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  #1  
Old July 2nd, 2007, 08:41 PM
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Roberts Architects

Everyone,

I am trying on of the scariest things, yet most exicting adventures I have ever done............

After 7 years at a comercial firm, and 7 years at a residential firm, I am starting my own business - Roberts Architects. I believe it is the right thing to do for myself, my family, and my career. My last day at my steady job was Thursday June 28th. I am currently setting up the space I will work, my new computer, etc. I am very excited and motivated.

I am taking a leap of faith here. I have a few things lined up, but it is still scary. I really believe I can make this work. If I can not, I KNOW I can get a new job in early 2008. I am very confident in my resume and experience. The time felt right to try - if I did not try it now, I would have always looked back and wondered what would have happened............

So if any of you want a home designed by an architect who is another loyal Defender 90 owner, please contact me

Flagg
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  #2  
Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:10 PM
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Striking-out on your own can be very scary, with some serious determination I'm sure you will be successful at it. Good luck!

I will definitely keep you in-mind!

Ade
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:40 AM
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please call me. pm sent.
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:02 AM
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Andrew Najarian
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Good luck! I have always been interested in Architecture, esp. in HS but I began the program at Illinois Institute of Technology but I hated their specific program so I ended up Majoring in Econ at Univ. of Colorado instead...what a change! haha

I'll keep you in mind though as we may be considering some additions in the near future!
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  #5  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:17 AM
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Flagg,
Best of luck.
I've been a remodeling contractor since the mid 80s - started when I was in College.
My Grandfather and Dad were builders, my brother and cousins are too, I guess it's in my blood.

Sometimes working for yourself (or others) can be a love/hate relationship - all I can say is take the good days with the bad days - the good days always seem to out weigh the bad.

Also, go with your gut - if that little voice inside you says "don't take this job" don't.
Working with good people/clients makes the journey worth while.


Good Luck and keep the passion.

Take care.
Paul
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  #6  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Can you design commercial buildings as well?

nevermind, I'm assuming that if you worked for 7 years at a commercial firm... the answer is yes
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  #7  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:37 AM
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My brother left a small but very busy firm in NYC and moved to Georgia (here). He took a break from architecture and worked with me doing biodiesel projects for a few months for a steady paycheck. He still did a few jobs on the side but was not actively looking for clients. He activly dissuaded many potential clients. "I don't know really think I can do the job for you, I will have to look at the project but I doubt it."

Long story short, they wanted him worse the more he told them he could not do their work. If he had been dependent on new clients for money the dynamic would have been very different. On one job, he really wanted to do the work and told the clients that. They hired someone else.

After cherrypicking jobs for a year and a half, he is the hottest architect in town. He has a reputation for excellent work and potential clients line up to see if they pass muster. Go figure?

He will have to add more staff soon as he is burried in work.

If he had just hung out his shingle and sought jobs the outcome would likely be the same, he is a good architect but the "buzz" about his services would be totally different.
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  #8  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:23 AM
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You'll do great!

I started on my own in early '88 (CPA) and was nervious for about twenty minutes. The phone hasn't quit ringing since.

Talk to a local CPA about taxes and recordkeeping. Its way easier to start off on the right foot there rather than having to re-create records and documents later.

Good Luck!

KAA

edit ... I'd guess that the AIA might have some practice management information available too!
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  #9  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Bert,

Congratulations... I started my company just over 5 years ago, although I have thought about the steady paycheck, great benefits and a vacation where I did not have to think about work on the other side of the fence...but it just is not worth it. Making payroll and collecting fees from clients can be challenging sometimes, but the freedom that you have to keep your own schedule, ability to work with only the clients that you want to and the ability to make a difference outweighs the negative sides.

I would get tied in with the community and seek out some sort of CEO group like Vistage (formally TEC) or etc. I did not nor do I now have all the answers, but it has helped out considerably.

I have always wanted to start a thread like this to find out how we make our livings… It would be helpful in hiring employees and networking with fellow 90 owners.

Congrats again,

Scott
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  #10  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:04 PM
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Robert Ragland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woldd90
I have always wanted to start a thread like this to find out how we make our livings… It would be helpful in hiring employees and networking with fellow 90 owners.

Scott

Suggested title: "How do you feed the habit"

Follow-up thread: "Confessions: What I skimped on to feed the habit"
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  #11  
Old July 4th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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THANKS!

I checked this post a day later - not really expecting much - and was full of responses. Thank you everyone for all the advice and thoughts. Let me put up a few responses:

Ade/Andrew - Right now I am liscensed in Maryland. I am going to get my NCARB liscense. This allows me to very easilly get my liscense in most states. The problem is it takes a few months of
paperwork and letters of recommedations to get it. I have met all the requirements. Just time. So Bottom line - I do plan to be able to take work in other states as time goes on. Thanks for saying you would keep me in mind.

Vaun - your company sound very interesting. I sent you a PM.

Paul - I agree with all your advice...........and yes - if I get a bad feeling about a client - I will walk away.

Scott Smith - that is a great story about your brother. Congratulations to him!

Trae - Yes I can do comercial work. Right now I plan to focus my efforts on residential - overall my last 7 years in residential was more rewarding for me personally, then my first 7 years in comercial. If the right comercial job came along I would certainly consider it.

Keith / Scott Wold - Thanks for the support and advice.

Flagg
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  #12  
Old July 5th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Congrats Bert/Flagg.

If you need a civil (site) engineer or land surveyor, let me know. I work for one in Beltsville, and do my own thing on the eastern shore.

If you need a kitchen and bathroom designer, let me know, too. I have a certain interest in a new kitchen and bathroom design company.

(plug, plug, plug... )


Advice? NEVER, EVER, take a job without a signed written contract. I'm sure you knew that, but I got burned by a certain "contractor" on 3 jobs in one week because I thought he understood that a verbal contract is as solid as a written... That leads to the "if you have a bad feeling" theory, which is just as important. You're in a region full of thieves and BSers; wring every last ounce of usefulness out of the spidey-sense.

Good luck and congratulations.
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  #13  
Old July 5th, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Good move Bert, the architects I know say it's really a drag if your name is not in the corporate title.

Good advice from Emerson00, everyone has a different memory of what's said if it's not written down, when it comes to their money.
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  #14  
Old July 5th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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and a subsurface invesgtigation of the material you are building on
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  #15  
Old July 6th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Haha... I tried to tell that same jackass contractor to get a soils investigation done on the steep, waterfront property a particularly picky county. He said he didn't need one "I'm sure I don't"... his next words "what's a Sediment and Erosion Control plan, and why would I want you to provide one for this? What's it show?"

!!

And my goofy self didn't have the heart to tell the idiot I don't have time for his (education) project; of course he had the heart to say "I didn't sign your contract, I'm not paying you. Don't delete the data, I might sign your contract next month." LOL
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