I was speaking about my blog with one of my business coaches the other day when I realized I haven’t kept my original promise or purpose for this blog. One of my initial goals was to provide support and guidance to other apparel industry entrepreneurs so they can better navigate the industry. As a result, I wanted to spend a few weeks discussing more of the “how” in what we are doing. I hope that, for some of you, this will provide some much needed guidance and motivation to begin your own journey. For the first discussion in this series, I wanted to talk about finding a home for your work.
As you all may know, Jeanesis is currently a home-based business. For many entrepreneurs, this is the case since working from home is very inexpensive and convenient if you have to attend to family matters throughout the day (kids, dogs, etc.). I have spent the last year and a half working from my home office and various cafés around our home in Chicago as well as in California.
This worked well for me for a long time until I began longing for more. I felt as though the café and living room were great but not providing me with the ideal environment to be as productive as I could be. So, I began reading online about inexpensive office spaces here in California and I came upon several co-working spaces. For those of you who don’t know, a co-working space is a shared office space not unlike a library for studying. Several employees, entrepreneurs and freelancers can work within an open working space while sharing costs and resources in order to make it more cost effective. The downside is you don’t have a dedicated “office” of your own with your own desk and file cabinet but you have a very collaborative environment where you can work and can bounce ideas off of others if you feel so inclined.
I wanted to share this recent development because having my co-working space has made a huge impact on my productivity as well as my joy as an entrepreneur. Prior to joining, I felt stymied in my ability to work effectively and I felt frustrated by not always achieving my daily/weekly tasks. The co-working space brought me back to my comfort zone in college when I used to go to the library incessantly. Being back in a library-like environment has helped me channel that same energy, enthusiasm and confidence in my work that I had back then. In addition, being around other independent workers helps me to not only feel and be more productive but it also provides for an opportunity to get feedback from others who are also running their own businesses.
For me, the co-working space has been incredible and it is cost effective. The point of my sharing this point, however, is to encourage other entrepreneurs to find your business “home” early and really be honest with yourself about where and how you work best. Ultimately, the environment you are in can greatly impact your business so make sure that you are comfortable where you will be everyday for several hours. For some, the living room works and others may need a private secluded office with peace and quiet. Wherever you are comfortable, invest your time and money in a “home” so that you can work and feel great about your work.
Feel free to let me know in the comments below where you best work. I have heard of people working in restaurants, outdoors in the park, and everywhere in between. Have an incredibly productive and wonderful week and I will speak with you all again soon.
Here are a few photos of my co-working space. I love the outdoor view as well as the bright pop of orange on the walls.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” – Psalm 91:1-2