Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?
Robi: Oh, wow, this is a tough question because I feel like I’ve been really open about who I am and the various aspects of my personality over the years that I’ve been in the media. So, anyone who follows me closely will probably be aware of my various eccentricities. Having said that, here are a few “surprising truths” about me. I’m a bit of a jewelry addict. I consider it wearable art. I wish I could say that I won’t buy any more jewelry because I have more than enough, but I know this is not the case. In fact, I have so many beautiful vintage pieces I could probably open up my own store just using my own personal inventory. I probably should, too, to clear out some space in my apartment. While I was in the process of looking into how to get a job in TV, and I encountered a lot of, “no’s”, I always said that if I couldn’t get a job in TV, I would re-locate to sell silver jewelry in Mexico and learn to speak Spanish proficiently. This fall back plan still sounds appealing at times.
Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?
Robi: I have always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to do professionally. It evolved over the years, of course. When I was only in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a therapist. I was very clear about this desire very early in my life. When I was in my teens, I decided after seeing Dr. Joyce Brothers on TV that I wanted to be a therapist on television. I had no idea how to do this, but once I made that decision, I was convinced I could make it happen. In High School, I knew I wanted to write a book. Had no idea what the topic of this book would be, but knew I wanted to be an author.
So how did I get to where I am today? I think it took vision, following my passion, thinking outside of the box and being extremely persistent. I think It’s also important to include mentors and supportive people into your inner circle, so when life proves more challenging than you imagined, you have people in your life who remind you why it’s possible to get to where you want to go.
As far as failures, setbacks, and challenges, there have been so many along the way. I consider most of my career very challenging. It’s unpredictable, there are no guarantees ever, there are setbacks that can challenge one’s self-esteem and desire to move forward. But every once in a while there are doors that open effortlessly, it keeps me moving forward.
It’s hard to pick just one challenge or set back that has been instrumental to my growth. Every challenge has been helpful as far as helping me learn about myself and to realign myself with what my priorities are. Perhaps one of the most impactful moments of my life is when I was struggling with one of my jobs, earlier in my career as a therapist, and about to get fired, when I came across a passage from Norman Vincent Peale’s famous book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’. In this book, a passage asked to think about how to turn around a negative situation and make it positive. I remember really focusing on this idea and this is what led me to go to graduate school.
So, when I hit up against the various challenges in my life, I do look for the ways I can turn a negative experience and make it into a positive, life learning moment.
Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?
Robi: I think an inspiring leader is someone who has the talent to communicate with others and has a vision. A person who inspires their team to work together for the higher good of others/company. A leader should be an encourager rather than a discourager?
The best way to help leaders to get to the next level is to provide them with training. Expose them to other top-notch leaders, who lead their companies to success, whom they can emulate and perhaps even consult with from time to time.
Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
1) Have a vision- know where you want to go
2) Know your purpose- You must know the “why” behind why you want to go to where you’re going
3) Make everyone around you better, brighter and happier
Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?
Robi: I know it must sound cliché, but bloom where you are planted. Is something both my mother and grandmother would say to me. I have found it over the years to be great advice. Every place you are can be a gateway to where you want to go. Once you realize that and embrace this truth, you can find the doors of opportunity that help you get to your chosen goals and dreams.
Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?
Robi: Share what you know. Once we gain experience in life it’s important to share this information and wisdom with those who can benefit from it. Be a person who helps people to know more both about themselves and the world, in a way that contributes to the greater good of everyone.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Robi: I like reading everything psychologically oriented. I like to go thrift shopping and I like to socialize with interesting people. How has this shaped me? I think this has allowed me to meet and interact with interesting people in all different kinds of fields and walks of life while dressing in an interesting way. As far as my psychological quest, it’s has shaped me into the professional person and person in general that I am.