Our party line is "The Arena Virtual Coworking® space is an exclusive application-only community of solopreneurs like you."
But people always go, "What does that mean?" which means we've done a terrible job explaining it, so let's try this:
We're a support system for your business.
We're a tribe of awesome humans who go to bat for each other, especially when it comes to the uncomfortable (often sh*tty) parts of business you don't want to tell your friends about.
You come here to get advice on marketing and vent about what TF to do when your in-laws are in town and you're in the middle of a launch.
Here is an extremely professional photo* of some of us during one of our signature IRVL events:
(IRVL = In Real Virtual Life)
*photo = screenshot
For more on what this is and how it works, keep scrolling down.
We're like a physical coworking space - minus the physical part, plus the community part. So basically not at all like a physical coworking space.
To get into the Arena you have to fill out a long-but-entertaining application, qualify for an interview, endure said interview, and then wait for us to determine if you're cool enough to sit with us.
If you're a good fit (see below for what that means) here's what's in store for you:
Weekly Virtual Events
Each week we host events on Zoom where you can collaborate, connect, and get feedback from fellow coworkers. Our events include Brainstorms, Happy Hours, Expert Office Hours, Member-led Workshops, and our infamous Smackdowns, where we rip apart a business problem you're struggling with (and hopefully fix it).
Get curated introductions to fellow co-workers who can help your business grow and/or people we just think you'll like (aka meet your work wife...or husband...or partner...we don't care, we just like alliteration which is why we went with "wife," but you do you boo boo).
Online Discussion Forum
This is our Slack community where you get to avoid doing work just like a real office. We use it to vent, ask dumb questions, brag about wins, and geek out on things our normal friends don't understand.
The quality of discussion here is unlike anything you've seen online because we'll banish you if you post crap like: "Hey guys! I published this! Please share!"
Just...no. No no no no NO.
Talia says I should add something here about "the speed at which your problems can start getting solved. A lot of times I wouldn't know where else to go or who else to ask that's qualified. The Arena solves that. And the time thing is huge!"
Private Membership Portal
Get access to exclusive resources like your coworker catalog, tech tools we love, videos of our past events and workshops, and more.
Our founder loves the portal but none of our members really GAF about this part. They just want to hang out with each other on Slack and Zoom which is fine and shut up that's not a tear I just have something in my eye!!
If you're "just figuring things out," this is not for you.
Our members are out there facing real critics, real market feedback, and real failure. They are "in the Arena" (it's a metaphor for where the action takes place).
The Arena is where you get out of your head and into the game. We stole the phrase from Teddy Roosevelt's 1910 speech "Citizenship in a Republic:"
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Roosevelt starts that paragraph off by saying, "it's not the critic who counts," which we took to mean if you're on the sidelines you can't sit with us.
AKA: NO WANTREPRENEURS ALLOWED
Yeah, we know we'll make more money if we let them in, but they dilute the quality of our tribe and that's something we won't compromise on. Even if it means ending a sentence in a preposition in order to drive that point home.
No one understands what it's like to be in the Arena except for people in the Arena.
"My career has exploded in a matter of months since I joined the Arena. Don't get me wrong; I've worked my ass off. But I've also seen what's real and what's possible and have been able to truly believe it can happen for me. The Arena is such a gift."
Katherine Copeland Maund
Owner, Copeland + Co
Founder, Jason Connell.co
"I actually find myself telling my kids about 'my entrepreneur people' or 'my Arena buddies.' They're my mentors, my friends, my confidantes, my cheerleaders, and my faithful bullshit callers."
Founder, 929 Marketing
Sign Up To Learn How You Can Become a Member
If you step up your network everything else in your life steps up with it.
“Friends can exert a measurable and ongoing influence on your health behaviors in a way that a diet never can . . . The most powerful thing you can do to add healthy years is to curate your immediate social network.”
- Daniel Pink Tweeted this so you know it's legit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most masterminds provide coaching and accountability - and while you can get both in the Arena, we are not coaches. We exist to be your support system and offer advice from our own experiences in the trenches.
The value here is support and access to like-minded people who are also sifting through the muck and trying to figure this stuff out.
While your business will accelerate if you're a member, we are not an accelerator. We don't take equity from you and we don't have an 8-week curriculum or demo day or any expectation of hockey-stick growth.
If you're building something bigger than yourself on nights and weekends, then yes, you belong here. It's your mindset that matters.
We're looking for people who view their jobs as their side hustle and their business is their main gig.
Traditional physical coworking spaces cost thousands per month (masterminds and braintrusts are equally out-of-control with prices ranging from $5,000-$25,000 for entry into an "elite" club).
That’s why the Arena is only $1,194 for 6-months of membership. That's $199/month -- less than how much you spend on groceries.
We are selective with who we accept and this price acts as a filter for people who aren’t serious about contributing to the community.
You can be as active (or inactive) as you like. We don’t mandate participation, but we notice that people get more out of their membership when they participate. Still, some months you have sick kids, snow days, and in-laws who won’t leave so...we get it.
Life happens. We’re here to support you, not peer pressure you to hang out with us (though, we might...but because we like you, not because you have to).
Nope. We are not for startups or VC-backed companies. Our members are building long-lasting personal brands, consultancies, agencies, freelancing businesses, virtual small businesses, and digital platforms. If you're building a SaaS company or need funding in order to grow, this is not the right community for you.
It depends on what you need. We have a few B&M store owner members, but they are online a lot. If you run a store that requires you to be offline most of the time, you probably won't get as much value from virtual coworkers.
In our opinion, the community is most valuable for service-businesses. However, we do accept (and currently have) e-commerce, brick-and-mortar, and product-based business owners into the space.
Generally, our members are concerned with growth so topics tend to revolve around that. If you're stuck on logistics like supply chain management or R&D this is probably not the right community.