His fourth book, It’s All Possible, includes his ‘proven four-step change model’, which can help you change careers, step up to a leadership role, get fit or even lose weight.
“I think it’s the right time for this book because people are starting to come out of COVID-19 [lockdown] and think about their job,” Rob says. “They may not even have a job anymore; they may want to focus on their side hustle, or they may be a leader who is reorganising their business for the ‘new normal’. This book sets the tone for the next step."
Drawing on the stories of successful athletes, such as Australia’s first female Winter Olympic gold medallist Alisa Camplin, and his own experience of five career changes and competitive sailing and cycling, his four-step model to success includes:
- Attitude and mindset: Your will – your passion, resilience and desire
- Vision: Your why – your dream, goal or purpose
- Strategy: Your what – the keys to achieve your vision
- Action: Your how – knowledge, process and skills
“Attitude and mindset are super important, because if your attitude and mindset are too limited, then your vision could be too small,” Rob says. “Next it’s your strategy to achieve your vision. It’s not a pipedream, such as I want to play tennis at Wimbledon, it’s about visualising the detail, which means you have to start doing a bit of work.
“Once you’ve got a strategy you can work out what action to take. ‘Positive action’ is where the magic happens.”
The father of three has used the strategy to help him succeed in the corporate world, become a state and world sailing champion, set up his own business and write four books. He says a typical stumbling block is when people don’t know how to take action, or they procrastinate.
“That is why I break down the ‘action’ step into ‘knowledge, process and skills’. People might find they have the knowledge, but they don’t have the skill, or they don’t have a process that is repeatable and scalable.” This introduces the concept of ‘mindset maintenance’ to avoid peaks and troughs.
“This is critical through COVID-19, where we can get into a downward misery spiral,” Rob says. “Rather than having huge waves of success peaks and deep negative troughs you should aim for ripples, where you celebrate the wins but don’t get swamped by the negative things that happen to us. That’s where a mindset maintenance process can help.”
Rob has an adage that can help people define their goals. “If your memory of the past is clearer than your vision of the future, then that’s a problem,” he says. “First you have to sell your vision of the future to yourself because if you don’t quite believe it can happen, then no one else is going to believe it.”
In terms of strategy, he believes most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in three years. “They get depressed because in 12 months’ time they haven’t got that house, they haven’t found that partner or they haven’t achieved that goal,” he says.
“There is nothing wrong with the goal, they’ve just got the timing wrong. They should consider, instead, what it will look like in three years’ time. We tend to put too much pressure on ourselves, especially in this environment.”
Rob suggests breaking the goal down into achievable “chunks” to get started. “What is the first possible step you can take on the road to your impossible?” he asks.
“It might be changing the way you eat, it might be more exercise. It might be applying for a job you’ve never applied for or reaching out to a colleague or mentor. It might be being grateful and kind to yourself. Once you make that first step then you are on your way.”