Cowork Niagara's IndyBlog

Member Profile: Jim Squires

What's your business name and core business?

I operate under my own name, Jim Squires, and if I were to distill my core business into a single sentence, it's this: I talk about the things I love. Primarily this has led me to work in the video games space, both as a journalist and a freelance PR consultant. In my latter role, I help smaller game developers increase their exposure in ways they may struggle to do themselves.

When can we find you at the cowork space?

I'm a little bit like a UFO sighting. Not too many people in the space see me, but when they do, they see me ALL THE TIME. I try to spend every weekday at a shared desk, but extenuating circumstances keep me at home more often than I'd like. Still, Cowork Niagara is my first love. If I can be working anywhere, I'm working there. As for events, I try to get out to every WriteTricks and BizTricks – and while I've never been to DevTricks, I regret it every month. They seem to have the coolest stuff going on there, even for folks like me who couldn't write a line of code to save their lives.

What skill would most compliment your own in the pursuit of growing your business?

As a writer, I find myself more and more in need of transciption services. I haven't used such services yet (I still do it myself), but I'm getting closer and closer to calling on the services of my peers. My time is stretched so thin that every minute that I can buy back helps.

Similarly, as someone who has both launched a new website (Ookpixels) and started a new consulting venture (PR) in 2015, I'm in desperate need of proper business management skills. I'm someone who has stumbled into his career through passion, not an MBA.

Man oh man do I wish I had an MBA.

What's your top biz tip for other freelancers?

Money isn't everything. Whether for charity, passion, or to simply fill a noticeable void, it's ok to tackle a project without any clear or direct path for profit. Choosing what's right over what's profitable can build credibility among your peers, lead to new opportunities and – above all else – provide true personal satisfaction. Business isn't always about business.

What's the benefit of coworking to you?

I started my time at Cowork Niagara for one simple reason: I was lonely. My wife, who had been in school and home periodically through the days was now suddenly a graduate and working 9-5. With just two dogs to keep me company, the house was feeling empty, and my social skills were falling off noticeably. So really, my involvement with Cowork Niagara began as a search for a lifeline.

Very quickly though, I learned how valuable my fellow coworkers were to more than just my sanity. I wouldn't have been able to get either of my new ventures off the ground this year without the guidance and advice of my coworking peers. Even though no one is in the same industry as me exactly, freelancing skills translate regardless of your chosen career path. Cowork Niagara has honed my skillset into a razor sharp point. No word of a lie, I've doubled my income since joining in April 2015, and I lay all the credit at Cowork Niagara's doorstep.