In Magazine, May 2018 by Genevieve Joëlle VillamizarLeave a Comment

“I’ve heard about GlenX, but what is it?”

January 2018, Carbondale’s Third Street Center gained a new organization, GlenX.  It’s a lively environment for remote workers, freelancers and independents seeking community and support in their work experience. In the brief video below, Founder Altai Chuluun discusses the “umbrella” of GlenX, beyond the co-working space. After the video, I share a small blurb on how GlenX made Bonedale | Amplified possible.

What is Carbondale’s “GlenX”?

How GlenX helped give rise to Bonedale | Amplified

I vowed at 17 to work from home so I could have time with my future family and not be shackled by daily commutes. As a teenager in the D.C. area, that was our family reality and I hated it. Studying architecture, my university commute was 3 buses, two Metro trains and waits in between each of them– over two hours of insanity. My dad worked two other jobs as an elementary school teacher to afford three daughters and home ownership. Now, as an adult, I’ve ridden the ups and downs of freelancing for two decades. It’s been unbelievably rewarding. What I didn’t realize is that, as my daughter comes of age, I would crave community and collaboration in my professional life. When I was invited to participate in GlenX, I was all over it.

Immediately, I found a hot community of independents open to conversation, brainstorming, cross-pollination. Getting to know these women and men from their diversity of backgrounds, I found an untapped bastion of “my people.” It takes a certain breed of common values to strike out on your own: bold, strong alternative ideas; risk takers willing to fail (over and over, if need be), and grit to stay the course. Maybe, like me, a flex schedule and family are important. Perhaps they prioritize freedom, to do as they wish, when they wish.

All that being said, we entrepreneurs crave community– beyond our home office & the coffee shop.

I was fresh off a two-week silent meditation retreat last December, which scoured my pipes. Latent ideas, dreams and ambitions poured forth. As I settled into the GlenX Space and met the others in the office, I was inspired and motivated: “If they can do that, surely a magazine is doable?” I wondered. “If they’re risking that big…surely I can attempt a magazine?” I thought.

At the inaugural GlenX Pitch Event, listening to the flood of original, enthusiastic passion, I found myself in front of supportive faces launching my thoughts– my idea– making it real. Once it slipped out of my mouth in public…well, shoot…Now I had to do it.

The co-working space at GlenX makes it real. It takes it from the kitchen table, living room sofa, coffee shop– and centers it smack dab in the middle of accountability. The resources at GlenX, from your new professional friends, to the mentoring, the Incubator series, the Accelerator series- so much to help you take it from an idea to real.

Lee, Lucas, Ned, Andrea and Dave carried their entrepreneurial ideas through the GlenX Incubator program. As the winning idea, Lucas won $10,000 to launch Level Ahead, the region’s first podcast production company. Luke’s idea was seen as having the strongest capacity to support the local business community. And that’s GlenX: growing and supporting small business development.

Going through Incubator helped me crystallize Bonedale | Amplified: why B|AM is timely and needed; what B|AM needs to flourish; and how to monetize aspects of the magazine to make that possible. Without this process, I would not have a clear understanding and B|AM would still be a contemplation.

I don’t think like a computer- binary, linear B & W. I think in overlapping, colorful, emotional dimensions and patterns. I try but can’t understand tech language. At GlenX, I’m surrounded by people that do. I can lean over to another person in the Space and just talk. Their feedback from whatever field they work in helps me get unstuck. Or, as a start up sans cash flow, but with a valuable service to offer, we work out trades: assembling a few vector images of logos to explore (thank you Andrea, in the above photo!) create and host a website (thank you Marcus Thackston of Blend Web Marketing).

GlenX has a direct relationship with the Small Business Development Center. As a matter fact, we have an SBDC consultant working out of GlenX, Jonathan Stokely! As such, it’s been easy for me to set up consulting with SBDC. I expressed a need for financial planning. Lucy Smythe and I start on Wednesday. We’ll set goals within time frames and she’ll coach me towards meeting eavh goal: A more formal business plan with financials; marketing and community outreach; and my biggest Ask, a business partner. Someone fun, rigorous, who loves magazine culture as much as I do to help realize Bonedale | Amplified Magazine as the community magazine we create and enjoy collectively.

Beyond entrepreneurial resources, I simply enjoy GlenX Space peers and friends.

As an independent in my career and  full-time grad student (starting in two weeks), I can turn to the Space when I need to buckle down and crank out work, or when I want/need that specific social stimulation to keep me on track. Some days in the space are quiet and intense with industry. Other days, the Nerf bullets fly and happy hour starts at 4:30. It’s what we all make of it.

Within our family, our circles of friends, our work environment– community helps many of us thrive, offering the support and filling in our gaps for full on flourishing. Come check it out~