As employees at an Internet company, we love connecting with people online and talking to our awesome ReadyForZero users from all over the United States. Those conversations have helped us take ReadyForZero this far and set the direction for the future. Plus, they inspire us to keep working hard to create a better and better tool for getting out of debt. But no matter how satisfying those online conversations are, sometimes it’s just nice to talk to each other in person.
So… one Friday at the beginning of the new year, Kristina, Rod, Ben and I were sitting in a meeting and talking about fun things we could try for the new year. The entire RFZ team always loves to brainstorm and find ways to add more value to the ReadyForZero community. Kristina brought up the idea of bringing some current users here to talk with us in person and help us create some user testimonial videos. As soon as we started talking about it, we knew this was an idea we had to jump on right away – we’d already interviewed some of our most successful users for our blog, so why not invite them out to San Francisco and interview them in person?
That’s exactly what we did. Only two months after that meeting, Nick, Marc, and Jenn were walking into our office and greeting us with big smiles. It was so nice to see them in person! After catching up with them and hearing about their latest experiences, it was time to get down to the task at hand: putting their stories on video.
Now I must admit, we were a little nervous – we’d never done a project like this before! But to say that the day ended up as a success would be the understatement of the century. Nick, Marc, and Jenn were total pros. Although they’d never done anything like this before, they had no problem telling their stories on camera. Not to mention the fact that they were an absolute blast to hang out with! Our videographer, David Orr of Paperweight Films, was fun, professional, and kept the day flowing easily and always on schedule. We also invited photographer Kim Thomas over to take portraits of the three as well. She was so creative and sweet that everyone really enjoyed having their portraits taken! All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
On a personal note, this day meant a lot more than just shooting videos and taking pictures. It was a joy to meet these three in person and served as a real reminder as to why we’re working so hard at ReadyForZero. We spend our days trying to complete tasks and sometimes get stressed out. It’s nice to be reminded of the bigger picture and the real impact we’re trying to make in people’s lives. We’re all so focused on doing everything we can to keep ReadyForZero growing and improving and our standards for ourselves are very high!
Then I heard Nick, Marc, and Jenn tell their stories all over again. These were stories I’d heard before since I helped conduct their original success profile interviews. But something different happens when you can have a conversation in person.
Jenn and I talked about things like decorating her new home – which she could purchase because she no longer has to deal with credit card debt. Nick talked about his career aspirations and how much he loves being involved in the tech community. Marc and I discussed workout strategies and he even told me that he’s creating a new workout community himself! These are all things that Nick, Marc, and Jenn can focus on because their brains aren’t overtaken with worries of debt anymore. That’s pretty powerful. In fact, it’s something I’m striving for myself as I work to pay off student loans.
These three were so fun to hang out with that by the end of the day I felt like I had known them for years. Now, if only they lived on the West Coast so we could hang out more! But most importantly, they reminded me that ReadyForZero made a difference in their lives. They now have brighter financial futures because our tool helped them pay their debt off faster – and stay motivated while doing so.
We’re so lucky that Nick, Marc, and Jenn were willing to fly across the coast (sorry about the red eye flight, Nick!) and spend this time with us. We’re even more lucky that they talk about us in their daily lives to their friends and family in order to help them pay off their own debt. But most of all, we’re lucky to do work every day that we know truly touches lives. It’s not always easy to remember this when a deadline is looming or we’re wishing we could push technology and changes faster. But from now on, on those tough days when there just seems to be too much to do, I’m going to remember talking to Nick, Marc, and Jenn. They may well be helping us in more ways than we helped them!