Woolf Works’ Member Spotlight: Gunilla Lindgren

Welcome to the first in our series featuring the wonderful women in our community.

Gunilla

Gunilla is a permanent desk holder and always a cheerful spark in our group. Plus we love seeing her beautiful images on canvas, stacked next to her desk and waiting to go to their new homes!

What’s your business?
I work and run the photography business Sugarlight Photography.

What ignited the spark in you to start on this venture?
I am passionate about photography and want to create beautiful images that my clients love and cherish forever. My style is whimsical, relaxed and playful and my specialty is family and children.

Describe your typical working day
A typical day means leaving my 4 year old at nursery, and heading into Woolf Works. First thing I do is read through my emails, check Facebook (don’t we all) and then I start editing the latest photography session that I had. And between other business related stuff and by the end of the day, which I decide how long I want to work (happy) I go and pick up my son!

What would be the 3 top skills needed to be successful in your field?
I would say: an eye for photography, passion for the same and always strive to become better. Every day.

What motivates you?
My clients motivate me, to always offer something unique, to say that I have some new cool props. And seeing the results and smiles on my client’s faces, receiving their images!

How do you maintain a healthy life-work balance?
That’s a hard one for me. I actually don’t. But I am trying to get better at it. Being more in the now. Being present. And not always thinking about work.

Where did you work most often before you discovered coworking?
I have worked from home since I started this – when my youngest son was 8 months old and that means that I worked from home for 3 years. I had a dedicated office in our home so it at least looked professional.

What do you love about being a member at Woolf Works and how has it helped you in your business?
This is where the life balance comes in for me. I am trying to go to work, do my thing and log out when done, and I also mean mentally. I have become better at it than before, I must say. Also, having colleagues that are all passionate about what THEY do is exciting.

How can people connect with you?
Gunilla_sugarlight
Email: info@sugarlightphotography.com
Website: http://www.sugarlightphotography.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sugarlightphotography
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sugarlightphotography

 

Woolf Works is a women-only work space located in a renovated shophouse on Joo Chiat Rd. Our community includes writers, entrepreneurs, photographers and consultants. Come for a visit and see for yourself! To find out more about membership at our space please click here. You can also check our website and get in touch at info@woolfworks.sg.

Tips for Working in a Coworking Space

Coworking spaces are popular because they address the needs of emerging startups, freelancers and unconventional business outfits. They offer a more professional environment than the kitchen nook, garage or bedroom. Here are some tips that will help you become more productive and work harmoniously alongside other users of a shared office.

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Know what’s in store for you. Make it a point to know what services and features are available to you in your shared office space. This will help you determine the materials you need to bring, what kind of meetings you can hold there and allow you to fully utilize the space.

Use headphones. Tune out the murmur of small group meetings and conversations around you by donning a pair of headphones and listening to your favorite album or business podcast.

Get your list ready. In order to maximize time in a coworking space, your first task should be a to-do list. Refer back to it constantly to keep yourself on target. The first five should be a good mix of ‘easy wins’ and bulky, important tasks to keep your momentum going.

Always ask if you forgot something. If you have forgotten something important like an HDMI cable or phone charger, don’t hesitate to ask the staff. You might be surprised how many resources your space has tucked away!

Be a responsible citizen. As a sign of respect, always wash your dishes, cutlery and glasses. If you use it, you are responsible for cleaning it and putting it away. Report low toilet paper, milk or coffee beans to staff and don’t leave your stinky leftovers in the fridge! If you use shared equipment like printers, computers or cables, always put them back as you found them. This also applies to customization settings for photocopiers and fax machines too.

Be strategic (and respectful) with your choice of space. If you are going to have a small meeting at a coworking space, choose a spot in a corner or away from others so there will be less chance of being a distraction. There is nothing wrong with a quiet conversation – just be mindful of your volume levels.

Be open to a work trade. Coworking spaces are awesome for networking and collaborating. If you’re a graphic designer and you meet a financial consultant over the coffee machine – how about discussing a skills barter? It’s a way to get a win-win for both of you. Opportunities like this will open up when you are friendly and engaging with your fellow coworkers, but know when it’s time to be quiet and get down to work.

Coworking spaces are awesome places to work productively and really grow your business. If you treat the space and your fellow workers with respect, and go into the space with a commitment to working hard, the opportunities and benefits can be amazing!

 

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Of course we think our coworking space, Woolf Works, is the best! We are a women-only space located in an old shophouse on Joo Chiat Rd. Our community includes writers, entrepreneurs, photographers and consultants. Come for a visit and see for yourself! Check out the website and get in touch at info@woolfworks.sg

 

Set Yourself Up for a Rocking 2015

At the beginning of 2014 I was at a point of real indecision in my life. My second child had crossed six months old and I had been a stay at home mum for over five years. I was feeling ready to launch myself into something exciting and involving but wasn’t sure if I had the courage. I was also quite unfit and generally felt exhausted by the end of a day with my kids so couldn’t imagine being able to work as well. I also felt aimless, adrift, with lots of ideas but no concrete plan.

When I lived in Mumbai I learnt a fantastic word that it used to describe ripping up the tar seal roads and laying concrete ones. Its is called concretisation. I love this – and it feels like just the right word to describe what I needed and what I actually ended up doing with my goals.

I sat down. I wrote them out. I thought about which path spoke to my true heart. I thought about what I would regret in ten years, what could be shelved for a while and what couldn’t wait.

I concretised my goals.

I decided that getting fit was a great first step. I’d never been a runner (and I really mean never!) but I decided that my 2014 goal would be to run 10km and to lose 10kg. I knew that feeling good about myself would help all other aspects of my life.

I had met my fantastic personal trainer Aimee Barnes in December 2013 and it didn’t take much time working with her and really watching my nutrition before I started to feel more positive about myself and have more energy to get out in the world and do something. The concept of Woolf Works had been there in my mind (and in dusty excel sheets) for a while but by February I made a commitment to throw myself into it fulltime 9-5pm.

In July 2014 Woolf Works was opened and today we have a growing, thriving community.

My success this year is due to a lot of factors – things that I had to work at, things and people that came to me through being open and looking for opportunity but mostly from

  1. Being physically fit.
  2. Having concrete goals and a clear vision of where I wanted this year to go.

In essence – its about creating a map and making sure the vehicle was strong enough to get me there!

So, now we are heading into 2015. I have a lot of great plans and ideas for Woolf Works, for myself and for my family.

In order to get some more ‘concretisation’ on these plans, I’m going to be joining Aimee on a fantastic workshop she is offering at Woolf Works in a few weeks:

 

Creating Your Vision for 2015

 

This three hour workshop will help you concretize your goals and create a vision board – a collage of images and words that represent your aspirations. Aimee will guide you through and inspire you with her transformational journey.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, 6th December from 10am – 1pm. Tickets are available at the link above and places are limited.

See you there!

 

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Ted Talk Inspiration: Kare Anderson

In this Ted talk from September 2014, Kare Anderson talks about being an opportunity maker and having what she calls a mutuality mindset – seeking relationships and connections with people who are different from ourselves and seeing how we can work together.

Anderson, on opportunity makers:

“They’re not affronted by differences, they’re fascinated by them, and that is a huge shift in mindset, and once you feel it, you want it to happen a lot more.”

“…they communicate to connect around sweet spots of shared interest. ”

A perfect talk to watch before a networking session.

5 Great Reasons to Consider Coworking

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Working from home is convenient for some, but it can also be isolating and unproductive. Working from that new coffee shop down the road from your house may be tempting, but cafes can be just as distracting, bad for the waistline and expensive!

So what’s the best option for getting rid of that feeling of isolation but still maintaining the passion and focus in your work? Try coworking!

Coffee

The piped-in music of your local coffee shop may be too loud, or worse, they could be playing Lady Gaga’s songs when you need something a little more gentle. Coffee shops can be distracting depending on the number of customers during the day. And just an FYI, many coworking spaces offer unlimited awesome coffee. You can have that caffeine fix for free!

Support

You can gain an instant support network. Coworking spaces are the perfect place to find talented people with the same passion as you. You can catch a great advice or a creative solution from someone while you are pouring yourself a coffee in the kitchen. Also, working beside passionate, like-minded and hardworking people will push you to work harder.

Opportunities

Coworking spaces are fertile grounds for new and better opportunities. There is a raw potential for teamwork, you can get significant referrals or find ways to collaborate with members in the same field. You may even find your next business investor or potential client seated right beside you.

Facilities

Most coworking spaces have a relaxed, open office style. Everything you need to be productive is all under one roof. They have facilities like meeting areas, kitchen, business tools as well as lockers. Professional meeting areas can create a good impression on your current or potential clients.

Expand your Horizons

The people in your coworking office may have encountered the same challenges as you. You can learn new techniques or solutions, while also passing on knowledge yourself. This give and take of information can be immensely helpful, especially in the start-up world, and it sure beats sitting at home alone trying to google solutions! Coworking spaces also host seminars or workshops that are beneficial to the members. Attend these events and discover unlimited professional development opportunities.

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There are times that you really want to work solo. Of course, you can always work on your own – headphones are a coworkers best friend in that situation. Using a coworking space allows you to separate your work from your home life and gives you a place to be productive as well as be driven by camaraderie. The dynamic community in a coworking space can support and inspire you to excel more in your business.

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Of course we think our coworking space, Woolf Works, is the best! We are a women-only space located in an old shophouse on Joo Chiat Rd. Our community includes writers, entrepreneurs, photographers and consultants. Come for a visit and see for yourself! Check out the website and get in touch at info@woolfworks.sg

Everyone is nervous, shy and wondering why they wore THOSE shoes

Networking at Woolf Works Wednesday Social Night

Networking. The word is so cold, business-like, unappealing. When I first started on my journey of opening Woolf Works I dragged myself out to a few different networking sessions, mumbled my way through them and then left early. I hated the awkwardness, the stumbling way I’d introduce myself, the terrible faux pas I would make and the rummaging for a business card while trying to balance a coffee cup and pastry – cringeworthy!

This year, something strange has happened. I’ve come to (shock horror) enjoy networking! I look forward to the interesting people I might meet and I always look forward to telling my story and describing my business. So what has changed in the time from when I first started out, to now? I guess I have realised a few things:

1. Firstly – EVERYONE feels awkward and weird. Honestly. Meeting strangers is awkward and weird. So – just let it go. Move on. What’s wrong with awkward and weird sometimes? We need a bit of discomfort to know we are pushing our own limits, exploring new territory. As well as awkward and weird, its also a little bit exciting isn’t it?

2. Before you go to your next networking session, work out the best way to introduce your business. You need to remember one opening sentence then three Punch Words that you want the other person to remember. My punch words are Calm, Productive, Community. For example, I say:

 Hi there, I’m Michaela and I run a women’s coworking space on Joo Chiat Rd called Woolf Works.

Its a lovely, calm workspace where women can work productively amongst a community of like-minded women.

Having those punch words helps me stay focused on what I want to say. If I have longer then I can go deeper into each part but I have the three parts (the space – calm; the results of being in the space – productive; the people – community) that I can always tie it together with.

What are your three punch words? What do you want that person that you meet to remember about you and your business?

3. Interrupting a group: your worse nightmare? You are at a networking session, its going well when suddenly the person you were chatting to excuses herself to the bathroom and you are left on your own staring around at everyone else already immersed in conversation in small groups.

Just one simple sentence will get you in: “Excuse me, mind if I join you?”

Really its that simple – everyone knows it sucks to introduce yourself to the group and nine times out of ten will be very welcoming. Apologise for interrupting, introduce yourself quickly to everyone and the conversation will begin to flow again.

4. Go looking for one or two great connections, not a bunch of people you have exchanged cards with. Quality over Quantity – it’s old networking advice but is so true. Go in depth with the people you meet – ask questions, smile, make lots of eye contact, find common connections. People respond to questions; it feels nice to have someone so interested in you. That woman that you spend twenty minutes chatting about your shared love of tennis is the one who will remember you, refer business to you and be much more valuable than the ten people you spent two minutes with.

5. Be practical. Wear comfortable shoes. As good as those pastries look, trying to eat one while balancing a tea cup, business cards and purse is never going to be elegant so how about waiting till you have a free moment? Keep your cards somewhere easy to reach. Don’t wear that bra that always digs into your ribcage.

6. Lastly, practice makes perfect. Really – its all about doing it again and again. And again.

My hands no longer shake, I can maintain eye contact and breaking into groups of strangers is one of those necessary evils that I don’t mind doing if I have to. The deep connections with really interesting women that I have formed through networking groups has been crucial for my business to succeed.

My top two women’s networking groups in Singapore?

The Athena Network

PrimeTime

 

What are your top networking tips?

What do you NOT enjoy about networking?