Entrepreneurship in Architecture – The Early Years – Chapter Two
In my last installment I promised more later…It is now later so the story continues. I ended the last post mentioning my first steps into business with the commitment to repay my former employer $25,000 to satisfy a non-compete agreement!
The time at this point is 1982 / 1983 and although surviving 1981 was a significant challenge, I was still operating under the premise of not knowing what I didn’t know, so I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and on we / I went (kind of). The Emerson relationship, although still very young, was keeping me in business and for that I was and still am eternally grateful! I learned then the true value of relationships and it has remained a hallmark of our firm.
Although most if not all of our earliest projects were not photograph worthy. These projects were important because they solved a challenge that each client was facing. They furthered a young relationship and gave us the visibility to allow us to capitalize on the next opportunity. In 1984 that opportunity came.
This opportunity, like so many others in those early years, came from Emerson. We were asked plan the renovation of their World Headquarters office space. This 40,000 SF project was a major win for us! I was on cloud nine and felt again as I had before – Now, we have it made. With this visibility, credibility and experience, we will be on our way and organizations will be calling us constantly. That is not what happened…more yet to come.