Country Pilgrim and the Thesis. PLEASE READ THIS…


Photo by Keith Curry from Pexels

Where this thing is headed 

I started this blog/vlog a few years ago and over the last month, the entire thing has transformed into something I didn’t anticipate. Some of my close friends know that I have been fully engaged with my Master’s Degree program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology working in the world of career coaching and rubbing elbows with industry and understanding the psychology of workplaces and workers. 

The Shift…

I was having students I coached start talking with me about being full-time YouTubers, and this was a concept I wasn’t familiar with. So…I started a channel. Not to make any money or be some full-time Youtuber (because believe me there is A LOT to KNOW about videography. I know NOTHING, but I’m having fun and learning as I fail forward.) but to know the language so I could simply talk with kids about it. 

So…I started a Youtube Channel that was set to be some funny, wild and crazy, goofy thing to show students I work with and my lighter side. I named it “Random Dan’s Weekly Adventures” that lasted about 2 weeks!

Here’s Why…

My adventures were taking me out in rural areas (which I love) and I loved the traveling aspect and rural adventure side of things, but it hit something much deeper at the core. I started walking down rural main streets where shops were closed and buildings sat empty. Some communities were like ghost towns, and some weren’t growing, but they were stable. I started talking with small-town locals, and hearing their stories of living in small-town Iowa, and hearing both their passion and heartbreak of business and life in rural America, a place that I call home. It struck a chord deep in my heart because I want to know what makes a place thrive, and hold a heartbeat. 

A friend contacts me…

She liked some of the recent things I was doing but wanted me to consider a shift. Something that would shine a light on rural America, and small-town USA. Both in a tourism capacity, but also a small-town revitalization capacity. The whole shop and buy local scene. This led to Country Pilgrim


Wait for it…it’s a funny story. Because I went domain shopping for a .com to use for my site to make it easier for people to follow (BY THE WAY…DON’T BE BASHFUL AND FOLLOW MY BLOG) 🙂 I wanted something like Mid-West Traveler or Country Trip Specialist or something jazzy like that. Guess what? Some dude in India (not kidding) owned Country Traveler or some name like that, and every other name I came up didn’t have the right ring to it. So, along comes this little old name for sale “” and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I liked it. It gave me this Thanksgiving vibe or something and along comes my friend, Deb, and she gives me the thumbs up. Next thing you know…the artist formerly known as “Random Dan” is now “Country Pilgrim” and this was s total switch from my youtube channel to my blog, Instagram and Twitter accounts, to the whole kaboom. 

But that’s not all…

I made a thesis proposal which was recently approved to move forward with my research:

“Can developing a growth mindset lead to profitability and sustainability in organizations? The question and topic of growth mindset is a widely researched topic, but my hope in researching this area is to shine a light on how growth mindset and positive motivation can create better growth or sustainable opportunities for business and organizations in rural America, lending itself to better jobs and improved supportive economic development in rural areas.”

So…yes…of course, I will be making videos and writing blog posts, and taking in travel (especially rural travel!) but my whole lightbulb moment is the question above. I believe that it can, but I’m putting the research together to prove and show that it can.

Last Question…

Would you be willing to help? Network with me? Give me some suggestions? Content Ideas? Places I need to visit? People I need to see? I’d be forever thankful.

  • Dan – The Country Pilgrim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s