Saturday, July 13@ 6 pm Join us for an inspiring garden walk at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA, followed by dinner!: Gardens admission fee $5 at the door. We'll meet at 6:00 p.m. at the Meadowlark Garden lobby. We'll go for an inspiring walk. After the walk, some of us will drive somewhere nearby for dinner. You're welcome to join, based on availability. Dinner location and cost TBD. To RSVP for the garden walk and/or dinner, send an email to info@Copreneur.org, letting us know how many people you are bringing and the best way to reach you on the day of the event, if we have any last minute changes (whether by text message or email). See you next Saturday!!!!
Are you "really" a CoPreneur member?
Not, unless you have applied on our website, CoPreneur.org. If you're not sure, you better do it now :) CoPreneur membership is currently free!!! But it won't be for too long.: To apply for membership, visit Copreneur.org/apply. Please note that you need to apply even if you are a member of our Meet-up groups or follow our social media groups.
Membership is currently free, as we build our core group of awesome CoPreneurs. This is your chance to become one of our founding members and enjoy free CoPreneur membership for life. Know any awesome CoPreneurs who should join? Send them here to apply!!! :)
Gillian’s Support Role:
Peter:I’m grateful that she sticks around with my crazy ideas! Gillian: Peter has so many ideas for additions, modifications, or completely new things and I may not understand them all so he sometimes has to explain his thinking. For me, it’s fun to be able to discuss things together, to share in the ideas and in the work to make those come to fruition. He is the expert so I often defer to him for technical and business decisions but I always know that this is something we are doing together.
Above all Peter is an out-of-the-box thinker; sometimes I feel like my role is to help put his ideas into perspective and work through the “how do we make it happen”, so we can benefit from them. ...I admire Peter’s passion for this business, he has and will continue to give it his all, and it’s also contagious – it’s a passion that we share and a work we will share for many years.
Making decisions and resolving conflict:
Peter:We disagreed on the name! Gillian:I did not like it at first; I thought most people would not understand it and so it would be difficult to remember and to market Peter:I went through with it and pressed on! Gillian: And now, I’m definitely a fan!
How do you select and manage people? Peter:I manage everyone. I had one mistake with one employee, and I terminated that employee. I also had one partner that did not work out. So now I run all these by Gillian and between the two of us, we can usually read people pretty well and make sound decisions. What I’ve found is that the key for hiringis the timing: what is our need and who fills that? It’s really important to us that the people that we hire share this vision, understand the concept of what we are doing, and understand why we want to do it.
A Shared Passion For Music And Travel...
Meet Peter Lombard and Gillian Bath, awesome CoPreneurs from Maryland! Their business is Insouciance Abroad They arrange logistics for traveling groups, specifically, choirs, symphonies, educational and mission/voluntourism groups. They were recently interviewed by CoPreNews. Here are the interview highlights:
The Beginning: Peter:We met in 2001 at university when Gillian and I joined the orchestra there. I started Insouciance Abroad (IA) in 2008 after leading several tours for the orchestra, many of which we were on together. About 3 years later, Gillian and I started dating. Insouciance Abroad, the idea of it and the work involved, was overall a “lifestyle choice!” I had been doing similar work for other groups and when the requests for logistical support kept coming, I saw a need I could fulfill. Insouciance Abroad was always about my lifestyle: I enjoy travel, different cultures and different people. Vision for the business? Peter:I want to take it to point that we’re doing well in our niche, enough people know us for our services, and we have a steady flow that we could pick and choose our favorite projects. This would leave Gillian and I time to focus on promoting the brand and enjoying other activities. Gillian:There is no doubt that IA is a brilliant idea. There is a need for these services - people want to see the world and experience more than their home state (USA). IA provides a great opportunity to do that. I can see this becoming a great company, like Peter said, with steady groups and projects and the opportunity for us to share this passion and opportunity for travel with others.
Peter and Gillian’s Roles: CoPreNews Role Classification: Peter is the technician with the most knowledge of the business, and Gill is in a support role. Peter: I am more the technician, the one who manages the day-to-day work and operations and takes responsibility for the clients. Gillian is mostly behind-the-scenes for advice, reviewing materials or discussing options or decisions.
Strategic and Tactical decisions: Peter:I make the majority of these decisions, but I do run them past Gillian. For example, larger decisions, key moves, and, yes, expenses! I don’t run all day to day tactical decisions by Gillian though we may sometimes ask to talk about them. It’s less about permission and more about opinion, sharing ideas and thoughts because we are in this together.
Gillian:We don’t have a formal systems for accountability, such as assigning tasks and establishing deadlines. It’s more like, “please read this and let me know what you think”. And if I can I will do it. If I’m busy at work I may not get to it. My job remains a priority.
Do you expect Gillian to leave her job and join you? If yes, when? Peter:She may never leave her job. I am encouraging her to start her own non-profit, when we reach a point of sustainability. It’s what she likes doing - giving back.
What other businesses have you considered and why? Peter: We have provided logistical support in conventions, corporate travel, as well as travel logistics, etc.. Some of these groups have asked me to take on more and more. So, in 2011, we created a separate company for conventions and conferences logistical support, Eventos Management - not planning the event but managing the event! It is very similar skill set but a different market, and different opportunities.
Did you ever hear about the concept of CoPreneurs before us? Peter:No. We don’t know many other people like us. We felt a little different. This is not what society says to do, like traditional jobs.
What can CoPreneur.org do for you? Peter: I like to be around people that are like-minded. We would like to work with people like us in similar CoPreneur relationships. It is refreshing and fun to see and meet other CoPs. Gillian:It is interesting and encouraging to see other couples in similar situations and how they handle it; to see their roles and
Above: One of the lemurs that Made Gillian's last week's trip to Madascar worthwhile!
What can CoPreneur.org do for you? (cont.) responsibilities in the business. Who does what and how do they do it? The networking, building relationships, and mentoring are great elements! Peter:The format that you have presented so far…. feels like date night - not work night! We’re enjoying each other and meeting other couples with similarities to us, and hearing their stories. From my perspective, I enjoy having the different couples present their challenges and how they overcame them. The opportunity to hear their forecast opinions on trends…to pick their brains more is really good. I also love the idea of a long weekend retreat with like-minded CoPs. I’m not hugely interested in an online community because I prefer live interaction and value the presence of people, but a database of similar CoPs, doing similar work, and joint activities would be good. I also like the focus on consistency for building core group.
We wish each and everyone of our fellow CoPreneurs in the US a great 4th of July!!
-Jorge and Mayra