I was lost when it came to money
Like many other architects, I’m passionate about architecture and design.
But when it came to money matters I used to feel completely lost.
Every month, I checked my bank statement and it freaked me out.
The numbers just mixed into a mess of money confusion.
My business was not working as it was supposed to.
I struggled each month to pay all the bills.
My income was far from being stable.
And I f***ing hated this situation.
It made me really anxious.
I knew I needed help
So, I turned to the internet, hoping to find some answers. That’s when I found some online courses.
They promised to teach me about managing money, investing, and even some business skills.
I started with a basic budgeting course. Then another one on finance. And another one on investing.
It was like learning a new language for me.
Slowly, the fog lifted.
And I could see where my money was going.
And most importantly, where it could go.
Since then, everything changed for me.
As an architect, I learned to see the world in lines.
But these lessons taught me to see the world in Euros.
Today, I want to share this financial roadmap with you.
The Impact of Financial Literacy
Understanding money is called financial literacy.
It’s something not taught in architecture school, but it's really important for us.
Financial literacy means understanding how money works.
And it helps us make smart choices with our money:
- knowing how to make a budget
- how to invest to make more
- how to save resources
Not knowing how to manage money can cause stress, debts, and can even affect our work.
Some people outside our industry might think:
“Being an architect is about creating and designing, right?”
But there’s one thing that often gets pushed to the side.
Architects deal with money every single day.
It's not something we talk about a lot.
But it has a big effect on our lives and our work.
As architects we work long hours.
But sometimes our remuneration is not up to par.
This mismatch can be due to several reasons.
It is important to have a good mindset about finances.
It is not only for our that we can make more money each month.
But also to show the real value of what architects do.
Money problems can come from different places
As we said, we as architects are not usually good with it.
Maybe we don’t ask for enough money for our work.
Maybe we are not charging enough for our value.
Or we don’t know how to manage resources.
These problems can stop us from growing.
Without a doubt, it is due to not knowing how to manage money well.
And that’s what we are trying to fix here.
How to make money as an architect.
This letter isn’t to bring anyone down.
We will shine a light on a part of our work that does not receive enough attention: Understanding money.
And let me tell you something: this is not about just saving pennies.
Nothing will change because you save 20 euros on minor issues.
It’s about having a good relationship with money.
It will help you to reach your goals as architects.
The Money Mindset
Every architect at some point faces financial barriers.
These are hurdles that can slow down or even stop our progress.
It can help us make smart money choices 👍. Or it can hold us back 👎.
Let's look at some common financial barriers and how we can get past them.
Architects often fall in love with the art of creating
But when it comes to putting a price on our work, sometimes things can get very tricky.
Unconsciously, we might undervalue what we do because we’re passionate.
Or, we might feel awkward asking for more money, even when it’s fair.
These thoughts and feelings are all part of our money mindset.
#5 – I can't charge higher fees, remember that?
Often, we might feel shy or unsure about asking for the right amount for our work.
But, underpricing can lead to less income and stress.
It's important to learn how to price our work fairly and be confident in asking for it.
My tip: Learn how to price your work properly
🎓 Anxious about setting your rates too high or too low? Find the sweet spot with the Sales – Pricing Challenge. Learn how to price your services in a way that's fair to you and attractive to clients. Stop leaving money on the table and start getting paid what you're worth.
A negative money mindset can make it hard to earn what we deserve.
For instance, if we constantly worry about money, it can take the joy out of our work.
Or if we feel guilty asking for higher pay, we might settle for less and struggle financially.
To change our money mindset, we first need to recognize how we currently think about money.
Are we afraid of it?
Do we see it as a bad thing?
Or do we just not understand it?
Knowing where we stand can help us start to shift our mindset.
Poor Money Management
Managing money can be tricky.
We might spend more than we earn, or not keep track of our expenses.
Check #9 – Wasting money
So be smart, and learn basic money management skills.
You will keep your finances in check.
Not Saving or Investing
It's easy to put off saving or investing for later.
But the sooner we start, the better.
Having savings gives us a safety net.
You never know when the next storm will hit.
And investing can help our money grow over time.
Dealing with Good vs Bad Debt
Having debt can feel like a heavy load.
It’s not if you know how to use good debt.
I’ve personally used debt to grow my business, more than 200k€.
But it’s important to have a plan to manage and reduce debt.
This could mean talking to a financial advisor or learning about debt management strategies.
If you need any help with debt talk to our Influencer of the Week, Ryan Sullivan
Lack of Financial Knowledge
Not knowing about financial basics can be a big barrier.
The good news is, it’s never too late to learn.
Breaking down these barriers isn't about making huge changes all at once.
It’s about taking small steps towards better financial habits.
For example, we could start by:
- setting a simple budget
- saving a small amount each month
- or reading a book on financial basics
The more we learn and improve our financial habits, the easier it gets to break down these barriers.
And as we get better with money, we can focus more on what we love doing.
Getting past financial barriers can lead to a better, more secure life and career.
It's all about learning, growing, and taking steps towards better financial health.
Learning about money isn’t so hard
There are many books, online courses, or even financial advisors who can help.
For example, I’d recommend you to read or Book of the Week:
If you want to learn about money, you've got to read this book.
Spending some time learning about money is investing in ourselves.
Being smart with money also helps in setting the right prices for our work.
It helps us understand what our time and effort are worth.
This way, we can ask for a fair price for our work.
We can also plan for big things in the future.
Like big projects or even retirement.
Have you ever thought about that?
Also, when we understand money better, we feel that sense of power.
It gives us the tools to build a secure and satisfying career in architecture.
It's an essential skill that every architect should invest time in learning.
For better financial health and a brighter future in the profession.
Evolution of your business vision
Understanding the business side is a game-changer for architects.
Especially for those dreaming of running their own firms.
One of the most significant changes you can make is shifting your mindset from that of an Employee to a Business Owner or Investor.
This change is more than just a thought exercise.
I broke free from trading time for money.
And started building a life with more freedom and options.
That’s how I ended up here, working fully remote and helping other architects.
That’s why there are two pivotal steps to ramp up your business vision.
1. Learning the Basics
Joining courses made for architects or small business owners can change everything.
Getting into basic business ideas gives a strong start.
It's about knowing how money comes in and goes out of a business.
Online classes, workshops, or even nearby community college courses that teach simple business management, accounting, and marketing.
There's a lot of help out there.
My tip: Start learning the basics
🎓 Building your architecture business might seem hard. We made it easy for you with the Business Challenges. It will help you understand the basic business principles to start small and grow fast.
Having a mentor who knows the ropes can be priceless.
A mentor can give you tailored advice, share what they've gone through, and help you with hard choices.
Look for mentors who know both architecture and business well.
Their insights can help steer your practice in the right direction.
They will help you avoid common pitfalls.
And also capitalize on new opportunities you might not have seen.
My tip: Ask for advice from experienced mentors
🎓 If you're feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or just looking for a fresh perspective, don't underestimate the power of tapping into a mentor's wisdom. Sign up for the 1:1 Sessions. You'll get direct access to pros who've been in your shoes and successfully navigated the challenges you're facing.
You know what they say.
Learning about money demands a lot of time and a huge effort.
But It will give you a rewarding blend of financial stability.
And a huge creative satisfaction in your architectural career.
What did I learn?
Talking About Money Problems
During my career as an architect I faced some money problems.
Hiding them or not talking about them only made the problems worse.
Don't be afraid to talk about money.
And ask for help if you need it.
Learning is Key
Early in my career I focused on learning about money and financing.
It helped me get better with money and business skills.
And because of that, it completely changed my life.
Helpful Tips and Resources
When I started we didn't have all these resources.
No WhatsApp. No iPhone. No ChatGPT. No Nothing.
Today, we have everything at our disposal.
I've talked about how online courses can help you manage money better.
I encourage you to keep learning through these lessons to improve your financial life and grow in your career.
We need to talk more about money
Get comfortable with money, understanding its value.
Know how it is necessary support our life and work.
This article is all about helping architects see beyond just the drawing board to ensure both creative joy and financial steadiness.
The better we get at dealing with money and business stuff, the more we can focus on what we love.
We've walked through a lot:
- understanding money
- tackling financial barriers
- learning some business basics.
It might seem tough at first. But it's all about taking one step at a time.
Each step towards getting better with money, learning business basics.
And if you’re eager to dive deeper and speed up this journey, I’ve got something for you.
Get to know the financial and business side. There are 8 Sprints that you will love.
Every new skill is a building block for a solid and rewarding architectural practice.
That’s how you build a successful and profitable architecture business.
I hope to see you win.
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,