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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

SPI 090: 6 Things Architecture Taught Me about Starting an Online Business

SPI 090: 6 Things Architecture Taught Me about Starting an Online Business

By Pat Flynn on

In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I talk about what it’s like to dedicate a major chunk of my life to one industry, only to end up doing something completely different. I went to school for 5 years to get a B.A. in Architecture and then worked in the industry for several more, but now I own my own online businesses in fields that are mostly unrelated.

I do have a business that helps people pass an exam in the architecture industry, but I definitely feel that my life has taken a completely different course than what I had planned. With that said, there are a lot of things that going to school and working in the field of architecture taught me that have helped me with what I’m doing today. 

Now—a lot of people (especially those in high school and in college) ask me:

“Pat, do you think college is a waste of time? Would you still recommend going?”

My answer: I don’t think it’s a waste of time, as long as you use that time wisely. I would recommend it.

Do I use everything I learned in school today?

Hardly, but to be honest when I entered the real world and joined the architecture work force, I realized that my education taught me very little about what it was like to work in a real office and work with real clients. But—my experience and the skills I learned related to managing my time, learning to prioritize and make real connections with other people—as well as becoming a leader (in the marching band) were invaluable and I wouldn’t trade any of that experience for anything in the world.

If I could go back into time and talk to my younger self before college, I would say this:

“Go to college. Enjoy the time you’ll have there because it’ll go by quick. Know that a lot of what you will learn you’re not going to directly use in the real world, so I challenge you—beyond learning how to manage your time and prioritize what’s important in your life—learn to master the art of learning. Even though you may not use what you learn in Anthropology, and the information in your Political Science class may seem worthless to you (for example) try to figure out what you can do to learn better and learn faster.

In college, you’re going to have 4 or 5 years and many classes in all different subjects to master that skill and adapt so that when you join the real world after you graduate, whatever you end up doing, you can adapt and make things happen sooner than later. When given opportunities you will take them with the knowledge you will have learned, and whatever you don’t know you’ll be better equipped to figure it out. Learn quickly, and do. And in addition to that, meet and become friends with as many people as possible—because you never know what those random connections can do to help you get to where you want to go. Dream big, learn smart and make connections. You got this.”

In this episode, I share 6 things that studying for and working in the field of architecture taught me about starting and running an online business.

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A Quick Question About What You Do

You have no idea how much I love you all. Your generosity and support always pushes me to keep providing, and keep providing I will!

Please subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already, and I’d like to ask you one question to leave in the comment section below, and I’m very interested in your response:

How close is what you do now to what you went to school for, or what you thought you would be when you were younger?

Also, if you went to college, how would you answer someone who asks you if college was worth it to you? Do you agree with my thoughts about it?

I look forward to reading your responses!


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