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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Life on the road may be a path to career success

Frank Sennett Correspondent

In a cross between MTV and CNBC, a recent college grad has forged a business out of traveling America in an RV, interviewing professionals who love their jobs and blogging the results at pursuethepassion.com.

Brett Farmiloe’s latest tour, which he launched July 1 in Phoenix with three twentysomething compatriots, is scheduled to hit Spokane July 28 before wrapping up back in Arizona Oct. 13.

While here the crew plans to interview Eric Windsor of younggogetter.com, an online community for entrepreneurs.

At 22, Farmiloe also fits the profile of young go-getter. He first took Pursue the Passion on the road last year, shortly after graduating from the University of Arizona. He hoped the interviews would illuminate his own career path.

In a roundabout way, they did. Farmiloe now plans to make a living from Pursue the Passion. He secured enough sponsors to underwrite this summer’s trip, and the site generated 18,000 page views from 6,000 visitors in the past month.

“I left a horribly boring corporate auditing position to pursue my passion with this project full time,” Farmiloe said via e-mail from San Diego. Eventually he hopes to conduct interviews around the globe.

The goal is “to create a resource people can turn to when pondering the ‘what should I do with my life?’ question,” he said. “The three other guys on the trip are in the process of answering that question with the interviews we conduct, but I am trying to make this my career.”

This year’s excursion got off to a rocky start when the 1995 RV’s air conditioner conked out, leaving the Red Bull-fueled crew scrambling to complete five interviews in 112-degree heat.

Instant insight: “I need to schedule things a little better, and get the A/C working,” Farmiloe blogged. “No more crazy five-interview days. Three sounds much better.”

He’s also applied some important lessons from last year to Pursue the Passion 2.0. Most interview subjects now come from direct referrals or submissions to the site, for instance.

On the first go-round, Farmiloe often targeted people with cool-sounding job descriptions at organizations he admired. But he soon discovered nifty titles don’t always inspire passion in those who hold them.

Even so, he and his colleagues gleaned the following keys to career fulfillment from the gung-ho folks they did manage to interview:

•If you develop a passion for your work, you’re more likely to find success.

•Finding a great mentor can dramatically accelerate your professional growth.

• Making lifestyle sacrifices to work in a field you love can yield a big payoff.

•Realize almost everyone fears failure. Overcome that fear by diving into work and pursuing your career dream.

•It’s important to spend time figuring out what you want to do with your life even if you’re well past your twenties.

Farmiloe compiled additional wisdom in an e-book available for free download at Pursue the Passion. It’s inspirational stuff, and well worth reading. But a single quotation from Pat Gallagher, president of San Francisco’s Giants Enterprises, captures the heart of it: “Life is short. Do what you like.”

The interview roster on the current 14,000-mile trek includes captive wildlife expert Peter Gros, “Garden Gal” Anne Jaeger, gadget guru Dave Mathews, artist Tony Candelaria and Brazen Careerist blogger Penelope Trunk.

But Farmiloe’s always willing to make room for dream subjects, including cycling champ Lance Armstrong, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, former President Bill Clinton, college basketball commentator Dick Vitale and “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” author John Wood.

In addition to conducting interviews, the team’s hosting Passion Hour networking events at some stops.

If they hold one here, I’ll be glad to buy them a round.

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