Member Profile: Trey Bayne

“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.

Member Profile: Lynn Luc

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

Storytelling: Your Secret Business Weapon

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 storiesin real life and in novelshave 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 todayit’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.

SOCO Knowledge Bomb: Productivity

We’re better when we work together.

That’s one of the reasons SOCO exists. It’s also the reason Slack Sessions exist. Slack Sessions are monthly chats hosted in SOCO’s Slack community. They’re focused on helping members work better, think bigger, and live life on their terms. From productivity to creativity, these sessions are a way for members to tap the collective brain power of the SOCO Community. They’re facilitated, real-time and relevant. They exist because this community believes we all do better work when we work together. And we’re sharing insights with you because one of SOCO’s core values is growing and learning together.

SOCO kicked off Slack Sessions earlier this year and, for the very first session, members gathered together for an online chat about productivity.

Why productivity?

Because there’s only one of you! Not to mention some of the world’s most successful people have mastered their workflow and days so much that it feels like they have clones. That means real productivity is totally possible. The tough thing is, you can find a million click-baity links on the topic of productivity but tried-and-true applications are scarce. What actually works? How do creators and business owners get stuff done? How do our members apply an internet’s worth of advice to their real-life work days?

Our community is full of folks who have hammered out these questions – and incredible work – for years. So for insights deeper than clickbait, we turned to them. Check out four takeaways (just a fraction of the conversation!) below.

1. Tools are pretty darn helpful

It’s no surprise that this tech-savvy crew has the low-down on the best productivity tools. A few apps you might recognize:

And then some tools that might surprise you:

We’re not kidding about that last one. Check out Jordan’s response to see how that tool has saved her hours.

2. The secret to using tools well? Having an overall approach.

Turns out, our members’ biggest secret to productivity isn’t what tool they use but how and why they use it. Some of the top approaches included:

  • Making lists, on paper or in a digital format
  • The rule of 3: identifying the three things that need to happen in a day
  • Following model work weeks
  • Creating and managing deadlines


3. You’ll get more done if you’re proactive about distractions

Members know they lose a lot of time to the internet, meetings, Twitter and phone notifications. But they’re not the kind of crew that sits back and does nothing about that:


4. It’s fact: some tasks are boring.

So it’s important to self-motivate. You could do that with a healthy dose of structure and deadlines, plus a sprinkling of consistency.

Or you could do it by building a sense of accomplishment.

Or if neither of those help, members shared that they’re particularly motivated by visualizing the end result and keeping the overarching “why” in mind.

This is good stuff. Don’t miss out on insights.

Want to get the whole scoop? That requires you to actually be in our #slack_sessions as a member. Sound like a community you want to be a part of? We’d love to chat with you, too. Check out memberships here.

Already a member? Awesome. Join the #Slack_Sessions channel today so you can stay up to date on the next chat!

Goal Setting Focus Plan

Goal Setting Focus Plan

I have historically not been a strong advocate for Goal Setting. I mean I’ve set goals and worked towards them, but the official “setting of goals” thing… You know writing them down and all that. It always seemed like the goals I was hearing other people set were just pulled out of thin air. For example; Generate $100,000 of income this calendar year, or lose 30lbs by this time next year. They always just sounded hollow and not very thought out to me. My thinking was why not just live life better and do what you say you’re going to do… right?

I am at least humble enough to admit when I am wrong…

About three years ago I met Mark Divine a Navy SEAL and founder of SEALFIT, among his many other accolades. Knowing him and utilzing him as a mentor he has changed my life in so many ways, but the one that has affected me the most is the way he sets goals. In his book The Way of the Seal: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed he outlines a system called P.R.O.P. that helps you develop a clear course of action to work toward and accomplish your goal(s). P.R.O.P. stands for (Priorities, Realities, Options, and Path). The details go like this:

  • Priorities: First of all a good goal is something that is of high-value to you personally. Make a list of a half dozen really important things in your life and then pick the top three.
  • Realities: Be honest and clear with yourself about your current situation in life and how much influence it will have on your goals. How does your current situation help or hamper your ability to achieve those goals.
  • Options: After you’ve reviewed your prioritized goals and thought through your personal situation as it relates to them, write out three things you can do to achive each of your goals. It’s ok to combine things from other goals as well here.
  • Path: Now that you have a few choices for a course of action, which one fits you the best right now? This becomes your path for developing a real plan to accomplish your chosen goal(s).

One of the big secrets is to literally write this stuff down. Make it public if you dare, do whatever helps drive you to complete your tasks that push you to the finish line on achieving your goals.

I have put together a worksheet, that you can download, based on an older model that Mark Divine sent me that I have tweaked over the years to suit how I work. I am sharing it with you now in hopes that it will help you focus in on your own set of personal goals and find lasting success.

Goal Setting Focus Plan

Good luck!

If you like the concept behind this post on goal setting, join us March 22nd for our Create Your Life Series as we explore the Warrior Mindset to learn to lead and succeed in life and in your business.

2016 Year in Review Part 2: A Growing Movement

2016 Year in Review Part 2: A Growing Movement

In Part 1 of our Year in Review, we focused on our community and shared some of our members’ proudest moments in 2016. In Part 2, we take a moment to reflect on SOCO, the entity, and give ourselves a little pat on the back for what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Member Growth

This thing started with 5 people and a pretty simple challenge: to build something that would create a sense of place for Soda City’s creative economy, a place that we hoped would help keep some of our friends in town that thought they couldn’t be the best version of themselves here. Three years later, the SOCO community is now home to more than 70 of our city’s most creative, entrepreneurial and inspiring people. In less than one year, we’ve doubled the size of this community. They represent all different kinds of creators: Graphic designers, web developers, content strategists, digital project managers, journalists, remote workers, indie authors, independent contractors, software developers, social media gurus, entrepreneurs, hustlers.

SOCO Community

They all have one thing in common. They believe in community, they are taking ownership over their futures and they love what they do every day. So, to all of our members…thank you for being a part of something bigger than any one of us. And we’re just getting started…


2016 saw the next leg vision unfold with the opening of our second location at The Bakery at BullStreet. We’re so thankful to have partnered with Hughes Development on the design/build of this historic building on the Bull Street Campus and to our friends at The Iron Yard choosing to grow with us and anchor the project with their new Columbia Campus. It’s historic, it’s beautiful, it’s got great coffee, good people, ridiculously fast internet (thanks to Spirit Communications), and it’s all part of our long-term vision to build a network of connected spaces all over our city and beyond where creators can work where they want, when they want and on their terms.

SOCO Bull Street

A Year of Great Stories

What a year. Check out some of media and coverage we were a part of this year. Huge thanks to all our supporters for following us and helping to tell this story powerfully.


We worked with some incredible organizations this year that share our vision for community and creation. Thank you all for your partnership and for doing big things with us:

For 2017, we’re setting the bar higher and have plans to do even more in collaboration, community-building, and communications. We’re looking forward to you growing with us in the new year!