5 Mins with Gravity’s Mentor – Matthew Dunstan
Gravity’s mentor Matthew Dunstan has all the qualities of an entrepreneur – he’s an adventurer, a risk taker and he thrives in a coworking environment.
In 2010, Matthew sailed away from a successful career at Microsoft to spend 2 years travelling the world with his family in a yacht.
Today, through his company Rising Tide Ventures, he works with aspiring business owners, helping them craft growth strategys.
Matthew will be launching his book “The Coworking Revolution” at this year’s GCUC event on June 4th.
While on June 10th, he will be holding a free workshop at Gravity Brisbane revealing “ The 4 Secrets to Working for Yourself”.
Sitting down for a quick coffee with our resident mentor, Matthew explains why coworking is replacing the traditional office and working from home.
1.In your opinion, what are the benefits of coworking over working from home?
There are 4 huge gaps in our work life when we work from home: Firstly you don’t have the opportunity for impromptu water cooler conversations – professional social interaction just doesn’t exist. Secondly, your workspace is often not as productive as the regular office. There are distractions, things don’t work right – you might even be sharing a room or the kitchen table as your work space. Even if you do have a separate space, it’s still hard to mentally separate. Thirdly, there’s no teamwork or collaboration going on. There’s no one to bounce ideas off, check your work or get inspiration from. Lastly, there’s no one providing overall guidance (like your manager used to!). There’s no one to go to for advice, direction & feedback. No one holding you to account or demanding better. This last one is a big issue for every self-employed person.
2.What do you look for in a coworking space?
I actually have a few different spaces (or styles) I use. I enjoy relaxed, communal spaces at times which are good for that social interaction & networking. Other times, I’m looking for something with an emphaisis on productivity which is about space to move, noise levels, facilities and a more generally professional environment. Other times, I’m looking for a place inspiring and creative and for me, these are spaces in beautiful outdoor locations. Overall though, I need it to be quiet enough to get some work done, vibrant enough to make it fun and interesting and perhaps most importantly, have my type of people there – a coworking space has a culture to it and it has to be one that I ‘fit’ into.
3.What attracted you to Gravity?
Having worked in a corporate, professional environment for most of my career, there are 3 things I appreciate about Gravity. Firstly, it’s a gorgeous environment. There’s no ‘dorm’ style coworking going on here. Secondly, it’s right in the heart of the CBD which is great when I’m working with clients in the city and thirdly, because it’s central and funky, it’s a great place for me to bring clients to. They love it and are intrigued to see what it’s like. It’s a very impressive space and is great for my own business positioning around professional innovation & creativity.
4.What was the defining moment that made you realise you wanted to be your own boss?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. My first foray was at age 5 when I wanted to put my neighbours macadamias in a jar and sell them back to him! Everywhere I look I see things that I think I could make better with a little innovation & creativity.
5.When you were travelling the world for 2 years by boat, was there ever a time you missed the normality of life?
When I first started it was like an extended holiday but after the first 8 weeks I was thinking “so now what do I do?”. There was a big transition for me, moving from hyper-connected and scheduled to unplugged and drifting with the wind. Once I got into the rhythm though, I didn’t miss that at all.
To attend Matthew’s workshop – 4 Secrets to Working for Yourself – at Gravity Brisbane -June 10th – 12.30-1.30pm – register here: https://eventbrite.com/event/17165356042/