I am almost embarrassed (but only almost embarrassed) when other people introduce me as an omniscient coworking expert. That’s crazy, considering I’ve been on the subject for just four years. So many people have been involved with coworking longer than I have and from whom I have learned a lot. It’s also not true that I know everything. I just read a lot, and that’s why I know a lot.
Brian Tracy has written several books about success in business, sales, and personal development. One of his tips is to read one book a week on average. The books should mostly deal with the subject by wanting to be perceived as experts. This makes about 50 books a year. According to Tracy, this habit makes you an expert in seven years.
Reading educates and helps you to relax.
Merely reading a lot is not a challenge. It can sometimes be challenging to do this disciplined. Especially since there are hardly any reference books on coworking. One of the few in the German language is by Romy Sigl and Romana Hasenöhrl, “Do what you love“, but it is much more a guide for people who want to get into the subject. In English, I can’t speak more languages, books about coworking are rarely published.
Therefore, I have two searches in my TweetDeck, “coworking” and “co-working”, in which I check in several times a day. Once a day, and really every day, I look in Google News what appeared to the term “coworking”. That doesn’t mean that I get everything on the subject, but it’s not a little at the end of the day either. With the Coworking Library, there is another database for scientific work on coworking.
Reading a lot has two more advantages instead of just knowing more: you write better and reduce stress. In 2009, scientists at the University of Sussex conducted a study to show that reading makes it easier to forget your personal problems and everyday stress. This is indeed more true for books than articles, but at the end of the day, both are readings. Better to write because you have a more extensive vocabulary is what I see as the most significant advantage.
Read-in knowledge should be shared.
However, experts are not people who sit in their quiet closet and enjoy their knowledge. They share their expertise by formulating and publishing it. This can be in the form of a Blog, like this here, or in the way of a Podcast or YouTube videos, lectures at conferences, or guest contributions for other media writes. One must appear as a person to a topic and be visible.
The coworking scene lacks sources of shared knowledge. The international coworking events are an opportunity to exchange ideas. It is also worth visiting other coworking spaces and talking to the operators. But we also need more blogs and podcasts in which we, the people who do coworking professionally, publish our knowledge and make it available to others.
I hope a few coworking experts have set themselves that goal for 2019 — no matter what language and no matter where.
Header Image: John Guthrie (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons