Meet Australia's FIFO Bachelor

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Brett Gilbert is a 32-year-old chef with Fortescue Metals Group. After four years of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) living, he's about to release his first book, The Fly-in Fly-out Bachelor: a FIFO bachelors guide to success with women. Here we talk to Brett about how he made himself a better bloke (and his efforts to help others achieve the same results) ...

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your mining history...

A: I work for the exploration department of the Fortescue Metals Group as a chef, and have done so for the last four years. Other than working in a construction camp in the goldfields back in 1999, which peaked at around 2000 men, I've been fortunate enough to work in small camps for most of my FIFO life and the majority of the last four years throughout the Pilbara. FIFO has been a great experience. It's taught me many a valuable lesson, or should I say was the catalyst for me searching out many valuable lessons: financially, romantically, professionally, spiritually and emotionally.

Q: What are the positives of being FIFO?

A: There are many positives to working FIFO. The money can be good, company bonus entitlements are exactly that (a bonus) and I have a certain degree of flexibility around taking time off, which keeps me coming back to my preferred position and company. The camaraderie can be fun. Often people can come and go from different departments of the company or contracting firms, so you get to meet a wide range of personalities and characters from within the industry. Communications are ample so it's easy to stay in touch with the outside world, the food can be healthy and nutritious and you have access to a wide range of facilities that nurture healthy living.

FIFO can teach you many good habits like being punctual, ethical and practising safe working procedures which can manifest in other areas of your life. It teaches you to be part of a team and to "like" your team mates because you have little or no choice to be with them. FIFO can also be a great teacher for how to co-exist with a wide range of personalities and people of all socio-economic, foreign, indigenous and ethnic backgrounds and within that can be a source for controlling your emotions or empathy for people's views and ways of life.

Q: What did you find difficult about being a FIFO bachelor?

A: As a man with primal urges and an intrinsic purpose to procure relationships with women, I used to find FIFO tough. It just really isn't conducive to meeting the opposite sex. There are very few women in the camps I've worked at, and as a result competition can be fierce for them. Although you have time on R@R to meet women and cultivate relationships, the FIFO life can sometimes eat away at your masculine psyche or ability to feel comfortable with women. And at any rate, R&R can often be fleeting for some FIFO employees.

Other things that can be difficult about FIFO include missing friends, family and big yearly events - plus generally missing the good times, novelties and opportunities that come around year in, year out. With the hustle and bustle of today's modern society, I also think that juggling house, home, social, domestic, romantic and pre and post-work commitments can be a strain if you're not an effective time manager. Often with a small window during R@R to 'get it all done', you can feel more drained as you fly back to work as opposed to when you fly home from work.

Q: How did you overcome these issues?

A: By rising to the challenge! I gradually learnt to manage myself and my time more effectively - getting more done and getting more enjoyment out of 'getting it all done'. I deliberately set out to evolve myself and reach higher levels of fulfillment, happiness and enjoyment from my FIFO life. I also worked on making myself more attractive to women and where/how to meet more women on R@R. I also started to use my non-working hours on-site to build relationships and cultivate possibilities with women for the times when I was on R@R which made the FIFO life very fulfilling (although busy).

Q: Would you recommend FIFO to other bachelors?

Sure, I would recommend the FIFO lifestyle to anyone. But because of the lack of women, I'd also encourage them to gain some awareness about the long-term effects of FIFO and the male brain (especially for those long-time FIFO bachelors who are already lonely, or those just starting out in the industry who aren't emotionally strong or super strong in character yet).

Q: So what advice would you offer them?

A: My advice is to subscribe to my blog (haha!) No, in all seriousness my advice is to throw away the socially-conditioned notion of what it means to be a man. Go and find out what is really needed to attract and keep a woman (especially if you’re ineffective with the opposite sex). Most of us men have been badly programmed or given the wrong idea about what women want and need. We have no idea what attracts them. Also, men love to let their internal emotions dictate their life - their pride stops them from taking action (sort of like an excuse not to try different things). Self-inflicted shame can be damaging. So can self deceit or "self-talk" - blokes often tell themselves that things will get better, even if they don't do a damn thing about it. That's a recipe for failure with women.

The number one reason why any man is single (FIFO or not) is that he is unwilling to accept the need for change to get different results.

Even if you are just starting out in FIFO, I thinks it’s a great idea to open your eyes to change and to the many possibilities that the FIFO lifestyle can bring. After a while, it's too easy to fall into bad habits ... to sink into a life of monotony and loneliness.

Q: So you're now doing life coaching for others? Tell us about your services and who they help.

Yes, right now my coaching services only extend to Skype and phone calls. I currently have two more vacancies or gaps to fill in my coaching calendar, so anyone wishing to receive some free coaching should act fast. My coaching abilities extend to teaching guys to become more attractive to women so they have a higher chance of success. I also have linguistic qualifications, which essentially means you can come to me with a problem and I'll break it down for you and even dissolve it your mind. It can then stop limiting success in any area of life. I also have a wide range of strategies for achieving goals - and ways to implement them.

Q: How did your book come about?

A: My book was born out of a desire to help FIFO bachelors with the same challenges that I use to face with women (i.e. little success). But it's also my aim to help blokes achieve better results in all areas of their life.

I essentially locked myself in my 'donga' on-site for a few years and filled up my mind with knowledge from the great thinkers and all-time greats of self-help, dating and successful living. I then took every opportunity to implement what I’d learnt (with girlfriends, colleagues or on R@R and began to see results. I've never looked back. So I synthesized everything that I’ve learnt and experienced: the most powerful tools, techniques and mental frames to achieve success with women and just about any area of life. Then I put it all in my book The Fly-in Fly-out Bachelor: a FIFO bachelors guide to success with women.

Q: How can people get more info?

Well, if any MiningFM reader would like to know more about me, my book or my coaching, they should jump onto and sign up to my newsletter, or send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. On my website they’ll find many a great article and links to my podcast and future videos on how to be more successful with women. I'm also on Facebook so you can connect with me there

Finally, I'd just like to say to anyone out there seeking change or long-term, long-lasting, fulfilling results with women and FIFO, give me a shout and to remember that "Awareness is the key to change and a commitment to change is all you need."

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