You’ve heard all the buzz around coworking. You’ve done your research and toured a handful of coworking spaces in Denver. Ultimately, you decided on the shared workspace that best coincides with your goals and the type of office culture you hope will embody your business as your team grows. Maybe you’ve begun your coworking space tenure as a shared deskspace member, or with a small office. You settle into your desk, get down to work, and the hours tick by; days pass by. You get notified about meetups happening in your space, networking events, happy hours. You think about attending but as a startup you just have too much work to do. Dozens of faces pass your desk in this time. They smile at you, you smile back, then get back to work. Maybe you’re a little shy. Maybe you feel you just don’t have the time for social events. You start rethinking this whole ‘coworking space’ thing. You think about your old office in your garage or extra bedroom. It was free. It was quiet. You think maybe you should just return to that for some time until you can hire more help.
But then you get stuck. Your strategy has led you well, until the first speedbump. You get stressed trying to figure out the problem, but this isn’t your specialty. You didn’t go to school for web development (Or API development, or marketing, or whatever). You tell yourself to relax, take a deep breath, that everything will be fine.
“It’s going to be a late one,” you say to yourself. So you head to the kitchen to grab yet another cup of coffee. When you open the door, you’re hit by a deafening noise made up of echoing voices, music, ping pong balls. The room is full and everyone is engaged in conversation. The energy circling throughout perks you up. With alert eyes you scan the room. You read name tags with industries and professions on them. Greg, Software Developer, Blockchain. Karen, Marketing Manager, SaaS. Ryan, CEO, Financial Tech. You reach the coffee and fill your thermos. There’s a half-filled beer cup beside the sugar. You roll your eyes and turn around, but standing before you is a woman, nametag: Beth, Web Developer, Retail.
Beth smiles at you and says hello. You say hi back and then look to the door from which you came. “Working late, huh?” She asks you. You tell her 6PM isn’t very late for a startup. She agrees and then asks what you’re working on. Hesitantly, you tell her the same spiel you tell everyone, that you have a company attempting to revolutionize the event planning industry. She says she’s seen you around the building and that you’re always so focused at your desk. She asks how things are going. You tell her things are great, which isn’t a lie, but that you are stuck with some technical mumbo jumbo and that your night will be spent trying to fix it.
Beth asks what the problem is specifically and you tell her to the best of your abilities what you think is going awry. Beth thinks for a second and then asks, “Mind if I take a look?” You pause and look at her beer cup. “I wouldn’t want to take you away from the happy hour,” you say. Secretly you’re unsure about showing someone else the innerworkings of your livelihood, your baby. “Oh it’ll take a sec,” she says. “I deal with this stuff daily.” You think about how frustrated you had been and how long the problem could potentially take you to fix alone. So you agree. Beth smiles and you lead her to your desk.
Beth takes a seat and you walk her through the problem, showing her exactly where you left off. She tinkers on your screen for a few minutes. And it was only a few minutes before she says, “Fixed! There ya go!” You couldn’t believe how fast she fixed the problem. She walks you through where you went wrong. You feel lighter. You take the first stress-free breath of the day and smile and thank her.
“Looks like your night just freed up,” she says to you. “Let’s grab a beer.”
You agree and join her at the happy hour. It’s your first time truly interacting with the coworking space. She introduces you to her team. You loosen up and branch out. You meet other people from other companies in the building. Your jeans become filled to the brim with business cards. John, Marketing Director, Marketing Agency gives you suggestions on your social media strategy. Sarah, Video Content Producer tells you about the discounts she gives coworking members on video content for advertising and websites. Dave, Medical Sales invites you for drinks outside of the coworking space on Friday.
You leave work at 7:30PM with a slight buzz, but also with a greater sense of community, and thinking that coworking seems to live up to the hype. You made a few friends tonight, a few colleagues, and a few potential business partners and clients. You get that same feeling as you did the day you came up with your business idea, opportunity, the future looks bright.
You now know that, even though your team is small, you have tons of help right at your fingertips. You have a community, most of whom probably had the same idea about coworking spaces before they started. This is your tribe. And in a tribe, we want everyone to succeed.