The why is paramount.
When we opened The Creative Collective, each of us had our own contracts in completely different industries (Leslie is a writer/editor, I was in tax software sales), but we realized we had one thing in common: We suffered loneliness and isolation working out of our homes. We could satisfy some of this by opting to do work in various coffee shops, but 6 to 8 hours a day in a coffee shop (or switching shops) can get tiresome.
If I had known about coworking, I could very well still be operating my sales contract.
However, I didn't meet Leslie until July, and I had made my decision to end my contract in April. I was tired of working out of my house, but more importantly, the demands of sales—especially in the tax industry—were weighing on me. I had two small children, and having them occupy all of my time sounded better than spending time meeting demands of frustrated and overworked tax professionals.
Three months of nonstop time with my kids was enough for me to realize I needed something else. At that time, Leslie and I were introduced by a mutual friend. She pitched coworking to me, and immediately I was on board. The concept filled the need and desire I had in my previous work, and I could enthusiastically get behind, build, and sell this space to other sole-proprietors, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creatives.
The Creative Collective was born.
We spent a significant time communicating ideas for our mission, design, community, and ideal members. We opened our doors in November with 6 members, and by January had 20. We have found our retention comes from others who need to work, but more importantly, crave community, collaboration, good coffee, and a great environment.
Our eclectic and collaborative members include remote employees, writers, designers, consultants, coaches, photographers, fitness trainers, videographers, and researchers.
Why do we need community? Why does a beautiful work environment tend encourage me to push more meaningful work into the world? Why does the energy of others motivate me to do my best work?
Four months into a new business, I am challenged, engaged, and surrounded by an incredible network of professionals. Last July when I sat down with my new business partner, I sensed the excitement that could come with coworking and its potential to help enrich my community, my work, and my life.
It's why I'm here.
Amy Sivertsen is co-owner of The Creative Collective and a business consultant. In her spare time, Amy enjoys reading, exercising, and being outdoors with her family.