Following on from the origin story of Ex-Machina and Atelier9 last week, here is the story about their founders and what led them through a big career change to where they are now.
Many of us experience times where we no longer feel aligned with what we are doing and what makes us happy. It can feel uncomfortable and the big question is always “How do I go about changing?” and even more important “What do I want to do instead?”
There are so many POSSIBLE options but which one is the right one? Both Atelier9 and Café Ex-Machina were born out of a huge career change, showing us that it really can be done.
Ex-Machina’s founder used to be in finance.
“We had a lot of pressure and I was stressed all the time. At some point I noticed I hated what I was doing but I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. One day I literally sat myself down, surrounded by post-it notes with all kinds of ideas on it. Bit by bit I started piecing them together.”
“I wanted to create an area that was people-centric above anything else. And with lights and natural plants! Somewhere people feel good and at home. Then my friends were telling me there was nowhere that served really good coffee, which I agreed with. I thought “I like coffee…. but I know nothing about it!” So I went to study it – first to learn about coffee itself and then to study latté art in London.”
The founder of Atelier9 also made a drastic change. “I was a pilot. I used to work for Swissair which then became Swiss and I saw a change in mentality whereby I no longer fit. I didn’t feel aligned and I wanted to change entirely. I was already active in Real Estate and my wife is an architect. Launching a coworking space was a great project for us to combine our skills. She does all the interior giving it an urban feel and design and I run the coworking.
“We’re very close to our people and they are like family to us. Other office space rental places can be very formal and traditional. With us, if people have taken a Globetrotter pass (a desk 10 days over 3 months) when that period is over but they still have 1 or 2 credits, we’re going to find a solution with them. In more formal structures that’s not done.
RUI: “It’s the same for us, we really treat everyone here like family. I know almost everybody and I’m always found on the floor talking to people. We had a very clear view of wanting to welcome people as if they were coming to our home, and make them feel like they are home too.”
Aside from the client and quality mindset both Roland and Rui share, there were some other common success factors that came up.
- Supportive family that gave them space to elaborate their project.
- Ready to give up some financial security for a time.
- Belief it will work, without really having any tangible “proof” at the start.
And – here is a big one
- Be willing to take a risk!
Stay tuned for more stories on their collaboration or what Nyon might still be missing. Maybe it will give some ideas as to what you want to do next.
And if you want some career transition support, take a look at B-inspired’s website or book an introduction call with Mandy Bronsil.