Build It and They Will Come

Cowork Waldo in WaldoWhen I first opened Cowork Waldo in February 2013 I remember thinking “If I build it they will come”. You see I had been working out of my home building my Marketing Communications Company for 3 years and I knew that I had to get out of my house in order to stay sane, be more productive, and get inspired. So, naturally, I thought there must be thousands of people just like me. If I build it they will come.

It was a slow process. At first, people would stop by and ask us if we had jobs, they thought that we were a job placement office. I would explain that you actually had to have a job or a business in order to work here. They still didn’t really understand what coworking was. Coworking was such a new industry in 2013, only really beginning in 2005 in San Francisco and just 3 other genuine coworking spaces in KC at that time. How was I going to explain what coworking was and how it benefited the people who chose to try it out? I built it, but would they come?

I knew that there were some upsides to working from home but mostly I experienced all of the downsides. Working from home was stifling my creativity, I was having a hard time staying focused and motivated. I started not really caring about my appearance, wearing yoga pants every day; I planned to work out at some point in the day, right?

I thought I knew what the benefits of coworking were. I knew I would meet other people in a similar situation who didn’t want to work from home or out of a coffee shop anymore. I knew there would be a huge benefit to get out of the house, creating a little separation from my home and work lives. But I didn’t quite know, at that time, that it was much more than a desk for rent or an office for rent. I took a chance and created Cowork Waldo. I built it, surely they will come.

And eventually, they did come. They came to work alongside like-minded people from a variety of industries and jobs. They came to get inspired in a beautiful space. They came to work in a professional, yet casual environment where they could meet other people. They came with their laptops, their smart phones, their notebooks in tow. They started to see the same benefits I saw. I built it and they came.

They realized that they would be more productive, focused, creative and happy working from a coworking space. They realized they needed to get out of the house; they needed separation from work and life.

I built it, they came, and then they stayed and they loved coworking.

About Melissa Saubers

Melissa SaubersMelissa is the Chief Connector and CEO of Cowork Waldo, a neighborhood Coworking Community in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. Her most important job is being a mom to two wonderful daughters. She is a connector, communicator and community organizer. She likes words that start with CO.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @MELISSASAUBERS.


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