Grad school or start my architecture business? (Viewer Question + a decision-making framework)

In this video I answer a viewer’s question and describe the 5-step framework I use when making difficult decisions. Marcel from Wisconsin asks whether he should continue on with graduate school or get started building his design-build architecture business.

My framework for making difficult decisions consists of 5 essential questions. They are:

1 – Which choice best supports my definition of success?
2 – Which route provides the most optionality?
3 – Does choosing one option preclude exercising the other or others at a later date? (Linear progression – i.e. licensure or a parallel one – i.e. business)
4 – What is the opportunity cost? What do I give up by selecting one route over the other?
5 – Is this actually a false choice? Can I do both?

Although I initially dodged the question, I offer my honest opinion beginning at the 7:30 mark. What do you think, do you agree? Disagree? Let’s help Marcel out by sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Have a question you’d like featured here? Send a short video to: [email protected] and I’ll add it to the queue.

// GEAR I USE //

* Canon 70D:

* Canon 24mm f2.8 Lens:
* Canon 40mm f2.8 Lens:

* Rode VideoMic Pro (hotshoe mtd.):
* ATR-2100 USB (dynamic mic):

* Prismacolor Markers:
* Timelapse Camera:
* AutoCAD LT:
* SketchUp PRO:
* HP T120 Plotter:
* Adobe CC Photography (Photoshop/Lightroom) Plan:

* Architect + Entrepreneur Startup Toolkit:

Please watch: “Inside My Sketchbook + An Architect’s Sketching Tools”



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