Featured Member Monday: Meet Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstrong
Colorado’s Small Business Marketing Expert
WTF Marketing
www.wtfmarketing.com 

Nick Armstrong is a great example of what happens when you let entrepreneurial talent flourish in the fresh air of the real world, rather than locking it up in a cubicle. Nick isn’t your average marketing expert or website developer. In fact, he has built an impressive roster of satisfied clients by making it a point to be anything but average. He’s a professional feather-ruffler, a self-described digital gunslinger, and has declared war on business as usual. Since he takes such particular pleasure in bucking the status quo, it’s no surprise that Nick has been a supporter of Cohere coworking ever since it was just a twinkle in Angel K’s eye. What might be more surprising is that it took him a while to become convinced that coworking would help his own business become more successful

“I can’t say I’ve been on since the start – I’ve come and gone a few times since Cohere started. I think I’ll always have a Cohere membership – it’s just such a core part of Fort Collins culture and a great place to coordinate with your fellow co-workers that I don’t see a day when I won’t want to spend time there.”

Nick says that it’s the collaboration and community spirit of coworking that keeps him coming back for more. “Among the members, you can find almost every single freelance profession represented. If an idea is to succeed in Fort Collins, it’d better have the backing of Cohere’s residents; that’s my litmus test.”

Nick may have been a stand-up comedian in a past life, but he’s not joking when he describes life before coworking as ‘less profitable and less social.’ “I’m so much more connected to the community – I’ve started businesses, collaborations, and friendships, with other Cohere folks.” (Nick is 1/4th of Fort Collins’ newest restaurant-centric marketing boutique, Four Course Marketing. The other three-fourths are also Cohere members).

Nick can sympathize with those who might be a little skeptical about investing in a Cohere membership, but he’s also got some sage advice: “Give it a shot – it takes a bit of getting used to. Coworking is unlike working in an office – these are people that you can actually like working beside, there’s no politics, and how you spend your day is pretty much up to you. Headphones in, jamming out while keeping your nose to the grindstone, or chatting it up while writing a blog post over a cup of coffee, you’ve got the whole gamut open to you. Cohere is also unique in that you have access to any section, any table, any conference room, the patio, etc. You won’t be bored.

“Coworking has to be tried in order to be understood – and your experience will vary from day to day. Cohere is a great place to meet new friends while you try it out!”

So, if you’re tired of smelling like a barrista or a basement and would love to challenge Nick to a game of Halo or Modern Warfare 3, come visit us at Cohere coworking

Friday’s Featured Cohere Member: Meet Matt Rose

Matt Rose -  Developer

Matt Rose, Web Application Developer
Owner of Composition 9
www.composition9.com

Want to double your productivity as a freelancer?  Meet one of our 40-hours-per-weekers, our very own Matt Rose, owner of Composition 9—as he talks about why coworking is working extra well for him.

To say that Matt Rose has been at Cohere from day one would be an understatement.  Having previously heard of the concept of coworking, Matt was on the hunt for a Fort Collins based space before Cohere ever came to be.  So sure that it was exactly what he needed to make his business a success, he was one of the very first people at the front door–showing up before Cohere had even celebrated its grand opening.  Today, he confirmed that he had been spot on—coworking is indeed working for him.

“I’ve seen my productivity double since coming to Cohere,” Matt said.  Owner of his own web application development company, Composition 9, Matt originally started working out of his own home and like many found it more challenging than he had expected.  “For me, the main (reason for working from Cohere) is getting out of the house. Structurally, life balance wise—I’ve found that it’s really good to separate home and work.  Otherwise it starts to bleed together and you don’t have really clear lines of when you’re working or when you’re not—and it’s frustrating.”

Matt now spends 100% of his work time at Cohere—a balance that feels like a much better fit. In addition to noticing how much more he gets done, Matt also gives a shout out to the added “bonus” of the great community.  “Working alongside others who really like what they do, and being around other people who are doing the same thing (freelancing) and enjoying it is motivating,” he says, “And also getting to bounce ideas off of people.  That’s one of the things that you don’t normally get as a freelancer…is getting to bounce ideas off each other—turns out that’s really important.”

With Cohere being THE place that he calls his home office, Matt is particularly appreciative of Cohere’s new, larger Fort Collins location.  The addition of several private offices off of the main shared space is ideal for Matt and others who also happen to need the flexibility of being able to duck into a private room from time to time for their work.  Also mentioning the improved cozy feel, the great location in town, and the much larger conference room—Matt is happy to say that the recent move was the right move for the Cohere community.

Friday’s Featured Cohere Member: Meet Ellen Bryant

WHY work at Cohere?  Meet one of our members, the marvelously talented Ellen Bryant, owner of Ellen Bryant Design—as she reflects on her personal WHY.

Ellen Bryant, Graphic Designer
Owner of Ellen Bryant Design
www.ellenbryantdesign.com

A little over a year ago, Ellen had one of those fork-in-the-road type of moments in her career. As a freelancer and business owner operating her design studio out of her house, it was suddenly clear to her that she couldn’t sit around waiting for business to come to her—she needed to leave the confines of her home office and get out there and meet people. She gave traditional networking a fair shake, attending groups and passing out business cards, but didn’t feel like it was working for her—it was uncomfortable and didn’t seem to be producing the results she was after. She came across Cohere, purely by chance, on Facebook. Admitting happily that she slightly stalked this bustling community—she started following Cohere’s blog, checking in on their Facebook dialogue, and checking out their website. It didn’t take long for her to recognize that this might be the perfect fit.

“This was a group of people that I could see myself not only doing business with, but also wanting to spend time with. They were funny and seemed to always be having a good time, but were also clearly professionals. It was obvious right away that they were great enough at what they each do to be successful at freelancing.” She decided, “I could really use these type of people in my life as friends and co-workers.”

After a brief trial run, Ellen was hooked. “I love the collaborative energy—when someone is stuck on something they throw it out and get tons of great feedback. There is a very strong sense of community—and it makes a huge difference when you go from working in vacuum to having a professional community.”

From a business angle, working at Cohere has done more to boost her bottom line than anything else she’s ever tried. “It’s definitely changed my personal revenue stream,” she says, “Because of the collaborative nature—you’re pulling together professionals from different fields who are able to refer business to each other, work together on projects, and connect with new clients. This has made a huge impact—I’ve worked directly with Cohere members, and with businesses that they’ve then referred me to, who have then referred me to still other businesses. I told Angel I call it ‘six degrees of Cohere’. Steady clients have come out of it.”

Other perks of working at Cohere? Ellen says that although she still works from home on certain days, the break in her week is a welcome refresher—a change of pace and scenery. She mentions the improvements in the quality of her work and credits challenging herself more when she’s surrounded by others that she admires and respects—knowing that she’ll look to them for input on her projects, and striving to show them her best work.

When asked what she believes she lends to the Cohere workspace, Ellen reflected, “I think just being a collaborative team member. The biggest thing that we ALL bring to each other is a sense of humor and community, and support to each other’s professional goals.”

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