by Betty Dravis
I’d like our readers to know that I met you through model/award-winning screenwriter Kitania “Kitty” Kavey who starred in our first Dream Reachers book. She recommended you highly, but I must confess, when I started researching you it was your logo that intrigued me. Odd to say, but that orange lizard is rather attractive, in a funky kind of way. (laughs)
But first things first, Rob… To relate to people as you do, a person must have inborn intuition and certain powers of persuasion. Did you recognize any special skills as a child? When did the urge to help people start? Please share some of your early childhood with us. I’m especially curious about what it was like growing up in Holland.
Rob Waterlander: Well, Betty, I am not the typical personal, mental or motivational coach people might expect. My intuitive and empathetic nature is something I was born with and have developed over my lifetime. I have always been a beacon–shining and attracting people who were wondering what direction to go–although initially, I wasn’t aware in full. Looking back, I think things started moving in the direction of guiding people when classmates started asking for guidance, mainly girls sharing their emotions.
I feel I got my extensive class, or University of Life, the first three months of my life. Long story… (laughs)
Being adopted by two of the most loving parents after I was given away has been the key to unlocking my potential for intuitively seeing and feeling people. It helped me to enter the world of helping those in search of more of what they want.
And by the way, Kitty is an amazing person, gifted and so sweet.
In 1996 I started organizing youth sports events for charity: CliniClowns sports events. CC is a foundation that originated in NYC when Patch Adams started to perform as a clown in hospitals, entertaining children with long-term illnesses, sometimes terminal. These sports events put me in contact with professional soccer players and the rest is history; one soccer player referred me to another, etc. And I love it!
By the way, Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams is one of those special ones on earth. Would love to meet him in real life and have a chat.
As for Holland, my country is probably one of the best countries overall. I grew up in a suburb of Amsterdam, what used to be a little fishermen’s village where I felt safe, being able to play, hang out and develop the “real” me.
Betty Dravis: That’s interesting how CliniClowns started; I recall reading some stories about Patch Adams. I agree with you about him; he had to have been a caring, sensitive man to devote his life to children like that. I sensed when I met you that you were born with this “sensitive” ability, Rob. Thanks for explaining the fascinating details.
This might seem like an odd juxtaposition, but getting back to your logo before I forget: Why did you choose a lizard? And why an orange one…?
Rob Waterlander: I chose the lizard, Betty, because it’s associated with intuition and psyche, balance and sensitivity, helping us to detach from our past what no longer serves us. Detachment from ego, power to regenerate that which is lost, facing fear, controlling dreams, conservation, agility… The lizard is an archetype of adaptation, variation, flexibility and shrewdness. The lizard typifies characteristics that I work on every day within my own life, and it helps teach my clients to realize these same skills in theirs.
Also, the lizard’s stillness and its silence–having the peace and ability to hang-out for hours and hours in the heat of the sun–is something that I can relate to myself. So, as you see, there are various aspects of what the lizard is to me and, therefore, what made me choose it. I listen, absorb in silence, and then intuitively see and feel where the person’s next steps are.
Betty Dravis: Well, I can’t argue with your wise choice, Rob. I once chose the turtle as the logo for a newspaper I owned…because of its patience. But that didn’t last long because my subscribers thought I meant that they were “slow” like the turtle. (laughs)
But back to you, after the lizard, the second thing I noticed on your page was your brilliant smile. It was a pleasure when you visited my home in February to find that the smile is genuine and almost a constant… I found you to be a truly happy, up-beat guy. In my opinion, only a man who has found his true calling in life can be that happy. But before you get into what you’re doing now, please share a little about the path it took to get from “there to here.”
Rob Waterlander: I am following the path leading to the sanctuary where I want to be, and being on track feels good. I have two lovely souls in my life who are blood related: my children, a son and a daughter. Those two are my link to many things in life that I cherish, given by one of the most remarkable women in my life, the high school sweetheart I married and was married to for almost twenty-one years. I divorced almost ten years ago, although she is someone I am eternally linked to. There is another woman in my life with whom I have found the connection I so want, leading closer to the sanctuary where I love and long to be. I am feeling good… From here, I have everything to offer to people looking for guidance, joy and releasing resistance in life, allowing them to be who they are and enjoying life in full.
Having been in sales for a long time, I learned a lot about myself and people. I enjoyed doing something that brought me success and acknowledgment of me as a professional: advising and selling roofing constructions for new and re-roofing projects with a contract value of up to more than two million dollars per project. One of the projects I did brought me to Richard Meier, the well-known and famous NYC architect.
My intuitive qualities were a valuable asset to work with project teams and buyers within the construction industry and during those years I developed my qualities extensively.
Betty Dravis: I agree, Rob, that being in sales teaches valuable lessons about others. I bet you felt proud and fulfilled when you actually viewed the architectural beauty of the completed construction projects, also.
I saw some recent photos of you with a lovely, dark-haired woman with a smile that matches your own. Is she the new woman that you spoke of above?
Rob Waterlander: Yes, Betty, she is felt as my mate in the sanctuary. (smiles) Her name is Carly Couweleers and we were brought together by one of her daughters and two of my best friends. She is a guide, too—although a bit different from what I do. She is able to see through people at levels going beyond what most of us see, and I can see us working together with people in the future. It is amazing to experience someone to work with who is guided by spiritual guides and is a woman of God, also. That I asked for too…
Betty Dravis: I’m so happy for you both, Rob. Carly does, indeed, sound like a God-send and I can tell by your glowing description that she’s “the one” for you. (laughs) You should make a great, inspiring team. Like-minded, compatible people working together can perform miracles,
When you decided to take a road trip to visit me in Manteca, you were in the States for client meetings in San Francisco, and after you left you had more meetings in the L.A. area. Were those meetings successful and did you manage to help your clients progress in their search for a more meaningful life?
Rob Waterlander: I was in California for a few meetings with people and some workshops in San Francisco and L.A. I am glad I took the time to also drive down to Manteca from the Bay Area before heading to L.A. Being able to meet up with you, as well as with your friend Johnny, was such a good thing.
You, being a mother, do have the natural drive and joy of wanting to make a difference, but it was Kitty Kavey who told me and still does: “Rob, go to L.A. They need you there.” Truthfully, Betty, after having lived in San Diego in 2003, going back there has been a good stepping stone. I am glad I decided to say yes to the meetings. Whether the people I met are making the progress they want in their life or not, it is an option I offered to them. As you know, we all have freedom of choice. I love working with those creative guys and gals…and Malibu is so my area. (smiles) I am certain to go back soon.
Betty Dravis: It’s a great start, Rob, and I’m happy you enjoy working in the States. Speaking of road trips reminds me that you love to travel and have clients in many countries. What countries have you visited and where did you go on your most recent trip?
Rob Waterlander: I love the globe–the playground offered to all of us here in the world. The world is huge, although I think it is nothing compared to what is out there and waiting for us, Betty. My last travels took me to the Middle East and I will be there soon again. It’s an amazing area… Also I had the chance to spend some time in Venice this summer.
I have been to many places in the world; except for the Far East I have been to almost all continents, although not all over those continents. I would love to see more of Africa and the Middle East. Sydney and San Francisco are my favorite cities. Another part in the world that intrigues me is South America; Venezuela and Bolivia showed me extremes in atmosphere.
My next travel will be to Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa, both for business. Then in 2011, I am also traveling to the USA, both for pleasure and business. Recently, I started to look more into the Dutch Islands, close to Amsterdam, and other than the climate, it is so wonderful.
Betty Dravis: Wow–all that travel boggles my mind! That’s a mighty ambitious agenda, Rob. You certainly do love to travel, and fortunately, you’re in the right career to be able to do it. (laughs)
I know cruises are a lot of fun, so what’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you on a cruise?
Rob Waterlander: Wow, Betty…. hahahahaha… I had the chance to go on a cruise with my best friend–thanking him for all the years he gave me so much fun while he was playing in one of the leading soccer leagues in the world, the Premier League in England. We went to Norway and met some wonderful entertainers while on the cruise. He had a not-so-nice experience, which to me was very funny… (laughs) We kayaked in a beautiful fjord and he turned upside down while looking backwards; not so nice for him–losing his camera and phone. But I will always remember that cruise as precious because I spent quality time with a dear friend who gave me a lot, both he and his wife. Enjoying food and travel with a dear friend is the best!
Well, kind of funny, too, my son’s luggage not being there when traveling for a cruise departing from Panama and having to shop for new clothes almost every day because each day new promises came our way. Eventually, he had to take part in a formal night and seeing my son actually enjoying being dressed in a tuxedo was worth it. My son said, “The next time, I will probably travel with a plastic bag and an empty suitcase.” Six weeks later, the suitcase re-emerged having been to Miami and all over the Caribbean. (laughs)
And, very sweet was being with my daughter during a formal night seeing her in her evening gown.
Betty Dravis: It’s odd how those embarrassing moments give us laughs years later, isn’t it, Rob? As for your kids in formal attire, I’m posting a photo of you with your lovely daughter in her formal gown. She does, indeed, look so grown up and lovely. I bet your son was very handsome too.
Now, getting back to your career, to sum it up, you are an intuitive motivator, “people whisperer,” inspirer and guide and you work one-on-one with people to help create the life they want. This means working to ensure their independence and helping them discover or rediscover their personal light in order to continue through life’s challenges.
That sounds like a colossal job to me. Do you mind telling us how you begin with an individual? And please share a few success stories.
Rob Waterlander: Before I answer that, Betty, let me assure you and your readers that my work is not meant to substitute for those who have addictions or conditions that should be treated, but I can work as part of their team to success. All the possibilities are within each individual and I can help them discover the endless joy and happiness that is there.
Light is essential. Many times we try to see the light in our lives, and we can’t. It may seem there is no light… Circumstances and events can overwhelm us. Even well-meaning friends and family can discourage us from living our true purpose. Entertainers and sports stars, in particular, are under tremendous pressure to fulfill the expectations of others around them, often losing themselves and their personal focus in the process.
What I always start with is tuning in on people, feeling and seeing behind the masks we all wear in daily life. I am just silent… I listen and, occasionally ask a question. Listening to what they say and don’t say, figuring out where they are and where they want to go…
Talking about individual people, I would have to give disclosures that most prefer me not to give. In general, I can say this: Entertainers and sportspeople with level-headed spouses who use common sense should stay in close connection with their partners, enabling them to thrive. When they lack support of a good husband/wife or similar, they might, sooner or later, need a person who is able to give support, guiding them through life’s challenges and helping them to focus on what they do so well.
Betty Dravis: I understand and respect the privacy of your clients, Rob, so thanks for generalizing for us. I totally agree that a helpful mate is a powerful force and it’s very important to support one another…whether it’s a spouse or a dear friend.
I hear that you specialize in working with people in the entertainment and sports community; professional athletes, musicians, singers, movie actors, artists and other creative talent. Why and how did you manage to narrow the field?
Rob Waterlander: As I said earlier, the sports events helped me connect with sports people and those guys kept referring me to other athletes.
Basically, I have chosen these entertainers and sports people, as well as other creative guys and gals, because I enjoy working with people with that specific state of mind. Driven and at the same time fragile somehow. I think all the attention and “The show must go on” stress levels make people prone to stuff that would stress out anyone. There is just no escape when everybody is expecting a brilliant performance and appearance.
Betty Dravis: You’re absolutely right about that, Rob. We’ve all seen some of our favorite stars, whether entertainers or athletes, fall apart due to that kind of stress.
I’ve heard through the grapevine that you’re good at what you do and I hope you don’t mind if I share what a few people wrote about you. I’ll start with Kitty Kavey since I know her and she’s mentioned above.
“Intuitive, kind and empathetic to others, Rob Waterlander is an absolute joy and privilege to work with. If you’re in the entertainment or sports industries, he really “gets” the pressures that we have to live up to–not only our own expectations, but the needs and expectations of those around us and the public. He doesn’t preach, or tell you what to do or which plan to follow. Instead he leads each individual to the place within where the answers lie. He gently guides one to what they know, and what they need to know, to not only be successful in career, but also to be able to reconnect with the happiness and peace within. Not only that, but Rob is also an expert in combining the realities of business and marketing (and public relations), with the spiritual/emotional needs of an individual.” – Kitania Kavey, Screenwriter, Actress, Model, The Netherlands/Europe
And the following is from a sports professional in the UK:
“Rob is someone who is empowering and directing. He has the ability of communicating at the right moments, pointing out exactly that part I couldn’t see beyond at that moment. I call it diving in, opening and showing the pregnant space of possibilities… opening doors to what was waiting so close. In a way, I wasn’t initially aware that I was applying aspects of what he said and shared when we interacted. When distracted by people in my daily professional or personal life, it’s easier to feel the patience of knowing whether now, tonight or tomorrow I would exactly see what I needed to see. As an athlete with a focus on performance, once or twice a week having a balanced day-to-day life is essential. Rob is a valued part of keeping focused, knowing that all is well.” – Fabian Wilnis, Professional Footballer, UK
Those are powerful words of praise, Rob. Knowing that you’ve helped those people must be encouraging to you, keeping you inspired and focused on your own dreams and goals. I’ve heard you say, “An interesting question for many coaches supporting people could be ‘who is going to motivate you when the motivator has gone home?’” Please answer that intuitive question for us.
Rob Waterlander: Well, Betty, I feel what works best is when a client is independent, only dependent on their own gained knowledge. When they absolutely know themselves–their hearts, and can listen again to their authentic selves–only then will they be secure and happy. I have made it my life’s work to guide people towards what always has been waiting for them, and once there, I just stay around to fine-tune, watching from a distance as they live thriving and wondrous lives.
Once I have established a level of clearness with my clients, I try to see them twice a year…up to a max of twelve times.
Betty Dravis: That makes perfect sense to me, Rob, and I see that truth working in the Dream Reachers that my co-author Chase Von and I have interviewed. That’s good, solid advice and I can see where we could all use someone like you in our lives—someone who really cares. I saw your gentle guidance when you met my friend John Manha who has multiple sclerosis. You talked with him at length and I saw your compassion and nurturing abilities first-hand. As a strong, determined Vietnam veteran, he’s a good judge of character and he was truly impressed with you and admires your calling. He felt your life flow… Thanks for that and for encouraging him in his personal and business goals.
But we’re nearing the end of this interview, so I’d like to invite you to share your Mission Statement. We’ve discussed everything in the statement, but I think our readers would like it condensed as a refresher.
Rob Waterlander: My Mission Statement as stated on my website is: My goal is to guide each person to create for themselves the opportunity to have each of their talents and thoughts tuned in to the direction of that which one has a passion for. I know that if the passion and creative direction of each individual is found and followed, then the physical, mental and financial rewards will flow naturally.
Thank you, Betty, for this chance to get my message across to more people. I sure hope to meet up soon again and have the chance to do another lunch together. Meeting Johnny was felt within… Please say hi to him from me and deliver this message: “I enjoyed talking to you a lot, Johnny. Man, you have an awesome smile.” (laughs)
Betty Dravis: I, too, hope we do lunch again next time you’re in the States, Rob. I certainly enjoy your company. This time I will listen for your “silences” too. (laughs) And I’ll certainly pass on your message to Johnny. He’ll be pleased to know you’re thinking of him.
It’s awesome what you offer your clients, Rob, but I almost forgot to mention that you work with companies too. By now our readers must be eager to learn how to contact you, but before that, tell us a little about your corporate services.
Rob Waterlander: I’m glad you remembered, Betty, because that’s a big part of my business. I am available to work with corporate Human Resources Departments and with recruiters and headhunters to help find the right executives for their companies…or the right companies for their clients. In today’s market it is imperative to match the job opening with the right candidate before time and money is invested in a position that doesn’t work out. I assess the needs of both the company and the job seeker to ensure a good fit for both. I walk with them on the beach or we cycle… Any activity is great while figuring out whether the company and the candidate are a match. It is so fun to be with a person who has a dream…and spending a while with a candidate for a job enables me to see whether he really wants it or whether he just wants to survive. I understand it is so much better when a person actually feels excited because the job fits a part of his dream. And it saves a company loads of money when the new person is the right one.
Betty Dravis: You’re right, Rob! That’s very important in today’s business climate. I have several corporate friends who use services such as you offer. Thanks for expounding on that area of your profession. And now here are some links where people can reach you:
Rob’s Main website:
Before closing, Rob, this might seem silly, but I think it will shed more light on the real you: If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you take with you?
Rob Waterlander: It’s the island life! Wooo-hoooo… I’m so much an island person, it feels like a present to me. Hahahahaha… This is a good question for me, Betty. Thank you for asking.
Now let me think… What/who I would like to take with me and what I would like to have with me there? I can choose whatever I wish, though only three? Well, that is easy: My children and Carly. And hopefully, there will be available a few jackfruit trees and coconut trees.
I might be pushing a bit now, but if possible, I would like to take my two best friends. I will miss you all, but having my children and Carly will help me to get through. (smiles)
Betty Dravis: Oh-haha, Rob, I guess you would be living on love, coconuts and jackfruit then. I’ve never seen jackfruit, but I read somewhere that it’s the largest fruit in the world and can grow as large as eighty pounds. Well, that’s a lot of food, so you certainly wouldn’t go hungry. (laughs)
I really appreciate your sharing your time and your life with us today. It’s fascinating how you found your true purpose in life. I see the principle of “What goes around comes around” working in your life: Helping others achieve their full potential to live their dream enables you to live your dream.
The cost of your services wasn’t mentioned, but you do work on a sliding scale and are available worldwide, so that’s a big plus in your favor. That said, it’s been fun getting to know you better, and do come back to keep us posted from time to time. As for me, I’ll see you on Facebook, I’m sure. And I know you’re open to answer comments from everyone on Facebook.
Farewell and good luck, Rob…or in your language, Vaarwel and geluk! Please keep us posted on your activities. Oops—I almost forgot to thank you for the bright yellow “wooden shoe” house-slippers you brought me last time.
Rob Waterlander: Hehehehe, I see some Dutch here… (smiles)
Well, what I do always makes me feel good and that is the most important thing. Feeling good… What I charge depends on circumstances, indeed. Roughly it varies between 1,000 to 4,000 Euro/US Dollars for working with someone a maximum of two days, and people pay/arrange my travelling and lodging.
Thank you so much, Betty. It was fun to answer your questions. I am grateful because it helped me to go back to joyful moments, especially those in the six years of organizing sports events. It was fun and educational to work with pro-athletes, pro-referees and nine- to ten-year-old soccer players of the major soccer teams in Holland, as well as working with TV and radio teams and those who sponsored the events. I learned a lot… One thing I remember so well is what a general manager of Nike said: “Rob, focus on two things at the same time, max. That allows you to be successful with what you do. Just do it!”
And, I am amazed at you every day, Betty. You are the age of my mom, though you run your blogs, write books and do your interviews… I hope I have the chance to see you again and then I would like you to have some fun in real wooden shoes, instead of the fluffy ones. (laughs)
Thanks again, Betty. Hugs and loving vibes sent your way. xx