Not Just Another Co-Working Space: Expert DOJO is Changing the Startup Scene in Santa Monica

You’re 2,000 lines of code deep into your first startup, and then you get stuck. Your forehead finds its way to the keyboard in a defeated faceplant. When you feel a hand on your shoulder, you flip your head up so fast you could get whiplash. You look up to see Irishman Brian MacMahon, gazing at you with a smile that could crack a crystal vase. Your faceplant was as bright as a flare from a sinking ship at sea.

“You doin’ alright, buddy?” Brian asks in a curious and friendly tone.

“I think so, but this damn code is killing me,” you reply, trying to be positive.

Raising his voice and clapping his hands together to get the attention of others working nearby, Brian hollers, “Who here can help my friend out, he seems to have been stuck on a particular line of code?”

A murmur runs through the crowd, and three individuals come over to see how they can help.

He pats you on the shoulder one more time and leaves you as people come over you to help. You find yourself sitting upright in your chair, and as the imprints of the keyboard on your forehead fade away, you feel a twinge of something. You feel a sense of community.

Co-working spaces have popped up all over in the past five years; creating places for entrepreneurs to rent out a desk by the day, week or month. If you’ve ever worked in one of these environments, you know that one of the biggest benefits is the close proximity to so many other talented entrepreneurs. It beats working out of your garage any day of the week.

The only thing better than a co-working space is a Success Academy. “A what?you ask. It’s an environment Brian has created to help build a community of entrepreneurs with coaching guidance that acts as their support team to help them grow, find funding, acquire users, build brands, get the right contacts and find the education they need to survive.

Brian MacMahon, a great friend of mine and a chipper Irish chap, has a very strong stance on a sense of community and has created a new type of accelerator with great success. His vision of helping others has been the origin of his famous monthly networking events, called “Pay it Forward” events.

The only requirement for his events is to not be a jerk when networking! Most people at networking events simply talk about themselves and collect business cards from people they think will be good connections for future needs. The idea of these large “Pay it Forward” networking events is to first ask what you can do for the people that you meet. When you start the conversation with the intention of learning about the ways you can help the person you are talking to, you can find out more about them at the same time. When you figure out how to help other people, rather than trying to find out if you can help yourself, the world shakes in a good way. You would be surprised by how powerful this approach can be to expanding the quality of your network.

Inside of an 8,000 ft.² office space on the third floor of the Santa Monica Archery Promenade, Brian MacMahon has gathered some of the LA’s top coaches, and matches them with entrepreneurs who are serious about growth. What he is doing is truly revolutionary, and if you have not heard about it yet, you need to check out Expert DOJO.

By holding events, training sessions, and most importantly mastermind coaching groups, Expert DOJO is not just another co-working space, but instead is changing the failure rate of startups in Santa Monica. Something that has been a long time coming.