One of the main struggles we have at The HUB is explaining to people that the main value proposition is not just a place to work, it is the community of like-minded people and the removal of that feeling of isolation.
All too often I hear “but I already have an office in my house!” Well I do too. I actually spent $10k renovating an incredible space when I first decided to become self employed. However did the cool space alone complete me? No: I was still missing the human interaction, the buddy sitting next to me who listens to my latest business idea which may well come to nothing, but none the less it’s critical to have that human interaction.
One lady even asked me “so am I just paying to share the same oxygen?” This initially riled me a bit, however on reflection this is actually a very important question. It’s one that as founders we should be asking ourselves all the time. We need to ensure that we are actually providing a service, whether that is space, Wi-Fi, events, community… However, part of the question lies with the members; what do they want it to be? Our first members café later this month will hopefully help us get some of those answers. Further than that, what does the community want it to be? We have a huge following of supporters which has not always translated to membership, so what is it the community needs from The HUB?
I previously tried to explain the difference between Community and co-working and this still rings true. However 6 months on I can now say with complete confidence The HUB is now an integral part of my business, it helps me generate new leads and business, it provides a support network of people who have my back as I manoeuver my way through the challenges and stresses of being self employed. But ultimately it’s where I come just to feel part of something, this sanctuary where everyone around me are just incredible people doing incredible things, I can think of no greater inspiration and environment to develop my business.
The new global Impact Hub website describes it like this: “Impact Hubs make up a global network of people, places, and programs that inspire, connect and catalyze impact.”
On the flip side, we have to appreciate that some people are not looking for these things and perhaps have no idea what I am rambling on about. But hey, that is what makes The HUB different from other co-working spaces, and perhaps some people just don’t get it.
Listen again…A few months ago journalist Zak Markan came to Mahone Bay to meet me and Matt. I listened to the interview again recently and it was nice to remember why we got into this in the first place.
You can listen to it again on CBC’s website, or below if available on your device: