I decided to become an architect when I was 10 years old. I made the decision and never looked back. Another career was never even considered. Every step to become a licensed architect was calculated and scheduled for the result that has become my reality.
I have always looked at this as a gift.
I never needed to worry about my future. Not once did I doubt what I might do with my life. High school courses were selected specific to my inevitable destination. The shortlist for colleges was so simple to compile. The plan was so certain.
I know many architects with similar stories. It is not uncommon to ask an architect for her backstory and have it begin with, “I always knew…”
I, myself, always knew I wanted to be an architect… but,
What if I was wrong?
What if my prepubescent certainty lead me down the wrong path? Is an architect what I am truly meant to be? Is this truly God’s plan for me?
For every architect I know with a childhood origin story, I know another who may be better off doing something else. Architecture is a difficult profession and not every one of us who has obtained our ultimate goal have found it to be the life of our dreams. Some of us would be more successful and in fact, happier, doing something else.
The time and effort to become a licensed architect makes this possibility unacceptable to many. The truth is buried under more than a decade of preparation, examination and execution. After so much dedication to one’s only dream, how could it be possible to give it up and start anew?
Being an Entrepreneur Architect leads me to explore ideas and concepts unrelated to architecture. I seek to discover alternative paths to success. I strive to learn what I may from entrepreneurs pursuing success from countless industries and professions. I read books, listen to podcasts and learn how successful entrepreneurs have found their true purpose in life. Many of these people have pursued multiple paths, “failing” over and over again prior to finding their true calling.
So, how do we know? How do we know if this path we have chosen is indeed the path that is meant to be? Maybe we should just quit architecture.
Maybe You Should Just Q.U.I.T.
Here are four steps to confirm our curent condition and determine the proper path to our future.
When we lock into our future so early in life, we tend to be single-minded in every decision we make. Take some time to look at your life and business with fresh eyes.
Are there better ways to do what you are doing? Do you actually need to be doing everything you are taking time to do? Can things be done better? Are you good at what you do? Are you happy?
Understand where you are, where you are going and where you have been.
How far have you come? Have you grown and improved your systems? What is your plan for the future? Do you clearly understand how to get there?
Review the Entrepreneur Architect Academy blog series and summarize your current status for each post. Do you understand each fundamental element of a successful business?
Review your Profit and Loss Statement.
Are you earning enough income to be profitable? Where does your income come from? Which services make you the most money? Which services are costing you more than they are making? How much do you need to earn each month in order to be profitable? How much more can you make? Are there other products or services you should be offering?
Do you even have a budget?
Time may be the most important step to consider.
How long have you been in business? Are you financially successful, or have you been struggling to stay in business from the day you began? Do you limp along, from project to project, expecting next month to be better? Has there ever been a time that you felt that everything was running smoothly and you were confident that you were on the right track?
How much more time do you need?
We may be passionate for our profession. We may be dedicated to our dreams. Architecture may be the perfect path to our purpose.
Could it be though, that maybe there is another path we should be pursuing? Maybe our true calling has yet to be discovered?
If we don’t stop and consider the possibility of quitting, we will never truly know that our path is, in fact, aligned with our purpose and that we are indeed meant to be architects.
Question: Have you ever considered quitting architecture? How did you persevere?
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Leremy