Picture this: You've got an entrepreneur's spirit and drive. You've always wanted work for yourself, and now you're ready to take the risk. You have an idea or a business that you believe can make it. So you do it - you quit your day job, set up shop in your home and begin fulfilling your passion.
The first couple of weeks are great. You're feeling energized and excited. Wow, this was a great idea! You're finally doing what you've always wanted to do.
As time goes by, these feelings wane. You begin to feel isolated. Out of touch. Lacking human interaction. Waking up in your office begins to feel confining rather than empowering. You discover that you're working in a vacuum with no feedback from humans. You look at your dog and realize talking to her is the main interaction you get each day. And worse - you're starting to hear her talk back to you.
Then, as if sent from up above, you stumble across an article about a coworking space. You see the space is brilliantly designed. There are people there, and more importantly they look happy! They enjoy entrepreneur events, happy hours, building community and actually interacting with one another. You realize that you might actually enjoy those people, and they might be able to help you improve, grow and catalyze your business.
So...you take the plunge. At first, it's a monthly membership. We understand: You need to try it out first. But it won't take long to realize a few reasons why you need to cowork.
Humans are wired to be connected to others. It is basic to who we are. Coworking spaces all have their own vibe, and they also all have different people and ideas. This gives opportunity for members to socialize as much or as little as they want. But it's not forced.
Regardless of how much one wants to interact with fellow coworkers, they at least have the potential to do so. And this potential gives a sense of community and belonging. This sense of community can energize where a sense of isolation from working at home can zap your strength. With this constant sense of community, you will maximize your creativity and productivity.
As you have connected with others in you coworking space you realize something you probably already knew - you are not an expert in everything. Let's say that you're a great graphic designer, but you're not so strong in copywriting or building websites. Guess what-- you’re lucky. Johnny over there is a copywriter, Jane at the other desk is a website designer and in one of the offices is Chuck, a photographer. That huge job you just received where the deliverable is an outstanding website just became doable.
As you work with Johnny, Jane and Chuck to get the project finished, you find that those around you are adding great insight. And as they do, the website ends up better than you ever imagined. You never would have been able to share your ideas and get feedback if you would have been doing this on your own. And who's happiest? Your client. They receive a great website, on time, on budget, that's ready to go.
Just like that, you've created a network opportunity for more work. If Johnny or Jane or Chuck need a graphic designer, they now know you are capable. And when you need help in one of their areas of expertise, you can count on them.
Your business is now bigger than you, and this will help it grow. You won't be the only one bringing in new business - others at your coworking space can help as well.
On the fence about coworking? Give it a try. You'll be energized by the community you can build. You'll find others who can help you accomplish more than you can on your own. And you'll find opportunities for new business through your fellow coworkers. This may not be as great as hearing your dog talk back to you, but then again…
-Kent Lawrence: Foundry Faith Advisor