Unemployed Architect: Turning Fear into Success

Pat FlynnMeet Pat.
Pat was laid off as an intern from a California architecture firm in 2008.  But instead of sitting out the slump or trying to find another job, Pat turned his back on architecture and used this reversal in fortune to launch a successful career as an internet marketer and blogger. Now, less than 4 years after being laid off, Pat is making well over six figures. While Pat is no longer working in architecture, his trail to success has a profound lesson for those architects who choose to stick it out. Read how he turned fear into an asset by letting it drive him on to success. In his own words:

The fear of not being able to provide for my family and the fear of not knowing what was going to happen next gave me the drive to take action and go above and beyond my normal self to make something special happen. Without the catalyst of fear and pressure, I would not be where I’m at today. – Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income

I’m touched by Pat’s openness and honesty: he admits what many of us are feeling. Fear is an all-too-common emotion among architects and designers these days, especially the fear of not being able to provide for our families, and not knowing what will happen next. It seems we are all waiting for the market to turn around.

In a similar vein, S. Claire Conroy of Residential Architect commented in April 2011 on the many laid-off architects and interns that have “hung out their shingle” while they tread the waters of unemployment. What other choice do they have? For many, starting an architecture firm, or a least giving the pretense of starting a firm, is better than resting on their laurels waiting for the perfect job to come along.

Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees when a perceived weakness becomes a hidden strength. We are in this for the long term, not the overnight success. So the question is, what role does fear play in your quest for success? Does it help or hinder? How do you deal with your fear?

Enoch Sears

I am a licensed California architect who loves researching and sharing about running a great architecture business. I founded Business of Architecture to help solo architects and small firms run a better business so they can have the peace of mind to focus on creating great architecture.

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