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How working communities reshaping the start-up scene are ‘in it together’

BY Amanda Smith

{Copywriter}

7 September 2017

‘A free co-working, co-living experience for amazing people…’

This was how Grind Camp was advertised. There was a lot of room for making your own interpretation. The organisers expanded on this a little further in the interview, explaining how they believe that communities are co-created in action – and can’t grow organically if it’s built by customers.

When asked about their motivations behind creating the program, Muriel responded: “We want to see people leap away from linear into exponential and that happens when you hang out with the right people.”

It was somewhat of a social experiment to see what would happen when you put 20 entrepreneurs from around the world in a house for one month. I was initially drawn to the program because it was free. Not because I wanted to get something for nothing, but I liked the concept – that it was focused on sowing creativity and connections rather than profit.

It was tackling one of the biggest issues for remote workers. That is, relationships and having people around you who live the same lifestyle. Fast-forward a few weeks after applying and I got in. I went with a one-way ticket to Nicaragua and absolutely no expectations.

Those 30 days changed my life… and I’m still trying to find the best way to explain it.

Transformative, challenging and clarifying are a few words that come to mind. There’s great value in simply observing how different types of people run their remote business.

Take me, for example. I’m up by 8.00AM every day and I like to be done by lunchtime. I’m instinctively habitual, focused and in love with what I do. Yara, a web developer from Jamaica, worked through the night, from 11.00PM until 4.00AM.

Watching the contrast in schedules, working habits and the daily tasks we all focused on was essential to the growth I experienced.

Bloggers, software developers, drop shippers, membership sites & lifestyle coaches

If there’s one thing Grind Camp did well was the contrasting mix of businesses and personalities in the house.

Alex and Lauren, two Americans in their mid-twenties run Avocadu. They help women lose weight quickly, safely, and consistently. Making their first dollar through an eBook, the couple went onto create more digital products like their Yoga Fat Loss Bible, plus physical products such as probiotics. Their blog took off so they decided to leverage what they learned and teach it to budding bloggers. Create and Go helps people create, grow and monetise their blogs. Here, they sell three-tier courses for bloggers at every stage.

 

Taylor, also helps people take their career online but in a different way. She helps women find, apply for and secure remote jobs. She supports her community in three ways:

  • The Weekly Roundup Email where she lists the latest jobs. This is $19.99 / month.
  • The Remote Like Me Membership. As well as the weekly email, members get access to a private area and fortnightly video training on remote work topics. It’s $29.99 / month.
  • VIP Membership: Women get all that’s listed above, plus fortnightly group collaboration calls, a resume overhaul, and cover letter consultation. That’s $59.99 / month.

Another interesting business is DS Genie. After teaching himself drop shipping and building a ten-figure per month store, he realised there were things he was doing that was taking up all his time.

The DS Genie software automates 70% of the drop shipping process. Every month, Marc earns thousands through his revolutionary software, step-by-step training, and engaged community. He spends $0 on advertising because he connects with prospects through his drop shipping YouTube channel.

These entrepreneurs prove that you can, in fact, have it all in business and life. I sit here, back in New York city, writing in my favourite cafe again. While my business and life looks the same from the outside, Grind Camp changed me. I’m more creative and inspired than I’ve ever been.

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