Levi Baer, Co-founder & Community Builder

[00:00:00] Hi everyone welcome to Novus Navigator we’re here today with Levi Baer who is a co-founder of second shift a coworking space in Logan Square. Levi is also an adjunct instructor of entrepreneurship at DePaul University. Levi why don’t we start off with you telling us a little bit more about who you are and what you do.

[00:00:22] My name is Levi Baer. I’m a co-founder of second shift this coworking space that we’re in right now. I’ve been doing that for two years of operation. I’m also an adjunct instructor at DePaul University and by trade, I’m a facilitator and team-building consultant. So have worn many hats and right now really excited about coworking and kind of the intersection of entrepreneurship and bias and culture and language and communication.

[00:00:47] So tell us about the beginnings of your entrepreneurial journey. How did you sort of get started?

[00:00:53] I talk a lot about having grown up on a farm. I grew up in northern Minnesota on a farm with a single mother raising two kids and also like a mixed culture household. At least in that I’m brown big surprise spoiler and my mom is white and my sister is white and so I grew up with in a community that I also didn’t exactly look like and I mentioned all that to say that you know as you go through the world you kind of figure out who you are in it and what you want to be doing.

[00:01:25] And I think those experiences can shape any of us. And so you know from a farm I was really hard working there was always work to do. There’s a saying there’s work to do on the farm there’s always work on the farm and so there was always work to do and I don’t mind working hard now I put in hours if we need to put them in. And from that cultural side of things not afraid to stick my neck out they’re not afraid to be different. I’m not afraid to be doing my own thing. And so what that means in terms of becoming an entrepreneur is I didn’t really think I want to run my own business. Until I’m in my mid 30s now and I didn’t think that until I was like twenty eight or twenty nine years old.

[00:02:10] So I never really had like I want to be an entrepreneur as a solid thought. However with that independent mindset of kind of our living situation both of my parents who were divorced got divorced and had two households early on in my life both those people that I got to spend a lot of time with are very independent thinkers. I always say my mom beats to the beat of her own drum. She’s a very unique woman very lovely wonderful person very unique though and my dad too. And so I think they instilled in me some ideals about not you don’t always have to follow the path that has been carved out and you can do a little bit of it yourself. And not be afraid to make some splashes and make some waves on the way and it might take some hard work and you might be different than anybody else. And that that’s not a bad thing to do. So I think I had those ideas early and you know that the one sentence summary is that I went through grad school took time off so I went to undergrad took time off saw a career that I wanted which was team building went to grad school to pursue that career. And by the time I graduated I didn’t I just didn’t want to go. Work for the man. I just didn’t want to go put my time into somebody else’s pocket. And so that was five years ago and been kind of chasing entrepreneurship since I really had that idea that I want to work for myself.

[00:03:34] Gotcha. And what did you go to undergrad for.

[00:03:37] Both my undergrad and grad school degree in Communications Studies undergrad was just kind of a general comm degree so I was studying stuff like public speaking and small group communication stuff like that.

[00:03:47] So you came out of undergrad understanding that you didn’t necessarily want to go and work for someone and build someone else’s company what what sort of got you thinking that.

[00:03:57] The thing that got me to want to really start like actually set to go for my own thing was a mentor relationship a professor in grad school that I had built a good mentor mentee student professor relationship with and this person went out of their way to you know sit down and talk to me. I think it’s really important to have those people that you can be treated with equity and even if there’s an age difference or create a friends like people that would talk to you like an adult especially when you’re a younger person and people that would give you responsibility and respect and that sort of thing. And so I was very grateful for that relationship and that person said you have the aptitude you have the understanding of what we’re talking about in class you could go. They kind of laid out the pathways for me because I said I don’t know what to do next. I thought I was just going to go be a change management consultant and they said yeah you sure can you can go work at one of the big four companies get kind of chewed up by that system make a lot of money not have any free time. We see a lot of people doing this coming out of places like DePaul and other schools in Chicago going to the Big Four is a big consulting firms a lot of people go to those jobs and yeah you make 70 grand out the door and out of the gate and you have no life and then you either climb the ladder or you get chewed up and spit out the bottom end of that. And kind of forgot something else to do and none of those options sounded good to me I was like I don’t like. Any of those options that you just said and so a third option was. You could try to sell your services yourself and so that was the first time that somebody said hey you could do this on your own. I would not. Maybe this is jumping ahead. I would not advise that actually. To others it was very difficult and maybe we’ll be able to get back into like where people come from in the world and what resources they do have built into their lives already. Yeah I did not have many and I think given that situation I should have taken more time.

[00:05:52] So again I’m kind of getting a head here I know but yeah I maybe foolishly but at the same time maybe exactly as needed. Dove right into trying to start my own first team building consulting business with a friend. We started a company called Bold B Consulting was the first venture that I went for.

[00:06:12] So did you end up graduating from one of our universities in Chicago.

[00:06:16] So I went to undergrad in Minnesota where I’m from my Minnesota hoodie right now and then took some time off lived in San Francisco graduated undergrad did not want to go to school anymore I was like I’m done with school I honestly I can go on record saying I don’t love the academic setting. I was pretty smart I guess and so I was always bored to kind of by school and I don’t think that people on both end of sort of the like engagement spectrum I think school kind of fails people on either side of that. A lot of times I do want to be too critical of school here. But I had kind of graduated being like you lost my attention along the way and I know that some people that never gets their attention. And so I was just like I’m just gonna go work and be a person in the world and graduate in 2007. And there was a recession in process and there were no jobs.

[00:07:11] And so I had a tough go right out of school where I had thought that I was I mean I knew that I was pretty smart. I had always had it easy time in undergrad and then I was like hey world view do you want me and the world said no we’re good. And they were saying that to everybody who is 21 and 22 and hopeful and it was a tough time to go get a job so I just kind of bummed around did work and eventually realized I wanted to go to met somebody who is another mentor and another influential person to say you could you with your interest in interpersonal communication with organizational development you should become an actual consultant in this field and that inspired me to go to grad school here at DePaul in Chicago.

[00:07:52] So you graduate from your master’s program at DePaul. What are you doing right after that?

[00:07:57] I really had tailored my master’s degree to become like a consultant somewhere. I always said I wanted to be like George Clooney in the movie Up in the air. He’s a consultant that goes running in that movie fires people not really what I wanted to do I always said I wanted to do the fun side of a HR like how do you make people happy and engaged and thus more productive and have longer and longer longer yet have longevity more longevity at the places they work and so not necessarily in school but upon graduating. Again that conversation that I had really one conversation with is like you could do your own thing.

[00:08:34] I graduated from grad school on a Sunday. I went to my new job on a Monday where I was mentoring and running a mentorship program for teens in Chicago. Young black men who had been involved in the justice system didn’t have a lot of opportunities in front of them. My first job was building a mentor program to give them better opportunities and better training. Super tough job. My friend who gave me that connection that job she ended up being my first business partner and we said we could do this sort of training instead of capacity building for teams and organizations. And I had the team building backgrounds and so we went into business together to try to make that happen.

[00:09:10] Awesome and is that friend Nicole?

[00:09:12] No. So that friend Jamie was the first person I started a business with here in Chicago. And then a year later we kind of were like well we’re just not seeing the traction or the progress that we thought we’d see. And we both kind of made decisions are what we want to do next. She took some opportunities to get into a more serious role at her work. And I kept wanting to build my own thing so I just stayed then in the realm of entrepreneurship. You’re always going to make some tough choices along the way and that was a pivotal moment where I made a choice to stay in what I felt was a less demanding work environment. I mean you can you know you can always go for different types of jobs that give you different types of life security or situations with a master’s degree in organizational communication and training that I still to this day could go get a well-paying job for at that point. That was a thing I think four years ago I said no I’m going to get a job as an administrative assistant and make much less than what I could based on my education and do so that I have the time and energy to start my own. Keep doing my own work and keep working towards that. So then I just pivoted and instead of doing that with two people I relaunched myself and leave I bear consulting my own kind of business and just try to do team building on my own. I had also become a Myers Briggs facilitator so I could give personality type sessions. I have a couple trainings and I’m about tools under my belt and made a card game that’s a really fun training tool called insights I was designing. There’s kind of this entrepreneurial spirit of designing my own trainings my own facilitation picking up gigs here and there. I mean I was here and they’re getting paid and I mean I remember I made like fourteen hundred dollars in a month once and I was like This is it. I’m the I’ll just do this every month and be good.

[00:11:04] Even though it’s not a ton of money of course but I was like that I can live off of that and I quit that administrative assistant job that I had and I was like I’ll just drive Lyft if I need to and I’ll just be a consultant. And yeah that didn’t work either it didn’t work and you just you know again making those decisions along the way and choices and it’s not like I regret those choices because you know in the moment you make decisions with the best information you have and you always do. I think all of us do the best we can to make make the right choices. But in the long run no that didn’t pan out either. And you learn from every single one. So you know learning again what to do next. And I started teaching thankfully as a good job to have in the background. And honestly I wasn’t comfortable when I started doing this. Now I’m kind of owning my story a little bit more. Was bartending as well and did that to help pay the bills. So I was teaching and bartending and then along the way my business partner now Nicole Vasquez was like we should start a co-working space together. And I had been building community with this group coffee and conversation which is gonna turn five years old this month the same month that now second shift is turning two years old so March seems to be a month where I start things. But I had started and was leading this entrepreneurial community building event monthly event called Kofman conversation. Nicole said that’s been going great. We’ve worked together in this. We should build a co-working space. Again I was teaching great job. Again I was bartending great job does not the job I wanted to be doing. And we added on coworking space and yes started working on that in March of twenty sixteen. Nicole asked me if I wanted to start a coworking space and a March of 2017 we opened the doors for business and now it’s March of 2019 and it’s two years later and we’re still here.

[00:12:57] So when Nicole came to you did she have this fully fleshed out business plan or was it sort of in the works? What happened there?

[00:13:04] SCHAAP So yeah. Great question Nicole already had a different parking space so my business partner Nicole formed that shift which was a coworking space in Uptown and it was one of the first neighborhood focused coworking spaces. Now we’re seeing this kind of plethora of them come around and that’s great. Where we love that we’re also very proud of our team being one of the first ones. One of the first independently owned ones. And so Nicole forge that path I think really for the Chicago landscape to be honest but also then for our company because that was an uptown we’re in Logan Square here where a second shift is. And so she said let’s sort of co-working space. She had the idea she had that industry knowledge the expertise I brought in my own set of skills and expertise and so we said let’s put our complementary skills together. We both believe in people. We both believe in community building. We both know that when you create a space create space for people to gather and network and informally interact with each other ideal the firm ideal calls them casual collisions we both really really believed in that concept. And so we knew that we could any team is going to have trials and tribulations as a team forms and works and grows. We believe that we can not only get through that but we believe so much in this idea that was second shift and all we had was the idea to get back to answering your question. We made everything together we made I mean meeting after hour after hour after hour in conference rooms planning this thing making the business plan getting funding designing it doing a Kickstarter and Indiegogo like yeah. And eventually eventually you know construction and signing leases and all that stuff.

[00:14:49] So it sounds like Nicole came to you with this this idea and you guys started business planning would you say that’s a super important process before you jump in and start a business.

[00:15:00] You know it’s funny so because I also teach entrepreneurship I kind of get where you’re asking too. And we we started with a business plan because we needed to get funding and so we had to show somebody else the idea and you have to send them some. Whether that’s a paragraph in an email or a Kranz written on a napkin. If you need money for a price if you need money or like if you’re going to tell your family member hey can you give me 500 bucks. I’m going to do this thing I need to buy a camera so I can start doing videos one way or another you’ve got to tell somebody if you need money. And so building a brick starting a brick and mortar business is not cheap. And we needed a bunch of money so it had to be a really formalized plan not only of the business but when you give us money what does that mean and what does that look like. So we just started doing a ton of research. We knew we again we knew coworking and we knew community building really well. But as an entrepreneur you have to do all the other parts of the business so we just you know doing the research investigating figuring out everything else that’s going to go into taking money from people what does that look like to give it back to them or not or whoever that looks. So we did that now also shall we just dive in and do something. Yeah of course. I mean always I’ll advocate for you know and if a question comes up here where it’s like well what do you do like get out there and do the beta version test it do it for free get your first 10 customers give you can’t get 10 customers you have a hobby on your hands not a business right. I get started with something. So yeah we I mean we did eventually we were doing pop up coworking we are doing this stuff but we already had her first coworking space to validate her ability to run a business the fact that this business model we’re going for community focused Corrigan was viable. So we had that to stand out on a lot of our like work and conversations and business planning stood up on that groundwork of that existing thing. But absolutely people should go out there and test it to some degree especially especially before you put serious money into anything you know spend spend a couple hundred or maybe a thousand if you have it. Dollars that lets you show something to somebody but I wouldn’t build a coworking space before I knew that it was a good idea right now I would do something for us to make sure that I had a handle on what are we getting. You know there’s there’s I mean people talk about the lean model so build lean for sure and test stuff along the way.

[00:17:30] So was there any part of the business plan that really helped you validate this idea before you guys started executing this.

[00:17:38] I don’t want to throw up something I don’t want to expose too much or something but like I sometimes I look back and I’m like we just we just we did research. I mean I can tell you I know seventy seven thousand people lived in Logan Square at the time that we started out. You know we we pulled demographic reports. How many people make the median the income level that we think we’re gonna sell to you know is there just literally enough people around but our you know our validation came from and I say this all the time as I lived in Logan Square for 10 years. I did my my master’s degree sitting at coffee shops here in Logan Square so I worked at intelligentsia for five hours a day and I pad typing grad school papers and in doing that I say that because I saw the community around us I saw that people working for hours and hours with me in those coffee shops. And so. You can you could punch him holes in my story here and say Levi that’s a sample size of 20 or whatever. But I living in this neighborhood for that long of time you know do we need to do market research yeah. There’s no coworking spaces. You know there is there was one there was a Logan share was another co-working space they had 14 dedicated us and they’ve been sold out for years. Seems like a market opportunity right. So it was really it was quick. And when I kind of mean by like am I exposing too much is our research and our validation was so solid that we’re like of course it’s going to work. Of course this neighborhood that’s honestly gentrifying that has this incoming affluent population that doesn’t have a community focused space for people to pay to work out of that doesn’t have an alternative. All these coffee shops that are there’s tons of pop coffee shops popping up but there’s not an alternative to sit there. Yeah. It was like we were secure in the knowledge that this was gonna be a good idea.

[00:19:29] So you’re at this point where you have your business plan what comes next year. Like giving it to investors. How are you reaching out to these investors? czeskie zaklady sportowe

[00:19:36]Is it like cold calls. Is this these friends and family. How do you feel Chicago you’re reaching out to cold calls.

[00:19:43]Yeah good question. I’m. Building second shift overall as. Has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done with my life overseeing the construction of it which I did. [11.4s] Mostly it was me was was probably one of most stressful things I’ve ever gone through. But I say that because fundraising was also like one of the most difficult things. And I think it does good to you know there’s maybe a piece of it of no not maybe I’m sure that a piece of it is also. I mentioned this before we started rolling of. I think nowadays we should be looking at what people’s networks are in terms of privilege and affluence and demographics and I don’t have the family I there’s nobody my family that I can turn to for any significant amount of money that would go into building a brick and mortar business. And so you know for both of us and I’m not going to speak for Nicole’s situation but we both wanted the income the sorry the startup capital. So we did have friends and family around and we wanted that to come from people who believed in this idea that looked at the business plan looked at us and said yeah that’s going to work of course that’s going to work. Of course you two are the people that are gonna make this happen and we love your idea. It’s great. And guess what some people look at that and said. This is not the thing that I want to be involved in. You two seem capable. I don’t like that. You know there’s. I don’t like the numbers I don’t like the timeline. I don’t like whatever. I mean there’s no there’s no secret that no one’s getting rich quick off of coworking. And so we did what you would call an altruistic investment which is there’s three types of investors there’s heat in it or there’s economic I want to get my money back and I want good money in return. This hedonistic I want to be involved and run it. And we said you’re not going to have any decision making power because we’re the experts here and there’s altruistic which is we believe in this. We believe in you. We think that the world needs this. And so we’re going to come on board financially and make this thing happen. And so that’s what we did. And to specifically answer your question it was friends and family kind of loosely in the industry and what we also followed is people you know connections to folks you know so a lot of e-mails. Legally you cannot advertise when you’re doing these sorts of things so you can’t post on Facebook. Hey anybody want to give us a chunk of money. That’s illegal actually. So if you have the right lawyer in place telling you that which we did you have to avoid that. And so that means you literally just like calling e-mailing texting begging on your knees now whatever it takes to get the money.

[00:22:28] So and is that a little bit of an awkward process? You know when you’re asking your friends and family for money to start this business.

[00:22:35] It is that first I think and I don’t think it has to be as akward as maybe a person makes it. My advice to people that might want to start a thing and might want to ask for a certain amount of any amount of money is to weave. I think sometimes if you’re uncomfortable maybe some of this is just me and you know I want to own that I want to own the fact that maybe some of it is I came from a low income background my family didn’t have a lot of money so I was not even used to talking about some of the numbers we’re talking about right. So maybe some of this is just me. But I would say that yes it can feel uncomfortable. And my advice is. You are doing it because you believe in yourself right. As the founder you wouldn’t be doing that unless you thought it was going to work. And you you know it’s going not just think you know it’s going to work because otherwise stop doing it and you’re wasting everybody’s time your own time. Most importantly you believe in it.

[00:23:28] You know it’s work and you believe in yourself. Sit in that and own that and take that and make a good presentation and take that to people and say of course this is going to work. Of course you can believe in me and this and I’m not ashamed of asking you for money because this is a great idea and I’m a great person to be doing it. And if we have any sort of relationship at all you probably think some of that too. And that’s why I’ve come to you. You know if you’re if you are literally cold calling a stranger or like your aunt’s dog walkers boyfriend second cousins friend hey I knew that you won the lottery maybe I could. You know that’s not a really strong e-mail you want to send in a strong relationship you want to tap into. But if you email somebody and say somebody say I’m doing something it’s gonna be bonkers awesome. I thought of you specifically because I think maybe you want to be involved in this. And here’s the deal here’s how you can get involved. This is what we’re looking for. Do you want to get involved. Do you know somebody also wants to get involved. I came to you because I thought of you and just own that situation and I think people actually have a lot of respect for the fact that you come to them and say like yeah I want your money but here’s exactly why and this is what we’re gonna do with it.

[00:24:40] So you mentioned that you sort of stuck with family and friends when you’re raising money to start second shift because they knew your passion and your drive for starting the business. Were there any other reasons that you sort of stayed away from traditional investors li ke VC or an angel investor.

[00:24:59] One we wanted to really maintain control of the project and VC does usually come as strings from what I understand. I have never received VC but the venture capital is usually a high growth situation. They’re looking at a certain number of return on that investment and they wanted at a certain time and we were wary of getting into a situation like that. Now. We didn’t think we’d be successful. We just you know you just want to be careful about that. And to to get to do an altruistic raise which is what we are doing. And we knew that we had to work with people that believed in us specifically. And that’s going to come through people that have a pre-existing relationship even if it’s somebody that we know recommending us to somebody else. So we might not know. I may not be that I’ve ever sat down and had dinner with that person but maybe somebody else is saying yeah. These two I believe in that view. If you want to get involved something they’re the right people to do this right. So it’s either you’ll have that direct relationship or somebody else is going to be endorsing you to be able to make that happen.

[00:25:59] So you know we’re glancing over a lot here you know you oversee the construction and I’m sure that’s a super stressful process. But second shift launches and when you guys launch do you guys have like a line out the door. How do you get your first customers?

[00:26:15] Well one thing we did which I think was the right thing to do is we wanted to hit the ground running. We wanted to build. I mean you’re talking about opening investing a ton of money spending a ton of money and then our business model as correcting usually is is based on monthly memberships. And so you don’t want to start at zero right. You want to start with something. And so we did a bunch of stuff we did I guess a pop up co-working events. We did we pre sold memberships on a crowdfunding campaign to build a buzz for it and get some cash flow. We just did a number of things to create. But you know Nicole and I both a lot of networking already and so working through our networks as much you know people were tired of hearing people by the time seconds ripped open people like we got it like I know you’re opening a co-working place please stop talking about it and no you can’t. I mean when you’re passionate by your thing when you’re when that thing is your lifeblood you don’t stop talking about it nor should you. And so we just did a lot of that to build as much buzz as possible and we opened with. I think we had like honestly 14 memberships 14 real memberships when we started. I think we had like twenty five people total some of which are like friends and we’re not that like kind of chipped in for first month and they’ll give us a little boost in the first month. But I think like people that started sticking around great people like Danny Shuman and Amelia forzach and and now Ali Karbasi and a number of people who are still working here two years later where some of the first members we had.

[00:27:46] That’s awesome and I think that’s a testament to the amazing community that you’re building here at second shift and at that point in that second shift story are you sort of day in and day out you know working at second shift.

[00:27:59] Yeah. While also teaching full time at DePaul and thankfully not bartending anymore. So I quit bartending one week before a second shift opened which is an interesting leap. I went from like bartending to like there’s my mind like you know like I had a manager and a boss and all this stuff and I was like I’m leaving because I’m going to go be a boss.

[00:28:21] So yeah we I mean full time as my eyes are almost like glazing over because like thinking of how much work.

[00:28:31] So at that point where you sort of you know scared to leave this steady bartending job or you know where you ready to dive in full force with second shift timelines I had to quit that bartending job monetarily.

[00:28:44] Yeah it’s been it’s been for me personally it has been a very rocky road. Like in terms of financial security and it’s been I’ve had to do what I’ve had to do and like work a lot. I don’t teach and run second shift just for the joy of teaching. It’s nice to have a steady paycheck from DePaul to allow me to spend my time working here. So I’m just doing a second to answer your question second shift takes full time effort from somebody that’s been me most of the time and the goal of course to helping me out not not just helping me. I’d actually restate that restate that. But Nicole and I was working together the whole time.

[00:29:29] So you’re starting second shift and I’m sure you know it’s very stressful you’ve got a lot going on at that moment did you experience any type of burnout?

[00:29:39] I think that yes is the short answer. Like I said earlier I feel like I have a lot of capacity for work. I don’t mind working I will put in the time you know I grew up chopping wood and throwing hay bales literally doing those activities. And so I don’t mind manual labor. I’ve mopped and swept this place myself. Tons of times. But what I have really been learning now after experiencing some burnout is that.

[00:30:12] I mean any project is really as good as the champions behind it. I think. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. They almost I mean. I mean you hear people say talk about like it’s the sweat you sweat that matters and blah blah. And that is really true. I mean I literally have a list of like business ideas that I would give you guys to work on. Like I don’t like. Somebody should do these ideas they’re good ideas. The ideas don’t matter. I can come up with a new business idea. Every day I could come up with 10 right now if I wanted to. That’s not the thing. It’s more so like who is willing to put in the time and so the thing is that I’ve been willing to put in the time Nicole has put in a ton of time as well. gry hazardowe darmo We don’t work. Just to clarify we don’t work the same amount of hours on the business that we’re just set up so that I do more of the day to day operations which requires more time.

[00:30:55] So I’m doing more the day to day and that means that there’s gonna be times I’m like oh I am tired of doing all of this stuff day in and day out. And so what I think the lesson is there is like it takes one set of effort and almost skills to like drive through the muck and get through the tough times and be leaving here at midnight throwing trash on a dumpster and coming back at 7:00 a.m. to open and finish cleaning and doing stuff like there’s those moments and then there’s also moments where like not only not only can’t you do everything that it takes to run the business but you just literally shouldn’t be because. You need other eyes. You need other problem solving skills. You need to be working on a new set of issues versus an old set of issues. If one of the first problems we have is the we’re out of creamer in the fridge. We have coffee here and we need fresh creamer in the fridge. It’s actually not something that I’ve handed off yet so I still make sure that there’s fresh creamer in the fridge. But you know in the last two years that we’ve operated we’ve grown a team of managers that help us run the space where I as a founder literally can’t do all of this stuff. I can’t onboard people and make new door cards. I can’t also be answering the door for guest making sure there’s coffee making sure all the tables are clean making sure that music is the right volume making sure mail gets put away making sure that people have cords to plug their computer and internet all that stuff I just mentioned can literally happen at the same exact moment. And so as a founder I need to be working on the set of problems that are in my purview that are going to allow this company to grow and succeed and so does my co-founder Nicole. And so we need to be doing other stuff than some of that day to day not above or better than doing that stuff. But the success of any venture or any company is gonna require some amount of skill and I don’t even mean you know having a billion users. I just mean like that. The nature of the things you work on everyday grows and changes. zakłady sportowe milenium As the business grows and changes and so allowing yourself as the founder to grow with that change means not for me not getting burned out on repetitive day to day tasks that are ness fundamental to the business succeeding but giving myself. New challenges because there’s never not problems to solve new challenges around how do I make people how do I facilitate connection among members how do I grow new streams of revenue how do I connect with the community more around me that’s way different and I’m great I’m grateful for those problems versus how do I get more people in the door we still need more people in the door but we’ve reached a point where I can shift my focus to other things. To then to answer your question I’m starting to get away from it but I’m sort of dodging around that I’m not intentionally but I just I feel like I sort of dodge around the burnout question to say yeah if you just do the same thing in and out in out and out especially if it’s over some amount of life balance capacity that you have people need to sleep eople need to eat. People need to exercise. If you’re not people need to spend time with their loved ones, people need to stare at the wall and do nothing, people need to binge Netflix. No, we don’t need Netflix. I’ll take that one back. But we do need moments where we just sit and unplug our brains and literally do nothing. And if all you do is work and I’ve seen you hear stories about this on blogs and social media and I have experienced it and I’ve seen so many friends of mine that are one to two to three years into building a business do everything. Anything it takes about that business and at some point a lot of us have this conversation where we say we got to do other things to make this business run and in either the business evolves and me with it or it’s going to fail. Either I evolve my relationships my relationship to what it takes to run this business or it’s going to fail. And that requires this like awareness. Checking in with your ego checking in with the tasks in front of you checking in with many business partners if you have them or investors checking in with your. Goals as organization checking in with your goals individually. What do I even want to do with my actual time. When I wake up what do I want to go do in the world. And so it’s really complex. I mean I mentioned like a ton of stuff now. Just answer this one question. But it is really complex and it’s not just like I’ve worked too many hours. Burnout is not just I’ve put in too much time because honestly I don’t know that there’s a number of hours that I would actually stop working at. But there’s this other factors in life of who do I get to spend time with. What do I what dinner do I get to make or eat or buy or whatever it is that that’s what burnout really is like is am I fulfilled with my time that I’m spending. Yeah because that answer can only be no for so long you might need to overextend yourself for a little while. But it can only be known for so long.

[00:36:07] Totally agree. I think the hard work and passion that you know you put into starting second shift in those very early days and still today is what has made it this amazing and vibrant community of entrepreneurs. This amazing place for anyone who’s working on a new business to be and so Levi I want to thank you for your time. I know you’re extremely busy I want to thank you for speaking with us today and sharing your story. If anyone wants to learn more about Levi and his journey please follow him on Instagram. He has the best Instagram stories I’ve ever seen. He’s @mysterybaer and that’s beer spelled Baer on Instagram and I’m sure you can find him on Twitter and elsewhere to his coworking space is Second shift in Logan Square. If you’re ever in the area I think that you can get you know a day pass to check the space out and see if you might want to join this amazing community of entrepreneurs. But that ends it for us. Thank you for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode.

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