“I love data no matter where it’s from. I take it as my mission to make sure you know what it can do for you if used correctly.”
What do you love about Soda City?
What don’t I love? I’ve lived here my whole life and still find amazing things I never knew existed in my own back yard.
What is your favorite part of being in the SOCO community?
SOCO gives me the chance to work near people that are smarter and more creative than me. I’m hoping some of it rubs off.
How do you take your coffee?
The way God made it. Black.
Brag on yourself, what is the coolest project you’ve worked on recently?
An advertising company wanted to place ads on semi trucks. I was able to take highly trafficked routes and find all potential advertisers in proximity to the planned routes, increasing ad revenue.
Last book read or podcast listened to?
Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis; The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaimen; The Hyperion Cantos, Dan Simmons.
In 5 words or less, what do you professionally?
Make data useful.
I’m a people connector, problem solver, avid listener, social media junkie and huge foodie. I come from Florence, SC (but born in NJ so I’m a very southern yankee). I am SOCO’s Community and Sales Manager and will be helping with the day to day businesses at our coworking space.
What do you love about Soda City?
I love the people that I meet here and the close community that exists here. Plus, the gorgeous rivers, the Soda City market and all the fun festivals here make it hard to want to live anywhere else!
What is your favorite part of being in the SOCO Community?
Getting to know everyone and the community vibe. Everyone is super helpful and the Slack Sessions are really cool + engaging.
How do you take your coffee?
Iced with a shot of caramel.
Brag on yourself, what’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently?
Helped bring together the first ever Columbia Food & Wine festival.
What’s the last book you read or podcast you listened to?
Girl, Wash Your Face — by Rachel Hollis
In 5 words or less, what do you do professionally?
SOCO Community Manager
Where can we find you online?
@gocola , @simplylynnluc , @citizensofsodacity and here
For countless marketers, copywriters, and agencies, storytelling is a powerful business tool. It connects businesses to customers, builds brand (personal and business), and boosts sales. It’s a pretty darn persuasive thing.
The best part is, you don’t have to be a storyteller, creative, or writer to craft and tell your business story. If you have a business, you have a story to tell.
At SOCO, we’re focused on helping every member’s business succeed. That includes helping them explain what they do and why. In October’s Slack Session, a diverse group of business owners joined us to talk about their story and how they’re using it in their business.
Stories Inspire and Motivate
We kick off most Slack Sessions with a warm up poll, but we broke the rules this month and asked a warm up question instead. We wanted to know what stories (of any kind) have really stuck with our members.
With inspiration like this, it’s no wonder our members are successful.
Beginnings, Middles, and (Really Cool) Ends
Most stories—in real life and in novels—have beginnings, middles and ends. Since everything big starts small, we asked our members what kind of humble beginnings they’ve experienced in their own journeys.
The middle of everyone’s story is what they’re living and working on now; it’s the ground between how they started and where they’re headed. Speaking of where they’re headed, SOCO members have some seriously cool end goals in mind:
Talk about stories worth telling and sharing!
It’s Not Easy Though (We Need Each Other)
While every one of our members has an awesome story, finding and refining those stories isn’t always easy.
Some of us work in complex spaces or in industries that are traditionally seen as “boring.” Good stories also involve vulnerability, and it’s not easy to open up. As we’ve seen from other Slack Sessions, running a business is damn hard and none of us get it right all the time.
Lastly, as Bill pointed out, it’s easy to forget that it’s not about us. At least, not totally. The most persuasive stories of all position our customers (not ourselves!) as heroes.
One of the things we love about SOCO, though, is it gives us a chance to constantly tell our stories. As we work alongside other members who are wrestling with their business, we have the chance to refine and grow our own.
Don’t miss the next Slack chat!
Already a member? Join the #Slack_Sessions channel in Slack for details on the next hangout. They’re typically the second Friday of every month at 2pm.
Not yet a member? Schedule a SOCO tour today—it’s free and you’re guaranteed to meet a few of our rockstars. Once you sign up, membership at SOCO gives you full access to conversations like these and the people who participate.
Let’s tell a great story, together.
In this day and age, it’s never been easier to set up a side hustle – paid work that supplements your main job. There are a lot of tools that help you get started quickly, and many more that can connect you to clients all around the globe.
A good number of our members have these paying side hustles. Many of them are making and doing incredible things, too.
Successful side hustles aren’t easy, though, so we gathered everyone together in September to talk through doing them well. We asked questions around what they are, how to do them, and strategies that help you do great work and keep your sanity.
Why have a side hustle?
The answers are pretty varied. Our members have picked up extra gigs because:
From getting out of debt to finding more fulfillment, our members pick up jobs because they’re aiming for some big goal. Or a nice mailbox surprise:
Pricing your side hustle
A lot of members pick up a side hustle for extra cash flow, so we delved into pricing during our chat. When it comes to setting rates, here’s what the community has learned:
Make sure you’re not undercharging. Talk to other people in your field, do some research, and experiment with raising your rates.
Defining blurred lines and boundaries
The things members work on outside of their day jobs are pretty darn cool. That can make it really hard to set boundaries and get full-time work done.
Luckily, members had some great thoughts on how to do this:
Two words that came up often were priorities and time management. You have to have those to balance multiple types of work. (Check out the Productivity session recap for more great related thoughts!)
Be careful about how and when you hustle
Side hustles are incredibly rewarding. They’re also incredibly challenging. For example, it’s pretty easy to get yourself into this situation:
It’s also important to mention that side hustles aren’t for every person or every season. Here are some things to consider if you’re asking if a side hustle is right for you:
Remember, don’t start something if you can’t deliver on it, or struggle to deliver what’s already on your plate!
Find your people
If you’re already a member, join in our on next Slack Session by joining the #Slack_Sessions channel. You can read through past chats and see when the next one is scheduled. We’re better when we work together, so we’d be delighted to see you in the next one.
If you’re not a member, did you know you can schedule a free tour to check out our space and meet some of our people? Set up a time – we’d love to show you around!
The fear of failure takes many shapes in business owners, freelancers, and creatives.
For some, it looks like a handful of opportunities passed by. For others, it looks like endless tweaking and refining – never sharing – because, what will people say?
Working from fear is a dangerous game that handicaps our greatest skills and talents. It’s also damn hard to conquer on your own.
Because this is such a shared experience among SOCO members – and because many members have hard-won lessons from fighting this for years – we gathered folks together in August to chat through ways to put fear back in its place.
Everyone falls short
We kicked off the session by leveling the playing field. Folks were honest and we learned that, from lost business partners to pissed clients, everyone has had notable failures.
Good habits make failures feel epic
As we were talking through our recent mistakes, one member pointed out that the ups and downs people shared were normal.
Why, then, did they stick with each member as mega-failures?
Turns out, our desire to do things well intensifies how we perceive failure. We know what extraordinary looks like, so even ordinary or okay smacks of failure.
We don’t like it, but failure is an efficient teacher
There’s a lot to learn from our mistakes. Especially if we are willing to hear them out.
Members have learned, among other things:
- To work for themselves
- How to schedule more effectively
- How to own mistakes and make every effort to rectify them
- Double-check inputs on the command line
We’ve also received some pretty big benefits at the hand of failure:
Moving from fear to freedom
Despite the many, many things we can learn from failing, we still fear doing so. When we fixate on failure, members say we suffer handicaps like:
- Holding back on new projects, based on past reviews
- Stagnation and immobility
- No room for growth
- Missing out on new experiences, places, and people
There’s another option, though. Instead of marinating in fear of failure, we can boldly approach our mistakes, learn from them, and move on wiser.
Here’s how members do this:
Take one big step this month
Before we closed out the session, we asked members what one thing they would do if they weren’t afraid. The answers were inspiring. Members said they’d do things like publish a book, travel to cool locations, and change jobs.
What about you? What one specific thing would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?
Don’t go at it alone
Each month, we host a group chat in Slack about a pressing topic in on our community. These chats are called Slack Sessions and they’re open to all paying members.
Already a member? Join the #Slack_Sessions channel to stay up to date on upcoming chats.
Not yet a member? Schedule a free tour to check out our spaces. We’d love to show you around and introduce you to a few of SOCO’s rockstars.
As creators, we push ourselves daily to do our best work. This often involves finding inspiration outside of work.
Yet American culture is notorious for long work days and poor work/life balance.
This tension is one reason work/life balance is a trending topic in the work community right now. It feels like a life-sized version of Jenga that– quite frankly – is impossible to win!
As Marc framed it,
He’s not the only one who feels this way.
In July, members gathered together in Slack to chat through this issue. What does balance mean? Is it possible? How do other gig workers handle this?
Read below for some of their insights.
Two definitions of work/life balance
Picture a set of scales where work is on the left side and life is on the right side. For many members, work/life balance means keeping these scales in equilibrium.
Others, though, enjoy work so much that they have little interest in the “balance” described above. These entrepreneurs find work energizing; they have little interest in other hobbies.
For this second group, balance is devoting the maximum amount of time to the work they love, without adverse effects to close relationships.
What we stand to lose
Members who’d like to equalize life and work lose far more than Netflix-and-chill time when the scales tip heavily toward work:
There are real emotional, mental, and physical side effects to overwork. Noticing those side effects is one way we can recognize when we’re imbalanced.
How we walk the line
Balance is difficult, but it is not impossible. Members use a variety of creative constraints to strike balance and avoid the adverse side effects of overwork:
Speaking of exercise, we wouldn’t be surprised if a SOCO kickball team came out of this comment:
When things get out of whack, hit reset
Life will always toss us curve balls that throw off our balance. When members reach inevitable tipping points, they reboot in a few ways:
One other balancing act secret…
Turns out, one other way members find balance is SOCO! (We’re blushing.)
Want to join in the next discussion? You’ll need to be in our #Slack_Sessions channel as a member. Check out memberships here. We’d love to chat with you about our spaces and benefits!
Already a member? Awesome. Join the #Slack_Sessions channel today so you can stay up to date on the next chat!