"I Do What I Love" In a Nutshell:
IDWIL provides the tools and resources to help you define your passions and align them with career decisions. It is an educational Software as a Service (SaaS) package that is focused mainly on 8th-12th grade students.
First, we help you discover the things that motivate you as an individual by use of an innovative and engaging assessment tool.
Next, we use those results to provide exposure to video interviews with people who've successfully aligned their passions with what they get to do for a living.
Combining personal discovery and exposure to inspirational stories develops empowered individuals who are predisposed to have more fulfilling careers, having conquered the 'work-life' balance that we currently deal with. This creates a workforce that is more effective, in a sustainable way.
IDWIL will be distributed as a subscription model (freemium to premium) to school districts and universities to allow access for their students.
Individual subscriptions will be made available as well for mid-career professionals and recent graduates that may have found that the path they chose wasn't exactly what they expected.
Project:IDWIL is for students of all ages.
When it all boils down, Project:IDWIL is about these two girls. It is, of course, bigger than that, but as this begins to grow, I don't want anyone losing sight of this fact. My daughters, Mia and Lola, have inspired me in many ways, but it is who I want to be as a father that caused the creation of (and continues to drive the vision of) Project:IDWIL.
Let me back up a bit. For some of the more FAQ-ish types of questions:
- "What does 'IDWIL' mean?": I Do What I Love
- "Don't you mean 'I Love What I Do?'": No. By phrasing it IDWIL, the Love aspect comes first - the Doing is just the fortunate ability to be able to fulfill that Love/Passion. IDWIL puts the focus on the passion first. If you say "I Love What I Do," then that of course is still good, but you could have just adapted what you were doing enough that you ended up loving it. Plus IDWIL sounds way cooler than ILWID.
- "Is this just a blog? I don't get it. Is there more to this?": Whoa, whoa, whoa. Settle down. Right now, it is pretty much just a blog. There is a bigger vision to come, so here is what you can expect (minus any kind of timeline). Eventually, the main portion of this site will be less about the blog and more about being a catalog of video interviews. Envision something like TED.com. The interviews will be of people who do what they love and the stories of their personal journies. It is one thing to have somebody describe what they do as a sound engineer, but it is a whole different thing to have a sound engineer who loves the job take the time to talk about his/her personal journey. When a viewer relates to any small portion of that person's story, how much more likely is that viewer going to be inspired? (answer: lots more.)
- "Seriously? Inspired?": Well, yes. The thing that I have found in my journey is that 1) lots of unexceptional things have inspired me - at the strangest of times - often not even creating some "ah-ha!" moment. Just everyday kind of stuff that has affected me enough that my path had been altered. From this, I have come to learn that 2) the stuff that inspires me doesn't necessarily inspire anyone else. So not knowing what will inspire somebody else, all I want to do with Project:IDWIL is put as much everyday-yet-pretty-cool-and-potentially-inspiring stuff in front of viewers.
- "So what was it again with your daughters? I mean, they are beautiful and all, but you kinda lost me there at the beginning.": Ah yes, so you see, like any father of young kids, I have gotten to think about stuff I hadn't before they joined Team Simon. I can tell my girls that "they can be anything that they want to be and I will support them," and the thing for Mia and Lola to overcome isn't whether or not I'll really support them, it is the absolute vagueness of "anything they want to be." We aren't born knowing our passions. Some of us can live entire lives without knowing what we are passionate about because getting through the day keeps us more than occupied. IDWIL is the result of me saying to myself I can teach Mia and Lola about a handful of things. If we get beyond my expertise, we can look stuff up online or even (gasp) at the library, but that still seems so lifeless. So I thought, imagine Mia was really into environmental biology. I can only take her so far, but what if I made sure to connect her with my cousin Courtney, who is absolutely bonkers about biology and ecosystems? Courtney could pass on information to Mia, but more importantly, they could start speaking a language that is unique to people in that community. The earlier I can connect these people, the better off Mia will be on that particular journey. So, Project:IDWIL is about inspiration through exposure.