How An Architect Made Her Way To Being A Social Media & Content Marketing Strategist

May 2007 portfolio_Page_37I believe in practicing what you preach.  As we kick off the Unboxed series for business, I figured it would be only fitting to talk about my own boxes and perspectives.  I’m hoping that a year from now, I will look back on these words and see walls torn down on my boxes and new perspectives.

Why Unboxed?

My journey to having my own business started with being put in a box.  You see, I have my undergraduate degree in design and architecture and I worked in architectural firms for a few years right out of school.  After a few years, I sought to make a switch and do something different.  For a long while, I hit wall after wall of employers asking me why I was interviewing for graphic design or other agency roles if I have an architecture degree.  My narrow-focused major had boxed me in to society’s viewpoint that designing buildings was ALL you can do with an architecture degree.

However, as most architecture majors will tell you, you develop a handful of skills along the way that the professors simply expect you to teach yourself and execute flawlessly.  Fellow students will also tell you of the well-rounded selection of classes we had to take.  I attribute a lot of my blog writing to my architectural history professor who forced us to write a “precis” in 500 words or less to boil down architectural theories into concise language.  I attribute my graphic design skills to my hours of sketching in art classes and then creating digital portfolios of my work.  I attribute my skills to multi-task to the strenuous course load every semester.  And so for me, turning my degree to something slightly different, but still creative, made perfect sense.  I just needed to find the right person who could kick down the walls that architecture seemed to put up around me.

I had to break those walls down myself and do the scary thing of doing something different, and uncommon with my degree and my trajectory.  Then, I had to convince others that it could work too.  But you see, I had to believe it in my core FIRST before I could go make it happen within the context of other people.

As a business owner for a few years now, I have seen a lot of stigmas and mindsets that I let myself get drawn into, for better or for worse.  I go about my circles and see labels and boxes that people put me into, or put each other into.  And at the same time, these walls and labels are not necessarily bad.  I constantly have to remind myself of the values that I stand for and the reasons that I am in the place I am.  They are uniquely different that others’ reasons for business and their passions.

At the same time, I cannot fully judge the people and businesses I interact with, as I don’t know their motives and passions fully either.  I want to be in tune with the boxes I put on others and try to read between the lines.  I know there are skills, talents, and passions that could be beneficial for me and my clients that don’t fit on a resume or home page.

My hope is that we seek to ask question to get to know each other more than just what appears on paper or appears on the bio of my Twitter profile. There’s so much more to me and my business the meets the eye.  There’s so much more to you and your business too.  As we unbox our business, let’s do so with the intention of breaking down walls in order to build each other up.