So you have decided to part ways with the 9 to 5 lifestyle and venture out on your own. You are now your own boss and living your dream of being an entrepreneur. You set up shop in your home and relish the fact that you can avoid the rush hour madness every morning.
Ah, this is the life! But here is the wake up call. After some time, you discover the distractions of working at home. The TV calling you, the sound of your partner or kids, or the complete and utter deafening silence.
Time to head off to Starbucks for free wi-fi, coffee, and PEOPLE!
Wake up call #2!
There are too many other distractions, you cannot plug-in your laptop, and the staff keeps giving you the evil eye for ‘squatting’ over 3 hours for only a cup of joe.
What can you do? Suddenly you start wondering if the life of an entrepreneur is all it is cracked up to be.
Why cowork for your personal brand?
Humans are social creatures. And I don’t mean social media creatures! We need and almost crave real social contact. This is where ‘coworking’ enters the picture. Coworking allows anyone working independently to work with others in a shared office space without having to worry about an office lease or utility expenses.
The key benefit of coworking is the tremendous flexibility in terms of ‘membership’ and the collaborative community that organically grows when like-minded independent workers gather in a common space.
Here are three reasons why coworking will work for your brand.
1. You have a community and a network
Solopreneurs are “solo”, and 1 is a lonely number. Your success as an independent worker is ultimately based both on your ability to communicate your unique promise of value AND a community and network who magnify this value to others.
Gone are the days when we say “It’s who you know that counts.” We now live in a world where the new saying is “It’s who knows you that matters.” If you only focus on “tooting your own horn,” you are likely to continue down a path of isolation. If you tap into the power of “we” you have a support structure willing to tout the value you bring to the table.
Coworking is one of the best ways to be part of a community of “1s” who by nature are looking for others to help build their brand value.
2. You become part of an indescribable “energy”
A Coworking space has a special energy that you will not find elsewhere. It is neither the bland energy of a typical office nor the retail energy of a coffee shop.
Of course the entrepreneurial spirit of one is always strong. We would not venture out on our own if we did not possess a mind-set that most others either do not have, or are not willing to act upon.
Now imagine being in a space with 20 or more people with the same spirit and mind-set? The energy of each single person feeds off of all others and the force it produces is intense. It is truly visceral and once you experience it there is no turning back.
3. You have genuine social interaction
In his bestselling book, Tribes, Seth Godin explains it is human nature to seek out and be part of a tribe. People have been doing it for centuries. Today the traditional barriers of forming a community have been eliminated and countless new tribes are springing up each and every day online via social media.
Building a successful brand requires an active social media presence to ensure you are digitally distinct, but this must not replace the physical human interaction that is in our bones. Before social media, we socialized in and identified ourselves by our offline social clubs, sport teams, community groups, etc.
Coworking ensures we retain the human side of interaction. It gives us a space to be genuine and real. It offers a place where we can reach out and physically shake hands and verbally say you “like” an idea rather than simply clicking on a thumbs up icon!
Are you an independent worker craving interaction? Do you want a community to help create a buzz for your brand value? Look for a coworking space and let it work for your brand!
Peter Sterlacci is known as “Japan’s personal branding pioneer” and is one of only 15 Master level Certified Personal Branding Strategists in the world. He is introducing a leading global personal branding methodology to companies and careerists in Japan and adapting it for the Japanese culture. In a culture where fitting-in is the norm, his mission is to pioneer a ‘cultural shift’ by helping Japanese to stand out in a global environment. His background spans over 21 years in intercultural consulting, international outreach, and global communication coaching.