Saturday, March 19, 2011

Working alone together

When I asked Lisa Sonora Beam to come to Uganda last December, I had no idea she'd really take me up on it. Just a few months later, we met at Entebbe Airport and began an artful adventure - two weeks of travel/working together with some evening art dates and a weekend retreat.

meeting my travel/work buddy in Mexico

I've traveled with many people, but it was a completely new experience to travel with a fellow entrepreneur. Lisa and I both spend most of our time working from home on the businesses we love, and quickly found that we also suffer from the same ailments of the work-at-home entrepreneur (time-wasting on Facebook & Twitter, too much time alone, thoughts and confidence taking a nosedive in the late afternoon, etc. etc.). I'd never want to return to a regular 9-to-5 employee existence, but sometimes "working-at-home" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

recipe for success = fellow entrepreneur + double cappuccino (image source)

As Lisa and I shared morning coffee highs at Javas, a coffee shop in Kampala owned by a Somali family, we laughed over the concept of being "alone together," and how much better it is to share a workspace (or a cafe table) with a like-minded individual. Lisa worked on her design business and workshop descriptions, and I re-coded all the add to cart buttons on the One Mango Tree website. Our laptops are the tools of our trade, which allows us to work wherever there is internet. I've enjoyed this new way of working for a few years now, but traveling with Lisa was the first chance I had to co-work "alone together" with a fellow entrepreneur.

The result? Ideas shared, support during the 3:30 crash, and someone to share in the sometimes annoyingly-slow African internet. We also brainstormed ways to collaborate, began planning an Artful Traveler Africa 2012 trip, and helped talk each other through some sticky business dilemmas. The whole experience was so inspiring, I'm thinking that finding some other co-work buddies in Ecuador will be a must.


søren said...

I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm an artist, but I work from home, and while I know other people have the FB/twitter thing, I didn't know that other people suffer from the afternoon crash!
I'm really glad to know I am not alone in that.

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