Change, Possibility and Some Exciting News

This has been an exciting couple of years for Brains on Fire.

Full of change and growth and “possibility,” to borrow a word from our friend, Hugh Weber.

We opened an office in LA, which has made us think smarter and dream bigger. I’m on my way to LA today, as a matter fact.

We completely changed the way we run our business by implementing the Great Game of Business. It has made us rethink all our processes and the way we make decisions as a company. Today we’re stronger as a team than we’ve ever been.

We rolled up our sleeves and did the hard work to become a certified B Corp. And we’re super focused on becoming a FORCE for good in the world.

We had our first ever Good Four Day on April 4th. Along with 20 other brands and organizations, we each donated four hours of our time on 4/4 to causes we believe in. If all 608 people that signed up to participate in Good Four completed four hours of volunteer time that day, the hours equate to more than a year of full-time employment.

We also implemented “Jam Days” on Thursdays. Some of us work remote on Jam Days and others choose to work from the office, but we all try super hard NOT to schedule any meetings on Thursdays. It’s not always possible, but it’s our goal as a team. This helps create more focused time to give our clients and ourselves the brain room and working space to get stuff done! It was a scary thing to do in the beginning, letting go and trusting each person to choose how and where to work to be their most productive, but I can honestly say it has paid off in productivity and happiness.

And last, but not least, we made a BIG decision to move our Greenville office. For 16 years, we’ve been in a space we LOVE, the Innovate Building. It’s a space where we feel so connected to everything and everyone; our clients at VisitGreenvilleSC are just upstairs. Needless to say, the decision to move was a hard one. (It’s nice having clients so close.) But we decided it was smarter to own rather than lease as we grow. Last year, we tore down our walls and redecorated our current space. While we love MANY things about our redesigned open space as it is now, we also found we miss the smaller gathering spaces and the big gathering wall we gave up when we redecorated. We will use these lessons and insights to help us design the next chapter for Brains on Fire.

So, it’s official. Brains on Fire Greenville is Moving to The Village.

As of Tuesday 7/25, we officially own two storefronts at 1249 and 1257 Pendleton Street in a part of Greenville known as “The Village.” We’ll combine the two storefronts and make them one building. We’re so excited about this move and getting to know our new neighbors. Village Grind, you’ll need more coffee with us right next door! And Anchorage and GB&D, here we come. We love the idea of being a part of the growing Arts Community in Greenville. We’ve come to love this simple space in all its rough and gritty rawness. It has this amazing vault door. Not sure what will become of it, but it’s super cool and heavy.

I got so excited talking to our architect and build team last week I could barely stop myself from jumping up and down. I had to hold on to my chair the entire time. What amazes me is this: Our space is just a dream at the moment, but in four to five fast and furious months, we (along with the smart folks at McMillian Pazden Smith and Mavin Construction) will have turned it in to our new home. I love everything about this time of dreaming and planning and building our ideal workspace as a team. You should see our slack channel; it’s full of wild possibility and wonderful ideas for working smarter. We’ll continue to share our progress here on the blog.

And get this for more change! We’re moving to Atlas Local, a co-work space in The Village while we build.

That was a scary decision –and a lot to ask of our team. But our current space was super easy to lease, so we saw this as an opportunity to just go ahead and get some of the move out the way and become a part of our new neighborhood sooner rather than later. We also sold all our furniture. Our first day at Atlo (shorthand for Atlas Local) is Monday, August 14.

To be honest, all this CHANGE and rapid-fire decision making has been hard at times.

But it’s pushed us to grow and communicate even better. I personally love change, but a lot of people resist it. Something I’ve come to learn about managing change is summed up nicely in these two quotes from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.

“If you want people to change, you must provide crystal-clear direction.”

“What feels like resistance is often lack of clarity.”

We are all practicing clarity daily at Brains on Fire. That’s one of the many side benefits of change in my humble opinion.

We have loved our home at the Innovate Building. She’s been a good ol’ boat. She’s shared our laughter and our tears. But today, we are dreaming forward and creating a new ship geared for exploring great big ideas and dreams and new ways to make the world a better place.

Stay tuned! The best is yet to be.

P.S. Thanks Andrew for the amazing photos. And thanks to Joshua Blankenship for first turning us on to this building and our friends at Caine Commercial, Wyche Law Firm and Bank of Travelers Rest for helping us navigate this move. And Chris at Atlo for making the Atlo co-work space workable for us so quickly. Most of all, thanks to our entire team, for embracing growth, and what is possible with style and grace.

It truly took, well… a Village.

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