San Diego Coworking Week 2017

How to Build and Nurture Relationships with Others in Your Coworking Space

There’s something to be said for the freelance life — it’s flexible, and it’s rewarding.

But it can also be a little isolating, even for people at co-working spaces. In a traditional office, everyone plays for the same team. There is an existing camaraderie that defines professional relationships.

In a shared working environment, there’s still space to create a sense of community. It’s often just a matter of reaching out.

In that spirit, here are six practical tips for nurturing and growing relationships in shared offices and coworking environments.

Don’t Miss Events in Your Co-working Space

A lot of co-working spaces hold occasional in-house events or off-site happy hours as a way to encourage connections with fellow workers and entrepreneurs. Use this time to interact with the diverse global community there, people who come from various industries, and feel free to bring your cards to pass around.

Host Your Own Event

If an opportunity to attend one of these events doesn’t present itself, you might consider hosting your own. Does your office have a community area where businesses can set up their own functions? These may include workshops, exhibits, lunch parties, etc. Being able to enjoy our time with the people in your working space is essential to your own productivity, as it creates a loop of inspiration and positive interaction.

Eat Lunch in the Community Area

It’s tempting to work through lunch when you’re still trying to break through in a niche industry or trying to get your company off the ground. Avoid that temptation, though, and step away from your computer to eat with your neighbors. There should be a common lunch area that encourages people to do the same, and a quick chat with someone across your table might turn out to be a fruitful partnership.

Encourage Your Community Manager if More Needs to be Done

All work spaces have someone you can contact in the event you’re not maximizing your networking potential. The best part about involving a manager is that they may be uniquely qualified to link you with other members or companies who may have something complementary to offer.

relationship-building-coworking-space

Online Tools are Effective at Growing Professional Relationships

If you recognize a person in the space whom you believe may a fruitful connection, reach out through social media, the space’s Slack channel or via email. Some members may work unconventional hours, making it a challenge to connect at the office. But no matter how busy they are, the good news is they most likely will follow up with online communication and keep in touch — even if they move to a new space.

Use Your Existing Promotional Resources

Your handouts shouldn’t be limited strictly to special clients; company message and goals can be shared with other professionals within your space. Something as simple as leaving some of your company’s marketing collateral on a fellow member’s desk may serve to remind them about you and your company, should they want to collaborate on an upcoming project.

A co-working space offers great opportunities to network and grow relationships with a people who work in different fields, possessing a range of skill sets — and this might turn out to be useful from a business perspective. So, venture out and look to grow a wide web of reliable contacts. They may prove essential to your growth and success.


casey-meehan-epic-presenceCasey Meehan is a writer and business owner who likes to talk about everything under the sun — from writing music to entrepreneurship to investment strategies. He explores the latter by covering financial news and offering trading tips at his blog StockHax.com. Connect with Casey on Twitter @epicpresence.

The Evolution of the Coworking World

Today’s coworking office didn’t simply spring from the penny loafers of a techie, hipster entrepreneur. In fact, you have to look back to the 1950s to see some of the seeds that grew into the modern coworking office.

History

In many ways, lawyers and doctors were some of the first professionals to collaborate on space while working independently. In the 1980s, small law firms banded together in an effort to create an environment of professionalism to rival big firms. Doctors had a much more practical need – to employ a common medical billing clerk to ensure faster payments from the complicated policies of health insurance companies. (This kind of coworking is still alive and well today. Just across the street from CyberTECH is a building filled with lawyers sharing a common waiting room, receptionist, and conference rooms. And inside the building where CyberTECH lives, a group of doctors operates out of one office.)

Executive Suits and Virtual Offices

As more professionals left the corporate world of the 1990s, the need for professional meeting spaces expanded. Through the early 2000s, entrepreneurs often sought a professional mailing address and a landline phone number. Calls would pass through a receptionist and into voice mail. Generic meeting rooms were an easy way to appear to have a fully functioning office without the need to rent something permanent. But the cell phone revolution changed the coworking world.

An Office in Your Hand

Once Apple produced the iPhone (2007), the independent workplace shifted dramatically. Entrepreneurs no longer needed a PLACE for their STUFF – like computers and desk phones. Everyone was walking around with a virtual office in their hand. Business owners no longer needed an office to review e-mail and voice mail. So coworking spaces had to adjust. Instead of offering cold, blank rooms, coworking spaces had to feel comfortable and modern to attract tenants.

Thank Google for the Basketball Court

At the same time that entrepreneurs were doing more business via Smartphone, the best corporate companies were offering innovative work environments as a company benefit. Workers were no longer stuck in grey cubicles all day. Instead, they got light, airy meeting spots furnished with couches and TVs. The communal coffee pot was replaced by the espresso machine (or living, breathing barista). So as those corporate employees struck out on their own, they demanded similar traits of their coworking spaces.

To Niche or Not To Niche

At least three members of the San Diego Coworking Alliance operate with a niche member in mind. CyberTECH is focuses on tech startups. Hera Hub supports female entrepreneurs. And 3rd Space is geared toward creative endeavors. And while a niche market might be a great way to bring like-minded professionals together, coworking spaces have to walk a fine line between inclusivity and exclusive practices. Diversity is key in creating new and innovative ideas; so being overly controlling about member activities can stifle the creative environment necessary for small businesses to adapt and expand. (However, it would be a little odd to have a barber cutting hair next to an app developer.) Commonly, niche coworking offices try to offer spaces to a majority percentage (like 66% or 75%) of business owners that fall within the defined specialty; the rest of the spaces are open for anyone looking for an awesome office.

The Next Phase

Technology is likely key in determining the future of the coworking space. And the intent of that technology (ironically) will be to bring people closer together. Virtual (reality) conference rooms are on the horizon for the Jetson’s office space. Also key to the future of the entrepreneurial workplace – personal interests. The coworking space of the next decade will be busy 24/7. After-hours activities will be filled with musicians, pod-casters, and cooking classes.

Start-ups no longer need the garage or the basement to get going. The next generation of big brands will come from the coworking spaces we occupy today. And we’re all better for having worked in one.


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

The Work Lodge Names Hera Hub Top Coworking Space in California

We are so excited to announce this honor! The Work Lodge, a work space and business community based in Houston, named Hera Hub as one of the top coworking spaces in California!

According to SmallBusiness.com, coworking is on trend to grow to 26,000 locations with 3.8 million members by the year 2020. This aligns nicely with our vision of helping 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their businesses by the same year.

Hera Hub Named Top Coworking Space by The Work Lodge

To be recognized among your peers is always welcome and we are thrilled to be included with these 15 other noteworthy spaces. Congratulations to all the workspaces named!

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!
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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.