I started being a poor architect
Back in school, they didn't teach us how to manage our finances or how to build wealth.
They taught us about structures, about history of art, and the integrity of materials.
But not about the filling our bank accounts.
So there I was, an architect with a plan for everything but my financial future.
I remember the first time I sold a something online.
It was a side job, a small project using my design skills.
It wasn't much, but it was a start. A flicker of possibility.
That flicker became a flame when I began to understand the power of multiple income streams.
Every project, every investment, every decision to use my skills differently became a pillar of my financial security.
I now see my career not just as a series of projects, but as opportunities.
And I want to share this perspective with you.
Because I know many of us are still sitting at those desks, wondering if there's more to it.
(Spoiler alert: there is)
And I'm excited to show you how you could make more money.
You won’t learn this in architecture school
Let's pick up where we left off.
And let's be honest, it was really sad to see those numbers. .
Most architects do not earn enough to survive.
That's why it's not enough to have a single source of income.
Relying solely on your salary can make you feel like you're always waiting for the next big project to come along.
It's unpredictable and, frankly, very stressful.
But hey, what am I going to tell you that you don't already know?
To make sure you don't have to gamble every month, you have to diversify your income.
If one job isn't working or clients are dropping off, you should have other sources of income to keep you afloat.
With your skills as an architect you can earn much more than just a "measly salary".
So, if you're tired of waiting to get paid and want to see real money in your bank, read on.
Because we're going to talk about how to increase that income and give your wallet something to smile about.
You're already a great architect who designs buildings.
Now it's time to build your financial portfolio.
Earned Income: Level up your game
Let's talk about the cash you make from your day job.
You work well, you get paid. Simple, right?
But there's a trick to making more of it without just working more hours.
Get really good at one thing.
You have to dominate your niche. Be the architect who everyone is talking about.
If you're the best at designing cozy coffee shops, word will get around.
Customers will start to looking for you.
And they might be willing to pay more for what you're really good at.
You could also help other people by giving advice and earning a fee.
If you know a lot about making buildings greener, other people will want to hear what you have to say.
A couple of hours sharing what you know can add some nice extra cash to your pocket.
Sometime you don’t know how to start, or don’t have any idea.
Have your read them?
Now, what about asking for a raise?
It might sound a bit scary. I get it.
But if you've been doing great at work and you know you're bringing a lot to the table, it's fair to ask for more dough.
Just talk about the good stuff you've done and how it's helping the business.
The more you make now, the more you can use to build up other ways to earn money down the line. That's thinking ahead.
Profit Income: Sell your cool stuff
Profit income is when you make stuff and sell it for more than it cost to make.
It's pretty straightforward.
Think about the awesome things you can create once and sell again and again.
Let's say you're super good at sketching house plans.
Or maybe you love building mini-models or funky chairs.
There's people out there who would pay for that.
Every time someone buys from you, that's cash in your pocket.
How about buying things cheap and selling them for a little more?
Maybe you find an old house that needs a complete renovation.
You fix it up, make it pretty and sell it back on the market.
You can make a lot of money fixing up and selling houses.
That's profit too.
Do you find it difficult?
Pair up with someone who has other special skills.
You design, they build, and then you sell together.
You both make some money from it.
And the sweet spot?
In the case of the old building you can only sell it once.
But with digital stuff you can sell the same product to multiple customers.
Make it once, sell it lots.
Your bank account will see the difference.
Making profit is really about seeing chances to make and sell stuff people want.
It’s usually the next step when you want to grow your business.
Interest Income: Your money is making babies
Interest Income is like giving your money its own side job.
If you've saved up some cash, you can put it in a bank account that grows a little every month.
It’s not a gold mine. But think of it like planting a tree.
It starts small but gets bigger over time.
The power of compound interest, mate.
You could also help out a buddy who’s starting their own thing.
You lend them some money to get started, and they pay you back more than what you gave once they're making money.
The neat part about interest income is that your money is out there working, and you’re just chilling.
It won’t make you rich overnight.
But it’s a steady trickle of money coming in.
Think of it like a slow and steady helper for your wallet.
If you're really interested in interest income, talk to our previous Influencer of the Week, Ryan Sullivan, he might be able to help you invest your money wisely.
Dividend Income: Earning while you own
This is like getting a little "thank you" payment for owning a piece of a company.
When the company does well, they might share some of the profits with you.
Imagine you buy some shares in a company.
When it's profit time, they might give you a small share of the earnings.
It's not a sure thing. Not all companies give out dividends.
And even if they do, it's usually just once or a few times a year.
But when they do, it's like getting a bonus for believing in that company.
Did your architecture firm give you a stake in the company?
I would imagine not.
Start small and scale gradually.
Maybe there's a company out there that makes products you really like.
You can start by owning a little piece of it.
If they do good and decide to hand out dividends, you'll get a slice of that pie.
But remember, this isn't about quick cash.
It's more of a long game.
You're in it for the potential small, steady payments that add up over time.
And while you're waiting, you still own part of a company, which is pretty cool.
Keep in mind, companies can stop giving dividends anytime if they're not doing so hot.
So, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Rental Income: Get paid for sharing your assets
Okay, let's talk rental income.
This one's about letting someone use your stuff and they pay you for it.
Think about it like this: you have an extra room, a house, or maybe an office space.
Someone needs a place, they pay you to live there or use it.
That money they pay you? That's rental income.
Here’s how you do it:
Find a spot you own but aren't using.
It could be as small as a garage space or as big as a house.
You let someone else use it, and they give you money every month.
It's like your place is giving you a little gift all the time.
But hey, this is not just free money.
You’ve got to keep the place nice for your renters, fix stuff when it breaks, and make sure they’re happy.
And sometimes, you might not have anyone renting your place, so no money coming in.
Be careful with that.
Capital Gains: When the value of something goes up
Capital gains are like when you own something and its value goes up.
Say you buy something, like a little piece of a company (stocks), or maybe you get a piece of land.
Or the classical example, when you buy an apartment in the city or a whole building.
After a while, if the price goes up and you sell it, you make some cash over what you paid.
That money you win, is Capital Gains.
Look for things that don't cost much now but might be worth a lot more later.
But be chill about it. Sometimes, the value goes up fast, other times it's slow.
And it can be risky. Sometimes the value might not go up at all, or it could even drop.
Before you jump in, think about it and make sure it’s a smart move.
And just like when you’re building something, timing matters.
Just like you wait for the right time to sell your cryptos.
You have to wait for the right moment.
Royalty Income: Money from lending your own ideas
Alright, let's break down royalty income in a simple way. It works like this:
Imagine you design something, a building. You come up with a super cool design.
People like it, they want it, so you let them use it, and you get paid for it.
You've only done the work once, but the money keeps coming in.
Kind of like planting tomatoes that feed you all the time.
Allowing other architects to use your designs.
Did you know about it?
Make sure what you create is unique, something that stands out.
That way, more people will want it, and that means more cash for you.
Focus on making a good product. The product will bring you business.
It’s a slow game sometimes. Not everyone will notice your work at first.
But when they do, and it starts rolling, it's pretty cool.
Bringing It All Together
We’ve walked through seven different ways you can earn some extra cash as an architect.
And I hope it's got you thinking.
Let's do a quick recap:
Earned Income: That's your day job. You design, you create, and you get a paycheck. It’s steady, sure, but there’s more out there for you.
Profit Income: Sell stuff for more than it cost. Maybe you’ve got designs or models, or even tools you no longer need.
Interest Income: It's like letting your money chill in a bank or lending it to someone, and they pay you for waiting. It's slow, but it's pretty much hands-off.
Dividend Income: If you buy a small part of a company (stocks), sometimes they pay you a share of their profits. It’s a nice bonus when it happens.
Rental Income: Got an extra space or even some cool tools you don’t always use? Rent them out and get paid for it.
Capital Gains: When the stuff you own gets more valuable and you sell it for a profit, like that bike example we talked about.
Royalty Income: Create something unique, and every time someone uses it, you get paid, again and again.
Why not make the most of them?
What did I learn?
There are 3 key learnings that I learned and want you to know:
1) Diversify Your Income
Don't just rely on your day job paycheck.
There are plenty of ways to make extra money.
Like selling things for profit, renting out what you own, or earning from your creative designs.
2) Use your skills in new ways
You have the talent and creativity as an architect.
Use that to your advantage by exploring different income streams.
Royalties from your designs or creating something that can be sold over and over.
3) Invest in your growth
Learning how these income streams work can be a game changer for your finances and your lifestyle.
Consider taking courses to understand how to build and manage these streams effectively.
My tip: Don’t waste your time, please. Learn from the others.
🎓 Fed up with living paycheck to paycheck as an architect? It's time for a change. Dive into the Business – Income Streams Challenge and learn how to diversify your income. Uncover new revenue streams that align with your skills and passion. Build a more resilient and profitable practice, without working yourself to the bone.
Architects have a unique set of skills and creative ability that can be leveraged well beyond the traditional salary.
They can make extra cash by selling things, renting out stuff they own, getting a little bit back from their investments, and getting paid every time someone uses one of their designs.
The trick is to have many ways to bring in money into your business ecosystem.
So that if one way isn't working so well, you've got others to fall back on.
Learn about all these different ways to make money.
And you will do well in your work and life.
I hope you make a ton of money.
Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you with:
1. If you're still looking for traction in your architecture business, subscribe to the Wisdom for the Modern Architect Newsletter. Every week you will get actionable ideas, mental models and resources to help you build a profitable business.
2. In case you want to level up your business, you can get Full Access to the Global Architect Roadmap, and unlock Challenge & Solutions with all the resources and tools, exclusively reserved for our paid members, by Upgrading your Membership.
See you around ✌️