We all have stories to tell. You don’t have to be famous to be worth listening to. This episode’s guest is all about focusing on the extraordinary in the ordinary, crafting meaningful connections through her podcast. Daniela Stockfleth-Menis is the host of Because Everyone Has A Story, a show that connects and relates with the sharing of regular peoples’ stories of courage, transformation, adventure, love, overcoming life’s challenges, and career changes. Daniela sits down with Tracy Hazzard to share with us the origin of her show, diving into the depths of storytelling and its amazing ripple effect. She also talks about how she learned to ask good questions, get great guests, and build a community around her show. Now, Daniela is a hundred episodes in. She shares the exciting things she’s looking forward to as she continues to grow. Tune in to this great conversation and learn the beating heart of crafting podcast connections.
Listen to the podcast here
Crafting Meaningful Podcast Connections: Diving Into The Depths Of Storytelling With Daniela Stockfleth-Menis Of Because Everyone Has A Story
I had the pleasure of interviewing someone who has a show that is very story-based. It’s focused on the human experience, Because Everyone Has A Story, “BEHAS” she says. Daniela Stockfleth-Menis has such a passion for the extraordinary in us ordinary people, and she brings that to the forefront of everything she does. She didn’t give me a formal bio here, so I’m not going to read anything. We had a pre-call between the two of us. She invited me on her show first, which didn’t happen. I got her on my show first. I wanted to flip it around because I wanted to learn a little bit more about her before I came on her show because she doesn’t have a business that runs the show.
There’s not a business behind this so it’s not as easy for me to understand how to serve her audience if I don’t understand her first. That’s what I wanted to do. In her show, she does a fabulous job of featuring people. She doesn’t shine as much, so I didn’t get to know as much about her. I got her on my show. That’s what we’re going to find out in this episode. We’re going to know what drives her, what made her create the show, why it’s working, why it’s gathering listeners, why it’s gaining momentum, and why it is feeding her soul. Let’s talk to Daniela Stockfleth-Menis about Because Everyone Has A Story.
Daniela, I’m so glad to have you here. I loved being on your show. It was outside of my comfort zone. You said to me that this is outside of your comfort zone. We’re both more comfortable on the other side of the mic. This is my comfort zone, but I’m so welcome to have you here to talk about your show, Because Everyone Has A Story. I love it.
Thank you, Tracy, for having me. I appreciate you inviting me to be in my not comfort zone.
I’m going to start with your binge factor to make you feel a little more comfortable so that you understand why I think your show is great and bingeable. That’s because you’ve decided to focus on the extraordinary in the ordinary. People come out and think, “I’m just an ordinary person. I have a job and I have this, but I’m just an ordinary mom,” or whatever it might be. You’ve decided to focus on the story underneath that is truly, at the end of the day, highlighting how amazingly extraordinary regular people are.
It’s interesting that you say that because I don’t feel bad about me. I’m feeling comfortable being here, but I can easily convince everyone else that I do believe that everybody has a story. Every story is fascinating, and everybody has a life moments that we can learn from each other. I feel like it was tiring to always listen to people that are celebrities or we know they are famous when we have so much knowledge within ourselves. That’s why I decided that this podcast will be a great idea. So far, it has been a great opportunity for growth.
Let’s talk about why you decided to start it. You’ve almost hit 100, and congratulations on that. I’m sure you’ve recorded 100, but you’ve almost published 100. You’re shy of it as we’re recording this right now. I’m sure by the time this publishes, you’ll be over 100, and that is a huge accomplishment. A hundred episodes ago, what made you think this podcasting thing was for you?
I had a job for the nonprofit, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. That job was fascinating because I got to meet people from all different industries and I learned so many stories. I had that feeling of accomplishment, and I was happy going home. I then decided to change industries because I like to learn different things. None of those jobs that I’ve had gave me that feeling. A few years ago, I was listening to somebody’s podcast, and they were having a conversation and I thought, “This is amazing.”
It’s two regular people, but we could do this again. I thought, “Maybe I could have a podcast,” not knowing anything about technology. It was crazy. I have a son who is an expert on inventing things. He said, “You can do it.” I started to watch videos and listen to everything that I could about podcasts and still couldn’t understand how I can record something, and it goes in the air like magic.
That syndication process seems to be a mystery to most of them and to people. I still think that’s what’s holding back people. It is not understanding this idea of how it gets out there. The reality is in today’s technology, you don’t even have to know. You just have to know where to sign up. That’s what makes it so easy. It’s so good you had a support system and you had a son who could help you. I love it when we have support systems on these things where we’re like, “I don’t get this. What do I do?” You’ve got someone you can go to who probably thinks and rolls their eyes. I know my kids do that. They roll their eyes like, “Of course, mom doesn’t get this,” but they gratefully help us and we get to move on.
He guided me and then I was like, “That seems complicated.” Your brain tells you that that’s impossible. One day I said, “I want to learn.” We sat for a second, and I’m like, “This is Audacity. This is not complicated to edit. This seems very easy.” It was very detailed and organized so that was very good. He was gone, and then I did it all on my own, figuring everything out. In a way, I was like, “You told me a little bit, but I’m going to show that I can do even more. There’s no reason that mom is going to be an old woman.”
“I’m going to show him.” I love that courage. It’s wonderful. Your show has this nice flow of trying to explore the stories of people. Have you done a lot of interviews before? How did you prep up and learn how to ask people good questions?
The main thing is being curious. I’m full of curiosity all the time, and I know this since I was little. Now I notice that it is coming more out, and I’m always asking questions. My dad was like this too. They used to call him Kojak. I don’t know if you remember this from the ’80s and ’70s.
I’m older than I look. I’m totally there. I know who you’re talking about.
My aunt calls me like that because I always wanted to know. It’s all curiosity. I don’t know why I’m so curious. For four years, I was at Toastmasters, and I wanted to do presentations. I went to competitions and all these for four years. I was stressed before I was coming to this podcast. I always say that I don’t, but it’s a preparation and then you want to do it so well. I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore. Also, I didn’t have a purpose. I don’t have to do presentations, work, or anything like that.
During the four years that I was there, one of my roles was to be a host of the whole event. I enjoyed that the most because I showcased other people, and I realized that that’s what I like to do. I organized the whole thing, but I’m going to say, “Welcome, Tracy. She’s the important one.” That’s how I also thought that being a Toastmaster and my curiosity were the two main factors that I learned how to ask better questions. I still think I need to learn more about how to ask better questions for sure.
That’s such a great a-ha that you realize that you liked that host role. That’s what podcasting is mostly about when we approach it from this standpoint of we’re creating a flow-through so that the other person shines that they’re featured. That’s the easiest part of the host role, but we have to settle into that. You already knew you liked it, so that’s wonderful. The toughest job you have, and one of the things we talk about on this show a lot is how people get great guests. The reality is that sometimes you have to talk to them about becoming a guest. How do you go about telling someone, “I want to have you on my show, and I want to feature your story?”
I do get a lot of requests and that warms my heart that people want to go to the show. For example, I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada. We went to this restaurant called The Dancing Moose. I was saying, “How do you make these pancakes?” They were like, “Dutch pancakes?” I heard his accent and I’m like, “Are you from the Netherlands?” From that, I started to ask questions and I said, “You must come to the show.” The people said, “Sure. Of course.” They’re regular people that have amazing stories because from the Netherlands to go to a very remote town in Nova Scotia, Canada, I still have to know more about that.
That does sound so exciting. I bet you they were stroopwafels. It’s super sweet pancakes. It’s my favorite from the Netherlands. You have to find out about that. I love the idea that you’re following what makes you curious, which you know that your audience is going to be interested in. Right there, I was like, “When that episode airs, I’m going to have to check it out.” I made a note. How exciting, but people are hesitant sometimes. They’re like, “I’m ordinary. I just run a restaurant.” Do you have to convince them?
I do. Sometimes I don’t succeed and then I move on until they’re ready. Like me, they are shy or they don’t think that the story will flow or that they had enough information for people to be interested. I disagree because in every story, you can learn something from that person. Maybe they talk about a country or something that they did that you didn’t know or a bit of compassion. One of my favorite episodes where when a lady came to talk about adoption. Why would I know about that? Now I understand a lot, and it’s fascinating.You can learn something from every person’s story. Click To Tweet
That’s the residual benefit to podcasting that people don’t realize. An old-school term would be a Rolodex full of people, but I have a Rolodex full of stories and contacts for various unusual things like the person who makes the best stroopwafels or whatever it might be. Don’t you feel that way that you have this access to all these great people and these great pieces of information and exciting things that might benefit someone else in the future?
That’s creating your own community that way. I have all things from one gentleman who talks about HR and how he wants to change the system of hiring. I love the way he speaks so I follow him, and I’m learning more. I wouldn’t have met him otherwise. For me, the podcast has also been a university. You are going to classes and learning from the stories and all these things that I wouldn’t learn otherwise. It’s university life for me.
That’s such a great way to put it. Let’s talk a little bit about return on investment. Our time is valuable. What are some of the things that you’ve taken away as being valuable to you?
I’m very empathetic, but now I have even increased and grown my compassion for people and situations. That wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the stories that people are sharing. Sometimes I get feedback from others saying, “I learned this. What a fantastic story. I enjoy that person’s story.” I feel like that’s the return on investment I’m getting. Perhaps, I don’t get a million viewers but for one person that you can change, that’s what they say, “One person at a time.”
We sorely underestimate the ripples that are happening from that one person. What could that one person do, and how many people do they touch? That started with you and me. That’s brilliant to think about.
That’s how we met. You were in a podcast, and I listened to you with Alex in the Philippines. I was enchanted. I learned a lot and then somehow, I connected with you and here we are. That’s the best. It can’t get any better than that.
Follow the threads and keep flowing through them and find what is interesting to you next. Do you hear from your listeners? What do they say?
I have one that always texts me and says, “I appreciate it. I enjoy the story. I learned these from that.” Many people are surprised that they are from different countries, different cities, or different situations that they wouldn’t meet otherwise.
The expansive view of it is giving them an expansive view of the community, which people touch on it and like it. Although your show might be a slow growth in listener base, I totally understand that, but that’s probably why it’s growing in the way that it is.
I was number one on journalist type in New Zealand and I was like, “That’s so funny,” and then in Switzerland sometimes. I have a friend in Switzerland, so I texted her, “Thank you for bringing my numbers up.” She said, “I’m sorry. It wasn’t me.” I’m like, “Okay. That’s good.”
She’s like, “Now I feel bad. I haven’t been listening as much as I should.” I love that you assumed it was her. That’s so great. We don’t realize how many people around the world are looking for what we have until we put it out there. Now 100 episodes later, how are you feeling? What do you feel that you have got, and what do you feel that you want to tackle next?
I got the whole system going. I know how to make it well. I do that well that I make people feel special because that’s how I truly feel too. I still feel I can learn more about asking questions. I was listening to your episodes, and I’m like, “I have a lot to learn from Tracy.” You can always take nuggets from everyone. Learning is something that you never stop or at least, I never going to stop doing.
The moment that I start thinking that I’m not learning, that’s when I don’t feel as happy with what I’m doing and I change. That’s why I need something to look forward to. Otherwise, if I feel like, “This is going and flowing,” that’s not fun. I want to know what else. For example, I’ve been trying to work on my website and it’s nearly finished, but it’s still out of work. It is still a challenge. That keeps me going. I feel like nothing has to be perfect, otherwise, it gets boring.
I so agree. You and I are aligned in that. Going along with that university of life that you were talking about before is that when we think that our website is done, we’re sorely mistaken because that’s one of the things I’ve learned over time. The podcasting taught me that. Podcasting is such a flexible media type where you can fix your feed, make an update, change your cover art, and change the name of your show. It all flexibly does it. It’s a whole lot easier than every year you look at your website and you’re like, “I have to fix that and I need to fix this.” It always feels daunting, but on podcasting it always feels like, “I accomplished it. It’s already updated.” It feels so much easier.
It’s fun to also meet new podcasters and fellow podcasters, and learn what they’re doing. Going to conferences and groups of people speaking is always fun. When people want to say, “How do I get to do a podcast?” It’s funny how I’m like, “It’s so easy.” For everybody else, it’s like, “What?”
Is your son impressed with what you’ve accomplished?
I think so because I asked him often. My background is Latin. I’m always in their face, so I always ask them, “I learned this. What do you think?” I have to give also credit to my husband because writing is not my strength. When I do the descriptions, he always helps me to make it sound a little better. It is teamwork at the BEHAS team.
I love that, Because Everyone Has A Story, BEHAS. That’s what you call it. It’s your community name. I love that you named that because it makes it easier for people to identify and make themselves a part of that community. I’m a BEHAS guest. That means I had a story. I love that. It creates that environment and community. What are your plans for the community? Are you going to do something with it? Are you going to expand it? What’s the future?
I have many ideas. I wanted to do cycles of things around the city, for example. I haven’t been able to accomplish it because it’s harder than you think to go around local businesses and find that they will like to talk over the podcast because they’re shy and it’s not in their comfort zone. That was a concept that I wanted to do. Go to different little places, interview a few people, and then do that. The concepts can always have stories but group them in different ways. A hundred was a good goal, and then after that, we’ll see what will happen. I wanted to share some stories about myself and do that as well. I don’t tend to talk as some of my listeners request, “What about you? Say more about you.” I’m like, “I don’t know.”
That’s what I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn some more about you, which is why I invited you to my show here. Maybe you should have your son do it.
To interview me?
Yes. Maybe the two of you should do a show together because I’m always surprised by what the next generation might want to ask. That might be interesting. You’d be surprised how you might rise to the occasion or totally say, “No, it’s not my thing,” then you’ll have to push him.
I did an episode, but it is not exactly what you’re saying. I interview 5 people that are 20 years old. One of them was my son, his ex-girlfriend now, and a couple of friends that I knew that were 20 years old. That episode was amazing. I don’t know now, but things have changed, but I grew up thinking, “You are young. You don’t know anything.” When I interview these kids, I was so impressed by how much they know and how they thought. I was questioning, “Was I this smart when I was 20?”
That’s what I asked myself all the time. I was like, “Was I that cocky, courageous, and smart?”
I think that we were but we were not showcased like you can now. This was good. I make sure the parents listen to this episode and say, “Look what an amazing young person you have as a child. They try to change that or anything.” I’m looking for a host to host me when I tell my story. It could be my son or my husband. We’ll see.
Do a little flip like that. It’s always good. You can always do it in a conversational way instead of more of a formal interview way. It’s like, “One of the things I love about you is this.” They can say, “I love this about you. Tell us how that happened,” and then you can expand on that. That’s always a great way. Some of my favorite episodes that get-to-know-the-host were done by one of their best friends. Someone who knew them and who already knew where the good stories were.
That’s true. I have to not be uncomfortable about it, but I will do.
I can’t wait to hear that one. You’re talking about this challenge of going out there and trying to get someone to come on the microphone in a community and there are logistical challenges there. You’re right about that. There’s also that challenge of finding someone willing to take the time and willing to put themselves out there. That’s what’s so interesting about the way that you’ve gone about picking someone who thinks that they might be ordinary, which knows that they’re not because they have a beautiful story behind them. Are you getting them to share that they were on your show, or has that also been a difficult challenge for you?
That’s the main challenge because it stops there. I had one gentleman. We always buy cell phones from his store and then I realized that he was a Paralympic medalist in the past. I interviewed him, but he stopped there. I said, “Here is the post. Can you please share it?” They don’t so that’s a bit of a challenge that we have in general.
It is a bit of a challenge. Even getting celebrities to share the show can be a challenge only because they have layers of the team that they’re running through. They have a different challenge than getting an individual to want to do it. At the end of the day, people do want to share. It’s just we got to find the right way to get them to do it to make it easy for them or to maybe share it with them and tag them so they feel that they want to respond. This is a big challenge for you but when you crack it, this is when your show is going to take off. When you crack that, those people are the people who have fans who are going to want to highlight your show and share it with others.
I feel like LinkedIn is the best way of sharing because it’s not convoluted with extra things like other social media. This one is more like you are respecting that it’s a business and things are not mixed up. For me, LinkedIn is the best to share things.LinkedIn is the best tool to share things. Click To Tweet
I agree with you. That’s probably a great one for you, but I also think nowadays that Instagram is underestimated. There has been an algorithm shift and a lot of the influencers have jumped off of it and headed towards TikTok. We’re starting to get to some good stories, information, and sharing going on on Instagram. I wouldn’t underestimate that. I might give it another shot if I were you.
Keep doing it. It’s interesting what you’re saying. It’s true. Maybe people have jumped to TikTok and so they’re leading Instagram to be a bit more profound or professional perhaps.
I don’t know about professionals. I agree with you on LinkedIn that they are still a more professional environment over there, but I’m seeing experts and information that seems more relevant than it ever has been on Instagram before. There has been an algorithm shift that we’re tapping into, and it might be right for your audience, the ones who want to hear good stories about people. I am so excited to hear what happens in the next 100 on your show because you’re going to keep going. Don’t you still feel energized to keep it up? How do you do that for yourself? Hear yourself up for an interview and prepare.
When people request to be on the podcast, I read their bio, read the websites, and get prepared that way. We had a pre-shot before, so I know how they are and what the story is. Usually, it is easy. I got one person that the story was interesting. I thought that I had to make it at an angle that was more positive. Instead of trauma, we were going to do it as an adventure. Thinking about that and the angle that we can get. From there, when we start recording, I usually ask two questions. Why do you want to share your story, and when does your story start? From there, we go as a conversation. Those two questions are based on the start of the podcast or the episodes. That’s how I prepare. I’m looking at people’s stories and what they have gone through, if they have written a book, or if they have a podcast.
That’s so interesting that you talk about how you start matters. I’m preparing a workshop that I’m giving to a group of performing arts students at a high school. It’s a 7th through 12th-grade performing arts high school here in California. I was thinking about how I get them to think about the idea of doing interviews and being not just a complete idea of a serial podcast that is like an entertainment model, which they’re much more comfortable with. How do I get them to think about this other one? It was that starting point that is the crux of what I wanted to teach them about because if they can get into it, their natural personalities will flow. That’s what happens to you. You have that one piece, and when you get that started, everything else flows, and you end up in the moment.
When does your story start? Some people started when they were little. Some people started when they left home. It’s that moment and it makes them also think, “When do I want my story to start and when is this related?” I like that question. It is the key to everything for my episodes.
Everyone should check out Because Everyone Has A Story. Daniela, thank you so much for bringing your podcast, for having the courage to do it, and for overcoming all that technology and mastering it. I hear that in your show that you have got that down. You are so right about that. Thank you for doing it.
Thank you, Tracy. Thank you for having me.
It is so much fun to check in with people. Because I talked to her in a pre-call, she was interviewed on my show, and I’m going to be on her show. We have all these tie-ins and connection points that we’re making. We’re building relationships, and that’s what Daniela was saying is the most powerful. She didn’t imagine she was going to have these threads and connection points that she was going to be making between people. This network she has been building is beautiful. Because she’s reaching into their stories and their souls on these things, she’s making a deeper connection at every point along the way. That makes for a deeper and more valuable network. I want you to think about what you can learn from Daniela and what you can bring to your show to deepen that guest experience.
It doesn’t mean you have to tell stories and you have to draw out stories. It just means that as you’re doing this, let’s not fall it in. Let’s be curious. Let’s stay in the moment of us finding out what’s going on in our guest world. When do we do that and when we touch them at that level, they want to become a part of our community. They then rave about what we’ve built in our podcast, and they share it with others.
That makes for a more powerful connection between all of us. Check out Because Everyone Has A Story. It’s a great show. You’re going to be inspired by just listening to how she asks questions and what she does. Make sure you’re connecting to her. Get your own University of Life by doing a podcast that feeds your curiosity, just like Daniela. I’ll be back next time with another podcaster and their story of how they got started right here on The Binge Factor.
- Because Everyone Has A Story
- Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
- Facebook – Daniela Stockfleth-Menis
- Instagram – Daniela Stockfleth-Menis
- LinkedIn – Daniela Stockfleth-Menis
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Binge Factor community today: