We’re writing a new chapter in the world of coworking these days. Our collective of entrepreneurs has been forced to disperse. Or has it? Like most situations involving entrepreneurial adversity, the coworking community is coming together. But separately.
It’s interesting how the world of self-employment and freelancing prepares you for chaos. Our day-to-day lives rarely have the structure and routine that much of the working world relies upon. To paraphrase a great point made by CoMotion colleague, Cameron Tulloch of ecoRIDES, we’re trained for this. Our work-structure makes the trials-n’-tribs of transitioning into an isolating environment far more seamless than it’s been for many nine-to-fivers.
Being better equipped for adversity is hardly immunity. In reality, small businesses and the self-employed are, at best, facing major turbulence. The wage reductions many in the corporate world are dealing with would be a welcomed walk-in-the-park for a great deal of entrepreneurs. And this is where the benefit of being part of the CoMotion community reveals more of it’s value.
Working separately, together…but separately.
CoMotion recently hosted a quick, informal Zoom meeting. Beyond getting a handful of members together, there was little on the agenda. Naturally, the conversation was centred around how everyone is managing these uncharted waters. For the most part, it was a fun exchange of war-stories; trading tales of work-from-home foibles and video-call comedy. But there was also some insights and ideas discussed – including some of the local resources available that entrepreneurs can access.
On the CoMotion Jelly:
- Tammy Hwang – CoMotion Partner & Business Development Officer, Global Hamilton at Hamilton Economic Development
- Chris Sanislo – (Yours truly) Freelance Copywriter
- Carl Henderson – CoMotion Energy Echange Member
- David Hills – Social Media Manager, Video Creator, Digital Manager
- Brad Dean – President and Creative Lead, Jet Propelled
- Cameron Tulloch – Chief Operations Officer at ecoRIDES Inc.
- Abigail Santos – Chief Of Happy & Director of Community Development, CoMotion Group
Members on the call talked about their experiences virtually attending the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s virtual Open Forum for Business. This is conducted via Zoom in an open-invite format enabling entrepreneurs to hear from various guest speakers about conducting business in these uncertain times. (This Wednesday’s installment is entitled Crises Communications and Media Relations.)
We’re part of a supportive community.
The Hamilton Chamber has also included a page on their website dedicated to COVID-19 Business Continuity and Recovery. Local businesses can access a curated list of resources. Government updates, information regarding access and applications to assistance, as well as links to business-assessment tools can be found here.
More than business support, being a member of the CoMotion community provides the intangible support as well. Friendly virtual gatherings with simple questions like, “So, what have you guys been up to?”, or “Does anyone else’s wifi suck?” makes a difference. Keeping the networking lines open can be, both, a source of sanity as well as a source of future opportunities. The obvious limitation of been marooned at home is that we can lose touch with those who fuel our businesses. (I know I’m feeling the tightened tether; my usual meet n’ greets at Relay Coffee, Lina’s Coffee, and/or catch-up pints at The Brain have been but fond memories recently.) But being part of CoMotion’s downtown coworking community provides a means of keeping in touch. And, regardless of where we’re calling in from, that keeps us engaged in Hamilton’s business community.