Are you top-leveling it?

May 23, 2019 in Work/Life Balance

A few years back a blogpost titled “5 truths of top-level freelancers” caught my eye. I was 2 years into my freelancing career and working out of the Reno Collective “fishbowl” in downtown Reno. The article made me stop and consider: am I really doing this, or am I just doing this. The writer, Ashley Livingston on the Freelancers Union blog, states that top-level freelancers have 5 truths in common and that to own this game we all must:

  • Freelance full time and regard what we do as a real, serious business
  • Charge premium prices in exchange for premium work that solves a business’ problems
  • Automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks and outsource work we don’t excel at
  • Project complete authority and authenticity across all mediums
  • Create and sell digital products and have profitable blogs

At the time I was able to check a few of the 5 boxes Livingston lists, but I knew I needed help with the rest and that’s where Reno Collective came in. I was surrounded by other people who I trusted to review my prices and offer feedback, people who had experience with automating tasks and helped me determine what programs would be beneficial, and – most importantly for me at the time – people who would take a break in the day to sit and have a coffee and offer the words of encouragement I needed to feel authoritative and authentic about my work.

That’s what Reno Collective does for a number of other people – freelancers striving to keep up, remote employees feeling disconnected, small business owners who are scaling, and more.

We have a dedicated collection of staff and owners that are here to help connect, engage and support you as a freelancer with resources, research, programming, YEARS of experience, and an ever-growing network. No matter how many years of experience as an independent worker that you have, assistance and support are key as in any traditional office setting.

At Reno Collective, we are more than just a workspace – we are coworking together. Sound like a place you would benefit from? Set up a tour so we can show you around, introduce you to some kick-ass people and get you to work!

Squirrel! aka The Distractions List.

May 9, 2019 in Announcements

For many professionals, each day commences with a list so epic that it warrants its own official name. “The List” varies in its many forms: online or on paper, mobile or tablet, in a calendar, or maybe it never made its way to the physical world and resides somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind. “The List” is important – well, most of it anyway. A funny thing happens as we progress through our day…The List expands. Like rabbits in a field, the damn thing is constantly multiplying. SO, how  do you stay on task with the items you originally selected for the day? There’s a trick psychologist, author and writer, Nick Wignall suggests The Distractions List.

One of many useful suggestions that Wignall makes on his blog nickwignall.com, is to create a daily “distractions list.” Wignall says to keep a piece of paper, or a notebook, nearby so that you can jot down any “oh shit” thoughts.

Requirements for a useful “Distractions List”:

  • Easy-to-access
  • Visible
  • NOT an additional distraction(!)

The primary intention of the distractions list is to get thoughts that pop into your head OUT into the open. This way, your brain doesn’t waste precious time ruminating on the distractions–while you attempt to stay on task.


Here are a few options we’ve tested out at Reno Collective for creating your own distractions list:

  1. **THE FAV**: grab a piece of scratch paper
    PRO = recycling paper | CON = Still using paper
  2. THE TASKER: use the Tasks sidebar in Google Calendar
    PRO = easy access on your laptop or computer desktop | CON = easy to get distracted by looking at your calendar
  3. THE CONNECTOR: create a Note on your phone
    PRO = you always have your phone | CON = looking at your phone can be a distraction in itself
  4. THE TRACKER: use the sidebar of your day planner or calendar
    PRO = you can track your distractions day-by-day | CON = space is at a minimum

Comment below if you have any other suggestions for those “oh shit” moments in life.

Reno Collective is always on the lookout for more ways to help independent workers be more productive and manage their time and energy efficiently. Are you looking for a workplace where you are surrounded by other like-minded, motivated, people? Sign up for a tour of the Collective today and experience what we have to offer.

Read Wignall’s full article here.

May is Bike Month!

May 2, 2019 in Announcements

Attention bicycle riders and wanna-be riders!! It’s Bike Month in Reno/Sparks and our friends at Kiwanis of Downtown Sparks are hosting their Biggest Little Bike Swap – a great place for you or your kid to find a bike for summer! Biking to work? We LOVE it at the Reno Collective! We offer bike racks for the convenience and safety of all our “cycologist” members 🙂

These bikes are all refurbished and proceeds support Kiwanis programming, including pedestrian and bicycling safety, bike donations to youth, and service leadership programs (including Key Club and Circle K.)

Need a bike? Come check out available bikes at Snowflake Pavilion at Idlewild Park between 10am and 2pm THIS SATURDAY, May 5. 

Have a bike to donate or consign? Bring it at 9am so it can be tagged for sale. 

WHAT: Biggest Little Bike Swap

WHEN: Saturday, May 5 – 10AM – 2PM

WHERE: Snowflake Pavilion at Idlewild Park

9am – Drop off consignments

10am – 2pm Sales

Do you already have your bike(s)? Come join us at Riding on the River at Cottonwood Park on May 18 from 10am and 2pm for 5, 10 and 15 mile ride options, along with games, food, entertainment and bike safety checks. 


OTHER EVENTS FOR BIKE MONTH:

Saturday, May 11th — Reno River Roll: Organized as part of the Reno River Festival, the River Roll offers an opportunity to be part of a huge, rolling concert. Costumes are encouraged! When you register for the event, $5 will be donated to a local cycling organization of your choice. 

Saturday, May 18 — Riding on the River at Cottonwood Park on May 18 from 10am and 2pm for 5, 10 and 15 mile ride options, along with games, food, entertainment and bike safety checks. 

Saturday, June 1 — Wyld Market Pops Up @ Bike Month After Party: Wandering Wyld is bringing an awesome celebration of the close of another (hopefully) successful Bike Month. June 1 in MidTown for a family-friendly festival including local artists, musicians, food, and bikes!

Thinking of adding a bike commute to your work routine? Well, get out of the house and set up your office here at the Reno Collective. Book a tour for a look around today!

Coworking Curious?

April 30, 2019 in Announcements

Starting May 1st, Reno Collective is offering a brand-new Coworking Curious membership for coworking first-timers. Available only for use during the month of May, this first-timers-only membership includes 5 days of coworking for use weekdays from 9am – 5pm for $75.

The Coworking Curious membership is perfect for independent workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote employees wanting to try out a new workspace away from the distractions of home and busy coffee shops.  The $75 can be applied to a monthly membership if signing up in May. Business and 24/7 memberships at Reno Collective start at just $200 per month.

Your independent work-style provides freedom, but requires flexibility. Our coworking memberships are month-to-month – NO long-term contract required – and designed around the hours YOU keep.


Coworking Curious Membership

  • Reno Collective first-timers only
  • Available May 1 – 31st, 2019
  • 5 days for $75 (50% off day rates – reg. $30 per day)
  • Key provided for access Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm (with $20 refundable key deposit)
  • $75 can be applied to a month of membership for May OR June **will not be applied to any other months

Interested? Sign up for a day and time to check us out!

5 Tips for Working Outdoors and Staying Focused

April 25, 2019 in Coworking, Inspiration, Work/Life Balance

The sun is out in Northern Nevada and Reno Collective coworkers are shaking off their winter blues with some fresh air and sunshine on the porch.

Here are 5 tips for freelancers who want to get outside AND still be productive:

ACCESS TO POWER: No matter how much battery life your laptop or your phone say they have, you can plan on BOTH running out in the middle of your workday. Be sure you are near a power source or that tan you’ve been working on will be “half-baked.”

RELIABLE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET: Obviously. For all the facebook trolling research that you need to get done.

SHADE: That laptop you have been banging away at for the last 4 hours gets HOT in the sun. Make sure you park yourself somewhere you can avoid the suns direct rays, and…

DRINK WATER: Keep it on hand! Especially in Northern Nevada, our humidity is LOW so consume that H2O like your mama told you.

COWORKERS: Not the distracting kind like your four-legged friend or roommate who’s come outside for a break from binge-watching GoT, but other professionally-minded people like you that are there to work. Those people will help keep you on track and the beer at the end of the day will taste that much sweeter!


Where can you find a magical place that incorporates all these things? The Reno Collective – that’s where! Our wrap-around porch makes coworking outside ideal – lots of power and high-speed internet, cold fresh water on tap and motivated independent workers like yourself to keep you focused, productive and lovin’ every minute of the freelance life.

Looking for a place to get shit done with other like-minded professionals who are hacking the work/life balance? Request a tour today!

Dog-Friendly coworking certainly has its benefits.

April 9, 2019 in Coworking, Inspiration, Work/Life Balance
Look at that face! Meet Ren, one of our Collective “coworkers” 🙂

It’s National Pet Day on Thursday, April 11th, and at the Collective we HEART all our pets and happily welcome office-friendly dogs to our dog-friendly coworking space here in Reno, NV.

Turns out that there is a slew of benefits to having furry friends of the canine variety wander the office:

Not a fan of dogs? No problem – you are welcome to avoid any and all contact with any visiting pups, allergies notwithstanding :(. They are all vetted for their friendliness factor AND we have a strict one-strike-and-you’re-out policy.  

Interested in becoming a member? Schedule a tour and let us introduce you to our space and our community!

Supporting a Community through Service

April 5, 2019 in Announcements, Events

It’s not every day that we get to pat ourselves on the back – but right now, we absolutely are! Last week, March 28th, Reno Collective was recognized as the Professional Services Organization of the Year at the 12th annual NCET Tech Awards and we are PSYCHED!!! 

It is an honor to be recognized for the hard work (not to mention the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to build all. of. the. IKEA.) that the Collective founders and staff put in each day to create a space that serves the needs of the diverse independent workforce in Reno and beyond. Sometimes we succeed (Accountability: Coworking-style) and sometimes we fail (oh, yes, Procrasti-planning happens.), but we haven’t quit and that is because of our members and our community.

Now, you might be thinking “coworking as a service?” Damn right we are! The Collective is not just a workspace with conference rooms and free amazing coffee, we are a hub of knowledge, a resource for independent workers, a base for creatives and…well, you get the idea 🙂

“…provides professional services and which has successfully advocated for and supported Northern Nevada’s technology community and has demonstrated leadership and innovation in that field.”

Professional Services Organization of the Year award
Reno Collective’s Community Manager Rachel Kingham (middle) with NCET’s Renee Pickens McGinnes and Dave Archer.

In the decade since the Reno Collective’s humble start in a downtown coffeeshop, we have hosted more than 1,000 community leaders, business owners, startup founders, creative professionals, programming whizzes, marketing mavens, and social media experts, not to mention the archaeologists, the videographers, the game-changers, the students and even one clown(!)

And not prone to tooting our own horns – we want to also recognize one of our own Reno Collective members, Nathan Digangi of Allgo Social, who was celebrated as Startup Champion of the Year by EDAWN, an award he definitely deserves as a person who plays an integral role in our local Startup and entrepreneur ecosystem. CONGRATS NATHAN!!!

The winners of the NCET 20th Anniversary & 2019 Tech Awards Gala.

And CONGRATS to all of the other winners of the NCET 20th Anniversary & 2019 Tech Awards Gala. We are certainly in great company!!

Finding Your Flow

March 27, 2019 in Announcements
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

One of the great benefits of coworking is working alongside other people who are just as invested as you are in succeeding at being an independent worker. Newcomers to the Reno Collective often say: “Thank you! I got SO much more done today than my entire last week at home!”

Do we have some secret scent pumping from the vents? Or a special creamer for the coffee? Nope – our “secret” is pretty well-known: working from home – or other “distraction filled places – is…distracting! Too many distractions and you can’t find that happy place of FLOW.

Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging. – Roomer

So, what IS flow? According to blogger Jari Roomer, in his article, How To Reach Flow State (Using 10 Flow State ‘Triggers’): “Flow state is a very powerful state of mind where you are extremely productive and also feel great. You don’t have to force yourself to work hard. Rather, it seems to go automatically. It seems as if you are ‘flowing’ through your work.”

Roomer’s 10 Triggers are worth reviewing, here are a few of our favorites:


TRIGGER 1: Eliminate all external distractions. That means not just putting your phone on silent, but turning it over or putting it away [tried one of these yet?]. And don’t just clear off your workspace, but your computer desktop as well: close any extraneous browser tabs [the horror!] and turn off notifications [how could you!].


TRIGGER 2: Eliminate internal distractions. Roomer suggests daily journaling and meditation, which both struck a chord with us. One of the more popular topics in our member accountability group, Cotivation, is a habit gleaned from Bullet Journaling: starting and ending the day by listing your to-dos. More on this later… but a key benefit is getting your to dos out of your head.

And, who has time for meditation, you ask? We recently launched a new Wellness @ Work program for Collective coworkers featuring free weekly meditation breaks led by our friends at Good Elephant. So, us – that’s who!


TRIGGER 3: Work at your Biological Peak Time. Find the time of day that you have the most energy. It’s not easy and may take a few days – if not weeks – of tracking, but well worth it. Try this simple energy check-in table we created for our recent #FreelanceFriday attendees:


Our suggestion: take 10 minutes and read Roomer’s full article on Medium.com. Love to hear your thoughts – or perhaps you have a few triggers of your own to share. Please do!

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.