#1MinuteStories : Taking Fresh Guard at 50

Tuesdays 7:30 PM IST has been #1MinuteStories time on Mentza for the last 49 weeks.

As #1MinuteStories steps into the 50th consecutive week on Tue, April 26th, I doff may hat and raise my bat to express gratitude to each one of you for being on this incredible journey. 

#1MinuteStories joins the league of Startup Cliff co-hosted by Anurag & Utpal – the only other channel that has clocked 50+ episodes at this time. And some more within immediate striking distance – Ram’s Live & Learn, Shaveta’s TGIF, the other TGIF Nostalgia Nights by Arisudan, Storytellers by Debleena, Book Club by Tapasi and Sarai’s Future of Energy.

Consistency is the one thing that I’ve often struggled with. Always slacked out after beginning on a high. Which is perhaps one reason why this 50th episode moment is a little hop skip & jump moment to cherish and share.

Early Jitters

The posts on my LinkedIn timeline were limited to just 225 words that took about a minute to read. I fell in love with the #1MinuteStories tag I used for them and it eventually became the #1MinuteStories newsletter on Substack. After about 70 posts going out to ~1k subscribers,  I was thinking of a podcast. And then a DM from Anurag changed everything.

It was a nervous start. You can hear me saying that in the first circle. I was anxious – wanted to do well – and not flop. Mind you, there was no pressure from any quarter.  It was in my mind. I rehearsed my opening lines and every story umpteen number of times. Did dry runs with my girls to get their opinion and that soon became a fun ritual during those early weeks. At the end of every circle, I checked in with one of Divya, Anurag, Anand, Mahesh or Arisudan. I was keen to get a sense of how it was landing. Little did it occur to me that all of us were on similar journeys and rooting for one another.

It was this energizing, supportive and fun loving community that Mentza was evolving into. No one would let you feel down.

Yes.  Every creator is anxious when they begin. Some show it. Some you can’t tell. But everyone is. So if you are feeling anxious at times it is normal and what’s more you’ve knocked off an awesome level already – of showing up. It only gets better from now.

Process & Prep

I love the work I put in for #1MinuteStories. The format has evolved over time. It first began with me doing the storytelling and triggering reflections. Slowly I discovered the power of stories weaved into conversations. It was way more powerful than just exchanging stories with each other. Built and applied my own frameworks and processes on what I now call ‘Conversational Storytelling’ – leaders from different walks of life sharing their life journeys through stories.

I like to spend a good time listening and knowing my guests before they get into the circle. I would have read up on all the available content. The one consistent feedback I get on #1MinuteStories is on the camarederie, instant connect and that guests always bring in their best version.

I can tell you that it is not magic. And there are many Robert Frost miles ahead to trudge.

Backing Oneself

One evening I messaged Divya to check if it was a good idea to shift the timing of my channel from the 7.30 pm slot. The high decibel Shekhar Kapur series was beginning at the same time. Divya thought a bit and said ‘Hold it for now, Uday- let’s wait and watch’. Perhaps the best piece of advice I got on Mentza and am glad I listened to her. We took a hit in the first week but then it was hugely gratifying to see more listeners turn up for #1MinuteStories in the next 6 weeks.

It taught me a big lesson – Connect, Consistency & Confidence trumps everything else in the long run for every creator. 

Two Favourites

Thought much about picking some of my favourites. Some episoded were meh! Most bought a smile to everyone who listened. The effort’s always the same, though. And if I were to pick just two- the first circle is special. It had Anurag, Divya, Rajiv and Darshan on it. Am trying to have a reunion of the same speakers for the 50th episode.

And the one in which my daughters came over is my other favourite.

The last 1 year of building this series on Mentza has been a joyous experience. So many awesome conversations with beautiful people who opened their heart and shared their deepest personal stories. And it is a full monty of narratives we’ve had – Fun, Grief. Gritty, Silly, Philosophical, Frenzied, Laidback, Detailed, Courageous and Vulnerable.

Thank you for listening and sharing. And I am grateful for all the love that you folks have given to  #1MinuteStories 

Time to take a fresh guard. Onwards to the next 50! 

You can now listen to all the episodes of #1MinuteStories on Spotify

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