Do you ever feel like you just need shelter from the storm – of work & life – and of the expectation to ‘succeed’ at both?

When I realised that’s how I was feeling, I started my search for the shelter. 

I researched online, I contacted government agencies, council departments, local businesses in my suburb. And nothing felt like it was for me. Everything available felt like it was all about ‘more’ – 

  • earning more money, 
  • having more clients, 
  • offering more services
  • working more hours 
  • owning more stuff

Just thinking about all the energy it would take to get there was exhausting. I felt like I already had so much to do every day, and apparently I needed to give more… 

I felt like I wasn’t enough..

As a small business owner, I wanted to find ways to create a business community, a coworking space, a safe shelter for me and others like me. A place we could meet, share our problems, find solutions, collaborate on projects together, learn from each other, and grow – together.

And when I spoke to others about it, they started wanting to join this community. More people like me! We were all looking

  • for connection with like-minded people, 
  • for a safe place to ask questions, 
  • for a sounding board to talk about the benefits of our work, so we could go out and network confidently and promote our services to potential clients, and
  • to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

But there wasn’t a place for us. 

So I realised that maybe that needed to be my first goal – to create that space for all of us to go to. To shelter us from the storms of 

  • Family life – trying to hold it all together AND build a business to earn a living.
  • Comparison-itis – that feeling that everyone else is doing things better than you are, and that you should probably just give up.
  • Schooldays – the lack of available hours in the day to be able to work, if you have children and no external support system. And the holidays, oh my – the school holiday juggle…
  • Excessive peopling – if you are an introvert like me (see my other blog), trying to start up and promote a small business can be extra hard. And drains your energy faster than an Energiser bunny (or Duracell, depending where you’re from) 

As much as we wanted to run our own independent businesses, we needed a place to get together, to work alongside each other, and support each other. 

We desperately needed collaboration, connection, and community.

And so began my journey to build that shelter, and provide that support – for me, and others like me. 

I call them my Umbrella Spaces. I started with a networking group that was the First Space. Read more here on Blogger

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