Meet Scott Ko, long time CoWork Me member, Founder of ColourSpace, Programs Manager at Leadership Victoria, and now excited to share his latest invention: the Curiosity Journal!
In this #FacesOfCoWorkMe feature, Scott shares with us how Curiosity Journals came about & how it helps users effectively navigate creative & strategic decisions in their lives.
Note from the author:
I’m incredibly excited to share a completely new product with the CWM community, in particular because this is a product that came into being with direct support and collaboration from those in our community. I’d like to introduce to you: The Curiosity Journal.
Scott, you’re a man of many talents, but what do people know you best for professionally?
Honestly, I don’t really know. I’m one of those annoying people with a varied enough career that this has legitimately become hard to really define. Some people have called me a social entrepreneur. Some call me a consultant. Some call me a systems builder. Some call me a strategic thinker. Tell you what. $50, you can call me whatever you want. Deal?
Or alternatively, you can also check out my personal website: scottko.com.
What is the Curiosity Journal?
In short, it’s like a Gratitude Journal, but focused on harnessing your curiosity instead. It’s a journal designed to help people think more clearly, act with confidence, and make meaningful progress. It does this by providing tools and a UX structure that helps you take a challenge or a wondering, and applying a methodology to help you refine your understanding of that challenge. The Journal includes things like a ‘Question Generator’ and an ‘Action Generator’ to spark inspiration, different chapters for structured vs free-form curiosity, as well as various Curiosity Maps designed around common challenges in life.
What’s the inspiration behind the Curiosity Journal?
The inspiration came during the big lockdown of 2020. I – like so many others – was stuck at home. I was uncertain as to the direction that my business would take (i.e. a ‘facilities services’ business at a time when many offices were closed), and I meditated frequently on the question: What else can I do?
Now, this is going to get real meta: My meditation didn’t just reflect on finding something to do, I reflected on the nature of the way we think when we’re stuck, especially when the world is highly uncertain. If we look at my question ‘What else can I do?’, this is actually a massive question. Questions like this are tricky because on the one hand, it’s so big that it can potentially be paralysing. On the other hand, if I do come across a spark of inspiration, how do I know if I’m not just clutching at straws? How do I know if I’m doing something because it only sounds good, instead of it being really meaningful?
I worked through all of these questions before realising that what I was doing was applying curiosity in a different way. I wasn’t just asking endless open-ended questions; I was focusing my curiosity to attain greater clarity on the challenges I was experiencing. And then I thought: What if I could help people harness their curiosity? What would that look like?
And all of that culminates in the Curiosity Journal!
How was the CoWork Me community involved in this project?
The Cowork Me community has been instrumental in helping me bring this to life. Several members of the team (Jessica Fernandez and Niina Peiponen in particular) were early testers of my early stage mockups. Selma and Mick helped make internal connections, such as the introduction to photographer Dan Lawson from Touch Contact, who helped me with the product shots you see on our website as well as in this newsletter (also featuring Jess as our wonderful model). And of course when the journals were ready, there was a trusted and safe environment where I could have them delivered.
As someone who’s been in several coworking communities, I just want to point out how all of this support is testament to what a great coworking community should be. Thank you!
What was the greatest challenge you faced during the making of the journal?
Getting the damn thing printed and shipped here during lockdown! International supply chains are the worst, and I’ve unfortunately learned that printing in Australia is not particularly viable, especially for a product like a journal. I also now know way more about book publishing than I really wanted to, but that’s part of the journey!
What makes the curiosity journal unique and separate from the rest?
Well it’s the first of its kind, for a start! I don’t mean to say that no one has ever come up with the concept of a curiosity journal before; I did find some crafty Etsy-like journals in my research. However the key difference is that whereas those journals were quite aspirational in their tone and asking big imaginative questions, the Curiosity Journal I designed is based on honing your curiosity into a mindset. It’s based on the principle that by focusing on asking better questions in a structured way, it can help you think more clearly, to better understand the world and each other, and to be confident in making progress, that you can actually structure. If you observe great leaders in their respective fields, they demonstrate incredible curiosity. They’re unafraid of asking dumb questions, or to go deep in asking question after question to understand a problem. That’s what the Curiosity Journal is designed to do.
Who is the ideal target market for your product and why?
Rather than thinking about a target market in a demographic way, I think it’s easier to think about at which points in our life can something like a Curiosity Journal help. For example:
- People who are starting new businesses and are on a journey of figuring out what to do
- People who are in a bit of a rut in their jobs and are seeking a career change but don’t know what
- High school and uni graduates who are embarking on a new life
- People who are stuck due to uncontrollable global circumstances and are trying to figure out what to do next
- And of course, with the end of the year coming up, people who want to chart a new direction for themselves in the new year
I sometimes think the Curiosity Journal is a bit like engaging a coach… except the journal shows you how you can be your own coach simply by tapping in your curiosity.
Last questions – where can we purchase a copy of Curiosity Journals!
You can buy a copy via this link – click here !
Also, by way of giving back, I want to extend to the CWM family a 10% discount via the code: COWORKME2021 (limited supplies of the first edition!). Whether as a journal for yourself, a gift for someone you know who would love to embrace a bit more curiosity, or even getting ready for an early Christmas present, I hope this is something that inspires your curiosity.