Motivational Mondays #16

Posted: August 3, 2015 by Chynniegal in Motivational Mondays
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Its August already!. I feel like the year is going so fast. Still so much to do, so little achieved. In the spirit of the new month i want to drop a few words to architects who for one reason or another is loosing motivation and is wanting to give up and quit. Architecture is difficult. Architecture is demanding. The long hours without control of your personal schedules, the low income despite the amount of time and energy put into this practice, the expensive and time-consuming educational and licensing requirements…..the list could go on and on. All these and more is enough to get your motivation to practice architecture crashing. 

None of this is new, i am sure some great Architect must have gone through this thoughts as well. Some didn’t, they just have the jobs coming in continuously. This is not a time to quit, its a time to ask what is it that i am not doing right? Why must it feel really difficult? For most people who have lost motivation and wanting to move on to some other job apart from architecture, its due to having a very low income. You put in so much amount of time in a project and yet very little income barely enough to cover expenses made during the project. It is very relatable and understandable as well. Some architects take solace in the thought that architecture is more of a lifestyle than a job, this is very true but i think that every chosen lifestyle which has also become a job should be very fulfilling in ALL ways, this includes financially. Oh yes, money is not everything but we should be able to give kudos to ourselves for a profit made after a project and not just a kudos for a job well done.

boss up

Its no ones fault really. No one taught us the business of architecture in school. There was no such course and so these things we must teach ourselves. Don’t get discouraged or loose motivation in architecture. Its funny how so creditable and respectable our profession is but yet majority complain of low income. I heard someone say sometime ago that his son loves architecture but he is trying to discourage him from studying architecture because architects are poor. I tried talking him out of that but he stood on his ground. But it is a hard fact.

The solution doesn’t lie in quitting Architecture especially when you love what you do. There are really so many ways to increase our profit which we overlook. Why do you have to go for a site visit and analysis and not charge the client? Don’t you pay bills even before you see a doctor in a hospital? Why do you have to give a client free advice on any issue at all? Don’t you pay your lawyer for legal advice? Why do some architects provide as built drawings for free, only in hope of getting the job afterwards? Does your doctor do a diagnosis on you for free? Why don’t you bill a client for the additional works you have done outside your contract? When you have a recurring headache, don’t you pay to see a doctor even after having paid the first time you visited him for that same headache? You print free drawings for your clients, does your printer use water or ink? Even water isn’t free. Why don’t you bill your clients for drawings you print? I could go on and on and on, on the so many things we overlook and thereby making little or no profit at all. Don’t get discouraged, go read up and do lots of research on the business of Architecture. You’ll be surprised to see that you are doing everything wrong except your design. Its a great joy and fulfillment to be able to make so much money from what you love to do best. Some people say its not all about the money, they get so much fulfillment from seeing their designs built up and clients loving it. I agree, but maybe i love money also…….lol. Who doesn’t anyway? But i think we all need to be proud of the profit we make after each fulfilling projects ends. We should all stay off that mindset of architecture being a lifestyle and begin to think of architecture as a business where you are in it to make money. This wont change the quality of your design. This would definitely change the amount of money you have in the bank.

So this is a wake up call for my fellow architects to get motivated, do researches, read books on how other architects make money and stop quiting your jobs to go work in other fields. So many architects have gone through this same things and succeeded and written about them. Find inspiration and start making better income. Some architects have gone a step further in doing a course in business administration or management.

Discuss with your friends and older colleagues about this. Go for dinners, socialize with other architects, you’ll be surprised what they know that you haven’t even dreamt of, so don’t keep these things to yourself. Be open minded, be open to change and stop being afraid of billing your clients because you are afraid of loosing that client. You know the long hours you spend to produce a design, the long hours to produce the sheets. Bill your clients according to these hours. Wisen up, stay motivated and don’t call it quit just yet.

Have a beautiful week.

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