I don’t think I (naturally) have a business mind; I have an architect’s mind. However, if I want to do what I love, I must do what I must to stay alive.
I was having lunch today with a contractor with whom I’m building a good professional relationship. In the course of our discussion I shared stories about a couple of recent projects that I was unsuccessful in getting but felt more than qualified to do. I had built a relationship with each client and yet they chose someone else.
Don’t judge me, but it bothers me.
Perhaps I just like to win. My contractor friend understood my feelings, but stated “you wouldn’t care if you were busy.” To be honest, there is truth to this and I nodded and smiled. Later as I drove away to my next meeting I continued to think about this but I realized that this wasn’t completely true for me. Yes the clients from these lost projects may not have fit well with me and my firm. Yes I have found that lost projects often never materialize. Sometimes when lost projects came into being without me, I was glad that I was not associated with them. In a few cases the client wanted something other than what I wanted and wanted to pay considerably less than I offered. It happens.
I know these are all true. But I hate to lose.
See architects (ok, most of us) are emotionally connected to our work. We lie to ourselves and tell us you hire us because you want what we can make or what we create. In other words, you want us. Call us corny, but at times we feel a bit like Sally Field at the 1985 Oscars “you like me, right now, you like me.”
Look, my point here is simply being transparent and telling you how we think. I know we all could learn to be better at business and it would serve us well to think like a business person. There’s some truth to the statement that when we are busy, we are less concerned about the one that got away. However, when potential clients turn us down, we still don’t like it
Don’t try to figure it out or make sense of it. We’re ok with not making sense.
photos are from dModer101’s photostream on Flickr (used under the Creative Common License)