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 :)

Presentation of the first translation: Het Coworking Handboek

I never got to write this post when I should, so I decided to do it a bit later as if it had been written that same day. It is not that I’ve been thinking about it all this time: I thought I had done it and just realized I hadn’t. Why didn’t I write it? Keep reading and you will understand :) Posted on August 11, 2016

Today has been an amazing day. You could say that two of my babies have seen the light on this very day. Early this morning, my son Alex was born :)

ramon-alex-rafael-20151217

And just a few hours latter I had to run from the hospital to Betacowork for the presentation to the media of the first translation of my book The Coworking Handbook: Het Coworking Handboek.

paul-bosmans-ramon-suarez-het-coworking-handboek-presentation
Paul Bosmans and Ramon Suarez

Thanks to Paul Bosmans and Pulse Foundation we have been able to finance the translation of the handbook to Dutch and will soon also launch the French translation (scheduled for September).

Thankfully I did not have to do most of the talking, after the little sleep and stress that I carry over from last night I am not in peak performance. Luckily Paul picked up and made an introduction explaining the project and why the Pulse Foundation supported it. The reason is simple: they want to promote coworking as a resource to leverage to promote entrepreneurship in Belgium. It is not just that they understand it from a theoretical point of view. Paul created the foundation and is running it as a coworker at Betacowork Coworking Brussels. He is an entrepreneur that helps entrepreneurs and promotes entrepreneurship.

Another person present that is very important for the book is Helena Vansynghel, the translator who also happens to be a betacoworker. She works for Betacowork doing the translations to Dutch of the site and a selection of posts. If you want to work with somebody that is good, that you can depend on and that can really manage a project, Helena is your woman.

At Betacowork, we try first to work with our coworkers for all the work that we can’t do ourselves. Pascal van Den Driessche is in charge of the cover design of the handbook, and he has also created the logo of Betacowork and done a lot more work for us. Katia Xenophontos and Pierre Leonard will take care of the translation to French.

It is not by chance that so many things happen among the betacoworkers, or among coworkers in any other coworking space: we talk a lot, we share a lot, we know a lot about each other and about our businesses. This translation came to life thanks to an invitation by Paul to attend the presentation of the annual report of Pulse Foundation. There he explained what were the main areas that the foundation wanted to work on to promote entrepreneurship in Belgium, and among them was coworking! This is one of those serendipity moments that happen so often at coworking spaces. I immediately thought of a few ideas that could help Pulse Foundation promote coworking in the country, and among them was to translate the handbook to the main languages of Belgium: Dutch and French.

If you want to get your copy of Het Coworking Handboek, just click on the cover :)

het-coworking-handboek-cover

And if you want to translate the book or can get the money to pay for the translation, contact me!

Coworking Handbook Countdown Deal for the #CoworkingWeek (tic, tac, tic…)

Ramon is happy to support #CoworkingWeek!Besides organizing a bunch of events at Betacowork for the Coworking Week, I thought that I should do something special with my coworking book. Lucky you, there will be a countdown deal for the Kindle version of The Coworking Handbook through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.UK :) (Unfortunately, I cannot run deals on the paperback, if I could I would too.)

The thing about this discount is that it will be smaller as the End of Coworking Week comes. There will be 5 increments and by 11 pm PST for the USA store and 11 pm for the UK store the book will be back to its original price.

Here are the schedules for both stores (no other stores are made available by Amazon):

Discount Coworking Handbook UK

The discount will start tomorrow night at midnight when the day changes from the 5th to the 6th. So set up a reminder in your agenda and do not miss this opportunity to get the only practical guide about operating a coworking space.

If you don’t have an account with any of these store, here’s how to change your Kindle store to take advantage of the deal.

Get your copy and spread the word!

Popular Highlights and First Chapter of The Coworking Handbook

This is one of the features I really like about using a Kindle: popular highlights. A lot of users, like myself, have agreed to share their highlights on the books and Amazon aggregates them to show the popular ones. It is a great way to skim a book and to see interesting stuff about it, even before reading.

These are the popular highlights of The Coworking Handbook:

Popular Highlights

  1. The design of the space is not so important—what matters are the people who populate it and their interactions. This is what makes or breaks a coworking space.

    10 Highlighters
  2. A community is not just a network. Community is not just a group of people that work under the same roof. A community is based on experience, participation, responsibility and relationships.

    7 Highlighters
  • Without a community of members and operators that has the right dynamics, the only value of your coworking space will be exactly that: the space.

    7 Highlighters
  • It is part of their job to help connect people, to build trust, and to reduce friction (to make it easier to connect), so that more exchanges can happen more easily.

    5 Highlighters
  • Keep on looking for ways to help people, to connect them, to propose opportunities, and create events that will make it easier for these situations to occur.

    5 Highlighters

Not only that, the page also includes a button to easily read the preface by Tony Bacigalupo and the first chapter of The Coworking Handbook on your computer’s screen: