Coworking Perspectives: Tim (Digital Nomad) & Carlson Cowork Member
Tim has moved to many different cities and has participated in a variety of coworking spaces. Hear how he (and other digital nomads) feel about coworking.
CC – So, Tim, you’re a creative consultant; tell me what you do specifically.
TH – I was a consultant and now I’m transitioning into online education. One of the big things I realized, is that the majority of Consulting is taking out from somebody else, being able to help them out, and then give it back to them. I’ve learned that enabling them to access information on their own is the way that so much of that world is going. A lot of people that used to hire Consultants can be like “well I’ll just Google this and figure out the answer.” Obviously, there’s still a need for Consulting in certain industries, like products. I realize that that’s kind of the way things are going and that my skills are perfectly set up to be able to help empower people within organizations to advance.
CC – Does that mean you’re going to work for a company now?
TH – Actually, I built an online platform. Rather than have people go through online videos or read blogs; this concept is more interactive. So what I’m doing, is applying that to the data science industry. This platform will explain how to analyze data to make calculated business decisions.
CC – And why did you chose this type of career?
TH – Flexibility is one of the main reasons I went the digital route with my career. It’s a lifestyle that enables need to be able to work when I want to, play when I want, take extended periods of time when I want to do other things, but, I really like the crunch time when I get a lot of work done and feel super productive.
CC – Cool. Me too (laughs). As you know, the purpose of this interview is to give people perspective as to why, and how, different age groups utilize coworking. How old are you and how did you first find out about coworking?
TH – I’m 27. When I was living in DC, I was working on a real estate investment. One of the guys that I met through that was starting a coworking space in DC. The issue there, was that it was membership by hour and I had to begin breaking down my time by cost. I couldn’t justify paying $7 an hour versus if I’m at Starbucks, it’s about $3 an hour (laughter). One thing that really attracted me to Carlson co-work, was having my own designated spot and a monthly membership, so I can come whenever I want. One of the best things is 24 hour access, so if I want to work late, or early, I can come whenever I want.
I worked for about a year and a half outside of my house, or on the road.
I was actually offered free space in downtown Rochester, but it would have been a half an hour away from me, and there wasn’t really anyone else there. I really wanted something that was 10 minutes away to come stop in whenever I want, and it seemed like this was the best option. I came in and did a quick tour, I saw it, I signed up, and that was it!
CC – This story interests me because you turned down free space. What was it about the model, besides the inconvenience of location, that didn’t work for you?
TH – Well, I worked with this company and did some of their courses. Then, I met with some of the mentors who tried to get me in their program; but what I realized, is that a lot of their advice and information was based on the 1980s business logic (laughter) and that wasn’t necessarily the best place to invest my time. I’ve done a lot of digital stuff before, and it is a totally different ball game with a new paradigm.
CC – Would you say that being a member of this place has helped you progress in business and personally?
TH – One of the biggest things it’s done for me, is when I go home, I’m so much more actually at home. I feel like I can leave business here. So personally, that was one of the biggest things because I have a tendency to be workaholic-ish and I want to keep going, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m always the most productive that way.
My typical daily process is to work from 3 places in a day. So I work from Starbucks in the morning, I work from here, and then I work somewhere else. Really, that change of scenery keeps me flowing, because I feel like my day gets long when I’m working on the same thing sometimes.
CC – I hear that a lot from people at Carlson Cowork and members at similar coworking spaces (that embrace a model that puts community first). I found that members embrace an environmental shift and that’s leads to inspiration. We (at Carlson Cowork) will be sad to see you go, since you’re moving, but I’m wondering, are you planning to continue working at coworking spaces in your next location?
TH – Yeah, definitely!
Some of the big things I’m looking for in coworking spaces, is:
- A lot of people who are in the same industry; bigger cities have more Tech oriented coworking spaces, which is big for me. There are so many times that I have just one off questions and I want someone else’s thoughts, or opinions, so to be able to ask them is a huge advantage for me.
- I want 24-hour access; same thing as I have here at Carlson.
- One thing I’ve seen at other coworking spaces, is that they follow a sort of Google idea, or they have different workspaces within a space. We kind of had that Carlson because there is a cafe, and my desk, but it helps to have even more.
CC – What do you think is the most unique thing about coworking in general?
TH – The opportunity to connect with different people is huge. That’s been helpful for me. I’ve met with a few people, just talking about what they do and who they are, which gives you so much more exposure on a day-to-day basis. It’s also great to get to know people and the different roles that they play, because there are certain things that I want to hire out. I mean, I have a friend that owns a ten-million-dollar oil the gas company and it’s just him. Coworking gives a solo entrepreneur, like him, access to a resource where you can hire out many different branches. Coworking enables these relationships. All of a sudden we’re all working together. It’s a model where you can basically all freelance together and also have that trust that it’s going to get done.
CC – I love what you said they’re about the trust. I’ve hired people from Carlson co-work just by virtue of them walking in the door and being a member. Because I know that like-minded nature already qualify them as committed and professional.
TH – On the other end of the spectrum, if you could change something about coworking, how would you improve it?
I’m trying to think of all the things that I used to have as resources when I work for a larger company. Some of the resources that I had there; more things like having an IT staff, so if my computer broke had someone to fix it! They are actually some resources that you have at a larger company that I’m now realizing (laughing). Things like HR stuff; it’s nice to have someone handle all those types of processes. The idea of having services of last things I need to manage on a day-to-day basis, is intriguing.
CC – Well we will certainly miss you, friend. Will you stop in and see us every once in awhile?
TH – Sure. My family is here, but I made a commitment to myself, a while ago, to live the digital nomadic lifestyle and to be everywhere.
CC – What are the things I love about this place, is that nobody ever leaves kicking and stomping their feet. People are growing, expanding, and exploring New Opportunities, like the digital Nomad lifestyle, because of their time coworking. It sometimes feels like people are having a hard time leaving because they feel so connected to the place.
So please stay in touch and best of luck and you’re a nomadic travels!
TH – I certainly will. Thanks for everything!
Tim left Carlson Cowork on great terms…
To read about the benifits of turnover please check out this article about Managing Cowork Member Turnover and How to Embrace the Change