Category: Announcements

Coworking Community Course Outline Draft

I’ve started preparing my online coworking community course following the videos provided by Udemy (kudos to them, awesome onboarding experience with he Setting Your Goals and Making Your Course Outline video courses).

This is the first draft of the outline of the course. Please let me know what you would like to include in the course in the comments. All questions and ideas are welcome.

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Who is this course for?

This course is for owners or employees of coworking spaces that don’t have a community yet or are struggling with creating, growing and maintaining an active and healthy community.

Course outline

  • Intro
    Welcome
    What are you going to learn in this course
    What will you be Able to do at the end of the course
    Who is the instructor and why is he the best person to be teaching this course
  • Community
    Why is community important for coworking
    What is community
    The value of community
    Your role as a community manager
    Take care of yourself and of the community
    Trust, Ethics & Personality
    How community helps you get and retain more coworkers
  • Build a growing, thriving and helpful community of coworkers
    Strengthening links among coworkers & accelerating serendipity
    The power of introductions
    Introduce yourself
    Introduce others
    Be on the look for win wins
    Start your community
  • How to grow your community
    Reach out
    Get people into your space
    Events: attend, host & organize
    Events to organize in your coworking space
  • How to nurture your community and keep it healthy
    Creating and strengthening links
    How to deal with conflict
    Have more events and more attendees at their events
  • Event Organization
    How to have more events at your space with less work from you
    How to get more people to sign up to your events
    How to get the attendees to show up to your events
  • Getting and giving help
    Helpful coworkers that contribute positively to the community and to the coworking space.
    How to get help for the community
    How to get help for the coworkers
    How to get help for yourself
  • Conclusion
  • Bonus lectures

As part of the bonus lecture I’m thinking of including some tips from the leading practice specialists in the coworking world, and of course deals.

There’s also a Sales & Marketing course in the making, learn about it through the coming email updates.

PS: this course is one of the projects of my entrepreneurship challenge. Check it out, you may find inspiration for your next professional or personal challenge.

I’ve sold Betacowork and it is great for its coworking future

New and old owners of Betacowork Coworking Brussels

Erik, Toon, Ramon & Eric

Last week I closed the deal to sell Betacowork to three of its coworkers: Toon Vanagt, Eric Rodriguez and Erik de Herdt.  This is great news for me, but it is also for Betacowork and its community of coworkers. I love coworking but I don’t want to manage a coworking space any more. I want to be just a coworker and move on with new businesses and learning.

Ever since I decided to sell Betacowork I’ve been trying to find the best solution for the business and the community . I first tried to create a cooperative with the members so that they would take over, but it did not work. Then I started contacting some members and coworking entrepreneurs that I thought could be a good match: interested in coworking and Betacowork, understanding coworking, looking forward to the benefits of acquiring a profitable business and to take it forward.

I could not have thought of a better match than the three coworkers that have taken over. They’ve been members since the early times of Betacowork, they’ve launched their companies here, they’ve found each other and some of their employees at Betacowork… We have mixed DNA! And all this without counting all the time that Toon Vanagt has spent being my counselor, bouncing ideas back, and helping me out.

Another page of the book of my life has turned over, and this gives me great relief. I’m still part of coworking, I just don’t own a space any more. The next things to do are relaxing, learning (mostly programming), and getting my motivation and energy up to launch new businesses and projects.

In the last six years I’ve managed to create an amazing place to work and to bring together an extraordinary community. I will do all my new stuff while working from Betacowork: it is the best place on earth to work from. Why would I go anywhere else or, much worst, stay at home?

The Best Review and Feedback I’ve Ever Received

If you are in a line of work where you receive reviews about it, like I do running a coworking space and writing books, you understand the importance of reviews and feedback from your clients. True positive reviews are great (even the dreadful perfect four star review): they motivate you and your team and also help you with the marketing. Negative ones can help you improve your space if they are constructive and detailed, and the nasty ones can hurt morale a lot.

The best review and feedback I’ve ever received about The Coworking Handbook came from Fabio Gatts, the founder of a coworking space in Rio de Janeiro.

Which is the best review ever?

The best review ever started with this proposal from Fabio that came to my email a few months ago:

email-fabio-gatts-offering-to-translate-manual-do-coworking

A proposal to volunteer to translate The Coworking Handbook to Portuguese, that was executed and gave birth to O manual do coworking :)

Every single review is welcome, but when somebody like Fabio gets to work hard and translates the book because he thinks it is so good it needs to be in Portuguese it is the best review ever. What could be more positive?

fabio-gatts-tribo-coworking-manual-do-coworking

The best feedback ever

In the emails that followed and the conversations we had he made it clear: the book had helped him to run his coworking space and he thought it had to exist in Portuguese to be used by other coworking entrepreneurs to set up and run their espaces. Isn’t this the best feedback ever?

Not only this. Fabio run a crowdfunding campaign to edit the book and 41 people contributed to make it possible. He even got Coworking Brasil to contribute to the project ! Doesn’t this make his feedback even better?  :)

Why and How

To be able to better explain Fabio’s point of view, I sent him a few questions that I thought could help you understand why he decided to translate The Coworking Handbook and how it has helped him to run his coworking space.

How & when did you decide to open Tribo Coworking?

My partner Camila Mireilles and I decided to open Tribo Coworking in 2013, when Camila saw a lecture about shared economy and heard about coworking. We were talking about opening a business, quitting our jobs, so when we heard about it, we decided “this is it!”.

Which have been the biggest challenges to open and run Tribo Coworking?

We thought that it was a growing market (and it is), but we were surprised that very few people knew about it, at least in Rio de Janeiro. I believe the biggest challenge is to get people to know about it, and to show them that you don’t need an office just for you, you can share with others and still grow your business.

How has The Coworking Handbook helped you in your coworking business?

We discovered The Coworking Handbook when we were already creating our space. It helped us to organize how things would work, understand that the community is the center of a coworking space, learn about marketing and about having a minimun size for the space to be interesting for the clientes, learn about finances, etc. With the book, we had an idea about how a good space should be.

What is the part of The Coworking Handbook that had the biggest impact in your coworking business?

It was 3 parts: community, marketing strategy and finances. These chapters in the handbook gave us a direction to follow.

Why did you decide to translate The Coworking Handbook?

First of all, there were no books in brazilian portuguese. All the books were in english. O Manual do Coworking is the first one, and I believe it’s important to have references in this  industry. Also, the coworking industry is growing in Brazil. When we opened, we received some people asking for tips to open a coworking space. When I heard some of the ideas, I knew they wouldn’t work (for example, people thinking about opening a space with R$ 10,000). So I started to think about that, if they opened a space like this, people wouldn’t like it, they would be broken and the coworking concept would be badly judged. So, I decided to talk to Ramon and translate the book, to help them build a good space.

What’s next for Fabio and Tribo Coworking?

We want to be a reference for coworking spaces in Rio de Janeiro for locals (cariocas) and foreigners (we are coworking in Copacabana, and we receive many foreigners from all over the world), grow in size and reach, and help as many entrepreneurs and small companies as we can.

What can you do to thank Fabio and help O manual do coworking

First of all, send a thank you message to Fabio via Twitter to @tribocoworking or via their contact page. He deserves the reward :)

Then, write up a true positive review of O Manual do Coworking and recommend it to your friends and colleagues that will benefit from reading it (for links to the different stores click here).

Do you want to translate The Coworking Handbook to your language?

Follow Fabio’s example! If you are willing to do the work and translate the book to your language or can get a budget to pay for the translation, contact me :)

The Coworking Handbook Is an Amazon Bestseller

I just got one of those emails that are great to open:

top-book-starting-business-coworking-handbook-20160405

This is just great, there’s no way around it. With your support The Coworking Handbook keeps on climbing the charts and getting awesome reviews. It is not yet very high nand it is a minor list, but it is making it :) The Coworking Handbook is now number 98 in the top 100 Starting a business list.

98-amazon-starting-business-top-100-coworking-handbook-20160405

This has prompted me to check the Amazon listing of The Coworking Handbook  again and it had more surprises: #68 bestseller in Marketing for small businesses :)

best-seller-amazon-coworking-20160405

Little things like this make my experience as a writer much more rewarding. It is not as good as the reviews or the conversations that it sparks, but it is also a great motivation push :)

New Section: Coworking Resources

coworking-resources-list

I’ve recently added a new section full of coworking resources for all you looking for coworking information to launch your own coworking space, write an article, or doing some academic research for a paper. I’ve ordered them in 9 different categories:

  1. Coworking Books & Readings
  2. Tools for Coworking Spaces
  3. Community Building Resources for Coworking Spaces
  4. Coworking Statistics, Surveys, Research and Studies
  5. Coworking Associations and Organizations
  6. Coworking Conferences
  7. Coworking Finance Resources
  8. Coworking News, Magazines and Podcasts
  9. Coworking Checklists

In each one of this coworking categories is organized by themeyou will find a selection of selected relevant links. If you have any link you think should be added, please contact me.