Oh crap, has it been 2 years? No really, it’s been 2 years since I bought ConnectWork on Main, Butler’s coworking space. I had to do the math, yeah I know. Crazy right? I bought the CoWork more or less 90 days before everything got shut down locally in 2020. 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 love being a coworking space owner. I want to share how we are moving forward, supporting the community, engaging people with Game Nights, 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, even as a coworking space owner. 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.
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.
We now have at least two people there every day (progress!). With staggered schedules, different needs, and other factors, daily occupancy is still low. We have more than enough space to comfortably spread out and keep people socially distanced.
We started virtual game nights in the last part of 2020 and those continued into 2021. Over the summer of 2021, we launched in-person game nights for teens and adults. Those have been received well and are continuing to happen each month.
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 2022 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
- 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 for the public. I can’t wait to meet you!