Roz Savage Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Roz Savage MBE
Roz Savage is our guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
She is an amazing lady who has pushed herself to achieve true greatness in her life.
Yes, I have never seen this, but I bet many of you will have had this question appear on trivial pursuit at one time or another.
“Who was the first woman to row three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian single handedly?”
Well today’s guest is the answer that you will be looking for.
When anyone says to you “”What is Roz Savage famous for? you will wow them with your knowledge.
Holding four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row three oceans.
Whilst rowing over 15,000 miles, taking around 5 million oar-strokes, and spent cumulatively over 500 days of her life at sea in a 23-foot rowboat.
She uses her ocean rowing adventures to inspire action on the top environmental challenges facing the world today.
But the interesting thing to me is that she was not an obvious choice to be awarded as adventurer of the year in 2010.
How The Dots Joined Up For Roz
As we will discuss this during the show, perhaps if she hadn’t attended Oxford University one of the big two rowing universities, then there was a good chance that she wouldn’t have stepped onto the water.
And the second interesting thing, amongst all the interesting things is why she upon leaving university, slipped effortlessly into the corporate environment for six years.
Where now everything points to big adventures, big dreams, and probably big blisters.
So looking back on her life would she have skipped the corporate gig, and launched straight onto the waves?
Or was this a key part of finding the lady that she is today?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only, Roz Savage MBE
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Roz Savage such as:
How she spent many years playing a role in her life, and realised out on her boat that she was ok as herself and didn’t need to be frightened to play her unique self.
Why she was so surprised at the amount of criticism she received on social media, when she was airlifted from her boat by the American lifeguard.
How she recalls never failing at anything growing up, which was why things got so rocky when she went though her “Dabbling four years”!
Why she wrote two versions of her own obituary and was shocked by the true version showing where her life was heading.
Her realisation that she was totally secure with insecurity in her life, and how liberating that feeling was and still is.
Roz Savage Books
How To Connect With Roz Savage
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Roz Savage Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes. Hello, everybody. Yes, it’s the 23rd of December. So you’ve only got a couple of days until the big fat man comes down your chimney and drinks your beer and leaves your presence and all that kind of stuff. So you really got us all crack on I don’t think Amazon will deliver this far near the big day. But it’s a lady today us already up to her neck in wrapping paper because it’s her birthday as well. She gets an open back three days. Bit of a draw back on that one. But it’s an absolute delight to have you on the show because we almost recorded a few weeks ago and she was so ill a coughing and splattering, unlike the tough man. And normally Am I allowed to and I said you go and get yourself well, and she wrapped herself up and she’s come back good and strong. Hopefully she is because she is an amazing lady who has pushed us help to achieve true greatness in her life. Yes, I’ve never seen this but I bet many of you have had this question appear on Trivial Pursuit at one time or another, who was the first woman to row three oceans the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian single handedly? Well, today’s guest is the answer that you’ll be looking for holding four world records for ocean rowing, including first woman to row three oceans whilst rowing over 15,000 miles, taken around 5 million or strokes and spent cumulatively over 500 days of our life at sea in a 23 foot rowboat. She uses an ocean rowing adventures to inspire action on the top environmental challenges facing the world today. But the interesting thing to me is that she wasn’t an obvious choice. So it doesn’t seem to be to be awarded as an adventure of the Year in 2010. As we discussed this during the show, perhaps if she hadn’t attended Oxford University, when the big two growing universities, then there was a good chance that she wouldn’t have stepped onto the water like Jesus, but not quite like Jesus. And the second interesting thing amongst all the interesting things is why she upon leaving University slipped effortlessly into the corporate environment for six years where now everything points to big adventures, big dreams, and probably big blisters. So looking back on her life, when she escaped the corporate gig and gone straight onto the waves, or was this a key part of her finding herself and becoming the lady that she is today? Well, let’s find out. As we bring on to the show to start join up dots with the one and only Roz Savage, how are you Roz?
Roz Savage [2:38]
Great. Thank you David Wow, there is so much I want to pick up on in that introduction. But for now I just mentioned that somebody came along to one of my talks, told her little boy that she had met this woman who’d rode single handedly across all these oceans, and her son who I suppose must have been seven or eight years old. He went Ah, how come? She didn’t go in circles then? I could single handedly.
David Ralph [3:04]
Yeah, that is a good point. What is the point and what I want to get straight to the chase on this is last time we spoke you were coughing and splattering, and you were probably not quite as attractive as you are normally you use when you’re in a boat, and you’re ill Is it the worst place ever? Do you just wish you could solid just jump off and swim to shore and get out? Or is it quite pleasant that there’s no one bothering you. And the big pile of tissues that’s building up by your feet are just happy to be floating around? What was it like when you’re in a boat,
Roz Savage [3:40]
when you don’t really get healed because there aren’t any people with germs out there to catch things from. So I was actually remarkably healthy while I was at sea apart from a bit of seasickness for the first day or two of each voyage. But as each voyage was usually between three and five months, that gives you plenty of time to get over the the chucking up over the side of the boat. And I had a broken finger once. But no, no snotty tissues at all.
David Ralph [4:07]
Did you do actually sort of look at that. And you go, because I have been on a couple of boat trips with the kids when we’re on holiday. And I go Oh, yeah, be great. Let’s go out on the boat for the day. And after about 10 minutes, I’m desperate to get to the shore because I think I’m just a hate this is terrible. Do you look at that and go? Yeah, I know I’m gonna be ill. But it’s worth it to get past back because I wouldn’t I’d give up within about 30 feet from the shore, I’d be swimming back.
Roz Savage [4:34]
It’s quite surprising how many ocean goers mysteriously come down with quotes food poisoning within the first 24 hours of the void. And some of them do actually come back. And when I set out on my first voyage, I do remember that first night. So I’d left it midday. And by 6pm. I’m throwing up over the side and just thinking, what have I done? Why am I here? I’m a management consultant, not century. But I took 14 months of my life into getting ready for that crossing, and virtually all of my life savings. So I was in pretty deep. And I think I also have this sometimes fortunate, sometimes unfortunate combination of naive optimism to get myself into things, and then too much stubbornness to get myself out of them again. So it’s amazing what you can actually get done with that combination.
David Ralph [5:31]
What is the perfect combination? Really? Isn’t it to be able to keep on going because it must I’ll be honest review was it sounds dreadful, and there’s a there’s challenges that people do. And I kind of think all that would be nice, I quite enjoy that. I wouldn’t enjoy one iota of what you’ve done. And it’s a bit like I suppose, you know, when women have babies, and as a man, they go out it was the worst pain ever. It was dreadful. And then six weeks later sign on, we’re having another one and all all men kind of go why why would you do that? Why would you put yourself over?
Roz Savage [6:07]
surely be the only thing on this planet that’s worse than monthly?
David Ralph [6:11]
I tell you what, I’ll tell you what, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. Because we Yeah, we we just push on, we get to it. But it can’t be good when you You must be on the ocean. And you get to the other side, you think thank God, the last thing I want to see is another ocean. And then you do it again. Why? Why would you do that?
Roz Savage [6:30]
Roz Savage [6:32]
there were many reasons. One was I was extremely keen not to go back to the office. In fact, just a minor correction. But in the intro, you said I, I was management consultant for six years, it was actually 11, long, long, long years in the office. And really, when I left my last job, they didn’t see me for dust. In a way, I’m really happy that I was just bad enough at my job that I got into this really bad downward spiral, just my self esteem was being eroded every single day that I went into the office, I sort of had this inkling that I had more to offer the world. And that there were possibilities out there that I would find a lot more fulfilling than just doing a job. I didn’t like to buy stuff I didn’t need. But it’s funny, during the seven years that I was rowing across oceans, not non stop, obviously, there were
Roz Savage [7:38]
I had to find every single way that I could to motivate myself, because I’m not really a sporty person. You might laugh at that. I’m also not that keen on seawater. But I just it was such an amazing way to challenge myself. And I, I was 50% motivated by wanting to find out what I was capable of and 50% by having rather belatedly got my green on and got really, really worried about what were we as humans are doing to the planet, or in fact to ourselves, ultimately, and really wanted to bring people’s attention to that. So I really did find that when you’ve just got that phenomenal amount of motivation. It’s incredible what you can persuade yourself to do. And even though I, the number of times that I was actually wholeheartedly happy out there on the ocean, could probably be counted on the fingers of two hands. And it was just massively worthwhile. And so I Well, I did also find ways to bribe myself to get back out onto the ocean, and after my stereo broke on the first ocean. So I spent three and a half months alone with my own thoughts, which was, that was the tough one.
David Ralph [9:01]
Did you do singing,
Roz Savage [9:03]
that would not cheer me up very much. And I do think it would cheer up the sea life very much.
David Ralph [9:08]
Just a bit of whale music floating around, produced by Roz Savage.
Roz Savage [9:13]
Well, obviously, I sing like a goddess in the middle of the ocean. It’s just there’s nobody there to bear witness to it. Now it’s been spent a lot of time counting your strokes. But then after that, I took multiple iPods with me. And listen, some of the most brilliant audio books, which made life exponentially easier, it almost felt like cheating, actually, because rowing without any entertainment is it takes you into some difficult and sometimes dark places. I’m really glad to have done that I would never have chosen to do that. But when my stereo and most other things broke, I was sort of left in that situation. And it’s I think, in retrospect, it’s easy for me to say this baby bit like childbirth. But it’s it was like it was a real privilege to have all that time alone with my own thoughts in this 21st century when we’re so bombarded with input and messages and words and advertising all of the time to just really get away from all of that. And to, I suppose, yeah, explore the depths of my soul and find out that actually, I’m okay. Was was quite an amazing experience.
David Ralph [10:27]
That is a key point, isn’t it? When you get to that point, and you think, yeah, I like myself, I’m okay. I’m all right. Was that a big.in your life because obviously, you were saying that you didn’t like your corporate gig, you spent 11 years kind of going through the motions. And as many of us do in corporate land, we play a role that’s expected of us. But when you were out in that boat, and you were floating along, and the stars were twinkling, and you were probably singing the best of Rick Astley in your head to just get going, tell everybody any way to get over those oceans, you know? And that that is one of those moments you must be Yeah, actually, if it’s all got taken away from me, and I was just on an island, I’d still be on that that’s gotta be liberation. And
Roz Savage [11:13]
you’re exactly right, actually, and especially when you mentioned playing a role. Because when we’re around other people, it really up until that point in my life, I’d always been someone’s daughter, sister, friend, student, girlfriend, wife, whatever, you’re always in relation to other people and say, to actually spend that time, really by yourself and just being a bit pretentious, but, you know, like, in relation to yourself and peeling away all of those layers that we acquired as we’re growing up, and trying to get back to, well, who am I underneath all of this? And, and, and which things do I like, and, you know, I found some things like, essentially, I don’t like exercise, but I can force myself to do it, there are some, but I could never force myself to do more than 12 hours in a day, there were times that I was like, I really need to put on a push here. Let’s try and do 16. And I would reach that point where I just go to hell with it, I am going to bed. I just, I can’t do anymore. And I started off giving myself quite a hard time for that. It’s like, why can’t I do these extra few hours. And then I just reached a point of acceptance, I realized the last things I can do, but rowing 16 hours in a day is something I can’t do. So that’s
David Ralph [12:42]
the amazing thing with you. And I mean, nice with the greatest respect, it’s gonna sound like an insult, but it comes in a package of respect.
Yeah, in many ways, you a bit weird on you. But you will put yourself into these positions but you don’t like exercise your put yourself interface, but you don’t like see water, you put yourself interface, that there must have been so many different things that you could have done. But here’s the compliment. It sounds like the inside is a compliment. You didn’t run away from it, you still went for it, you still attack all the things you don’t like where most people would go? No, no, that’s not for me. I’ll watch Netflix and open a bag of Doritos and sit on the sofa and all the world would be good. But you still went for it. Why do you think your life?
Roz Savage [13:31]
Really bloody? Good question. Um, there were certain things about it that well, first of all that coming back to that naive optimism. And it was, I thought it was going to be a lot more enjoyable than it actually was. I’d been reading to which Henry David Thoreau and Alton palms and I thought this was going to be my sort of war to revolt. And it was going to be this marvelous sort of philosophical journey into myself. And it was all going to be rather serene and lovely. And, and it just so wasn’t, it was a terrible year to do the Atlantic really rough, everything broke, I was injured. Well, yeah, it just absolutely sucked to high heaven. But I did find that again, something I wouldn’t have chosen, like the broken stereo, I wouldn’t have chosen for it to be that challenging. But on the way across, I have so many insights into how to cope with this enormous challenge. In every single instance, I have my insights as a result of doing it wrong first. Things like looking at the whole 3000 miles ahead of me, and going into a complete freakout meltdown, rather than what I learned to do, which was to take it one day, or sometimes just one rowing shift at a time. And there were just seeing the examples of these little aha moments. And at the end of that shift, I’d run into my captain and jot them down in the back of my log book says I wouldn’t forget them. And it really was like a crash course in personal development. And, and I actually I love that stuff. I, you know, I read all the self help books and the psychology books and philosophy books, and I’m just really intrigued by this thing called life and how to live it better. And I one of the things I figured out that was that it was exactly because I had such a hellacious time on that first ocean, that I learned so much. If it had been a breeze if I’d have just whisked across in 30 days, and God. Oh, well, that was a jolly Jake. I wouldn’t have learned a thing really. But
David Ralph [15:44]
again, though, does it? Because you know, if it was so awful, I know what I’m like, if it was awful, I would get through it. I mean, go Never again, that is it. And the fact that you don’t do it again, it’s the great respect insult coming to you again, isn’t it?
Roz Savage [16:04]
Well, I at the outset, before I did the first ocean, I decided that I wanted to do the big three. And so in my mind, that was what success was going to look like. And anything less than that was not going to be success. And in fact, it did help because on that first ocean, the Atlantic, there was so many times when I thought I’m learning an awful lot here about how not to cross an ocean. So I could definitely do it better next time. So it’s a weird way, I was quite keen to get back out onto the ocean. To put myself to the test again, because I, I was learning so much so fast on the Atlantic that I couldn’t really absorb it all. And it was really through giving my talks and writing the book about it. And really kind of doing that work to leave those lessons learned into the way that I just showed up in the world every day. That, that I thought that that was the real learning because I could easily have left those lessons out there on the ocean. But that better version of myself that started to emerge while I was out there could just have evaporated. So it really took some conscious effort of will to absorb those lessons. And then I was quite keen to put myself back into a really challenging situation again, to see if I got the hang of it. And the first time that I went back out after the Atlantic, it all went pear shaped quite early on 10 days out, I ran into a big storm and ended up meeting some very handsome chaps from the US Coast Guard in circumstances. I’d rather well by being airlifted, which was not the plan. And
David Ralph [17:53]
what do you do with your boat? Because that is the thing I always ponder. And it might be one of these obvious things. I think that if you want to stop a boat from floating away, you put an anchor down but when you in the ocean is too deep. So how do you stop that boat from just going miles and miles away?
Roz Savage [18:09]
What you mean after I’d been lifted out?
Oh, well, it carried on drifting for several days, and I had to get back to to dry land, I had nothing but the clothes I stood up in. No ID no money I had somehow get back to San Francisco, this all happened off the coast of California and charter a boat and get back out there to salvage my books under the Law of the Sea. It’s been abandoned. Technically, anybody could have Klay my boat and it would be dead legally. So I was in quite a hurry to get back out there. And luckily, I had a tracker on board. So I was able to plot its course as it drifted south. And then we were able to head out and intercept it and and pick it up and
David Ralph [18:56]
drink nearer to where you want it to go. Or where you all the time thinking, you bloody Americans. I’ve got another six days on that boat now because of you.
Roz Savage [19:06]
Well, actually, it was it wasn’t really getting closer to Hawaii, or it was more or less game parallel with the shore. And as it turned out, it was too late for me to try again that Yeah, I was really desperate to try again, because I got a quite an avalanche of criticism online from people who didn’t really know that. I hadn’t called for the rescue. And if I had wanted rescue, I had private insurance with global rescue who do that kind of thing. So there was a lot of like moolah wasted US taxpayers money, and you were really just trying to commit suicide Weren’t you stupid cow, and a lot of really hurtful stuff. And so I was really keen, just kind of erasing, rewind and have another go. But it was too late to try again that year, I’d have ended up running into winter storms. So I had to bring the boat back and wait nine months before I could try again. So yet another bloody learning experience as they say.
David Ralph [20:03]
He’s an amazing though we’ve life isn’t it? I’ve been very fortunate doing this job that I’ve spoken to lots of people who have done amazing stuff. And they’ve gone around the world. And I was speaking to a gentleman called Graham Hughes and he was the first guy to travel to every single country by foot. And when he did, like 200, or something, and he traveled into every single one. And it was his one day I think from memory. He’s his sister was very, very ill and and was on death’s door. So he flew back to the United Kingdom to be with her. And then when it finished and I can’t remember whether she passed away, hopefully she didn’t know she got better. He flew back to the same spot. But then people were criticizing him and saying, you didn’t do it all in one go. To which he replied, Well, I never said it was going to do it all in one go. I was just saying that I’m doing every I you know, country by foot. And it seems fascinating. But you put yourself out there you’re doing something that is a strong machine really adventurous. And people who are sitting on their sofa eating their Doritos and watching Netflix are are just criticizing It’s a shame that that’s how life is isn’t it? But in another way, because you’re doing that you are you know, it’s it’s a compliment, isn’t it? Because they’re noticing you that people to start criticizing you? It’s a blessing in disguise. Because otherwise you’re going to be invisible was doing your corporate gig sitting behind the desk, nobody knowing that you are.
Roz Savage [21:30]
Yeah, actually, it’s the failures that gets a hell of a lot more publicity than the successes. But you know, it was it was a learning lesson for me. And I did console myself with the the realization that all of this criticism actually said a lot more about the critics than it did about me that maybe they quite enjoy seeing people fail because then it justifies them and not even joining. It’s like they’re going yeah, you see, I told you it’s a stupid idea.
Unknown Speaker [22:00]
It was a stupid idea.
David Ralph [22:03]
I’m sitting here thinking this is a stupid idea for the best of people.
Roz Savage [22:08]
I’m not much convinced you that it actually made perfect, logical sense to me at the time, not the third
David Ralph [22:14]
one, I haven’t got through to the third one. So the first one was dreadful. The second one, you had all the incidents and stuff. And I could I could go with the second one. The first one was dreadful. And you wanted to prove to yourself on the second one that you’d got better at it. But then it’s the third one, the third one would go go Leave it to somebody else.
Roz Savage [22:34]
Well, actually, it felt more like the the fifth one was the fireworks I did the Pacific in three stages over three years, not including the failed attempt at each of those stages was about the same distance as the Atlantic, bit less. So when I got to the third one, I must admit, I don’t really tend to talk about the third one very much. I’m certainly not planning to write a book bounce it because, okay, I found some different problems. I mean, every single time I go out there, I managed to to make new mistakes, which is quite an achievement. On the third ocean, it was the the electrical system went on the on the fritz and I hate working with electricity, it scares me. But I didn’t have much choice. So I had to conquer my fear of electrical systems. But really, by the time I got to the end of the third one, I was totally done. I’d been there done that got the calluses, I really felt like I’d learned everything that there was to learn in a 23 foot rowboat, and I was really, maybe, you know, even looking back at my career, I had to sort of do that to death, I had to reach the point where I absolutely couldn’t stand to go into the office one single more time. Before I was really ready to move on. And maybe it was the same with the ocean rowing that I had to go yet I really Daedalus to death. Now I’m ready to move on to the next thing.
David Ralph [24:05]
Because I do get annoyed when people say this is well Savage, she’s done bass and bass, and we’ve had sort of the name lots of names, I find that the problem with the adventurers is that they’ve done one main thing, they’ve got their name in the books. But I sort of say, well, I’ve done so much more. That is other things I’ve done that that’s never going to define me. There was a lady Kathy O’Dowd, first lady to get to the top of Everest from both sides. And she was absolutely firm on, that is not going to be my legacy. I only stood at the top of 45 minutes. And hopefully I’m going to be on this planet for a lot longer than 45 minutes. don’t define me by that? Do you find that as well? Do you feel like you want to keep on saying talked about? Let’s talk about this.
Roz Savage [24:52]
It’s kind of a double edged sword. Because the whole reason that I half of the reason that I did it was to get people’s attention. So I could talk about the environment. And in fact, a lot of other things besides, and it certainly has opens doors for me, it does get people’s attention, and it starts conversations, I would very much like to think that my best years are still ahead of me because I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to cope with big scary, gnarly challenges that nobody else really wants to do. And I’m trying to figure out how to take that ability to cope and use it more directly to make the world a better place. bizarrely, I thought about going into politics, I realized that saying that straight after making the world a better place, people might be going what really. But that’s an example of something that most people don’t want to do, probably for very valid reasons. But ultimately, it’s something I decided that I didn’t want to do. But where I’m going with that is, for me, the ocean rowing was a stepping stone. And I do realize that until the day I die, or maybe even beyond, that is going to be the headline, because it is so far still unique for women to have done that. So I don’t I don’t mind it. When I’m described that way, as physical to do mind bit is I want it to be the start of a big conversation. I love talking about the psychology of it. And how do we cope with these things? How do you motivate yourself when you’re not feeling motivated? How? How do you conquer your self imposed limitations? And that’s what I want to be talking about. So I do get a little bit frustrated. And I’m sorry, if you would ask me this. But if people say oh, so what did you eat? Or what happens when you sleep? I was just like, I’m delighted that they’re interested. But I have to slightly grit my teeth. Because I must be nice as questions because zillion times and it’s just not interesting to me
David Ralph [27:09]
was I wouldn’t be so shallow, I promise you I am a professional broadcaster, I would go straight to where did you go to the toilet? That’s That’s the one.
Roz Savage [27:20]
To get that question from audiences age 13. And under.
David Ralph [27:25]
You found my spiritual age. Now what I want to do is actually take you firmly into what you’ve just led into your professional because this is a speech that Jim Carrey did a few years ago. But he says so much about what we’re talking about. You see Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [27:39]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:06]
Now, the thing about that is, did you know that you’re going to love it? Or was it just something to do? Could you have done? I don’t know that you were going to roller skate around the earth or do something. There was obviously a big challenge waiting for you to prove yourself. But was it gonna be bad? And did you love it?
Roz Savage [28:26]
Cool. Well, something quite strange happened. Because after I quit my job, I didn’t immediately go out to row across oceans, I had to really trying to figure out a few things about myself like Who am I and what do I care about? And what am I here for. And so I went through what I call my happy dabbling phase. So I tried out various different jobs. And none of them quite clicked with me. I was a photographer for a couple of years and an organic Baker for a bit. And I traveled around Peru and wrote a book about that. Did a few other things as well. And from each of those things, I found out something about myself things that I liked things that I didn’t like. And so I was starting to assemble a kind of shopping list of ingredients that would be included that would go into this recipe to cook up my my next big project and I but I really didn’t know what that next big project was going to be. And so that the kind of things that were going on, for me were certainly the environmental mission emerging from a marriage. So I was really wanting to make some sort of statement about my fierce independence. In Peru, I’d really enjoyed the the tracking this physical adventure, done a bit of mountaineering as well. So that was, that was the theme. And I’d also met a guy who’d rode across the Atlantic with his mother. And although at the time, I didn’t immediately think, oh, that’s something I’d like to do. I suppose the
David Ralph [29:57]
that sounds bad for the net. We spend our time trying to get away from our moms enough time God sending me to seven at night, you’re dreadful.
Roz Savage [30:11]
So all of these, all of these ingredients were sort of assembling themselves. But I never actually sat down and went through a, you know, one of these career advice books and thought, Oh, so it says I should go and ocean funnily enough, not many career advice books say that. I was actually just driving along one day, completely minding my own business thinking of nothing in particular, when this crazy idea just came to me that I would roll across oceans in order to raise environmental awareness. And, to this day, I don’t know where that idea came from, whether it’s from my subconscious from outside of me somewhere some kind of different fine calling. or some kind of devil causing, I really don’t know, it was
pretty random. Actually.
David Ralph [31:12]
I was doing corporate land at this time.
Roz Savage [31:15]
No, this was this was about four years after I’d quit my job
David Ralph [31:21]
was scarier quitting your job and then dabbling for four years or doing that was it like the leap of faith when you hadn’t got a fixed plan,
Roz Savage [31:30]
or loss of it was very scary.
And that whole thing about security that Jim Carrey was saying, I think that is something that I acquired during those years, and I was often very, very strapped for cash. It was quite, I learned a lot about how little money I actually need. A lot of people were incredibly kind to me, I was often able to live in places, rent free. I’m not saying they were also Uber’s places, but I had a roof over my head. And so I really learned to sort of trust that life for Turner. Okay, I basically became secure within security. And rather than sort of clinging on to things like relationships or jobs. In order to feel secure, I just kind of really jumped out of the plane and then started making my parachute. And yeah, it was scary, but it’s also really liberating because I
David Ralph [32:31]
had to battle all those people. That was a rose, you’ve got university education, what you’re doing, you’re throwing it all away. Let’s sit down with you. Did you have all that kind of naysayers and crabs trying to drag you back into the bucket?
Roz Savage [32:47]
I think a lot of people were thinking that not many of them actually said it to me. And even if they had I think to hit would have made any difference to me because I was kind of having fun with it. I was very serious. Growing up. I was very good at jumping through hoops at school, you know, if I was told to study something, and yeah, I was one of these really annoying, girly swats it would always do my homework on the night it was set rather than the night before it was due. And so I never really failed. I’ve never really screwed up anything, and soon to screw up. But quite a lot of things have a failed career and a failed marriage actually really liberated me to lighten up and start playing life more like a game rather than being so deathly serious about everything
David Ralph [33:37]
that is fascinating isn’t a button that says so much about your spirit going forward, that you got to a point when what’s the worst that’s going to happen? Really, you’ve gone through all those emotional ties that we we get tied down with really from sort of birth onwards when we go through the school system. And the teachers are saying this is what you should be doing. You’ve got to be sensible. And we do play that role, as we were saying, all the way through our lives. But you got to that point that you quite cleverly or not quite cleverly life did it started getting those ties to the point where you were you were three years at that point, the freedom that so many or so few people experience?
Roz Savage [34:18]
Well, it’s Janis Joplin said freedom is just another word for nothing left to
David Ralph [34:22]
lose all the time on this show. Do you know that was up? If you ever want to jump on a podcast and be my psychic, then we’ve got it
Roz Savage [34:32]
show. You might regret having said that.
David Ralph [34:37]
Roz Savage [34:39]
you of course, of course, it’s your podcast join up dots What about that.
Unknown Speaker [34:46]
But it is such a
Roz Savage [34:48]
it’s such a great sentiment really, isn’t it because I think some of those things that we think give a security you know, like Jim Carrey is down, they all of those things can be taken away from us. You know, spouses can die or leave, and jobs can end, you know, you can be fired or made redundant. And there were so many things that we become so attached to, and they end up actually trapping us rather obvious, it’s great if you can keep those things in their place. And sort of go, you know, on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’ve got all my basics taken care of. So now I can really focus on being my best self. But too often those things that are meant to just give us the the platform, the essentials, to free us up to focus on those higher things, we actually ends up getting so caught up in, in all the stuff, all the things that our to do list all the you know, even the material things I used to be terrible materialistic. My parents didn’t have very much money when I was growing up. So both the Methodist preachers and I got really bored with not having money, and really wanted to have the big house and, and all the stuff. And so that was what kept me in that job that I didn’t like for so long. And it just took me down this ridiculous path, because I thought that having all the stuff was going to make me happy, and call me a bit slow on the uptake. But 11 years down that path, I sort of went, Oh, hang on. I’m really bloody miserable.
See, there’s something wrong with my theory.
David Ralph [36:38]
But you have to get to that base level of bow, as you know, as Janis Joplin was saying, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. And it’s absolutely true if you suddenly had everything taken away from you, and I’m use about this a lot on the show, because it’s one of these kind of phrases that just seems, you know, it’s just options galore. I would walk away from the house, I haven’t got any more, I would say stand on my road and think what should I do? And I’d go left or right, and I’d reach into my pocket or haven’t got anything, and it would just be choices and choices, and you’re not protecting anything, you’re just going forward. And do you think the fact that so many successful people gain Ben lose, and then come back stronger? It says a lot about that mindset?
Roz Savage [37:23]
Um, well, I do. I mean, of course, we do tend to hear more about the people who go from rags to riches, and then rags to riches. Again, if they just stay in rags, we tend not to hear about them quite a much. But having said that, I think when you’ve got that mindset of, you know, money is a renewable resource. We have a lot of things on the planet that are not renewable, but our own motivation, our money, our good fortune, can be renewed, when you’re just kind of determined everything’s going to turn out right in the end. And, and if it’s not, right, yes, it means it hasn’t ended yet. So I suppose, yeah, essentially, I am an optimistic person. I’m very fortunate in that, mostly, I’ve been able to choose my own challenges, be they all off the ocean, there are obviously some people who life just throws all kinds of stuff at them. And they just have to dig deep to cope with, you know, disability or disease or bereavement, or whatever. I’m in the very fortunate position that I, I made choices and hard choices. But I was still in in control of that situation. And so then I had to kind of think, well, if I’m not like a real idiot, I’ve got to make this come good. So I did put a bit of pressure on myself.
David Ralph [38:55]
You was in control, though. Because when when you make those choices, it’s all about making those choices, but then it’s just out of your control, isn’t it, you’ve got to work towards it. So make sure that it goes the way you want.
Roz Savage [39:10]
Um, well, actually, I suppose some of the
some of the choices was subconscious, and some are conscious. And so I think maybe I should explain something that I, I did it a couple of years before I quit my job that really looking back was maybe the first big dot. And that was, when I was still in my job, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, even though I was in my early 30s by that point. And so I did this exercise that I think I found in a book, but that’s been lost in the mists of time. And, and this exercise suggested that I should write two versions of my own obituary, the one that I wanted, and the one that I was heading for if I carried on as I was. And that exercise for me was a huge eye opener. But more like a slap in the face. Actually, I realized that I was doing more or less been 80 degrees in the wrong direction from where I wanted to go, if I was going to end up with the obituary that I wanted. And, and yet, even then I didn’t have the courage to take that choice to quit my job. I was still too attached to that, in quotes, security. But I think something happened when I, when I was writing that fantasy obituary. And I can remember how exciting it was to write it. I wasn’t really writing about what I would do. But I was writing about the kind of person I would be. And I was thinking about the obituaries I really enjoyed reading, that is inspiring people just seem to live life courageously and really get out there and succeed or fail. But like, you’re just saying they would, even if they failed, pick themselves up and have another go. And as I was writing it, it felt so real to me that it was almost like i’d opened up this portal into this alternative universe and this life that I was supposed to be living, rather than this rather mundane quotes, again, secure life. And so I think, subconsciously, I started to even sabotage myself in certain ways sabotage my career and my relationship in order to get myself on track for that fantasy obituary. And so that was really the prime mover, out of my dots from which many other dots and choices flowed.
David Ralph [41:55]
I do think it’s fascinating. All of this Leon join up dots when you look back, it’s quite easy to join up the dots and say yes, because of this, and because of that, whatever. This is how I got here, but it is still it’s like that Gwyneth Paltrow films, remember that sliding doors where you get free, one left, or the right door in your life would be totally different. And all those choices? Yes, we do join them up and it looks like you know, you are from rags to riches, you wouldn’t be on this show. If you was just in rags, I totally accept that. But you still have to make those right choices? Are you somebody that likes to make those choices? Or at your heart? Would you like those to be sort of given to you so you don’t have to think about it.
Roz Savage [42:40]
I was talking about this with a friend the other day, because her theory is that we all have a particular theme in this lifetime, she believes in reincarnation and, and she felt that her theme was freedom. But she sold that very much the double edged sword because anytime that she tried to be settled, as a mother or as a wife, it seemed like life came along and unsettled her again to set her free. And that’s how I was thinking about this. And I felt like my theme in this lifetime seems to be tough choices. That time and again, like even including the Coast Guard rescue that came to a very focused crunch point at which I had to make that decision about whether to accept rescue or not. And most of the choices that we make in life are based on extremely imperfect information. And certainly in my life. So would I prefer someone else to make those choices? Actually, really not? Because I think it’s those choices that have defined me. And it’s that exercise of free will. That really creates our, our destiny. I think that all our destiny is mapped out for us. I think it’s some it’s up to us to create.
George Bernard Shaw, who said,
We don’t discover ourselves, we define ourselves or words to that effect anyway. So I’m all about free will and tough choices. So even though they can be really, I’m almost crushingly hard at the time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
David Ralph [44:30]
And I certainly wouldn’t go over and ocean with me, Mom, I keep coming back to that. And I think Batman, what’s he thinking about that that just puts a tough activity to the borderline of, I don’t know, suicide or whatever.
Roz Savage [44:43]
Well, actually, they enjoyed it so much. They did that for her 50th birthday for her 60th birthday. They trip to the North Pole. So yeah, I guess it works out well for them. But my mom was basically not on for rowing with me. Now. I bumped into an ocean rowing friend the other day and did a couple of weeks. Actually, by the time this goes out, it’ll he’ll be out there on the ocean. He is setting out to row across the Atlantic with his father, who is 79 years old. But doesn’t
David Ralph [45:18]
surprise you when you say that statement of I bumped into an ocean rowing friend of the other day, what kind of life you’ve created, because that that’s an unusual statement. I think that’s the first time anyone’s ever said that to me.
Roz Savage [45:32]
What does Amazon call it call some statistically improbable phrases? Yeah. I get it’s brilliant. Actually, I, when I was working in the office, I would mostly meet the same people at work, I would socialize with the same people, I would see the same people on the commuter train, it felt like my life was jogging along in a very narrow track. And since I kind of leapt out of the airplane, it’s been absolutely brilliant, the people that I’ve met, all across the world, just some of the most interesting, fascinating, deep thinking, some searching, expansive people. And I feel so lucky, I really, really do. If, if I had any idea, just what awesome people I was going to meet, I think I’d quit my job much sooner. Although Having said that, I’m glad I quit it when I did, because it coincided very nicely with really the advent of blogging and social media and really the the explosion of the internet, which opened up so many more possibilities for me. But there are some absolute amazing people in this world. And I feel very lucky that a large number of them are friends of mine.
David Ralph [46:57]
Do you know I’m gonna start saying my friend was savage? Do you know? Well, savage, I’m gonna start dropping those kind of statements in as well. I didn’t realize that I’ve spoken to 500 people. Now I can do those kind of phrases karma.
Roz Savage [47:11]
Well, really weird, small world, things start happening, like I was in New York a few weeks ago, and walking down Fifth Avenue. And this woman stopped me to ask me for directions. And I started saying, Well, actually, I don’t live here. And she went on, I know you. And she said your rules on you. I said, Yes. She said the ruler said yes. She said, I followed your blog all the way across the Indian Ocean. And the really bizarre thing is she doesn’t even live in New York. She’s from Vancouver, and she was just there with her daughter to look at universities. And I don’t live in New York, I would just what are the odds that she and I would bump into each other on Fifth Avenue? I mean, obviously, everyone on Fifth Avenue heard of me, but
I was just absolutely. I’m still trying to figure out what that means. And was it autograph or selfie?
Oh, you know what we didn’t, we didn’t. We just kind of
David Ralph [48:07]
never done a selfie in my life. And it’s one of those things I’m going to hold firm to.
Roz Savage [48:14]
Well, actually, I was doing selfies before they were called selfies. Because on the ocean when I was posting blogs, I needed to take photos of what was going on and take your pitch to the ocean every day gets a bit old fairly soon. So I did have to take pictures of myself because there was no one else there to do it. But that was long before the advent of selfie sticks.
David Ralph [48:33]
And what did you do? What did you do to make these pictures? Interesting? Because obviously on a 23 foot boat or something, and it’s full of tissues, but what how did you make these photos interesting.
Roz Savage [48:46]
Unknown Speaker [48:50]
Today, I’d like to kind of
Roz Savage [48:55]
see my sunburn, or what hair looks like after it has much for three months. Or
I said I think there is something that people just get. I mean, you notice which why you interview adventurous for your show. And there’s something about people being in obscure places doing obscure things that tends to fascinate people, I think. I’m not for a moment calling myself a hero, but it’s that classic hero’s journey, you know, the quest to explore uncharted territories. You know, they’re there be dragons, or cracking, or whatever. So I don’t think the photos even needed to be all of that. All that interesting. Really, it was just the fact of where they were taken. That made them interesting. Does that make any sense?
David Ralph [49:50]
It makes total sense. It really does. And and the adventurous spirit certainly me big time. I have this fantasy. Should I tell you my fantasy was?
Unknown Speaker [50:00]
Very dangerous question.
David Ralph [50:01]
So right. No one’s listening. It’s just you and me. But I have this fantasy. And I don’t I’ve always had this that I saw this episode of Devon Brown. You notice that little hypnotist guy. And he had this guy in a photo booth. And where you have your passport photos taken? Oh, yeah. And the guy was just going along the street. And he didn’t realize that Derren Brown, his hypnotist had been following him for about two weeks, and had done a load of weird things to his brain without him knowing. And he went into this booth to have his photo taken. And when it flashed flash flash, like it does be a possible photo. He went into a coma. And they got him out of this this booth, put him in an airplane, took him over to Africa, and then put him in the same booth, and then flashed it twice, he came back to life again. And when he stepped out, he was in sort of Chelsea when he went in. And he was in Morocco when he got out. And he was so so so distant. He just didn’t know where he was. And he sort of struggled around. Hello, hello. And he just couldn’t understand how he got into Africa. Now I have this fantasy that the same thing happens to me. But I find this little silver box. And it’s got some coins in and it’s got like a map and I have to find my way home. I don’t know where I am. And I keep on having that fantasy come back and time time again. What does that say about me was garbage? Am I having a midlife crisis? Am I going mad? What’s happening?
Roz Savage [51:29]
Well, I could suggest that you should go and see a therapist. But actually, I think that sounds really cool. I do you feel quite sorry for the poor guy. So he finds himself in Africa that could lead some serious trauma
that I see we are we are fascinated by by mystery by adventure by
having Yeah, this this sort of treasure, something to look for. And I suppose now that all of the world has mostly been explored baby those treasures that were looking for a more internal rather than external, maybe we are looking to find out what what we’re capable of when we’re presented with, with a challenge, you know, like you suddenly coming to and finding yourself somewhere very unexpected. So I think that sort of, you know, our psyche is is what the 21st century Explorer is, is exploring.
David Ralph [52:31]
Did you think we’re lacking Bad Boy, I played us the the theme of the whole show Steve Jobs speech back in 2005. But do you think that ultimately, if you went back far enough, we would wake up in the morning and the whole day was about survival, we were either going to be eaten by something or somebody was going to kill us. And it was all about sort of battling. And now it’s so comfortable in many regards. Do you think something deep inside of us is craving for that? That madness every well?
Roz Savage [53:02]
I think human beings, by definition, enjoy challenges. Well, maybe not all of them. But certainly when when you look back over our history, and how we have evolved to take care of all basic needs, so that we can spend more time doing other things and exploring new new territories and inventing new devices and creating you are to new ideas. We love to evolve both individually and, and collectively. So I think that’s a very natural aspects of being human. And actually, it’s one of my real passions is I do think we’re all here to evolve. And the things that really annoy me in this world are the things that get in the way of people’s evolution.
Unknown Speaker [53:58]
Roz Savage [54:01]
not thinking or education that doesn’t encourage creativity, or be it inequality and unfairness in whatever shape or form anything that gets in the way of people evolving to be better tomorrow than they are today. That just really annoys me. So I that’s why I hope that I’ll always keep evolving and pushing myself harder and
more challenging things. And I’ve moved on from physical adventure. Now I don’t feel the urge to do anything more in that realm. But if I ever stop challenging myself, then something’s gone horribly wrong.
David Ralph [54:46]
So I’m not gonna play the Steve Jobs speech now because it hates my show, I’m going to move straight to the end of it. But if somebody says to you in 10 years time, and here she is adventure of was savage and somebody shouts out the back done anything adventurous for the last 15 years? Would you be able to stand up there and go? Well, actually, it doesn’t is there’s not a timescale on it. Adventure is because of spirit and more than achievement somehow.
Roz Savage [55:14]
Yeah, it’s not just that there isn’t a timescale on it, it’s the adventure can take so many different forms. And it as you’ve said, rowing across oceans isn’t for everybody, and always climbing mountains or trekking poles. But adventure can take so many different I mean, even, you know, I’ve never had children. But for many people Parenthood is a great adventure into the unknown, as they try and raise this, this little being that arrived in the world without an instruction manual. And if that’s not a big challenge, I don’t know what is. So um, I hope that I will still own the word adventurer till the end of my life, because I hope I will still be conspicuously adventuring into new realms that even though they may be intellectual, or political or academic, rather than, than physical,
David Ralph [56:06]
I think you will as well go to Basildon in Essex, that’d be an adventure for you.
Unknown Speaker [56:10]
Just Birmingham yesterday, I do
David Ralph [56:13]
apologize, I really do apologize, get back in your boat for safety and just this sale off. Well, this is the end of the show now. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young girls, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to play the theme tune. And when it fades you up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [56:41]
Here we go with the best.
Roz Savage [57:00]
Whoo, I’m going to choose the age of 16, which was when I went to California for the first time. And as I mentioned earlier, I came from this not very rich family. And I was just blown away by the California lifestyle. These big houses with swimming pools and gasp more than one bathroom. I just thought it was heaven on earth. And that was what I wanted. And I if I could go back and speak to my 16 year old self. Well, first of all, I would say love get a different hairdo, you’re going to be so embarrassed by that one later on. But I would also say don’t be taken in by all of this. You can be happy without all this stuff. You could be miserable with all this stuff. Don’t sell your soul. Just to get all this stuff. It’s just you shiny things. And ultimately, as the one legged sailor Tristan Jones once wrote, the only true riches in life are to be found between your ears. So go out, be adventurous, have amazing experiences meet amazing people have amazing conversations. Don’t get distracted by all these new shiny things. Exciting though they seem
David Ralph [58:26]
was what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you.
Roz Savage [58:31]
I am currently blogging on a weekly basis at Roz Savage coaching.com. That’s Roz with a Zed or z depending on where you are. So please come and find me that and that links to my other Hangouts on them on Twitter, and Facebook and LinkedIn
David Ralph [58:50]
will have all the links on the show notes. Roz, thank you so much for spending time with us today on your birthday, joining those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures was Savage, thank you so much.
Roz Savage [59:08]
It is absolute pleasure. Thank you David
David Ralph [59:09]
Well, I did my best on that one to ask the kind of questions that she probably hasn’t been asked before. But believe me, believe me there were questions going through my mind, which weren’t fit for a family show. So maybe, hopefully we get was back on the show again later. But I’m sure you agree. She was an absolute delight and inspiration, and slightly made to be able to do those kind of things. But we need people like that in the world. And hopefully all of you will be inspired to go after your own madness and leave your own legacy. Thank you so much for listening to the show. Thank you so much for everything Have a lovely Christmas because yeah, just two days down the line. Batman is coming. And we will see you again soon. Cheers. See
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.