Work Smarter

Mom’s Best Advice on Coworking

I had an epiphany a few years ago; I started at 6:30 am got dressed and said to myself, “I am an Entrepreneur and today I am going to rock.”
Fast forward to 7:00 am: my daughter drops her bowl of cereal that explodes in a glorious mess, I discover a strange odour where my cat had an “accident” the night before. I’ve got this! I cleaned up both, lunches packed, kids are off on the bus and I am still on time.
7:30 am: I check email about a deal that looks like it’s going to fall through. Pick up my glasses to read more and they snap in half, and my two client meetings cancel due to the snowstorm. It is only 7:45am.
Not everyone is a super achiever and wakes up every day with burning desire. I mean, some do, but for the remaining 99.5% of the population, it just isn’t happening.
What I am advocating for is, so you are going to have an off day and don’t feel like bring you’re A game.
It doesn’t mean, however, that you should just give up because you can’t bring your A-game. Instead plan for a shit day. Nothing is going right, but you have a list of small tasks that bring value to your business objectives but might not be high-yield activities. These tasks for me tend to be the things I personally hate doing, like updating my log book or filing receipts.

The point is, you should cut yourself some slack, dust yourself off, and do what you can. These days don’t come all of the time, but if you have a plan you can make the most of them and still be productive. If you have a backup plan, it removes the stress and anxiety because you know you will still achieve your goals, even if it isn’t that big project that you were hyped about when you got up that morning.

I was speaking to my Mom over the weekend and she was asking me how business is going. She normally asks how I am, so I had to take stock of where I was at this moment to tell her the truth. not the stock answer that I might pull from a sales script.

This is where I am going to be a little vulnerable and share the truth with you as well. I think it’s important to share our success and failures equally – especially when it’s your Mom. If you are considering taking the path of the entrepreneur, it is important to have a realistic, honest image of yourself.
I told Mom, “I guess the business is doing fine, not amazing, not terrible.” My costs are covered and I am able to invest in its growth and future success; sales are consistent and I have amazing clients who I love working with, making it a joy to come into the office every day. On the flip side, people have screwed me over more than a couple of times, making me want to bury to people in legal contracts so I can hold them to their word — Mom reminded me that is not my style.
I took risks this year. Some of them paid off, some didn’t. I have a mentor who works with me and asks the tough questions. I still manage to find time to volunteer with organizations like pHacktory, Legacy Conference and Robot Missions – time spent that always leaves feeling nurtured and fulfilled.
Mom then said, “I have always known you to be a very giving person and always willing to help others, this is what makes me most proud of you. Don’t let the people who take advantage of that nature change you.”
I have to admit, that last bit choked me a little bit.
I realized one of my greatest accomplishments since I started my own business was the social capital I have accumulated. I can’t qualify or measure it in any spreadsheet or balance sheet, but every day I come into work, I find myself surrounded by friends, supporters, mentors, partners and family. It wasn’t at all what I had thought about when I decided to creating a co-working space – people gathering together through what I built, but they have also built something here that I could never have created on my own: a community.
To the My Byward Office community: Thank you for contributing to my success and helping me along some difficult paths. I could have never done it without you. And a very special thank you to Mom — I could not have done it without you believing in me.