3 reasons you should be working with strangers

I spent a lot on a big, leather chair in my home office. I checked how well it swivels and made sure it was balanced enough to support me at full lean into it. I love working from home. Who doesn’t? Big, leather office chair and work in the clothes you woke up in? Dream come true! Right? Or is it?
Waterman coworking and networking

Turns out we’re missing out on something. It’s what corporations like Apple and Google spend billions on manifesting in their workspaces and what makes them among the most sought after places of employment in the world. Isn’t it obvious yet? Human interaction! Especially with people you’ve never met before. It seems almost counterintuitive to choose a completely random person in your workspace over your best friend or business partner of many years whom you have a rapport and an understanding with. However, let’s look closely at three reasons why the former is the key to building a more dynamic business:

1. Fish for the unexpected

You know Steve. That childhood friend of yours that you built a successful meal distribution app with? Steve’s great. You know Steve. But there’s the problem. You know Steve. 

You know the kinds of ideas he has. He’s predictable.  So when your website traffic increased after paying for premium search placement on all major search engines but your signups weren’t climbing and your memberships started to drop, Steve suggested giveaways. Classic Steve.

You don’t know the web designer sitting next to you at the co-working space you frequent. He overhears your troubles and searches your website. He taps you on the shoulder. “Your site needs work. So does your app. I can help.” Thousands are saved on giveaways and that money is better spent on making the experience more consumer-friendly! 

Steve’s great. So are the people out there in the great unknown with ideas you’d never expect. You’ll never meet them in your home office with your big, leather chair. By keeping your line in the puddle you’ve always had it in, you can’t ever expect to catch any fish. So cast it into the ocean instead. 

2. Be the billboard

It’s simple. The guy in the corner cubicle working on the great idea but who doesn’t care enough about it to emblazon it on his personality will never sell himself or his business. If you love what you’re working on, it shows. It erupts from wherever ideas come from and leaks out in your smile. It makes you want to meet people and it makes them want to get to know you. We all know what the first questions everyone wants to know the answer to after the small talk: “So what do you do?”

Who’s going to ask you that in your home office? By stepping out of your slippers and into the light, you’ll get the chance to let your excitement rub off onto other people. Strangers. People who know people you also don’t know. Customers. Sale after sale after sale you could only benefit from by capitalizing on two things: Your passion for your business, and your exposure to networking opportunities. Get out into the co-working space you’re a member of and do more than just knuckle down on projections and models. Make meeting people and sharing your story a part of work!

3. Feed off of frenzy

A busy room full of excited and productive chatter is contagious. Knowing you’re rubbing shoulders with other enthusiastic people who also want to do great things only strengthens your aspirations further. The not-for-profit thinktank in the middle of the room, the three bearded men working on facial hair care formulas, the social media experts and the amateur filmmakers writing a storyboard. They’re all turning your cogs without you even knowing it. What’s more? You’re turning theirs! Your presence in this space is as important as theirs. 

Creativity forms a buzz that even the stagnant can benefit from so lap up the energy of the room and let it help you create some of your own.

Humans are social beings. It’s a shame when great potential locks itself up at home by itself or with its own selected few to be creative. You aren’t reaping the possible benefits of helpful strangers with solutions to your problems. Furthermore, a business is only as good as it sells and preaching to yourself or your choir isn’t creating new leads. Lastly, you might have the best view out your window and Beethoven’s 5th to stimulate your mind, but it will never compare to the sight of productivity and the sound of success. So get out of that office you’re safe in, head to a co-working space near you, and make some strangers familiar.

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