Saturday, January 26, 2008

He's 20-something and his company has already been ACQUIRED, read HOW

Find out what it's like to drive cross country interviewing a bunch of interesting people and then get acquired by a company that's literally in your own back yard. Here's my interview with Brett Farmiloe founder of

Laura Allen: How did you come up with the idea for Pursue the Passion?

Brett Farmiloe: It was a combination of things. One was a discovery that I really liked to interview people, which I found out by interviewing for jobs during my senior year at the University of Arizona. I then was staring at my last summer before diving into the corporate world, and I wanted to make the most of my last few months of freedom. Plus, I was feeling lots of self-induced skepticism for going into a career as an auditor. So I wrote down the things I wanted to do in my last summer. I wanted to travel. I wanted to learn. I wanted to improve. I combined all of those "wants" with what I liked to do, and eventually came to the conclusion that I should hit the road with a couple buddies and interview people that had found a passion in their work.

LA: Did people ever tell you that you were crazy and should get a REAL job?

BRETT: Hell yeah. Who wouldn't think that traveling around the country in a RV to interview people at no pay isn't crazy. I think I'm crazy. But you know what? You have to be a little bit crazy to take risks. And its those risks that put you on a whole different level than those that remain complacent.

LA: What was the biggest challenge in getting PTP off the ground?

BRETT: Getting others to believe in your idea the way you do. I could see so clearly as to why Pursue the Passion would be beneficial to a company, how it would impact students, and where it could potentially lead if I had just one believer with some capital. But not too many saw it the way I did, and to tell you the truth, I don't think our title sponsor did either. I like to think they invested in my "passion" for the idea, and trusted that I could make this thing work.

LA: What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during your cross country trips with PTP?

BRETT:That I was previously living in a very constrained, small world. I guess that's what travel does to you. It opens your eyes to the other things life has to offer. It exposes you to the lifestyles people lead. And then it causes you to look at your life and say, "Hey, wait a minute. Why am I not living as freely as I can be?"

LA:How did you learn about Jobing?

BRETT: is everywhere in Phoenix. They have naming rights to a stadium. They have a fleet of wrapped cars that employees drive around with their logo on it. They have billboards, adopt-a-highway signs, huge career expos. Plus, they were headquartered a block away from my house. So here my buddy and I were frantically submitting proposals to corporations and companies across the United States, when really, all we had to do was look in our backyard to find an opportunity.

LA: What's it like to have your first company get acquired?

BRETT:I suppose its like the mothers nest syndrome. You know its best for your child to go on and grow in the world, but part of you wants to hold on. Its tough to let go of the baby that you put the life into and created, but exciting at the same time because of all the things that will transpire.

Hopeful entrepreneurs often dream of making big money and retiring. Does this acquisition allow you to retire or give you the freedom to not have to work for someone else?

Nope... I'm still a hopeful. But what this move does do is it allows me to operate with lots of autonomy and with lots of resources available. And that's sexy.

LA:Did you handle all aspects of the deal with Jobing or did you have lawyers and advisors to help?

BRETT:It was pretty straightforward stuff because there had been such a trusting relationship that we had established over six months. So it was just me.

LA: Did you ever think PTP would get acquired?


LA:Have you read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss? What do you think of this book? He seems like a guy who would like what PTP stands for.

I have heard so much about the 4 hour work week book. I haven't read it. I'm working on Atlas Shrugged right now, written by Ayn Rand. It's an undertaking considering I've never read a book over 1,000 pages, but I'm enjoying it.

LA: When is your book scheduled to come out?

BRETT:It hasn't been announced yet, but I am hoping June 23rd of this summer. I'm also hoping that the book will bring us back out on the road to do some promo speaking around the country. We'll have to see.

LA:What's next for you and PTP?

BRETT:I have to have the first draft of the book done in sixty days. Yikes. Zach Hubbell, who came along on the trip and is working with PTP right now, will be the documentarian responsible for compiling an award worthy film to go along with the book. We will also be speaking to tons of high schools, colleges, and companies about what we found on the road. Then we'll see where the journey takes us next.

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