182: Emile Steenveld | Model Turned Emotional Intelligence Coach

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Emile Steenveld is a former model and actor. His parents escaped apartheid in South Africa and headed for the sunny shores of Australia, and that’s where Emile was born. After a successful modeling career in Australia and in Asia, he headed to LA. Unfortunately that’s when the recession hit. Emile found himself working three jobs and his car was repossessed. Emile decided to try New York and found that his ‘ethnically ambiguous’ look was a better fit for the market there. Then a friend made it big in Bollywood, invited Emile over, and he ended up staying for two years. After exhausting himself modeling in Australia again (he had four days off in a year!), Emile became a motivational coach and speaker and moved to Bali. He now runs transformational retreats with fellow coach and entrepreneur, Joel Brown.

In This Conversation We Cover: 

  • [6:33] Growing up brown-skinned in Australia
  • [7:30] Discrimination in the modeling industry
  • [16:52] Why Emile had more success modeling in New York than LA
  • [18:06] His experiences in India
  • [23:34] Leaving modeling to be a coach and speaker
  • [31:42] Emile’s dreamy sunset life in Bali

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Hi, I’m Rob!

Hi, I’m Rob! It has been said “You are not what you have learned, but what you’ve overcome.”


I have overcome my share of obstacles in order to architect the life of my dreams and uncover the key to lasting, meaningful success. Growing up in Queens (literally on the wrong side of the tracks), my early years were tumultuous, marked by hardship and violence.

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