Coworking: who you surround yourself with matters.

May 15, 2013

In a recent presentation given at thinkspace, the CEO and founder of thinkspace, Peter Chee, spoke on the importance of mentors and role models.  He confessed that when he first started out, he had a 50 page business plan which he was pretty jazzed about, but didn’t grab ahold of the models of mentors early enough.”  Peter’s lesson learned (as well as advice to all entrepreneurs) is to get those people in place, and get them in place sooner rather than later.
Listening to Peter talk about role models and mentors got me thinking about the importance of our surroundings.  I think most would agree that who you surround yourself with matters – in life, in relationships, and especially as an entrepreneur striving for motivation, significance, and effectiveness.
The importance of surroundings is at the core of what makes thinkspace more than just office space, but a community.  Just yesterday, I gave a tour to some guys that are launching a new product and are looking for somewhere to work (other than a coffee shop).  As we chatted in the kitchen of the coworking floor, these two guys expressed to me how they are eager to find a place where they can be surrounded (there’s that word again!) and inspired by other entrepreneurs.  And not surprisingly, the questions that they asked me about thinkspace had nothing to do with price points, but more to do with what kind of community thinkspace is.
Q: “What kinds of people will I run into at thinkspace?”
A: “Thinkspace represents a wide variety of different people and companies – tech startups, CPA and lawyer firms, videographers, SEO gurus, sales, marketing firms, counselors, and there’s even a pastor on the second floor.”
Q: “What are the benefits of being at thinkspace, in the coworking community?”
A: “I can best explain that in a story…I was talking with a coworker the other day, and he mentioned to me that he knew coworking at thinkspace would be a good fit for him because of the flexible plan and the quality space.  But he was surprised by the community that it’s provided him with – which is a huge value-add to him, as well as his company.  At thinkspace, you’ll be surrounded and inspired by innovators and entrepreneurs.  You could work at home, or in a coffee shop, and try to conjure up inspiration on your own.  Or you can hang out in coworking for a few moments, and hear about the amazing things that the entrepreneurs in this community are up to, and share in their energy and motivation.”
Peter Chee spoke about the need for mentors and role models.  And whenever I walk through coworking, I see these roles being established.  One thing that I’ve come to expect whenever I’m at thinkspace: the opportunity to learn something new.  And I love that.  I don’t care that I’m no where near the smartest person in the room.  At the end of Peter’s presentation, he shared something similar about what drives him: “I’m constantly learning, so I’m just absorbing.  If you’re the smartest person in the room, than you’re probably in the wrong room.  I’m always surrounded by people that are smarter than me.”
So who do you surround yourself with?
And are you in need of a mentor or role model?  Thinkspace has recently launched the CXO program, which offers office hours with experts in their field.  Want to know more?  Find more information here.


Picture of Annie Duncan

Annie Duncan