New York, New York, and now Charlotte, NC
Our company's mission is a big one. We provide services wrapped around Operations, Management, Marketing, and Sales, and we advise, coach and get our hands "dirty" to get the work done. We help our clients do things every day through conscious, mindful actions that move things forward. It's purpose, greater good, and evolution.
As with all companies (even in infancy stages), evolution and flexibility are vital. It was time that we disrupted our own path... Charlotte, NC is home now to our unique, award-winning boutique firm...we've taken it south, y'all! Here's why...
Reason #1: Growth & Opportunity
Charlotte is one of the top growing cities in the country. There's roughly over 2.6M people in the greater Charlotte area, and in Charlotte proper it's creeping on 1M people! Charlotte ranks #2 in the U.S. for economic growth potential and among top 10 for startups, you can read more on that here. I'd say that's a big business opportunity, wouldn't you?
Here's a reality check about growth and seizing opportunities: Are you willing to to reinvent yourself 900 times if necessary? Are you willing to take the risks necessary to GROW, get out of that comfort zone? Are you willing to DISRUPT YOUR LIFE to make that dream come true? And, maybe you don't, like us, fit in with people around you and you're seeking SOMETHING ELSE? Well, disruption, that's what we were looking at and these were the quandaries we were facing.
WE DISRUPTED AND MOVED FROM NYC TO GET OUT OF MEDIOCRITY AND CREATE CHANGE!
Quick history: My own personal life's evolution only happened after I disrupted my OWN existence! After I kicked myself awake mid-20's, I only then started to truly live a life without fear to start new adventures. After some battles when I was young (especially in my late teens and very early 20's), I had to disrupt my own thoughts to gain momentum into the future life I wanted, the one I dreamed about and saw in my mind's eye. I went from a small town where I grew up in Nevada (near the Reno area), left young, went through college (elongated process), moved to San Francisco, CA (against my family's will even though there was no reason to be against my growth regardless of what that journey entailed). Now, while I did marry very young, I also got divorced after a short time period (thankfully) as that was a lesson I personally had to learn from. I then lived in San Francisco, and at 29 took a career opportunity to move to New York City. In NYC, I climbed the corporate ladder up and up and up, found an amazing man who is now my husband, then disrupted AGAIN to become an entrepreneur just a short couple years ago. I lived in NYC for 9 years and now here we are in Charlotte, NC. WHEW! (By the way, my husband's, Mark's, disruption story getting here to Charlotte after living in New Jersey/New York his whole life is a GREAT story, we'll explore that later on.)
So growth both in personal life and business life was the point, and that's why this evolution and a move needed to happen to get more opportunities. I believe people should get out there, move around, seek new adventures and get hungry for all that life has to offer. It takes great commitment to change to move into the next evolution of who you are (and want to become)!
Reason #2: Culture & Creativity
The business culture in Charlotte is one of massive expansion beyond just the tech scene. NYC's culture is one that relates easily to that of San Francisco/Silicon Valley (SF and SV are now almost inseparable, which is not the San Francisco I knew when I lived there). NYC has lots of tech and lots of "chasing the big dollars" and the rents for offices match. I love tech and we have tech clients, but if you're not a tech company or produce technology (like AR / VR, etc.) it is challenging for growth to get big-big company dollars or access to offices, etc. Overall, it pushes all start-ups into difficult situations where you hit brick walls (literally) and just can't expand the way you desire.
It's actually why we had chosen to be based in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. Brooklyn had a different culture and energy that matched our creative vibe. Creativity is key for us! Finding our office in downtown Brooklyn was great, but we knew that to really evolve as Founders (and as a recently married couple), Mark and I had to find the right spot and that we had to get out of the Greater New York region completely. Here's some facts about the typical story surrounding NYC. To get bigger homes families can't live in NYC so they go to a random outer suburban area (which wasn't appealing to us), and commuting 2 hours into Manhattan wasn't ever going to be on our personal to-do lists either. Moving to some suburb to still pay high taxes and pay for a home with prices that are just not worthy of the location was not appealing. Hence why we knew it had to be somewhere far away from that scene.
Since creativity was essential, we found that Charlotte's CREATIVE scene is amazing and one to match the real Brooklyn we knew and loved, so it all worked out beautifully. We're grateful to be on the roster of newly added businesses helping Charlotte get more and more flavorful and adding more creative flair and diversity. There's a great video to watch just so you know what I mean about the creative Charlotte scene: https://youtu.be/S06u12Rl7Tc.
While Charlotte's business scene has mainly been home to big finance, energy, and manufacturing, the "new" Charlotte is now chock full of so much more. There are big, gorgeous breweries (with full restaurants and damn good beer) popping up everywhere making the craft beer scene here simply awesome. There are so many unbelievable restaurants, hotels, large, gorgeous home developments and apartment complexes, creative businesses, and so much more. We got here in July and the list of places to explore gets longer day by day, and the business to-do list even longer...
Reason #3: Beauty & Weather
Charlotte's beauty and the energy around business is vibrant, but so is the beautiful, luscious greenery outside. It's super clean so clean that it sparkles, and people seem so much happier, we see a big difference in the attitudes. Not to mention, Charlotte is surrounded by mountain areas which is amazing for people like us who love getting into the nature scene fast.
Plus, our new temp office spot is pretty beautiful, too. See some images below. There's so much more to offer in terms of price and what you get (so a better long-term balance of life) and it's a health and wellness focused city with great weather. Weather is a big deal for me and it's pretty perfect. No humidity in comparison to the Northeast except every now and again. Overall, it's easier to access and get outside to get tons of vitamin D and for fitness lovers to get out and be in nature like us it's so nice not being stuck inside. No more intense winters and gloomy months either (yes!).
We have our team members in New York City, so that will always be a spot we drive from, and we did just win the Best of Brooklyn award in Business Services, too! But, we know we can grow here, too. It's all very exciting and slightly overwhelming as the I am the one responsible for growth. As we get our groove wrapped around Charlotte, we are going to make this evolution and move count for us as a couple, for our souls, and Team Gu including the Disrupt Now program and other products and services we are providing to the world.
Our home blows us away every day with all the lush greenery - nice, right?!
That's our temp office above.
Any business (or person/couple) looking to get into a fresh new city with great opportunities would benefit from looking into Charlotte. For more information and a quick overview of the current state of things in Charlotte, I've found a great read here.
Opportunity to stop and reflect: What part of your life needs disruption RIGHT NOW?