By Nam Vu
Believe me, I know the value of a dollar. My wife and I have been working independently for 20 years. We know what building a business in your garage is like and we know what it is like to operate on a shoestring budget.
So why would we help start a coworking space, and why do we think it is a good idea for people to pay to cowork? Why would anyone pay to cowork? The bottom line? It is in your best interest.
If you think I’m full of it and just trying to sell you something, then feel free to stop reading. BUT, if you follow me on this short journey, I think you will be surprised in the end.
I don’t need coworking – I can work from home and coffee shops
Sure, I’ve been there, done that. Working at home is great… for the most part. And for the occasional meetings, a coffee shop does just fine. Or does it? Maybe five years ago, it was still OK. But lately, trying to get a table at a coffee shop is just plain frustrating. And then there’s the Wi-Fi which often does not work, or hobbles along when it does work. And the fighting for power outlets….UGH! More often, I have to reschedule meetings because of issues at the coffee shop – think of the loss in productivity and the opportunity costs.
Working from home is great and we’ve done well for a long time. The biggest challenge with working from home, especially if you are an independent worker, is stagnation. There’s no one to share ideas with, no surprise conversations to spark new ideas, and no one to challenge those really bad ideas that you thought would be your lottery ticket. The lack of collaboration and idea flow can eventually put you into a rut that could cost you a lot in the long run from missed opportunities.
The best way to grow a business is not cutting costs, but increasing revenues. Keep your eye on the opportunities!
The Real Reasons to Cowork: It’s all about the community and the opportunities
Sure, there are a host of amenities and benefits to coworking at Impact Hub Honolulu:
- Free organic coffee and tea
- Fastest publicly available Internet in the state of Hawaii
- Different seating for different workers (bean bags, couch, cafe table, etc.)
- Showers (yes, we have showers)
- More events than you have time to attend
- Member pau hanas with free beer
- and so much more! See our full list of amenities here.
When you come and check it out, you will find that we’ve spent hours and hours working on creating a space that is cool, inspiring, and uplifting.
But here’s a secret: that’s not what we are building. What we are building is not what you can see when you walk around the space. Not the cooling blue concrete floor, not the beautiful murals on the walls and ceilings, and not the things that we provide. Although a lot of time and effort and resources have been used on these things, in the end, these are just part of the facilities.
What we are building is a community… an ecosystem and a place where serendipitous collaboration creates opportunities. And it is not only about business and money. It’s about ideas, wellness, and balance. It’s about collaboration to make this world a better place, and sometimes starting first with ourselves.
As someone recently said to me, “I want to do well, by doing good.” That stuck in my mind and now I use it all the time, and it’s become a focus for our company: Doing well, by doing good.
But, anyways, why would anyone pay for coworking?
It depends on what you are looking for.
For people who are new to coworking its about the facilities: Wi-Fi, desks, chairs, printer, meeting rooms, tea, coffee, toilets, etc.
Once you have coworked for a while, its about the community and the atmosphere and what it can do for you: an inspiring environment, events, introductions, collaboration, sense of belonging, friends, partnerships
Once you become a part of the coworking community, its about the community itself and what you can contribute: platform for events, sharing your expertise, mentoring, collaboration, sense of fulfillment
There is so much that still needs to be done, but I am so excited to be a part of this community.
Drop by and say hi and check out the space: you can schedule a tour here.