The Search for Work-Life Happiness
Angel is the Founder of Cohere, an awesome coworking community in Fort Collins, Colorado, and advises entrepreneurs looking to start their own coworking spaces. She is also a new mom searching for the right way to balance work and life.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your role at Cohere, and your work as a coworking consultant.
Up until recently, my bio would read, “As the Founder and ‘Madame’ of Cohere, it’s my job to run the day-to-day of the business whilst helping the members connect with one another via personal introductions, educational events and social parties. After coworking for several months, I was bit by the freelance bug and now do consulting for space catalysts who want to start coworking spaces in their communities.”
Now my bio would read, “Tries desperately to go into Cohere for 2 hours a week while being a wife to my traveling husband and mother to our 6-month old daughter. In between sleep deprivation and making up songs with non-nonsensical lyric,s I spend a good chunk of my day breastfeeding and asking questions online about cloth diapering, teething or let’s be honest, poop.”
How have you been balancing work and personal life with a new baby?
If I may be completely honest, I absolutely was not managing well with a new baby and running Cohere. The members rarely saw me at all for almost 3 months. Luckily some fantastic members and my intern held everything together until I realized that I couldn’t be a full-time mom and a full-time entrepreneur. Coworking is my blood, but my daughter is my heart and I wasn’t doing a particularly good job at either in those early months of motherhood. One morning (during naptime) I decided to ask for help. I hated writing the email. I admitted to my dearest friends and frankly, myself, that I had indeed been seized by the clammy hands of postpartum depression and that I needed help. In that email I asked them to help me find a community manager to take over Cohere for me. I hit “send” and 15 minutes later a long time member and mother Kristin stepped up. It’s been an absolutely perfect fit. I’m kicking myself for not asking for help sooner!
How do you see the work culture changing so that more people are able to better balance their work and personal lives?
There is no business as usual anymore. People without children are deliciously independent. I would strongly encourage them to be as independent as possible and to work from wherever makes them the most joyful and productive. Now that I have a child, I wish desperately that I had opened a coworking/daycare center. I would fill it with the brightest freelancers, entrepreneurs and nannies. Loads and loads of kind and loving nannies. If I had the ability to work, read, concentrate for 4-6 hours per day, AND be able to pop over to breastfeed every 2-3 hours, I’d be in heaven — coworking and nanny heaven.
Any suggestions for workaholics?
If you truly love your work and that work makes you joyful and fulfills you as the person you are and the person you want to become, then GO FOR IT. Tear it up out there. If your work isn’t doing that for you, figure out why and make a change sooner than later. If there are any other mommy entrepreneurs out there reading this please reach out to me and during nap time, let’s chat!