Co|Operative is officially open. (And if you're reading this and you didn't come to our open house, I'm mad at you. But I forgive you. Read on.)
The hectic "is-this-done-yet, when-are-they-installing-that, how-can-we, don't-forget-about-this" part is finally done. It's a real place with real desks, equipment, and coffee in the kitchen. We've got Moseby The Moose on the wall, an awesome conference room with the big tv and the whiteboard wall, a comfortable meeting area, and a more than sufficient amount of sarcastic or absurd coffee mugs hanging up.
Now that we've built a home, the really hard part starts - finding our tribe.
From the beginning, the focus for Co|Operative has been to build a small, carefully curated group - the building blocks of a larger community. For our area this is an experiment of sorts, and having just the right ingredients is key. This isn't an "as long as you are willing to pay the fee, here is your key card" kind of space. It's a place for people to create, collaborate, and most importantly to inspire and be inspired.
That means the people aren't just important - they're everything. Those first few members are going to end up being a source of change in our community (yes, that's me going on the record). So to me, I'll take 6 passionate, amazing first members over 20 ready to provide their billing zip code. That might not be the best business choice, but it's the right long term decision.
So that's my abbreviated manifesto about that part. (editor's note - abbreviated is an understatement!)
So how would we describe the members of this tribe? What they are is this.
...about their craft or their idea. About wrestling down their own self-doubt and taking control of what they want to achieve. About taking that idea that has been in the back of their head, putting it down on paper, and going for it.
A really great brainstorming session, or a conversation with someone else who really cares about what they do, or what they teach, fuels you. A conversation with someone about how they got to where they are, or their plans for the next year to make something or change something is the best legal stimulant you can think of.
Who you are isn't a crafted marketing gimmick that is refined to just give people what they want. You've taken the time to figure out who you are, what you do, and why you do it. And you're serious about making it happen.
You might be an extrovert or a wallflower, but in your community you're engaged. On the topics that you're passionate about you can't not talk about what is, what should be and what might be next.
The right kind of course. You're absolutely, ridiculously unwilling to quit. Willing to adjust, pivot, or crash, burn and reboot, but never to give up.
Ultimately, these people are inspired. They aren't limited by their age, race, their college degree or lack of one. Entrepreneurs and creatives aren't decided by these things. They're decided by things that are almost impossible to explain, but you know it when you see it. They are decided by being willing to put in more than seems possible, to be unreasonable with their expectations for themselves.
Now this might seem like a tall order. A lot of pressure to place on something new. Maybe, just maybe, a bit stupid to be this picky at the start. But anyone who I've talked to knows that for Co|Operative to be what I imagine, we need people willing to fight for their tribe, and their business.
Are you one of these people? Come see me; let's talk. Know someone who is (or should be) part of this? Share.
Til the next,