Yesterday, I have finished my 2nd weekly theme : coworking and tribes.
It took me a few days to find my flow into that theme frame, despite (or because?) this one is on the top of my list in terms of strong beliefs for a better work order. And also because life happens also in Ubud's bubble! So i decided to turn the week frame into 10 days.
I mostly nourrished myself from my experience here, my own reflections, what i have observed, and the informations i have collected on the internet. I have read a book (The escape manifesto), listened to podcasts and read articles related to tribes and coworking. I particularly enjoyed Seth Godin talks and writings.
The magic formula in order to multiply the potential : the people X the location
I could write a whole chapter about the rise of a new work order, and in the process, of coworking spaces. But some people did it in a brilliant way. I highly invite you to read this nice, instructive and very clear article/infographic about coworking written by a long term digital nomad Georgi Georgiev, and also take another five minutes to read this blogpost from Dom Jackman, co-founder of Escape the City.
I joined Tribewanted Bali for 2 reasons : accountability (I already talked widely about that in my previous blogposts), and sharing energy and ideas with like-minded people. Here is what i have experienced and observed so far.
The location attracts the people :
I knew that I would at some point connect with people outside the tribe, develop a network, but i did not saw this coming : How powerful what happens outside the tribe would be, in Hubud, and in Ubud in general. If you allow yourself catch or create opportunities, it is huge. Saying it is changing my life is definitely not an understatement...
This is mainly due to the proper environment provided by Bali. Of course, the scenery, the leisure activities and the climate are important criterias. As well as the quality of the internet. When you are a digital nomad you can be picky on your location, that is one of the major points!
One thing to emphasize : after almost 6 weeks here, i have clearly noticed that not anybody comes to live in Ubud, or at least not everybody stays here. The ones that decide to stay here, they are in a particular mindset. This location attracts only a certain kind of people. The natural selection generates a pure concentrate of people with a story, a purpose, a mindset. It is a fellowship.
And, cherry on the cake, Bali is relatively cheap! All fees and extras included, you basically spend 1 200 euros per month, living a more than good life, eating out most of the time, and having a nice accommodation. You can definitely make it cheaper if you are on a budget.
I am not an expert about worlwide coworking spaces, but the majority of them are apparently not community oriented... It is a shared office with a kitchen, period. Places like Hubud, or the other places listed in the infographic linked above have a soul supplement, a purpose, an ethic. They are people-oriented. But there is definitely something extra special here in Ubud. Location is the first key to a successful coworking space.
But also, the people create the dynamic of the location :
When it comes to developing a concept/business like i do, chatting, connecting, exchanging views and ideas, grabbing opportunities,... is major. And yes, when you are at that point, sometimes you wish you were more efficient in hiding somewhere and finish that inspiring book, or listen to that podcast, or make those researches, or write that blogpost you committed to. But you did not travel half way around the world to stay focus on your screen or your book! The point here is to allow yourself to open your mind and your heart to the words of other people. This is were the real treasure of Hubud and Ubud lives. The people. How they help you unleashing your creativity, how they can prove you everyday that anything is possible, remember you that, when there is a will, there is a way.
Here is how the people in Hubud make the place special : community events organised by the lovely crew (friday's lunchs or drinks, movies,..), skill shares every week by other members, think thank to get help to think or feedback when needed, group activities, handstand workshop on the grass,... There is a real life here.
When looking backwards, you realize that these chats happen to be a major ingredient of your whole process. Certainconversations, or even one sentence, can turn into the magical moment where you unlock something, give birth to the breakthrough you felt was so close for days, stuck somewhere in the noise of your head, or in that nod in you solar plexus.
This is what happened to me this week. Last thursday, I had two conversations in a row, with two wise and one-of-a-kind human beings. And I ended up not doing anything I wanted to do in the first place that afternoon. The combination of these two talks percolated in my mind a couple more days, before it really triggered something in me. And actually it led me to an concept with a high potential for my future. I have now a clear project to develop (i keep it secret for now though), isn’t it fantastic? And this is due to allowing to make space for talks, accepting that the flow was different than the one expected.
What you feel like being pure procrastination one day, can happen to be the most important moment of your life. Another proof, if needed, that there is no need to force things, they all happen for a reason at a certain time.
Learning to listen properly :
In order to connect to that, there is an essential rule : you have to learn to listen. I mean, real mindful listening - which can be hard. It implies to be present, to be in the moment, and not think about what bothers you, or how you will answer while the person is still talking. This is something i am actively working on here. It is the only way to catch the signs the universe is sending you.
It all happened because I was in this specific location, surrounded by specific people, in an opened mindset. So, 1 000 points for the people multiplied by the location!
Keeping focus in a crowdy coworking space - reflecting on 5 weeks at Hubud
So yes, i have just explained you above that it is important to stay flexible and catch the opportunities to connect. For sure it is VERY important. But sometimes, you just want / need to focus.
And this can be the dark side of coworking in an community oriented surrounding : after a few weeks here, you know more and more people, and focusing on your work can become challenging : wanted or unwanted distraction can be at every corner.
Sometimes you try to convince yourself that you want to focus but still, you remain in the danger zone, aka the main floor of Hubud. And yes, you end up chatting, or being interrupted. Or you can’t focus because there is a lot of movement around you. And you feel frustrated or guilty afterwards. But really guys, unconsciously, you know you put yourself in the social/danger zone by sitting there, right? Admit it ;-)
Truth is, when you really, need to ghost, to focus on a task, a deadline, … you always find a way, a place, a moment…In the coworking space or elsewhere around. For sure some days it is easier to focus than others, because sometimes it is simply too hot, too humid, too busy in your head, or you are too tired, … And it is ok!
I have found a few tricks if i want to be quiet and focused but still want to stay in Hubud : I go at the top floor, the ugly duckling of the place. Or in the quiet (air-con) room. I also enjoy to come early in the morning, or in the evening. If i am around and feel like it,working on weekends is pretty awesome too. Then I allow myself a weekend time during the week. Yes, you've understood it, Hubud is opened 24/7. The flexibility it brings is really liberating. You can follow your own natural rythm, each day can be designed differently. Pure FREEDOM
And for even more freedom, the other option is to find a comfy quiet cafe, not too expensive, with a good internet connexion. But here again, you might end up crossing path with many people you know, because there are not hundreds of spots meeting these 3 criterias. It feels good to change work environment anyway, even when you find your balance at Hubud.
Not really what corporate life looks like, hmmmm?Maybe one day, if the revolution continues. By following your own flow, you allow creativity to unleash, and you maximize your focus and your potential.
Going further : Zooming in from the coworking to the tribe concept
The recipe is simple : you take what i just talked about above, and you coat it with an extra commitment to accountability and skill share within the tribe.
The key ingredients : people, location, fellowship, accountability, feedback, support, skill share, .... and vulnerability.
Tribewanted Bali offers you a daily accountability opportunity if you feel like, it, skills share twice a week sessions, group activities,… It is a busy concept, if you decide to attend every meeting. You can decide to use it "à la carte" also. It depends on what you need, and how busy you are with your projects, business, activities… It is really opened, I realize it after few weeks here. As you might have read it in my previous blogpost, i am doing an experiment this month, which makes me "use" the tribe in a very different way than during my first month here.
Appart from the Bali startup concept, there are plenty of other tribes concepts existing :
- casual meetings gathering likeminded people who think there is a life outside corporate, that the work can be thinked and lived differently. A first step on the life change path, or an opportunity to follow-up once you already shifted your life and career.
- a long weekend or a retreat, in a nice location, with like minded people… Or an organic/sustainable/ local empowerment eco-holiday. These concepts are great to escape from everyday life, change your mind, and have a focus on a personal or professional escape projects. It allows to refuel with inspiration and motivation, and can bring to a major breakthrough in your life change process, like it did for me.
- Long term tribes like the ones provided by escape the city. They are not based on a daily accountability concept. It rather consists in a weekly meetings, and a few saturdays or full weekends, on a three months period. It is powerful and is purpose and action oriented : find what you want to do with your life, or build your startup. Based on my experience here, i completely adhere to this concept. It is more flexible than a daily accountability frame, but still brings you structure, accountability, a tribe of like-minded people, and a various and positive network of positive thinker and game changer related to the tribe (alumni, talkers, escape the city members, escape to the woods members).
fyi : i have linked only the ones i know about and can recommend - of course there are for sure other valuable concepts existing.
A commitment to the group
In any case, but especially for this last one (as well as for the bali one) the duty of a tribe leader is a tough one : adjust to each, know when to offer another approach, encourage people to join but not force them, keep them connected if they decide to distance themselves for a while, whatever the reason, create a group dynamic.
so is the role of a co-triber : each member as a share of responsibility when it comes to the group dynamic, and is in charge of the energy he or she brings in. Sometimes more than other, magic happen. Here again, it is all about the people, what they decide to bring, what they accept to share, what level of vulnerability they allow themselves, by admitting they struggle, or need help. Regardless how successful people might want to look like, everybody needs help. Once the sudent once the teacher.
The experience is fulfilling and teaches a lot on a human relationship point of view.
I highly encourage anyone to try one or several of these concepts. It can hundreds of shades, from a pleasant interlude, to a life changing epiphany. You have nothing to loose, try it, join the fun!
The ideas i wanted to study : develop a tribe in an existing co-working space, or in a new location, or even create a coworking space and offer tribe opportunities in it, like Hubud.
- an idea : doing a website (collaborative) to reference te good adresses of Ubud for digital nomads
- an epiphany : these past weeks made me realize that for the time being, i am more keen to be location independent. Good news, my next point should allow it!
- a major breakthrough : i found my concept, what drives me, something that relates to my nature and my history, and that i feel legitimate about. It is really exiting.
- a challenge for the next months : turn my breakthrough into a clear legitimate concept and eventually launch my business.
- a confirmation : These past 5 weeks strengthened my dream to, one day, create a community oriented coworking space like Hubud. However it would come as a long term, considering my epiphany. At first, when coming here, I thought about developing a similar concept when back home in Annecy/Geveva area. I am not sure anymore about the location. Of course it is very attractive, but it is not cheap. I am going to study this further... There is no rush.
- an unfinished reflection : do i want to get involve in tribe building at some point in my future, and if yes, how?
That's all for now folks....
To be continued next week with the last episode of the experiment : coaching!