MONEY

ARCHITECTS ARE ALOOF ABOUT MONEY, BUT THEY TALK ABOUT MONEY ALL THE TIME.

CLIENTS ARE MORE DIRECT, THIS IS WHAT IT HAS TO COST. IF NOT I WILL GO ELSEWHERE.

PEOPLE ARE SO UP TIGHT ABOUT MONEY. IT IS REVERED, WAY BEYOND INTELLIGENCE AND TALENT. IT IS WEIRD.

ONE OF MY STUDENTS WAS TODD FISHER . THE SON OF EDDIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS. (HOLLYWOOD STARS). I WAS TEACHING SUMMER SCHOOL AT SCI-ARC AND PUSHING THE STUDENTS HARD. A NEW HOUSE EVERY CLASS THREE TIMES A WEEK. TODD HAD TALENT AND HE PERFORMED QUITE WELL FOR THE FIRST FEW WEEKS. BUT THE PACE GOT TO HIM, AND HE BROUGHT IN A WEAK DESIGN. I TOLD HIM SO, AND HE PULLS OUT HIS WALLET AND STARTS DROPPING $100 BILLS ON THE MODEL AND SAYING “DOES IT LOOK BETTER NOW?” HE PROCEEDED TO DROP A THOUSAND DOLLARS IN TOTAL. I HAD OTHER STUDENTS SLEEPING UNDER THEIR DESKS AT SCHOOL, BECAUSE THEY WERE SO BROKE. TODD’S BEHAVIOR WAS QUITE A SHOCK TO EVERYONE. NEEDLESS TO SAY IT WAS CRASS AND GOT HIM NOWHERE. HE TOLD ME THAT WHEN HE WENT TO A RESTAURANT HE NEVER WANTED TO WAIT TO BE SEATED. IF THE MAITRE’D DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM, HE WOULD TELL HIM HE WAS TODD FISHER, IF THAT DID NOT WORK, HE WOULD PULL OUT MONEY AND GET SEATED. IN MANY WAYS THIS SUMS UP THE DRIVE OF THE SOCIAL LADDER.

IN 1998 I STARTED USING BARN RAISING HELP (ASKING MANY FRIENDS) FOR $ 1000 LOANS TO ASSIST MY FINANCIAL PLIGHT. I HAD LARGE CREDIT CARD DEBT, NO WORK, AND A DEPRESSED MARKET TO SELL A HOUSE. I GOT $13,000 TO PAY THE BILLS AND TIDE ME OVER. I SOLD MY HOUSE AND REPAID EVERYONE IN THREE MONTHS.

TEN YEARS LATER 2008 I WAS IN A SIMILAR SITUATION. NO WORK, HUGE CREDIT CARD DEBT AND LARGE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS, BECAUSE I HAD LIVED OFF MY HOUSE BY REFINANCING. AGAIN I WENT TO FRIENDS ASKING FOR $3,000 THIS TIME. SINCE I HAD PAID THEM BACK BEFORE AND I WAS INVOLVED WITH A VAPOR FUEL INVESTMENT THAT WOULD BOOST GAS MILAGE SIGNIFICANTLY , REDUCE POLLUTANTS AND MAKE ME RICH, PEOPLE RESPONDED WELL AND I RAISED $26,000. THE VAPOR FUEL COMPANY RECENTLY WENT BELLY UP, THE INVENTION WAS REAL ,BUT THERE WERE NO BIG TIME BUYERS. I FEEL TERRIBLE ABOUT OWING THIS MONEY TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS, AND HOPE TO REPAY THEM SOMEDAY. NOW I AM IN BANKRUPTCY AND LOST MY HOUSE IN FORECLOSURE.

I GOT A JOB TEACHING AND MOVED TO THE BAY AREA, BUT THE PAY WAS MINIUM AND I WAS BARELY SURVIVING FINANCIALLY. I STARTED A BLOG TO KEEP ACTIVE AND DRUM UP INTEREST FOR A BOOK. THE BLOG smallatlarge WAS AN INSTANT SUCCESS, SO AGAIN I TURNED TO RAISING MONEY BY PASSING THE HAT. I THOUGHT AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE WOULD SEND IN $5 – THE PRICE OF A CUP OF COFFEE. WRONG. ONE WOMAN SAID HER COFFEE COST $3, NOT $5 AND SENT $3. I RAISED $32 TOTAL.

THE LATEST SOS APPEAL WAS MOTIVATED BY MY TEACHING JOB AT THE ACADEMY BEING TERMINATED UNEXPECTELY AND UNFAIRLY. THE SOS BLOG HAS NETTED ENOUGH MONEY TO GET ME THOUGH THIS MONTH. THIS TIME I ASKED FOR $10 AND GOT CONTRIBUTIONS OF $10 TO $200, FOR WHICH I AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL. BUT THE SOS AFFORDABLE CONTRIBUTION HAS NOT WORKED. TOO FEW HAVE RESPONDED TO RAISE ENOUGH MONEY FOR A PROLONGED JOB SEARCH. I AM IN A STATE OF MELTDOWN.

IF YOU HAVE ANY JOB LEADS CONTACT ME. I RECENTLY SIGNED A ONE YEAR APARTMENT LEASE BASED UPON PROMISED COMMITMENT OF TEACHING AT THE ACADEMY. A NEW TEACHING JOB IS NOT AN OPTION SINCE IT WOULD NOT START TILL SUMMER OR FALL.

IN 1990 I WAS WORTH OVER A MILLION BUCKS. I HAD FOUR HOUSES , SOME LAND AND AN OFFICE DOING COMPETENT WORK. THE MOVE TO OREGON SAPPED THAT DRY AND I GOT CAUGHT IN THE HIGH TECH STOCK MARKET CRASH IN 2000. I LIVED OFF SELLING MY ASSETS AND REFINANCED HOME LOANS. I DID NOT TRY TO SELL MY HOME SOON ENOUGH AND LOST EVERYTHING . I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS CHALLENGING TIME IN THE U.S.

MY PEERS ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE. THEY LOOK AT ME WITH DISBELIEF. THEY HAVE SUBSTANTIAL RESOURCES. THEY QUESTION, WHY DIDN’T GLEN TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS ? I DID NOT MANAGE MY MONEY WELL. THE ULTIMATE SIN IN THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM. I SCREWED UP. WHAT HAPPENED RECENTLY WHEN THE BANKS DID NOT MANAGE THEIR MONEY WELL? HOW ABOUT AIG? THE AUTO INDUSTRY? AND THE GOVERNMENT? I HAVE DEVOTED MY SOUL TO ARCHITECTURE WITH INTEGRITY. IS GOVERNMENT, SOME GROUP, OR INDIVIDUAL GOING TO BAIL ME OUT?

I KNOW I CAN DO PROJECTS AS WELL OR BETTER THAN THE SUPER STAR ARCHITECTS. I EXPAND THE HORIZON, BUT I AM OUTSIDE THE STADIUM WATCHING THE GAME, WHILE FOSTER FLIES A HELICOPTER. I HAD HOPED IN THIS GREEN MOVEMENT OF SENSUOUS SHAPES TO BE A MAJOR PLAYER, THE WORLD NEEDS ME BIG TIME, BUT THAT IS ONLY OBVIOUS TO ME AND SOME ENLIGHTENED SOULS. AT 73, DESIGN IS SO EASY, CREATIVE IDEAS COME EFFORTLESSLY.

“SMILE ON YOUR BROTHER RIGHT NOW”

GLEN

GLEN HOWARD SMALL, ARCHITECT
2445 SHORELINE DRIVE
ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA 94501

E MAIL [email protected]

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11 comments

    • THANKS FOR THE ADVISE,

      I HAVE LOTS OF SONGS, ONE OF THEM IS TURF TOWN WHICH IS BEING BULIT FOR ALL SORTS OF REASONS. THAT IS ENCOURAGING. A PROFESSIONAL THAT IS CLOSE TO ME SAYS “THEY ARE COPYING YOUR TRUF TOWN. SET THEM STRAIGHT.” I THINK THAT IS WONDERFUL. IDEAS ARE UNIVERSAL TO CONTRIBUTE. WE ARE LOADED WITH INFORMATION THAT HELPS US TO CREATE . BUT THE SONGS I HAVE CREATED ARE JUST A HINT OF WHAT I CAN COMPOSE.

      I WOULD LIKE AN INTERCHANGE OF SONGS AND PROPOSED SONGS WITH MY BLOG FRIENDS.

      THANKS,

      GLEN

  1. Many moons ago I posted why I enjoyed your blog, mainly the straight shootin’. Now I have down periods in my short career and mainly a result of straight shootin’, so can relate here a bit. Last semester of undergrad studio were rough as I would just make a solution instead of staring at chip board models all day as a Delueze book would linger on a table, so I’d also say I understand the ability to just whip out ideas like hot cakes. Some people can play improv on an instrument with little effort, others need notes and technique and lessons, and perhaps this question would baffle your mind as well when they ask “how do you know what to play?”…my response always “what do you mean? Just play what you want, anything is better than reading notes.”

    So you can thank the chinese proverb poster…but the song is the answer…that’s what a straight shooter would say. No need to stare at chip board all day it get confused.

    With that said, some things you can’t strait shoot about regardless of your relentless pursuit for truth, sometime so relentless you could sound schizophrenic or like a nutt job, so here is my personal list:

    1 – don’t tell people who pay you they aren’t very good at what they do, even if its obvious to everyone
    2 – don’t shoot people down who can’t just whip out ideas like hot cakes
    3 – sometimes no answer is the best answer
    4 – don’t point out to people that they clearly don’t pay attention to anything, just roll with it
    5 – don’t express your true personal state of things especially when getting work because if you sound desperate the potential client is going to think “what’s wrong with this guy?”
    6 – don’t give your ideas away like hot cakes but don’t guard them as if they were gods gift to humanity
    7 – refresh same old ideas in different ways (ie don’t keep yelling about the same project)
    8 – if wife asks she looks fat in dress, and she does, etc…don’t actually say that, some truth is best left unsaid.

    After my short first down time being unemployed, etc…I went to Barnes and Noble waiting for a job interview I took a Norman Foster book down and read the intro…a guy from blue collar background who could walk into any room with confidence and shut the place down…but with style.

    I got the job, only employer ever to tolerate my straight shootin’, learned a lot and didn’t join USMC…phew

    • THANKS CHRIS FOR YOUR THOUGHTFUL RESPONSE,

      THERE WAS A LOT OF DO NOT STUFF. I RELATE, BUT IT IS NOT MY STYLE.

      THE PANIC BUTTON WAS PUSHED, BECAUSE I WAS IN THAT SPACE. I AM SORTING OUT NEXT MOVES NOW.

      I FIND MYSELF RESORTING TO WHAT I CAN DO, DESIGN. WHETHER IT CAN SUSTAIN ME IS IN QUESTION, BUT I WILL SURVIVE.

      WISHING YOU THE BEST WITH YOUR WISDOM.

      THANKS

      GLEN

  2. That wasn’t the wisdom, not into that type of classification of such storytelling analogies…proverbs, wisdom, meaning of life and what not…

    But here is a stab at wisdom – if what you are doing doesn’t seem to be working you must be doing it wrong. So do what works.

    More appropriate to your style I didn’t use the word “don’t”…and now its about what you can do that works and not about what you don’t do that would work, because if you could do what works you’d be doing it..semantics.

    Toodles.

    • DEAR CHRIS,

      ENJOYED YOUR THOUGHTS, THEY CAN BE READ A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS.
      I THINK YOU ARE TELLING ME TO MOVE ON IN A POSITIVE WAY.

      KEEP CLOSE,

      GLEN

  3. glen, man, just like everyone else things will be fine

    at the look3 festival a few years ago jim nachtwey gave a presentation and question and answer session and they showed a few of his images while this was going on so a lady in the audience gets a hold of the microphone and tells about how she and her daughter were at a gallery looking at some of nachtweys work when her daughter asked if the photographer felt pain after taking these images in particular she was speaking of a sudanese famine victim (http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/jn/images/JN0011SUINGA.jpg) and jim spoke about the pain he felt when seeing this man and how badly he wanted to help but simply couldnt feed everyone in the camp and how amazing it was that this man had lost his home due to war lost his family and had no food or access to water and yet still mustered the energy to carry his body through the air in the hopes that tomorrow will bring a better day

    seems to me that you got a bailout in that your friends and support community helped you in a time of need

    mockbee never owned four homes

    noone gives a shit about how many houses you own

    its your contribution to humanity that matters most

    dont do what works
    do whats right

    • DEAR RYAN,

      YOUR RIGHT, BY THE STANDARD OF WORLD WOES, MINE SEEMS MINOR.

      BUT I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH A TON OF TALENT TO CONTRIBUTE IN A POSITIVE WAY TO THE WORLD.

      SOME SAY IT WAS MY DOING TO HIT THE PASTURE, BUT THE CORRUPT SOCIETY HAS A LOT TO DO WITH IT. BUT THAT SHOULD BE EXPECTED, BUT I THOUGHT THE SOCIETY SHOULD DO BETTER.

      MY WORK AND VALUES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES,

      STAY CLOSE,

      GLEN

  4. The architects who make the most money are those who stand out. As in any business, differentiation and value are the key. To be well paid, architects must provide unique value, usually in the form of a boost to the client’s reputation, based both on the reputation of the architect, and the unique and newsworthy character of the project.

    All the stars have not only a unique style, but a powerful engagement with the world, through which they build their reputations.

    I believe the architects who are successful, combine the ability to design great projects, with the ability to be attractive to clients and the press alike. Design alone is not enough. More on this here: http://www.tangramart.com/2012/02/12/architecture-and-income
    Tim Barnes recently posted..Religion for the non-religiousMy Profile

  5. Providing Loans and Advice for Business Franchise lending, Factoring, start up financing, small business loans

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