Nashville Virtual Office a Great Investment
I cram some breakfast into a bag and head out the door. The radio says that I-40 and 65 are running slow. The traffic here in Nashville isn’t as bad as some big cities, but a 15 minute drive can still easily turn into 45. I’m lucky; my route to the office takes me into the city by secondaries and the worst I ever have to worry about is red lights and school buses.
I carpool most days, but if I need to I drop my car off at LP field and catch the bus that stops just outside the office for only $25 a month, it’s the least expensive way to park downtown.
Juggling laptop, keys, and random other items, I make my way up to my office on the 3rd floor. This early in the morning, the elevators and hallways are usually empty and I rarely pass anyone as I go.Every time I unlock the door to my office the same thing runs through my head: “I’m really doing this. I’m running my own business. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”
You have to be wired a special way to want to jump off a cliff into the unknown and start your own business. Most of the entrepreneurs I know have tried, more than once, to fit in at a company working for someone else. But they’re always square pegs trying to fit in a round hole.
If you’re made of the right stuff to do it, running your own business can be intoxicating. There’s a natural high that fuels late nights and pushes you through The Dip when things get challenging. It’s that feeling you only get when you’re doing work that matters, work that you’re truly passionate about.
Working from home can be good, especially if you’re just getting started, but you never quite feel like you’re a real business owner when your office is the spare bedroom of your house or the local coffee shop. Plus, the distractions of pets, kids, and an endless to-do list are never conducive to productivity.
I consume breakfast, nuked in the kitchen’s microwave, and coffee while checking emails and looking out my window over downtown Nashville.
Inbox zero never happens, but it’s a nice goal to have.
Fridays, the Colab gang usually manages to round up a half dozen or so people for lunch at a random Nashville hot spot.
This easily replaces the camaraderie you get from office lunches with the bonus of diversity you never get having lunch with your coworkers. Co-working is a mash-up of tons of different industries – some with overlap, some wildly divergent – so lunch is more than just great conversation and good food, it’s a chance to network and learn.
In many cases, owning your own business is a solitary venture, especially before you have a support staff. Even with employees, it can still be lonely at the top.
Professional organizations and mentors are great if you can find them, but the nice thing about Colab is that so many people are doing exactly the same thing you are: running a business.
Shut the door and afternoons are great for knocking work out distraction-free. Leave it open, or take a walk around the floor, and chances are you’ll find yourself in the middle of a conversation about vendors, handling finances or marketing.
Colab is filled with people who, regardless of their industry, are passionate about the business of entrepreneurship. It’s like being surrounded by a support group.
I shut down and head out at around 5:30 every day.
One thing I’ve learned from years as a confirmed workaholic is that burnout can destroy careers and businesses or worst of all, kill your passion.
It’s easy to find a dozen more things that should be done before you go to sleep: four more emails that can’t wait until tomorrow; a phone call that has to be returned; one last task to knock out. Small business owners are particularly guilty of overworking because successes and failures are so personal. But work-life balance is critical to the longevity of your business, your happiness and the success of your relationships.
When you’re office is your home, the lines are blurred and the temptation to just push through and work the entire evening is even harder to avoid. When you go into an office every day, there’s a point where you have to shut it all off and head home (or be condemned to sleep on your sofa).
The commute clears your head and the distance between your job and your home creates a defined line between work and life. You may not even be aware of it, but it’s this separation that lets you recharge and be ready for another day.