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Being All That You Can Be with Robert E Chisholm Founder and Owner of Chisholm Architects

  • Posted on: May 22, 2019

Robert E. Chisholm, FAIA, NCARB

Robert E Chisholm, FAIA, NCARB, graduated in 1973 from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in Architecture and in 1977 from the University of Miami with a Masters in Urban Design. His interest in architecture was founded during his childhood in Havana, Cuba amongst the colonial, baroque, neo-classical and art deco architecture. At the University of Florida, under the guidance of Harry Merritt, architecture became his passion in life. His actual career in architecture and urban planning began as a member at the Metro-Dade County Manager’s Office in the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) during the 1970’s. Robert was lead principal planner in charge of planning and implementation of capital improvement projects in several urban neighborhoods such as Edison Little River, Downtown Miami and South Beach. While at the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) he developed and strengthened relationships with members of the Federal, State, County and City governments in planning, funding and implementation of projects; which would later prove invaluable in the growth of his career and future firm. In 1983, Robert was a finalist for the post of Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the United States Department of Transportation under President Ronald Reagan.

Entrepreneurial Role Models:

  • Robert's Mother and Father

  • Alvah H. Chapman Jr

  • Sir Richard Branson

When business started difficulties overcame:

“When I began I began literally out of my house, out of my garaged, and I was very young, my wife, two small toddlers, a boy and girl, two automobiles, a house, a mortgage, everything and I had a nice salary going into this and I had a little bit of savings, enough to maybe last me six months, nine months. So cash flow was extremely important. I had some good things going for me, I had reasonably good credibility with my friends who some of them had some powerful positions and could help me make networking connections and things like that. I didn’t have facilities so I had to work out of my house. Being so young credibility doesn’t work that well for architects because you have no track record and my networking opportunities and the larger corporate world or institutional world were somewhat lacking because I was so young”…[Listen for More]

Favourite Books:

None – see favourite resources below

Favourite Quote:

  • “be all that you can be”

  • “in life it doesn’t matter what you are or what you do you just have to be the best in your choice”

  • “be not afraid” Pope John Paul II

Recommended Online Resources:

  • Inc Magazine get advice, tools, and services that help your small business grow

  • Forbes is a global media company, focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle

Best Advice to Other Entrepreneurs:

“I believe that any human being if they set their mind to something without selling out their value system or their integrity or their beliefs, they can just about achieve anything they want. But anything and everything that you undertake will require an incredible amount of effort and time and perseverance. You have to earn it, there is no easy road but you have to enjoy the trip and you have to balance everything and you have to think as I mentioned earlier that your wake does not overturn any of the adjacent boats because you have to think of others as you go up the ladder or down the ladder. And you have to be able to look everyone you encounter later on make sure that you look at them and they look you with both a smile on your faces because you have to set a good example all the way – going in and coming down… Enjoy life because you only get one shot. This is not a dress rehearsal.”…[Listen for More]

More About Robert E Chisholm:

Chisholm Architects

Neil’s Quote at the Beginning:

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” Anonymous

Other Quotes From the Chat with Robert E Chisholm:

  • “then a hero comes along”

  • “I think it’s important to know who you are and what you are and what really makes you tick… There’s got to be a certain amount of doing what you’re doing because you want to do it and because it is fulfilling for you as opposed to dreading to get up in the morning… And that doesn’t mean to say that there’s not going to be a lot of mornings when you dread to get up, because I have those two, because life is full of turns and roadblocks. But all in all, there is always a good moment when you do achieve what you are trying to achieve and you have got to make sure that that is fulfilling, and that is what keeps you going”

  • “I have no intention frankly of retiring in any way, shape or form even though I have been blessed. I could have retired 10 years ago but why, there is no need, I can be helpful to society and to myself and to my family as long as I can keep going because it’s fun”

  • “it is true what they say it’s not only what you know but who you know because no one can do it by themselves”

  • “you have to really be the best at what you are but that doesn’t mean necessarily you will be rewarded on that. There is a certain amount of people interaction, of human interaction, of being accepted into the herd if you will in order to get the nod or get selected or get approved or have doors open for you. Because you have to remember that the other people are more or less in the same boat that you are including the ones who could be your potential benefactors. So, they are evaluating you the same way that you are evaluating them. So, establishing communication and trust is extremely, extremely important.”

  • “Be all that you can be. Be all that you can be not all that you want to be because all that you want to be is a big undertaking. It can be done but there is a price.”

  • “Be not afraid. You have got to jump in and make it happen. You have to face life directly with your eyes focused and faced forwards”

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