Cutting the Umbilical Cord - The Co Working Space Journey
Very soon I will be moving out. It feels like leaving the security of home for the first time. Leaving the safety of mum and dad, who are there when it all goes pear shaped, when you fail and need a pick me up and who are there to keep you on track when you wander or get distracted.
This is what it feels like when you leave the safety of a co working space to open the doors on your own premises. Fear and exhilaration all rolled up into a ball of ‘oh shit’ and a underlying worry of who you are going to turn to when it all goes south?
I started my business at the kitchen table a few short years ago. And it is a journey, full of twists and turns and leaps of faith. I moved into a co working space one day a week, uncertain if I could afford it or if it was the right move. I thought it would offer me a great place to meet clients and the interaction with others that I was craving from the solitude of working from home.
What I discovered is that I found a home. A place to belong and above all a cheerleader to boost me every step of the way. Funny, I went through thinking the owner of the co working space was a mentor but have landed quite clearly on the fact that she is my greatest cheer leader. She helped me see that I was an entrepreneur, I was meant to do this and I was good at what I did. Opportunities were put in front of me that would never have been there if I kept working from home. Opportunities that I took (with the help of my cheerleader) and they opened more doors for me. By doing and believing I became!
So, soon one day a week was just not cutting the mustard. As my business grew I took out a desk three days a week. I could just afford it and still hadn’t paid myself but knew it was an investment in my business and myself that had to be made. The sacrifices were real but the benefits long term far outweighed it.
So then the co working space outgrew itself and the move to a larger building was in play. The new building was going to have its own offices which were available for sub lease. So I leapt again and stared working full time in town from my own office, still within the safety net of the co working space.
It’s been twelve months since I moved in as a permanent tenant. Now I take the next leap hoping the net will appear. I am moving out. I have now outgrown the space with three staff of my own. I am moving out of home.
And isn’t this exactly what a co working space is meant to do? Take a new businesses and be there through every step of growth; to nurture, cheer on, keep on track and be there when it all goes to shit?
Then comes the day I had to announce I was leaving, you know the public announcement that bound me to actually do something. I was sad but ready and again my cheerleader who has always had my back, came out with an amazing pep up, saying it was time and only a testament to my success in building a business. Sadness now turned to toasting champagne glasses. One final cheer on before I cut the umbilical cord. This is the difference between a shared office environment and a co working space. A co working space should be a transient place, one which you move through and out of to make room for the next new business, and you leave with connections, knowledge and above all confidence.
So here goes nothing……..
Founder of Regional Pitchfest, Agrihack and RGTC Group.
If you too have a successful regional business be sure to apply for the Australia Post Regional Pitchfest by 28 April. APPLY OR LEARN MORE HERE