According to the U.S. Census, more than half (51.6 percent) of all businesses that responded to the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) were operated primarily from someone’s home in 2007. Just over 72 percent are sole proprietorships.
What does this mean?
It means there are a lot of us sitting in a room by ourselves a lot of the time. When the need to focus is keen, this can be really helpful. However, we are human beings, and none of us operates all that well in a workplace vacuum.
For the past several weeks I have been collaborating on a project with a colleague who operates a co-working space called OfficeXpats. Billed as a “Coworking and Conference Center” they offer access to the things you might expect in an office like a well-lit and comfortable place to ‘land’, good wi-fi, video-capable meeting rooms, as well as organic fair trade coffee and snacks. However, I believe the biggest benefit lies in the elbow rubbing that naturally takes place. They refer to it as “accelerated serendipity”. I like to think of it as an extension of what Bryan Kramer has termed Human-to-Human, or #H2H. While speaking about business and marketing communications, I believe it goes much deeper and is much more fundamental to who we are and our core tenet for success in business.
The old saying “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” can be rephrased into “If I write a blog post and no one influences its creation and no one reads it, does it really matter?” Ideas, creative momentum, and untold numbers of “Ah-Ha!” moments take place as a result of our regular interactivity with those around us. Even just cruising through days with little conversation or interaction still places us in a kind of semi-passive connectivity…..we read about the thoughts and actions of others, we observe the effects of others upon on neighborhoods, friends and families. We are built to be in community.
So consider intentionally connecting with those around you. Meet someone new. Expose yourself to different groups, even though it may start out a bit uncomfortable. You can not only enhance your own humanity, but that of others. #H2H can lead to better days and better business.