Leigh K. Fletcher is an attorney dealing with tricky land use and environmental issues… but so much more. She runs two other very distinct businesses, including one in the Virgin Islands and one in the U.S. that is actually designed to inspire and provide practical tools for other businesses to succeed.

We talk about how she manages it all and how the experience actually energizes her every day.

Check out our conversation to find out about…

  • A free training program every small business owner should go through
  • The ultimate networking location in your community
  • An unexpected place to find valuable – and low cost – resources for your business
  • A new type of co-worker you didn’t know you needed
  • And more…

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode: www.risingtidecowork.com

Episode Transcript:

Davina Frederick: Hello, and welcome to the Solo to CEO podcast, where we provide a mix of powerful, thought-provoking, and practical information to assist you in your transformation from solo to CEO of a high-impact, high revenue-generating business. I’m your host, Davina Frederick, and I’m here today with Leigh Kellett Fletcher, one of the founding partners of the Fletcher & Fischer law firm. The leading land use, environmental, and commercial real estate development law firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The founder of Rising Tide Innovation Center co-work space, and CEO of Ocean Systems Laboratory in the US Virgin Islands.

Welcome, Leigh. I’m so happy to have you on my podcast. How are you today?

Leigh Fletcher: I’m great. Thank you for having me.

Davina Frederick: You and I have known each other for quite a while now. We’ve worked together some, and I’m really excited to have you here. Can you tell us a little bit about … That’s a lot of businesses.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, that is a lot of businesses. Yes.

Davina Frederick: So that’s a lot to unpack.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: Let’s pick one.

Leigh Fletcher: Okay.

Davina Frederick: And talk about that, initially. I’d like to talk about the law firm, because I know that you’ve been practicing law since the 90s, and you are a land use, environmental, and a commercial real estate development lawyer. That’s kind of your background. Tell us how you got into that work.

Leigh Fletcher: Well, I got into that work almost immediately … Well, actually, during law school. Like many lawyers, I clerked for a firm, and then ultimately joined that firm when I graduated from law school, and that was the first of a series of firms that over time I was either an associate, or a partner with.

And in 2012, I left Stearns Weaver Miller, which is a large Florida-based law firm where I was an equity partner; and started my own firm, partially because I was spending a lot of time in the Virgin Islands, and had passed the Virgin Islands bar, which gave me an opportunity to be in a place that was beautiful, and make a living while there, which was fabulous.

So my background, the environmental ties to kind of my other part of my background, which is more environmental science, and that kind of thing. So that’s how I got into the environmental law, because I was able to translate those skills into kind of a brown field, land use real estate practice.

And then, over the years, I kind of grew with my client. And as they got bigger, my expertise expanded to assist them, and so now my client base is largely developers that are working in urban space, doing community development work.

Oftentimes dealing with environmental remediation, or tricky land use issues, coastal issues, those kinds of things.

Davina Frederick: And so your story is really a very interesting one, because that work is what led to you becoming the owner and the CEO of Ocean Systems Laboratory, which is water. Environmental water testing facility. Right?

Leigh Fletcher: Right. So Ocean Systems is the EPA-designated water quality laboratory for the US Virgin Islands, and I got involved with the labs, actually, in 2006, when I was litigating an endangered species act case for a Florida client in the US Virgin Islands.

That’s how I actually got there. The case was about whether … Workforce housing development would impact sea turtles, and if the … It was really kind of an MB suit meeting. It was a suit brought by people who just didn’t want to have the workforce housing in their neighborhood.

And when we got past the issues, and determined it really wasn’t an environmental case, the real thing that the owners were concerned about was storm water. And to solve the storm water problem, we needed to do some new type of permitting that they had never done in the Virgin Islands, so we did that.

And that permitting required some testing, so I went to the only lab on the island and said, “Boy, do I have a business opportunity for you. Now everybody’s going to need to do this kind of testing.” And the owner of the lab at the time was towards the end of her career, and she said, “Really not interesting. Thanks.”

And I said, “That’s not the right answer. You can’t say that.”

Davina Frederick: “What are you doing?”

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, “You can’t say that. That’s not the right answer. So let’s try this again. Let me repeat what I’d say.” So ultimately, I began to work with her in a kind of consulting way to facilitate that process happening, and then when she got ready to retire, five years later, I purchased the labs from her.

So it was kind of an evolutionary process that I kind of fell into being the CEO of laboratories. We have facilities on St. Croix, and St. Thomas, and we have 20 employees. So it definitely vaulted me from thinking about business as just me as a lawyer creating business, to a much more broad-scale vision of what does it mean to bring in business for …

You know, being responsible for making sure that lots of people get their paychecks.

Davina Frederick: And that kind of opened up a new … I don’t know kind of like spark to dream in you.

Leigh Fletcher: Yes. No, it really … I discovered I had a passion for entrepreneurship, and small business, which really surprised me; because I’d never … I came from a family of lawyers, and professional services businesses are one type of business, but they’re not …

They’re not the same kind of like day-to-day get contracts, have customers kind of businesses. And being in the lab, it kind of just showed me that there’s this whole other element to owning firms, and doing those kind of things.

So I was able to take advantage. I applied to, and I highly recommend this to anybody who has a small business, I applied to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and … Which is you get in, is free training, and it’s kind of like a …

I don’t know if I’d call it an “MBA in a box,” but it’s basically a five-month program that really helps you hone your entrepreneurial skills. So I did that, and that confirmed for me that I really have a … In that program I was with owners of a diverse … numbers of diverse types of businesses from all over the country.

And I realized I really like entrepreneurs. I like the spirit, I like the passion, I like the drive. All of those things, and it was like I had found … In some ways, found a tribe that I didn’t know I was missing. So that kind of led to the latest business iteration, which is Rising Tide Innovation Center, which is a collaborative co-work space in St. Petersburg, Florida, where we’ve now located the law firm, as well.

But Rising Tide is an 8,000 square foot facility designed to provide the needs for small businesses, so it is kind of one-stop-shop. We have conference rooms, training facilities, and breakout rooms. Offices, open work spaces, really good coffee, snack bar, sparkly water-

Davina Frederick: Cereal.

Leigh Fletcher: Cereal, we have a cereal bar. We have everything you need to be a small business owner, including cereal. So that is kind of … been the latest venture, and what I have focused a lot on in the last year.

Davina Frederick: So tell me … You and I have, of course, we’ve worked together on … When you bring … kind of bringing the co-work space into fruition, everything, and … I know that it’s more than just a co-work space.

Leigh Fletcher: Right.

Davina Frederick: For you. Like people might imagine a co-work space to be, “Okay, here’s an office, and a place you can go and just plug in your laptop, and get some work done.” But really, when you’re talking about co-work space, you’re really talking about a certain kind of business model. Aren’t you?

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: I mean, this kind of collaborative business model.

Leigh Fletcher: Right-

Davina Frederick: Tell me about that.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, and this kind of grew out of my experience with Goldman Sachs, but also just from visiting and looking at a lot of different models for how small businesses can be successful. One of the things that is really important to a small business is creating that network, and creating that support system in the community where your business is located.

We used to joke, even at the law firm, we used to joke that the only person we saw on a regular basis was the FedEx guy because most of our clients were national, and not in the office, and so it was like, “Wow. We have a really nice office for the FedEx guy.”

But in reality, for a lot of small businesses, you can be doing really well at your kitchen table. You know? And you can be doing really well in your dining room, and then … But there’s that point where you wish you had a colleague which you could commiserate with, or you have a question that you don’t know the answer to, or you just are sick of staring at the same four walls without any interaction.

And that’s kind of … because that can also be stifling. So like in our co-work space we have businesses, that are businesses of one person, and then we have businesses that have multiple employees that all co-office here. We even have businesses where they are taking advantage because they travel, so they have desks here, and they also have desks in another co-work space in West Palm.

But what we’re trying to do is create an environment where people can interact, and build that network, and be focused on doing their business, and offering their services to other people who are kind of going along the same path, but in a different … You know, maybe a different field, so that we can kind of increase that success rate of small businesses.

It’s one of the things that is a real indicator of likelihood of success of a business, is the strength of the business owner’s network.

Davina Frederick: So in addition to kind of helping with the loneliness factor. A lot of the advantages of co-working is … Some of the advantages of co-working are things like being able to collaborate with people that you’re working with on projects, where you might be able to bring in other people who are working in this space with you, and bringing their expertise …

Leigh Fletcher: Right, and we see that happening a lot. It’s interesting. We’ve got some folks in the … members in the co-work space that are very strong tech small businesses, and then we have others that are really strong in marketing … I mean, digital marketing-type businesses.

And there have been multiple collaborations already between those particular businesses, and proposing to do work for people, and supporting each other’s projects. We have another member who’s focused on wellness, and she has been offering kind of wellness coaching and support to our members, which is both building her business, but also offering a kind of nice side benefit to our business, here at the co-work space, because people are really able to access that, and get their health and wellness questions, and life-balance kind of questions direct.

Davina Frederick: And having people in closed quarters like that, you’re probably bringing up ideas that other people didn’t even know. Making people aware of problems they didn’t even know they had.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, no-

Davina Frederick: Problem. Right?

Leigh Fletcher: And I like to say there, “I don’t call them problems. I call them opportunities.”

Davina Frederick: Right.

Leigh Fletcher: There are lots of opportunities. But really and truly, there are also just opportunities that people hear about and say, “Hey, I heard about this. It’s not for my business, but I thought of you.”

So the co-work space has both … We offer both programming, which is more like formal … You know, learn the skill that you might not have realized you need, but now you know you need. But we also offer a lot of informal opportunities for people to interact and get to know each other in a kind of non-stuff, non-stressful way.

We have Wind-down Wednesdays, and we’ve had whiskey tastings, and we’ve had chess tournaments, and we’ve had … You know, everything. You name it. We’ve done different things. For a while, we were playing office bingo on collaborative work in the space, and people could get bingo by helping each other on projects.

So you know, we’ve done a lot of things to try, and bring people together, and we’ve seen it work. Our members do know each other, and they do chat, and they are supportive of each other’s work, and their businesses.

Davina Frederick: You also use technology, kind of like a social up-close-

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: Forum for your members-

Leigh Fletcher: Right. Yeah, so we have an internal bulletin community. Digital bulletin board, messaging system. Everything we have here for reserving rooms, and reserving use of resources is all online.

So we also have a blog, and we have … Just different information. We try, and keep our members abreast, and included in all the things that are going on here, and we really have a lot of things going on here all the time. We try not to totally bombard people, but there is a lot, and that communication is working.

Something as simple as kind of what you would think of as the office pool email going out of extra donuts on the fourth floor, to someone reaching out and saying, “Hey, I need a recommendation for this kind of lawyer,” and getting a whole slew of comments back and forth from people of which lawyers have they used, and why have they used them.

And the same thing for accountants. So it’s kind of becoming a resource well for people to use.

Davina Frederick: Do you think this is … I just saw … I don’t know if you saw this. I saw an article on Facebook the other day about some co-work space in Belize, or something like that. It was … You know, were these huts, they’re like in the water-

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, I saw that. I saw that one.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, right? Do you think co-work space … People are always talking how technology, especially in this world where there’s so many virtual businesses now about technology separating us. Do you think that there’s more and more … That you’ll see more and more of these co-work spaces?

I know you’ve done a lot of research in the co-work-

Leigh Fletcher: Right.

Davina Frederick: Now you’re a big researcher. Right?

Leigh Fletcher: I am-

Davina Frederick: So I think you did a lot of research in the co-works space before you started this business, and as you’ve been growing this business, and your decision to open co-work space was because you saw that there was such a potential in this market.

Tell me about what you expect to see in the co-work space in the coming years.

Leigh Fletcher: Well, I think there’s a couple of things. I think definitely co-work has become … And is continuing to grow, because so many kind of traditional employers are outsourcing, or having their workers work from home, doing remote working.

And so many then are also leaving their organizations, and starting their own business because basically, the threshold for entry is pretty low now. If you have a laptop, and you’re a professional, you can make yourself a business.

That kind of simplifies it overly, but it is a trend that you definitely see. And so I think that co-working, because it offers that balance between being on your own and having your own business, but also having resources, and even just …

From the simple things, like not having to have your own copy, or lease, to the more complicated things of being able to have access to super-fast internet, if you’re a design professional, for instance; because you couldn’t afford to have that kind of service in your home, but in the co-work space we have dedicated fiber.

So here things are whooshing along, and you can see people working on graphics that at home you begin to feel like you’re going back to circa 1985.

Davina Frederick: Right.

Leigh Fletcher: So there’s that piece-

Davina Frederick: Meeting spaces. Your professional meeting space is huge.

Leigh Fletcher: Oh, yeah. That’s, I think … One of the things that was a surprise to me was the demand for meeting space, not just from our members, but from the outside community. There are so many people that don’t have their own office, so our conference room has become the place of closings, and meetings with financial advisors, and all these things, even if they’re not members.

They are looking for that kind of space, and I think because of that, co-work spaces will continue to grow. What I find interesting is that since we opened in May of 2018, which is hard to believe it’s almost been a year …

Davina Frederick: Wow.

Leigh Fletcher: Another four co-work spaces, all of which are over 10,000 square feet, have opened in the Tampa Bay market, which just makes me feel like a leader. You know? Yeah, I’m definitely the pioneer. But it just shows that there’s a tremendous demand for kind of co-working spaces, and what co-working offers.

From my perspective, I think the strengths of co-working is leveraged in the community. You can go to larger co-working spaces, or places like Regis, or whatever, that are more executive-office-y, and you don’t get the community building that you get at Rising Tide.

Davina Frederick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Leigh Fletcher: So I think that’s what differentiates us from those other spaces, but at the same time, I think the fact that there are that many spaces just demonstrates how many people need those kind of spaces. You know?

Davina Frederick: Right, right. And I think that the culture of … The culture of the space makes a difference. I know you did a lot of research before, and some of the things that were lacking in some spaces … There were different types of cultures.

Some that were very specific to, let’s say, just creatives.

Leigh Fletcher: Right. Yeah, and their different thought patterns on that, about whether that is beneficial or not, to have a focused co-work space, or a woman-only co-work space. Those kind of things.

And ultimately, where I came down to is that I think one of the greatest opportunities in a co-work space is to interact with people who have different experiences than you, and are coming at things from a different perspective.

So I made the decision that we would not be a focused co-work space, or a limited co-work space, that we would be a co-work space … And we certainly are set up so that because of the speed of our internet, because of the services we provide, that we really …

There are types … Professional service businesses, creative businesses, tech businesses, all feel very comfortable here because we offer the services, and the resources that those kinds of businesses need. But we haven’t limited who can walk in the door.

So we have everything from virtual assistants to international digital media companies that are in here, that are working here, but also have employees in India. It’s kind of a-

Davina Frederick: You’ve had some non-profits in there, you’ve had some-

Leigh Fletcher: We do. Yeah.

Davina Frederick: Law firms, you’ve had different-

Leigh Fletcher: Yes, we … Yeah, we have law firms, we have accountants, we have digital … Like I said, digital marketers. Some coders, some tech startups doing everything from kind of ultra-luxury vacation planning, to kind of … a group that believes that people don’t go out to lunch anymore, and they’re losing their network, and so they are …

It’s a group called Lunch Pool. They actually won Tampa Bay Startup Week, and we’re-

Davina Frederick: Wow.

Leigh Fletcher: Excited they’re here, and their mission in life is to put people who don’t know each other together for lunch, to have professional lunches. So we’re excited they’re here as members, and we’re also excited about what their mission is, because it aligns with what our mission is. So-

Davina Frederick: So you’re also really tying into your local community.

Leigh Fletcher: Oh, yeah. No, I think that’s the neatest thing about this co-work space, is that a lot of our members literally walk here for work, which … Think about that in today’s car age. But one of the things we realized early on is we should have planned better bike storage, because a lot of people have bikes.

So those are the things you figure out after the facts, like “Oh, I should have done that.” But the … Yeah, our membership base is a lot of people that are serious about their business, and want to take advantage of our meeting space, and want to take advantage of a place where people come to work.

If you walk in, you know you’re in an office. It’s not a thought of, “Oh, I’m in a café, or I’m in a bar,” or anything like that. It’s like, “I’m in a work space.” But it’s a beautiful work space, it’s kind of inspiring. And it’s a work space where the person next to you may be the source of your next client, or may be your next client.

So it’s kind of an exciting environment to be in.

Davina Frederick: A lot of light, a lot of texture, a lot of beautiful artwork, and all that kind of stuff, too.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, it makes it fun. I like coming to work here.

Davina Frederick: Oh, yeah. Yeah. What was I going to ask you? Well … I lost my train of thought, because I started thinking about all the beautiful light, and the brick walls. And your custom artwork, and then I lost my train of thought. But I digress.

So tell me, what is next?

Leigh Fletcher: Well-

Davina Frederick: What’s next for you? For this-

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, that’s-

Davina Frederick: Rising Tide.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, for Rising Tide. I think we’ve been tremendously successful here, and we’re continuing to grow. We do still have memberships available at this location, but we definitely … What we heard … When we were at Startup Week, and when we were doing various and sundry … activity down in the community, is we heard from people who don’t live in downtown St. Pete that said, “I wish you were here. I wish you were here. I want that community, but I need it closer to me.”

So we’re looking at what does that look like for us in the future. I think it does look like other locations, but trying to find … We want to find a place, again … because I am a lawyer, and a bonafide nerd, I did do a lot of research before we made the decision to come to St. Pete.

So we’re kind of going through that same due diligence process. Looking at places where we might want to go.

Davina Frederick: That’s part of your commercial real estate background, too.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, it’s handy. It is handy. And as are, frankly, my network, because we get opportunities to look at spaces that are because we have connections in the community, and you know. We’ve either represented people, or people know who we are, so that’s been nice, too.

I think when we get ready to pull the trigger, we’re going to have some really cool future spaces, once we figure out where we want to put them. So …

Davina Frederick: That’s terrific. That’s terrific.

So what is next for you? Because, I know you’re also … This isn’t enough for you.

Leigh Fletcher: No.

Davina Frederick: You’re also doing what, right now?

Leigh Fletcher: I am back in graduate school.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, because you know … In your spare time, it’s important-

Leigh Fletcher: In my spare time.

Davina Frederick: It’s important to go for a PhD, as well.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, so that’s where I’m headed. I am going back to my love of science, and I am working my way towards that goal. I’m at a place in my life where my daughter is about to go to college, and so I have a lot more flexibility in terms of time, I guess.

So I’m enjoying that. It’s kind of answering the bucket list thing. And it also is funny, every time you go into a new area of anything, it enriches the fabric of what you’re currently already doing.

My science focus is a different lens through which I’m looking at my co-work business, and the laboratories, and the law firm, even. So it’s really beneficial.

I encourage … I think that life-long learning is something that anyone who is a business owner needs to invest in themselves to … Whether it’s a formal degree program, like what I’m doing, or if it’s just developing skillsets, like what we offer at Rising Tide.

It’s key. It’s key to keeping yourself fresh, and keeping yourself passionate, and keeping yourself able to see opportunities, because your horizons kind of are … broad.

Davina Frederick: And it kind of … All of these things to … People looking in the outside, they may seem to be separate. But there’s a theme that runs through all of this for you. And it’s … Your co-work space is not named Rising Tide by accident.

Leigh Fletcher: No.

Davina Frederick: So, kind of explain this sort of theme. This is all your-

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, and this is just my … kind of where I come from on things. And that is simply that we do best when we support each other, and we do … The universe gives us all unlimited opportunity, and the ability to take advantage of these opportunities is greatest when we’re working together.

So my law practice is focused on community development, and re-development of areas that were historically disenfranchised, perhaps, would be the best word. And bringing those neighborhoods back so that the residents of those neighborhoods have greater opportunity, and the …

Laboratories, we make sure people have clean water, which is kind of a fundamental thing that everyone deserves, I think. And then, the co-work space is really kind of the manifestation of that collaborative concept that a rising tide lifts all boats, but that we, together, the people who are members in this co-work space are going to achieve a lot more than they would on their own.

And that’s what we’re trying to foster.

Davina Frederick: Tell me what advice would you have for … Since you have started more than one business, and are this entrepreneurs’ entrepreneur, what advice would you have for someone who is starting a business … or dreams of starting a business?

Leigh Fletcher: I would say, number one, believe in yourself. I mean, you have to. You have to have that fundamental confidence that you can achieve something, so that you pull the trigger and actually do it.

And then, the other thing, I would say, is stay focused on your vision. So if for you, whatever your passion is, and how … Obviously, you need to have good metrics, and you need to make sure that it’s financially viable, and all of those things.

But along the way, every entrepreneur gets a lot of armchair quarterbacking from people. And one of the things that you have to be able to do is say no. I know … You know, take the advice that is valuable, but then also just filter that advice through, “This is the vision, and this is what I’m trying to achieve.”

And in acknowledge that, that changes over time. I mean, I certainly didn’t start my law career thinking I was going to own laboratories, and co-work spaces. It just … The past led me there. And then, I was not afraid to take the chance and do it, once I had done my research, and validated how I thought I could do it, and had a clear vision on what I wanted to do.

Davina Frederick: Would you describe yourself as a risk-taker?

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, I guess I would say I’m … Am I a risk-taker? I am a … I am a risk-taker who is also a lawyer, which means that everything has to be evaluated, and thought about, and documented.

So I’m kind of like … I used to say that I wouldn’t be a good developer, because what developers see as opportunity I see as holes and documents.

But there is a part of me that says, “Oh, I could see how that could be amazing, doing this.” You know? And that’s the part that you have to … You have to have that kind of creative … I don’t know, desire to create something.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, I think it’s one of the biggest challenges that lawyers face is that … because to be an entrepreneur, to be a CEO, too, to create a business, to run a business, to grow a business, you have to be willing to take risk. And sometimes, you have to move fast on things.

Leigh Fletcher: Yes. We can talk about the … double of the size of the co-work space in a two-week period.

Davina Frederick: Exactly. You’ve done some really … You’ve made some really fast moves, and-

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: You’ve also done some things where other people were like, “Oh, my God! Did she really just do that?”

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: But you are a very detail-oriented person, and you are a … You’re a researcher at heart, you worry … You have a scientific brain. Not only are you a lawyer, but you also have this scientific brain, like you just love … Like you said, you’re a nerd. Right?

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah. I am.

Davina Frederick: So you have that part of you. It is interesting to me that you also have this part of you that will move quickly it’s required.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, and I think that, that goes back to the whole concept of honing in on a vision. Yeah, I mean … Once I have the vision, it’s not as risky to, for instance, what I was referring to in the co-work space, within … Two weeks before we opened, we got an opportunity to take the floor below the floor that we had started with.

And it was kind of one of those random things, and we thought, “You know, this really makes a lot of sense,” and then the universe helped by having someone call who wanted to take all the offices on that floor anyway. So it was like, “Okay, we’ve had the sign that yes, this is the way we should go.”

And we built it out in two weeks, and then when we … Ultimately, we even had our grand opening on that floor, which was kind of crazy because the paint wasn’t really dry.

Davina Frederick: Like this was … It had to be painted, it had to be furnished, it had to be …

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: Like there had to be a wall put up-

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah-

Davina Frederick: Walls taken down-

Leigh Fletcher: There were walls, and plumbing, and electrical. Yeah, it was crazy.

Davina Frederick: Yeah.

Leigh Fletcher: But it got done, and on target-

Davina Frederick: And a whole party had to be planned where you had … How many people come to the party?

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah, we had over 200 people that day-

Davina Frederick: Over 200 people. Yeah, so that was-

Leigh Fletcher: And we were literally hoping they wouldn’t lean on the walls, because they were still wet. Yeah.

Davina Frederick: Wet paint.

Leigh Fletcher: Wet paint. Yes. But that was possible because we had a really clear vision of what we wanted to achieve with the co-work space, and so we were able to say, “This opportunity aligns with our vision of what we’re trying to do, and it makes our vision stronger, so it’s a no-brainer. Let’s do it.”

Davina Frederick: Confidence there. There’s confidence. I think you’re … Like, there’s confidence. You’re a very-

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: Confident person. And that comes from … Don’t you think the confidence part comes from years of taking risk, making mistakes, making it okay?

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: Making mistakes … Yeah, okay. Like-

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: You know.

Leigh Fletcher: Well, I call it … You know how in baseball you can either catch a pop fly, and it’s an immediate out, or you can let it bounce once you grab it, and you throw it to the base, and it’s still an out?

Davina Frederick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Leigh Fletcher: In life, I think it’s always okay to catch it on the bounce. I kind of look at it this way. There’s very little that I do that’s life-threatening to other people, so I can catch it on the bounce. If this doesn’t work, you pivot, and you do something else.

Davina Frederick: Oh, that’s very wise.

Leigh Fletcher: But I think people get afraid, and they think, “Oh, if I make this thing, the whole world will end, or life will never be the same,” or whatever. Don’t take yourself that seriously, like really.

Davina Frederick: Oh, there’s the key. There’s the nugget, right there.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: There’s the golden nugget. Yeah. I think that makes all the difference, I love that. Well, thanks so much. I think that is … I really appreciate you sharing your story, because I think it is a really powerful story, and will help … A lot of people who listen to this podcast will be inspired by your story.

I know I have been inspired by your story, and … Of course, I enjoy knowing you, and getting to know you, and … I love knowing you. And this has been a really fun podcast today. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

Leigh Fletcher: I have. This is my first time ever doing a podcast.

Davina Frederick: Nice, so you hit it out of the park.

Leigh Fletcher: Yeah. Add that to the list of things I have now done. Check.

Davina Frederick: Yeah. All right. And now, you’ll start your own next week.

Leigh Fletcher: Yes.

Davina Frederick: I’m really excited.

Leigh Fletcher: That’s how that works. “Oh, this is a great idea. Let’s do this instead. Yeah.” So, yeah.

Davina Frederick: Great. All right. Well, so tell us … Before we wrap up, tell us how … all … all of your “deets” so we can find out more, especially, I think we want to share with everybody how they could find out more about Rising Tide co-work space. Where can they find out about that?

Leigh Fletcher: The easiest way is to go on to our website, which is risingtidecowork.com, and then if that is not your cup of tea, if you want to call us, 727-877-8230. We give tours every day, so we’d love to show the space to everybody if you’re in the St. Petersburg area.

Even if you’re just visiting. That’s the other surprise, when we just add that. That we have had a lot of people who are vacation, but you know how no one gets to vacation anymore? Well, we have people who pop in, and are co-working for a day, because they need a space to work during their vacation. That’s been neat, too, because we’ve met people from all over the world, which is fun.

Davina Frederick: Oh, that’s wonderful. And it’s a fun little place to pop … because you guys are right there kind of on restaurant row-

Leigh Fletcher: We’re … Yeah. We’re in the middle of downtown St. Petersburg. There are, I think, easily 200 restaurants within walking distance of where we are-

Davina Frederick: And hotels.

Leigh Fletcher: And hotels, yes. And all of the hotels, if you’re staying in downtown St. Petersburg hotels, they … The concierge will direct you here.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, so fantastic. All right. Well, thank you so much, and I really enjoyed having you here, and we’re going to wrap it up. But-

Leigh Fletcher: Okay.

Davina Frederick: I hope to talk with you again soon.

Leigh Fletcher: All right, thank you.

Davina Frederick: Thanks.