Well, the title might be a little exaggerated, it’s true. But nonetheless: each day I thank heaven (or the powers that be) that led me to discover the marvellous invention of economic sharing that is coworking, and in particular the creation of Ramon Suarez: Betacowork.
Ten years of solitude
For a little more than ten years, I, like many, worked alone as a translator, cut off from the world, alone at home. I set up a comfortable little office where I felt good. But I felt a rapidly growing need to see the world (after all, is not man a social animal?). During the day I had the choice of the bakers, the newsagents or the chemists. So for ten years I ate a lot of bread (really a lot), smoked a lot, and happily stopped, (you’ll see how) and sucked many Nicorette lozenges (from the moment I stopped smoking.)
When night fell, whilst my salaried friends left the office and hurried home with the one thought of being by themselves, I had only one wish: to see them! Talk to people! Share! Exchange! After- works meet ups became my lifeline.
In search of lost contacts
In the meantime I moved in with my chum – also an independent – and our relationship became increasingly strained (through being together for nearly 24/24. We had to find a solution before one of us was going to put ourselves in the gruesomest of headlines.)
I don’t recall which were the key words I typed into my browser on that foggy morning in October 2013. Could it be something like “how to avoid killing each other when when you are two independents and you can’t stand the sight of the other wherever you are in the apartment”? No, it must have been something like “working spaces for independents”. At this time, I had never heard of “coworking”. But I said to myself that I felt the need to be surrounded by people like me, others who felt the same way, no? Who knows? Maybe someone had the bright idea of turning this need into a business?
So I clicked on “Search” and wow! To my goggling eyes, I discovered the site of Betacowork (if you click on this site today, you’ll see me in the video. Together with Toto, the big blond guy who can’t pronounce “serendipity”. Yup, you can have a little laugh at him). I think that same day I clicked on “ free day’s trial”. The next day, after meeting the founder, Ramon (who was in a particularly bad mood that day (hi there Ramon!), I took out a subscription. And since then I have never looked back and Betacowork has become a kind of second home to me.
The unbearable solitude of the translator
At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate when surrounded by other human beings. Remember: I’m a translator. And we translators are a little bit different, profoundly solitary (at least – at work). Eight hours a day we are submerged, like machines, in written texts (not necessarily well written) in a foreign language, in order to transcribe them into another language (in a language that is preferably impeccable) without loosing sight of the original author’s ideas, all this while trying to make sure that the result doesn’t “smell” of translation. It sounds simple, but it’s not always so (otherwise Google Translate would have put us all on the dole).
Solitude is necessary to concentrate, I would say. Happily, at Betacowork, we have a silent room where I decided to unpack my (bike) bags. Here, it’s out of order to make calls or noise. It’s a bit like a library, but without books. The room is open to all who need calm to to do good work.
The Great Ramon
His name’s Ramon. Ramon likes to bake good bread as well. Which takes us back to the baker’s.
So it’s about three years since I chose coworking, and believe me if you will, I still find myself regularly taking the time to thank Ramon for creating this space. And I know I’m not alone in this. For one of the (numerous) advantages of coworking is the possibility to meet other independents, people with the same preoccupations as yourself; together we talk social contributions, workload, invoicing, prospects, we share our experiences, we ask for advice, etc. And, over the course of the weeks, the months and years, true links are forged between us, which sometimes can flourish into genuine friendship. Sometimes I’ll chat with these new friends about Betacowork and what it has done for me, and most confirm that they feel the same way.
In my next blog I’ll tell you (if you want) how Betacowork, thanks to the varying natural intelligence that characterizes it, has completely changed my professional life (in a good way)in opening up for me a new skill (learned, partly, thanks to my coworkers) and, finally, a new client that I adore and is much more than just a client to me (come on give us a hint…. only if you insist). But that’s for next time. And if you really can’t wait, do like me: come for a day’s free trial offer and I’ll tell you all about it.