I first heard about co-working in 2011 when I was still residing in Melbourne. A colleague, fresh from a European trip, couldn't wait to relay tales of the innovative workspaces he had discovered there. Among these, a space in Berlin named betahaus caught his attention, and he shared his tour experience with great enthusiasm.
More than a year later, I quit my office job, embarking on my own journey into the vast world. As fate would have it, I found myself in Berlin at betahaus coworking.
At that point, I had no company to my name and was barely clinging to a job. I soon became known as the individual who showed up when everyone else was wrapping up their workday, proposing we go for a beer.
Networking from a social perspective, rather than a corporate one, proved to be more authentic, genuine, and inspiring. The beauty of a good coworking environment is that it fosters friendships devoid of office politics and without expectations. Instead of establishing alliances, you create real friendships, helping each other without expecting anything in return. These relationships facilitated my transition from solitary contracting work to my first 'agency', a collective of creative individuals with complementary skills.
Through the contacts I made at Betahaus, I started recruiting friends. Our team began to grow, with everyone enjoying the relaxed, anti-corporate environment.
We embraced our freedom, coming and going as we pleased, taking trips together around Europe, working from coworking spaces in Bulgaria, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. We held summer retreats in rented Tuscan villas, working under shady trees by day and savoring Chianti on restaurant terraces by night.
Thus, my new life was born through coworking.
Since then, I haven't looked back. I never returned to my previous lifestyle. The agency I mentioned expanded to 27 people, and I eventually sold it at a handsome price. It appears that people are more than willing to pay a premium for a business without a physical office and technically no employees, one that spreads out across the globe. It also seems that talented individuals have a strong desire to work for non-traditional businesses that offer such freedom and flexibility.