Wayne Dyer inspired many people all over the world as a motivational speaker. He was an author of many books.
In the early days he worked as a high school guidance counselor in Detroit and as a professor of counselor education at St. John's University in New York City. He pursued an academic career, published in journals and established a private therapy practice. His lectures at St. John's, which focused on positive thinking and motivational speaking techniques, attracted many students. A literary agent persuaded him to document his theories in his first book called Your Erroneous Zones (1976). Dyer quit his teaching job and began a publicity tour of the United States of America, doggedly pursuing bookstore appearances and media interviews ("out of the back of his station wagon", according to Michael Korda, making the best-seller lists "before book publishers even noticed what was happening", which eventually led to national television talk show appearances including The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show, and The Phil Donahue Show.
Wayne Dyer proceeded to build on his success with lecture tours, a series of audiotapes, and regular publication of new books. His message resonated with many in the New Thought Movement and beyond. He often recounted anecdotes from his family life, and repeatedly used his own life experience as an example. His self-made man success story was a part of his appeal.Dyer told readers to pursue self actualization, calling reliance on the self as a guide to "religious" experience, and suggested that readers emulate Jesus Christ, whom he termed both an example of a self-actualized person, and a "preacher of self-reliance".Dyer criticized societal focus on guilt, which he saw as an unhealthy immobilization in the present due to actions taken in the past. He advocated readers to see how parents, institutions, and even they, themselves, have imposed guilt trips upon themselves.