How to Network in Denver

How to Network in Denver

If you’ve been wondering how to find and nurture authentic business connections in Denver, this podcast episode is for you. The other day I was working a side-hustle at The Outdoor Retailer Show. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, it’s basically where people in the outdoor space show their new products, buy sourcing materials for clothing/equipment etc. and talk all things specific to outdoor concerns such as climate change and the impact on the industry. This was the third time I’ve worked the show and I’d met a ton of people running Colorado local business, creating cool products, and doing cool things. Basically, the kind of people I want to share, support, and collaborate with via my Square State project. One of the people that I worked with was a really cool guy who shared that he and his girlfriend were looking to move back East and we began discussing why. I’d asked about his experience living in Denver. One of the biggest issues was his inability to break into his field. I found that surprising but this is something that I’ve heard before. From other people as recently as the week before. But, one of those ladies was legit crazy so I think that was her issue. So in this week’s episode I thought it would be helpful to share how to make authentic personal and professional connections in Denver. Sorry guys, the ladies have a better ecosystem for this.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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Real talk, I’m not a fan of the concept of “networking” as it brings to mind meeting people with a specific agenda versus just organically meeting people…because WE SHOULD BE. Humans are social animals and moving to a new town or living in a town changing as quickly as Denver has presents some challenges when it comes to meeting people. In this episode I’m going to give you some insight on how to meet people authentically in Denver, connect with opportunities, and hopefully jobs.

How to Network in Denver

Each city has a certain vibe when it comes to networking and making connections that move you forward personally and professionally. Denver is no different. What is unique to Denver, in my view, is the focus on fitness based activities to foster connections.

It is not unusual to talk about the type of training you’re doing for a race, the type of activity that you enjoy doing, or what ski pass you picked up to hit the slopes this year.

Tip #1 Join a Fitness Focused Group

Do you love skiing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, etc? Join a group doing what you love.

Currently, I’m involved in the following groups

  • Outdoor Afros-Outdoor activities for POC/Allies
  • Trails and Ales-The OG of Denver based hiking groups on Meetup
  • A ski and snowboarding group on Meetup-I always miss this one due to timing
  • And I take a Groov3 hip hop fitness class, my current fitness obsession.

These groups are a low-key and easy way to meet people with similar interests.

Tip #2 Targeted Short-Term Volunteer Roles or Side-Hustles

I love side-hustling at the Outdoor Retailer show because I am able to meet 100’s of Colorado local attendees doing cool things AND they are focused on the outdoors. This is 100% in alignment with the three specific areas of focus for Square State which are:

  • To share and support Colorado based products, programs, and businesses.
  • To create authentic and meaningful connections between newly arrived and lifelong citizens.
  • To normalize seeing POC faces in outdoor places.

So, Outdoor Retailer was a perfect fit for what I’m working on and who I want to connect with. Spend some time looking into opportunities to support programs and projects in your field and meet people in a low-key way.

Tip #3 Join Business Focused Facebook Groups

Sorry guys, but the ladies in Denver have a clear edge when it comes to having online communities that will support and nurture their work. Here are some groups that I recommend joining and I’ll mention if they are women only. I will continue to add to the list in the show notes as I discover more so make sure to check.

Tip #4 Start Your OWN Community

Sometimes you just have to empower yourself in order to get stuff done. If you’re struggling to find community, then create the community that you’re looking for.

  • Meet in free places
  • Use Facebook Events/Meetup.com/Eventbrite to share your event
  • Market on social media and word of mouth
  • Collaborate with local businesses in order to hold your event.
  • The Commons on Champa

Be proactive about finding the community that you seek.

Tip #5 Create Your Own DIGITAL Community

At the time that I’m recording this episode it’s February 2020. There is no reason why you can’t create a digital community for your specific area of interest.

You could grow that community and then host an in-person event at a restaurant that sponsors the food for your event.

Be creative.

In my view it’s actually pretty easy to position yourself as an authority in Denver and grow business connections. I find that there are fewer gatekeepers to navigate through compared to other cities. My final pieces of advice:

  • Be proactive
  • A closed mouth doesn’t get fed-let people know that you need help connecting with people in your space. People can’t help you if they don’t know that you need help.
  • Connect in ways that are most comfortable for you, don’t rely on networking events. Especially if meeting new people makes you uncomfortable.

Stay in the Loop

Alchemy Creative

Where to Cowork in Denver: Alchemy Workspace

If you live in Denver or are passing through and are looking for a place to work I have the space for you. Actually, I have several spaces that I love and will recommend and today’s post shares the first one: Alchemy Creative Workspace.

Love.this.space.

When I decided to take the leap and work for myself, I had romantic notions of working from home and just killing the digital game. In fact, I knew that I would be focused, on task, and productive every single day….from my home.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosureΒ here.*

In fact, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I had a ridiculously difficult time working from home. I would look at the laundry that had to be done, the one or two dishes languishing in the sink, and then go insane with the dog upstairs would begin barking in a separation anxiety fit of rage.

There was a moment when I just had to be honest and acknowledge that what I was trying to do wasn’t working. Coffee shops didn’t work either. If I had a huge project that needed a quiet dedicated space to knock some work out from, Starbucks (too noisy depending on location), Thump (not enough outlets) or Nixon’s (fabulous coffee unhappy wifi). Finally, I broke down and decided to check out co-working spaces. The first time I worked from co-working spaces it didn’t work out (long-story).

This time I tried it again and I’m in love with co-working spaces and you will be too!

Deskpass

If you would like to date several spaces before committing to your final space, I recommend signing up for Deskpass. Deskpass works exactly like Classpass does (if you’re familiar with that service). There are different subscription levels that you can choose from which will allow you to visit different spaces that are signed up on the platform throughout the city of Denver. In fact, I will share a review of each space that I absolutely love on Square State.

Prices range from $49-$199 a month and the unused days roll over to the next month. This feature is one of my favorites. Finally, Deskpass hosts monthly events for members at different spaces throughout town. Deskpass is currently available in the following cities: Denver, L.A., NYC, Miami, Austin, and Chicago (and members can use their membership in whatever city they happen to be in at the time. Love.this.resource!

Alchemy Creative Workspace

Is located at 66 S. Logan Space. One of the defining characteristics of the space is how open and airy it is and how warm and welcoming the staff is. Ari and Chelsea are most members first point of contact. And, these two ladies are some of the warmest and most genuine people that I’ve met in a long time. In fact, I judge co-working spaces on how welcomed I feel in the space.

The permanent members who work out of Alchemy also are incredibly warm and friendly and they make it easy to imagine working from the space full-time.

Some of the amenities and perks include:

  • Beer

 

  • Get togethers

 

  • Dog friendly (there are several doggies for those of you who love pets)

 

  • Phone “booths” for those days when you need to take a call in private

 

  • Yoga located next door.

 

  • Restaurants are located across the street and it’s easy to get lunch delivered.

 

  • Programming

 

  • Great location for those of you in the Wash Park/West Wash Park area.

Basically, Alchemy Creative Workspace is a wonderful place to nurture and grow your business. And, one of the businesses housed there is a burrito business. And, sometimes members are called upon to do quality taste testing. Those are my favorite days! Free lunch.