Success sometimes comes at a cost and you may find yourself with a successful business, but days full of work you’re not excited to do or feeling trapped trading hours for dollars.
Today on the MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com podcast we're talking with Bogna Wanda, an architect in the New York Area.
Bogna has a successful practice, always busy for over 30 years, and we had a really great conversation about how to transition from being a busy architect, which you could translate to any billable hours professional like, an accountant, a lawyer, a massage therapist, to becoming a business owner where you create something that can generate business, without it being all about your billable hours. Taking more of a proactive approach to the work you do, rather than passively accepting any business that comes your way.
We talked a lot about the philosophy of that transition and we really came on a great plan to actually make it happen.
I love how excited Bogna is when we start outlining a viable plan that she's excited about executing, and I excited for you to listen in and think about how you can apply the same principles to your business.
Want to be a guest on the show? Simply follow the 'Be a Guest' link on the left & I'll be in touch.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 096
Hi. How are you? How do I say your name?
Dean: Bogna. Okay, perfect. That's what I was going to say. But, I always like to ... whenever there's a doubt, I always let you say it.
Bogna: It's a Polish name. The G is hard. It's not Italian. A lot of people think it's Italian.
Dean: Oh, gotcha. Okay. Well, welcome. I'm excited to share this time, and see what we can come up with for you. Why don't you tell me the situation about what you've got going on? I've read some of your background things that you've put in. But, I'd love to hear the back story and see how we can really build a good plan for you.
Bogna: I will do all that. I am so excited to talk to you. I've been listening to all your books, well not all of them, but a lot of them, and even the marketing Monday-
Dean: Oh wow, all the way back.
Bogna: Yeah, I didn't realize that that was in 2008. 10 years ago, it sounded just what I needed right now, especially with the ... it's timeless advice.
Dean: Well, good marketing is good marketing, and it's all founded in principles that were true 50 years ago. So, awesome.
Bogna: Exactly. Well, it's a different way of thinking for me. I'm a registered architect with about 28 years of experience, I call it 30 kind of because I worked also without being registered prior to that. And I work mainly in New York City, exclusively almost. So the market there is such that ... and also as a sole practitioner; my husband works with me but he is involved in his other parts, so he's not that active on that aspect of work that I do. And so once you work like a sole practitioner, all of this is in the business like you say, rather than on the business, that's the switch.
Dean: Right, exactly.
Bogna: The switch is a huge area. It was for me a very, very big undertaking. It's a totally different mindset. So I've been listening because it's ... actually, coming from Poland, too, I think the way that we were brought up was very modest. Not ever to think about how to even think of what we personally like and what we have wanted to do. So that also was something that I needed to overcome, if it's still some that there are lurking somewhere.
Dean: Wow, yeah. That's amazing, like it's really interesting to think how just your background. Coming up, when did you come to the US?
Bogna: In 1980, so it's a long time ago.
Dean: Okay, right. But I mean, a good portion of your childhood then was in Poland, which is where everything is formed. All your primary things, so I get it. You come to America, and it's a whole different vibe. It's the land of possibilities.
Bogna: It's a different world. And especially I didn't know much English when I came, and I had finished already architecture, and I worked over there already too for several years before I came. But the way that English wasn't a popular choice there to learn, and I had to learn quite a bit when I first, because I learned by immersion, and not knowing the words, I had to use other means of communicating with people so I became quite adept in reading people's moods and their expressions to see where I'm at. You know, how am I spending with them, and so it was extremely challenging, but it was really very, very kind of exciting, so I think back to those days and I think that I'm at the verge of a very similar experience now after so many years of working in that business, now I'm trying to get into a different world of also marketing of sorts, and changing the way that I've been working.
Dean: So what would you like to see happen then? What were you trying to create here?
Bogna: Because I'm working by myself, and I would have a choice to proceed either to organize a bigger firm, or what I thought is to turn my business online. It's basically trading time for money for dollar, like you always say, which is not really a good thing. Plus, because of all of my 30 years of my working is really strictly on referrals. I don't have any basis, like if I were to sell my firm for example, I don't have anything to show for it except for my own list of projects I've made, and I-
Dean: You did well, yeah.
Bogna: Yes, and I've not really been like a glamorous type of work, doing work, mainly helping smaller people and apartment owners. Small restaurant owners, so there is not that much of a glamour like the architect normally are associated with.
Dean: You're not building the new addition to the Guggenheim, yeah.
Bogna: Exactly, so it's difficult for me to figure, how should I position myself to be able to use what I have learned, and I know that people need, dramatically need a separation for this before all of these projects come on? You know, nothing that the system is very cumbersome of approving, and there were so many regulations, so I stopped. Very few people, if any, are specializing in that aspect of it, and yet it is crucial.
Dean: So part of the thing, when you're looking at just the dynamics, and when I would look at these things, it doesn't matter per se that what we're talking about is architecture. The thing is, if we strip that away, what it is at its core is billable hours. That's really what we're selling here, not different than anybody-
Yeah, exactly. No different than what a lawyer would be, or an engineer, or a massage therapist, or whatever. You're selling your billable hours. That's the way that this works. So when you look at it, then what we're really looking for is the choice of where you want this to go. Is it that you're- and you've been doing this for 30 years, so you've got a track record, on some level kept everything rolling for 30 years. What would you say that you have capacity wise available? How close ... like what you would call a full docket, or a full schedule? How do you measure as an architect your success level? Are you booked out for so much time? How do you account for how you-
Bogna: Well, I am at my absolute capacity. I do nothing else but work. What I'm thinking is that I just am unable to ... I either have to ... there's aspects of projects, and by reading through all your materials and others I have seen that certain aspects, certain titled projects pay much better, and they have more excitement for me. And that would be on the other hand, they are extremely nerve racking because there was a lot of uncertainty, and so I don't think that I would be able to continue with this on a daily basis, even though maybe they pay much better; three times as much, as let's say than my regular projects do. I could have constantly been doing more of those.
And these are violations, it's your difficult problems that people have, and there was quite a few of them. They're very exciting to do. I have gone through several of them, and I have been very successful with those, and they come with larger amounts of money than ... But like I said, they are very nerve racking, because it all depends on how the other person at the agency is going to look at it and able to convince them or not of what my way is the way to see the problem.
And I have been able to because of experience, and a way that I can approach it which is ... So on the other hand, there was a lot of ... So but these are specific situations, that need to be resolved. My typical projects are apartment owners. Just moving in, able to renovate it. I help to contract it, in architecture, or at least in New York City, well maybe in many places, the builders are the ones that kind of bring in their team and the architect is one of them. I helped the contractors to go through this process to actually make it happen, and obviously I talk to the clients to the ... and help them out with the designing of the apartment and choosing of the materials, and all of that. So it is a cumbersome experience for them, because it takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of things can go wrong and they don't know what to look at.
What I was looking at, what I come across, is just a pattern of the sentence that you're supposed to determine who you're serving. We have project owners, who make ... It's so cumbersome somehow, for me to make up a very good strategy of how to do. That's why I thought you would help me, because you come up with these brilliant ideas. The sentence that I have is, "We help project owners make confident decisions during renovations by explaining what to expect while remodeling.”
Dean: Right, exactly, right, right.
Bogna: ... that's the book. I went to it myself, and I wish that that title wasn't taken, because that's exactly what I also need to. And I do end up educating people every time, every time. So I'm going to write a new book. I can write a book like "The 90-Minute Book" about the process, and I can write what to expect when you're remodeling the kitchen. What to expect when you're remodeling the bathroom. There's-
Dean: There you go, that's where I was going to go with this, is let's look at- well, first of all the bigger problem, if you think about the idea that you are 100% booked, then something's going to have to change, and we need to think about somehow you being able to create a business from this.
Dean: Right, because what right now, if we look at it, that there was actually a great book years ago that I still remember it was very eye-opening when Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book called "Cash Flow Quadrants". And what he talked about is if we kind of draw four quadrants, that on the left side at the top, we start out that the one level is as an employee, and then on the bottom level is self-employed, and then on the top right is business owner, and the bottom right is investor. And those are the four types of ways that we earn income and cash flow. And what you're in right now, and what all sort of billable hour professionals are, is more in the self-employed category.
Bogna: Right, I think that I have seen the diagram, and I would definitely agree with that.
Dean: And so the next step of this, the progression now, is to be on the other side where we can create some of your income that is generated by your business, which means other people involved in this, right?
Dean: That's not dependent on your billable hours, because we've already reached the capacity on that. We don't have any more of that to give. And so the only way is to either raise your prices, or to work on the higher paying jobs, or to leverage through other people.
Bogna: Well, I think that I would have liked that idea.
Dean: Okay, so the whole thing is then you can think about really picking a niche market. When you start to break down what are all of the ways that architects can make money? Like when you look at what's the different between somebody like a Frank Gary, or like a Frank Lloyd Wright of the day, or I.M. Pei, or any of these name brand architects that you know, how do they make money? What is it about what they're doing that's different?
Bogna: There was truly not that much of a difference. They just by virtue of participation in competition, or having a larger firm, so you see are able to attract and go after bigger clients and bigger jobs, and therefore they are able to get a bit more flamboyant exposure.
They still have to do the very exact thing of getting the client certain things. Of going through the project, and I guess later on with the after unit, that they have that building that they have done as an example of what they can do for others, which is what I don't have necessarily, because I don't have these flamboyant things to show, and that's what people expect. So I was thinking that I have to be, so to speak, on to my being friendly architect, and being an able architect. Being the one that explains everything, and makes it easy, and it's a pleasure to work with me because I always answer, and stuff like that.
Dean: Right. And so do you enjoy that?
Bogna: I do, that's my thing to do. Absolute favorite thing is, I don't know if you ever heard of Dr. Joy Graham. She was a psychiatrist who used to have a radio program. And I used to listen to her driving to New York, because living in New Jersey, to my job, and I would be listening how she approaches the questions that people who call with questions what to do. And she would in a second be able to come up with incredible brilliant answer, and that's what I can do. I can do that, because people have these types of problems, I can come up with this answer very quickly, and I will be able to strategize for them, "This is what you need to do next." And I really like that aspect much better than anything else because the truth, everybody can do.
Dean: Ah, see. That's where I was going with this, that so much of the stuff where your real value is in the idea and the problem solving. Not so much in the pencil to paper kind of stuff, the actual. And what percentage of a job when you look at it, what percentage of the job is that part of it that you really enjoy? The problem solving, the figuring out the solution, the conceptualizing the idea versus the head down pencil on paper drawing it all out.
Bogna: I would say it's 30 to 40% of the job that's done in the beginning. It's a concept, and then design, development of the concept.
Dean: If you could set yourself on autopilot, that you're basically on autopilot executing the plan that you came up with 60 or 70% of the time. 60 or 70% of the time there are a hundred other people who can do what you're doing, is that right?
Bogna: Continuation of this project. So every project starts out with a design first, because we need to see what it is. And then you can hire others to continue on so-called working drawings where they provide-
Dean: Drafts, right? That's really what you're-
Bogna: What is not my expertise are the working drawings, it's not what I like to do. I end up doing all of that, but it's not what I enjoy doing. So my very beginning-
Dean: So there's that first part is what you're saying right now that 60 or 70% of your time is spent doing something that somebody else could do, and that is not the most enjoyable part of it for you?
Bogna: Right. Right, that's the way to look at it, from the other side it makes it easier to see the gravity of the time spent doing things that I don't enjoy.
Dean: Right. So when you look at that, if that's true, and your only real constraint is that there's only one of you, I think that that would probably be one of the best investments you could make is increasing your capacity to ... if you had somebody or two people who could do the 60 to 70% under your supervision, that would free you up to do more of the 30%, right? That would free you up to do more of the thing that you actually enjoy about the projects, and that would be a real leverage. That's got to be, I think, the first place that you look for that you start.
Bogna: The proportion makes a huge difference in the way of thinking here, so that's a great thing.
Dean: And some of it, and this is what I'm saying, that sometimes it's not even about the marketing per se, but it's about the context of it. And I think that if you could, do you ever outsource or work with people who could work with you on a project basis to do the execution drawings?
Bogna: Yes, I have. That hasn't been very successful. I, for whatever reason, I never could find anybody to that is going to be reliable, and that's why I ended up throwing in the towel, and then doing things myself, because very nerve racking to wait for them, and while the client is calling. So at least I have something to say.
So that's one reason for which I was thinking, if I were to organize questions of mine to ... all these many ideas, somehow need to be strategized into one thing that I can move forward. If I was to, I was thinking, organize like a class online that I could ... not necessarily online, that I could make the education of the project and of the process available to more than one person, then I would have liked that aspect of it too, because there's a lot that you can ease people's anxiety about and that is very pleasurable too, because they no longer afraid.
Dean: Now you're talking about project owners, not market?
Bogna: Project owners, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, okay. So that could be a really great way to go. Not just about the ... because certainly you can leverage. You can create a unique process around the way that you helped somebody go through this, but what are the top, say three or five reasons that people hire you? What would be the projects that you're working on? Like you mentioned, would kitchen remodel be one of them, or?
Bogna: Yes, kitchen remodel, they combine into apartments. They divide at the apartments, a lot of what they're adding addition to their house in the suburbs. They are wanting to add another floor to their townhouse. They want to convert their basement into a livable space. There are restaurant owners need to remodel into a new restaurant, there was a need for commercial kitchens.
Dean: So if we could wave a magic wand, then what's your favorite one?
Bogna: The favorite one actually, already the nitty gritty for example, of restaurant, for example, owners. Because they need to do this, and some was the people that had violations, and that's why it's like almost they're compelled to act. The people that want to add addition on their top floor may hesitate or may ... it's a lot of work, so the people that are compelled to act, that's why the violations are good. The violations of code, they have to be resolved, or they ... with large amounts of money, they would have to pay. All people that are getting new apartments also.
So I like the fact that this is a quick turnover, they must do it and then therefore they will be acting on it. So then I can come in and I can do what I think I do best, is to provide them with a confident way of making the decision. Yes, we're going this way, we're going this way, and we're just going to roll. So that's what I like. It does not matter necessarily what aspects of it is, it's just the beginning of the project, and I'm a Gemini, so I like variety, so I can addition point it very well into one category, that's why.
Dean: Yeah, that's the thing. As part of where your thinking is that I always ask people, and just kind of point out that as a self-employed person, you're spending so much of your time in things that are not creative and not your highest and best use, that you get this craving for variety to entertain yourself more than thinking about it as a business to sustain yourself.
Bogna: I didn't think about that, but that's what somebody is.
Dean: I get it. So, part of the thing is that what I would love to do is see how you could get yourself so that you have kind of a semi-entertaining business, but a really entertaining life. And that you have more time to actually have a life.
Bogna: That's exactly, that would be a very good position.
Dean: Right, so right now because that's part of the challenge is that it feels like being trapped in a lot of ways, right? Like you feel that you have to because it's just you, you can't really take any time off because if you're gone, the whole thing is gone, right?
Bogna: Exactly, and that's very nerve racking, toxic.
Dean: What would be the thing that would be ... 'cause you can go either way with this? I mean, one, there's no one size fits all way to solve this. Like, you could just immediately raise your prices and only take on the highest projects, like the ones you were talking about that maybe are two or three times more. If you just cut out all of the other stuff, what percentage of your business right now is that type of work?
Bogna: That's maybe 10%, and I cannot really afford it. And it's right, because I have not actively been looking to get those.
Dean: Right, and but there's the thing, is if you had a way to ... you know, we talk about your before unit, right? Your business right now is really 100% during unit, and just sort of sounds like passive and reactive referrals that people will call you with repeat business, or refer you, just because you've been, but it doesn't sound like that you're proactively doing something in the before unit or after unit to generate business.
Bogna: Right. And that's troublesome to me, if I was listening to you before, and now listening realize that aspect of it.
Dean: Yeah, so part of the thing when you look at it, that each one of those unique situations that you describe to me: the restaurant owner, or the adding an addition, or converting basement space. All of those things are very unique things and very different than each other, right?
Bogna: Exactly. Like you cannot really automate any of that, or make into a template, or make it that's what ... at least I have not figured out how to do that.
Dean: Right. So part of it is thinking which one of those is the one that could be most likely converted into a system? Like if you were going to build a business division around this one sort of activity, what would be the most common one? What's the one that is most readily available kind of thing that there's plenty of it?
Bogna: I would imagine that the easiest way to turn it into a system would be converting of the basement, because there is a trick to on how to do that. However, majority of people that are wanting to, they keep quiet because the system is cumbersome. They do it illegally, and then they get into trouble, and that's how I find out about them.
Dean: Uh-huh, because then they get caught.
Bogna: Right, and then so they don't. They're already in a disadvantageous position from the point of view of spending money, because they wanted it to get extra income, and now they are going to have to pay the architect, pay all the fees and penalties. So it's would be actually-
Dean: So, let's just think about that for a second, right? Because now where what we look at, and I'm not ... When I end up often talking to people who are the only ... you know, the one person operation like what we're talking about there. What sometimes happens when I start narrowing and singling in on a single target market, often what will come up is, "Well, I can't just focus on that." That there's that fear, right? Of, "Okay, but what about all this other stuff?" And what I'm going to go through here is just a process of thinking that you could do with any of the other target audiences as well.
You could do the same thinking process with kitchen remodels, or restaurant remodels, or whatever it is. But the basement one seems like that's a pretty good combination, somewhere between adding an addition or combining an apartment, and just doing a kitchen. Seems like a nice mid-size type of project that you do, right?
Bogna: It's useful, there are people who really love it.
Dean: Useful, and it's not going to be so much an emotional decision, if it's converting basement space into revenue generating space, right? That that's different than creating entertainment space.
Bogna: Right, that's a good way of thinking. Very good way, yes. I should probably take away the emotion from it and treat it as a revenue, that's really good.
Dean: Right. And that's kind of that there's probably enough people that that's something that they would love to do. If we take that, that's definitely something that's marketable, right? Because it could be that somebody could look at it that may not have even thought about it per se, but if you presented that idea to them it may make a difference. And it may make a difference even on the flood end of somebody buying us like that.
Bogna: Right, right. Right. I was thinking also, I have developed even kind of like a home of core potential. Like a potential score, I developed like a little thing saying that because of that location, because of that ability. A lot of people don't know when they buy a house, but you know, what they actually could do with it. And then they come to us as architects; not only me, but obviously, and they want something that cannot be done, but if they saw me prior to that they would have known not to look at that house. I like that, that is a good thought.
Dean: Where would this be? Are you in New Jersey?
Bogna: Yes, in New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia, so kind of like two hours south of there.
Dean: In Cherry Hill?
Bogna: Oh, you know it? It's a bit north, yeah.
Dean: Okay. So, that's part of this now. Is that let's take this sort of within a radius of where you are, and is that a very ... If you got your scorecard or your checklist or whatever that is, it's kind of a ... it might be a really interesting thing to go all the way up to the real estate agent level on this. Right, like all the way up to where somebody is choosing to buy this potential property with an eye to as soon as they buy it, build out the basement space to be a revenue generator. To contribute to them owning it.
Bogna: Yes, I think that's a great idea. I developed that many years ago, and I even took a real estate license, and I worked for one month, and it was very tough for me to be an agent. I thought it would be a good revenue. But I think that coming from my position of an architect, I can help with the housing surrounding them, and having to advertise them because a lot of them are not really something that I would have. So that is a fantastic idea.
Dean: I guess if you had a real estate agent that you could partner with who could ... because there's a market for people who want to buy homes that they can add value to, or that could immediately add some revenue contributing thing. Where somebody might be able to buy a bigger house than what they wanted, or bigger house than what they thought they could afford if they could get some revenue from the basement.
Bogna: Yes, that is fabulous. I knew you would.
Dean: That's so funny.
Bogna: That is really, really great. How you said might buy a bigger house.
Dean: That's the kind of thing, right? That people might like that idea, and if together with the realtor you were to use your checklist or whatever, and show of all the homes on the market right now, these are the top ones that would be suitable for converting to income.
Bogna: Oh, my goodness. That is even better. So because this comes into your- I was thinking about the paper that you need to prepare, your Winterhaven home price, I figured that out for New York City, because I could conceivably do construction, but I think this idea is much better. Okay, so please repeat it? I just get very excited, I would like- You said that-
Dean: Well, I think that right now, of all the homes that are on the market, there are probably some that would be the best thing for that. And that's where you could do a 90 minute book about turning your basement into a money maker.
Bogna: See, that's such a great word.
Bogna: That's fantastic. I would never have been-
Dean: Because now, now they just look at it as, you know I think that if you are looking at putting together a team or a whole experience, that you could help in every aspect of the project in terms of what are they going to need to be able to do that? They're going to need ... and who's all involved in that ecosystem? Certainly the real estate agent, certainly a mortgage broker to finance this, because there are specific loans available for buying and renovating.
Dean: So to create the money for it.
Bogna: Yes, that is a great idea.
Dean: And then there's you, who can help the whole process with the vision for it, you can create the whole everything they need, and then help them through the whole experience. And then of course there are contractors who would be involved in actually doing the project, right? So you're all looking for the same person.
Bogna: Yes, part of the team essence. Yeah, that is fantastic.
Dean: And it's like, boy, that's a niche that you could completely dominate. Then it becomes now you can create your way of doing this, your process of doing this, and it's easier to train somebody to do the 70% of it that doesn't require your unique skillset, you know?
Bogna: Yes. Oh, my goodness. This is just fantastic.
Dean: I think it's great. Like, I love that kind of focus.
Bogna: Yeah, like I said, if anybody could, you would be the one. That's why I signed up for this, this is fantastic.
Dean: That's so great. I think then it's like there are certain ... like when you look at, what's the ... on your checklist, what's the winning thing? Like, a raised bungalow would kind of be the big win, right?
Bogna: Right, exactly.
Dean: The most value, a raised bungalow with a separate entrance, or a split entrance on the side, or ... yeah, I mean there's lots of ... and if you're showing what's possible...
Bogna: I can do that to attract the attractive, and create a different aspect. Yes, because right now we live in a house that's a bit more modern, but before we lived in a developer house. Developer houses require a lot of help, and people come to us with the problem they don't know what to do, they signed, it's basic, they're just done for. So this is great.
Dean: That way you could create a business out of it. Because then you can-
Bogna: Because you can leave.
Dean: ... well, because you've got a full before unit, a during unit, an after unit, you've got the now something that you can fuel it with on the front end, meaning you've got a way to generate new business without it just taking what comes. You're proactively going out and creating this particular type of business. You can in that process, create a lot of efficiencies and a lot of innovation in how you do it so that people can get the most value.
Like, again, finishing the basement for income is not going to be as emotionally charged as finishing it for entertainment space, or finishing or remodeling a kitchen, where their personal style preferences are going to come in. If you can show someone how to maximize the space and the revenue without spending ... so it looks great and it's rentable, but it's not overboard. You know, you're not doing the highest end finishes, you're doing the things that are going to have the highest yield.
Bogna: Yes, that is. I have it on my card, believe it or not, my business card it says under my name, it's says, "Make the most out of your space".
Dean: That's so great.
Bogna: Yes, it is, so quickly, I'm so transparent apparently.
Dean: Ah, that's so funny.
Bogna: Yeah, but so I had handed out this card to many people, but they smile, you know. I'm not sure they don't treat it seriously enough to. Perhaps these are not the people that actually that it's meant for, because in the apartment they think more storage rather than in, but I think the houses and the ability to convert in the income stream is extremely compelling and very attractive to me too, because then I don't need to deal with the personality types of having to choose the...
Bogna: Yeah, oh man.
Dean: That's right. And then you know the other thing that that creates is, when you get this process down and this team together, what it often creates is the opportunity for you to do this as an investment.
Bogna: Which would be the best.
Dean: Right, now you can take it all the way to where you find these homes, you do the project, and then sell the turnkey investment property that you get the most of that. And then you create an investment opportunity for people who want to invest capital.
Bogna: That is just so great.
Dean: And you're adding value all along the way, and you're growing in your business evolution, rather than just you're 31st year of experience of doing the same thing.
Bogna: I know. Well, that is just fabulous Dean. You don't know how appreciative I am.
Dean: I'm very excited for you.
Bogna: Well, thank you.
Dean: I think that teaming up with the real estate agent is going to be a really good thing. Like, I think if you take how long ... how wide of a radius would you comfortably like to stay within? Like, within 30 minutes of your house kind of thing?
Bogna: Yeah, so that would be quite a good radius.
Dean: So if you look at that, how many homes would there be? What's the population in that 30 minute radius for you?
Bogna: What do I think right now it is?
Dean: Yeah. Well how many of those-
Bogna: I think thousands, thousands.
Dean: How many of those projects do you think you could handle?
Bogna: It all depends on if I ... I would imagine that probably I could do two or three a month, or right. Going to say up to five a month, you would be stretching it already.
Dean: Right, right.
Bogna: Yes, definitely from that radius I should be able to get, with this approach, because when we were fighting here, one of the reasons we were trying don't work in the exact area because there is a well established architect living here for years, and his father already an architecture firm, but he kind of gets ... I did calculations, there was 143,000 of registered architects in the United States.
Bogna: So, you need one architect per 200,000 people in essence when you calculated the amount.
Dean: Right, if you do that amount, yeah.
Bogna: Yeah, so then that's a lot of people now here in this tiny town two miles from a town, of Riverton there's 22 architects.
Dean: Wow, that's something.
Bogna: It's a beautiful place right on the river and stuff, so yeah, so everybody likes it. But that's one reason for which I stayed over there in New York, because I didn't know what to ... I used to live there, so that's how I started out.
Bogna: I think that that would be fantastic to weigh, because then I would not have to compete with him, because-
Dean: No, you're not competing. You're going up stream before they ever ... you're at the genesis of the thought. You're the one that's putting this thought in your mind, or you're connecting with them when they've already got it in mind, because choosing the architect is going to be way down the line in the normal decision process, right?
Dean: And so if you bring yourself right up to the front ... You've probably heard me talk about the wedding guide, the outdoor wedding guide where I had a company that did party rentals, and I had them create a guide to outdoor weddings. And that was able to generate all the leads that they needed way ahead of time. And that's what we're dealing with here, is you've got that opportunity to create a market.
Bogna: Right. No, that's a fantastic thing.
Dean: Well, I'm so excited. That worked out really well.
Dean: So what's going to be your first course of action here? What are your action steps for it?
Bogna: I'm going to figure out what is my radius comprising of, and what kind of houses might there be that actually would require. There were a lot of houses that I mean I have been looking before, and I did not think ... I mean I kind of was thinking about it, but I never was able to formulate it just as gracefully as you just did, the approach to it.
Dean: That's so great. Have you got a realtor friend that you could work with?
Bogna: Yes, I do. I have a realtor friend that I can work with. She already tried to distribute the score card in her big office that for some reason nobody ever called me about it. I guess I would have to be more proactive for doing it and maybe a guide, guide book like that would have been much more helpful rather than just doing post cards, because I was a post card.
Dean: That's right, that's right.
Bogna: No, I'm very excited about that. Very, very excited.
Dean: Me too.
Bogna: What a great morning.
Dean: Well, that's so good. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Bogna: I'll be happy to keep you abreast of my progress.
Dean: I love it. Thank you so much.
Bogna: Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll try to stay in touch, and hopefully have great results.
Dean: Me too. Have a great day, bye-bye.
Dean: And there we have it. Another great episode, I love when people, when we're able to really hatch a great scheme, and when everybody's excited about executing. I can't wait to see how it all plays out for Bogna, and the same thing for you. I hope you found this applicable if you're in a professional service, or you're in a situation where you're a sole proprietor thinking about how to maybe leverage yourself or create something that creates a bigger opportunity for you.
So if you want to continue the conversation here, you can go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com, you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book, and if you'd like to be a guest on the show, just click on the "Be a guest" link, and maybe we can hatch some evil schemes for you. Also, if you'd like to see how the eight profit activators are either growing or slowing your business right now, go to proficactivatorscore.com, and you can try our profit activator score card. It'll give you a really great overview as to where your business is really thriving, and where the big opportunities are in your business right now. So, that's it for this week, have a great week, and I'll talk to you next time.