People behind the Coliving Club: Gary D Woods
What will travel accommodation be like in the future? We know already and form a community to create it. We focus on sharing space, resources, thoughts and dreams with like-minded people and becoming a better version of ourselves while being a part of something bigger. We call it the Coliving Club.
Here you will read about our real experience and connect with our team to explore the Coliving Club to the fullest. Take a closer look at each one of us in a series of interviews.
Meet Gary D Woods — COO / Founder / Strategy Design / Managing partner / Real Estate Developer
With his eclectic background and expertise in multiple areas directly related to team operations and business collaborations Gary has been developing co-working and co-sharing environments in Silicon Valley for the past 4 years. In the Coliving Club Gary performs as the visionary thinker behind the innovations for the first signature location — the Venice project. Also Gary is helping digital nomads with relocation logistics, cultural adaptations, business registrations, real estate investment opportunities and financial system shortcuts.
What drew you to this project?
I’m in love with the idea of building an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurism. The benefits of an entrepreneurs cohabitating is that spontaneous collaborations occur naturally. A facility like our design allows for creative ideas to flow organically.
How does your background help?
My youth was spent in agriculture community. The idea of nurturing and nourishing something organic is part of my DNA.
As a younger man I also joined the medical services within a special forces military unit. This type of small team structure is efficient because you are part of a band of brothers working toward a common objective. By it’s nature, a military unit already operates within co-living and co-working environments. Such a unit works, plays and fights together all the while looking out for the benefit of others in the team. I feel this same thread runs through the spirit of an entrepreneur or a digital nomad. It takes a certain type of bravery to chart your own destiny and I feel this type of venture can provide this choice for others.
What is your travel history?
Until I was 17, I had never left the small town in North Texas where I was raised. I was curious about the world but only saw it mostly through television or books. Curiosity about the world outside of what I knew was what led me to medical service within the military system. During the 11 years of my navy service I visited eleven countries and lived in 14 cities.
Later in my life, after leaving the military, I traveled quite a bit as a contracted cardiac diagnostician. This is a specialist in hearts diagnostics and often I would be stationed in a new city somewhere in the world for three months at a time. I think this is what also led me to later developing real estate that is specialized and fits the needs of a contract traveler. Some people suggested executive housing. But since I am familiar with coliving concepts, I was always seeking a hybrid version of housing styles somewhere in the marketplace.
Do you believe people should try as many activities as possible in life instead of sticking to one thing?
Absolutely! How do you know what you want in life until you’ve experienced something different than where you started? I’m not saying people should live a series of incomplete chapters. But I am saying that trying completely new activities is the best way to discover your strengths or weaknesses. Experiment, learn, discover your passion and build on that. You have legs for a reason, you’re not a tree. Use those legs to take steps and the journey will lead you to new activities, ideas and people to bring them together.
How do you know the opportunity is worth your efforts?
This opportunity is worth my effort because it creates opportunities for many, many others. The school teacher isn’t truly rewarded by recognition within the institution or the salary it issues, but rather by amplifying his impact in the world by contributing to the successes of others.
Can you share about your love for cars and the business that grew out of it?
I’ve always had an interest in early Americana automobiles. 1940s camper and reclaimed architectural elements that have been reimagined as furniture are all examples of the type of Americana that inspires me. I’m in love with the idea that someone I never met lived out their life with this car. Long before I came across the vehicle or bit of lumber, a whole lifetime with someone else occurred. In some ways, I feel that history. It makes me want to restore or reclaim that tale and present it to new generations somehow.
I would like these coliving club network sites to also have a story to tell long after my role has been played. Similar to the garage where Hewlett-Packard was born or where Steve’s first Macintosh was assembled, I want these hub locations to also have a story to tell.
What is your biggest motivation?
I’m driven by the idea of independence. I want to be able to bring options and opportunities to others so that they can develop their own dreams and make them a reality.
How do you see the Venice project in the near future and how do you believe it will change the perception of coliving?
I see the Venice project as a hive opportunity, collaboration and inspiration. I see this site project as a specialized educational space, development and prototyping lab that will drive the new economies of the future.
By Yuliya Malikova — journalist in culture with a particular passion for interviews; writer and sub-editor at Digital Nomad Magazine.