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If you could drop everything what would you do? — My challenge to you

Answer this: If you could drop everything, without consequence, and follow one dream, what would it be?

Now think about what is stopping you? The barriers that immediately shut down your idealism. Are they able to be breached? Are they materialistic? Are they family based? Are they rooted in fear?

My dream?

The Six Degrees of Separation Project

The Mission: America needs to remember its beauty – The idealism that has captivated millions to risk death just for a chance to succeed. To jump borders. Leave family. Drive a taxi by day, go to school at night. America needs to hear the stories of idealism beyond Disneyesque packaged prime time. The need to see the faces of struggling entrepreneurs. Stay-at-home mothers. Hourly wageworkers. Wall Street wonders. The project will link together, using the philosophy of six degrees of separation, the everyday fabric of our lives.

Execution: I would start out with one person, and listen to their story. That one person would then be responsible for introducing me to the next individual. I would then listen, learn, and document their story. The individual would then be responsible for introducing the next person. The catch, however, is the person cannot introduce me to a person the previous person knows. I also will need to spend at least one night with the selected individual, so I can accurately portray a sliver of their life.

Deliverables: By meshing my love for storytelling with technology, I will produce a variety of multimedia components: video, written word, photography, podcasting, GPS oriented content to name just a few. The project would be available via a website, and social networking tools.

The Crux: Before embarking I would compile a bucket list of goals: be a guest on the Tonight Show, run a marathon in a major city, help a kid learn how to throw a baseball, learn how to sail, and have dinner with the President. That I wish to complete during the trip.

Barriers: Capital. That’s it.

My Challenge to You: If you feel as though reaching your goal is out of reach, help me reach mine. I will make a promise to fulfill on this. All I need is a little help. This does not necessarily mean just cash, though that will put some gas in my tank. A simple introduction may be more than enough.

What would this take? Honestly, I’m not sure. Startup costs would be roughly 5K to get the appropriate equipment and website built. Then it’s a matter of gas, food, and enough cash so when I stay with a stranger I can cook them dinner, or take their kids out for ice cream. Ideally I would start in Colorado, and work east.

It is also important to note that I am not just asking for a handout to travel without risk to myself. I am willing to put my own capital behind this journey, as well as my personal name and time. Several people noted that “this seems a little strange,” and “I’m not sure what my first impressions are,” which is more than reasonable. I will work on answering these questions in a more detailed post shortly, but for now I wanted to just put the idea out there.

Think you can help? Let me know. If I can raise 20k I will hit the road and follow a life-long dream, which will hopefully change one persons life for the better.

Note: 20K is also equal to 200 folks taking a $100 chance. Broken up, anything is possible.

Please feel free to circulate this post to whomever you like.

If you don’t know me and would like to talk, please feel free to give me a ring at 303.406.1876 or email me directly at timshisler (at) gmail (.com) – I will be more than willing to answer any of your questions.

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  1. Karie Strandberg
    July 30, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Hey Tim, when you make it out to MN with this research, you’re more than welcome to come and stay with us!

  2. July 30, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Wow! Best of luck with this project. Let me know if I can help in anyway.

  3. July 31, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Elizabeth, Tim told you how you can help — give him a 20-spot.

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