Oh Crap, It’s Been a Year: Confessions of a Cowork Owner

Oh Crap, It’s Been a Year: Confessions of a Cowork Owner

Oh Crap, It’s Been a Year: Confessions of a Cowork Owner

Oh crap, has it been a year? No really, it’s been a year since I bought ConnectWork on Main. Do the math, yeah I know. Crazy right? I bought the CoWork more or less 90 days before everything got shut down locally. Whoops. If you want more on that story, be sure to listen to the podcast below. This isn’t going to be a woe is me post. I want to share how we are moving forward, supporting the community, and staying safe.

Listen in to the Behind the Business Episode 1

If you want to make money, don’t buy a coworking space

This is probably the best advice I could have ever received. While this isn’t a direct quote, Sean Fedorko said something along these lines to me in November 2019. It was the best thing anyone could have said to me as I contemplated buying the coworking space I had been managing/working with since 2017. 

Sean’s words helped frame my outlook, set my expectations, and gave me a baseline to work from. When I bought the CoWork, the goal wasn’t to make buckets of money. That just isn’t realistic is coworking. You can make good money when done right and some have created spaces that do rake in the cash. Those outcomes take an enormous amount of capital, time, and the right conditions.

I knew going in that wasn’t in the cards for a long time. And I’m ok with it. Legit. I’m committed to bringing together a community primed and ready to support the existing efforts in the local area to facilitate economic growth. This is a long game. It always was. Like every business, we have our “charming years” and periods of snail-paced growth.

Ready for the next phase

I am so ready for the next phase. I am ready for you! Going to a shared space probably seems completely nutty right now. Totally get it. Some days it’s hard for me too. I’ve been going in after-hours and making sure everything is wiped down and clean. While I’ve taken every precaution I can to mitigate risk, it’s still there. Everyone has to make their own choice based on their comfort level. You can check out our policies and current protocols here.

Small groups

The upside of being in the early growth stages of memberships means that we’re still a very small group. If everyone showed up at the same time, we could camp out in different parts of the space and not bump into each other. Most days, the Space is longing for a human to come work in it. While people have small humans at home (like me) and staggered schedules, occupancy is low. We have more than enough space to comfortably spread out and keep people socially distanced.

Upgrades and Amenities

The last 12 months have seen quite a few changes around the CoWork. I’ve updated/changed the furniture and added new equipment to support whatever you are creating. This includes

  • Podcasting equipment
  • Binding materials/machine for booklets and reports
  • Standing height desk
  • Professional lightboxes
  • Unofficial Tool Lending Library
  • Growler Library

I’m hoping 2021 will bring even more opportunities to upgrade the space and support our members

Sharing what we’re all about

After talking to tons of new people about ConnectWork on Main and what we’re all about, I’ve noticed a couple of things about myself. The things I love about my co-work are not always top of mind for everyone else. In addition, I tend to focus on (and share) details that don’t show the whole picture or highlight the benefits well. Hooray for self-awareness and identifying places to improve.

Things I love about my cowork

  • Sensory-friendly
  • Inclusive
  • Make your own desk location with nesting desks
  • Pop up Podcast/audio recording and photo studio concept
  • Mad Men vibe sans the chauvinism

Benefits of being a member

  • Free (local) coffee… Need I say more?
  • Use of color printer/scanner (included in membership)
  • Conference room use up to 20 people (or within any lower constraints per mandate)
  • Closed-door offices for meetings or long phone calls
  • Joining a community of epic humans who are excited to meet you and see you succeed
  • Be part of our Slack channel – this is like Facebook without the distractions
  • And more 😛

My hopes and dreams

My dream for the cowork has always been to have a place where you could work alongside friends and create a space where everyone felt like they could excel and have fun doing it. The missing piece is having you there. I’ve done my best to make membership accessible and the space appealing. I’m excited to meet and welcome humans who know when they find ConnectWork on Main that it’s the right place for them.

Here’s to the next 12 months! Hopefully we can have a grand opening celebration 🤣 Until then… Check out the Events happening virtually for the public. I can’t wait to meet you!