Most cowork spaces offer a snack area with coffee, tea and other amenities.
But some may not realize the cowork comes with a cupboard full of networking ingredients that can prove vital to startups and entrepreneurs looking to cook up success.
The recipe for establishing and sustaining a business varies for every outlet and every person, but it always includes an emphasis on networking. Tom Farley, who stepped down as president of the New York Stock Exchange in May of 2018, once told Fortune, “I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking.”
Of course, networking often requires a combination of ingredients. It’s more than just engaging in idle chit-chat or telling someone all about yourself.
“The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot,” said noted Silicon Valley venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki. “The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot.”
But once you get them to talk a lot, what do you need them to say. Aspiring business people may need to add the advice of a more experienced leader into their mix, throw in several cups of needed feedback or add a dose of collaborative aid to their success stew.
No matter the need, the cowork space proves to be ideal for those needing to spice up their business brew. Here are five specific network advantages you can find in the cowork’s pantry.
Networking in a cowork space can lend entrepreneurs the focus they need to turn passions into the professional endeavors.
A study featured in a 2017 Forbes article revealed that those functioning in a supportive working environment stay on task 64 percent longer than those working in the solitude of their home or alone at a coffee shop. The study also revealed that those immersed in a cowork environment experience better levels of engagement, higher success rates and lower levels of fatigue.
Embracing a workplace that breaks down the restrictive nature of corporate cubicles, encourages interactive conversations and creates community can yield benefits just through adding a dose of human caffeine.
As the famed journalist Jane Howard once said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
Any cowork that brings together startup owners and first-time entrepreneurs can prove beneficial because it can generate added energy. When a group with similar aspirations come together, they can share challenges, explore opportunities and develop mutually beneficial friendships.
At the same time, coworkers tend to attract entrepreneurs who possess different skillsets and different types of businesses. This diminishes a sense of competition, and in some instances translates into innovation.
Cowork spaces often foster these common paths with events and presentations from experts ranging from digital marketing to health and wellness.
Says business coach Michele Jennae: “Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
Once the walls come down, so to speak, and the community grows, the advice can flow. The cowork fosters mentor-mentee relationships with entrepreneurs occasionally delivering the advice one day and accepting it the next.
Feedback remains tantamount in the pyramid of business networking. It can steer you away from bad decisions, guide you towards good decisions and provide a sense of comfort about your progress.
Shared information is a key step for entrepreneurs looking to expand their knowledge base.
As businessman and author Robert Kiyousaki says, “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.”
The logical evolution of energy, feedback and community is collaboration. As the trust grows, the friendships develop, and the shared interests can morph into a joint effort. The startup may team with the freelance marketing consultant or the entrepreneur may partner with the web designer to create an inviting web site.
It starts, however, with a foundation of entrepreneurial spirit.
“A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.” said the iconic John D. Rockefeller.
In the end, drawing upon the networking opportunities offered at a cowork space can help members find the ingredients that make up a quality approach of networking: support, feedback, insight, resources and information.
Research from a recent Harvard study suggests that the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience are part of the reason people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counterparts.
Ultimately, a good cowork space like the Rising Tide Innovation Center, makes the focus as much about people as it is about furniture, quiet spaces and comfort. In doing so, it fosters the kind of environment where people can thrive.
As the old Chinese proverb states, “If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”
Come to Rising Tide and see how we’re growing people, entrepreneurs and community to create great networking opportunities.