One month. One month was all it took working in a cubicle to realize I could not continue on this path for very long. I yearned for something more fulfilling but I couldn’t quite place what that was. All I knew was that there had to be something more. Maybe it was the contrast of working from home for months and then suddenly moving to an unfamiliar city where I was living for the first time on my own, so I decided I needed to get out and meet some new people who shared similar interests with me. I started going to places I was familiar with like coffee shops, indian restaurants, tennis clubs, farmer’s markets, and libraries. I met and shared time with people at different events and cultural gatherings but there was just something missing. I was having fun, but work was always around the corner and kept dragging me down throughout the week.
I turned my focus instead to my current passions and sought out others with similar ones namely in social media, new technology, web/mobile development, and ways of making money without a job. In the process I discovered tweetups and a local one that was occurring bi-monthly in northern colorado known as #nocofat. I was very nervous at first to attend as I didn’t quite know what to expect at a social media tweetup. My comfort zone was certainly being squished, but I went ahead and I ended up meeting a very diverse range of self-employed individuals, from an ebay power-seller to a professional blogger and even small-business owners. It was the first time I had ever met so many people who were making a living doing what they loved doing and were passionate about it. Before I could even think where to find more people like this amazing group, Kevin, the host of #nocofat, informed me of a coworking space in downtown fort collins that brought together remote workers, freelancers, artists, bloggers, and like-minded individuals to work with others who were making a living on their own terms doing what they loved. I knew I had to become a part of this community.
Being a full-time worker, night co-working was the obvious choice for my schedule. Before coworking, my schedule consisted of scattered, un-organized, long nights at coffee shops, libraries, and my apartment working on projects. And while my schedule still consists of such days if there’s a pending deadline, night coworking has provided a little oasis for me, offering that refreshing balance from the daily grind exactly mid-week like a runner picking up a drink while passing the halfway point through a marathon.
If you were ever like me growing up, you believed the way to success and happiness lay in succeeding at school, getting a good job, and making lots of money. While I feel there’s still some truth to this, there’s a glaring oversight I’ve come to notice. That happiness always exists at the end; after you’ve graduated, after you’ve gotten the job, and after you’ve worked for enough money and retired. Why is this? Why can’t you be happy now and learn what you want to learn? Be happy and work doing what you want to do? Be happy and retire when you want to? The truth is you can. Especially if you pursue what you are passionate about. Coworking brings together individuals who love doing what they’re doing and are passionate about it; how many people at their current jobs can say that about what they’re doing and everyone else in their office? A coworking space will be filled with inspiration, ideas, support, motivation, and people willing to help one another succeed at whatever they’re doing. There’s no corporate drama or feelings of hierarchy because everyone is respected equally as their own boss. There’s people who will show you how to grow your businesses, how to monetize your blog, how to market your products, and even help you find clients that need your services and expertise. It is truly invaluable to those seeking to pursue a living outside the 9-5.
Coworking has helped me directly and indirectly realize what truly makes people happy. And its not money. Its freedom. Freedom to pursue your passion.
**Ashok has been a member of Cohere since September. He also introduced us to the taco stand on Oak and College. Ask for the extra-hot sauce!