If there were an official definition for Roam, this would be it.
- Invested – To use, give, or devote as for a purpose or to achieve something
- Community – A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality
Community is something I crave more than many other things in life. I need meaningful relationships and engagement with people on a level that goes below the surface. I want to know people. I want to discover what makes them tick and how my skills and talents can be leveraged to improve their lives or at the very least bring a smile to their faces. I want to laugh and share stories with others. Encourage and motivate them.
Roam offers me that opportunity on a daily basis.
They are all about stewarding and engaging entrepreneurs and small business owners in a way that improves what they are already doing.
Without knowing or having really experienced Roam, our small nonprofit moved in to the Dunwoody location at the end of 2013. It has by far been the best overhead investment we’ve made since I’ve been on staff.
Here are my top 5 takeaways from my time at Roam and why community is so important.
1) Community Develops Courage – The community at Roam is unlike any work environment I know. Members are invested in one another. Recently I was invited to be a part of a pilot mentoring program for a few members who run their own small businesses. I was the only one in the room who wasn’t running a business. But in one of our meetings, I explained a business idea I had and was overwhelmed by the positive response and encouragement from those members. Their reinforcement has given me courage I’ve been lacking to start taking steps to make my dreams a reality.
2) Community Develops Constructive Environments – I have a dedicated office at Roam, but I’ve spent most of my days in the last couple months out in the café sitting alongside other members. The time I’ve spent there has been invaluable. Being able to sit next to other people who are working on similar problems is something you can’t get when you work from home or in a small office (where no one else does what you do). Being able to bounce ideas off of these people and refine what I do on a daily basis has been a game changer.
3) Community Develops Opportunity – There are a variety of businesses that work out of Roam. Nonprofits, paralegals, branding agencies, consulting firms, etc. By building community together with other members, we develop opportunities every day to network, collaborate, and help each other in ways that aren’t possible in the traditional work environment.
4) Community Fosters Learning – Bill Nye once said “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” Between the Lunch Lessons, listening to speakers, and talking with other members (and staff) I’ve learned more in my 6 months here than I ever imagined possible. The opportunity to collaborate and learn from those around me is incredibly powerful.
5) Community Develops Joy – I think one of the best things about Roam is that I get excited to go to work. Roam is a place where “everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” If I want to have a conversation with someone, that’s always an option. I’ve shared countless laughs and stories with other members and staff in the last few months and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Community is fun and I crave it. We all do.
Roam is an invested community of members and staff alike. There is nowhere else I would rather call my (work) home.
Think of your favorite memories. Are you alone in any of them? Or are you surrounded by friends and family you love? That doesn’t have to stay confined to your personal life. We are made to thrive in relationships with others. Why not let that bleed into every area of our lives? Including our careers? Who’s to say a favorite memory couldn’t come from the community where you work?
Roam makes that possibility a reality.
Get out of that home office. The coffee’s on me.