Rob shares his goal of meeting ten thousand people, his experience rubbing elbows with big-shot entrepreneurs, and why adventure makes him happy.
Rob Lawless is a Norristown Native and Penn State Graduate who is a former Sales Representative. He is currently on a full-time quest to meet 10,000 people, for no particular reason, under the project Robâ€™s 10k Friends. Something else you should know about Rob: He can do a standing back tuck (Move over, Gabby Douglas.)
Getting right into it: what makes Rob happy? Adventure. This can mean seeing new places, interacting with new people, or seeking the thrill of trekking through a dangerous a. To him, this is what keeps life fresh.
This is something he feels the cubicle life couldn’t provide. While working for Deloitte, or even a start up such as RJ Metrics, the day to day didn’t provide anything too exciting. This is why he thinks he enjoyed starting a new project at these jobs the most.
Rob has always searched for things that were new and exciting. In high school, he researched and was attracted to cliff diving…which he may or may not have illegally done much to his motherâ€™s dismay. It was for similar reasons that he chose to attend Penn State. The campus was so large and had so many students, he knew he would meet someone new every day, even if he never saw them again.
Does Rob ever crave consistency despite his love for adventure? Sometimes. He enjoys the income of a stable job, for example, and how it provides for the nicer things in life such as travel. Although he doesn’t have that at the moment, he hopes to achieve a bit more consistency with what he’s doing in the upcoming year. Especially to be able to travel more. Although he’s done this a bit, including what sounds like an awesome trip to Ireland, heâ€™d like to see how much more this could help him grow and what other adventures he could get into.
Heâ€™s not trying to get too crazy though. Rob is all about skydiving at some point, but climbing up the side of a mountain for example? Maybe not so much.
We asked Rob how his feelings towards adventure affect his everyday life, particularly when he is working. He mentioned itâ€™s allowed him to be creative. When he was working for RJ Metrics, he asked to go to Startup Week on Penn State Campus to meet some tech big wigs who he personally looked up to. It took some work, but rather than pitch what RJ Metrics was about, he sought to hang out with people and get to know them. The following year, when the co-founder of RJ Metrics went to speak at Startup Week, Rob was able to introduce him to the people he met. It was a winning moment for him which led to a conversation between both companies and potential business.
Although this was definitely a great out-of-the-box way to gain business, he was never really a fan. Being a sales rep required people always thinking you had an ulterior motive, even when he was simply soliciting advice. It was calling people and talking to them about something they didn’t ask for. He’s loving meeting people and talking to them for no other reason than getting to know them.
The next step for Rob is taking this project, that he really likes and makes him happy, and monetizing it. It makes him nervous at times, but mostly he is hopeful and excited to see what will come of it. He’s a laid back person who believes everything will work out. And even during those times when he wasn’t laid back and was stressing about grades, for example, he realized that as long as he is alive nothing else matters.
So, what else makes Rob happy? His parentâ€™s house, family and friends, freedom, the song â€˜Banana Pancakesâ€™ by Jack Johnson, and memories of pulling up his turtleneck and pretending he was a ninja turtle as a kid. You can learn more about him and his awesome project by visiting his Instagram.
Links / Read / See / Hear
Philly Man on Quest to Meet 10,000 Strangers, NBC10 Philadelphia
Local man wants to network with 10,000 of us, for an hour each, NBC10 Philadelphia
From Rob: Instagram
Jason Zappolo for editing and mixing this episode; follow Jason on instagram.
Orly Margulis for social media support; follow Orly on linkedIn.
RocÃo CastaÃ±eda for ongoing support; follow RocÃo on instagram.