Connect with us

ENTREPRENEURS

(Q&A) Entrepreneur Journey: This Millennial Built A $12M Coworking Platform In 3 Years

Published

on

According to various reports, the number of global co-working spaces is expected to grow from 14,411 in 2017 to over 30,000 in 2022.

We all heard of WeWork, the most “hyped startup in the world.”

Contrary to popular belief, WeWork isn’t the creator of an industry, they’re merely a market leader.

Below the surface of the all-encompassing WeWork, other players have emerged, looking to take a slice of the multi-billion dollar pie.

One of them is Coworker.com, built by Millennial wunderkind Leanne Beesley.

Since launching in 2015, Leanne’s built a $12M company, sold out her seed round in record time, and is now running a 19-man remote team looking to make a dent in the gazillion dollar co-working market.

Here’s her story.

How did Coworker come about?

I started Coworker to solve my own problem.

Yes, do tell?

Back in 2012 when I started working on my own e-commerce projects, I didn’t know co-working spaces existed. I worked alone from coffee shops every day. And even though I loved the freedom of working independently, I hated how isolated it made me feel.

Almost every day I’d need to change coffee shops at least once due to WiFi instability, crying babies or a dubious choices of background music — the moment 80’s pop creeps onto the playlist, I’m outta there. (Laughs.)

What did you do?

So when I finally discovered co-working spaces in 2013, it was like a ‘come to Jesus’ moment! Suddenly I found myself surrounded by a community of awesome people who were all working on interesting projects. The WiFi was stable, the decor was cool, they held meetups and events where I made tons of new friends, and most importantly, I finally had a place that I was excited to wake up and go to in the mornings.

But then in mid 2015, I moved to Hong Kong for two months and needed to find a new co-working space. So I turned to Google, expecting it to be a relatively simple process.

I guess that didn’t help?

It didn’t. I wasted almost a week sifting through 50+ websites of individual co-working spaces and reading blog posts, trying to figure out which one had the kind of people and atmosphere I wanted. Eventually, a friend recommended a co-working space she was a member of. It turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

I sense a “but” coming here…?

They didn’t accept credit cards, only cash, and I had to immediately pay two months deposit on top of one month’s membership fee. Cue me frantically trying to get over $1200 out of an ATM, maxing out the daily withdrawal limit on every debit and credit card I owned.

Then there was yet ANOTHER hurdle: Paperwork.

Pages and pages of membership contract paperwork that I had to initial and sign—all just for a simple one month hot-desk membership. I might have signed away my kidneys in that contract, and I definitely wasted about 20 minutes of my life while they prepared it all.

On top of that, they could only return my deposit — in cash — 30 days after the end of my membership. Although the co-working space was great, it bugged me that the entire discovery and booking experience was so inefficient.

How did all this lead to the idea itself?

While the hotel industry has Tripadvisor and Booking.com, nothing existed like that for co-working spaces. I couldn’t understand why in such a fast growing industry, there was not yet a global platform to find, book and review co-working spaces.

So together with my friend Sam Marks (serial entrepreneur & investor), I decided to build it.

Coworker went live in October 2015, and has been growing ever since.

What problem are you solving?

It’s still early days, but we’re pretty far along in solving the “discovery” problem so far.

There are currently over 9200 co-working spaces in 158 countries on Coworker, with around 300 new co-working spaces joining each month. So instead of having to sift through tons of websites on Google, you can now find them all on one marketplace.

Depending on what features the co-working space has activated, you can schedule a tour, book a free day pass (to try it out for a day), send a message, or make a booking request for a hot-desk, dedicated desk or private office.

Over 12,000 people have posted reviews of co-working spaces on Coworker too, which is why media publications often describe us as the “Tripadvisor or Yelp” of co-working spaces.

Now that we’ve built the foundation and captured the market, we’re moving onto tackling the next problem, which is solving the inefficiency and problems people have when booking co-working spaces online.

We’ll be launching online payments soon so people can easily pay for short term memberships on Coworker, and due to popular demand we’re expanding inventory types to include real time availability & booking of meeting rooms at co-working spaces.

I’m really excited about this next stage of growth — we’re solving a major problem for a lot of people —myself included.

ENTREPRENEURS

4 Types Of People To Be Around That Will Make The Hustle More Fun

Published

on

(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.) 

We all know that hard work and dedication are keys to success. The more you’re willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile, the greater your chances are of reaching your personal goals and passions.

While there’s no denying that hard work does play a major role in reaching success, surrounding yourself with the right people will always help. We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” … In my career, whenever I push myself to be around the positive thinkers and go-getters, it’s always up-leveled me and gave me more confidence to in turn fulfill my own dreams and ambitions.

Finding your network through all the different stages of your life and career is not only helpful in progressing your career, but it also creates amazing relationships and opportunities.

So, what type of people should you be surrounding yourself with?

THE PUZZLE PIECES

Find the network that is your perfect complement —the people that have the skills and abilities you strive for. Not only will this give you more confidence, it will help you learn the skills and abilities you may be lacking.

THE POSITIVE PEOPLE

Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s happy and optimistic? Even though that doesn’t have to be all the time.

Surrounding yourself with positive and grateful people can have an incredible impact on your life, making you feel happier and more confident. Also, positive people are more likely to encourage you to take smart risks or move up the business ladder.

THE INNOVATORS

Dreamers and innovators are the people pushing society forward. They are the people interested in coming up with new and improved ways to solve problems and achieve success. Regardless of what field they’re working in, it’s never a bad idea to have a few outside-the-box thinkers in your social circle to help you look at things from a different perspective.

THE ANSWER SEEKERS

Just like innovators, people who constantly ask questions are the reason why we challenge old ways and come up with new ideas. When you’re surrounded by people who constantly ask questions, you’re more likely to come across the answers that you never knew you needed.

Ultimately, the people you keep in your inner circle can influence you in a number of different ways, including how you approach problems or whether you’re motivated to achieve greater things or not. Of course, this isn’t to say that everyone around you needs to be someone who’s working those extra-long hours to get to the next phase in life.

However, when you have a few business-minded people in your life, you’re more likely to inherit some of their drive, benefit from their knowledge, and even network in some of the same circles. For that reason, it’s always important to make friends who have the same goals and aspirations as yourself. It might just help you get to the top quicker.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

Continue Reading

ENTREPRENEURS

PODCAST: How To Make A Business Out Of eSports

Published

on

We’ve covered eSports in the past, the new billion-dollar industry.

What is eSports again?

Short for Electronic Sports, eSports equals professional competitive gaming. In other words, competitors play video games, while being watched by a live audience. Millions more watch the games online.

In this live podcast, former Deloitte partner and current investor/advisor of FazeClan—the top eSports crew in the world—shared some insights into how you can make a business out of eSports.

 

Continue Reading

ENTREPRENEURS

5 Bad Habits That Sabotage Success You Need To Avoid

Published

on

(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.) 

At first glance, it would appear like everyone working in real estate has type-A personalities. After all, success is practically dependent on being organized, always prepared, and having a keen attention to the little details and always being ready to go.

In actuality, being prepared 100% of the time and remembering every important detail is easier said than done (and totally exhausting) so we make mistakes from time to time. After all, we’re only human. But sometimes those honest mistakes can turn into bad habits that chip away at our success.

Here are some bad habits that can seriously inhibit your chances succeeding professionally.

1. Putting Things Off Until Later

We’ve all procrastinated at some point in our lives – some of us more frequently than others – but getting into the habit of ignoring your responsibilities can cause you a heap of stress and heartache down the road.

If you’ve got a deadline looming over your head that you don’t want to do, don’t put it off – get it done so that you can get back to doing things you enjoy. I find if you put the “pain in the a$$” tasks first, it really clears your mind to be more effective doing all the other ones.

It’s that old saying of “get out of your comfort zone”, which also applies to the simplest things we do.

2. Tardiness

Everybody is a little late every now and then. Things happen beyond our control that can hold us up. But if you’re someone who’s constantly late for your appointments, you’re sending the message that you don’t care about your clients’ and team members’ time.

Not only are you probably annoying the other parties present, you could be costing yourself a big contract because you left a client waiting.

3. Poor Communication Habits

The key to succeeding in real estate is networking and staying in touch with your clients and connections. But if you’re known as the person who never returns an email or isn’t reachable by phone, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Most people want to work with someone they can depend on. And even if you don’t have the answer, it’s better to respond by telling them you’ll get back with them rather than no response period.

Additionally, if you can’t make the time to reply to an email or return a call, you’re essentially telling your clients and team members they’re not important.

Lastly, being as clear as possible while communicating can also be a lifesaver. There are so many times where people think they hear what your saying but they aren’t fully.

In fact, a lot of times, the message is heard differently from its actual meaning. Talk about confusion! Now, I’m not saying you have to repeat yourself, but make sure you are really being clear when you are defining next action items.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Your Phone

Chances are, if you’re guilty of being a procrastinator you’re also probably guilty of losing focus throughout the day thanks to your smartphone.

For many people with focus-related problems, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram become massive time wasters. Break your cell phone habit by keeping your phone out of arm’s reach.

That way, you won’t be able to pick it up on a whim and check out social media when you’re supposed to be working. This is a tough one, but practice makes perfect!

5. Working Inefficiently

Work smarter, not harder. Don’t just dive into a task without coming up with a plan first. Think about ways to approach projects so that you maximize your productivity and get more done in less time. And most importantly, stay away from things that distract you.

You don’t have to be a type-A personality to succeed in the office, but you do need to make an effort to prevent yourself from falling into negative patterns of behavior. By nipping one or more of these bad habits in the bud, you’re well on your way to becoming the office superstar.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

Continue Reading

Trending