PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia man has a goal: to make 10,000 new friends. It turns out, it has become his full-time job.
"For me, meeting someone is like watching an episode of TV or watching a movie," 28-year-old Rob Lawless said. "I felt like in adulthood, it's either a business meeting or it's dating, and people aren't really open with their time outside of that."
Lawless spends one-on-one time with complete strangers for one hour. He says it's the perfect amount of time. On this day, he was meeting Michael Hsun.
"I wanted to give us time to run out of topics to speak about," Lawless said. "If there was an awkward pause, you have to dive underneath the surface a little bit."
Lawless was inspired to do this project from his days in corporate America as a sales rep.
"It was a lot of just following up because it's more so a game of persistence in the sales world," Rob said. "And a lot of people would get annoyed with that, would respond negatively. One guy called me a cockroach."
"I was laid off and took this full-time, and end of this month will be three years full-time, which is crazy," he said.
The project has led him to some pretty cool experiences.
"I went out to Hawaii a few weeks ago," Lawless said. "When I was in San Diego, (one man) took me up in a plane that he had built himself. I went surfing for the first time."
Since 2015, Lawless has met more than 2,700 people. He tracks his adventures and conversations on Instagram.
"I don't take notes or anything like that," Lawless said. "I take a picture with everyone that I meet, and then I write a little bit about what I remember of their story and I post it to Instagram."
We're giving 3 Cheers to Lawless as he tries to make the world a little more friendly.
"I see these meetings as just opening the door with people," Rob said.
Chandler Lutz also told her story to Lawless, becoming one of his 10,000 friends.
You can follow Rob's 10,000 Friends project at @robs10kfriends.
for more features.