Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Rob Lawless
Rob Lawless is a man on a mission. After meeting up through his 10K friends project, MSL Co-Founder Britt MacLeod knew his voice was one we needed to share. Now the tables have turned, as Rob & Britt swap seats for this week's guest author interview.
Your project is so cool! What is your go to ice breaker question when you meet with someone new for Rob’s 10k Friends?
I actually don’t have a go to ice breaker question when I meet people, but I do typically start my meetings thanking the person for being part of my project. After that, the conversations just kind of flow in whatever direction they go, which I love because it keeps things fresh and spontaneous!
Based on the people you’ve met for your project so far, which city has the coolest peeps?
Philly, obviously. It’s kind of hard to say at this point because I’ve just recently expanded it to other cities (NYC & LA). The cities themselves definitely have different vibes, but the people have all been pretty consistent in their coolness levels up to this point. I think about people more in terms of what they do than where they’re from, and in that context I tend to gravitate towards the creative types.
I never thought I’d say this, but I feel like you got lucky getting laid off at the time in your life when you did. For leaders in our audience that want to take a risk and pursue their dreams and projects like you have, what was the tipping point for you when you finally decided that you were not going to apply for another 9-5 job and risk it all to make your project possible?
The tipping point is actually the culmination of a lot of things that led to me taking what I consider to be a calculated risk. The month before I was laid off, my project started to get some local press which helped a lot in giving it credibility and exposure. At that point, though, I had been doing the project on the side for 6 months and had met 100 people so it already had some momentum.
The other thing is the fact that I worked at Deloitte Consulting for 1.5 years after school. Working there allowed me to pay off my student loans so I didn’t have to worry about debt and also provided me with savings to support me while I have no income.
I’m also fortunate to have great friends and family who I know will support me even if my project doesn’t take off. I always say, “For me, rock bottom has a big pillow on top of it.”
I believe that pursuing your dreams doesn’t have to be totally risky. I started out by replacing my free time with meeting people. Only after I did that for 100 hours was I able to comfortably replace my work time with meeting people, though I didn’t really have a choice ther