Most architects are born dreamers, but we tend to be afraid to pursue those dreams. Often our dreams are stuck in our head and it’s hard to find a way to reach them. Success in achieving our greatest goals can only occur if we… start. Make a plan and take the first step to move toward your dreams!
This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, Victor Caban-Diaz talks big ideas and Pursuing Your Passion as a Small Firm Architect.
Astronaut or Comic Book Artist?
Victor didn’t make the decision to study architecture until he was ready to make a decision about where he wanted to go to college. Growing up, various professions like being an astronaut or a comic book artist were more appealing to him. In high school, he was great at math and art and wanted to pursue both skills, eventually landing on architecture and attending the University of Miami in Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree there and began his degree.
In the beginning, he didn’t feel like he was doing anything of value. He ended up jumping around from firm to firm every two to three years because of the recession. He struggled with feeling like he was advancing and growing in his own value. Most recently Victor had been working for Fort Lauderdale and decided to go out on his own.
Victor had the idea for Building Ingenuity for the last five years in his mind from the buzz surrounding the architect-as-developer concept. He had some previous experience with the direct marketing world, and it left an impact on him. The thought that someone could control a project and reap the rewards from it with residual income was amazing to him. He wanted to replicate the concept within the architecture world.
The thought behind Building Ingenuity is to help other architects by offering traditional architecture, including residential, mixed-use and commercial, BIM consulting for architects, and development services.
Investing in Other Architects
After reading the Richest Man in Babylon, Victor’s main take-away was to invest in other people’s talents. In his opinion, the best people to invest in architects are other architects. Through the architect-as-developer concept, he wants to perfect that business model and teach others how to do it and invest in their business. Victor wants to use the profits he makes on his business and reinvest them, with the goal to create growth and residual income for the whole network involved.
As Victor points out, architects are constantly being taught how to grow and improve, but they aren’t reaping any of the rewards. We are not taught how to pursue your passion as a small firm architect. If you have a mentor who’s invested in your success who’s showing you the way, you have a greater chance of achieving your dreams.
What’s Next for Victor?
Victor’s plan is to continue building funds and recruiting architects to join the franchise. Currently, he’s done some work to acquire a property in a neighborhood that’s great for what his target audience is looking for, and he now has one property that he is working to develop and build.
Down the road, Victor hopes to have a large coworking-type office, filled with a wide variety of architects using their talents to enable greater investments in development for their clients. This industry is one that is ripe for disruption!
What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?
“Get involved with your community: associations, local chamber of commerce, AIA. One of the reasons I’m succeeding is because of the mentorship I receive from other architects and the help I get from other colleagues. Don’t sit there alone trying to make business from your office. Get back to the profession and get involved. ” – Victor Caban-Diaz
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Referenced in this Episode
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