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Entrepreneur’s Life Beyond Coffeeshops

“I’ve spent a lot of time in coffee shops…” – quoting myself in My Life in Coffeeshops- An Entrepreneur’s Journey, originally posted on LinkedIn.

Much time has passed since I last wrote, and since I last worked at a coffee shop. After leaving my job, I ventured out on my own, with a handful of social media marketing and PR clients. It felt good to have my own clients but I also struggled with making sure I had enough work to make up for the relief provided by a steady paycheck. When you are on your own, the struggle is real and you have to hustle.

One of the best things about going on your own is the flexibility. I made my own hours and could go pick up my kids from school and help them with their homework. Meetings in coffee shops with potential clients and friends continued and before long, one of those coffee meetings would change the trajectory of my entrepreneurial journey.

It was over coffee that I met with Suz, my blog mentor, and former editor at the magazine. A year before me, she had left an agency to go on her own too. In fact, even when I had my full-time job, she sent some referrals for freelance work my way. For that, I was always grateful.

She wondered jokingly, what if we just worked together? A year before I left to go on my own, she already set up Social Smarts Media and had most of the operational structure down- website, accounting, legal papers etc. These were things I had yet to work on myself. “You mean your company would like to acquire my fledgling agency?” I replied half-serious. My mind started racing. I thought of the PR spin. Social Smarts merges with boutique agency –Marcie Taylor Media! Two pioneering mom bloggers team up to form powerhouse social media marketing firm! After that coffee session, I only needed one night to sleep on it and the next day we were ready to go.

We’ll do an announcement press release, we said excitedly. We’ll go on FB Live and tell everyone about the merger. We’ll bring champagne we’ll build excitement … WE were so excited but of course, none of those things happened because the work started coming in as soon as we put it out in the universe that we had formed a company together. Suz is the Founder and I am the Director of Social Smarts Media.

Suz and I co-working at ROC in the Vine.

Next step was to find an office. In one day, we visited several coworking spaces and ended up at the Vine in Irvine. We found Real Office Centers (ROC), a co-working space in a building called The Vine at the University of California Irvine Campus. ROC has a good vibe, it’s creative, active, inspiring. So that’s where we ended up. We meet there several times a week. It gives us the discipline of having to go “into an office,” while still having the flexibility of someone who works remotely. Often, when working at one of the standing desks, it feels like we’re at a university library. It’s abuzz with activity — people speaking different languages, collaborating, or simply working solo, on their phones or laptops. There’s free coffee, tea, and yes, beer on tap. Overall, it’s pretty chill. Our goal is to eventually have one of the offices that open up with big garage doors… but that will have to wait.

Reception area at ROC

So that’s where I’m at in this entrepreneur’s journey. I’m busy – my partner and I are both busy – but we can be busier. It’s an exciting time. Learn more about our company at socialsmartsmedia.com More photos of our coworking space at marcietaylor.com