People of Plano: Ro Simmons

Ro Simmons // courtesy Ro Simmons

Plano resident Ro Simmons is a go-getter. Just days after high school graduation, she moved from Arkansas to Texas with a dream to make something of herself. In 2013 she opened Live Your Life Fitness Studio in Farmers Branch, which transitioned to an intimate co-working space, The Business Lounge, in 2014. Today she is the only African-American female to own a co-working space in Texas.

How is the The Business Lounge different than other co-working spaces?

My objective with The Business Lounge is for business owners to have somewhere modern, upscale, inspiring that has a “living room” feel. It’s an open co-working lounge, but we also do business events and workshops. As far as the event space goes, we do everything. We set up, we tear down, we check on your guests, we clean up after your guests, we make sure everyone’s glass is full and empty plates are removed.

Tell me about the business’ transition from a fitness studio into a co-working space.

For fitness professionals, it was easier to get a job at a gym than to build a business that can pay you full time. It was such a blessing the way I got the space, so I didn’t really want to give it up but I didn’t know what to do with it. At the time I was reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” and it was talking about leveraging what you have. My business coach talked with me about virtual officing, God started depositing different things and The Business Lounge was born.

What’s coming up next for your business?

On Feb. 22 I am having my first Business Seminar Summit. I will do one every quarter. It will be a combination of all my instructors and all the business workshops. Non-members can attend for about $45.

What do you hope clients gain from membership at The Business Lounge?

One day people will be in business, and the next day they are not. A lot of entrepreneurs are giving up because they don’t feel like there is much help out there. I hope they are getting the support, the help, the education and the motivation to keep going at The Business Lounge.  Over the next few months I am getting out and attending events that my clients are speaking at or hosting so I can support them. I want them to know they aren’t alone in this.

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