Work and Life on the Sunshine Coast…it’s as good as you would think! (Maybe even better.)
When anyone learns that AHA’s head office is on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, they either grin and give us a smart aleck remark like, ”Oh, and I’m sure you do a lot of work on the beach and the trails out there…” or they say it’s their dream to be able to live somewhere like this without sacrificing their career ambitions.
For those who grin and think we might be putting something over on the tax man, we really DO work out here – our office is 1,000 sq feet with a brainstorming area, televisions tuned into the news, a production office and four full-time staffers. (We also have some incredible contractors and strategic partners who work out of their home offices or business offices.) But – it’s also a pretty amazing place to work and live. We are surrounded by beaches (Sechelt means land between two waters) and we have a view of Porpoise Bay from our office – and access to some of the best nature trails around.
We also have an office in Vancouver, but we made a conscious decision to locate our production studio and head office on the Sunshine Coast. There are several reasons: quality of life; room for the dogs to run; and the ability to offer our clients the opportunity to get out of their office and meet here to brainstorm, media train, and for other business-related activities that need space.
We even have an “after work” fun space called The Naked Cowboy Bar & Grill named after the Naked Cowboy in New York City – who is one of the best entrepreneur PR success stories I have ever seen. The Naked Cowboy has a pool table, foosball, darts…it’s a little beach bar crossed with a Texas Honky Tonk. Clients love to go and spend an hour in there, have a cold drink and hang out after an intense afternoon of media training or messaging development.
Our office is not far from downtown Vancouver, but because we take a ferry to the city, perception is that we are far, far away. We’re not!! The ferry only takes 40 minutes – and we work on the ferry. From the Horseshoe Bay terminal, depending on traffic, we can be downtown in 20 minutes. Not a very big deal for us – and we are in Vancouver several times a week or more, depending on client needs.
With our Sunshine Coast and Vancouver offices, we have the best of all worlds. We have access to a great city with lots of culture, a large business population combined with the more rural beauty of the Sunshine Coast and the space to grow our business.
And, these days our clients are all over North America and the world so that where we are really doesn’t matter. Technology allows us constant contact – emails, Instant Messenger, telephone, online video and online conferencing allows us to feel like we are in the same room even when we are thousands of miles apart. And for those times that we need to be in the same room, we are only a drive or a plane ride away. The world is a big, wonderful, expansive place – but our ability to connect makes it seem like we are all right next door to each other.
I wonder how many others are making a choice similar to ours – molding their lifestyle and business together, instead of having one or the other. Have you? How has technology freed you to do business from where you choose? Or do you think that to be successful you need to be in the heart of a large city? Let us know what you are thinking – we’d love to hear from you. Even if you’re the taxman – because we really are working out here. Ask our clients!!