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michael damico

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2011, 07:11:15 PM »
The best answer I've ever heard, "I found someone dumb enough to hire me."

well, shit, I'm sure that's how most feel as a 'naive' designer about to go on their own; scared, anxious and full of hope.
"without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"
                                                                -fz

Tim Gerrish

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2011, 09:35:08 PM »
Is there a designer that doesn't want to work for themselves!?!  I figured I would get to work for myself at some point, but do things ever happen as you plan them?  With two children, wife and mortgage this wasn't the time to jump. 

I started with Geoffrey Cornish in Amherst, then moved to the Uxbridge office to work with Brian Silva and Mark Mungeam.  Back in 1998 things were flying.  We did so many site plans/concept plans/residential layouts.  Oh to do one today!  As you all know things started to slow down.  In New England I'd say it started in 2002.  Many of our projects just didn't go forward after that time.  In 2006 Brian left and in 2009 Mark said I need to feed my kids!  How could I blame him as the writing had been on the wall for some time.  I still maintain a relationship with both those guys.

At first I really shied away from golf work at first.  There aren't very many projects in these parts that require an architect.  There a few small renovations, but the contractors/superintendents could handle them.  Being a licensed landscape architect has helped, but anyone in the development business will tell you work is slow across the board.  And I'm competing with LA's with a lot for experience in those types of projects. 

At the urging of some friends and superintendents that I've worked with in the past, I've started re-networking again.  One day while driving I saw a billboard that said Bill Gates started Microsoft during a recession.  It kind of kicked me in the butt.  I've done no marketing and have no golf stuff on my company web site (this is about to change).  Everything has been by word of mouth. A true Yankee, I am.   A agree with Mike that there have been plenty of "scared, anxious and full of hope" moments.  And things are looking up and there have been some opportunities that just haven't connected yet. 

I find it a bit more difficult at this point since a lot of my experience is with large scale planning and permitting of projects and then letting the two big guys run with them.  Fortunately, I have done a fair amount of renovation work and even a few new courses to have the confidence and ability.  And I sell myself as a golf course architect, not designer.  I'm interested in everything starting at the front entrance, not just the green contours.  It is an experience, a form of entertainment that we create.  The strategy plans and green contours are just the best part!

William_G

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2011, 05:09:04 PM »

  This year will be a decent one in terms of workload and income, but next year is a big question mark!



Yannick:

Next year is a big question mark for EVERYONE in this business.

Should this be considered an opportunity to play more golf?

thanks
It's all about the golf!

michael damico

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2011, 05:26:52 PM »
you know what, better yet...how does one know when to call it quits? give up on aspirations and settle for something else?
"without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"
                                                                -fz

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2011, 09:41:33 PM »
you know what, better yet...how does one know when to call it quits? give up on aspirations and settle for something else?

The quitters are not reading this site ... it's too painful for them.

Quit when you find something that interests you more.

Randy Thompson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2011, 09:47:48 PM »
Micheal,
The maid is gone, your wife has left you, you sold the house, you spent everything from the little equity you had from the sale of the house and worst of all you start to leave the gate open at night, hoping the dog will go astray because you can no longer afford to feed him and yourself too. I have not gotten to ALL these points yet but only because I am not proud and I am baggin grocieries at the supermarket next door! I have not yet left the profession, just trying to keep myself and the dog fed until things turn around.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2011, 03:52:54 AM »
you know what, better yet...how does one know when to call it quits? give up on aspirations and settle for something else?

The quitters are not reading this site ... it's too painful for them.

Quit when you find something that interests you more.

At an educated guess, this sums it up in two sentences...

Dan Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2011, 12:49:19 PM »
Quit when you find something that interests you more.

Tom --

Don't you think it's more usually this: Quit when persisting is more painful than quitting?

Thanks for your stories, gentlemen.

Dan
"There's no money in doing less." -- Joe Hancock, 11/25/2010
"Rankings are silly and subjective..." -- Tom Doak, 3/12/2016

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2011, 01:01:50 PM »
The problem with quitting is that at 56 and no other life skills, I am basically unemployable!

I really don't want to do anything else, but I also recall it was a mantra of our generation, and good health allows us to do it, to consider our lives in two halves, and being ready to completely reinvent ourselves at 50 or so.  So, if the right offer came along, given the probable moribund state of our profession, I would be glad to consider a change of careers.

I do have other interests, and would only move on if it was something related to golf, hockey or railroading!
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Designers...How Did You Start...
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2011, 01:26:37 PM »

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