One of the best ways to learn how to follow your dreams is to learn from others that have done so. 22-year-old Brett Farmiloe and his friends have taken this idea and run with it through Pursue the Passion, taking a roadtrip across the USA to interview passionate people and encourage other young people to pursue their own passions.
EducateDeviate recently talked to Brett to learn about his own passions and how PTP came about:
Who are you? Introduce yourself.
My name is Brett Farmiloe. I am the founder of Pursue the Passion, and a 22 year old corporate america dropout.
What is Pursue the Passion? How did the idea come about?
PursuethePassion.com is a resource you can turn to for inspiration, guidance, and support when contemplating the “what should I do with my life” question. The idea came about when I was a senior in college and I had no idea what I wanted to do upon graduation, so I started to interview people about where they were at my age and how they wound up in the career they are in today. On our site you can find all 75 interviews I conducted from the first tour, and you can read about the interviews we are conducting right now on the 2007 tour.
What happens on the Pursue the Passion Tour?
Three friends and I are traveling 14,000 miles in a gigantic RV to interview 200 people who love their work.
This is your second tour, the first one having taken place last year. Is anything changing this year? What have you learnt from last year’s tour that you are taking on board this year?
The largest change is who we place interview requests with. Last year we contacted people based on their title or by the company that they worked for. What we found is that this doesn’t always mean they are passionate about what they do. This year we are trying to find only the people that love their work, and we are doing that by having 90% of the interviews we conduct come as a result of referrals.
Where and how do you find the people you interview? Do you look for any specific types of passion/career, or does anything go? Do you keep in touch with them after your interview?
We contact people that know their local community very well to find people that are truly passionate. We are going into this tour with an open mind, so any careers or passions that come our way we always will consider. It’s just as fun to interview a CEO of a multi million dollar brownie factory as it is the guy who does news from a helicopter. And we always try to keep in touch with the people we interview.
What inspired you to start Pursue the Passion? How did you sort out the logistics (the RV, sponsorship, finding interview subjects, etc)? How long does it take to plan a PTP tour?
I have started planning the current tour we are on and undertaking the logistics of it all since we got back from the first one in August. So a good ten months have been poured into creating what you can currently find on our site. Definitely takes passion to persist with carrying out this idea.
You are travelling with three other people – James, Noah, and Zach. Were you all friends beforehand? Why have they decided to join you on the tour?
I’ve known Jay and Noah since the dorm days at the University of Arizona. Zach I’ve roomed with for the last year as we both were unhappy corporate auditors. They’ve come on the tour to glean the guidance from passionate professionals, and to travel the country in a RV.
I was just watching Oprah’s Big Adventure that she did with her best friend Gayle (travelling across the US) and she mentioned that sometimes taking a cross-country trip with friends can severely test the friendship, as well as your patience and stamina. Having done this tour before, what sort of tests did you have to face, and how did you face them? How do you maintain peace and sanity on a gruelling tour like this?
This is a challenge we’ve faced…even on day one. I think that everyone needs to know the goal, and needs to know their responsibility. If we are all busy, all working towards our goal of executing this tour, then we will only escape with a few bumps and bruises. But piling four guys into a small RV will definitely test our patience and stamina. Ask this question to me in 86 days, when the tour ends.
In different cities you have organized The Passion Hour. What happens at the Passion Hour?
We invite people who are interested in the tour to come meet with us and other like minded passionate professionals in the community for a little after hours networking. We are still trying to figure out what happens at Passion hour, but the one we just conducted on Monday had over twenty people attend, and I feel like everyone who was in attendance took something away from it.
You are introducing some new things this year, such as getting college students to join you on the road and work on internships, as well as forming a Facebook group. Tell us more about those initiatives. Why have you decided to involve college students this time round?
College students are the group that I originally started Pursue the Passion for. The more ways I can get students involved the better. Our “Passionger Program” invites students to join us for a day of interviews, so if you’re interested in participating, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal with the facebook group is to spread the message that it is important to be passionate about what you do, and that you shouldn’t accept the first job that comes your way. Take the time to figure yourself out, check out our site, and use it to determine your career direction.
What else will you be doing on tour, besides interviews?
Seeing the country, Passion Hour, Never Eat Alone Lunches, writing, editing video, compiling a documentary, writing a book, figuring ourselves out, and spreading an inspirational message to anyone who will listen.
I was telling my sister about you and she mentioned the DVD/Book series Roadtrip Nation, which also involves a group of young people on cross-country road trips asking people about their careers. Was PTP at all inspired by Roadtrip Nation? Do you feel that this is a concept already done before, or is it a concept that needs to be done more?
This is a concept dating back from Napolean Hill with Think and Grow Rich to Po Bronson and What Should I Do With My Life. People have always sought out advice from those who have been in a position to provide it. We are different from everyone else because no one, to my knowledge, has conducted interviews with passionate professionals to see how you can find your passion and combine it with your career.
The inspiration that I derived from Roadtrip Nation was when I was in the “what should I do with my life” dilemma, and I emailed them on three separate occasions to ask them for advice. I didn’t hear back from them once. Once I did develop this idea I resorted back to those unanswered emails and made it a priority for Pursue the Passion to be an interactive resource for people in a similar situation as I was. So if you email me, I will write back, and if you comment on our site, I will comment back, and other people will too.
What is your passion? How do you define passion?
My passion is seeing Pursue the Passion grow and develop into something that positively affects people’s lives. Passion is something that is so ingrained within you that there is no line between what you do and who you are.
How does one Pursue their Passion?
There is no specific formula to follow. You start by starting, and looking at yourself and finding the smallest things you are interested in and developing those interests into passions. You can start the pursuit by going to www.pursuethepassion.com.
EducateDeviate is about education in life, especially when it comes to personal passions. It is argued that school nowadays do not encourage the pursuit of passions. Do you agree? How can schools and education systems encourage the pursuit of passion amongst students?
Schools have to worry about a lot of things, and unfortunately, I feel that your passion is not one of their main concerns. I am trying to change that with Pursue the Passion with a program that will make it a priority in schools. This program will send students out into the local community to conduct their own interviews with passionate professionals.
How else can people (especially from outside USA) get involved with PTP?
I always tell people we need help in three areas…participation, promotion, and planning. I encourage people to participate on our site by commenting on the interviews and our opinions on the journey blog. I believe that interactive feedback will more effectively help people determine their career direction than if they were just reading an interview. We need help spreading the message of the tour because the more people that benefit from our work, the better.
Lastly, I’ve always dreamed about conducting a Pursue the Passion World Tour, and we need to start planning for that by finding places to stay, people to interview, and places to go. Helping us plan for the world tour would be an awesome way for people outside of the United States to get involved! Email me if you have any recommendations on where we should go.
Brett and I have communicated via email and I can vouch that he does reply! Take a look at Pursue the Passion right now for inspirational interviews, and root for them as they go onto their magical mystery tour.
Links in Post:
- Pursue the Passion
- Facebook: Pursue the Passion
- Planet Mithi
- roadtrip nation
- Amazon.com: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (ISBN: 978-1593302009)
- Amazon.com: What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson (ISBN: 978-0345485922)
- The Interviews
- Pursue the Passion: The Journey