Stop Making Other People Rich

return on design

As you know … not all actions give us the same return on our investment.

Marketing beats almost anything else if you are a business owner. In the same way, exercise is great if you can handle delayed gratification.

Some actions make you money and others cost you money, but I’d say inaction has cost me even more.

Gold Rush

About 15 years ago I decided to put $5K into some Summit Gold mining shares at 12 cents a share. Nothing happened for 4 months but all of a sudden BOOM, the shares went from 12 cents to 89 cents within two weeks.

What a rush! There’s nothing in the world like receiving a huge inflow of unexpected money when you are relatively poor. It was like winning the lottery.

Back then, the paper value of those shares was a big deposit for a house and I had a choice to make – take the money and buy a house in Seatoun or let the lot ride.

There were two pieces of advice to consider. My friend Matt, the share broker said, the shares would go over $1 each. Another older wiser friend, who is on the NZ rich list, said I should take the money.

I initially went with the conservative rich lister’s advice, made an offer on the house in Seatoun for $224K that the agent said would buy me the house. But as the agent left with my offer, I got cold feet. I called the agent as he was driving to present the offer and told him to stop.

So I kept the shares. Those shares went back down to 12 cents and that house is now worth $1M. That’s a $776K loss because I did not take action despite being given good advice.

Return on Design

Architects give great advice ALL THE TIME that IF acted on can and does put significant money into your clients’ pockets. I call this Return on Design (ROD). What's important to know is your value. You are like the older wiser friend who knew what to do, if only I had followed the advice. Meantime, I’m that person to you and to you and I say …

STOP Making Other People Rich without getting paid for it.

STOP Backing down on fees to clients who are getting rich on the back of your design.

STOP Presenting your portfolio as your primary project-winning strategy.

START Going in KNOWING you give great, valuable advice. Your life will change overnight.

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