Two Things I have never done before!

Today is a special day.

Today I am doing two things I have never done before.

First I am using my computer’s talk-to-text function to write this Blog. I have used talk-to-text on my phone before but I’ve never used talk-to-text on my PC.

So far I’m enjoying the experience…

Except that I just said the wrong thing and lost my entire blog entry.

So this is round two. Hopefully this one will be better than the last.

The second new thing I am doing Today is writing a blog entry that is way more personal than any blog entry I’ve ever written.

I am generally not comfortable sharing personal information.

My nature is to be a private person.

I decided to open up about myself because I have been going through some stuff lately that I think many of you can relate to. My goal is that in sharing my experiences with you, you will be able to share yours with me. Together I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to help each other.

Before I get into the topic of my blog today. Another update about talk-to-text.

This will be my third attempt!

Apparently talk to text does not work very well with Microsoft Word and I have now moved over to using notepad. Notepad appears to work better. Regardless I am committed to completing this blog without typing, although I expect the editing phase to require a bit more work.

What I wanted to share today is a bit about my path towards starting a new business.

I registered my first business two years ago while I was still gainfully employed. At the time, the thought was that I could keep the business as a side business.  By making my Architectural practice a side business, I felt I would have the freedom to be selective about the projects I accepted. The other thought was that having a side business would give me more security and that when I decide to retire (or if I ever got laid-off), I might have an established practice with some Clients.

I registered a sole-proprietor architectural firm. If you have read my about me page, you know that I spent the first 18 years of my post-graduate career working as an Architect.  In the last 6 years, my primary form of income has been construction procurement.

I have been surprised at how much I enjoy construction procurement. As fulfilled and successful as I was in architecture, I’ve felt even more fulfilled in procurement.

In May of this year, I was laid-off.

This changed my plans!

After a few months of job hunting with very little success, I tried accelerating my business plans and began marketing myself under my Architectural practice, but I had skills well beyond my design abilities that I wanted to leverage.

Initially I began marketing myself as an architect that could also do procurement and project management. I stepped up my blogging in the hopes of attracting some business. I began attending networking events and talking to people who might need my services.

Trying to explain to people that I was an Architect but I could also do these other things felt very clumsy. It took too long to tell people what I did and I don’t believe they understood the additional value it brought. That’s when I decided to shift gears.

My architectural practice was never intended to be my primary business. It was always meant to be a side practice.

So I decided to begin marketing construction procurement as a standalone construction Consulting Service. On Saturday October 1 my new company Procurpro Limited Liability Company will be a fully registered and active business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To my knowledge, Procurpro will be the only procurement consultant firm specializing in design and construction procurement.

In preparation for the launch I have been developing brochures and other marketing materials. I will begin cold calling other Architects (the guys I would have otherwise been competing with) in an effort drum up some business. Later on, I will target Facilities Managers and other Procurement executives who might be lacking in-house expertise in construction procurement. I’m optimistic and hopeful that this model together with my passion for this very niche thing will be the formula for success.

As I continue down this journey I will share more information through this blog. This is the personal part of my life that I want to share with you all. I will still be blogging about construction procurement and construction best practices. These topics will always be key topics I address. However, this blog will become a more personal Blog where I share my journey towards business independence.

I will use my Blogger account Building Blocks to address construction procurement, but I will link my other blog entries through this account so that you can still access that information from here.

I hope you find my new content compelling and interesting and I look forward to hearing your feedback on everything I am doing.

An update on the talk to text. This worked a hell of a lot better on Notepad. I think I’ve found a new way to effectively write my blogs. If you have used talk to text on your computer and have tips for me I would love to hear them.

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