Penn State Alum On Way To Goal Of Meeting 10,000 People
Penn State alumnus Rob Lawless’s first job out of a college required him to email strangers and follow up with 30-minute phone calls to discuss his company’s products.
Needless to say, everyone knows that telemarketing phone calls and emails are frustrating for those on the receiving end, so you can probably imagine the responses Lawless received for simply doing his job as a sales rep.
After a few years of constant rejection from callers, Lawless’s company was bought out, and he was left without a job.
However, that negativity and rejection sparked an idea. Instead of approaching strangers trying to make a sale, what if he spent that time trying to learn their stories? As a result, Lawless decided to try to meet 10,000 people as a way to cultivate “the untapped value of human connection.”
The idea is actually quite simple: Lawless meets strangers for an hour and tries to learn a little bit about each one’s story during their limited time together.
After beginning the ambitious project in November of 2015, Lawless is about a quarter of the way done and has met 2,481 people to date.
Every time he meets a new person as part of this project, he posts a picture with a detailed story on his Instagram account.
This project has become Lawless’ full-time job. He tries to meet approximately four new people every day of the week, meaning he has about seven years to go before he reaches his goal.
He has more than 21,000 followers on Instagram and more than 1,200 likes on Facebook. Lawless has developed such a following that most of the people he links up with now actually reach out to him via Instagram or email.
Sadly, Lawless can’t meet everyone that reaches out right away, but he’ll typically meet people at various times throughout the day if he’s in the same place as them.
Lawless has met thousands of people and heard thousands of unique stories over the past few years, and you can follow along on his interesting journey on his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.
You can also find more information about Lawless and his project here.
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About the Author
The 20-minute wait for your spot in the queue dwarfs other trials of endurance and actually makes them feel like fleeting moments.
Shoutout to Ticketmaster, for making what was already a stressful, frustrating, and anxiety-riddled process four times as long and ten times as confusing.
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