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
Indiegrove wins 2018 Coworker Members’ Choice Award!
Jersey City, NJ (Thursday, May 10th 2018) — Indiegrove announced it has been recognized as the winner of the 2018 Coworker Members’ Choice Award for Jersey City. Members’ Choice award winners were determined based on the thousands of reviews, votes and opinions collected in a single year from coworking space members worldwide.
“Thank you to all of our members for voting, writing reviews and being part of our amazing community! We are truly honored and grateful. We are so proud of the diversity and vibrancy of our community. We promise to continue to provide the services and support entrepreneurs and independent professionals need to be successful and will never stop improving and growing. We are committed to the long term success of our members, Jersey City and the larger economy,” said Zahra Amanpour, Founder of Indiegrove.
“Coworker is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Members’ Choice Awards and celebrate the coworking spaces around the world that are making an impact in their community”, said Leanne Beesley, CEO of Coworker. “By putting a spotlight on coworking spaces that are providing a great environment and creating a community for their members, Coworker gives coworking spaces both large and small the ability to shine and attract new members.”
Entrepreneurs and independent professionals do not conform to one way of thinking, nor should the space they work in. Our workspace, meeting rooms and events are designed to provide you the environment you need to work harder and happier.
Indiegrove is committed to being a hub for entrepreneurship by advocating for entrepreneurs, supporting their businesses and connecting them with other like-minded people. We provide the space and community they need to be successful.
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,