Daring to Go “Co”

Because coworking without community is just plain working.

by Shelly Bowen

Some people think of co-working as a place to focus on work, and that’s true, but it’s only part of the story. More often than not, it’s a place to meet people, share ideas, find resources and support, and get inspired.

And, lucky us, co-working has exploded in San Diego in the last few years. What started as just a few shared office space options for just a few people has turned into not only a plethora of spaces to choose from, but a whole interconnected community. A whole new mindset.

Considering that San Diego is made up of mostly transplants — think about it, how many people do you know who grew up in San Diego? — this is a really big deal. Momentous, really.

San Diego’s co-working community is becoming a supportive, ambitious, entrepreneurial, and thinking-differently-is-good-thinking group of people. The options to be a part of this community are growing all the time. We just need to continue to get out there and be a part of it.

Melissa Glaze, the community director at Hera Hub, a spa-like co-working space for women (and men? we’ll get to that), agrees. “There are different kinds of co-working spaces,” she says. “It [can be] not only a shared workspace, but a community and support system for likeminded, productive people.”

We’ve all seen niche-specific co-working spaces — for tech-focused or eco-friendly entrepreneurs, designers, start-ups, creatives, or women, in Hera Hub’s case. Regardless, the important thing is to find where you fit in.

“Community first, space second,” Melissa says. When Felena Hanson founded Hera Hub in 2011, she felt that “it’s really important to have a strong sense of true community, a place to get through hurdles and build your business,” Melissa tells us.

Building community doesn’t happen automatically. Especially within the larger communities like Hera Hub’s. “Having experts in the community — such as our Gurus who are members — that we can refer to is key. The space really flourishes when we help members give support to other members in the community” Melissa says.

But that’s not all. The community directors at all three of the San Diego Hera Hub locations (as well as the one in Washington, DC and soon, Sweden, Phoenix, and Baltimore) are dedicated to connecting people. “People are shocked that we are as supportive as we are, how fast they can get answers, how quickly they can be introduced to people who can help them build their business. People ask me, ‘Do you know a …’ and I give them five options.” Hera Hub also holds new member breakfasts and frequent member events.

Does Hera Hub really exclude men? Melissa laughs. “Hera Hub is a female-focused community, but we have a handful of male members,” she explains. “If a guy likes what we’re about and wants to be included, he is welcome.”

So if co-working is now all about community, why are there limited options in areas like College area or East County? “Co-working is a hard business to get into,” Melissa says thoughtfully, “so there may be some apprehension about moving into a non-central area. It would be great for someone to test that out.”

She continues, “There are a lot of coffee shops out there that are full of people with laptops all the time. There are meetup groups in East County that are trying to build community. It’s hard; it takes time. But I’d love to see that.”

Breweries are popping up everywhere in San Diego. So why not co-working spaces? Why not build an even larger, stronger, more supportive co-working community? Looks like it all depends on each of us. Let’s get out there.

Melissa Glaze has been community director at the Mission Valley Hera Hub for a little over a year. With her graphic design background and passion for connecting people, she’s excited to continue building San Diego’s co-working community through creative marketing efforts. Contact Melissa via www.HeraHub.com/Mission-Valley

Shelly Bowen, a San Diego local, founded Pybop, a content strategy consultancy, in 2008. Since then, she has been involved with several San Diego co-working spaces, and has found they are not only a great resource for finding talent (not to mention great ideas and friends), but also she’s found inspiring locations to invite out-of-town clients for creative content strategy workshops and working meetings. Join her San Diego Content Strategy Meetup group. Contact Shelly at www.pybop.com.

Building Your Startup Inside a CoWorking Space

In an effort to encourage entrepreneurial growth in San Diego, CyberTECH created its Entrepreneur in Residence program (EIR) in early 2016. Because of the success of the initial cohort of businesses, CyberTECH opted to welcome a second cohort of business during the latter half of the year.

Each business represents a new and emerging approach to business by utilizing technology to spur further growth. The businesses have access to low-cost office space inside the First and Fir office along with other Member benefits like high-speed internet, printing, event space, and networking opportunities.

Moreover, these business owners have access to a rigorous regime of one-on-one coaching with industry experts and business professionals. The primary goal of these coaching sessions is to steer each business towards stability and growth. Stability becomes a key factor in the long-term viability for small business owners. While many small businesses experience short bursts of growth due to unique opportunities or market conditions, many of those same businesses fall short of creating a sustainable financial future. The EIR program intends to help those business owners avoid those pitfalls with coaching and mentoring.

Coaches include David Titus (Senior Vice President of Cooley LLP), Ignacio Yanez, Don W Larson for tech guidance, and Susan Rust (FlashPoint Marketing) for marketing support.

The 2016 EIR Cohort 200 group represents a range of industries including cyber-security, drone technology, sports media, and insurance. All the business share an enthusiasm for technology and an entrepreneurial spirit. CyberTECH will officially welcome the second Cohort Class of 2016 at 3rd Annual Good Neighbor fundraiser on Thursday November 10th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Darin Andersen, CEO & Chairman of CyberUnited Inc., Co Chair of CyberTECH

Healthy Collaboration, Courage, Creativity and Reciprocity

Guest post by Hera Hub member, Jennie Starr – the Founder and CEO of Startup18 a San Diego based social venture lab and accelerator. You can read more about her work at www.startup18.org. You can connect with her on Twitter at @Startup18SD and @tarbuton.

I work with social venture entrepreneurs and I bring up the subject of organizational collaboration early and often because authentic collaboration can be the Holy Grail of a successful social venture, one that can make the difference in good to great.

Collaboration requires a courtship to understand synergies and opportunities, overcome pitfalls, and create mutually beneficial collaboration. It’s about creating something new and great neither organization could do themselves. We reach new people, build different and better programming, or simply help nurture and support each other’s existence. Nonprofit collaborations allow us to take risks, share resources, and plan reciprocal programs marketing the benefits of both of our organizations. Together we also inspire more volunteers, donors and each other.

It’s true, that foundations often encourage collaboration, but there is no roadmap that suggests best practices on how to do it. Without the training or best practices to guide us, many organizations simply don’t know how to pave the path. Knowing the pitfalls and learning from models that work can help pave a path towards successful collaborations.

Collaborative Pitfalls – Don’t Let Them Get You Down!

Each of the following represents pitfalls that are surmountable. Like love and marriage, it takes work to make collaborations successful and two willing and interested parties.

FUD: Fear uncertainty and dread. We might lose members or customers and we can’t afford that. Maybe they’ll like the other program better or like their leadership more. Answer: We need courageous, risk taking leadership to make a difference.

Scarcity of Resources: We’re too busy to work on that, to give them attention. They have to pay big money to be a Partner.. Answer: Consider that the collaboration may result In longer term gain. Are there economies of scale you can leverage? Could there be shared resources that might result in greater efficiencies and margins?

Programmatic Differences: We’re different. there’s no obvious synergy. Answer; it’s healthy and good to meet and learn from each other. Never underestimate the value of building bridges culturally, across vertical markets and community. Business opportunities can be found in surprising ways.

Marketing: Just send out our event flyer/fundraiser; but oh sorry, we can’t reciprocate and share yours. Our Board won’t let us, my boss won’t let me, and/or we don’t think our people will be interested in yours. (Translation: We just want to use you, not collaborate with you.) Answer: Healthy collaboration will involve reciprocity.

Courtship and Collaboration – This is the Fun Part!

Some companies have great product or services, leadership, personnel, assets like office or facility location. Just like in dating, this is the fun part, where you get to see what’s great about each other. Plan how to share resources and make introductions respecting each other limitations, appreciating the strength in each others’ products, services or experiences and getting creative about offering better programs together. Then establish a respectful and reciprocal marketing plan for joint programs, proudly sharing the relationship, your enthusiasm for the other and cherishing the benefit you bring together to the

Hera Hub and its multi-location women’s network provides an incredible collaborative and rich entrepreneurial setting throughout San Diego. Make the time to work with potential partners, and take advantage of hubs, networks, and associations to build relationships that could lead to healthy collaborations. Collectively, we’ll enrich our communities and make a greater impact every day.

Guest post by Hera Hub member, Jennie Starr – the Founder and CEO of Startup18 a San Diego based social venture lab and accelerator. You can read more about her work at www.startup18.org. You can connect with her on Twitter at @Startup18SD and @tarbuton.


2016 Coworking Week Recap

Guest blog: Are you busy being productive or just plain busy?

Hera Hub member, Janina Goldberg, is a systems process master.  Janina is passionate about helping other business owners achieve their dreams, simplify their lives, and gain the support they need to live a life of abundance. She spent more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, documenting processes, creating and delivering end user training, overseeing and educating outsourced support teams, and discovering the fine line between efficiency and redundancy, before deciding to take her talents outside the corporate world.

We are pleased to share her contribution…

We can overthink and therefore “overwork” in areas of our business and on client work than is necessary. We play what’s on our to-do list over and over in our minds – even if we’ve scheduled it on our calendars. I’ve done this many times before. How about you?

Replaying and overthinking can happen with tasks that are time on our business (creating/modifying programs, scheduling social media posts, blogging/article creation, networking) or time in our business (billable client work).

Do you bill a client for a tasks that you estimated would take 2 hours yet you spend an additional 4 hours or more procrastinating or “thinking about working” on it? At the end of the day you feel like you were “busy” but was it really productive work and was the task efficiently executed?

Let’s just call it what it is…Overthinking and overworking are time and energy not well spent!

Spending more time and energy thinking about your tasks can create thoughts and illusions that you don’t have room for more paying client work or no available time for networking and expanding your community.

Being busy does NOT always mean being productive!

I believe that you want to be more productive and do things more efficiently – gaining more energy and time in your business and in your life!

Here are 4 simple steps to support you in becoming more efficient and more productive:

Step 1) Declare that you want more time and energy

Ask yourself how you feel about your business life. Is this what you signed up for? Is this how you thought it would go? Do you think it’s possible for things to be done differently but you just don’t see how or don’t know where to start?

If you have a sense that things need to change, then declare it! Decide. Declare that you want more time and energy in your business and in your life and decide that NOW is the time to start making changes!

Step 2) Stay mindful / Be intentional

With your current declaration and decision from step 1, keep this thought and energy with you at the beginning of every day. You are a powerful entrepreneur. You created your business with a specific mission in mind.

Creating helpful reminders on your phone or making sticky notes on your bathroom mirror are great ways to remind you of your intention/decision to move forward with this process.

I am a successful entrepreneur.
I operate an efficient and productive business.
I work flexible hours that support my lifestyle.

Step 3) Gather information on your current situation

Gathering information and collecting data is one of my favorite things to do. You can’t make changes to things that you don’t know about. While you can start at any moment doing things differently, if you don’t take a look at your current situation and your patterns, you won’t be able to determine your next step or truly assess your progress.

When I set out on a mission to make changes in any area of my life, I first devote some amount of time to collecting data. For example, to change my eating habits and what I’m eating, I’ll start by logging what I eat for a week. I don’t need to analyze or fix or assess anything. It’s just logging what I am currently doing – with curiosity and no judgment. My task is to log information – that’s it. Depending on what you want to change will determine how long to collect details of your current activity.

To get a sense of where you are truly spending your time in your business, you can create a simple time tracker on paper.

  1. Create one page for each day
  2. Establish your start and end time for each day. Maybe for now you intend to focus on the hours from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
  3. Have each line/row represent 30 minute increments – starting from your start time above – going to your ending hour.

To support you in logging this time throughout the day, maybe you set a reminder on your phone or computer for every 1 hour that reminds you to log your activity for the past hour.

Step 4) Making intentional adjustments to your tasks

In support of increasing your efficiency, here is a good definition: Efficiency is performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.

With this as your goal, after you have collected a fair amount of data from step 3, make intentional adjustments to areas you can focus on first. By increasing your intention to working more efficiently, where can you begin? As an example, if you start your day checking personal email and Facebook, set a timer. If from your information gathering from step 3, you had been spending 2 hours at the start of your day on personal emails and Facebook (getting caught up), allow yourself 30 minutes.

Now, there may be some mind chatter coming up by your initial intention of 30 minutes for emails and Facebook in the morning. You may be thinking that would be impossible to commit to this on a regular basis! If that’s the case, I’d challenge you to do it for a week. And every morning that the timer goes off after 30 minutes, write down how you’re feeling. Are you angry? Had you not realized you already spent 30 minutes? Perhaps you’re feeling that 30 minutes IS all it really takes to catch up on email and Facebook.

To recap:

  • Decide to be with the process and evolution of you being more efficiently productive. Commit to a new way of working in and on your business!
  • Capture a true picture of what’s happening today. Get honest with yourself about what’s really going on by logging the facts.
  • Start making changes and shifts to one thing at a time
  • Remain curious
  • Be gentle with yourself

For some, this will be easy to implement. For others, intellectually it’s a yes but when it comes to staying with it you could benefit from support. That’s where I come in. When we work together, I will be here to support you in your process and hold you accountable to your goal of being more efficiently productive – taking a look behind the curtain with you without judgment and creating a plan of implementing changes with where you could be working more efficiently for gaining more time and energy in your business and in your life.

Consider your next step…

I identify with entrepreneurs and have personally experienced the ability to breathe easier knowing a strong foundation with great documentation is in place. A scheduled plan with gentle reminders will quiet down that monkey-mind and allow more peace and calm. With your tasks and goals planned out on a calendar and processes in place, the mind is freer to generate inspired ideas, have the space to develop and modify programs and workshops all so you can be of higher service in your business with more ease and joy.

If this sounds like you or the support you need, it’s time we talked. Schedule your complimentary 30-Minute Strategy Session and take your first step toward getting the support needed to grow your business, calm your mind, and live a life of more abundance!

Declaration Of Interdependence

“Chance favors the connected mind.” This is the premise of a great book (and TED talk, if you prefer) by Steven Johnson, in “Where Good Ideas Come From.” Johnson invokes an important, and perhaps forgotten, part of our country’s history. In fact, he takes us back to the “idea” of America. A revolutionary idea that arguably changed the world more radically than any other time in history. And to what do we attribute this idea? In short, being connected. The flowering of ideas, and the hope for an unfettered pursuit of those ideas, didn’t come from social media, blogs, or a progressive government. The Age of Enlightenment was an age marked by REAL connections. As in, actually talking.. with other humans… about very cool stuff. It was coffee houses that had, in fact, become the center of innovation.

Today’s coffee houses aren’t quite what they were back then. In fact, today they’re often where people go to be alone together. Which brings me to my point. If you want to develop ideas and opportunities, or gain momentum on the ones you have… if you want to find resources or inspiration, or keep your finger on the pulse of progress… If you have wings to fly, then join a community of those who share the same feather.

We too often mistake the concept of independence to mean we should succeed on our own, independent of resources or those who can contribute to our goals and ideas. So yes, WE can, indeed. Perhaps those are the only words needed in a declaration of interdependence. Strong communities are essential to our prosperity, so take a break from Facebook and go face some actual faces. Go have your coffee among others who give a damn about what it is you’re working on on that there computer. In other words, go join a coworking space! If you’ve never been to one, our members of the San Diego Coworking Alliance are inviting you to try it out for free during coworking week. We hope to see you there!

Peter McConnell, Owner/Founder of 3RDSPACE, Club For The Creative.

San Diego Coworking Week 2016

Coworking Week 2016 celebrates 11 years of coworking, collaboration, and the shared economy. The event will begin on Monday, August 8th and run through Friday, August 12th.

Come cowork for free at each of these spaces on their designated day!

Monday | 8/8

Union North Park
3919 30th Street location only
Coworking: 8am – 5pm
RSVP with laurence@unioncowork.com to secure your spot!

Tuesday | 8/9

Hera Hub, all locations
Coworking: 9am – 5pm
Business Acceleration Expo 10am-2pm: Carlsbad | Sorrento Valley, Mission Valley

Wednesday | 8/10

3rdSpace, Univ. Heights
4610 Park Blvd.
Coworking: 8am – 5pm
Startup Collaborative – 6pm – 8:30pm

Thursday | Aug 8/11

NEST CoWork, Downtown
1855 First Avenue, Suite 103
Coworking: 8am – 5pm
Speed Networking – 5:30 to 7:30

Friday | 8/12

Co-mmunity, Hillcrest
1228 University Ave, Suite 200
Coworking: 8am – 5pm
w/WRAP UP PARTY – 6-9pm @ Co-mmunity (featuring “startup stories”)

Official hashtag: #coworkingweek
San Diego hashtag #coworkingweekSD

Coworking Week 2015

Coworking Week 2015 celebrates 10 years of coworking, collaboration, and the shared economy. The event will begin on August 3rd, and end on August 7th.

Come cowork for free at each of these spaces on the designated day!

Monday, Aug 3rd – Cyber Hive, Downtown
Tuesday, Aug 4th – DeskHub, Little Italy
Wednesday, Aug 5th – Co-Merge, Downtown
Thursday, Aug 6th – Hera Hub, all locations
Friday, Aug 7th – 3rdSpace, Univ. Heights and Ansir Innovation Center, Kearny Mesa

Official hashtag: #coworkingweek
San Diego hashtag #coworkingweekSD

In 2005 an independent worker in California conceived of a different way of working; he envisioned a place where independent workers could come together, collaborate and reap the rewards of community, increased productivity and creativity. That worker was Brad Neuberg. Approximately 5000 coworking spaces around the world will celebrate Neuberg’s vision as part of International Coworking Day.

San Diego Coworking Week 2014

Coworking Week 2014 celebrates 9 years of coworking, collaboration, and the shared economy. The event will begin on August 4th, and end on International Coworking Day, August 9th.  Come cowork for free at each of these spaces on the designated day!

Monday, Aug 4th – Cyber Hive, Downtown
Tuesday, Aug 5th – Hera Hub all locations
Wednesday, Aug 6th – Co-Merge, Downtown.
Thursday, Aug 7th – Ansir Innovation Center, Kearny Mesa
Friday, Aug 8th – 3rdSpace, Univ. Heights

Saturday, Aug 9th – BBQ to celebrate the “official” International Coworking Day – Kate Sessions Park – 12:00 – 2:00pm – Bring a blanket and beverage of choice 😀
Party at Pete’s house after!

Official hashtag: #coworkingweek
San Diego hashtag #coworkingweekSD


2013 Coworking Week


Monday, Aug 5th – Blank Slate – (www.blankslatesd.com) – near Old Town
Tuesday, Aug 6th – 3rd Space – (http://3rdspace.co) in University Heights
Wednesday, Aug 7th – Hera Hub – (http://herahub.com) – Sorrento Mesa
Thursday, Aug 8th – Ansir Innovation Center (http://aicenterca.com) in Kearney Mesa
Friday, Aug 9th  – Co-merge (http://co-merge.com) & CyberHive – Downtown

Coworking Happy Hour! 5:30 to 8:00pm