed Expectations

Principle 62: Find A Way To Serve

Step 53. The Second Rule Is Never Forget The First Rule

Capture the value you create.

No match 

Step 54. Chess-Like Assiduity & Armchair Meditation

Take the time to think through problems.

Partial matchPrinciple 47: Inquire Within

Step 55. The 7 Habits Of Highly Unsuccessful People & The Tardy Tree Sloth

Invert. Figure out how to succeed by studying how people fail.

No match 

Step 56. Floating Across The Pacific On A Raft And Why Sitting Bull Liked To Be Shot At

Be courageous.

Good matchPrinciple 15: Experience Your Fear And Take Action Anyway

Step 57. Unstumpability & Sherlock Holmes Sleuthing

Up your curiosity.

Good matchPrinciple 36: Learn More To Earn More

Step 58. Death By Faint Praise and Charlie Munger’s Grandfather

Recognize and be ready to seize the few big opportunities that come your way.

Partial matchPrinciple 13: Take Action

Step 59. The Diligent Celebrity & Meeting The King

Develop tangible and intangible skills. Become respected in your community.

Partial match

Principle 36: Learn More To Earn More

Principle 43: Become A Leader Worth Following

Principle 55: Be A Class Act

Principle 63: Master The Technology You Need

Step 60. The Dutch Big Gulp

Be quick to start (take a big first gulp), and then patiently advance your skill.

Partial match

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 61. The $495,000 Honda Accord

Be aware of the true cost of things.

Good matchPrinciple 59: Master The Spending Game

Step 62. $20 Billion Gift From Strangers & Building Forgiveness Into The Land

Avoid single points of failure. Stock up for a rainy day.

Partial match

Principle 55: Be A Class Act

Principle 58: Pay Yourself First

Principle 61: Give More To Get More

Step 63. Alexander the Great’s Aggression and The Truth About Your Age

Start as if you’re going to die tomorrow, but stick with it as if you’re going to live for 20 more years.

Partial match

Principle 8: Chunk It Down

Principle 14: Just Lean Into It

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 64. Forgetting Who’s In The Room

Seek out people more successful than you and listen to them carefully.

Good match

Principle 25: Drop Out Of The “Ain’t It Awful” Club… And Surround Yourself With Successful People

Principle 44: Create A Network Of Mentors And Others Who Will Up-Level You

Principle 48: Be Hear Now

Step 65. The Pierian Spring & From Whence Cometh The Pride

Always seek knowledge, but never think you know everything. Stay humble.

Partial match

Principle 48: Be Hear Now

Principle 52: When In Doubt, Check It Out

Step 66. Elvis Presley & The Persistent Widow

Keep asking for what you want, be persistent.

Good match

Principle 17: Ask! Ask! Ask!

Principle 18: Reject Rejection

Principle 22: Practice Persistence

Step 67. Annihilating The Amygdala & MPFC Mastery

Master your lizard brain. Don’t let fear stop you.

Partial match (since Tai covered lots more in this step)Principle 15: Experience Your Fear And Take Action Anyway

Summary of our findings

  • 20 steps were a good match with a principle (or principles) in the book
  • 39 steps were a partial match with a principle (or principles) in the book
  • 8 steps had no match with a principle in the book
  • 3 steps could be seen as contradicting a principle (or principles) in the book
  • 20 principles had no match with a step in the course

20 principles from The Success Principles that we found no match for in The 67 Steps:

  • Principle 6: Use The Law Of Attraction
  • Principle 12: Act As If
  • Principle 23: Practice The Rule Of 5
  • Principle 26: Acknowledge Your Positive Past
  • Principle 27: Keep Your Eye On The Prize
  • Principle 29: Complete The Past To Embrace The Future
  • Principle 32: Transform Your Inner Critic Into An Inner Coach
  • Principle 34: Develop 4 New Success Habits A Year
  • Principle 35: 99% Is A Bitch, 100% Is A Breeze
  • Principle 45: Hire A Personal Coach
  • Principle 46: Mastermind Your Way To Success
  • Principle 49: Have A Heart Talk
  • Principle 50: Tell The Truth Faster
  • Principle 53: Practice Uncommon Appreciation
  • Principle 54: Keep Your Agreements
  • Principle 56: Develop A Positive Money Consciousness
  • Principle 60: To Spend More, First Make More
  • Principle 64: Brand Yourself With An Online Persona
  • Principle 65: Use Social Media In A Way That Enhances Your Reputation
  • Principle 66: Use The Exponential Power Of Crowdfunding

What does it all mean?

This:

  • If Tai Lopez really “straight-up stole and repackaged” Jack Canfield’s material, he did a very poor job of it.

Yes, you can find many of the same ideas in both works.

Not surprising, given both are self-help programs.

But if you look at the core message of each step vs. the core message of each principle, 47 of 67 (70%) are not a good match.

But then how did Tai Lopez come up with his 67 Steps?

Tai’s explanation on a sales page for The 67 Steps:

My collection of principles, thoughts, and sayings has grown over the years. The problem now is that when I try to refer back to all this wisdom, the list has become too long and too hard to sort through.

I narrowed the list down to a more manageable number. I chose the number 67. That number’s based on new research by the University College London that found it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. So I added one more for good luck & came up with 67

Here’s the 2012 study Tai would appear to be referring to: Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice

Looking through that, Tai’s story holds up.

Furthermore, it seems Tai Lopez had already launched his 67 Steps program before January 2015 (i.e. before the 10th anniversary edition of The Success Principles was published).

Reference this video, published October 2014:

YouTube: 67 Steps to Become a Millionaire – Tai Lopez | London Real

But Tai could have been inspired by the original edition of The Success Principles, right?

Unlikely.

Because the original edition, which was published in late 2004 (still available on Amazon), contained only 64 principles.

So did Tai Lopez rip off Jack Canfield?

We have to say no, he did not.

For two reasons.

  1. When you actually compare the contents of Tai’s course (The 67 Steps) and Canfield’s book (The Success Principles), it’s hard to see how one could have been inspired by the other. There is overlap, sure, but it’s coincidental at best.
  2. The 67 Steps appears to have been released in 2014, several months before the 10th anniversary edition of The Success Principles. The only edition of the book available prior to January 2015 contained 64 principles, not 67.

None of that is to say that there aren’t issues with The 67 Steps or that Tai Lopez is beyond reproach.

Because there are and he’s not.

Read more about Tai Lopez

This article is part of an 8-part series:

P.S. What are your thoughts on our comparison between The 67 Steps and The Success Principles? Did we miss anything important? Are there other reasons to believe that The 67 Steps contains stolen or repackaged material?

We’d love to hear your take in the comments below.