6 lessons from 6 years in business

January 29, 2024 marked six years in business for Talemaker.

I must admit—it crept on me. I didn't even know the anniversary was coming and only even realized it when I received some congratulatory messages on LinkedIn.

What a ride it's been since leaving my PR agency job to build my own little content marketing shop.

This whole thing started when I met Kevin Whelan, who would eventually go on to become my friend and mentor, at a dog park. In fact, it was Kevin who gave me my first piece of writing work, long before I ever realized I could turn my skill into a career. It just so happened that this bit of work was for a coworking space (for Kane Willmott at iQ Offices, to be specific) and, after going out on my own and joining a coworking space, the decision was clear to focus all of my efforts on our industry.

Now, here we are—six years, dozens of clients, a team of three contractors, a soon-to-be full-time employee, and countless new coworking friends and colleagues later, and I thought I'd take a minute to share six big lessons I've learned in six years in business.

1. Going all-in on one specific industry was a really good idea

In the early days, I loved the coworking world and I truly believed in its value. But I was scared to focus all of my efforts on it—to choose coworking as my niche. Eventually, thanks to some good advice and a leap of faith, I did.

And I couldn't be more thankful for that.

Doing so gave me the opportunity to become an expert in the flexible office industry, learning all of its different facets and nuances—it turn allowing me to better serve those of you who I work with now, have worked with in the past, and may work with in the future.

Arguably more importantly, it allowed me to get immersed in this community of amazing people—including you—and that's something that makes my job incredibly fun.

2. It's not (just) what you know, it's who you know

As an extension of that last point, I've also found that focusing on the flex office world has allowed me to create a genuinely supportive network of awesome people.

People like Jamie Russo and Cat Johnson, for instance, have been generous in allowing me to share my thoughts with their audiences over the years and helped me foster new connections.

Beyond that, my clients have always been happy to refer me to other operators, resulting in about 80% of Talemaker's business coming from direct referrals or word-of-mouth.

I've also had the opportunity to have people like Reuben Lau at Spacefully become equal parts friends, clients, and collaborative partners.

When I set out to start my own business, I thought it would be just business—but I was wrong. It became an incredibly rewarding personal endeavor as well.

3. Owning a business is both terrifying and not as scary as you'd think, all at the same time

Running your own show is scary. It's all on you, all the time, and there's no job security. You have to be constantly learning and pushing forward. Stagnation is a death sentence. You never know when you might lose it all.

At least that's what you can sometimes feel.

But in reality, it's incredibly exciting and empowering. You get to keep learning and growing. You get to be constantly evolving. And, if you do things the right way, your clients will stick with you for years—like Chelle Peterson at The Post, Mike Kriel at Launch Workplaces, and Maciej Plich at SOMO Village.

And you'll also get the privilege of working with incredible new clients like Brendan McGee at worCPlaces, Rubin Beckner at Vast Coworking, and Brigid Carroll and Adriana Madera at Work Better, to name a few.

What could be better than that? 

4. Imposter syndrome never leaves you (and that's a good thing)

I keep waiting to feel like I know it all and that I'm completely comfortable. It used to bother me that I didn't.

But now I know that's a good thing.

That feeling keeps you hungry. It keeps you accountable. It keeps you pushing forward and striving to learn, grow, and improve every day.

It's essential.

5. Everything is perpetually iterative

When you start a business, you begin as one thing, and you think that's what you'll always be.

But eventually you realize that change is the only consistent thing.

You'll always changing, growing, and evolving—both in your role in your own business as well as in what you offer to your clients.

And that is really, really cool.

6. You can create something more special than you ever imaged

Last and most importantly, it's absolutely mind-blowing what you can achieve when you dedicate yourself to pursuing it—even if you don't know exactly what it is at the time.

I'm incredibly proud of this little content marketing shop I've built. It's something more special and rewarding than I ever could've imaged. And I can't wait to see what comes next.

To all of the friends and colleagues I've met along the way, everyone who's ever helped me when they didn't have to, all of the clients I've collaborated with in the past, and the ones who are still with me and my team until this day—thank you.

And for the clients I've yet to work with and the people I haven't yet connected with, I can't wait to meet you.

Thank you all.