When you hear the word “entrepreneur,” what do you think of? Most likely you’re thinking along the lines of someone who is in the stages of designing, launching or already running a new business. Perhaps the first thing that comes to you is taking on an opportunity where significant risk is involved. Whatever your definition may be, if you are looking to get on board the entrepreneurial train, it is imperative that you are in the right place.
Being an entrepreneur can be very exciting.
It means that most likely you are getting to work on projects that you care about and have the most meaning to you. And what’s more, is that there are millions out there just like you. In fact, in 2016 the Kauffman startup index found that around 550,000 people become entrepreneurs every month.
Just four years prior, the Co-working Manifesto was established. Matthias Wiemann started a website, in 2012, to petition signatures in order to help spread the word about co-working and its benefits. That of which is actually not a foreign concept.
The basic principles of co-working can be traced back hundreds of years but, back in 2005, Brad Neuburg put forth the concept to uniquely describe the notion. Neuburg wanted to represent the concept in very specific way, while designing it not to be defined by any one person. Since then, co-working has been able to thrive in many shapes and forms, and its use has become ambiguous as it continues to grow.
Locally, this concept sprang into action-- so to speak.
In May of 2017, Bellefonte business incubator SpringBoard opened. At SpringBoard, any Centre County professional, entrepreneur, start-up company or early stage firm can apply for a membership. SpringBoard is organized by the Keystone Community Development Association (BelleKey) in conjunction with the Centre County Board of Commissioners, and is one of 12 business incubators in the county.
Co-working and co-working spaces give you the ability to bring your entire self to work. You’re not going to do the project that was assigned to you. You are going to do something that makes you happy, that comes from a passion you have, and that gives you purpose. The movement itself aspires to include community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. So when you are “going to work,” you are off to be a part of a social movement-- to make a difference.
It is normal, in these spaces, to come into a working culture where it is actually the norm to help each other out, and there are many opportunities to do so. These spaces consist of members who work in a range of difference industries, with little direct competition. You don’t have to feel pressure to put on a work persona to fit in. In fact, working among people doing different kinds of work can make your own identity stronger. You will find yourself frequently describing what your business is about, and what kind of work you’re doing, and will most likely start seeing yourself as more interesting and distinctive.
The fear that sometimes comes with the idea of working in a co-working space is that too much autonomy will cripple productivity, from the idea that there is lack of a routine. A lot of people value some form of structure in professional life. The solution to that is having a community to work in that creates structure and discipline that motivates. And that can all be found working in a co-working space or business incubator.
These types of working environments can prove very beneficial for those who take advantage of the space and the hidden opportunities. Ultimately, there is potential for interactions when they are desired or needed.
And you’ve heard it time and time again, innovation breeds innovation.
Author: Katey Crean, Hello Social Co.