As I write this I am sitting in the early morning quiet of The Little Space, our event and co-working space based here in the heart of Bondi Junction. It is a gorgeous sunny winter’s morning and it is always so tranquil here amongst the trees and above bustle of the Junction. This is my favourite part of the day, being here before the workday begins.
This little business of ours is now 2 years old and it still seems like a dream. It began as so many businesses do, when Rachelle (my fellow Director here at The Little Space) and I were working together in my little home office surrounded by kids and washing and all the workings of a busy family home. Not really conducive to a productive and creative workday! I had tried serviced offices and felt like I was in a corporate prison cell. So in a crazy moment of optimism we thought ‘hey, let’s just build our own space!’ And out of this The Little Space was born.
It seems that we have, almost by accident, created something unique and perhaps that is at the heart of entrepreneurship, taking an old idea or model and doing something altogether new. For us that meant a light, warm space (and it took us a year to find the right space), and providing an environment that felt inviting and cozy but was still professional. We wanted this to be anathema to corporate cool or the alienating ‘cool’ of industrial chic. And most importantly we wanted an accessible venue, close to where our real life takes place – home, school, transport, and good coffee with total flexibility for our customers.
Of course, with a new business, despite all the dreams and planning, at some point you just need to close your eyes and jump into the void and trust that your preparations and instinct will give you a safe landing. In reality you sometimes land where you didn’t quite expect and in the process you will need to forge a new pathway. I think is the most exciting part. Business is all about adapting and changing and meeting the challenges head on! It is exhilarating, sometimes terrifying but always rewarding.
We were taken by surprise, expecting a need for desk space and small meeting space. We were rapidly overtaken by a need to also provide event space and now host events, workshops and corporate training and our customers range from solo women entrepreneurs, coaches and professional to companies of all sizes who want to think creatively in a space that doesn’t feel like ‘work’.
So for all this focus on the ‘space’ I don’t actually think that this is the secret to a successful business. Whether you an accountant, a coach, a physio or a start up entrepreneur, in the end your customers or partners will want to work with you or be around you because of your approach to your business. If you don’t love it and feel passionate about what you a doing then why should they?
I sometimes think that it’s like a good relationship – there’s just a magic spark that keeps the fire in your belly, to keep you motivated to provide the best service, to want to thrill your customers and also deal with the tough days (and we sure have had plenty of those along the way!) We love what we have created and although we work 7 days a week, it never really feels like a ‘job’. I’m not quite sure why – just a little spark of mystery!
I guess the ultimate reward for us is our customers. In my old career, I always picked up the phone with dread knowing that there was a difficult problem to be solved. Now my calls are overwhelmingly positive. I am so inspired by all the women forging new business and careers in the ‘new economy’ and truly building independence and self-determination in their working life. The traditional workplace has not always been an easy place for women so I am always thrilled when we get to say ‘stuff it, let’s do it our own way!’.
We hope to see you sometime soon at The Little Space!
THE LITTLE SPACE
Level 2, 384 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction