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Digital Coworking with Taylor Harrington

George Grombacher July 21, 2023

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Digital Coworking with Taylor Harrington

LifeBlood: We talked about digital coworking, what it is and how it works, the challenges of keeping in touch with old friends and making new ones as adults, creating beneficial structures and habits, and how to get started, with Taylor Harrington, Head of Community with Groove.      

Listen to learn how digital coworking can help you get more done in less time!

You can learn more about Taylor at Groove.OOO,,  Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Taylor Harrington

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well I’m left with this Georgie and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Taylor Harrington Taylor. Welcome back. Are you ready to do this?

Taylor Harrington 0:10
Let’s go.

george grombacher 0:11
Let’s go. Taylor is a community architect. She is the head of community with groove they are the on demand digital co working space. Taylor excited to have you back on the show. Tell us a bit about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do.

Taylor Harrington 0:26
Amazing. Well, I’m so excited to be back. Hey, listeners. Yeah, I am living in New York City where it is sunny and beautiful today. And as I was telling George, right before we hit record, I feel like it’s the season of all fun plans. In New York, it’s not quite the season of melting yet. But we’re in the season of oh, we can go to the park and we can hang out. So it’s a good time to be in New York, that’s for sure when we’re recording this. In my life, I am a party host I love hosting gatherings i as you said and leading community at groov. And I’m just really amped up about what this space is and how to help people connect in more meaningful ways on a regular basis. I think in a lot of ways, building adult friendships and keeping up with those friendships is broken. And so to have the ability to create a space for people to pop onto on a regular basis and hang out and get to know new people hanging out with old friends is really special work to be doing so loving that right now. And yeah, I’ve been I’ve been speaking a little bit to doing some different conferences, which has been fun, and writing more we’re about to publish a new blog on on groove and moving over from medium to a platform called Ghost. And so that’s been my my recent projects this week is starting to write some new content that’s energizing to send to new Gruber’s to write about the community space write about, like I said, adult friendships. So that’s a little bit about what I’m up to, as of this week.

george grombacher 2:00
Awesome. I am, I think community is it’s so important. I think that our lives are made up of the sums of the interactions we have with other human beings and people and you are in an enviable slash unenviable position that you have this company that, you know, you’re going through COVID. And we’re going through digital stuff and some of its great and so it’s not great. And you get to try different things and see what works and kind of what doesn’t it’s like a laboratory tailor.

Taylor Harrington 2:32
So yes.

george grombacher 2:34
How is everything going?

Taylor Harrington 2:37
Yeah, well, and it’s funny, because I think back to the days of COVID, I was working in my previous job when COVID hit. And as we talked about last time, I was working with Seth Godin, who’s an author of no one’s no one’s read anything by Seth, he wrote the Purple Cow, this is marketing, several different books, I actually see this as marketing on Georgia shelf behind him. And it’s quite cool. You know, we were, we were in the online, the online workshop space. And so when COVID hit that was booming, everyone wanted to learn online because they couldn’t meet people anywhere else. It was so funny, because we suddenly became these, like zoom experts, when no one else knew how to use Zoom and gather on Zoom, and how can you assist him. So now, you know, we’ve got like, two years later, here I am. And in this space of people really still wanting to meaningfully connect, but also wanting to find time to get off of their devices and to be out in the world and meet people in person and go to events. And so it’s really interesting, because I think Gru fits into people’s lives in a way that upon hearing about it for the first time, you might not expect. So a lot of Groovers really start their day, hopping on it. Eight 9:10am, whenever they get their day started, grab their cup of coffee and hop into their first groove with their set of to dues for the day. So whatever business they’re working on, they’re like, Okay, I need to start cranking on these things. It gets them into a structure and into a flow, they get a little bit of social connection to start co working. And then they go off of video to actually get it done. And then you know, a lot of people will break midday for a walk to go pick up the kids to go run some errands to grab lunch, whatever it is, and then come back on for a couple more groups later that day, or even getting some night groups or weekend groups to work on those passion projects of theirs that maybe don’t get the attention they do during their normal day. And it’s just fascinating. Because, you know, I was talking to a group yesterday who was like, I used rube so that I get the hell off of my phone and go and enjoy life. Like I do my few groups the day to get my shit done to hang out with people. And then I go and do stuff where I’m connecting with people in real life, where I’m enjoying the sunshine, all those different things. So it’s really an interesting space to be in because yes, we are an app on your phone. But we’re as some people have said the only app that doesn’t suck away your time instead is gifting you time and helping you then live your life better after you’re off of it. I

george grombacher 5:01
think that that’s awesome. What are so what are in I have to imagine when the company was started? That’s just nailing it. Right? When when you get responses like that you’re like, oh my gosh, it’s it’s working?

Taylor Harrington 5:16
Yeah, well, it’s funny because you definitely have a startup, you go into these ups and downs of like, oh my gosh, this is a new insight, we got to act on this, like, this is really cool. We’re seeing X, Y, and Z. And so I feel like working in a startup is really a series of experiments of trying something not putting in too much time and effort into figuring out does this work? And then being able to answer that question? Yes, it does, or no, it doesn’t. And if you have to repeat it a couple of times with different users go for it. But eventually, you want to be able to come to some sort of conviction, is this something that we want to be doing more often, that type of thing. So I feel like group has definitely been through those series of figuring stuff out. We hit a point earlier this year, where we basically realized something wasn’t working at this at the core of the product. People love this thing. And it was so clear, we did a product market fit Market Fit survey. And people just love it off the charts, which is incredible to be building something that people love. And yet they weren’t telling their friends, or they were telling friends, but they weren’t getting those friends to then start grooving. So people would tell friends, they would sign up, but then they wouldn’t end up grooving. And so we were like, something is going on in here that maybe it’s that groove, you know, grouping with strangers grouping with people on the internet sounds scary stranger danger, who are these people I’m going to be co working with, you know, also similarly, like, what is it like? I’ve never done this before. I’ve heard of co working in person. I’ve heard of focus apps, this somehow feels like it’s a little bit different. What does that mean? And so we ended up taking a pause to really go back to what are we building? And what did we start start building at the very beginning? And that clarity and figuring out what do we want to double down on in this new direction to make room a place where you can come and CO work with friends, but also meet new people has really changed a lot of things for us, because before we weren’t, we weren’t telling Gruber’s, please invite your friends. And this is how it gets better with your friends. We were saying hey, can you shout it out? You know, we’re trying to grow this thing. But we really weren’t figuring out what was it about the act of actually sharing it with friends that was difficult, or that was beneficial for them beneficial for their friend. And so that’s really what we’re focused on right now. We just start started an ambassador program, where we’re working with 15 Groovers. And literally just doing it as an experiment, like they are all aware, I was like waiting some people to experiment with if you’re down to experiment, this is for you. We are going to be working on trying to figure out what is the messaging that gets your friends? And what is fun for you to do once your friend comes inside? Do you like sending them a message? Do you like scheduling a first group with them? There’s a lot to learn in that. So that’s a lot of what we’ve been focused on recently. And I think that repositioning from away from like an accountability club or a Focus app into a on demand digital co working space has been a really powerful shift for us, because it suddenly puts us into a very different box. And I think that the on demand nature of groove that you can hop onto a groove whenever you need to get stuff done is one of the best parts about it. And it’s one of the parts that makes us stand out in the space. So many of the different apps, where you are co working with others, you have to wait for a certain time period to get on. And it’s a little bit more, you know, like a three, three hour sprint, for example, versus let me go in get 15 minutes in and then continue on with my day.

george grombacher 8:40
It’s fascinating. And I’ll be fascinated to learn what the feedback is. Because I think that everybody, or a lot of people are interested in trying to figure out how do we create community? How do we foster engagement? How do we do all those things? So there’s always going to be the accountability piece to it. There’s always going to be a focus but on On Demand digital coworking you sort of identify that. So what is what is sort of the best use case that that in your mind’s eye or that you are seeing?

Taylor Harrington 9:16
Yeah, so one of my favorite use cases is when someone we have a user who Gruber I should say, who got started on groove, and immediately was like, wow, I can see how this can help me in a lot of different ways. But mostly, it can help me on my journey to reduce my working hours. So this person works for themselves. They were working about 40 hour work weeks. And now we’re two to two years in, I guess. They’ve been grooming for about a year and a half. And she’s down to 20 hours of working every week and making more money than she’s ever made. And I think that’s an incredible story just from a business perspective. And you pair that with two of her close friends who live in different cities, one of them in London, one of them in Atlanta, she’s able to hang out with them on a regular basis, by hopping into these co working sessions together. And also just the socialization that happens in between those co working sessions, even if you’re not in the same one as your friend, being able to say, Hey, I saw your grouping earlier today, what are you up to, or how’s that project going, really changes the dynamic for how you interact with those friends. Normally, that’s not a window into their lives that you get to see when they’re working from home. So that part of it is really interesting. And I also think she’s a great example, too, because you’ve done an incredible job at just leaning into, I know that this community attracts really cool humans. And I know that a lot of people are telling others about it. So you know, it’s funny, when you’re hopping into groups, you get to kind of be a part of these circles, we call them orbits. And so you have your own orbit, other people have their orbits, and it’s through this woman meeting, someone in my orbit, someone that I know, in real life, they’ve actually become really close friends through grooming, and have a regular grooming practice now. So it’s this really special way of bringing people together. I was talking to a friend yesterday. And like I said, I love hosting gatherings in New York. And I said, I text her and I said, Imagine what it would be like if I invited 100 people in New York that I somehow know, to a big park picnic. And if when you got to the park, I gave everyone name tags that had different stickers, and you had to put on your nametag or you know, put put on your back the stickers or something that indicated which communities you overlapped with me. And so it became like this physical web where you would be at this park picnic and be able to say, okay, this person knows me from camp and from when I went into this adult summer camp and knows me also from working in the startup space. And so it becomes this conversation starter to just simply trust that people know someone at the core of this. And I think that’s one of the things that really works well for group is people getting to interact with each other circles and with each other’s orbits, so that they can make those new friends in a safe way. And that’s why we’re even leaning into, like I said, bringing on your friends even more. It’s something that Gruber’s have been saying for a while they want to be doing but those friends sometimes weren’t hopping in, or they just didn’t get it, it sounded like this magical thing that they didn’t understand. And so that’s what we’re really doubling down on is helping them share that message and then get them get their friend groovin. Because it does really help them out, as I said, in this great case study of one of our users of like, and there’s many people like this, but being able to hang out with those friends in a regular on a regular basis.

george grombacher 12:41
Yeah, there’s certainly a lot of value in that. And it is, you know, talking about adult friendships, it’s hard to we all feel like we’re not doing a good job of maintaining friendships with our existing friends as adults. And we’re just, it’s just different as as as grownups to meet new people. So that certainly does make sense in terms of going from 2040 hours to 20 hours. Is that a function of like Parkinson’s Law? Like, I’m just more mindful of the time that I’m spending so I get more done?

Taylor Harrington 13:13
Yeah, I think it’s a few things. I think it’s, it’s like you said, it’s being more mindful of time, what what can I actually accomplish in 15 minutes? How do I use these 15 minutes? I think it’s also just having structure, suddenly, you’re on the hook, you’ve got up to three other people who are keeping you accountable to get the thing done. And so when you work from home, and you’re bopping around, and you’re like, Oh, well, I could do laundry right now, you suddenly start to get a little bit distracted. And it really helps you say what is something that I can intentionally make 15 minutes for? We know there’s another Groover, who just finished reading her book, and she’s been reading it for about a year and a half on group. And it’s crazy, like, I just can’t wait to physically hold this book, because I feel like I’ve been a part of that journey for so long. And she’s like, I simply would not have gotten it done as quickly as I did it without group because she works full time. And it’s some it’s been a project she’s working on in those off hours. And so to be able to dedicate the time to it and carve it out, has been a huge thing for her. So, you know, with with this original woman I was talking about, you know, I think something that’s also fascinating, is just watching her business pivot over to that time. So she was a full time YouTuber, sort of towards the beginning of when I met her. And fast forward has gone on to be a speaker to partner with a bunch of different companies. And she’s just finding ways she has passive income. Now she’s finding ways to sustain her business and continue to make smarter choices for how to live a life that she really wanted to design for herself. And I think part of it is just that inspiration around being other people who were mindfully designing those lives that they really crave to, and the tools that people are sharing inside of the community. I mean, it’s crazy the things that you find out about of how could I be doing email better? How could I be In creating better morning routines, what are the benefits to meditation and sound bass that was a hot topic recently where people were talking about just taking this five or 10 minutes to put on a meditation or a sound bath to set intentions for the day before you get started. And so I think it’s that resource sharing too, and just having people like you, even if they are doing very different work, they are people who whose work doesn’t fit into a neat little box. And that’s really what Bond’s people is that

george grombacher 15:28
I think that that’s awesome. And that, that that really helped me to sort of get clarity on it. I’m one of those people that when you give me props, it kind of helps my brain. So getting the book done, you know, if I have to make 30 sales calls, just being very specific with, this is what I’m going to be focused on, and whatever it might be, and then to be able to connect with people who are also doing those kinds of things to be able to bounce ideas off haven’t get best practices or things I hadn’t even thought of. But super powerful.

Taylor Harrington 16:00
Yeah, yeah, it’s been really special. And it’s just, I think, such an encouraging community. Recently, we came up with the phrase, high fives and good vibes. And I just can’t stop saying it, because it really does capture, it does capture the energy of groups. And I think it also as we, as we say it, it’s like, it does make it different for so long, I think in people’s minds, co working is this cold physical office space that you go to, and you don’t actually get to know people, and you’re just working alongside them. And some people are in phone booths, and other people are talking way too loud on video calls. You know, it’s this space that doesn’t have high fives and good vibes. And so to imagine what life would be like to design to have that experience, from the comfort of home, from your home office, whatever that might look like, even if it’s the kitchen table, and being around great people, friends that you have it, you know, across the world, and also new people that you’re meeting inside and these intentional ways. So I think it’s yeah, it’s really interesting to kind of redefine what co working is in people people’s minds.

george grombacher 17:09
Yeah. Yeah. Well, fascinating to, uh, would love to have you back on when your survey is complete, and sort of get that feedback on what is it that is motivating people to share and invite people to kind of come along? It’s always interesting to see what’s going to motivate behavior or what D motivates people and also all that stuff. Taylor.

Taylor Harrington 17:33
Yeah, for sure. And for our listeners, it’s so funny. When we were hopping onto this, I was like, Oh, how’s the podcast been doing? I want to catch up. I noticed George has shipped two books since last time I was on this podcast, which is just wild. And I think it goes to show that when you find systems that work for you to get stuff out there and do work that you love, it works. And I think that’s the thing is is groove isn’t going to work for everyone. But when it hits it hits and people really love it. So it’s it’s fascinating to be doing something like that and helping more people design what that life looks like.

george grombacher 18:06
Yeah, yeah, structure and routine habits, all of those things. We all have them tailor. It’s whether they are actually serving us or if they are keeping us exactly where we are, which is not always a good thing. So

Taylor Harrington 18:20
for sure, yeah. And atomic habits is a great basic book. If someone wants to get back into habits, it’s also a good one to listen to. To start creating just those little small moments. One of my favorite ones that I adopted from there was the idea of adding a habit where you already have one so you brush your teeth every day, can you add something to that habit of brushing your teeth. So I have a little post in my bathroom mirror that says floss to save money. So when I go to grab my toothbrush, I see my little floss thing. So I start the habit of flossing, it’s attached to already doing my tooth brushing, teeth brushing and and the other part of it is the motivator of wanting to save money. And that also can help create a habit. So both of those were ideas from atomic habits. So if you’re looking to get more into that highly recommend

george grombacher 19:09
amazing. Well, Taylor, thank you so much for coming back on where can people learn more about you? How can they engage and how can they connect with groove and become a mover?

Taylor Harrington 19:18
Yeah, for sure. My Twitter is Hey, Tay hare ha are I wish it was Hey Tay. But last one has already taken that. And you can find groove@www.groov.oh Like out of office. And yeah, my website is Taylor dash Pretty easy to remember. We’d love to hear what resonated how you’re designing your life. And if groove can be helpful at all, I’d love to group with you sometime. But thanks, George for having me. It was so fun to come back and reflect on how things have changed over the last six months and always great to hear your questions. You’re so great at asking them.

george grombacher 19:58
Well, I appreciate that was awesome. Talking with you. If you enjoyed this as much as I did so tailor your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Remember where Taylor and I were talking about is trying to motivate people to take positive action. So share the show. Go to please do it by the by Taylor on Twitter at hate Tae hair, and I’ll link that in the notes and then go to groove gr O ve dot O. And then check out Taylor’s website Taylor dash Like all of those again in the notes of the show. Thanks, Ken Taylor.

Taylor Harrington 20:34
Thank you. Bye.

george grombacher 20:36
Until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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