Two years ago I started working for Seats2meet. Here I had the mission of taking care of communication, feeding the online magazine that you are reading right now and the social media channels. That would be the traditional way of putting it. But it was way more than that. The Seats2meet team didn’t create an online magazine in four years ago for any reason. The whole purpose of the S2M online magazine is to share the great stories of what happens inside of locations. And those stories are not lived only by the founders or operators, but the coworkers live the most extraordinary ones.
The whole reason Seats2meet exists is those stories. The stories of people who dared to do something, and by connecting and collaborating with others they were able to succeed and transform themselves into whatever they want to be. That’s why the mantra inside – and outside – of the locations is connect, collaborate and grow. And we do that very well, but an essential part of it is to share those stories and let everyone know that they are possible. We are open to help you live your tale. And that’s where you have my challenge. How to find and help people tell there valuable and inspiring stories?
Why don’t people tell their own stories?
When I got here we thought that by just asking people to share their stories here, they would do it. It would be that easy. Guess what? It’s not. My mission then was to understand why. Is it because not everyone knows WordPress? Or maybe because not everyone knows how to write? I experimented with everything, publishing the articles on WordPress, so other people wouldn’t have to do it. Offering help with writing. And still, people weren’t telling their stories. That’s when another theory came up: people don’t feel comfortable talking about themselves. And I was right.
It takes two to tango.
There are a lot of people around us with the most incredible story, but they don’t think that way. And that’s what happens a lot inside S2M, people have an inspiring journey, but they think everyone else is doing the same, so it’s not worth sharing. So how could I help them feel comfortable to share their stories? And then it hit me. We do not like to tell our own story just for the sake of it, but when people ask about our stories, we are usually happy to share them. And so I went on to do interviews, and again, it worked!
The first interviews I did were in person. I would record them, and I would usually take one hour only of conversation. After that, I would have so much information that I would have to take a few more hours to write it all down in a way that is makes sense. So I decided to make it easier for everyone. I started creating Google Docs with the questions more as a guide to what I wanted the people to tell about their stories, and the interviewees would write the answers whenever they had some time to spare. It worked extremely well. It might not be a proper interview, where I would leave with information I didn’t even think I would get, but it works well. And it is fast and practical for both sides. You can check the results here.
The hero journey
So now, what’s next? After doing tons of very cool “interviews,” I got inspired by Jurjen and Samir from the Permanent Future Lab to take it to the next level. Now everyone can be interviewed, even if I don’t know them. And hopefully, I can help you tell your story. Jurjen’s idea was to create a Google Form with the questions, and as they reply, I can publish them in the magazine. I thought it is a great idea, but for everyone else, I created unique questions based on what I already knew about them. Afterall, I was interviewing them because I knew them, or because someone connected me to them. So how can I create questions that can fit everyone? Even people I don’t know? That’s when I thought about the hero journey. Here is a short explanation of what it is by TED-Ed.
As the videos show, the hero journey is present in everyone lives, but we don’t realize it most of the times. Before, I was already guiding people on telling their own stories by creating tailor-made questions. Now I created a Google Form with questions based on the hero journey, to help you form your mythic tale, and for us to know more stories of what is happening within the S2M ecosystem than we could ever reach. Reply the questions for your interview, and discover your own hero journey here.