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Roz Savage: Ocean Rower & Environmental Campaigner

Roz SavageLast week I rowed across the Pacific Ocean with Roz Savage. Together we lost the anchor, our water desalinator broke and we capsized many times.

All this happened as I read her riveting new book, Stop Drifting, Start Rowing, about her solo row from San Francisco to Papua New Guinea.

Roz Savage is the first woman to row solo across three oceans -- the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian

We spoke a few days later when I phoned her at her home in England to interview her for my next book, The New Feminine Wealth: How Women are Redefining What Constitutes a Rich Life..

As Roz told me about the 10-to-12 hours per day she had spent rowing for the 520 days of her combined trips, she caught me by surprise on one thing.

“I don’t even like physical exercise,” she confided.

“I really don’t. I’m quite happy just vegging out on the sofa. I’m really not an energetic person at all.“

Before hitting the high seas she had been vegging on a very nice sofa indeed!

Married and highly successful as a management consultant, she had been living in materialistic luxury. Her beautiful house, expensive clothes, and little red sports car had been very important to her.

What, then, had roused Roz off her sofa into a 23-foot, single-rower boat with only two paddles to get herself across an entire ocean (three times)?

It turned out that even with all the beautiful "stuff" she had, Roz had not been happy. Not really.

She was highly stressed and deep down she knew something was missing.

The crescendo came one day when she did an assignment from a self-help book to write two obituaries for herself: the obituary her current life was likely to lead to and the obituary she wanted to have. She discovered the two were miles apart.

Roz realized that it was time to start living a meaningful life she would really be proud of.

Roz chose to start rowing, in a BIG way, to highlight environmental issues. She was especially passionate about waking people up to the toxicity and destruction that plastics are causing to our oceans and to the diminishing wild life in them.

About her transformation from couch potato to ocean rower and environmental campaigner, Roz says, “It shows how motivating a really strong commitment can be.”

Here are Three Tips from Roz for how to achieve success you  can be proud of.

  1. Ask yourself, ‘What does success mean to me?’” Success is personal. Do not be swayed by other people’s ideas of what success should be. Remember, Roz was passionate enough about her goal to go the distance. Choose success you feel that passionate about.
  2. Have a very clear vision of where you’re going to end up and how fantastic it will feel when you get there. Know what the details of your success will look like.” When Roz got weary at sea, she motivated herself by thinking about how wonderful it would feel to reach land and enjoy a hot meal, hot shower and clean sheets.  Small details to us, they were HUGE to her.
  3. Each day ask, “What do I need to do today to reach my goal?” Don’t keep thinking about all the things you have to do to achieve your final goal or you will be overwhelmed and discouraged. Think only about what you need to do that day.

Roz SavageRoz promises...

“The bigger and tougher the challenge, the more amazing it feels when, by your own efforts, you actually succeed. It’s the best feeling ever.”

The way to get there?

One day at a time, one oar stroke at a time.

Believing in your purpose and potential,

Visit Roz Savage at



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