another 10 good things to working solo

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I promise I’ll get back to telling stories about my work and showing more about the process again soon…I’m waiting for some things to happen to complete the current stories, so be patient.

Nevertheless, last week I was making lunch and it inspired this post…so just keep reading. For those that work alone, even if you’re not an architect, I hope you can relate and feel free to comment, share and add to the conversation.

Almost four years ago, I wrote about 10 good things about working solo as well as 10 challenges to working solo.

Here are 10 more…good things about working solo, understanding that each have a counterpart that are challenges or responsibilities. Maybe they’re somewhat repetitive of my last post; I suppose one could argue that the benefit of working solo comes down to flexibility and control. But with every privilege comes responsibility. Ask Spider-Man.

10. Bacon – Yes, after lunch last week, the house smelled like bacon. I walked out of my office for my afternoon coffee and <<wham>> the smell of bacon. That’s all I need to say.

9. Schedule – My schedule is mine, I control it, I’m crazy busy and I may be doing everything incorrectly, but I control it and I can be “available” whenever I choose. My son’s events are always something I attend if I control the scheduling. Last night I arrived late to his meet due to a city hearing.

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8. Fonts – Yes, I get to choose which fonts are used, whether anyone else likes them or not. I always had strong opinions about graphics and felt they needed to be considered like any other design element. (If I included them here, we’d argue over them).

7. Permission – I don’t defer to anyone regarding financial matters, with office standards, with music choices or dress code. So, one might hear 80’s music blaring as I wear black t-shirts and black wool Keds. (Lately it’s been 80’s/90’s CCM – Rich Mullins, SCC, Amy Grant, Russ Taff and a host more on internet radio)

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6. Provenance – I truly don’t mind sharing, and I deserve criticism for really bad ideas, but I get to be the author.

5. No commute – Since my office is in my house (but is truly a separate space), I don’t have to waste a couple of hours a day in a car. Been there, done that. What a waste.

4. Coffee – I choose what kind we have in the office. I suppose most offices have a Keurig now, so this is not as relevant as when there was a single coffee maker in the break room that had stale coffee or was empty despite the burner remaining on, cooking the last few drops into a baked-on paint in the carafe. I also have any snack I prefer.

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3. Coolest conference room – I bring people into my office, but my best networking comes from “using” my favorite local coffee shop as a conference room. I schedule meetings there and it pays off. Anyone who has seen my Instagram account knows of my gratuitous and pointless musings in an effort to share my fondness for this place.

2. Toggle between roles – In the middle of a day, I can leave work to take something up to my son at school and then return to the office. I can go to lunch with my wife on her day off and then go back to work. I can be architect, dad, architect, and husband within a 30-minute period (see item 2 above). It typically requires some later hours, but worth it.

1. Slippers…I get to wear slippers in my office during the cold months. They almost look like shoes, but I need to keep my feet warm. It’s odd to wear shoes in one’s house.

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I love being an architect.

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another 10 good things to working solo

4 thoughts on “another 10 good things to working solo

  1. I love the freedom to take a brief walk out of the office – great for a re-energizing and fostering creativity during what is often somewhat longer than an eight hour work day. I also love the freedom to learning by reading a little each day (continuing ed, project-related, AEC, real estate-related, etc., etc.)

  2. Thanks for writing and seeing the joy in the little things! Sole practice is legitimate and, I feel, can be embraced! In my elevator speech, I say that I am a sole practitioners, by design! And my clients get my 25+ years of experience on EVERY aspect of their project!

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