Entrepreneur

Get Croissant! The App That's Changing The Coworking Game.

Photo Cred:  GetCroissant.com

Photo Cred: GetCroissant.com

If you know anything about me I’m a HUGE fan of coworking, at least when it’s done right! There are many entrepreneurs and freelancers who worship their home offices but as a NYC freelancer who has roommates my work-from-home experience isn’t really that great. It usually starts off smooth. I whip up a quick breakfast, grab a cup of joe, take out my Mac and get to work! But slowly me sitting on my bed turns to me laying on my bed or maybe it’s one of the times my TV mysteriously turns on (well maybe not so mysteriously) and I’m caught up watching a Live episode of The Breakfast Club… Let’s just say for me being able to work outside of the house allows me to be WAY more productive. So I was excited a couple months back when Nisha, one of the awesome co-founders of Croissant, reached out to me about trying a month of their services in exchange for my honest opinion on the app. But before we get into my thoughts on it, let me tell you what Croissant is.

Croissant is an app that gives you access to various coworking places in your city. Based in New York, Croissant has coworking places in NYC, Boston, Washington DC and has recently expanded to San Francisco.

Getting started!

After receiving my credentials from Nisha I downloaded the app, entered my email and password and bam! That was it. All 30 of their NYC locations were at my fingertips. I loved that there were a couple locations right in my neighborhood of Harlem that I could walk to as well as numerous ones downtown which would be great for a whole day of coworking or for popping in between running to meetings.

I kicked off my membership by going to a familiar place: TEEM.

Photo Credit:  TeemCW.com

Photo Credit: TeemCW.com

Photo Credit:  TeemCW.com

Photo Credit: TeemCW.com

I’ve been to Teem before, it’s right in my neighborhood and it’s always a good spot to get some work done. It’s a simple space featuring coworking desk and privates offices. I got assigned a desk where there was an outlet available. No need to fight over outlets like at the cafe, Yay! They also had coffee, water and snacks available and I was welcome to store my lunch in the communal fridge. TEEM is a solid coworking space for when you just need to get stuff done! My boyfriend would love TEEM. You see he doesn’t believe in luxury coworking. He’s more of the “I come here to work not play” type of entrepreneur and hey, I get it. But me on the other hand, I am ALL about the amenities. I love when coworking spots offer more than the standard desk and coffee. Like Primary for example.

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Primary thus far is one of my favorite coworking places available through the app. Centered around wellness, primary offers mid day yoga and meditation classes that of course I had to try. Now I’m far from a Yogi but I’ve done some yoga before so I figured I’ll opt to try a yoga class.

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

Photo Cred: Alex Welsh

After the session it was clear that I could definitely brush up on my yoga skills but I enjoyed myself. The instructor was encouraging and patient, and I left feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the real reason I was there… to cowork! The co-working room was nice as well. The whole space had a very zen vibe to it which helped me push through the mountain of work I had that day.

My overall thoughts…

Honestly, I'm hooked on Croissant. So much that after using the app for a month, I was able to come aboard the Croissant team as their Brand Ambassador. (Yay me!) What I like about Croissant the most is the flexibility it gives me as a freelancer. Some days I just need a desk, some coffee or tea and some peace and quiet to get my work done which they have ton of spaces for. But other days I want to feel the energy of other creatives around me, interact with them, take a yoga class or maybe enjoy some complimentary wine from the “booze cart” that Grind Park offers weekly. Croissant allows me to cowork around the city based on my mood and that is something that traditional coworking memberships fall short off. I would recommend Croissant for any freelancer, entrepreneur and/or creative but especially those who are constantly “on the go” and like to try experiences. You can find out more about what Croissant has to offer on their website GetCroissant.com.

Jumpstart Your Freelance Career With 1 Social Network, 3 Websites and $5

So you want to be a freelancer? You’ve come to the right place. I started considering myself a freelancer about a year ago but realistically I’ve been freelancing for about 3-4 years now. Freelancing is defined as working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company but at it's core, freelancing is using your skill set(s) to generate income. If you just internally said to yourself “hey I already do that” you my friend, are a freelancer! And it’s time to own it and promote yourself as one.This post will get you on your way.

Now, if you just said to yourself “that seems like something I can or want to do” then you're in the right place as well. So let’s skip all the small talk and dive right into how you can jumpstart your freelance career!

Social Network:

LinkedIn

Let’s start with the site that has changed it all for me, LinkedIn! In 2015 I was a trainee in StreetWise Partners career development program. If you’re not familiar with StreetWise Partners, it’s a non-profit with a 3-month career mentoring program that delivers high-impact professional development services with 2:1 career mentoring in corporate settings. One of the first requirements of this program was for the trainees to create a LinkedIn. Now at this time, I’ve had LinkedIn for about a year but my profile…Oh boy! It’s was so neglected. Like, seriously neglected. No profile picture, no updated information, no endorsements… Nothing! One of my mentors encouraged me to use LinkedIn as a tool to connect with the companies I wanted to work for. So I went to work. I added a profile picture, updated my work experience, added skills and connected with people I knew as well as people I wanted to know. I started following companies I had interest in and sharing content that was relevant to me and my following. Now I’m not here to say it was an overnight success. It took me about 3 months to get over 500 connections and almost a year to get my first client from LinkedIn. But I must add that despite what my mentor proposed, I never actually used LinkedIn to find work or really connect with people from certain companies. I’m simply used it to share content, industry and self created, and just by doing that I was able to score 2 major clients as well as work with creatives on projects that I wouldn’t had the opportunity to be apart of if it wasn’t for LinkedIn. I say all this to say, don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn. Sure it’s not as appealing to the eye as Instagram or as humorous as Twitter, but it’s instrumental in taking your freelance career to the next step.

Website 1:

Freelancer.com

The name speaks for itself. Freelancer.com is one of the top sites to find freelance work. As the world’s largest crowdsourcing marketplace, the site has nearly 20 million users and have posted just under 10 million jobs to date. There’s an ambiance of opportunity on the site which in turn draws more talent and naturally, more competition. You may have to lower your rate for your first gig or two until you build your reputation for providing reliable and quality work. 

With that being said, I still would recommend using this site especially if you’re just starting out because it can be really hard (and time consuming) to create leads for your business in the beginning. With websites like Freelancer, Elance and even Thumbtack, it cuts the time you would’ve spend looking for clients because there already on the site looking for you!This allows you to focus on getting the job done and expanding your client base. 

Website 2:

ByRegina.com

ByRegina is my go to website for everything freelance and infoprenuer based. Regina Anaejiona is the creator of the site and she’s built hundreds of websites has extensive knowledge on building brands.

If you’re a freelancer it’s safe to say that you have a skill or two. This site helps you tap into how to make money from that skill in more “non traditional ways”. Let’s say you’re a freelance writer who gets paid to write for websites and publications. You can grow your business by continuing to apply for writing jobs and pitch publications but you can also use your experience to create courses, workshops and possibly even a ebook to share your experience and help others. ByRegina.com teaches you how to do all of this. From finding your brand identity to creating full out courses, no subject is too big or small for ByRegina.com And she’s like the Queen of FREE info that’s actually helpful. 

Right now I’m enrolled in Free Blog School, a course she created that helps you build Wordpress and/or Squarespace blogs from scratch. It’s truly amazing! 

Website 3 & $5:

Fiverr.com

I read an article on Entrepreneur.com a few years back called “The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time”. In the opening paragraph the author wrote:

“Small-business owners waste their time on what I call $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they forgo the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you.”

That quote has since stuck with me since. As entrepreneurs and freelancers, it’s important that we spend less time preparing for the fishing trip and more time actually trying to catch the fish. That’s why I love fiverr.com. Out of all the sites on this list, Fiverr has to be my favorite because it’s what I like to call “dual resourceful”. If you haven’t heard of Fiverr it’s an online market place where you can get almost anything done for the incredibly low rate of $5. You can get a blog post written, a logo created or even can find you a virtual assistant for the starting rate of $5. Now of course the more intricate the project, the more you may have to pay but it’s usually always a steal. Now not only can you purchase services to help further you entrepreneurial endeavors, you can also sign up to provide services. Fiverr is a great site to make some extra cash for your business and help you gain more clients. 

So are you ready to quit your day job and bet your life on succeeding as being a full time freelancer after reading this? Probably not but I hope this was helpful to you and your business and just know there's so much more to come! If you have any questions or topics you would like to see covered on the blog let me know in the comments section. Until next time! 

Meet Swain! He's Helping Creatives Spark+Thrive With His New Co-Working Space!

The first time I met Kaciem Swain better known as Swain was about about 2 years ago at a mutual friend's networking luncheon in Manhattan. Fast forward to 2015 and I have become a great admirer of this young man and his ability to take turn countless creative visions into reality.

His newest project is Spark + Thrive, a boutique co-working space his startup agency FlagshipUltra is bringing to the Arbor Hill neighborhood in upstate NY. As a freelancer I first hand know how vital neighborhood co-working spaces are to creatives, so I reached out to Swain to learn more about Spark+Thrive, and what he's got planned next for the Albany community. 
 

RS: Why do you want to open a co-working space?

KS: I chose coworking as a business concept and real estate startup because I understand the barriers to starting, running and growing a small business. After permits, fees and licenses, if you’re to obtain a space to scale within, you still have monthly rent (security deposit, first month, last month), utilities (heat, hot water, gas, electricity), insurance (general liability) and other obligations. That’s before you even make a hire or purchase any equipment or furniture.

I wanted to lower those barriers to opportunities for creatives, freelancers, startups and the professional entrepreneur. I also wanted to create and cultivate a community and workforce in the Arbor Hill neighborhood.

 

RS: Was there a particular reason you wanted to open it in Arbor Hill?

KS: I grew up in Arbor Hill spending every weekend with my father. Working in the gardens, selling collard greens on Henry Johnson Boulevard. He used to cook for everyone’s cookouts and family reunions, including our families who moved there from Mississippi and Alabama. Seeing him in the community whenever people needed him didn’t seem like much to me until I became an adult. I wanted to bring new, sustainable businesses into Arbor Hill while promoting home ownership within the neighborhood to the community and oncoming business owners. Overall, our mission is to promote Arbor Hill as a progressive community deserving of attention and support.

 

RS: I love the name SPARK+THRIVE for the coworking space. How did that name come about?

KS: I love storytelling. Learning how entrepreneurs achieved their idea of success. The word “SPARK” comes from the ideation and beginning the process of a business, I envisioned an undying flame as a result of a SPARK and how “THRIVE” would fit, being it was the original brand name and how the two words could tell a story.

So “SPARK+THRIVE” as the name is telling the story of our members and community. The ideas, inspiration and concepts that lead to starting a business, that’s the SPARK. The customers, partnerships, business development, risk-taking, failures and hiring or scaling is how they THRIVE.

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RS: What can fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creatives get out of using a co-working space like SPARK+THRIVE versus simply working from home or a coffee shop? Is there really a difference?

KS: Working from home can be isolating and boring – and coffee shops can be expensive and distracting. In the four to eight hours, you spend squatting for wifi, you’ve brought several coffees and food or snack. The same cost of a drop in at a coworking space. But when you cowork, the inspiration surrounds you & goes through the roof. You’re surrounded by dozens of passionate founders, creatives, and professionals moving towards the same dream.

In 24 months, the number of coworking spaces worldwide have increased by 400 percent. Growth proves the validity of the model because it offers both community and collaboration, which forward-thinking entrepreneurs are looking for. I want to help you find the right people. The value of coworking is in the relationships, far more than the resources we can provide. In just a short amount of time, you've developed a network that you can instantly ask advice from – on anything.

 

RS: How will SPARK+THRIVE set itself apart from other coworking places?

KS: Unlike other co-working spaces in the Capital Region, SPARK+THRIVE is located in a high growth neighborhood with low barriers to entry for businesses that want to launch and expand. When you grow we're going to help you stay in Arbor Hill. We have partnerships with the local government and community at large in the works that will give us a unique advantage in helping entrepreneurs SPARK+THRIVE their ideas.

 

RS: What’s next for FlagshipUltra?

KS: Being that we're launching our first brick and mortar real estate startup, we're going to pitch for investors in SPARK+THRIVE, look for furniture and equipment donations and focus on developing partnerships.

This year, our social & performance event "T.E.A: Talk. Eat. Art." grew out of Foster House Studios at The Washington Avenue Armory and into The Madison Theater. We've now outgrown that venue  as well and are looking for a new home and sponsors for the event, which attracts over 150 people. I'd like to start serving tapas and mixed drinks so we're looking to partner with a venue that has a kitchen and would like to start working with local chefs for rotating menus.

Overall,  I think for our next NEW project, we'll do a series of pop-up shops throughout the Capital Region, starting in Arbor Hill & use those for research to determine what we want to focus on in either digital or physical.

 

Make sure you go and support the Indiegogo campaign to bring Spark+Thrive to Arbor Hill.

Welcome to RosiSellers.com!

Hey guys, welcome to my site. I am pleased you took the time out your busy schedules to check out my newest labor of love.

I know you have questions and I aim to answer so let’s jump right in!

Who I Am?

Well… My name is Rosi Sellers (which I’m sure you have gathered by now) and I am a Free Spirited Freelancer. I freelance in writing, media and social marketing. Check out my ABOUT ME page to learn more who I am and what I do!

In the summer of 2015 I decided that I didn’t want to spend majority work for anyone else any longer. With only a part time freelance social media gig (which to be honest, wasn’t much) I decided to quit my full time job and focus all my energy into working for myself. 

A few months later and here I am, with my own fancy blog and everything so I must be doing good, right?.But no seriously,  working for myself full time has been hard. And still is hard. I’ve learned so much about myself. For example, I never realized just how bad I sucked at time management or how good I already was at networking. Taking this leap of faith has striped me down and built me up to be a better person, and I am truly blessed for that. 

So why RosiSellers.com?

I created this site for a bunch of reasons but mainly for these 2:

  1. To showcase my work and give those who want to work with me a direct way to reach me and

  2. To help others freelancers, entrepreneurs and creatives excel

You see, no one in my immediate circle of family and friends works for themselves full-time. So I’ve had to find a lot about becoming a full time freelancer by using an effective trio of Google, social media and common sense. 

I’ve found some great tools and resources; gems that have saved me time, money and my overall sanity (at moments). The blog portion of this site will be dedicated to fostering a community of freelancers, entrepreneurs and creatives who can engage and learn from one another. 

If you are freelancer, entrepreneur, creative, writer, business coach, etc. and would like to contribute to the blog please click here.

So if your interested in freelancing, entrepreneurship, writing, social media, productivity and the all that boring stuff then stay tuned, because you're in for a treat. 

But in the meantime make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter “Free Spirited List” where I will bring you the best in all topics listed above and a special “Treat” every week! You don’t want to miss this!