6.5.16

It's Sunday and I'm proud because I got a lot done on my business plan.  The day started with a very powerful church service where Pastor Battle gave a great sermon on growing up.  Aside from the personal and spiritual tips, he also spoke on something that really hit home with me.

Not many people know this, but CAMP was born after I suffered a very painful loss. I found out that I was pregnant in July 2015, but had a miscarriage on Sept. 9, 2015. It was the most devastating day of my life and I didn't know what to do.  Thankfully, after suffering in sadness for a few days, I was able to get up, go to bikram and move on with my life.

A day or so later, the thought to move forward with opening CAMP came to me. I had toyed around with it before, but really decided to work at it (or at least give it ALL that I possibly could). It's like God took one baby from me so that I could focus on this new baby... one that will cause me to grow up probably more than I have in a LONG time.

Which leads me back to today's lesson. Once way that individuals grow is through experiencing  suffering/sorrow. When I lost my unborn baby, I had to get up and grow up, and be even more focused on growing in that very painful moment and in MY purpose (which is this new business venture that is unlike anything I've ever attempted before).  Suffering is also a prerequisite for growth. Growth happens when we are in the valley and not we are at the top of the mountain.

Additionally, by moving forward towards my purpose after the loss, I am forced to ward off addictions and behaviors that may (re)surface during the sad time.  These behaviors are more likely to come out when there's nothing left to focus on and live for (like my family). Now, I just think about CAMP and dream about what it WILL be, and my mind and spirit are stimulated.

Hearing those words and seeing how that one loss ultimately led to where we are today was powerful. I cried, laughed and pondered on what I've experienced.

I think losing my baby has jaded me about having another, but if that's God's will, I will accept it.

The season if my life is changing and I must grow and change with it.

 

5.18.16 - Tired & no WBP

I'm feeling physically and mentally drained at this moment.  The mercury retrograde is over, but I don't feel light.  Despite the weird feeling, I've been able to get some important things done:

  • got the space drawing from GTM
  • hired a commercial real estate agent and found out that the space I want is actually available
  • finished the draft member agreement 
  • selecting the cowork management (via a contact I met at GCUC)
  • finalized CAMP pricing

And while all things seem to be moving forward, I'm upset because I can't to West Palm Beach with my friends. I used the money to pay a bill, in an effort to be more responsible. I'm mad about it. I don't like sacrifice. I want what I want, when I want it.

  What I missed in West Palm Beach, Fl.

What I missed in West Palm Beach, Fl.

But, you have to sacrifice for what you REALLY want and I REALLY want CAMP to happen.

I get it.

 

4.23.16 - Site Visit

I met with the architects at the intended site last week (4/21). It was really cool to have them walk through the space and give their ideas and feedback.  They, of course, also mentioned things that I'd never thought about, e.g. a handicap entrance, bathroom code specifics and noise blocking options.

Of course (and thankfully), the architects were able to hear exactly how much the bikram studio noise transfers to our space. We walked up to the bikram studio to get a better understanding of their flooring, which isn't the best for commercial spaces.  All things that have to be considered when doing the build out. 

Once GTM has the build out plans, I'll have a much better idea of how much money it will take to build the space, and if it's realistic to move forward with planning, securing funding, finding contractors and starting the process of making the space come into fruition.

It feels good because things are moving along.  No more just talking ... we making sh*t happen. 

4.8.16 - CAD Files

Guess who has the CAD files to the building? Now I won't have to pay the architect to go in and create all new files/measurements of the space.

I took a few minutes to slow down and noticed that the floor plan that I received months ago from the leasing agent was created by GTM Architects, one of the companies I'm considering to do the build out plans.  I asked GTM if they had the CAD files (since they created the floorplan), and they did! BIG WIN FOR ME (and the budget)!

  The original building floor plan created by GTM Architects.

The original building floor plan created by GTM Architects.

Moral of the story: Take a minute to stop and think. Look at ALL parts and ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Questions save money and I saved $1700 by asking that very simple question.

Just waiting for one more proposal then I'll be moving forward with GTM and getting the build out plans (test fit drawings) created.  This feels good.

 

4.5.16

Back at it. I had an other visit to the space with someone bidding for the build out contract. 

I didn't speak to my contact about sponsor opportunities, but I had a great convo with someone else about how to market and price the cowork day.  Basically, outside companies are not paying for the place. They're paying for the time it'll take me to curate and plan the event for them... the experience. 

Also, I need to have business cards created. I tried doing it for CAMP, but I'd like to have an expert do them so they look nice for GCUC.  

 

4.1.16 - Progress Update

Happy April!

The last time I wrote, I had a list of things that needed to happen by the next cowork day. Of those 4 things, I completed 1 of them.

Why the lackluster job in completing things? Well, 1) I don't want to rush this process. Iw able to complete the online branding, but see that a lot more thought (and $$) needs to be put into things before I present the space and the price point to customers. I can't jump the gun on this, because if I promote one price, then realize it's way off when I finish the business plan, I'll be screwed.

2) I really need to present something tangible to prospective customers. People need to e able to see and understand exactly what I'm asking them to buy into. That will be done with a clean space layout.

I'm happy that I held off on creating/presenting a bunch of things at the cowork day. Things have to be right. 

3.17.16 - Website

I accomplished another goal for CAMO this week... creating the website and social media pages.  The website looks great! Very professional and clean. I knocked it out in 2 hours and saves about $2000.

Now, all I'm waiting for is the logo to be completed so that it can be added to the website and so that I can create all of the pre-construction member information.  A lot of work needs to get done in the next 2 weeks.  One of the contractors that I've been talking to isn't as responsive as I'd like and the leasing agent's email address isn't working. I've been having to call - which I really don't like doing - but I guess this is just another way that I'm being forced out of my comfort zone.  

The leasing agent suggested that I create a proposal and present it to the developer to see what type of assistance they'd be willing to offer. I can't however, submit the proposal until I have some mock ups of the space and know how many people I'll be able to fit.

At the end of the day, I have to trust the process and keep at it.  I'm not paying anyone just yet, so I can't expect them to move how I need them to. I can, and will, however, stay on 'em.  

Oh! I was also asked to manage volunteers at this year's Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) in LA this May.  I had every intention to go, but couldn't afford the $500 registration fee. Now, I don't have to pay and I'll get to really interact with attendees, planners and speakers.   All with the goal of getting as much information as possible. I'm proud of myself for stepping up and just going for what I want. I have to keep it up!

It's about time we started coworking!

Greetings! Thanks for visiting the site and checking out our blog. 

CAMPSpace is coming to Prince George's County! As the only true cowork community in the area, our goal is to create space (literally and figuratively) that helps professionals build and sustain awesome business ventures that enhance the local community.

We started out hosting pop-up cowork days and now we're ready to break ground of the actual location.  This site, primarily the blog, will be used to organize a community of like-minded professionals, update you on the build process, receive ideas and feedback on how to make the community better and collect donations to ensure we get this thing up and running. 

While the actual CAMP space won't be open until later this year, we welcome you to come to one of our pop-up cowork days. The next one is Friday, April 1from 11am - 4pm - you can register here.


3.12.16

Happy Birthday Dad!

Had a great conversation with another architect yesterday.  Putting out so much money up front without having a paying audience makes no sense. It's too much of a risk.  Rather, I need to go ahead and start getting members signed up. To do this, I need the following:

  • a floor plan for the prospective space
  • a contract to present to prospective members for collecting commitments and deposits
  • a website and business branding to attract potential customers and partners. Also, this will stake our claim to being the only cowork community in Prince George's County, while also getting buzz going about the space.
  • a tentative build out plan so that potential customers have some idea of what to expect.
  • continue having cowork days, but under the "CAMP" brand. 

 

3.7.16 - Official Entity

Shout out to me for using a sick day to take care of business. Cameau Enterprises LLC is now back reinstated! 

All taxes have been paid to the State of MD and I can move forward with setting up all of CAMP's other business functions, e.g. bank account, payroll, email, taxes, etc. This is a good feeling. I am moving in the right direction. Ron is continuing to be super helpful and I appreciate that tremendously. 

3.4.16

Having some doubt.  We had a very promising and productive cowork day on 2/26 and that felt good.

Then, I got and architecture proposal... a $10K proposal and I'm like FML.  The proposal was also with an email that gave a $1225K build out estimate. I can't afford that shit. I called Ron and was really discourage and this is just the beginning. We agreed that we'd used savings to pay for design and planning costs, and I'm also looking for other architects to submit proposals.  I definitely want this to happen, but as I told my husband, I don't want to doom my family because of it.  I went to a useful SBA funding seminar this week and received a lot of information on how to secure loans for the build out.  Next steps are to finish the business plan. From there, I'll work with the architect to create the design plans.

The leasing agent suggested that I submit a proposal to the developer to see if they're interested in partnering on the project. The architect also suggested submitted a similar proposal to the county to see if they can allot money to the project since it may be in an area earmarked for economic development. 

Needless to say, a lot of work needs to be done. Talking through it is helpful and makes me feel better.  We have to do everything we can, but then hand it over to God to work his magic. If it's meant to be, it will be. I am confident and believe that the universe works. As I sat at my desk behind a mountain of work, emails to send and muscle aches, I was definitely reconsidering the whole thing.  This is a big undertaking, but I can figure it out... I'm smart.  I'm resourceful and well-connected.

Attorney Mtg - 2.22.16

My husband and I met with an attorney today. Overall, it went well. He gave a ton a great feedback and things that I hadn't considered before. The only issue, however, was that he wasn't familiar with the concept of cowering... and I see that being a big hurdle that I'll have to conquer. A very small percentage of people (especially older people) know what cowering means. I stopped answering his questions after a while because he really didn't get it. 

At the end of the day, I have to make people understand. I need to come up with a very clear explanation for what I'm creating. I have it all in my head and know what I want it to look like, but I have trouble articulating that vision to people... especially when I'm nervous or intimidated.

Right now, at this point, I'm tired.  You look around (on social media) and see what other are doing and really feel like a complete loser. I think I've always been good at staying in my lane, but there's so many things I want to accomplish. I set very high goals for myself.  

The start - 2.21.16

I decided to document my experiences via this blog so that I'd have something to look back on when I'm feeling discouraged, and to show you all everything that's going in to making this space a reality.  

In embarking on opening my very own coworking and event space, I'm filled with an overflow of various emotions. 1) I'm scared as f*ck. This will be on of the biggest things I'll ever be responsible  for.  The monetary commitment alone is enough to make a person run for the hills. 2) I'm so excited. The visions I see for this thing just keep coming to me. I see so many people being blessed from this space. I know it will bring my family even closer. I know that it will challenge me so much and really test my perseverance levels. I think it will give me an opportunity to see my husband in a whole different light (which is already happening). 3) I'm proud of myself for taking small steps everyday - even before I kinda thought those steps would be leading to this... even before I thought I could do it... even before the space was available... even before it made sense. 

So, this journal/blog will just chronicle the process, which I'm sure will be a rollercoaster of emotions.  Something has been telling me to journal this process for aw while, but it really just hit me today. I think because this week has been so progressive: I got the 3rd graphic design proposal, I spoke with an attorney, I connected with two architects and I got tons of very useful advice from a current business owner. Sh*t is moving and life is a blessing. #CAMPWORKSPACE