Three enterprising college students began their summer with an RV named "Maggie," a whole lot of Red Bull, and a slew of questions for professionals about what they were doing with their careers. The students hoped to write a book about people that have developed successful careers by pursuing their life passions. What they got was an education on how to pursue their own passions.
In January of this year, Brett Farmiloe was a soon-to-be college graduate looking around the corner with trepidation, not quite knowing what to expect. "I had been interviewing for jobs and I had seen others taking jobs just to get a job," he said. "I’m maybe a victim of that too, and I just wanted to see what else was out there."
"In my interviews I developed a love for talking with people and seeing how they got where they are," continued Farmiloe, who was then a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in accounting.
And thus the "Pursue the Passion" idea was born. Envisioned by Farmiloe and executed by himself and friends Daniel Weber and Tamir Greenberg, the project had as its mission one charge: find people who love their careers because they have made careers out of doing what they love. Farmiloe grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns, lining up interviews up the west coast in what was to be a road trip originating in Tucson, Ariz.
"We tried a variety of routes," said Farmiloe in regard to how the interviews were established. "We had to know what was in the respective cities [that we would visit], did a lot of cold calling people, sending out blind e-mails, meeting people in career fairs, networking, anything we could try."
One such attempt turned up motivational speaker, author and consultant Barry Moltz, based out of Chicago. As someone who preaches passion, resiliency and humility in his lectures, Farmiloe’s idea struck a chord with Moltz.
"I think they were honest in asking for help, and knowing their strengths and weaknesses. They were not financially gaining anything, just doing it on their own volition," he said.
With Moltz’s guidance and a gas sponsorship from Red Bull (and unlimited energy drinks), the three set out on their interviews, ranging from University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson to a globe-trotting "real-life Indiana Jones" Dr. John Freedman.
In late May, the trio set out in their RV, following a trail that would take them from Tucson to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver. Included in their west coast stops were LRG Clothing Company, the San Francisco Giants organization, Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and EA Sports.
"We really just tried to set it up in areas that would interest us," said Farmiloe, referring to the 23 interviews related to the sports and music fields. In doing so, they pursued interviews in fields where many young people are interested in getting involved, finding along the way plenty of others who had followed their passions straight into the work force.
A second and third round of interviews would soon follow the first trip. After recording 21 interviews in Chicago and 10 in New York, the group tallied a total of 75 interviews over the course of a two-half-month summer.
"With only half an hour with people its hard, but we all started to feed off each other in the interviews," said Farmiloe. "Daniel [Weber] and I have always had good chemistry since we’ve been friends since kindergarten."
Their website, pursuethepassion.com, chronicles their interviews through detailed blogs, the preponderance of which achieve their goal stated from the outset, finding those that are working at jobs not just for a paycheck, but because they are doing what they are passionate about.
"If you pursue your passion, it’s doing what you love. There’s that old saying, ‘If you do what you love, the money will follow.’ I don’t know if I fully believe that or not yet, but this definitely opened my eyes to that likelihood," said Farmiloe.
With a book in the works, as well as plans to pursue further interviews and expand the project to include video on the website, the Pursue the Passion project is far from over, hoping to instill the drive and passion in others to go do what they love.
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