Where Do I Find Something Like An Epic Freelancer Ecosystem?

Where Can You Find An Epic Ecosystem?

1. Visit a Coworking Space

Of course, we are big fans of coworking and a great coworking space comes with a community feeling that will help you grow professionally and personally.

A small but significant thing about a coworking space is the fragments of learning that occur every day between people. 

 

A chat in the kitchen can help you work out tiny things from what to book to read next to what the best event is.

In most coworking spaces you can be a full-time member or visit when you need. 

 

Apps like Desana and Get Croissant or our friends at Included.co will help you find a space. 

Visit our events page for coworking spaces near you to see if they are running an event in Freelancers Week

If you can’t find an let your local space know, we can help them!

 

2. Start a Coworking Group

I could point you in the direction of a lot of people with too much time on their hands, arguing over the true meaning of the word coworking.

We’ll skip that debate.

 

Something small but amazing happens when individuals gather around a table and get on with work together.

There is something strangely motivating about being with other people who are also working.

 

Legendary coworking spaces like Cowork Lisboa and Indy Hall started from a group of people self-organising to work together. 

 

Don’t know of a place to go? 

Start your own thing during Freelancers Week, you could be building your own ‘Freelancer Ecosystem’ for yourself and others. 

Find a cafe and post and event here, feel free to contact us to see if we can help promote it. 

3. Find a Business Book Club 

Women and men who are prepared to sit down and go to a deep level on a business book are worth being around. 

Even if the only thing they do is shame you into finishing the book!

 

A commitment to exploring essential life questions and then taking action is an excellent place to be hanging out when you find it stick there.

 

Consider books like: 

Anti-Sell‘ by Steve Morgan

Book Yourself Solid‘ by Michael Port

Company of One‘ by Paul Jarvis

 

(Sorry my examples are all by white men, but they are the three I know the best!)

 

Ask around, who is reading these books? 

Look on Good Reads or in Facebook groups and suggest a call or meeting in a cafe in real life. 

If you go to a place of worship, a gym or know parents at your child’s school, suggest meeting up to talk about a book. 

4. What is Your Bank Doing? 

It seems like banks are waking up to the new world of work.

There is a goldrush of new apps and online banks aimed at people carving out an independent economic life. 

 

More established banks have always run something, these days they are making even more of an effort. 

Look online or ask in a physical bank building, if you can find one, about how they are supporting local business. 

5. What is Your Local Government or Municipality doing?

This suggestion could be fabulous or horrific for you. 

 

Across Europe, we hear of local governments working very hard to support people working as freelancers. 

They take steps to protect freelancers and micro-businesses, educate them and even open coworking spaces or upgrade the local library. 

 

In other places, the local government is like going back to the 18th Century or simply has a political agenda that does not recognise freelancers and independent workers.

6. Online Groups

Search hard for an online group with high trust. 

It is a great place to ask your peers how they would handle a situation with a client, get feedback on a logo or ask for a recommendation for an app or type of software. 

 

I’ll use a personal example here, as I have been lucky enough to find some great places online.

My best one EVER is a Facebook group called Freelance Heroes

 

This is a group of UK based Freelancers, the group was started by Ed Goodman

At the time Ed ran a coworking space in Cambridge and noticed that UK people who did not live in a city or have access to coworking space lacked the connections that these places provide. 

 

I hate Facebook, but it was Ed’s group, so I joined the other four hundred plus people there and got chatting. 

Now there are over seven thousand people, it is super active with useful questions and discussions every day and meets once a year for a big event. 

5. Classes and Communities of Practice 

When you attend class online or offline, there is often a way to stay connected. 

With online classes, it is a widespread practice to have a Slack channel or facebook group where people can support each other or meet up locally. 

 

Offline and in-person classes can provide another level of connection over regular networking groups because you have all learnt the same material. 

Often you and other attendees will have paid your own money for these classes, so the level of commitment is different from being ‘sent by your employer.’  

6. Meetup.com

One of the longest-running places to self organise and meet people locally is Meetup.com

It was Scott Heiferman who co-founded Meet Up following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. 

 

Scott felt that people were growing apart because they were doing more and more online and less stuff in person. 

When 9/11 happened, people suddenly started to talk to each other for comfort and connection. 

 

He came up with Meet Up and the tagline ‘use the internet to get off of the internet.’

Scott sold Meet Up to WeWork in 2017 which I can only assume was an accident or he’d lost a bet. 

 

You can find anyone doing anything on MeetUp.com, and you can find a lot of groups based around freelancing, micro business and building Etsy empires. 

There are pop-up coworking groups for programmers, writers, consultants and anything else you want to call work. 

 

In London and Lausanne, we run a weekly writing group, called Write Club started in in 2015 by freelancers who needed to commit to a writing block each week. 

I’ve been running Meet Up’s since 2008 and first discovered coworking via the New Work Cites Meet Up around that time and in 2011 joined a freelancer Meet Up called KindredHQ. 

 

The KindredHQ Meet-Up met in a different coworking space in London every weekday, it was here I found out it was totally legit to be a freelancer. 

I’d finally found my place and people. 

 

Bernie Mitchell
Bernie Mitchell
#EFWeek Team

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