500 DAYS IN THE BOOKS
This has been a milestone week for Engitecture. We hit 500 days of having the doors open and received the 1st ever "shipment" of Engitecture swag.
500 days ago, I quit my job and jumped off the cliff into the world unknown. I believed in myself and was going to give it a go for a year before I would start the job search once again. In 500 days, I've been awarded over 1.9 million sf of commercial building engineering design and over 140 projects by a multitude of many great clients. I'd be a fool to think it's because of me, but I know that a lot of it is luck and a lot of it is that I'm lucky enough to live in one of the fastest growing cities in the country in the midst of a unprecedented economy. A decent amount of those projects were for less than $500 each and some of the square footage is industrial warehouse, but it's still been a good 500 days even with those inflated measurables.
"I'm a firm believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I seem to have of it" - Thomas Jefferson
Noteworthy takeaways from the 1st 500 days:
- The revenue wheel is painful. It's taken up to 180 days to get paid on at least one project. Among the many hats I wear, I've had to wear the hat of bill collector far too often.
- Working for myself has been far better than working for someone else. There's no ceiling .... but then again, there's also no floor. It's been the scariest, most rewarding 500 days of my career.
- I'm doing great on paper, but that hasn't yet translated to the bank account. Refer to the 1st lesson learned. Just because I've been awarded a project, doesn't mean that I've been released on a project, or invoiced the project, and certainly been paid on the project. In some cases, the award to payment wheel has taken over 6 months. And my projects are mostly small.
- No one owes me anything. Be grateful always and appreciate the wins and the learning opportunities from the losses.
- If you want to work for yourself, be prepared to work ... a lot. But, you can work from anywhere. I've been able to go out of town with my family in the last 500 days far more than when I received a pay check, but I've worked at least half days for each one of those trips. I've also not had to miss any of my kids school or athletic events.
- I've worn the administration hat far more than I imagined. I've averaged close to 10 hours a week on non design related tasks that weren't a part of my job description in previous years.
- I should have finalized a line of credit before I made the jump. I was pre-approved for a line of credit and went to get it a week after quitting my old job. Because I no longer had a steady income, the banks would not extend a line of credit. .
- The BIGGEST takeaway from the last 500 days: I should have made the jump sooner.
SPECIAL THANKS go out to some people that I owe a deep debt of gratitude in allowing Engitecture to be a reality and to keep the doors open for at least 500 days. My wife, my parents, Matt Lucarelli, Beth Shephard, Jack Ossa, Melissa Brown, Jessica Letourneau, Sandy Blackwelder, Rich Manning, Patrick MacIsaac, Andy Shadrick, Scott Counts, Renato Tonelli, Matt Hoskins, John Ramseur, Keith Pehl, and so many others.
Thanks to The Dunstan Group for the great job they did with the hats and shirts and thanks to Jack Ossa for the incredible logo. Jack did a marvelous job of figuring out how Engineering met Architecture with the mechanical cog meeting the arch on the logo. Simplistic genius.