Cashflow Quadrant Explained for an Architect

Table of Contents

I was sitting at my desk.

I still remember the moment like it was yesterday.

I was drowning in blueprints and emails, watching the clock tick past midnight.


And I thought:

Is this it? Is this what all those years of study were for?

Sure, I was doing what I was supposed to do, designing buildings.

I was pushing my small architecture studio forward.

I was pursuing what I had always wanted.


But at what cost?

My time was not my own, my income was just okay.

And let's not even talk about stress levels.

I've been working like an animal.

I’ve invested years on my education and worked my ass off.

But I was not getting the financial freedom I deserved.

The next day, something incredible happened.

Maybe it was those microphones that listen to everything, I don't know?

I was surfing on YouTube, when I heard about this concept called the Cashflow Quadrant.

Ever heard of it?


It's a concept by Robert Kiyosaki that divides the way we earn money into four categories:

  • Employee (E)
  • Self-Employed (S)
  • Business Owner (B)
  • Investor (I).


It was a simple chart, but it changed everything for me.

It made me realize I was stuck in the "Employee" box when I could be in the "Business Owner" or "Investor" box.

This simple concept blew my mind

That simple shift in perspective led me down a path of growth, learning, and most importantly, freedom.

Here’s a great video that resumes the concept in just 10 minutes:


If you're reading this, chances are you are where I was.

Skilled, hardworking architect, but somehow stuck.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

I'm living proof that you can shift your mindset and your life to get more money, more time, and less stress.

This is what I learned.


The 9 to 5 work routine

So you're an architect who knows how to put in the work.

You're up early, grinding away until late, like I was.

Drawing plans, organizing teams, supervising works on site.

Because that's what you've been told is the path to success.

You're really good at what you do.

Your designs are exceptional.


But let's face it, you're stuck in a loop.

You work a ton of hours, but at the end of the day, you're not seeing the rewards.

Your paycheck or salary comes in, and it's gone before you know it.


That’s hard, I get it.


It's like you're in a race, but you're running in place.

You’re putting in all the effort but not moving forward.

Bills pile up, and there's hardly anything left for yourself.


You're running in place


And why does this keep happening?

It's not because you're not talented or hardworking.

You've done what your architecture school told you to do:

Get an education. Find a job. And work your butt off.

It is because your are working on the wrong side of the quadrant.


But what if I told you there's a different approach?

An approach where you can actually make the impact and money you deserve.

Without feeling that you are just another chicken in the barnyard.

If you're tired of the same old grind and ready for a change, then this article is for you.


Discovering the Cashflow Quadrant

Right now, you might be in that Employee box.

Working for someone else, creating value for others.

Your architectural degree is worth next to nothing for them.

And you probably trade your time for money.

You got your salary this month, right?


But there is the other side of the quadrant.

Where the Business Owners and Investors hang out, where they're not trading time for money.

They've set up systems or made investments that make money for them.

They're not clocking in and out. Their assets are doing the hard work.


Making the shift to the other side of the quadrant means breaking free from the time-for-money trap.

Imagine a life where your income isn't tied to how many hours you can work in a day.

Imagine a life where your assets work for you while you are chilling.

Assets like your productised architectural services.

Yeah, that's what we're talking about here.


I made this shift, and it was like flipping a switch. It took me years to understand it.

Suddenly, I wasn’t just using my skills to make someone else rich.

I was using them to build my own business. My own future.


Interested in how to get there?

Stick around, we're just getting to the good stuff.


Employee to Business Owner mindset

Making the shift from an Employee to a Business Owner starts in the mind.

Yep, it’s all about changing how you think about work, money, and what’s possible for you.

The first thing you’ve got to do is stop thinking like an Employee.

An employee thinks about how to do a task. Just that.

But a Business Owner thinks about how to create a system that does the task for them.


My tip: Start thinking like a Business Owner.

🎓 Wondering why you're stuck in the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, even with a steady stream of projects? Get a fresh perspective with the Mindset – Cashflow Quadrant Challenge. Learn to shift from being an overworked employee to a business owner and investor mindset.


For example, as an architect, you're used to designing buildings, as usual.

Well, a Business Owner thinks about designing systems.

That could mean hiring other talented architects and delegating work, so you free up time to grow the business.

It could mean developing a unique design software that other firms want to buy.

Here are a few architects I know who became Business Owners and designed systems:


They are not architects or engineers who just design buildings.

They design systems that other architects use to design buildings.

Big difference.


When I figured this out, I started focusing on systems and assets.

Assets are resources that make money for me even when I'm not actively working.

It could be anything from a small side business selling design templates to investing in real estate.

The idea is to diversify your income streams.


Starting to see the picture?

It's not an overnight thing. It takes time and effort.

But the payoff is huge.


What happens when you make the shift

So, you're probably asking

What's in it for me?

Fair question.


Making this change in mindset and strategy is not just a feel-good idea.

It's got real and tangible benefits.

Here are a few:


More Money

This one is obvious but crucial.

When you build systems or invest in assets, you're setting up multiple streams of income.

You're not just relying on your salary.

It’s very dangerous to rely your subsistence in just one income stream, you salary.

If you get fired or don’t make enough, your whole life is in danger.

Long time ago, I wrote about the 7 Income Streams for an Architect.


More Time

When you’re not tied to your desk, you get time back.

Time for family, time for hobbies, or heck, time for a well-deserved vacation.

How many times have you said “I don’t have time”?

That’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told to yourself.


More Control

As a Business Owner or Investor, you call the shots.

You decide what projects to take, how to run things, and who to work with.

Are you tired of doing what other decide?

It’s time to take control back and make your own decisions.


Less Stress

Let’s face it, depending on a single income is stressful.

Multiple income streams give you a safety net.

Money by itself won’t make you happy.

But will give you a more healthy lifestyle.


Personal Growth

This journey will teach you more than any job ever will.

You'll learn about finance, management, marketing

And maybe even a bit about human psychology.

I’ve met so many great people when I started learning these topics.

And you already might know what they say:


For me, the shift was a revelation.

In 2013 I founded Bamboo Arquitectura.

Few years after, in 2018 I launched Stoor Architecture Marketplace.

Later in 2020 I launched Global Architect.

I wasn't just clocking in hours; I was investing in my future.

My income went up, my stress went down.

And I found I had more time for things that mattered to me.


This isn't a fantasy. It's very much achievable.

But you've got to be willing to put in the work and make the change.


Feeling pumped yet?

Good, because we're not done.


Practical Tips to Start Your Journey:

Where do you start?

Here are some practical steps to get the ball rolling:


Educate Yourself

Read books, take courses, or find a mentor.

The more you know, the better decisions you'll make.

We got some lessons that can help you with it.


My tip: Start with some affordable lessons

🎓 Start building your architecture business with the Business Challenges. It will help you understand the basic business principles to start small and grow fast.



Connect with people who've been there, done that.

Their experience can guide you and open doors for you.



Outline what you want to achieve, and break it down into smaller tasks.

Make a to-do list and start checking things off.

It's about moving from just doing tasks to creating systems or assets that can generate income for you.

The more diversified your income streams, the more control you have over your life.


My tip: Write down your Goals, and break them down into smaller tasks.

🎓 Tired of setting goals but never hitting them? Take control of your professional future with the Business – SMART Goals Challenge. Learn how to set achievable goals that move the needle, keep you focused, and finally get you where you want to be in your career. Stop guessing and start growing.


Take Actionable Steps

It's not enough to just change how you think. You've got to act on it.

Also, you don't have to quit your job tomorrow.

Start with one small step and keep going.

It could a side hustle or maybe a small investment.

Start Small and Scale Gradually.


The key is to start

Don't get stuck in the planning phase.

For me, the first step was to educate myself.

I took courses and read a ton of books.

Then, I dabbled in a few side projects to test the waters.

I made a ton of mistakes, learned from them, and kept moving forward.

Like the 21 Mistakes I Made – And Every New Architect Will Make

Slowly but surely, I transitioned from trading my time for money to having my money work for me.


And don't be afraid to make mistakes.

That's how you grow and learn.


What did I learn?

When I started this journey, I thought it was all about the money.

But I quickly realized it was so much more than that.

Here's what I learned:


Mindset Matters

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.

Something that would have been unthinkable at university.


Guidance can accelerate your progress

Learning from someone who's been there and done that can save you time and costly mistakes.

If you're a young architect looking to level up your game, don't shy away from seeking out a mentor.

They are your personal guides to the business of architecture and beyond.

I gave you some tips on the What John Wick Can Teach Desperate Architects article.

Don’t learn the hard way. You can learn from someone who's already succeeded.


My tip: Do not be afraid to talk to Mentors, ask help.

🎓 Ever wish you could pick the brains of someone who's been there, done that? Don't miss the 1:1 Coaching Sessions. Get direct access to experienced pros who can answer your burning questions, provide guidance, and help you avoid costly mistakes.


Your roadmap to a better life

Aren’t you tired of the traditional way of working, being stuck in that Employee box?

Architecture schools lied to you, this isn’t the only way to go about it.

You can make a shift to increases your income and also take control over your time and your life.

I’ve walked this road, and I can tell you it's a game changer.

The money is better, the stress is lower, and life just feels more enjoyable.


Don’t just be an Employee designing buildings.

Be an entrepreneur and a Business Owner.

Design systems and assets.

Design a business.


I want to help you get there.

If you're ready to change your life, I've got something that can help you do just that.

We just released a new section named Sprints.

Sprints are actionable, on-demand courses, carefully designed to equip you with the skill you need to make more money and grow your architecture business.

They are designed to give you the tools you need to make this shift.

I'm not just talking theory, I'm talking practical steps that I've used to transform my own life.

If you're up for it, I'm here to guide you every step of the way.


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 ✌️


Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways we can help you with:



If you’re still seeking 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.


Ready to fast-track your success? Our Sprints are actionable, on-demand courses specifically crafted to equip you with the skills you need to earn more and grow your architecture business.


If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, consider our exclusive 1-on-1 consulting sessions. Get tailored advice, strategic insights, and hands-on support to overcome your unique challenges and achieve your goals.

Unlock your potential
Get full access to challenge & solutions, complete your Global Architect Roadmap, and unlock all the resources and tools, exclusively reserved for our paid members.

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