Currently sitting in Starbucks, sipping my birthday beverage (you get a free beverage here in your birthday month if you did not know). I got an Irish Cream Frappuccino this time, contrary to my regular Grande Java Chip order.
It is a nice place, crowded mostly with two kinds of people (like in any other Café). The first kind- some meeting their friends, some on ‘dates’ and a few with their families, basically the ones caffeinating and chilling. Another bunch is a serious kind- working mostly on laptops, having official meetings, thinking, planning, journaling, working on personal projects, and doing a myriad of other work things.
It is amazing to see how these places have emerged from just food-joints to the places where people knit their dreams.
Over the last few years, our generation has become more individualistic, thinks outside the herd mentality, and would give anything to not be a part of the rat race (despite the continuous nagging of our parents for us to keep being a rat or a sheep).
The world is changing from a job oriented economy to people wanting to start their own projects, businesses, to develop something which they can dedicate their life to, or some who plan to toil and sweat until 45 and travel the world after.
I have not worked out of an office for two years and in trying to find something of my own, have sat down innumerable times, for lack of a better word, to figure my shit out.
Picture: A girl in her almost mid-20s (with chocolates and a bucket of ice cream) scrolling through social media, cringing at all the wrong decisions she has made in the past, writing to do lists, making plans (that are never to be implemented), and trying to work for 10 minutes and watching youtube videos or shows for another two hours.
This is ‘Modern Multitasking’, by the way.
If you think this person is you, do not fret so much, it is just a phase. Most of us are going through or have been through a similar kind of a stage at one point in our lives. The next phase is going to be transformational, trust me.
Since the time we were born, we were made to be a part of the ‘society’ and were made to follow the ‘centuries-old rules and traditions’ framed by our ancestors neither of whom we knew and who did not know us. And when we were unable to align with the herd mentality, the society tagged us as unsuccessful or as people whose fates did not work in their favour.
Did someone tell you that you were probably meant to stand out? It did not matter if you could not succeed in a hundred things, there is certainly one thing you must be good at. And whoever said you cannot do more than one thing?
If only we were given the independence to be who we wanted to be (personally and professionally), there would have been happier people and not stressed out and depressed people willing to kill each other at even the silliest of things.
Coming back into the reality: Working from the confines of your home, all by yourself, can get extremely lonely and demotivating. And telling yourself that people have built companies out of working from a garage, only works so much.
Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and even Salaried-class people are trying to figure out what to do about their lives. Because they are not satisfied with what they are doing right now and want to achieve something that gives meaning to their monotonous and 9am-10pm life (it is an 8-hours-job only on papers). In doing so, the new culture has brought these cool cafés and co-working houses into the picture to give these young or even older people an amazing physical space to work on their goals, dreams, and side projects.
Going solo and trying to work in a public place can be distracting, having people sitting in groups around you talking and chilling, whereas you have to work on things you have not even completely figured out yet. On the other hand, it is inspiring seeing others, sitting on their own, working religiously to build something.
Why you should work out of a Café-
1. The coffee costs are huge these days (especially when you are just starting out and do not have a steady income). However, you can try working one or two days out of here and rest of the days out of your home.
2. You would not have to face those heated and unappetizing conversations with your parents at home. You can work in peace outside, a perfect escape from the uneventful discussions and lectures.
Now, I am not saying escape is always a good thing to do, but people won’t understand your dreams until they start existing in some visual form. Give yourself time, and do whatever it takes to make that happen.
3. With so many restaurants popping up every day and serving like a workplace, you can try different places everytime you go out. You get to meet new people and try different kinds of food. It creates a new environment for you, gives you a different energy and helps you build a fresh perspective.
4. You get to network with other people working there. Who knows you might end up making a new friend, or meet your co-founder at one of these places, or find a Venture Capitalist who is interested in your idea and gives you his/her visiting card for a meeting.
PS: It seemed right to start ‘Coffee Talks’ with this topic.