MY EARLY YEARS
If there is one quote that I’ve had stuck in my head for years, it’s that one. I looked it up to see which famous athlete, actor, or historian said it, but my search came up empty. I know someone said it, but a big part of me is satisfied that no one has claimed those words as their own.
Growing up I was an outgoing kid. I had lots of friends but rather than a leader, I was a follower –and that sometimes…okay, most times, got me into lots of trouble. I made my decisions based on what everyone else wanted to do.
When I was a sophomore in high school, our family uprooted and moved to a significantly smaller town. Talk about a major shift in this girl’s life. I only had three years left until graduation and I was basically starting over. Except, I wasn’t outgoing anymore. I shut down.
During my sophomore year at my new school, I barely talked to anyone. In that first year, many of my classmates thought my name was Jasmine, and I didn’t correct them. I didn’t have my license yet and “long distance” phone calls were not allowed due how expensive it was. MySpace and Facebook weren’t around and a cell phone was out of the question.
I eventually pushed myself to break out of my shell and finished out high school back to my old self –including getting into lots of trouble!
When I began college, I remember walking from my car to the building and giving myself a pep talk. I told myself that this was NOT going to be a repeat of the last time I was new to a school. I told myself that I was going to walk into the classroom and sit next to someone who looked friendly and –just start talking.
I didn’t stumble across that quote until my mid-twenties but whether I knew it or not, I was making that decision my entire life. I started to see myself less as a follower and more as a leader. Pushing myself to make the first move, ask lots of questions, reach out for help, and listen to the wisdom of those who’ve walked the gravel road before me.
Fast forward to now and I can tell you that every time things get hard or I don’t think I can do it, I repeat that mantra to myself, and push past the uncomfortable moment.
EMPLOYEE TURNED ENTREPRENEUR
In 2015, I had made the decision that I wanted to own and run my own marketing agency. With the full support of my amazing husband, I dedicated every morning, night, and weekend to building my company. And in the spring of 2016, I began phasing myself off a steady paycheck and onto the rollercoaster ride of being an entrepreneur.
Now, you might be thinking – a marketing agency? Don’t you mean a coworking company?
Well, insert mantra…again. As if growing a marketing agency wasn’t hard enough, I soon found that I needed a space for my growing team and local clients to go and my home was NOT an option! I loved the concept of coworking and that inspired me to venture out and open up my own shared workspace.
I had a small wish list. A space that inspired people but didn’t just cater to start-ups and tech companies. No long-term leases or high rent costs so if you choose to work from home or come into the office, and it wasn’t an “all or nothing” expense for someone. An atmosphere that is bright and colorful to spark creativity and bring a smile to someone’s face. And a coworking community full of individuals that may not be doing what you are, but are there when you want to ask a question, vent your frustration, or celebrate a big win.
WELCOME TO BRIX COWORKING
So, in the fall of 2017, Brix Coworking in Downtown Madison opened! We were welcomed into the community with open arms. So much so that, in 2019 we expanded to two additional floors downtown and in 2020, we opened our second location in Monona!
Bright and colorful, warm and inviting, Brix is home to many freelancers, entrepreneurs, remote workers, small businesses and organizations, and creative professionals. Some days are quiet, some days are busy, and some days we wonder who spiked the coffee!
But no matter what day it is, I hope you say to yourself “there will be a day when I can no longer do this, but today is NOT that day” and join our Brix community.