This is a long story so bear with me. There is a point to it. TLDR folks – skip to the bottom!
COTU 1: 300 East
For years, I called a local restaurant, 300 East, the Center of the Universe (COTU). I rarely went there but when I did, inevitably, I ran into someone I knew.
COTU 2: Caribou Coffee on East Blvd
Just down the road, I started visiting Caribou Coffee. Then I noticed that I would run into obscure people that I knew but never saw anywhere in town there. That became the new COTU.
COTU 3: Starbucks on East Blvd << Notice a trend of location?
One day, I wanted to try something new so instead of turning right on East Blvd, I went straight across and stopped at Starbucks. From there, it became my new COTU. I made SO many friends there. Yes, I have very close amazing friends that I met at Starbucks. If you’re wondering how I made friends at Starbucks, drop a comment and I’ll write a blog on that in itself.
For my Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR) friends:
COTU stands for Center of the Universe and what I nicknamed my favorite coffee shop where I frequently worked remotely.
But then the pendulum swung too far. I loved COTU so much that I started to think that I couldn’t work anywhere else but there. I went there when I needed to be creative, think out of the box, and/or come up with a new solution. I did my best work at COTU. I was productive and creative and I loved the flow I felt there.
Then it became a new kind of constraint. I was afraid to get an office job because I needed to be able to work at COTU. I didn’t want to lose that freedom. I was passing up career opportunities because of this fear.
My friend Michael said, The coffee shop is in your head. Then he pointed at his head. It was like, DUH! You can work anywhere but I didn’t believe him for a few years. I’m a slow learner!
Now, I know, where you work is in your head. I work in an office now. I drive in (very reasonable 20 minute commute) 3 – 5 days/ week. I do have the option to work from home and sometimes I do. But I’ve grown up (sort of). I don’t have to run off to COTU to work anymore. In fact, I recently squatted in the back of a Marriott on their nice outdoor patio and banged out a blog. I can work anywhere and there’s so much freedom to finally understanding that.