"These stories write themselves"

That’s what I told Rachel Solid, the PR/Communications lead at Atlanta Mission. She said I was nuts, but to me, that’s how it feels.

These days, I am telling a lot of stories, and doing a lot of interviews. While I enjoy, and have no fear of public speaking, I enjoy listening to others’ stories even more. I enjoy hearing – and then telling, of course – the stories behind the startups. Technology is cool and amazing, but the tales behind how the person got where he or she is today is far more intriguing.

Here are my favorite points in time from the stories I write:

  1. How you got started down this path – there’s always that flash of brilliance or the realization that you were going to start something cool. I like to learn the entire setting of that moment. My latest one occurred over a 2-day period when I got rejected by a startup for a full time gig, and then won a client that enabled me to really be me.
  2. When you realized this was the path – meaning when you figured out exactly what it was you were going to do. I remember when we made the decision to push forward with a vendor neutral Wi-Fi certification program, and dump the other 4 lines of business we were propping up. It was such a freeing feeling.
  3. That inflection point of no return – when were you “all in”? Or when did you realize that the path you were on was not going to be reversible?

I chose these points in time, because they are common to most every story, including the next story that I’ll be sharing from Atlanta Mission. I spent a couple of hours this past Saturday with a 63-year old man whose story could be told a thousand different ways.

On Wednesday, I’ll tell it as I heard it this past Saturday. As I told an associate this morning, “I hope I can do it justice with written words.” I’ll have a few pictures, but I still feel as though the story is writing itself, and I’m just along for the ride.

Stay tuned for the next untold story from Atlanta Mission, with more fruit of their labor towards ending homelessness.

What do you think about that?

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