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we have thoughts (sometimes) and write about them (sometimes).

Going Solo (Kind of)

Co-working attracts people from all sorts of fields. In our space alone, we have photographers, freelancers, educators, heads of non-profits, writers, coders and case managers. And that’s just a sampling. Almost anyone can benefit from a fun, supportive work environment, but co-working is especially great for those who are thinking of going out on their own and starting their own business.

Speaking of starting your own business, here is a great post with some things to keep in mind before quitting your day job:

How to Prepare for Self-Employment

Once you’ve cut the cord, it’s tempting to pinch pennies every way you can. After all, breaking free of a corporate structure and starting your own business is a financially unstable time. Working from home is economical, but it can take a toll on your long-term productivity.

Networking is a critical part of building a business. Opportunities are much less likely to come your way when you are sitting on your couch in your PJs than when you are out and about, getting to know others in your community. And in a coworking environment, you have the added benefit of networking with people in fields other than your own. This kind of collaboration allows you to troubleshoot with people who might not have an intimate knowledge of your field, thus allowing you to approach any issues you are having from a perspective you might not have otherwise considered.

There are other benefits, too, including a public place for meeting with investors, clients, and advisors. No matter how professional your online presence, meeting in your living room, or in a crowded coffee shop gives off a less-than-professional vibe.

Also, perhaps most importantly, it can be easy to lose your work/life balance when you are caught up in the thrall of an exciting new venture. Having a structured place outside the home for “work” can help you to remember to draw that line and to save some time for family and friends, or even just yourself.

Starting your own business is a big (and often scary) leap. Don’t forget to surround yourself with people who can support and encourage you!

Could Coworking Work for You?

coworkingchangewherewework

I have to admit, my experience with traditional office environments is fairly limited.

In college, I interned in a newsroom, and right after graduation I interned with a magazine. I was extremely fortunate to have great coworkers in both settings, but I must admit, I did not love cubicle life. Something about the sterility of those flimsy carpeted walls drove me out of the office and into the world of professional cooking. I loved the movement and the heat and the informality of the kitchen setting almost as much as I detested the muffled formality of the traditional office.

Now that I find myself spending time on The Second Floor each day, however, I wonder what path I might have followed if those initial office environments had been, well, more like coworking.

I like to think of coworking as the perfect hybrid of the structured office environment and the informality of working at home in your pjs. During my transition from journalist to cook, I did a short spat of freelance work from my apartment. It was liberating, for sure, but also isolating and uninspiring. Coworking, however, gives you the style and informality of a coffeehouse environment, with the amenities of an office (read: fun people to chat with and a kitchen to mingle in). You make your schedule, you structure your work flow, but you still have a great network of people you can look forward to seeing each day and a cool space where work is work and home is home.

I know coworking is still a relatively new concept here in Cheyenne, but if you think it is something that might work well for you, I encourage you to come check us out. We offer free day passes for prospective new members, and are more than happy to give tours of our awesome historic building.

Come check us out!

The Answer

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Our members are the best. There’s just no denying it.

Our community is full of movers and shakers. They are out and about, creating new and fun ways for the people of Cheyenne – and heck, the people of Wyoming – to come together to share ideas, and have some fun.

For example, our very own Array, School of Technology and Design is hosting Wyoming first organized Game Jam

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The Answer,” as the Game Jam has been lovingly named, is a special event where participants try to make a video game based on a secret theme unveiled at the kickoff. The goal (and fun!) is to come together as an individual, or as a team, to complete a game in just 42 hours (you Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans may be noticing a trend here). The brief time span – much less time than it took the computer in Hitchhiker’s – is meant to help encourage creative thinking, and to result in small but innovative and experimental games.

The fun kicks off with a social hour, and will wrap up with a pizza party, game judging, and an awards ceremony. And all of this excitement is taking place here at The Second Floor!

So, if you want to learn more, or are interested in registering, head on over to The Answer’s website.

Have a great weekend!

Working for the Weekend

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When I first moved here in May, I was so impressed with how much there was to do here in Cheyenne. It seemed like every weekend, one of the local breweries was throwing a street party,or hosting live music, always with food-trucks there to provide some tasty food. (We have three, by the way: Freedom’s Edge, Danielmark’s, and Accomplice, which will be brewing their own soon, in addition to all the other microbrews they already have on tap.) There were open mic nights at the Paramount Café, and Friday night concerts on the Depot Plaza. We could mountain bike all day, and sing karaoke at the Suite all night.

 

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about what the winter would bring. I was spoiled for choice in the summer: camping, hiking, biking. Scenic drives were just part of a typical week for me. Would I be trapped inside all winter long? Hunkering down and hiding from the wind?

 

It’s true, the wind here is pretty fierce, but as far as I can tell, that doesn’t keep Wyoming-ites from getting out and having a little fun. So, I thought I would do a little round-up of some of the great activities that are going on this weekend:

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  •  Learn to Fly: Ballet Wyoming is kicking off its 2017 Season this weekend with performances of Peter Pan on January 20 and 21. This one is going to be big fun for all ages, so head to their website for tickets and details.
  • Celebrate Local Storytellers: Insight: Legends will be a night of fast-paced storytelling and music by some of Wyoming’s best storytellers. This collaboration between the Wyoming Humanities Council and the University of Wyoming creative Writing Department will focus on the idea of legends. From myths and parables to Catholic Saints and some of the not so saintly figures of Wyoming’s past, the talks promise to be interesting and engaging, as well as free to the pubic! Saturday, January 21st at the Atlas Theatre
  • Shoot some Pool: The Suite Bistro now has pool tables in their downstairs bar! Go check out the new set-up.
  • Hear some Tunes: Open mic at the Paramount Café is always a great way to spend your Friday evening. Grab a coffee and settle in for some live local talent. From 7-9pm.
  • Enjoy the Great Outdoors. This is basically an every-weekend option here in Cheyenne, depending on how hardcore you are when it comes to winter weather. Obviously, there are plenty of ski resorts nearby if you don’t mind a couple of hours in the car, but there are also some great outdoor activities within a half-hour of our fun little town. I personally like to head out to the Tie City Trailhead in Medicine Bow National Forest for some cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Check out the Medicine Bow Nordic Association’s website for maps and updates on trail grooming, etc. If you have the right sort of vehicle, you could also take a cruise out to Vedauwoo, which looks gorgeous under its blanket of snow. I’ve also heard that Curt Gowdy has excellent ice fishing (though the ice may still be a bit thin this early on) as well as Fat Bike trails once the snow base is thick enough.

 

What are you up to this weekend?

Fri-Yay!

second-floor-succulentsHappy Friday!

It’s a new year here on the Second Floor, and I thought I’d update you on some fun new changes we are making here in our community.

Those of you with part-time memberships will have more flexibility going forward. Instead of two days per week, you can now spread your eight week-days throughout the month however you like. Because, let’s be honest, when inspiration strikes, or the cosmic forces of scheduling align, you just really need to get to work – for a week straight. Or, sometimes life is too hectic to make it in to that writing desk, or that computer screen, and you just need a little break. We understand, and we want to be able to accommodate you in any way we can.

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Along that same vein, we will now also be offering 5-day punch cards. Use your five days any weekday throughout the entire year!

And finally, Happy Hour! Because Friday.

Members can look forward to awesome, themed happy hours on the first Friday of every month. So, mark your calendars, Members! We will be kicking it off on February 3rd, with Karaoke Happy Hour. Get ready to enjoy some songstress-inspired cocktails and sing your hearts out.

And in the meantime, we are currently enjoying Freedom’s Edge Kilted Red on tap in the break room.

Second Floor kitchen

Not a member? Maybe you should be! Come by for a tour to learn more about why co-working is so awesome and why the Second Floor is the best spot in town.

Hello Hello!

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My name is Rachael Ratliff and I am one of our community coordinators here on the Second Floor. Along with other crucial duties including, but not limited to: making coffee, signing up fabulous new members, giving tours of our awesome space, and more coffee (did I mention coffee?), I will be taking over some of the blogging duties here on our website.

 

So, it seems prudent that I tell you a bit about myself.

 

I grew up on a ranch in central/eastern Texas. That’s one of the pretty parts, with lots of trees, and rolling hills – just in case you are one of those people who thinks the entire state is some barren blend of No Country for Old Men and Giant (both of which are great movies, by the way). In college, I studied Journalism and Anthropology. I worked briefly as a journalist after graduation, but then somehow found myself in the world of professional cooking. It’s a long story that involves a cubicle, a recession, and discovering a new passion that would take me so many places I had never imagined living or working.

 

Since then, I’ve lived all over the US, and even in the Caribbean for a short time. My husband and I moved to Cheyenne last May, and we are loving it so far. Getting back out West had been a goal of ours for some time, and it feels great to be able to trot out to Curt Gowdy State Park or Medicine Bow after work for a quick trail run, or bike ride, or some cross-country skiing.

 

I also sell bread and pastries at the farmers’ market here in town, but working at the Second Floor is such a great opportunity to meet some of Cheyenne’s most interesting and engaging fellow citizens. As a bit of a newbie here in town, I must say, I am so excited about the energy I feel downtown. There are so many people who are passionate about building a thriving community here in our little city center, and The Paramount feels like a hub of that energy.

 

In short, I am so excited to be here, and am looking forward to meeting even more of Cheyenne’s entrepreneurs, students, writers, freelancers, and small-business owners. If there are any topics you would like to see us post about here on the blog, please do not hesitate to stop by the front desk, or shoot us an email.

Farewell and Thank You!

Farewell and Thank You!

I am moving on from The Second Floor @ The Paramount and heading to other pastures. I enjoyed starting The Blog and keeping it stocked for you these past few months. Thank you to all who kept up with us! I hope everyone checks back soon to see what other new things are happening here!

Continue to have wonderful days filled with sunshine!

Sincerely,

Beth G

 

 

 

 

Thank you for stopping by The Blog @ The Second Floor! We post new content each week so check back again soon. Please like The Second Floor @ The Paramount on Facebook and follow @paramountsecondfloor on Instagram. Have a fantastic day!

Thoughts for the New Year

Thoughts for the New Year

I hope the new year finds you with good health, great luck, and a generous heart. May the days bring you happiness and peace. Try to let the stress go and focus on the gentle beauty of each moment that we experience. Live your life, do whats right for you, and let the rest fade away. Be content. Be present. Be connected.

Have a Happy New Year! Welcome 2017!!

 

 

In case you need a little inspiration this New Years, read on for some great tips on staying in the present moment…

 

Our Relationship with the Present Moment

By Leo Babauta, Zen Habits Blog

 

Have you ever thought of the present moment as a loved one?

I’ve been working with this thought lately, and I find it helpful when I’m feeling rushed, distracted, worried, upset, frustrated, anxious, sad, irritated.

Let’s think for a moment about our relationship with this loved one we might call the Present Moment …

  • We barely pay attention to it, thinking instead of what we have to do later, things we’re worried about, etc.
  • If it’s boring or uncomfortable, we habitually turn away from it and go to distractions, rejecting the Present Moment.
  • We judge it as good or bad, pleasant or uncomfortable, and dislike it if it isn’t behaving the way we want.
  • We don’t accept it as it is, but want more, are worried we’re missing out, think we should be doing something else.
  • When we’re upset or frustrated, it’s because we have a story running in our heads, rather than paying attention to the Present Moment in front of us.

Imagine a loved one who you don’t pay attention to, who you reject and judge as unworthy, who you don’t accept as they are, who you ignore even when they’re sitting right in front of you. That would probably not be a great relationship.

Of course, the Present Moment isn’t a person with feelings, so we shouldn’t worry about it so much, right? Maybe, but what I’ve been finding is that developing a good relationship with the Present Moment leads to less stress, more peace and contentment, and a better relationship with everyone else in my life.

What can we do to develop this better relationship with the Present Moment? Treat it with respect, and give it the attention it deserves. After all, just like with our relationship with anyone else — we have limited time to spend with it, and once that time is up, we can’t get any more.

Some ideas:

  • Try to stay with the Present Moment longer … whether it’s the physical sensations all around you, how your body feels, how your breath feels, or the thoughts or emotions floating around in your mind … try to pay attention without wandering.
  • Come back when you do wander.
  • Be interested and curious about the Present Moment, open to whatever arises, without needing it to be a certain way.
  • Be less judgmental and more accepting — experiences aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad” but just worthy of your attention and interest.
  • When you find yourself wanting to go to distraction, or caught up in a story about something, try coming back to the Present Moment, and just pay attention to the changing moment.
  • When things are uncomfortable, stay. Instead of running, be there for the uncomfortable Present Moment, with love and gentleness.
  • Notice when you’re constantly wandering, and come back, come back, and stay.

You might notice an instant transformation of your relationship with the Present Moment, where you are more open, curious, accepting, and attentive. This can be transformative, in all areas of our lives.

Or it might be more of a gradual shift, where your trust in the Present Moment grows over time, and you slowly open up to it with acceptance and fearlessness.

Either way, what you’ll find is that you’re also developing a better relationship with yourself. And everything around you, all the time.

 

 

 

Thank you for stopping by The Blog @ The Second Floor! We post new content each week so check back again soon. Please like The Second Floor @ The Paramount on Facebook and follow @paramountsecondfloor on Instagram. Have a fantastic day!

31 Awesome (Last Minute) Presents People Will Actually Want!

31 Awesome (Last Minute) Presents People Will Actually Want!

1. Homemade Fort Kit

Cutest idea ever for the child (or adult child) in your life. Go here to see what you should put in your own fort kit.

2. Arrow Bookmark (From Popsicle Sticks!)

Arrow Bookmark (From Popsicle Sticks!)

3. Knitted Soap Socks

Knitted Soap Socks

The wool felts as you use it. Get the pattern here (this gift is notedly NOT last-minute if you don’t have the knitting skills to begin with).

Bonus points if your soap is handmade too!

4. Sweater Mittens

Sweater Mittens

Made from cute old sweaters (that might have shrunken in the wash). Tutorial here.

5. A Family Recipe-Etched Cutting Board

A Family Recipe-Etched Cutting Board

Pay it forward. Get the instructions here.

6. Clementine Wreaths

Clementine Wreaths

Directions here.

7. A Basket of Indoor Snowballs

A Basket of Indoor Snowballs

An adorable idea if your loved one is experiencing a warm-weather Christmas.

8. A Tissue Box of $$$

A Tissue Box of $$$

Imagine your white elephant’s surprise when you, in fact, did NOT just get them a box of Puffs Plus.

9. Hershey’s Kiss Rice Krispie Treats

Hershey's Kiss Rice Krispie Treats

Get the directions here.

10. A Package of Gorgeously Embellished Oreos

A Package of Gorgeously Embellished Oreos

Sprinkles to the rescue (again).

11. An On-the-Go Reading Pillow

An On-the-Go Reading Pillow

Just think how much parents will love you if you gift this to their child. Directions here.

12. Starbucks Latte Soap

Starbucks Latte Soap

Making soap is easier than you think if you purchase a soap base. Get the tutorial here.

13. A Wallet Full o’ Gift Cards

A Wallet Full o' Gift Cards

Especially cute if you can think of a theme (in this case, mall food court establishments).

14. Roll of Coins Stocking Stuffer

Roll of Coins Stocking Stuffer

Perfect for your newly independent niece who needs all the laundry quarters she can get.

15. A Cupcake in a Jar

A Cupcake in a Jar

16. Homemade Bubble Bath

Homemade Bubble Bath

What really makes this special is the gorgeous label, which you can get for free here.

17. Lip Balm Lockets

Lip Balm Lockets

Get the tutorial here.

18. Christmas Bow Bobby Pins

Christmas Bow Bobby Pins

No one will be able to resist immediately sticking these into their hair the second they open the box.

19. Watercolor Portraits

Watercolor Portraits

Perfect for grandparents, and they’re easier to make than you’d think. Get the tutorial here.

20. Tube Bead Necklace

Tube Bead Necklace

Get the directions here.

21. A Bag of Stamped Peppermint Candies

A Bag of Stamped Peppermint Candies

You can personalize them with anything. Get the tutorial here.

22. Embroidery Thread Necklace

Embroidery Thread Necklace

Make it any color combo you’d like. Get the directions here.

23. Their Name in Poms

Their Name in Poms

You could ostensibly spell any ol’ dirty thing you’d like. Get the directions here.

24. A Gingerbread House Kit

A Gingerbread House Kit

More here.

25. A Pom-Pom Branch Bouquet

A Pom-Pom Branch Bouquet

Get the tutorial here.

26. Gold Initial Mug

Gold Initial Mug

So simple, it’s hard to go wrong. Get the directions here.

27. Dip Mix Ornament Set

Dip Mix Ornament Set

You can get food-safe ornaments from any craft store. Directions and recipes here.

28. Tiny Wire Heart Earrings

Tiny Wire Heart Earrings

More here.

29. Fruity Stamped Zipper Purses

Fruity Stamped Zipper Purses

Get the directions here.

30. Bath Bombs in a Jar

Bath Bombs in a Jar

The pastel rainbow effect makes this such a pretty gift. Get the tutorial here.

31. Shower Disks

Shower Disks

Shower disks are the new bath bombs ya’ll. Directions here.

 

 

 

Original post from Peggy Wang at Buzzfeed

 

Thank you for stopping by The Blog @ The Second Floor! We post new content each week so check back again soon. Please like The Second Floor @ The Paramount on Facebook and follow @paramountsecondfloor on Instagram. Have a fantastic day!

Amazing Blogs that Inspire Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Amazing Blogs that Inspire Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

1. Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review is a staple in any entrepreneur blog collection. The blog delivers timely business analysis and professional management advice.

entrepreneur ideas

2. Young Entrepreneur

When you’re just starting our with your business venture, things can be a little tough. Young Entrepreneur focuses on the things you’ll need to know – financing, bootstrapping, identifying opportunities and making sales.

how to become an entrepreneur

3. 64 Notes

64 Notes gets straight to the nuggets of gold by bypassing straightforward management tips and filling each post with those eye-opening things that change your business from alright to amazing. They also write a lot about how to avoid being the start-up that failed.

how to become an entrepreneur

4. The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA is a blog dedicated to teaching all the tips and tricks you would have learned if you had done a degree in business. It recommends books, summarises books and draws on advice given freely by great minds in business. If you follow this blog you will learn a great deal about managing your business.

how to become an entrepreneur

5. Instigator Blog

Instigator Blog is a very insightful blog, mainly discussing thoughts relevant to small business and entrepreneurs, written by an entrepreneur as he works on his business.

how to start a business

6. Fast Company

Fast Company is a major business blog, covering business news and trends. It’s vital information if you want to know where business is heading.

how to start a business

7. Entrepreneur Blog

Entrepreneur Blog is a site dedicated to providing business insights to entrepreneurs. It will analyse business failures, successes and trends, while offering sensible advice for any business owner.

how to start a business

8. The Entrepreneurial Mind

The Entrepreneurial Mind is a business blog written by a Belmont University professor of Entrepreneurship. His academic insight into the world of the entrepreneur is a great balance to the news and trends offered by other blogs.

9. Creative Web Biz

Creative Web Biz is a great blog for all the artistic entrepreneurs out there. This is a place for those people who are entrepreneurs, but don’t much care for all the business management advice and trends. This blog is entirely focused on how to get that art out there and sold. Highly recommended for musicians, artists, and makers of other crafts.

10. Work Happy

Work Happy is a blog offering advice for anyone in business for themselves. It’s useful for freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. It features a lot of video presentations from entrepreneurs to keep things interesting.

entrepreneur ideas

Bonus: Entrepreneurship Interviews

Entrepreneurship Interviews added itself on to the list by being a wealth of information in the form of interviews with entrepreneurs. It’s not much to look at, but there is a lot to be gained by listening to what other entrepreneurs say candidly about their own business ventures.

More Blogs

If you’re keen to see some more great blog lists from MakeUseOf, read on:

If you know of other great blogs for business people, let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

Article originally posted by Angela Randall on October 26, 2010 for MakeUseOf.com

 

Thank you for stopping by The Blog @ The Second Floor! We post new content each week so check back again soon. Please like The Second Floor @ The Paramount on Facebook and follow @paramountsecondfloor on Instagram. Have a fantastic day!

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