Mindful March

March 6, 2019 in Announcements

As most members of a coworking community can attest, being your own boss, the sole motivator, the captain of your own ship, can be pretty stressful. With the “luxury” of setting your own hours comes the NEED for setting your own boundaries.

Photo by Romain Vignes

At the Reno Collective we take this to heart by researching motivational methods and productivity tips to share with our members – such as Mike Montiero’s Creative Mornings talk on important business lessons learned from Goodfellas and the best extensions to block your Facebook feed while you are working; coordinating with local gym and recreation sites for discounts for our members – including The Studio, BaseCamp Climbing Gym and Sportwest Athletic Club; and recruiting local health and mindfulness professionals like Saul Jimenez for advice and workshops for our members; and SO much more.

Membership at the Collective is a seat at the table of a community designed to support and encourage YOUR professional and personal growth, while you focus on your work at hand.

Membership at the Collective is not just a seat at a desk with free coffee, but a seat at the table of a community designed to support and encourage YOUR professional – and along with that, your personal – growth.

For instance, we asked Collective Member and personal trainer Saul Jimenez, of The Healthy Strong Fit Method, to write about how to be physically mindful while working. He created Creativity Athletes: Mastering the Art of Sitting, the first in a series for those of us who spend most of our time at a desk with a computer.

And one of our newest Collective members, Colleen Camenisch of Equilibrium MBSR, is bringing mindfulness to work in 2019 with three special workshops during #FreelanceFridays. (Dates and topics to be announced soon.)

So, whether it’s organizing accountability groups for our freelance members who are looking for professional peer support or simply converting to compostable k-cups to lessen our impact on the planet, we commit our time and energy to our members so that you can commit your time and energy to doing what YOU are passionate about.

And we always leave the energy-efficient light on 😉

Creativity Athletes: Mastering the Art of Sitting

March 2, 2019 in Work/Life Balance

This a guest post by Reno Collective member Saul Jimenez, a coach and instructor in a variety of fields for over 25 years. In that time, he has refined his programming/coaching and developed The Healthy Strong Fit Method. More information about Saul, and the health & wellness perks of being a member at the Collective, below.

“Sitting is the new smoking.”

Many of us have felt the physical burden of being a “creativity professional” – day after day, creative professionals need to be able to sit or stand for long periods of time without getting injured. Sitting for long hours can be rough on your back, neck and shoulder joints. It can make you tight and possibly more at risk for injury when you’re enjoying activities outside of freelancing that bring you joy. This post – and the accompanying videos – will help you start paying attention to the way you position your body while sitting, and help with aches and pains that come along with sitting for long periods of time.

While everyone knows to get up and change positions every 20/30/60 minutes or so, creative people need to sit or stand for longer to get into flow-state.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a math teacher. I asked a college professor what I could do to be the best math teacher and he said, “Be as good as you can be at math.” In the following 20+ years, I have mulled over that response and have vacillated, several times, between “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard” to “That was genius!” While I never ended up teaching math, that piece of advice has translated into two principles that we use in our creativity athletes training:   

  • Being good (i.e. technically proficient) is necessary but not sufficient enough to achieve observable results.
  • In the volatile world we live in, prioritizing on controlling the things I can control leads to a happier and more resilient, more anti-fragile life. 

While it is true that sitting for long periods of time can put you at risk for injury, if we know what a good sitting position is and what our body needs to maintain that position for hours at a time, that is a necessary but not sufficient skill to have to reduce the risk for injury. (The other is load management, but we will get to that in another post.) In this sitting tutorial, we are going to make sure that you know what a good sitting position feels like and gain the skills to be able to sit/stand for long periods of time with minimal pain. In addition, if you do wind up in pain with shoulders, back or neck you can try some of these exercises and hopefully that will bring you some relief. 

So, what is a good sitting position? While sitting in a chair, from the ground up, have your feet flat(ish), your knees and hips bent at 90 degrees or so and a neutral spine where the rib cage is stacked over the pelvis. For most people, a neutral spine consists of a slight concave curvature in the lower spine, a slight convex curvature in the upper spine, and a slight concave curvature in the neck.  

Over the decade I spent training others at my gym, the most common questions were: “Am I doing this correctly?” and “How do I know if I am doing this wrong?” The following exercises will help you determine just that. Each position/exercise is dependent on the skill developed in the previous step. You will notice that each position is “harder” or leveraged in a different way than the previous position. There may be many times when you blast through steps 0 and 1 in one minute. There will be other days when all you can do is lie on your back and breathe.

How far you progress each day is not important, what is important is that you maintain a position with proper belly breathing, each day.

The way these positions/exercises progress is the following:

  1. Start from the inside and work outwards. (i.e. start from roughly your center of gravity then move towards your extremities.) 
  2. Start from the ground and work towards standing
  3. Work position, movement, strength and power, in that order.

Before starting, confirm you have a good baseline exercise to use as a test. What I mean by a baseline exercise is that all other exercises should be able to be done within the context of breathing. We are going to assume ownership of a position or movement is correlated with ability to breathe into your belly while in the position or movement. Since it is so important, let’s take a minute to dial in breathing.

STEP 0 – Belly Breathing Assessment: Lay on your back, bring your feet up towards your pelvis, place your hands on your belly and then move your hands up and down using just your breath. Because your spine and head are supported by the ground, you shouldn’t have to use any other parts of your body to breathe; however, the most common “cheat” is to use the chest and/or neck to breathe.

Each of the following steps are to be done with this deep belly breathing. Follow along with the demonstrations in this video.

STEP 1 – 90/90 Breathing Assessment: While laying on your back, confirm you can be in a “sitting position” (i.e. hip(s) flexed and rib cage in line with pelvis, with back supported.)

STEP 2 – Single Leg Hip Flexion Assessment: While laying on your back, confirm you can move in and out of “sitting position” with back supported.

STEP 3 – Shin Box Assessment: Confirm that you can be in sitting position with hips in internal and external rotation. Are there any asymmetries?

STEP 4 – Toe Touch + Founder Assessment: Confirm that you can flex hips and move between a flexed and a neutral spine while standing.

The struggle is real. We have all felt the physical burden of being a creativity professional. Sitting for long hours can be rough on the back, neck and shoulder joints. I hope this post will help you start thinking of sitting as a physical activity that can be done safely with attention to position like any other physical activity. In addition, I hope this article and video can help you regain a pain-free sitting position if things go off the rails. 

ABOUT SAUL: As a past Strength Coach, Outward Bound instructor, ski coach/instructor and river guide, Saul has coached movement in one way or another for over 25 years. Over the years, Saul has refined his programming/coaching and developed The Healthy Strong Fit Method which is the foundation of his training (http://fitnessinreno.com/healthy-strong-fit-method/). While Saul loves to train athletes for sports like surfing, swimming, tennis, skiing, running, etc., he has found his niche in working with Licensed Health Care Practitioners to help injured athletes return to their passion, whether that is skiing, running or chasing their grandkids around. When he is not training athletes, Saul likes to go on skiing, biking and hiking adventures with his wife. You can reach Saul at saulj@fitnessinreno.com


Membership at the Collective has it’s health PERKS, including discounted rates at The Studio and Sportswest Athletic Club! For more information, and to get your member discount codes, contact rachel@renocollective.com.

Wish You Were Here: The Loneliness Epidemic

February 13, 2019 in Announcements

National Make a Friend Day was February 11th.

Thursday, the 14th, is Valentine’s Day.

And somewhere in between is Galentine’s Day?!?

February has become a month of cheesy Hallmark cards and chalky conversation hearts. BUT – aside from the cynicism-inducing money-making business of “love” – companionships, friendships, and partnerships are actually quite significant when you consider your mental and emotional health. Personally AND professionally.

Just take a look at these “loneliness epidemic” facts:

In other words, isolation in moderation can be great but interaction with other humans beings is necessary. (And no – social media can NOT replace actual human relationships, but don’t take our word for it, ask these people).

So – whether you are extroverted or introverted – when you realize your succulent is the closest thing to a coworker that you have, it’s time to take a step back and get OUT.

For this auspicious week of anti-loneliness we have a few “work-place” suggestions:

1. Make a new friend – or simply meet a peer. Join us at the Collective for #FreelanceFriday. On the 3rd Friday of every month we bring together freelancers from various fields to connect, work, talk, share, and laugh while GETTING SHIT DONE. Seems fitting that it takes place this week Friday, February 15th, right?

2. Get out of your home office. Try coworking. The idea is simple: bring your work, meet other people, get your work done AND go home healthier! Memberships are always available at the Collective, starting at $200 / month with access to more than 100 other professionals that are motivated to succeed and dedicated to the work they do and create. Not ready to commit yet? (pun definitely intended) #FreelanceFriday is a great way to try out coworking for the day, or stop in for a day pass any weekday and see what all the fuss is about.

3. Get out of your bubble. “Community” is more than just a concept at the Collective. As Community Manager, I pride myself on being able to connect members both to each other AND to non-members. Whether it’s the free coffee in the kitchen, beer o’clock on a random Friday, summertime BBQs on the lawn, or the professional accountability group we offer – we try to create as many possibilities for members to connect and collaborate. Not a member? We host a number of public meetups, classes, and events that you can take part in and get to know us.

Get in touch – and break out of the isolation! Reach us anytime at hello@renocollective.com. We are here for you! 🙂

Procrasti-planning happens.

February 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

Last year the goal was set: re-launch the Reno Collective blog.

The plan: research and write content to post on a regular basis.

The process:

  • come up with ideas about stuff to write about
  • create categories to organize the ideas about stuff to write about
  • color code the categories to organize the ideas about stuff to write about
  • find an app that will color code and organize the lists of ideas about stuff to write about
  • research a better app to color code and organize the lists of ideas about stuff to write about
  • design a custom app to color code and organize the lists of ideas about stuff to write about
  • omg. JUST WRITE SOMETHING!

Happens all the time. You find yourself spending hours of time trying to decide the best way to START a project, before actually starting it. The best way to ORGANIZE a project, without having anything to organize, yet. But – fear not! – it’s not procrastination, well, not “just” procrastinating. It’s “procrasti-planning,” the art of spending a bunch of time getting something done that really doesn’t actually amount to much in the end.

According to Urban Dictionary: Procrastiplanning – (noun.) The act of putting off tasks of high priority and replacing them with the organization and planning of low-priority or incidental activities.

So, how do you stop spending hours weeks testing out various project management apps in order to find the “best” project management app in order to manage the project that you REALLY need to just f%#$ing start?

No really, I’m asking you.

For me, just starting was the best only way to overcome my procrasti-planning. I forced myself to stop thinking of the best way to organize my ideas in a beautifully color-coded app, and instead opened up a blank page and started a post. As I wrote I made notes on a spreadsheet. As I made more notes, I found I had to organize the spreadsheet. As I organized the spreadsheet, a few colors magically began to appear. Yeah – it took time to find a groove but now I have this super-productive and semi-boring spreadsheet that results in a blog post each Tuesday. Well, most Tuesdays. This week I just plain ole’ procrastinated.

And, when all else fails, watch a TED Talk. May I suggest Tim Urban’s Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

All the books – none of the time.

January 29, 2019 in Announcements

There are SO many books. There are books about habits – building them and breaking them. Books about listening to your intuition and books about the power of deep thought. Books that tell you to GO FASTER! and books that say slow down… So – we’ve decided to have some fun and tackle a few with our brand-new “Get Shit Done” booklist. Our posts are part review, part summary, part commentary. More books will be added over time – please make suggestions in the comments!

*Each “post” is the author’s own and does not reflect the view of the Reno Collective or its members.

The first book up is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by blogger and author Mark Manson. (My sincerest apologies if you have been on the hold list at my local library.) Contrary to Mark’s promise (click the link…), my face is still firmly attached, but I liked it. I found it on one of those New-Year-New-You blog posts that espouse the greatest “get shit done” books ever written in the blah, blah, blah.

A few takeaways:

1. There are just way too many fucks to consider giving – so carefully choose the ones most important to you and stick with them. According to Manson: “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.” We are trained to give a fuck about as much as possible…why? “Because giving a fuck about more is good for business.” (Think bigger TVs and longer selfie sticks…with fans.)

2. The fire hose of information that we consume each day is teaching us that “exceptionalism is the new normal.” If it won’t break the internet – don’t bother. Manson’s suggestion: not only do we need to learn not to WANT more, more, more, but we also need to stop trying to BE more, more, more.

3. Get your values in check. “If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.” SO – you can either decide to gauge your success by selling millions of records in your own band or by selling more records than your former bandmates. (See: Megadeth vs. Metallica) One leaves you fulfilled, the other miserable and weepy. Literally, apparently.

4. Life’s not all rainbows and unicorns (?!?) and it’s actually pretty healthy to admit it. Manson’s thought: “denying negativity is perpetuating problems rather than solving them.”

5. Shakespeare may have written Romeo and Juliet to satirize romance – not celebrate it?!? (Sorry, Leo.)

I would suggest this book if you a) hold grudges and b) are a people pleaser. It’s a quick read and there are some great “case studies.” However, if you are averse to four-letter words and constant reminders of just how much sex the author had in his life, it might not be for you.

Have you read it yourself? What did you think? Worth it – not worth it?

Why Students Need Coworking.

January 23, 2019 in Announcements

Because professionals work here.

Escaping the distractions of a busy home, active roommates and loud “study areas” are all great reasons for students to consider working out of a coworking space, BUT the bigger benefit? Actively meeting and working beside professionals in your field of study.

(mic drop.)

With a monthly membership at the Reno Collective, students can take advantage of the opportunity to level up their studies by connecting directly with local creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Imagine working alongside potential mentors and employers.

The connections I’ve made are great! Through the Collective I’ve met people that do the same work that I do, which for me is hard to find at school, but also people that have similar hobbies outside the work environment.

– Alec R., student member

For $30 per month, full-time students get 24/7 access to the Collective, including open-plan cafe-style seating, conference rooms that are perfect for group meetings, the chance to participate in a professional accountability group with peers, and unlimited FREE COFFEE (should have led with that, right?).

Request a tour at renocollective.com/students and start leveling up today!

2019: Year of the Freelancer

January 14, 2019 in Announcements

We’ve started up a new thing over at Reno Collective. If you’re a freelancer, independent contractor or freelance-curious, third Fridays are going to be your new jam. Collective members AND non-members are invited!

Each month at the Collective we will open our doors to freelancers of all types and experience levels for freelance work sprints, facilitated discussions, Q&A and of course, coffee. It’s what we call our monthly “get shit done” day. Registration is required.

Freelancing is the dream, right?! You are your own boss, you set your own hours, you get to work in your pajamas… It’s also a TON of hard work and comes with its own set of challenges, including isolation.

So, join us for #freelancefridays and let’s all grow as freelancers together. Let’s get shit done and support each other at the same time. A monthly tuneup of your business? A check-in with your peers? The chance to finish that project you keep putting on the back burner? Whatever it is that you are looking for we’re here to help you make the most of your freelancing career in 2019.

More information at: renocollective.com/freelancers/

Accountability: Coworking-style

January 8, 2019 in Announcements

With a lifestyle of never-ending to-do lists, setting and accomplishing goals can be especially tricky. Day 1, inspiration hits. Day 2, reality hits. A tried-and-true method of accomplishing a goal? Accountability to someone other than yourself.

One of the biggest benefits of working out of the Reno Collective is the chance to join a 6-week accountability group called “Cotivation.” Cotivation is a quarterly program where a small group of Collective members meet for 1 hour a week, across 6 weeks, with a moderator who presents topics and leads discussions. Each member decides on a goal or habit to work on over the 6-week session, shares it with the group and – tah dah! – the magic happens.

Co-tivation. Like Mo-tivation coworking-style…get it?!?

Now, not every Cotivation participant gets their goal accomplished in those 6 weeks – but evidence proves that just taking it off the back burner of life and sharing it with others gets you one step closer to success. Weekly meetings ensure everyone has a sense of accountability as well as ongoing guidance from helpful peers. Challenges are routinely identified, tackled, then re-examined, so participants feel a sense of not just progress in their work but in their development as better professionals and more well-rounded people.

Membership at the Reno Collective isn’t just a “place to work,” it’s a place to be a part of a community that collaborates and motivates.

UPCOMING SESSIONS:

  • Q1: weeks of Jan. 14 – Feb. 18 (weekday and time to be selected by group)
  • Q2: weeks of April 22 – May 27 (weekday and time to be selected by group)

RC Members – if you are interested in participating sign up here.

If you are curious about Cotivation – or a membership at the Collective – contact Rachel: rachel@renocollective.com or (members) reach out to @Rachel on slack.

Join Us for the Reno Collective OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, July 19, 2018

June 28, 2018 in Announcements

It’s been one year in our new location and it’s time to celebrate what makes the Reno Collective so great: COMMUNITY. Everyone is invited to join us for the RENO COLLECTIVE OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, July 19th from 4:30 – 7pm at 1515 Plumas St – corner of Plumas and Mt Rose – formerly Granny’s House Recording Studio.

Interested in seeing the space? Take a tour with one of the owners! Guests can try out our 3-D Printer in the Maker Studio or sit in the hot seat of the Podcast Studio. Both amenities are free for use with membership to the Collective, along with: a legal address that’s not your apartment, a place to meet someone you might rather not invite to your living room, and tools like erase boards and projectors.

Curious to see what exactly it is that we do here? Stop by for a beer and chat with a member about what our collaborative workspace means to them. Our members are freelancers, telecommuters, and independent workers from diverse fields including videography, photography, software development, design, business process optimization, coaching, marketing, and yes, even rocket science. The cross-pollination that occurs in this building gets us all a little closer to truly changing the world.

RSVP via Facebook or rachel@renocollective.com

Introducing the Reno Collective Cotivation Program

June 30, 2017 in Announcements

Many of our members joined Reno Collective to create a sense of accountability for themselves. We want to help our members stay accountable and get them closer to achieving their goals while connecting with fellow members in the process. To accomplish this, we’re excited to announce our new Cotivation program for Reno Collective members.

What is Cotivation?
Cotivation is a five-week program, with participants meeting on a weekly basis to set goals and revisit previous commitments. This means that every participant has a chance to make progress with the help of fellow coworkers. Weekly meetings ensure everyone has a sense of accountability as well as ongoing guidance from helpful peers. Challenges are routinely identified, tackled, then re-examined, so participants can feel a sense of not just progress in their work but in their development as better professionals and more well-rounded people.

The Cotivation format was created by Tony Bacigalupo https://twitter.com/tonybgoode and Susan Dorsch https://twitter.com/nomadicq and we are excited to be introducing it to the Reno Collective community.

Dates
Two info-sessions will be held on July 7 & July 12, both meant to help you get a better sense of whether Cotivation is right for you. The deadline to join will be July 12, and the first session will begin during the week of July 17-21, the final session will be during the week of August 14th-18th. There will be one session a week, approximately an hour long, during a total of five weeks.

Get Started
We will be piloting this with a first batch of 8-10 members and will open it up to more batches after we complete the first one in August.

If you’re interested in getting in on the first batch, please attend one of the information sessions and/or sign up here: https://renocollective.typeform.com/to/VB6kxB