Webinar - DAC Leadership Series: Lessons Learned from the Leap

  • Date

    Tuesday, October 20 2020

  • Time


  • Location


Self-employment can be a rewarding career path for professionals in the architecture and design field, offering increased flexibility and greater control of professional development. However, the transition from employee with a steady paycheck and defined role to small-business owner with an unpredictable income and myriad of responsibilities can be daunting. In the institutional culture of the DC Metro area especially, the profession can seem exceedingly corporate and intimidating to would-be entrepreneurs. This session will demystify entrepreneurship and explore the practice of Architecture in the small business world. We will highlight the seemingly mundane, but extremely consequential aspects of business startup, delivery of small and mid-sized projects, and small-office management. This session hopes to encourage entrepreneurial-minded design professionals to anticipate responses to questions that won't even exist until taking the leap to self-employment.

Presented by:

Michael Blake, AIA, LEEP AP,  Principal - bestudio, LLC

Michael Blake is a registered Architect, LEED AP and small business owner. After several years of balancing registration exams and independent projects with his day job in Architecture offices, Michael took the leap to full-time self-employment in 2015 with the formation of bestudio, LLC. Specializing in hospitality, retail and residential projects, bestudio has completed numerous projects throughout the DC area, including the ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar project that was awarded a Presidential Citation for Urban Catalyst in the 2016 AIA DC Chapter Awards.

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different types of business structures and consider parameters for establishing a legal entity;

  • Understand a contract as a “meeting of the minds” and explore its uses and limitations;

  • Consider the importance of financial planning and understand the impact of self-employment on personal finances; and

  • Consider the importance of time management and understand the impact of self-employment on work-life balance.

The DAC Leadership Series empowers mid-career professionals to take the next step in their careers, which often means new levels of leadership responsibilities. The goal of the series is to offer a variety of presentations from purely inspirational discussions to hard-core training sessions.