IWCF24 – Offline Communities, Coworking & Seth Lawrence

Today’s guest is Seth Lawrence, Marketing Manager at Tank Stream Labs in Sydney Australia, and ex-Community Catalyst for Hub Sydney. 

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Seth Lawrence has had a wide and varied career. Starting out as an economics student, then as a sales executive, then a brand promoter, and then a community professional. Since he felt he couldn’t change “the system” per se, he felt that marketing would be his way to affect the hearts and minds of people in a positive manner.
Here’s what you’ll learn today:
  1. The realities of coworking and creating a shared economy
  2. Evolving a Facebook group from networking to a job promotion board that provides real value to members
  3. Ways to resolve conflict within offline communities
  4. How coworking helps authentic community-building

So sit back, relax, and get ready for the show…

Show Notes & Summary

What is “negative externality”?

What catapulted Seth into the world of marketing, coworking and communities? It was one of his economics classes at university that touched on the subject of “negative externalities.”

“A negative externality is a cost that is suffered by a third party as a result of an economic transaction. In a transaction, the producer and consumer are the first and second parties, and third parties include any individual, organisation, property owner, or resource that is indirectly affected.” Economics Online

A good example of negative externality would be climate change. Seth wanted to change the world, that’s why he originally studied economics. Unfortunately, his teacher said, “don’t worry about the negative externalities,” which ultimately pushed Seth into the world of marketing.

What are the realities of coworking in relation to building a truly shared economy?

Firstly, if you don’t know what coworking is, it is:

The use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.

Now, although that definition sounds very functional, communities (members) are a big part of the coworking business model.

According to Seth, building a truly shared economy within a coworking environment is not without its challenges. Trying to bring in the human element can feel taxing, as it’s often hard to put a price on coworking’s true value. Fortunately, many are working diligently on this.

Seth believes there’s always a balance – no business, no community. No community, no business.

How do you deal with conflict within communities?

It’s important to step back and see what’s going on in the bigger picture. Don’t be afraid to have those difficult conversations. Communication is something we still struggle with (as humans). Community = common + unity.


How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. The book is just as useful today as it was when it was first published because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks.

Quotable Quotes

'Seek first to understand, then to be understood.' ~Steven Covey Click To Tweet 'Community = common + unity.' ~Seth Lawrence Click To Tweet 'It will come means (to me) being patient with life. Walk your path and it will unfold.' ~Seth Lawrence Click To Tweet 'Work out what is your commun unity for your community.' ~Seth Lawrence Click To Tweet


Seth has always had a fascination with lions. After all, he is a Leo. He’s had a stuffed lion since young (instead of a teddy bear). He believes they are quite incredible creatures.

Lions represent strength, courage, relentlessness and overcoming obstacles.

Click here to learn more about lion symbolism



Secret Men’s Business -a Facebook group for men to share information, online resources, links, events, questions, comments, and advice on men’s issues such as Health & Wellness, Business & Success, Dating & Sex, Purpose, Relationships, Leadership and whatever else you think will benefit men living in the 21st Century.
Tank Stream Labs – the coworking space that Seth now works for based in Sydney, Australia.

Seth can be reached on Facebook and Linkedin.