In 2018 I took a trip to Thailand that literally changed my life (and the way I do business). It was one of the biggest learning experiences I’ve ever had and I’m beyond grateful I was able to have it.
One of the biggest things I learned while in Thailand was that co-working spaces are a real thing and they’re pretty dope. And… you don’t have to be traveling to far away or exotic places to join a co-working space. Odds are there’s a co-working space near you and you can find it using Coworker.com.
Before you start doing research to find your local co-working space or before you leave this post because, “I don’t need a co-working space. Working from home has been my dream,” let me explain to you why you need to join a co-working space and how it’s beneficial to your business. (Because I too was a work-from-home dreamer and didn’t think it could get any better.)
Co-Working Spaces Promote Focus + Productivity
For about 4 months I worked full time in my business from home before getting my first taste of working at a co-working space. Before those 4 months, I worked part time in my business from home late in the evenings.
Imagine (or reminisce on) how it feels to go from working part-time in the evenings to having a full day 7 days a week to work in your business. Feels amazing, right? You get so much done now because you’re not limited to a couple hours here and a couple hours there. Instead you’re totally dedicated to your business.
That’s what I thought, too. I thought I was being super productive (even if I did take a 2 hour lunch each day and sometimes binge on Netflix instead of working). I thought I was getting so much done because I had so much more time to work on my passion, on my business
Then I sat down in the Punspace co-working space in Chiang Mai, Thailand and my goodness… how wrong I was. Seeing everyone working away at their businesses and building life on their own terms was such a motivational thing. It made me want to work harder, faster, and be more productive.
The month I was in Chiang Mai was the most productive and transformational period of time in my business. Because I was so focused, so motivated, so productive, I got the idea to transition my business from dabbling in web design and having VA clients to focusing in web design and developing an online course.
Now imagine that you’re currently at 50% of how productive you could be (that’s probably pretty accurate, even if you want to deny it). What would your business be like if that productivity level was doubled? What type of business and success could you have if you worked at a 100% productivity level? You’re imagining some pretty amazing things right now, am I right?
Co-Working Spaces Promote Creativity
Not only are you surrounded by motivated, hard working entrepreneurs at co-working spaces but you’re also surrounded by so much creativity. If creativity was a color, there would be clouds swirling around in the air so thick you couldn’t even see through them.
During my time in Chiang Mai I met people who were bloggers and had the best ideas for taking photos. This made me think about how I could incorporate better photos into my business. I met people who started off just blogging about illnesses they struggled through and then bam, one day they turned it into a business. This made me think about how I could share my story about being laid off and connect with a whole other group of women interested in taking control of their lives. And I met people who were doing things I never even imagined because my mind just thinks in a different way.
When there is so much creativity around you, it’s hard not to think about different ways you can grow your business. Thinking outside the box becomes more normal when you’re surrounded by creativity.
Co-Working Spaces Promote Collaboration + Networking
This may be the most obvious piece of co-working spaces but surprisingly, it didn’t happen as much as I thought it would. Co-working spaces, if you use them to your advantage, are a great place to network and find people to collaborate with.
Some days, almost no one would speak to each other within the walls of the co-working space. But every once in a while, someone would pipe up and speak to someone. If you step out of your comfort zone and speak to the people at the co-working space, you never know who you may meet and what opportunities may present themselves.
Why You Need a Co=Working Space Even if You Work from Home
“I’m not traveling to Thailand though…”
Who cares?! When I lived in Massachusetts I toured a co-working space to see if it was right for me. (It wasn’t but mostly because it was the middle of winter and if you think I was going out in the cold in the middle of winter, you are mistaken. But if I would have lived there into the spring / summer, I definitely would have joined!)
If you’re working from home right now, answer me this… how many people besides your family and friends have you chatted with about your business this week? Now how many of those people have you chatted with outside of a Facebook group or via email?
When I worked from home my answer was pretty easy to give – one whole person! Fortunately for me my biz bestie lived 5 minutes from me so I was able to get together with her easily. But if you aren’t fortunate enough to have found a biz bestie nearby, then a co-working space may be the place to help you find one.
Your focus, productivity and creativity called me and they’re dying for your to find a co-working space so you can start growing your business in new and different ways (and maybe even make some new friends who get you).