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Ditch the Crutches

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Crutches, we all have them. Not in the literal sense, but in the metaphorical sense where we have things that we use to prop us up when we feel weak.

On a personal level this may be Netflix, alcohol, adderall, cigarettes, shit-talking about others, judging others, self aggrandizement, and many many more vices. These do spill over into your professional life FYI.

In our coworking spaces this may be reusing marketing assets we created a year ago, riding on the notoriety of a new partner every quarter, or citing policy to an angry member instead of connecting on a human level. It may be buying flashy things instead of doing the right things, such as a fancy water container for another floor when plumbing another sink would have been the right choice or spending money on fancy events without investing in your space’s infrastructure and design.

Crutches are merely coping mechanisms because we don’t feel we have the time, energy, or money to do something better. They often result in high turnover (among colleagues, members, and friends) and little of long-term worth.

The opposite of crutches are muscles.

On a personal level, muscles are taking the time to meditate, journaling about things that upset us, doing a physical activity when we are stressed, and getting enough sleep. It’s eating healthier and building positive habits.

In our coworking space this may be taking the extra time to not only clean and organize the space, but changing the layout based on members’ actual use. It may be making the scary effort of connecting with members on a personal level instead of just being their manager. It may be taking the time and effort to bring home-made food to the happy hour instead of just ordering another damned cheese plate. It may be investing in systems that make your work easier and faster without removing the human element, such as batching high-quality content for marketing or scheduling connection time to mingle with members.

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You can rely on either muscles or crutches, but one makes you weaker over time and the other puts you in a position of strength. The thing to note about either is that while crutches seem to save time, energy, and money initially, it’s muscles that save them in the long run.

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