As some of you know, I work out of a co-working space in Avon. I want to share some of the benefits, vis-a-vis what happened in just the last week.
First, a little description on co-working. Co-working involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, co-working individuals are not usually employed by the same organization. Instead, they are a group of people who work independently, but share values, and are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded and talented people in the same space.
The co-working space here in the Vail Valley is called BaseCamp. It was started and is run by the Vail Leadership Institute. It opened this past December and has already created a culture that is fun, collaborative, and serious at the same time. There is a wide array of business fields that use this space. Currently we have two website designers, an emergency management consultant, two attorneys, a tech startup, a local health and wellness startup, a couple small business consultants, a sales rep for a national SaaS (Software as a Service), an architect, and the VLI’s headquarters, among others. It has already expanded once and will probably need to do so again soon.
On to the benefits of co-working. Aside from having the benefits of socialization, and relief from the isolation of working at home, there is also a collaborative working culture. This diversely talented group has started to create things on its own. For example, just this week three of the co-workers formed a group to bid for a project none of them could consider engaging on their own.
Last week I talked a little about getting to ‘Day 1.’ I’m please to report that Peak Wellness Retreat has grown from an idea in the minds of Gaby Milhone and Lauren Arnold last fall as participants in VLI’s “Exploring Growth” program to a full fledged company opening this week. They frequently work out of BaseCamp. So does Bryan Wachs of Mysalesbutler.com, which has gone through a similar process, recently closing its first major deal. Congratulations to both of these fellow co-working space members on keeping to their ‘Definitions of Success’, and getting to ‘Day 1’.
Perhaps the greatest value of a co-working space is group problem solving. This past Friday one of our members had an issue that crops up in business from time to time. A negotiation gone bad where, if not bad faith, then there was certainly some manipulation by omission. Our co-worker had the benefit of supporting comrades with reasonable business minds who could help relieve the emotional toll of these types of events. The end result is this person is better off for ‘losing’ the negotiation.
I’ll say once again, BaseCamp has been open for less than 6 months!
Co-working is not just networking to gain business, but also a culture to allow collaboration and dedication to grow. With the start of BaseCamp, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Vail Valley, this is now possible.
But hey, what do I know?