Have you ever considered how coliving can help you grow as a professional? It is true, coliving is by definition sharing a house with other people. It has a lot to do with having fun together, cooking, making friends, etc. But how about business ? How can others contribute to the growth of your business ? Many of us start with nothing in our pocket but a strong determination to make a living while working remotely. We read a ton of blogposts, watch videos about how to make a million dollar business and listen to podcast of successful entrepreneurs. There is so much information out there that we often feel overwhelmed. Well, in our opinion there is a faster and healthier way to learn and grow. After the initial months of struggle, we came up with two conclusions:
People are a great source of knowledge
They are willing to share their skills for free
Our residents are our best teachers
In the first place, all residents at Swiss Escape are successful at what they do whether they are freelancer, entrepreneur or working remotely for a company. Obviously they make enough money to afford living in Switzerland (yes, it is expensive compared to South East Asia) and therefore have a job that requires skills. Some are self-taught (and super successful, yes !), most have a degree in the industry that they work in. They had their fair share of low times but they always found a way to overcome their obstacles whether personal or professional. In short, these guys are an endless source of knowledge about all aspects related to the remote lifestyle. Usually, when you are facing a challenge yourself, it is very likely that someone else had the exact same issue.
After the initial buzz, we struggled with being productive, keeping a positive mindset, and being focused in general. We thought we were doing something wrong with our marketing and our moral was going down. That was the time when we hosted this guy very young, very determined, and very successful. He is a magician turned growth hacker. He pretty much taught himself digital marketing by reading every book he could find. Now, he is working for a remote company, leading the marketing team. Apart from being awesome at his job, he is also an expert in learning fast. He gave us a long list of must-read books for entrepreneurs, he told us tricks to be more productive at work, and he showed us this app that saves you an enormous amount of time by outsourcing your to-do list.
There is no rocket science here. This guy only shared what he already knows and the tricks that worked for him. Not only did he save us time, but also a lot of money, and most importantly energy. Having your own business or clients requires a lot of energy. And sometimes you feel like you’re loosing yourself under the amount of work that should be done, or you don’t know what direction to pursue. Being able to share these feelings with people who understand you is crucial. Our residents are extremely knowledgeable and are definitely ready to help out. We made a calculation last week, and we realized that the insights we got from him save us 5 hours of work every week – that’s more than half a day of free time ! That is because :
we are more focused at what we do, therefore more productive
we can concentrate on the important tasks by outsourcing the rest
we take breaks more frequently to exercise and take care of ourselves to keep our happiness level high
All you need to do is ask people what they know best and they’ll tell you !
How others grow your business
As an entrepreneur, you know that you can’t do everything by yourself. If you’re not a graphic designer don’t create your logo (we are talking from experience). Instead, ask someone who knows. The interesting part about running a coliving and coworking space is that we attract people with a mix of competencies under one roof : from web development, to UX/ UI design, to digital marketing, to graphic design, to iOS development, to social media marketing, to growth hacking and even game developer. All of them have complementary skills that are digital. They could potentially create the next Facebook. What we noticed pretty soon is that our residents would go the extra mile to help each other out. We had someone recommending someone else for a job, we had people exchange clients and above all we had people sharing their skills.
There was this girl who is a graphic designer/ web developer struggling with the design of a new logo for a client. Being a freelancer, she is used to work alone and get feedback from her client once the job is done. In that case, she was stuck on the best typology to use. At that time, there were two other graphic designers working on the design of a website. She asked them for advice. And boom ! Magic happened ! They spent a few minutes giving her recommendations on what she could do. Problem solved in less than 15 minutes. Her clients was so happy with the job that she got an extra work.
Things like this happen constantly when you work in a group. People don’t feel like competing but collaborating instead. The beauty with coliving is that you have great resources - people - available 24/7. And since they know you personally, they are much more likely to give their best to help you out. In our case, we got our brand name, website, social media marketing campaign, stickers design and content marketing built by or with the help of our residents. They saved us more than € 5000, 50 hours of work, and produced a result 1000 times better than we could have done ourselves !