“There is no competition in business, only collaboration” – Cynthia Chiam
Since taking the leap into full-time freelancing I like to think I’ve been extremely open and honest about sharing the areas that I struggle with the most, the main one being the loneliness that comes with working from home. Spending entire days alone within the same four walls can begin to feel pretty isolating so at the end of last year I started to think of ways I could potentially improve my working situation and perhaps even help out people in a similar situation to me along the way too.
And that’s when The Co-Working Club was born! Weekly meet-ups in Nottingham for women who want to work FOR themselves not BY themselves.
Since then, these meet-ups have become an integral part of my week, not only do I look forward to them but I feel like they’re essential to helping me stay motivated within my business. If you’re yet to give co-working a try I thought I’d round up some of the benefits and 5 of the reasons why co-working has become such an important part of my weekly routine over the past six months.
Helps to Shake up Your Usual Routine
The times that I struggle with working from home the most are the weeks which don’t have many client meetings booked in, there aren’t any events on the cards to attend and I pretty much spend eight hours a day chained to my desk. The monotony really gets to me and I begin to crave human interaction and a change of scenery.
Since introducing The Co-Working Club I now know that every Monday morning will be spent out of the house at a local coffee shop. Kick starting my week in this way means I get to fill up my human interaction tank early on (which I’ve found usually lasts until around Wednesday) and spend my morning surrounded by fellow business owners sharing their goals for the week which is always inspiring!
Allows You to Meet Like-minded People
One of the best parts of setting up The Co-Working Club has been seeing all of the amazing people that it’s brought together, some of who I already knew and some brand new faces who have reached out and expressed an interest in coming along.
Now I know that it can be a daunting thing to put yourself out there and turn up to something without knowing a single person but I guarantee that the benefits strongly outweight a couple of hours feeling a little bit nervy! Every new attendee recieves a warm welcome and always integrates into the group seamlessly, I think almost everyone has come back to another meet-up too which must be a good sign! Often the best things come from stepping out of your comfort zone…
Increases Productivity Levels
Now you might think that being surrounded by people you have lots in common means that not much will get done but often I find that Monday mornings are some of my most productive times of the week! I usually save my more tedious admin tasks that don’t require quite as much brain power for the co-working sessions so that I can still chat whilst I crack on.
As well as getting lots ticked off my to-do list in the sessions I also leave feeling buzzy and motivated to crack on with tasks during the afternoon as often there’ll be new ideas which have been bounced around and inspired by fellow attendees!
Provides You With a Sounding Board For New Ideas
So you’ve got an exciting new idea that you’re desperate to float with someone but then you look around and remember that you work alone and are seriously lacking in the collegue department…Sure you could share this new concept with your partner or perhaps a pal but there are definitely times when you really value the opinion of a fellow business owner.
By being a part of a co-working space or community you have (free) access to a whole bunch of entrepenurs who are available to bounce ideas off or simply ask for a bit of a advice! There are so many questions I’ve had about running a business that have been answered by fellow freelancers who are so willing to share their experiences and learnings.
You Get the Feeling of Belonging to a Community
I bet I can guess that if you too have gone freelance then one of the things you miss most about your old employed life is the feeling of belong to a team. Am I right? It’s often difficult being a one (wo)man band and you begin to miss the seemingly insignificant parts of office life such as the morning debriefs on last nights TV, the tea break chats and after-work drinks.
That’s where co-working comes in! Regularly attending meet-ups makes you begin to feel part of a close-knit community of people who all share similar interests and have a vested interest in both you AND your business. You’ll be making new BFF’s before you know it!
With The Co-Working Club I’m aiming to create a supportive community for female business owners that stretches much futher than just work sessions. I want to create real connections which is why I’m focusing on providing all of those missing puzzle pieces that you simply don’t have access to when you work for yourself. Think after-work drinks, breakfast meetings (without the awkward networking) and book clubs. If you fancy joining the club simply head over and follow The Co-Working Club Instagram account for more details on all of the latest meet-ups, we’d absolutely love to have you!