This morning a good friend of mine sent me a text with this picture, reminding me that 5 years ago today I stood with my family, friends, an outgoing deputy mayor and an incoming mayor for the Indiegrove ribbon cutting. It was a huge turning point for my life and for Jersey City. We were starting something new in Jersey City. It wasn’t just the idea that a coworking space was coming to Jersey City, but we were building something special for people who think differently than most and are building our future. I look back on the last five years and I can’t believe how many chapters we have already had in our journey. This business has created some of the most proud moments and hardest moments of my life. I can say there are two things that have gotten us to this point: relationships and perseverance.
I decided early on that I would apply the same principals I apply to my personal life to how we treat every person who interacts with this business. Kindness became one of our core values and giving became our culture. The greatest benefit of this approach has been that I don’t create transactions, I create relationships with people – members, guests, partners, vendors. This has led to the space being a place where people are happy and value one another. It has also been my saving grace more times than I can count. When I couldn’t figure out how to get myself out of a hole, I have been able to lean on people to help me dig myself out and I have done the same for them. I have been amazed at the power of reciprocity and generosity.
There have been many days in this business that I have not wanted to face the day. This is a unique business in that I sit amongst my customers all day, every day. If something is not working, I actually have to look people in the eye and explain what is happening. I don’t have deep pockets, trust account or funders to pull from. The ups and downs of this business are completely absorbed by the business and my team. I’ve learned to recognize the signs in my numbers and emotions. The numbers part is more clear cut. I have my key performance indicators so I am more likely to see things coming and be able to take action sooner. I’m disciplined with my books and study the trends. The emotions part, not so much. It usually starts with me going through the sad and defeated motions, which I have gotten really good at turning into getting mad and determined action. The recovery can be quick or not so quick. Most importantly, we push through. Perseverance is about having a smile on your face, not compromising your values and taking action. This trait stands out in so many of the entrepreneurs who work at Indiegrove. It is by far the most important contributor to success.
I’m excited to see what the next 5 years look like. Indiegrove never ceases to amaze me.
To Your Success,
Zahra Amanpour, Indiegrove Founder
It might not feel like spring yet, but it is definitely here and everyone is focused on the good weather and fun times ahead. Make sure you take advantage of this change in mindset and present something to your customers that is in line with the new season and their specific needs. Capturing these moments can make a huge difference in your customers feeling like you really understand them and showing your value.
We have also officially entered the second quarter. Your new strategies and initiatives for the year are probably in full swing. Have you taken the time to measure where you are in terms of your goals for the year? Don’t lose focus on what all of the hard work you are doing is suppose to be accomplishing. It should be feeding into your bottom line or building the foundation for something bigger in the future. Either way, you should be able to measure your progress and results.
To Your Continued Success,
Happy International Women’s Day!
One of my goals when opening Indiegrove was to make it a space comfortable for both women and men. Coworking spaces are generally dominated by male teams and the fraternity culture. I have spent much of my career building and implementing programs focused specifically on women’s economic empowerment. I remember my tours of spaces before Indiegrove opened being very uncomfortable as a woman. When I opened Indiegrove I found the same thing happening here in Jersey City. The vast majority of people signing up were men. I decided we would have to take deliberate actions to change it and we did.
Today, I am proud to say 35% of our members are women. Our culture is inclusive and balanced and our community is vibrant. The majority of businesses we serve through education and collaboration are women owned businesses. The Indiegrove Women’s Group has been meeting for five years and addresses the many realities women face in business every day. We are proud to be part of the global movement towards more women business ownership and higher growth. Thank you to all the women and men who have part of our growth.
To Your Continued Success,
What’s your name and business?
My name is Judith Meer. I’m also known as The Pelvic PT since I specialize in pelvic floor physical therapy, but my official company name is Fizio PT, LLC.
How long have you been in business? What inspired you to start a business?
I started my company in May 2017. I had been hoping to create a small clinic within an orthopedic physical therapy practice that I was working in, but a year after submitting my proposal, and despite many promises, my lovable corporate overlords had still made no significant progress towards starting the clinic. I decided that using my skillset — and building my reputation as a clinician — shouldn’t be something I leave up to anyone else. It was time to strike out on my own. (cue the dramatic music)
Who does your business cater to/serve?
If you have a pelvic floor, I can help. (And if you’re wondering: yes, we all have one.) Problems with bowel, bladder or sexual dysfunction are all issues that can be treated by a pelvic floor physical therapist. The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles between our hips that hold up our organs and provide core stability. From postpartum moms to post-prostate cancer gents to folks who pee a little whenever they sneeze or lift heavy weights — there’s a very good chance I can offer some guidance, insight and care for “down there.” Pelvic floor issues can also sometimes mask themselves as chronic low back pain or abdominal discomfort.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I’ll be a well-known and respected resource in the Jersey City and Hoboken area, with a deep roster of clients and regular referrals coming in from clients and clinicians alike. I’ll also be teaching online and in-person courses and seminars on a regular basis. And I’ll be able to take a vacation without fear that my little empire will all come crumbling down in my absence!
Why have you chosen to grow your business at Indiegrove?
Indiegrove offers the opportunity to have a business address and presence from day one, regardless of the level of membership. That made me feel like I was a valued, legitimate member of the community from the beginning, with space to grow and develop at my own pace. I’ve also had the pleasure of going to a few of the Indiegrove women’s meetings, and there’s nothing like having a bunch of powerhouse ladies around to teach you what they know and inspire you to push yourself to succeed. On top of that, it’s a beautiful and welcoming space, and I love that there are room rentals — I can’t wait to start organizing events!
Tell us a fun fact about your business.
The logo is *not* what you probably think it is. I invented it when I was cutting the stems off of some leeks for dinner, and decided the shape and pattern of the cut leek was exactly the unique look I’d been searching for. The irony of a “leek” as a logo for a pelvic floor PT who often talks to patients about leaky bladders is not lost on me. Oh, and it only occurred to me later how hilariously suggestive some people might find the logo, but hey, that just kind of goes with the territory given the work I do.
Discover more about The Pelvic PT at www.thepelvicpt.com
One of my fellow boot campers was talking to me about balancing life and work this morning and how she never has enough time. This is a bootcamp filled with working women, many of them with families, who are up before the sun rises to get an hour of time to themselves before anyone else even knows where they are. When I told her that I could relate she said “But you have your own business, so you don’t have to work the 8 hour thing, right?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard some version of that statement from people. It use to bother me. Now, my standard response is “Yeah, it doesn’t really work that way. The work has to get done.” and then I leave it alone. I’ve come to realize that most people don’t understand what it really means to be an entrepreneur and start a successful business. Yes, we have the option to choose when we work, but the commitment is a 24/7 commitment and a successful business requires much more than 8 hours of time per day. It requires full dedication and responsibility. When I get up in the morning I am not not worried about how I will get through the day or complete the hours. I am focused on how will I fulfill my purpose and build something extraordinary. That’s what a lot of people don’t get. We choose this life. Nothing about it is an obligation. It’s a completely different mentality. I am accountable to my family, customers, employees, vendors, partners and everyone who touches my life. All of them, together, decide the fate of my business. No, I do not work 8 hours a day. I work to make every day count.