Launching a new business is always exciting, wether you’re starting it because you want it, or because you’re compelled to. I’ll come back later to this (apparently strange) dichotomy.
For now, let’s take it one step at a time: many of my blog readers know that I started a new business. This time is a real life business (when I say that, I refer to businesses are offering services in real life, as opposed to online services). It’s called Connect Hub and it’s less than 3 months old.
In just a few words, Connect Hub is a coworking space AND an event venue. In more than a few words, Connect Hub is a community business. What we “sell” is the access to a pool of resources, either generated by the members of the community, or acquired by us and redistributed among the members, at a better price.
One example for these resources is what we call “the access to complementary resources”: let’s say you work as a PR freelancer and need a website built ASAP. Usually, you go out and do your research, compare prices, features, set up meetings and pay a lot of money. When you work in a hub, like Connect Hub, chances that the resources you need for your website are already there are really, really high. You don’t need to search for a web design company, because there are a lot of them already there. You don’t need to set up meetings, because you both share the same working space. You don’t do long Skype calls because you’re literally in the same room. And that’s just one example of the benefits of working in a shared space – a real one, for what matters :).
How To Be A Part Of This
Let’s get this to the ground now. If you’re in Bucharest (or travel there frequently) go ahead and see the price matrix at ConnectHub.ro. It’s easy and we’re very well positioned, price-wise. If you’re not in Bucharest, but you’d like to support this idea (because you want to make the word a better place, for instance) there’s still a way.
We launched an IndieGogo campaign. Yeap. An IndieGogo campaign. That means you can support this project even if you live in New Zealand. Or Australia. Or whatever. If you don’t know what an Indiegogo campaign is, I’ll tell you briefly that this is a crowdfunding website, which allows entrepreneurs to raise money for their projects. It’s more than that, but, for now, that’s all we both need to know.
If you contribute to this project, you’ll get something back. In crowdfunding lingo, these things you get back are called “perks”. We started the perks at $5, for which you get an honorable mention on our site, and we stopped at $2500, for which you will get your face in a hall of fame picture that will stay on our walls for ever. But you can donate as much as you want, there’s no limit. Again, have a look at the campaign here:
Dionysian versus Apollonian
In the beginning of this article I briefly mentioned a dichotomy (it’s a technical term, I’m not talking bad to you 🙂 ). Namely, the dichotomy between starting a business because you want to, or starting a business because you feel compelled to. For me, this time, it’s the second thing. I felt somehow compelled to start this business. I didn’t see it coming, and, from many points of view, this type of business is not my usual cup of cake.
For starters, this is a real life business, and I’ve always been attracted to online businesses. Also, it’s a business that requires my presence almost full time. Like I really have to be there. The scalability part is also not very interesting and it has a lot of hands-on activities I have to perform daily in order to make it sustainable. It’s a “high maintenance lifestyle business”, if you want.
But, despite the fact that this wasn’t my thing, I still started it. I gave up my “digital nomading” lifestyle and got my hands dirty (literally, sometimes) in a community business. For many of my friends this sounded like an abrupt change (and parts of this change were explained in this post about disruption) and, to be honest, I felt a bit confused myself.
But, a few days ago, while chatting with one of my apartment mates over a beer, I stumbled upon a nice concept, which shed a bit of light over my confusion. We were talking about how to do things that you like and still feel free and he told me about these 2 concepts: dionsyian an apollonian.
If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly skim through this Wikipedia article on this topic, but if you’re not, stay for a while. In my understanding, a dionyisian personality is all about “doing what I like, expressing my own creativity and disobeying the rules”. You know, Dionyisos loved this lifestyle. On the other part, an apollonian personality is all about “structure, construction and rules”. Like “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”.
What’s the link between these two concepts and Connect Hub?
Well, for me, this business, Connect Hub, marks the beginning of a new phase, and this time I feel the phase will be apollonian. For the last 5 years (after I did my first exit, that is) I’ve been playing on my own rules. I traveled to the end of the world and back. I’ve been living like a digital nomad (and good things happened out of this, to be honest, if only the book with the same name: Being A Digital Nomad ). I worked in coffee shops, with minimum commitments and without any interest in becoming part of a fixed structure (either business, or personal).
But, apparently, I over did it. I’ve been way too far in this direction and, following the unavoidable rules of balance, the Universe is telling me now that I need some structure in my life. And this structure came in the form of a business. Judging upon how different this business is, looks like the universe is really wanting me to get structured ASAP, so to speak.
What’s in it for you? Why should you care about this? Well, the most important consequence of this change is the guarantee that I’m on this project 110%, putting in it all my experience (and there are 15 years of entrepreneurial experience), my skills, my network and my time. Being apollonian means I’m willing to do what it takes to make this work, period.
So, if you want to be a part of this project, you can support me (and my team), by donating, sharing or just talking to other people about this Indiegogo campaign:
See you there 🙂