Today, we are talking about one of the most important parts of running your own business: the place where you work. Russ and Mika have talked quite a bit about business and entrepreneurship in past episodes of this podcast. They both have experience running their own businesses, and over that time, they have worked...
Episode #31: Finding the Ideal Work Environment
Russ and Mika have talked quite a bit about business and entrepreneurship in past episodes of this podcast.
They both have experience running their own businesses, and over that time, they have worked in a variety of places, from their living room to coffee shops, to their own brick-and-mortar offices.
In doing so, they have learned just how important it is for entrepreneurs to have the right environment to work in.
Today, we are talking about the pros and cons of these various work environments, and how you can build your own ideal work environment.
In this episode, you will learn:
• The three main types of workspaces.
• Why Russ prefers brick-and-mortar offices.
• Tips for creating a productive home office.
• How you can utilize outside environments to spur creativity.
Mentioned in this episode:
• Russ Perry on Instagram
• Mika Perry on Instagram
• The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
• The Russ Perry Show
• The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson
• Sara Happ
• Starbucks Flat White
• The BFG by Roald Dahl
• James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
• The Greatest Showman: Reimagined
• Garmin fenix 5X
• Kerrygold Pure-Irish Grass-fed Butter
• Casio Watches
• Apple Watch
• Episode #17: Next Steps After Starting a Business
Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!
Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I’m Mika Perry. And you’re listening to Good to be Home.
Russ Perry: Good to be Home is a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety, and how we balance our business and life.
Mika Perry: From our family to yours, thanks for joining us, and welcome to our home.
Russ Perry: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Good to be Home. I am your co-host, Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I am Mika Perry. We’re really excited that you’re here with us today.
Russ Perry: Today we are jumping back into business. We’ve had several past episodes, which you can always go back to our website, goodtobehompodcast.com to find them, talking about businesses, various topics around businesses. But today we’re going to talk about where you work when you have a business. Mika and I have both run different businesses, we worked inside of businesses, and everywhere from our living room to the lounges of coffee shops and beyond, to our own offices. And we thought that it would be helpful to run through these, talk about pros and cons, and for everyone listening that is thinking about starting a business, or just started one, or maybe you’re far along but need a different change of pace for where you work, we hope this episode will connect with you.
Mika Perry: But before we do that, let’s go to our reading, listening, eating, and loving. These are our weekly tips and recommendations we have for four areas of life. You can always catch this list on our website, goodtobehomepodcast.com. Enter your email and we will send you a secret page of everything that we’ve mentioned every week as a collection of our suggestions for you. So, for reading, I mentioned this in a previous episode but, The Subtle Art of not Giving an F, by Mark Manson. I bought this at an airport, and then Russ immediately stole it from me.
Russ Perry: Right, it was on my list a while back, but I’m interested in hearing your take on it.
Mika Perry: Currently still reading it, but I love the voice of it. I love its simplicity, I think it is a great reminder to everyone to stay in your own lane, to stop caring so much of everything else that’s not important, and stick to your priorities, which is something that we have continuously encouraged here on the podcast for your home life, for your business is to remind yourself of the parameters you have in your life, what you’re working towards, what and who is most important to you, and focus on that. Listening. I recently listened to an interview of Sara Happ, who created a lip scrub, and a lip balm line that is now at Nordstrom’s, Sephora, all over online doing really well. I just liked her entrepreneurial spirit and the story behind of just like her nose to the grindstone. Kind of like, “I want to make this product that’s not out there right now, and I’m going to do it.” And I loved it. I know you, Russ, when I mentioned this you were like, “What’s a lip scrub?”
Russ Perry: For your lips?
Mika Perry: And that’s exactly what it is. It’s pretty common now. I think a lot of companies are doing lip scrubs. It’s like you know there are foot scrubs, and face scrubs, and body scrubs. And she’s like, “Why isn’t there a lip scrub?” And she had a lot of resistance in creating that new product category, and I thought it was a really well-done interview.
Russ Perry: Do you think it’s different because your lips are touching and eating, and I don’t know?
Mika Perry: And it’s a different-
Russ Perry: Thickness of your [inaudible]?
Mika Perry: Right. And there’s a lot of blood vessels. That’s why its pink. And it dries out easily. Yeah, so it’s a different kind of skin. All skin is not created equal on your body.
Russ Perry: Truth. Science.
Mika Perry: Science, there you go. Okay, eating. I recently polled my Instagram followers for their Starbucks recommendations. I was like, “You know what? I want to mix it up a bit.” And one I got was the Flat White, and I got it made with almond milk. Have you ever had a Flat White?
Russ Perry: Nope.
Mika Perry: I still don’t know what it is, but I ordered it.
Russ Perry: They didn’t even tell you?
Mika Perry: No, they said Flat White, and I said, “Cool.” I’ve seen it advertised on Starbucks boards, but never really knew what it was, and still don’t. But it was delicious, and I got it with almond milk. It got rid of that sour, acidic, burnt tang of coffee and espresso, and it just was like roasty.
Russ Perry: Is it a small drink?
Mika Perry: I got a tall.
Russ Perry: But it’s not like a cold drink?
Mika Perry: I got it hot. I don’t know, Russ. I don’t know. I still don’t know. But I’m-
Russ Perry: Let’s find out.
Mika Perry: Let’s find out.
Russ Perry: We’ll do research and post a link to what it actually is in the show notes on our website.
Mika Perry: Here’s the thing, I feel like everyone else knows what it is but us.
Russ Perry: Remember that time you didn’t know what Sparks were?
Mika Perry: Yes. Do you want me to tell the story?
Russ Perry: Yeah. Not to interrupt your list but [crosstalk]. A consequence of not knowing what you’re drinking.
Mika Perry: Okay, so way back when, like college, I was at a house party and they had Sparks. I was like, “Oh, cool. An energy drink. I need it, I’m tired.” And it was me and my girlfriends, we were at a part and I drank it and I was like, “This is the best energy drink ever. I feel so good. I am happy. Whoo.” And so then another day I went to L.A. Fitness, I worked out, and afterwards, I went to Circle K, because I was like, “Oh, man. I really would love an energy drink.” This was back when I had no idea what health and wellness was at all, and I was putting the worst things into my body. But I was like, “Yeah, instead of drinking a Monster energy drink.” Remember those? You drank those all the time. I was like, “I’m going to look for Sparks.” I couldn’t find it in the energy drink section. So I go to the front of Circle K and ask this register guy. I was like, “Where’s Sparks? It has a batteries thing on the front. It’s like an energy drink.”
He’s like, “Oh, the beer?” I was like, “No, no, no. It’s nine a.m., I wouldn’t be drinking beer. Do you guys not have it anymore?” He’s like, “No, it’s a beer.”
Russ Perry: It’s a malt liquor.
Mika Perry: But, that’s why I felt so great.
Russ Perry: For those of you who may or may not remember it, it was like the first ever caffeinated alcoholic beverage, and it got banned. There was all sorts of controversy, but-
Mika Perry: It probably got your heart rate up, and also depressed your body at the same time, and not good at all. But, yeah, so-
Russ Perry: I totally wish you would’ve found it and just like-
Mika Perry: Slammed it in the morning? Like driving?
Russ Perry: Well, I don’t know. Maybe not.
Mika Perry: No, no, no. Definitely not. But, like, walked out of there at nine a.m. after my L.A. Fitness workout. Like, “Yeah.”
Russ Perry: I mean, Starbucks does serve alcohol in some locations. You better be careful.
Mika Perry: Okay, I will be careful. Well, this one is non-alcoholic.
Russ Perry: Okay.
Mika Perry: Okay, finally loving. Holiday décor and candles. By the time everyone’s listening to this it will be the holidays, and everything will be out in our home all decorated. But I’ve been preparing for it, and buying up holiday candles left and right. I’m excited.
Russ Perry: It’s like you’re plotting for battle, and you’re stockpiling reserves, and things are getting ready. There’s bins on deck, ready to deploy.
Mika Perry: I love it. So that’s my list.
Russ Perry: All right, so reading. I’m actually going to go with what me and Reese, our six-year-old, have been reading. We just wrapped up The BFG by Roald Dahl. Doing read alouds was a big part of me growing up. My mom is still a teacher, and she did a ton of them, even when I was old enough to read it was fun doing them with her. And so I bought the full Roald Dahl collection for Reese. I was going to wait until Christmas to give her the books, but I just wanted to get her going on it. And so we did The BFG, It was super fun. The past weekend we had a BFG party, we all dressed up as characters, even Maddox got into it, and Mika got into it a bit, made props, and then watched the movie. And basically had breakfast, because that’s the big meal that they have at the end of the book is the queen’s breakfast. But it was great, and it was just something that I look forward to with her when I’m home, and doing read aloud every night.
So next on deck, we’re going to be doing James and the Giant Peach. What I’m listening to? The Greatest Showman soundtrack re-imagined. Basically, all these musicians loved the movie, and they started posting YouTube covers, and they actually got them together and produced a legit album. So, the first song is by Panic at the Disco, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, like tons of artists. Just reminding myself how much I like Hugh Jackman.
Mika Perry: Hugh’s biggest fan, Russ Perry.
Russ Perry: Hugh’s biggest fan.
Mika Perry: You have a crush.
Russ Perry: Right. What am I eating? Part of our party, we made some toast and I made butter jam. I got the recipe from one of your cookbooks, from a light breakfast, it’s basically mixing jelly and butter. Very simple. But, we didn’t want to make-
Mika Perry: Scones with clotted cream?
Russ Perry: Yeah, we didn’t want to do that. So, this was our cheap, easier version. But it was so delicious. I got a loaf of bread from the grocery store, we toasted it, and it was just so simple and yummy.
Mika Perry: It was so good. But, think about it, why wouldn’t it be delicious? It’s butter. We like to use Kerry Gold organic grass fed butter. I noticed you got a really good quality jam.
Russ Perry: It was preserves.
Mika Perry: Like a preserve from Europe. And bread.
Russ Perry: Very simple.
Mika Perry: So good.
Russ Perry: And delicious. And what am I loving? I am loving my Garmin watch. I have the Phoenix 5X, it’s a couple of years old now. It unseated my Apple watch. I had an Apple watch before this, I’ve had classic Casio watches, and all sorts of G-Shock watches. But this watch, it’s a bit on the higher end in terms of watch spectrum, but of course, not as crazy as a really high-end mechanical watch. But I love this watch because it’s crazy durable, the battery lasts weeks at a time. I use it all the time for interval timing, it has GPS built in. So, if I’m needing GPS I could use it.
Technically I don’t use it much for that, unless I’m working out, trail running. But, it’s just a good watch. It’s something that can go with most of my outfits, and what I’m wearing. I find in terms of a smartwatch it can sync with my phone and still do 90% of what I would actually be using my Apple watch for. Notifications, reminders, things like that.
I had an older Apple watch, it was the two Apple watch, and that thing would last like a day on the battery, and now it’s just probably even worse. So, maybe Apple watches are better now, but I love the Garmin watch. The durability part of it is really great. I can run, I can get it wet, it’s fully waterproof. I can work out with it, work with it, bang it up, and it’s just solid. All right, so, work, work, work. Now, we’ve had a couple of episodes on this topic really kind of getting people into the mindset of maybe starting a business, challenges, opportunities. But, at some point, you’ve got to get to work. You’ve got to actually do the stuff, whatever you’re committed to. Mika and I have had quite the list of our backgrounds with working.
But through that, with what we’ve actually done we worked in a lot of different places. Me, myself, I’ve started businesses in my home, ironically enough we’re back in the house because we’re wrapping up the construction of our new office. I think there are definite pros and cons to each. There’s not only pros and cons to you as an entrepreneur, or as a team member on a team, of where you work. But also for the spouse, for the partner. There’s been pros and cons to our marriage based on where we work. I wanted to talk about both a little. We don’t have to cover every variant of where to work like-
Mika Perry: Of a workspace.
Russ Perry: Right. But, I think there’s three main categories. There’s in an office, there’s at home, and then there’s elsewhere.
Mika Perry: Like remote.
Russ Perry: Remote, yeah. Coffee shops on the road, things like that. So, let’s try to go through these. Maybe we’ll start with-
Mika Perry: An office.
Russ Perry: An office? Okay.
Mika Perry: Let’s start with an office. So, you mentioned right now you are building your, almost a dream office. Design Pickle’s headquarters. It’s about about, I don’t know, how many miles from our home?
Russ Perry: Half.
Mika Perry: Half? Really?
Russ Perry: Yeah.
Mika Perry: It’s so close.
Russ Perry: It’s probably more, because our neighborhood, like if you hopped our fence and went out directly to our office, it’s maybe half a mile.
Mika Perry: It’s right there. It is just wrapping up-
Russ Perry: In two days.
Mika Perry: In two days. All new furniture completely gutted and redid the whole space. How many square feet?
Russ Perry: 6500 square feet.
Mika Perry: It has a gym, it has two locker rooms, a cold plunge, a hot tub. Huge offices, two conference rooms, a big coworking space type of thing for all your employees. There’s a kitchen, a dining area. It’s awesome. Oh, and our podcast recording studio’s there, and also your video production studio. So, great multi-use space. This is actually your fourth office, when you think about it, in your career as an entrepreneur. First you had KEEN Creative on Mill Avenue. Remember, at the Orchid House?
Russ Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mika Perry: And then you had NSB KEEN in old town on Sixth Ave., and then you had Design Pickle here on [Vajilla] right by-
Russ Perry: There was an NSB KEEN up here at that executive office suites.
Mika Perry: Okay, so that was three. And then here on Vajilla you had Design PIckle’s … no.
Russ Perry: No, I rented a space at Matt Blanton’s.
Mika Perry: That’s right. You had a one room.
Russ Perry: I had one room in a warehouse Mika called the jail cell, because it was an 11 foot by 11 foot room with no windows.
Mika Perry: And you had me come organize it, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh. What?” I helped it. But, anyway, so then this will be your-
Russ Perry: And then we went to a class A, 1000 foot-ish office, and then that was five, so this is-
Mika Perry: The sixth. And hopefully, you’ll be staying here for a while. Anyway, so this is a traditional office. While you’ve been an entrepreneur you’ve actually had brick and mortar offices for most of this time. What was important for you in creating that? You were a solopreneur starting out, but you’ve invested time and energy, and money into office space.
Russ Perry: Yeah, and even with our current space, I was telling someone, we don’t actually need an office for our business technically. It’s an online company, most of our staff works remotely around the world. There’s two main things, and I can go into a ton of details on a lot of other reasons, but I think the two biggest things for me with an office is, one, it’s about mindset and having leverage on myself of when I am “at work” to do the best at work. I have found that having a space to call an office, whatever it may be, whether it’s a small room or a big cool one like we’re finishing, I find myself really putting on that hat of, “It’s time to focus, it’s time to work. It’s time to get after it.” And I have 100% seen myself produce more, be a better leader, be happier when I have that environment. Now, as a creative, I feel like I’m more conditioned to environments.
We talked about, like a recent episode on sleep, and how important that environment is. I don’t know if everyone operates the same way, because a lot of my team love to work out of their house exclusively, just because that’s the best environment for them. I’m not that kind of person. So, I think having an office makes me better. Also, it’s this term called leverage. Like, when I have a rent to pay, or a mortgage to pay, I’m going to make sure I keep that commitment. And so I’m going to make more, and produce more, to pay that. If I don’t have that financial obligation here, like I’m just working out of my house, I don’t know if I would work as hard, because I just don’t have as many bills. I don’t know, that’s not necessarily great finance strategy.
Mika Perry: No, I think it relates to a past episode we’ve done on scaling and growing your business. We mentioned it several times. Like, plan and create a team for what you want to be at. So, don’t settle for now, but build everything around your team, your office space, to support the growth and the business that you want to be down the road.
Russ Perry: Right.
Mika Perry: It’s weird, the energy you put out there is what you get back, and that’s kind of the same philosophy.
Russ Perry: Well, I think of a hermit crab. A hermit crab will grow or fill, the shell that he chooses. If he chooses a small shell that’s as big as he gets if he chooses a bigger one he’ll grow into that. And so, I always [inaudible] the best one.
Mika Perry: This is the best analogy.
Russ Perry: Yeah. But, I want to be in the bigger shell. And, no joke, hon, I’m actually doing math in my head on growth and stuff. And like, this office may even be too small in the next couple of years, which is crazy to think about. But, we always want to be growing and pushing ourselves there, and I do believe that if you take on more than what you may need at the time in any area, not just your office space, but you take on that challenge? You all resourceful enough to figure it out and make it happen. But if you forever remain in your garage, or forever remain in your spare bedroom, well, you’ll probably just create something that is that big. It’s that significant.
Mika Perry: I love that. That’s so true.
Russ Perry: The other thing I think is important is the legitimacy of actual business having a place to call a business. For recruiting team members, for a potential sale or acquisition. If you wanted to grow your business beyond what you currently are at. I don’t know that it’s all necessarily required, but I’ve just found it’s a lot easier to run my business, and to win clients, and to get good team members, and to have all the things that you need for a business if I actually have an office.
Mika Perry: Right, because imagine you have a potential investor, or you have a potential client, and you’re like, “All right, let’s meet.” And you have nowhere to go. Or, it’s like, “Come to my home.” It sets a tone.
Russ Perry: Yeah. The other thing that I mentioned, just in terms of our relationship, I do believe that we are closer when I’m going somewhere to work.
Mika Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Russ Perry: We have more to talk about, we appreciate each other more. There is that delineation. Now, it’s a fine line. I, in the past, have been at work too much, and then the opposite problem happens where it’s like, “You’re always gone, you’re always working. You’re always away.” So, I do know that, to keep that balance is, I have to have a hard cut off for my day regardless of how much work. I’ll never be done with work, there’s always more. So, for me, that’s between the five and six o’clock hour where I can say, “Okay, it’s time to wrap up, time to head home. And then roll into the nighttime flow with the family. But, we’ll go into working from home here in a bit, but I haven’t had that here, and it’s all just like a blur.
And then we go to day nine and it’s like, “Well, I’ve been with you every single day. I know what you’re doing.”
Mika Perry: Yeah. So, I think you can sense potentially that we are huge fans of an office space, maybe less so of a home office. And maybe a bit biased, because of our current recent situation of having to have the Design Pickle team at our home while the construction has happened on this building. When did we close on this office space?
Russ Perry: It was at the beginning of 2018.
Mika Perry: Beginning of this year.
Russ Perry: Either December 2017 or January 2018. I can’t remember exactly.
Mika Perry: And then construction broke ground when?
Russ Perry: August. It took a while.
Mika Perry: It took so long. We were hoping that construction would happen while we were in Italy.
Russ Perry: Yeah, we didn’t get [crosstalk]. We didn’t get the financing lined up for the remodel until August. We moved out of the office in May, and so I’ve been working from home remotely since May through November.
Mika Perry: Yeah, so now we’re in November. And let’s get into the home office. We have a home office here that we built. I designed it in our new home here, and it has built-ins, there’s two seating areas. And in the middle there’s an island with a marble countertop, all the counters are marble, and it’s kind of like a gray and gold theme in there, with navy velvet chairs. It was originally meant for me, and as a craft type of space, like a wrapping station is kind of what that center island is going to be. All of our office supplies are in there. And then two areas for you and I to sit. For you to work on the weekends, or late at night if you needed a workspace that would be it. Well, since the DP crew has moved in, that has turned into a video production center.
Russ Perry: Streaming video.
Mika Perry: Your videographer is here every day, they’re here right below us right now in that room. And I’ve given up even stepping foot in that room for months now. I was planning on finishing styling it, the shelves, and then photograph it and do a little tour of it. But it is like an explosion right now. So, yeah, home office has been challenging. And, Russ, you’ve had your team here, your videographer, your assistant. We’ve had meetings here on our dining table. People here in and out all the time. Can you share what that’s been like, and how you’ve managed that to the best that you’ve been able to?
Russ Perry: Well, yeah. I think the pros are, in my mind, a lot shorter. I’m here more for kids if required. I do get to see everyone a lot more. We’re really lucky to have a place that isn’t a coffee shop because I can do calls, I can have a dedicated spot. I think if you’re looking at no office versus home office, home office is better simply because I can have my gear there. It’s set up, I’m not having to find an outlet at the Starbucks to get my laptop, because I forgot to charge it the night before. So, all that is much more convenient. But that’s about where it ends. Even having the kids around more, I feel like I’m not as focused, I feel that you and I are a little more on each other for things. It’s easier for you to ask me for help for stuff, it’s easier for me to want to help and do things because I just am here and present. And then, I think for the teams as well, it is our home.
So it’s just a little more relaxed in terms of the vibe, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. But I do feel like we’re a big business, and we have a lot going on. Having our marketing acquisition team sitting at the table, and it’s like Paige wants to watch Sophia the First, and the other room is complaining about it, it’s a bit of a distraction. But, it’s been so fortunate to have it. I just know it’s not the right time for the business we have now. If you are growing an online business, or a remote business, what I will say is have a dedicated spot in your home that’s not your bedroom, because we did that too in our previous apartment. Have a spot that is your workspace that is dedicated your workspace. It could be your garage, it could be a spare bedroom, it could be wherever, but have it dedicated there. You at least want, in your mind, to be able to “go to work,” and if you’re just floating between your couch, your counter, your desk, whatever, you’ll never really own that.
And your productivity will definitely suffer.
Mika Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And since you took over my home office here I have designated the kitchen countertop as my workspace during this time. I’ve made that a nice welcoming place. I always have a candle lit, I have a system and process of where I place things. I clean it up at the end of the day, every day, so it’s nice and cleared. I think that’s super important wherever you set up your home office. You know, you mentioned, don’t do it in your bedroom. That might be the only place for some people.
Russ Perry: Perhaps.
Mika Perry: But if that is, or if it isn’t, if I you can find another space in your home keep the surfaces clean, set it up as best as you can. Have as little things in there as possible. Don’t try to tchotchke it out on your desk with all sorts of bobbleheads and things. I don’t know, that just-
Russ Perry: Scorpions in acrylic domes.
Mika Perry: Oh, yeah. Paperweight. I don’t know, just post-it’s everywhere. Try to streamline it as much as you can, because, here I go into organizing, visual clutter pulls at your mind, and your energy, and your attention. It’s going to remind you of so many things, subconsciously even, when you need to be focused and on task.
Russ Perry: Right. And get dressed for work if you’re working from home. That’s a tip my team has talked about. The team members that do work from home all the time, actually shower and get ready, and do things. Don’t just roll into your PJs to work, because you will feel that shift. Like, look it may be your bedroom, and your bed is the only place you literally can work, because that’s just the space you have. Dress nice and get ready, and do your hair, and clean up, and put on deodorant, and then sit in your bed and work. You’ll feel different. Really, what it is, is about that mental switch of getting clear that, “Okay, now it’s time to focus on this and not be pulled away from the other things that are around the house.”
Mika Perry: Totally. I think sometimes it’s good to step away, whether it’s an office, or a home office, especially when you need to get creative. Maybe you’re not doing your to-dos, your tasks, or replying emails where you need to hammer it out. Sometimes you need a creative breath of fresh air, and literally sometimes getting fresh air and heading out can be helpful. I know recently I decided to sit outside by our fire pit in the morning one day, because there was cleaners here, and everyone was here, and I just needed to have a different environment around me. So I found a new spot. I was like, “This is great. I should do this more. Get out here.” I know you and I have definitely utilized Starbucks as a workspace, and other remote areas too. So, let’s talk about that, too. If you don’t have an office space, and you don’t have a home office, you’re working remotely, you and I have done this at the start of our businesses, and other projects we’ve worked on, get out of the house, set yourself up somewhere. There’s coffee shops. Where else? There’s-
Russ Perry: Okay, so here’s my hierarchy of it.
Mika Perry: Okay. Ooh.
Russ Perry: Got a hierarchy. First of all, coffee shops? Way to go. Starbucks, you’re going to always find. There’s always going to be the local coffee shop that you can really sink your teeth into, probably a little friendlier, a little more cozy, single source coffee blends. Although I think Starbucks has that too. We go to Press Coffee at the Quarter. These are always great spots regardless of your main situation, and you can have an office. I still will go to a coffee shop when I have my office, because I will go there like a surgeon, for a surgical job or thing I need to do. I need to review finances, I need to write a blog post. I need to do something that typically I don’t really feel like doing, but mentally I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to go here to do this, and when I leave it’s going to be done.” And that’s what I use coffee shops for. Now, I also used coffee shops when I had nothing, it’s just problematic when you have to go there every day. The traffic, the cars, the parking, the ordering, the desk with outlet not being available.
All of this will add up. And over a half a year, or a year, you’re talking like days or weeks of time dedicated to navigating the coffee shop.
Mika Perry: And also the money you spend on that cup of coffee every time. I wonder what that adds up to, that you can save towards whether renting a coworking space, or potentially somewhere down the road, your own little office space.
Russ Perry: I don’t think the actual dollars you spend on a cup of coffee. Maybe if you’re getting the … what drink did you get again?
Mika Perry: Flat White.
Russ Perry: The Flat White. I don’t know how much that is.
Mika Perry: Like three bucks.
Russ Perry: Yeah. But, what you do end up saving is the time you’re spending navigating that you could be making money on something. So, when you graduate from a coffee shop there’s a couple options. You could go get an office, but what I did is I joined a coworking spot. Coworking is all over the place, everywhere, it’s a great business model, people are launching it. But, you could do two things. You can do day drop-ins. So, you usually pay 10, 25 bucks, and you can have an eight hour day at this place. These coworking spots, they’re business professionals, a lot of people are permanent residents. That’s where they have a dedicated desk they pay more for. Once you get past the day rate you can actually rent a desk monthly, and I did that. I forgot, I did a coworking space here in Scottsdale, and I was paying two or 300 bucks a month for my desk. So, I’d show up, and it’s a big open area. It’s not like I have a closed office, but that worked well for a while. There’s just not a lot of privacy, people want to talk all the time.
It’s kind of the opposite of a coffee shop. A coffee shop, there’s a lot of people but nobody knows each other, so you don’t really get bothered. Coworking is kind of the opposite, it’s less people but you get to know each other so everyone wants to chit chat all the time. That drove me nuts. But, once you do that you can get a dedicated office, and then the natural progression from there usually is finding an office-office. Other resources we’ve used are Reguses. Regus is a big international network of day spots, meeting rooms. You can get executive desks there, dedicated offices. I had a membership with that, that was really helpful. Now, when we’ve been in transition with the company, we will find a Regus, or a coworking spot, to host our meeting. Usually they have a big boardroom, there’s amenities you can use. The wifi is great. You can do conference calls, and all of that. I just come back again to what I said though, that they’re not longterm, sustainable in terms of building a real significant growth business. They are fantastic when it comes to, “I just need to get something done.”
Mika Perry: You’ve actually also rented a coworking space in Italy.
Russ Perry: Yeah.
Mika Perry: Remember that? Internationally, when you travel.
Russ Perry: Right. And that again came back around, I needed the mental space away from you and the kids that, “It’s time to go to work.”
Mika Perry: And physical.
Russ Perry: Right, physical. Related to the mental. Like, getting the physical space caused the mental clarity and focus. That was weird, because I was going to work at 8:30 at night, working until two in the morning, because of the time zones, but it still worked just fine. Had a great day together, and then we can go out. So, back to the relationship side of things. Really, getting out and going somewhere to work, whether it’s a coworking space, a coffee shop, your own office, I just firmly believe that helps you be more present when you are at home, and that is what really matters as a parent, or as a significant other. It’s about quality versus quantity.
Mika Perry: Totally.
Russ Perry: One secret that I’ve used, the original OG coworking spot is the library.
Mika Perry: I love that.
Russ Perry: Libraries. So, you’ve got nothing, you’re just starting out. You don’t even have money for Starbucks. The libraries are so great, and they’re calm and quiet. You can even get meeting rooms in a lot of them, and they’re free. Talk about focus and clarity. Going to a library, I would rather even go there sometimes versus a coffee shop.
Mika Perry: That’s a great idea. I need to remember that. I love a library. The one by us, The Arabian Library, is great.
Russ Perry: Yeah, beautiful.
Mika Perry: The design of it is beautiful. You mentioned being a parent and getting away. I use moments in my day where I use my car as my office. I have wifi in my car, I pay like 20 bucks a month to get wifi, and so I take my laptop with me. When I’m in line waiting for a parent pickup for Reese, for school, I will get on my laptop. I kind of feel like a cop, because you know how police officers drive around, very dangerously, with a laptop right there?
Russ Perry: Right, yeah.
Mika Perry: So, I kind of feel like that sometimes sitting in my car. And then also, when Reese is at dance, sometimes I’ll go in my car. I won’t watch her dance, and I’ll be in the parking lot. I’m not the only one doing this, other moms are doing this too. They leave. But, I sit there, and I’ll go on my computer and do the things I need to do. I took an aerial picture one time of my setup, and in the nighttime dark it looked like a cockpit. I looked like I was in a cockpit with my screen, and all the electronics around me in my car. So, really your car could be a workspace as well. It’s quiet.
Russ Perry: Yeah, sound insulated. It’s great for calls.
Mika Perry: It’s great for calls. I remember when I was running my organizing business, I would plan my calls when I was in the car, whether parked or driving with hands free, it’s a great private spot. I mean, you really can’t get more private than that.
Russ Perry: What you really just need to remember are two things when you’re deciding where to work. What’s the maturity of your working relationship with your own business, or your employer, or the thing you’re wanting to start? And you’ll most likely pick something that’s appropriate for that. But, as you grow, you’ll need to change where you work. I think the same goes for your relationships. Your relationships can handle you working from home only for so long, and then you need to get out and spread your wings. You can’t work from your car all the time, you can’t work for a coffee shop all your time. I can tell you this, I see thousands and thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs, you will plateau unless you’re physically growing your space as well. Guaranteed. You will hit a point, and maybe it’s a big point. Don’t get me wrong, there are really big businesses that run without offices or places to work. But, you need to expand yourself, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than actually expanding your physical space as well.
So, as you’re deciding where to work, just reflect on where you’re currently at, and where you want to go. Not just for your business, but for your relationships, your team, your clients, and everything else.
Mika Perry: I love it. Well, good luck with your businesses, guys. I would love to hear what everyone’s up to. You can take a photo of your workspace, and maybe send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. That would be so cool to see your guys’ set ups. And we can share what we find. You can also message us on Instagram. We’re Mika Perry and Russ Perry. You can DM us, or comment on a recent post.
Russ Perry: Right. And don’t forget to share out podcast with someone, as well as subscribe, and rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. We’d love to spread our audience, share this content, and we love all the feedback we’ve been getting from it. If you want to just reach out directly you can email us, email@example.com. That’s our super secret email inbox. We’ll get that right away. Again, I reflect Mika’s request to see where you work, and we’ll post pictures of the new offices, the new spaces we’re going to be working in for the next year.
Mika Perry: Yeah, we’re actually heading over there this afternoon to check out, they’re doing the furniture installation today. Wrapping that up soon. So, really exciting stuff happening over here, and we’re excited for our personal growth here as well.
Russ Perry: All right, everyone. We’ll talk to you next week. Thanks so much. Take care.
Mika Perry: Bye.
Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good to be Home.
Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, and give us a rating.
Russ Perry: See you next time.