By Shantanu Mohan
October 4, 2017
Picture a high-end, serene coworking space in an AAA building in Jersey City. Imagine a light, bright space offering a freshly-squeezed juice bar and tai-chi classes. Within these walls, a group of focused entrepreneurs make ideas happen. The success stories of WorkSocial are endless. From companies scaling from 1 to 50 in 8 months to entrepreneurs getting funded within the first 6 months and access to hundreds of hours of server space. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this shared office space in Jersey City, NJ, is that you get so much more for your money here.
Welcome to the world of women-owned, happiness-centric workspaces. Welcome to WorkSocial.
WorkSocial was born in February 2015. My father had just passed away. While his death certificate listed cancer as the cause of death, I knew what had really happened: he succumbed to his depression and gave up the desire to live. In his prime, he was like Superman on steroids. My fondest memory of my father was listening to him talk to clients on the phone. His calm, trusting manner made him multi-million dollar deals. No paperwork, no contracts or SOW’s. I once asked him if he was ever scared that people would not keep their word and he would lose money. He responded, “The first law of business is to serve people. If you do that well, they will never let you down.” That simple concept made a lasting impact on me.
The last time I saw Dad, I was in India, at our home in New Delhi. I jokingly asked if he had any fatherly advice for me. Though he was quite feeble by then, he could still speak, and he replied, “Beta (“son” in Hindi), do what you can to be happy.” He could see how much I struggled, and how dissatisfied I was with that way my life had been unfolding. One month later, he was gone.
Eight months after I lost him, my wife and I started WorkSocial. We wanted to create a platform people could use to bring happiness back into their lives. My mentor, Robin Sharma, always said, “If you want a lifetime of happiness, spend your life giving happiness to others.”
In the months prior to opening WorkSocial, we worked on conceptualizing the user experience. How did we want our clients to feel when they stepped through the door every morning, or invited a client in for a sales pitch, or left WorkSocial at the end of the day? We thought the space should be simple and hospitable, to make clients feel welcome. We also envisioned a calm, inspiring environment that invited brainstorming and connecting with an authentic group of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Writer and businessman James Allen described the perfect WorkSocial member in his work, As a Man Thinketh:
“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them in the realities which it shall one day see and know.