Suite Spotte’s Go-To-Grow Community membership features many coworking resources, one of the most popular being The HOT Seat. It’s here that members go for a weekly dose of camaraderie, motivation, answers, wisdom, laughter, and friendship. Work from home isolation quickly diminishes and true community connection happens because you are with people who get it and get you.
What is The HOT Seat?
Each week Suite Spotte members put aside whatever they are working on to jump on the one-hour virtual HOT Seat. Pre-pandemic we gathered in the conference room. Post-pandemic, The HOT Seat will be a hybrid of virtual and small group in-person gatherings. Either way, magic happens.
New ideas bubble to the top and take shape as budding opportunities. Tough challenges find viable solutions. Wins are celebrated and the pain from a recent failure soothed. Trending topics are explored from every angle, perspectives shared and debated.
This time for connection and sharing has been happening weekly at Suite Spotte since 2015 when members John Ryan and Mike Lambert launched the first HOT Seat. Although John has since moved on to new adventures in sunny Florida, Mike continues as a driving force behind The HOT Seat.
On any Friday at noon, you may find the courage to face a challenge, the answer to a problem, a vote of confidence, a new direction, or simply the reassurance that you aren’t alone. As a Suite Spotter, you not only have access to our coworking resources; you have the good fortune to belong to a community of smart, diverse, and supportive people who care as much about your success as their own.
After an hour you return to your work rewarded with a valuable “nugget” (as coined by Suite SpotterMark Akerley), and a welcome sense of belonging. All it took was for you to show up and be you.
One of my favorite proverbs, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”, sums up everything I believe about community.
Today, more than ever, being part of a community is invaluable. The pandemic has isolated us causing greater stress handling a chaotic world. Working from home, we may find ourselves disengaging from others who kept us motivated.
While most of us are members of various organizations, clubs, and networking groups, not all build community. There is a significant difference.
I get asked a lot what I mean by “community”. I’ve found the best way to understand the community difference is to ask yourself these four questions.
#1. Can you let your true self show when you are with your group, or do you find yourself acting how you think others expect you to act?
Community happens when members give each other permission to be themselves. Being vulnerable and authentic comes naturally and are rewarded with trusting and supportive relationships. You’ve heard of imposter syndrome, haven’t you? Well, that doesn’t exist within a community.
#2. Do you feel a genuine connection with the members of your group?
A connection means that you’ve gone beyond the surface to get to know other members and to understand their strengths and their particular needs. In community there’s a willingness to help one another face challenges and celebrate achievements without judgment. There’s no scorecard to track how many people I’ve helped and how many have helped me. Because within community, we genuinely wish our fellow members to succeed along with us.
#3. When you’re with your group, is it ok for you to voice a different idea or perspective?
Within a community, exploring diverse perspectives are encouraged because it opens our eyes to new ideas and points of view that we may never have otherwise considered. It’s how we learn and grow as individuals and as community. We may not always agree, but we do respect each other’s right to disagree.
That leads to my last question.
#4. Does your group support your growth?
Sharing of good and not so good experiences is a great way to learn. Openness and curiosity enrich our understanding making us more aware, more productive and leads to continuous personal and professional growth. We all want to keep growing, right?
Community is not just about you or about me, it’s about the collective us.
Whether you seek a business community such as Suite Spotte’s Go-To-Grow community, or a community of fitness or wine enthusiasts, find a group that empowers you to be the best you can be. Such a community will fill you with energy, joy, and give you the confidence to grow far beyond what you ever imagined.
Make the wise choice. Choose community and go far together.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Suite Spotte member, Mike Lambert to learn more about who he is and what he’s up to. When we say that Mike is one of the smartest and nicest guys around, that’s not an exaggeration. Read on and we’re sure you will agree.
Tell us how you got to where you are today professionally?
My brother made me an entrepreneur. He had his own businesses for awhile, and I would help him out on the side. We finally stumbled on something with one of those side projects, and the rest is history. Two months later, I gave my notice and joined him. That was 16 years ago.
Then in 2016 I met fellow Suite Spotter Jennifer Conroyd, Founder of Fluid Running, an app-based, fully coached, deep water running workout. That was the start of what was to become an amazing business collaboration.
What is the most rewarding part of the work you do?
With Fluid Running, we reach out to people who are in pain with an injury or condition, or lost hope in making it to a race or marathon. We give them an option to keep exercising or training through it and they recover quicker. It’s great to find someone on social media, tell them about our product, and have them tell the world how much it helped them.
How and why did you get involved with Fluid Running?
At the Suite Spotte weekly entrepreneur “hot seat” lunches, I would listen to Jennifer talk about how Fluid Running works, and helps so many people. I began to think how great it would be for my Aunt down in Florida to use it.
I approached Jennifer with an idea to make it into a DIY product, and we set off to make it happen. Less than a year later, my Aunt became one of the first users of the Fluid Running H2Go system, and she loves it.
What brought you to Suite Spotte?
I had been working in a coworking office in the city for a couple years before we moved to La Grange in 2014. My expectation was to jump on the train to go to an office downtown. When I took a chance on searching for one closer, I was surprised to see one in downtown La Grange. I booked a tour right away, and have been here since.
With all the innovation you’re driving at work, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
With three little girls, I spend a lot of time with the family. We like to travel, and often go to Italy where my wife is from. I enjoy golf when I can, and make it to my fair share of Cubs games every summer. I love hanging out in Wrigley and other parts of Chicago.
If I were to speak with your colleagues, what three words would they use to describe you?
Helpful, tech savvy, and a good listener. (Yes, yes and yes. We can give you a whole list of examples of all three of these characteristics in action here at Suite Spotte. Instead we encourage you to come to Suite Spotte and meet Mike.)
Thanks for sharing a little about yourself with us Mike! This post is a great example of the collaborative community we’ve built here at Suite Spotte. Members exchange ideas, feedback, and referrals all the time. People join Suite Spotte initially for the space, but stay for the community. Take the first step to achieving your #suitesuccess. Book a tour today!