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Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review: Architect + Entrepreneur



I have been publishing on this blog for over six years now.  During those six years I completed an associates degree, bachelors degree, and a master of architect.  Additionally, I completed IDP, all of my exams, and am now a licensed architect.  Therefore, it should not be a surprise that this blog has always leaned towards Revit Architecture (and less towards the other flavors).  I know many of you who follow the blog are also architects and designers.

When I read a review copy of Eric Reinholdt's new book, "Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business", I knew I had to share it with you!  Also, Eric does mention BIM and Revit in a few paragraphs, ;)....

Continue reading for my review of one of the most positive, uplifting yet honest, business of architecture books I have read... and I have read MANY....


History


I first heard of Eric Reinholdt when I read his first book, The Unofficial Guide to Houzz.com: Create a Profile That Resonates with Clients and Outranks Your Competition.  Then, Eric continuously showed up on Houzz articles I followed and finally on The Business of Architecture Podcast with Enoch Sears.  By the time Eric emailed me and asked if I would review his latest book I had already known who he was (even if he didn't know me).  I believe that is a testament to what Eric preaches in this book and his former.

Eric runs his own practice in Maine called 30X40 Design Workshop where he specializes is residential architecture that uses local vernacular with a modern twang.  Click here for a more detailed bio on Eric.

Real.


I have read, or have been required to read, many professional practice architecture books over the years.  Most, if not all, are tough to read.  This is mostly due to the fact that they read like text books.  They feel artificial and lack the human perspective.  If there is one thing architects are good at its providing their perspective on things!  Yet, most professional practice books lack the humanity and opt for a more formal approach.  Additionally, many of the "go-to" books are very out-dated.

In Architect + Entrepreneur, Eric tastefully adds a real and human element.  He approaches the question "how do I start an architecture business?" with a conversational answer.  It is as if you are sitting in a coffee house chatting with him.  Thankfully, the essence of a text book was non existent and I did not feel as if I was in school.

Uplifting.


A book about the business of architecture, written by an architect, that is positive, motivating, and uplifting.  What?!  Really?  I don't believe it.  Well, it's true.  Eric made me believe that the life of a sole-practitioner is fulfilling, exciting, and achievable.  Heck, if he can successfully run a practice in Mount Desert Island, Maine, I shouldn't have a problem in small town Connecticut (at least I have a major city nearby!).

Although the book is very positive and uplifting Eric does not sugar-coat the hard work, dedication, and time it takes to achieve what he has.  He heeds warnings where applicable and lessons learned from his past.

Just Enough Detail.


Eric perfectly balances detail and commentary.  This, to me, is what made the book so easy to read (I finished it in less than 3 days).  Eric touches on "nitty-gritty" stuff like accounting, LLCs, and software but does not get caught in the minutia that many of the "text-books" do.  If there was something that struck a nerve and I yearned for more detail I could easily Google it based on the information Eric provided.  


Conclusion


If you have ever wondered what it would be like to start your won practice from the ground-up then this book is for you.  Eric answer's the many questions you have or will have in a simple, straight-forward, and non-intimidating manner.  With a hint of pragmatism and personality, Eric will have you feeling your goal is definitely an achievable one.  

Warning, if you are currently working for someone in a 9-5 type of position you will find yourself thinking long and hard about your job and life...

Click the link below to purchase today.  If you already read the book, make sure you leave Eric a review on Amazon!