The Number 5
On April 4th of 2021, Ensemble celebrated the end of its 5th year in business, going into our 6th year. As I looked into the meaning behind the number five, I found myself feeling blessed to make it through our 5th year, which was 2020.
Number 5 is mentioned in the Bible a total of 318 times. This number is directly linked to God’s grace, mercy, and favor. If there ever was a year to receive grace, mercy, and favor from God, then 2020 was it.
The grace of God is described as an unmerited favor that comes as a result of God’s love. As a small business owner, I felt God’s favor over Ensemble in 2020. It was a tough year for many small businesses, and the coworking and flexible workspace industry was hit hard. I look at how Ensemble survived despite the pandemic and I feel incredibly blessed.
I owe the blessings of 2020 to the following 5 things (or people):
1. God Through all the worries, fear, anxiety, and unknowns, God carried me through. Even when things looked bad enough to consider closing, God reminded me that everything was going to be all right. I had friends and family praying for Ensemble regularly.
2. Family Being a small business owner more often than not means the entire family is involved. Sometimes directly but most of the time indirectly. My family has listened to the woes and heartache of running a business that resulted from the great pause of 2020. They encouraged me and reminded me of my why; to make a difference and affect change in the lives of others. They were a shoulder to cry on when I felt like giving up and the kick in the pants at just the right time. People first was my priority.
That’s how we built a strong community. It’s the community that continued to support us financially that carried us through the toughest months this last year and even still now. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to our members and extended community for your emotional and financial support.
4. Ensemble Team
Our team went through a few changes in 2020 but one constant was the always cheerful, Clint Grimes, Community Manager. In a year when we all struggled mentally and emotionally, Clint stepped up and went beyond his regular duties. He cleaned light fixtures, changed bulbs, shampooed carpets, painted, and performed other odd jobs during the shutdown. He regularly touched base with members to ensure they felt connected and took on hosting virtual events through Zoom. That challenged us all in the beginning. When we had to let our cleaning crew go, he became part janitor also. When money got really tight, I was forced to reduce Clint's hours to part-time. Clint didn’t bat an eye about sticking with me until things got better. Through all of this, Clint was my sounding board and a constant prayer warrior. At the beginning of the summer, Julia Glidden joined the team on a part-time basis to help with social media, events, and marketing. Julia fell right into place with creative thinking and wearing many hats, including sitting at the front desk and cleaning. From mid-summer through November, these two amazing people kept Ensemble afloat while I was campaigning to be on the Burleson City Council. I was in and out of the office several times a week with little communication with either of them. Yet, they held it all together. I am privileged to work with such an amazing team, with hearts to serve and love people.
5. Friends and Professional Colleagues There is no handbook for how to get through a pandemic as a small business owner. We were all trying to figure it out at the same time. The best part is that we did it together. I received countless emails, texts and phone calls with information about PPP loans and grants as well as creative ideas on how to make money with my space. My friends, some business owners, some not, were always available to lend an ear, share an idea or cry with me.
It is a blessing to have all of this support during the tough times and to celebrate when things are going well. When I think back to the last 5 years, I actually think about the legacy that I am leaving. I have met so many talented people, dedicated business owners, students, and wanna-be entrepreneurs. I have been blessed to mentor a lot of them. It makes me wonder what they will do in the next 5 years, where they will be, and whose lives they will have touched. I don’t know what the next 5 years hold for Ensemble but I know that I have been blessed by the last 5.
Tamara Payne is the Founder | CEO of Ensemble Coworking. She is a seasoned entrepreneur, strategic business coach, and communications trainer.