State Farm (yes, the huge insurance company) has decided to take the “scary” out of planning for the future, managing money, and financial coaching by creating a comfortable, welcoming place for freelancers and small business owners to collaborate and talk things out.
Next Door Chicago is a community space where anyone can go to fuel up on coffee, take financial planning and personal growth classes and talk with certified financial coaches, who will sit down with you one-on-one to talk all about your hopes, fears and future goals (but don’t worry, they’re not trying to sell you anything).
For guests who are looking for small groups to share and learn with, Next Door Chicago offers classes that cover personal fiscal fitness, how to find the right insurance program and even yoga classes. Some of the upcoming class offerings include:
- Start-Up Bootcamp: Have a great idea that you want to turn into a winning business? Attend this group class where each week, one start-up presents their business for critique an feedback to the group.
- Stuff Financial People Say: Increase your financial literacy by learning some of the mysterious terms and jargon commonly known in the financial industry.
- Budokon Yoga Flow: If you didn’t budget for a gym membership this year, you can still afford to get fit with a class that incorporates contemporary yoga with martial arts.
Even you’re not looking to achieve personal or financial growth right now, Next Door Chicago is a great place for anyone who works from home, runs their own business or students looking to take a study session on the road. Utilize the free Wi-Fi and comfortable couches, private workspaces and tables to hunker down to work independently or in smaller groups. You can even rent out meeting space or hold an event.
Now you’re probably thinking it must cost an arm and a leg to go, right? The best part is that everything – except for the coffee – is free of charge. Throughout the week, you can enjoy snacks from local shops like Kickstand at the modern and inviting café to fuel up for the day or a quick but intense work session. Our advice? Get there early for the best deals – like 50 cent bagels.
Whitney Hewitt is the founder of Gatz Optimize, a social media consulting and marketing agency. With over eight years in marketing and communications, Hewitt puts her skills to work for both small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations. She is also the President of the Chicago chapter of Femfessionals, a professional organization dedicated to connecting and promoting savvy women in the Windy City. Follow Whitney @GatzSocialMedia.