A vision for better life-work experiences with coliving consultant Leah Ziliak

Xolo
Written by Xolo
on September 09, 2022

One of the unexpected joys of creating the Future is Freelance podcast is learning about all the ways that skills and experience intertwine in unexpected ways to create lucrative new career paths. Our guest for Season 2, Episode 2 of the Future is Freelance podcast is no different. 

Meet Leah Ziliak. Leah started her career in the Nashville music business, before transitioning into the exciting world of cruise ship entertainment. But after a few years, Leah longed to see more of the world than just the sunny Caribbean, so she decided to give solo travel a try. But like so many other solo wanderers, she soon found herself lonely. That's when she discovered community living. With her years of experience in entertainment and hospitality, the stars aligned and a new business was born!

Today, Leah helps everyone from larger hotels to smaller coliving centres to adapt to the changing needs of the new business/leisure ("bleisure") traveler. This new kind of traveler is staying longer, so ensuring everything they need is at hand — including a community of fellow travelers to trade travel tips and experiences with — is key. Get it right and they'll stay longer, then tell their friends — so getting the experience right can make all the difference in a post-pandemic world. 

We loved this case history in designing a unique service around a personal passion and experience and identifying an under-served and timely niche lifestyle business possibility. There are lessons for every solopreneur to absorb here about transferable skills and opportunity-spotting. Finding new ways to combine established experience with changing global trends, to create a work/lifestyle that truly fulfills personal passions is insight we can all find value in!

 

 

Outline

  • 2:18 - Leah's backstory
  • 4:06 - Leah breaks down the different types of coliving
  • 5:03 - Who is coliving for?
  • 6:20 - The concept of hybrid hospitality and how it overlaps with coliving
  • 8:47 - What is "bleisure"? (business & leisure)
  • 10:49 - Holiday travel vs. coliving: what do people get right vs. what do people get wrong?
  • 12:26 - Leah's advice for people who don't know where to get started
  • 14:18 - How to get the local community involved for a more authentic experience
  • 16:01 - Is this new kind of traveler better for the local economy/culture vs. a tourist that shows up, spends money, then leaves?
  • 18:20 - Any advice for entrepreneurs who are looking to carve out a living based on their skills and experience and passion, the same way she has
  • 19:53 - When did she first realize that there was a gap/niche/opportunity here… that this could actually be a viable business?
  • 21:39 - Surprising/unexpected feedback from the businesses she works with
  • 24:50 - Her other business/website rating coliving spaces "Coliving Compass"
  • 27:32 - Where is all this heading? Leah's predictions for coliving
  • 35:20 - Keeping up with Leah

Video (coming soon)

 

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