At EntreArchitect, you’re encouraged to share your knowledge. When we share with other architects, we all benefit. We are able to learn from one another and the profession will grow. One of the goals of EntreArchitect is to provide a platform for other entrepreneur architects to share their stories.
We want to interview you! What’s your story? Do you want to share your knowledge or the story about how you were inspired to pursue this profession? How do you become an entrepreneur architect?
Join us for our series called The Entrepreneur Architect, where each guest has the opportunity to share their story and answer some questions that will provide value to each of you.
This week on EntreArchitect Podcast, The Entrepreneur Architect Series featuring Nathan Buhler.
Nathan is an Architectural Technologist and the owner of BLDG Workshop in Toronto Canada. He grew up in a logging community in British Columbia and lived overseas in South America. His creative experiences drew interests to architecture. When design became the main focus of his work life, Nathan’s themes relating to connection, authenticity and people became integral to his work.
Nathan’s Origin Story
From the small logging community in British Columbia, Nathan went to Bible school training in Vancouver and worked in ministry and counseling for many years. He felt like he was around people all the time but was still feeling alone. Nathan was always searching for something different. When he heard of a guy who built a house on top of waterfall (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater), he knew he wanted to go to architecture school.
He went to architecture school at 30 years old, and felt a little like a fish out of water with all the students that were younger than he was. Nathan completed his schooling on a different route and has a different certification.
The Entrepreneur Architect Questions
What is one big goal you’ve achieved in your career and how did you get there?
Nathan had an idea for a design of a house that would stand as a silhouette of a house against a landscape. He wanted something that was connected with the design community. Nathan connected with a furniture designer and they changed the typology of how to do the project. With this project, Nathan felt like the story of what they were doing was fluent from start to finish; through the big picture and construction.
What struggles have you gone through?
At one point, it felt like projects weren’t coming in; things were looking bleak. One of Nathan’s partners went to do something else, and he had to lay another staff member off. It wasn’t a market-driven slowing down, Nathan felt he just got left behind when people were looking for someone to do their home. He read an article about cash flow and, when he worked through the numbers, he realized he needed to bring in a lot more work to keep things going. Unfortunately, he didn’t feel like he was taught that kind of stuff in school. Now, he’s worked through most of that.
What was your biggest “aha” moment?
A little over a hear ago, Nathan looked at their placing on Houzz and they were #1. He thought it was a glitch, but it hasn’t changed. It felt like a day of fruition after working so hard on their metrics to improve on all the things that Houzz is rating you on.
What makes you unique?
Nathan’s firm smiles a lot in client meetings. It comes through as though they’re going to enjoy the process of building.
Additionally, most people they work with are makers who like working with their hands instead of just clicking away on AutoCad.
At what age did you decide to become an architect? 29 years old
What’s your target market? Almost exclusively renovations, additions and new builds
What’s your fee structure? Hourly across the board
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Work on your business rather than in your business. Push the same level of care and diligence when you work on your business.
What’s one personal habit that contributes to your success? Smiling a lot!
What’s a recommended app or internet resource? Houzz
What’s a book you’d recommend? The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber and Anointed for Business by Ed Silvoso
What’s a parting piece of guidance? Be kind to people and do as good of work as you can
What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?
“Spend more time working on coming projects than you do on current projects.” – Nathan Buhler
Want to be a guest on the entrepreneur architect series? Connect with us on any social media platform or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
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