The Best Mobile Workplaces for Entrepreneurs

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One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is finding an environment outside of your home in which to work.  Sure working from home sounds like a dream, but sometimes it can feel like a dungeon and being in your pajamas until 4PM sounds like a symptom of chronic depression.  It’s time to get out and about explore your small town or city and find places to become more productive than ever.

Why are people so productive at work? Because they want to get the hell out!  They want to go home, they want to do what they have to do and be done with it.  If you sit in your bedroom on the computer all day, where is the motivation to go home?  Where is that energy and excitement?

Friday is supposed to be the best day of the week right? The office is buzzing with people talking about their weekend plans, where happy hour is and who is trying to sneak off early…  Remember that excitement from college?  Nobody was in the library at 5PM on Friday—they were breaking free!  Just because you do what you love day in and day out doesn’t mean you can’t break free also.

Are You Driving Others Crazy With Your Habits?

Entrepreneurs are supposed to feel alive—be excited about their ideas and stay motivated.  Sitting at home all day in front of a computer is an easy way to lose that motivation.   Building a startup is often a lonely road and loneliness only gets deeper and darker working out your parent’s garage.  If you were in the corporate setting at least you’d say hello to the secretary everyday and see people on the subway or in the parking lot at the office.  Humans need that interaction no matter how brief it may be and as an entrepreneur it your responsibility to fill that gaping hole in your life.

Maybe you aren’t home alone all day—while it’s nice to be around your family all the time, you need to create some time when they’ll miss you.  You very well might be driving them nuts.  I mean, technology has even gotten so savvy, you can literally run your business from your iPhone.  Besides, if you don’t leave the house you are not even giving your dog the opportunity to be excited to see you, much less your significant other.

So, let’s get started—forming relationships, seeing a few smiling faces each day and at least getting a change of scenery once in a while.


Coffee Shops

Coffee shops bring all kinds of scenery and clientele–the independent ones crawling with hipsters, the programmers who set up shop day in and day out, or the teenage hangout.  Take a look at Yelp and read reviews before you go out, check to see if there is reliable Internet for free.

You too can develop a daily routine and be as productive as possible.  Maybe scope out the attractive members of the opposite sex—when do they frequent? Might be a good time to stop in…Don’t wear yourself out going from shop to shop though, know where you can find a table and get connected to the Internet quickly and get down to business.

Starbucks—With your Starbucks Card you are allowed up to two hours of free WiFi. Use your T-Mobile or AT&T account for access also.
Panera Bread—free all day long.  Just sit down and pickup the connection.  During peak times some stores ask to limit your time to two hours.


Bookstores

Not only can you be productive here, but you can take a quick break and pick up a good read.  Want to be on top of the newest releases in your industry? There is nothing better than getting up from your office station to educate yourself.  Imagine you did this every single day—you’d be a heck of a lot smarter than whatever you read in your living room.  Magazines also are a great way to study the newest trends.  Consume something that you wouldn’t normally pick up and get a better concept of what goes on outside the little entrepreneur world live in.

Borders—free WiFi in their 500+ locations.  No need to register just hop on.
Barnes and Noble—now offering free Wifi, just log on.  B&N changed this policy in August 2009 after customer backlash and now offers it free in all stores.


Libraries

One of the most underutilized resources in America is the local public library.  With a wealth of knowledge at your hands, incredibly helpful people at the reference desk and a completely free quiet place to work; why wouldn’t you visit the library?  There is no better environment to motivate you then a place where people are getting work done themselves.  In most cases you won’t even need to apply for a library card and residency is not normally required.


Parks

Why not get a little sunshine in your day? Breathe in the fresh air and make money;  it doesn’t get better than that.  Pick up a Verizon Wifi Card or find a park with a local hotspot.  The outdoors are a relaxing place to let your ideas flow—but be careful of intense sun as the glare on your computer screen can be a killer.  Make sure to have a quick exit if the rain starts to come.

Don’t want to mess with finding and registering for a WiFi Connection? Consider getting Verizon Mobile Broadband starting at $39.99 a month or a hot new wireless Internet service called Clear.  This is great for every entrepreneur because you can plug it into your laptop and have a fast Internet connection wherever this life make take you.

Where is your favorite mobile office?

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  • richiefrost

    Great article matt, Alot of times i find myself consantly in my room, it would be nice to get out once in a while!

  • richiefrost

    Great article matt, Alot of times i find myself consantly in my room, it would be nice to get out once in a while!

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  • http://www.theanywhereoffice.com Phil Montero

    Great post Matt – good breakdown of places for anyone to work in The Anywhere Office! Didn't know the tip about the Starbucks card. It's great that chains like Panera, Borders, and Barnes & Nobles have started offering free wi-fi. Unfortunately all the smaller coffee shops near me have closed down so it's refreshing to know you can still go to these stores. Also Boingo is a pretty sweet deal at only $10 a month which gives you access to a lot more wi-fi locations!

  • tombesore

    If you've got the resources, you might consider a subscription to an outfit like Regus. I enjoy Regus because they have two dozen locations in my region, allowing me to book space near my clients, meetings and other destinations. The environment is heavily entrepreneur-oriented, with common areas for mingling with other professionals. Perhaps most importantly, they provide an option for a quiet, professional meeting space or conference room when the need arises!

  • http://selfemployedmavens.blogspot.com/ Young, Fabulous, Self-Employed

    I am a huge fan of Starbucks – my company holds weekly meetings there and it's a great open atmosphere. Tons of young entrepreneurs want the freedom to say goodbye to the corporate office space. I thought of renting corporate office space but the outsourced & automated business lifestyle of 2010 doesn't require it.

  • http://darrencalhoun.com heyDarren

    One more tech tip for the mobile office setup is a good pair of Noise Canceling Headphones. It can help create a bit more isolation even in a noisy place like Panera (some Chicago locations seem to BLAST their music). I didn't realize how invaluable noise-canceling headphones were until I broke the band on my pair – I find that it's sooo hard to concentrate in places I never had trouble with before.

  • http://businessbeware.biz Ashley

    Great post Matt! I totally agree with your lists and it's amazing how coffee shops seem to be a place where “aha moments” come to you!

  • http://businessbeware.biz/ Ashley

    Great post Matt! I totally agree with your lists and it's amazing how coffee shops seem to be a place where “aha moments” come to you!

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