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Getting back to Growth Part 1: Indy Hall

3 minute read
by Alex Hillman

2010 was different.

2010 stands out as a landmark year in my own personal and professional development. I’ve got a couple of thoughts and observations about my approach to 2011, specifically what’s changed in the last year, and how it’s impacting my course and vision for 2011 and beyond.

Now that I’m a full month into 2011, I’m going to lay them out over the course of a couple of posts. First up, Indy Hall.

Indy Hall

As I alluded to in a lengthy essay about my oddball resume, I took a different approach to 2010 than years prior. Most notably, a departure from Indy Hall being my primary focus as it had been from 2006 through 2009.

My motivation behind my change of focus in 2010 was well captured in a new essay by Derek Sivers where he explains how he realized the importance of removing himself from a dependency role in his business in order for it to grow.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve worked hard to get myself out of the daily operations of Indy Hall and find new and interesting ways to support its growth without being a dependency. I’m thankful for the team that’s supported me in that – including Dana, Parker, most recently James – but also for the strong sense of stewardship  that Indy Hall members exhibit. And I didn’t forget Geoff…more on that in a second.

Through each iteration (we’re now on our 4th major iteration), the daily operations role has become less dependent on their predecessor, and personally, I’ve been able to land further away from the daily ops. And I didn’t realize how valuable that can be until I saw it for myself.

For a long time, only Geoff has had the perspective of a borderline “IndyHall outsider”. He doesn’t know everyone who works at Indy Hall, and is often blind to daily nuance. That’s been valuable in keeping the world beyond our walls in perspective. I’m getting better at tempering my perceptions with that broader view as well, and am realizing new things and working to galvanize other things I’ve felt to be true.  I’m thankful that Geoff has shown the value of that perspective, in so much that I realized what it was once I had it.

For a long time, Indy Hall has been one of the biggest parts of my life. I’m now realizing that Indy Hall, at least as it exists today, is one of a few of important cornerstones in the better world I want to create for myself, but it’s far from being the only one.

So for 2011, Indy Hall comes back into focus for me in a big way, and in a new way. I’m very excited to be thinking about Indy Hall growth again, and not just in terms of augmenting our square footage and our membership.

Update: I just realized that it might appear that Indy Hall didn’t grow during 2010 and I’m aiming to course correct that. Quite the contrary; Indy Hall had its best year ever, even with my reduced daily involvement. We not only grew, but we matured as an organization and a community. We have more members from more industries and backgrounds interacting in more interesting ways than ever before. We’re confident in our path of sustainability.

We’re also firmly established as vocal leaders in the global coworking community, both in terms of our fundamental values and approach to coworking, as well as our business model & operations. We’re not alone in those ranks, and in fact, we’re joined by some truly remarkable voices and minds from around the world.

Indy Hall rocked 2010. In 2011, we’re – ahem – turning it up to 11.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.