IN FOCUS: Rob's 10K friends

- Rob Lawless is on a mission. The 25-year-old started an Instagram page where he posts a new photo of every friend he meets, and his goal is to meet 10,000. 

"I remember thinking in college that if I am normal than that is failure for me," Lawless said. "I should hit 500 next week."

Lawless spends one hour getting to know each person he meets. Rodney Rice is the 472nd person Rob has met.

The hour is spent at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philadelphia, where Rice is originally from. Rodney helps mentor and teach kids the art of boxing.

"We have some kids in here that are going through some things in school and everything else and now you don’t hear a peep out of them," said Rice.

 When the hour is up, Lawless takes a picture and writes a post to Instagram before his next meet up. On bike.

The project is called Rob’s 10K friends and things picked up after he lost his sales job in June.

"It is funny because a lot of the skills that I learned or just practiced through sales apply to what I do today," Lawless said. 

He hopes to meet with 25 people a week. Rob and Lexy Pierce meet over coffee.

"Do you feel like you are dating?" asked Pierce.

Lawless replies, "You can call it networking you can call it getting to know people.  I just see it building relationships with people around me."

Lawless writes a few sentences to go with the picture.

"I am interested in where a person is now." said Lawless. "Where they came from and the in between of how they got there. From that I think you get the essence of a person’s life story."

The scope of people Rob meets with is wide, ranging from people based out of New York to L.A. With job titles from artists, to photographers, to CEOs-- and former Mayors. 

"Every person I meet with gives me knowledge that I then go forward with," said Lawless.

The sky is the limit for where this project will lead—for now though—the direction he has chosen—happiness.

"I haven’t had a bad day since I have been meeting people," Lawless said. "I have to smile five times a day for the pictures so that just keeps me happy in general."

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