Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

037 Discovering The Power of Your Hidden Resources with Rachel Preston Prinz

We all seek to create or contribute to work that aligns with our inner principles. When we contribute to something that matches our sense of morals, we are approaching our working from a pure, authentic place while simultaneously encouraging growth and balance in ourselves. For architecturally-trained preservationist Rachel Prinz, this means using readily available resources to achieve her goals. She does this in her work, by creating architectural projects that use local resources and traditional building techniques, as well as in her internal life, by turning within and finding strength and a positive perspective from her own reserves.

Rachel is an architecturally-trained American author, designer, preservationist, documentary filmmaker, artist and speaker working primarily in sustainability and preservation research and architectural engagement. Rachel has served as a preservation commissioner in Taos, as the host of the UNM-Taos Sustainability Institute, and as co-host of TEDxABQWomen. She has given multiple TEDx and Pecha Kucha talks on modern applications of vernacular design and critical regionalism, landscape preservation, pattern languages, and photography and epicanurism. Rachel gives presentations, tours, and lectures and has writes articles that integrate archaeology, architecture, place, culture, and emerging trends in sustainability. Today I talk with Rachel about the work she does and the importance of using sustainable resources, how she learned to let her intuition guide her, and how she is able to see one of the biggest challenges, a loss of eyesight, as a blessing.

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What You’ll Discover in This Episode:

    • Rachel’s tips for persevering and pushing forward even when you’re feeling lazy or apathetic
  • How to use others’ criticisms as a way to develop fearlessness and strength
  • How Rachel is able to adjust her perspective around devastating news to use it to her advantage

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More About Rachel

Rachel learned to turn inward for strength at a young age. As a schoolchild, she “drove my teachers crazy. I was curious about everything.” Rachel was always asking for more knowledge, and this led her to being ostracized for her curiosity and eccentric interests. Instead of being defeated, she “developed a bravery from being considered weird.” As she got older she came to use this bravery as a source of strength and a teaching tool for others; “I could use my fearlessness to show people how to be fearless.”

This fearlessness came into play a few years ago, when Rachel received the devastating news that she was losing her eyesight. This information is particularly catastrophic for someone seeking an architectural license, a feat that demands long hours and constant use of eyesight. Initially, Rachel was devastated. Her dreams of becoming an architect were dashed. But she turned to that inner fearlessness and found strength. And “it’s work,” she admits. “It’s coming up against the wall and saying ‘I have to find a way up, over, or around this. No one else will do it for me.’” Today, Rachel sees the loss of eyesight as a gift. It has taught her to “not take for granted what could go away tomorrow.”

Rachel’s solution seeking attitude is reflected in the work that she does. As a preservationist, she is always looking for ways to make her architectural projects sustainable, locally sourced, and created through traditional techniques. When somethings goes wrong, breaks, or loses its efficiency, she can easily and locally find a fix. This approach mirrors her attitude about life: “We’re trying to create something with our lives when we’re working in alignment with our highest good.”

Rachel’s Superpowers for Success
What does success in life mean to you?
Success is more than just a financial thing to me, but I do think there is a financial element to it. Success, to me, means enough money to not have to worry about day-to-day life, enough time to both be able to take good care of my self as well as some to share to make others’ lives more comfortable, and plenty of inspiring friends to surround myself with so I can keep going when my stores are depleted.
When did you know you were really good at what you do?

A few years ago, when people started referring to me as successful and then asked me to come talk to their groups or interview me about my life. I still fight imposter syndrome every day, but knowing how important my inspiring friends are to me, I try to keep paying it forward and hoping that my story will inspire others. This outward focus also allows me to not get caught up in my own limitations.
Describe one personal habit that contributes to your well-being?
I love to dance. When I do, I get very prayerful. I love the me that I become when I transform into my dancing self~! It’s a great stress reliever and it makes me hungry!
I struggle with remnants of an eating disorder, so any practice that makes me want to nourish my body and soul is a delicious thing!
What super power did you discover you had only to realize it was there all the time?

Love is my super power, and mine comes with an unlimited battery backup! The more I give away, the more I get.
What advice would you give your 25 or 30 yr old self?

Practice listening carefully. 
Do you identify as a feminist?

What are you reading right now?
Alan Webber’s Rules of Thumb, which I got as part of a leadership cohort I was named to. Several of my other peers from the cohort are also reading it, and it’s a great way for us to stay close!

Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!

Rachel’s Book: Hacking The Earthship

Archinia, the company where Rachel acts as Firm Principle


Rachel’s Blog

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029 Finding Success in Juggling Roles with Jill Brown

We all have more than one focus in our lives. Each one is important in its own way, and the reality is we can’t put all of them first. Career, family, romance, spirituality ; it’s a constant juggling act. We can’t be successful in every aspect of our lives at the same time, and this fact can feel defeating. According to founder Jill Brown, perhaps it’s the juggling itself that should be the goal.

As a business owner, blogger, wife, mother of three, and active member in her community, Jill knows a thing or two about juggling. Jill is an Albuquerque-based landscape architect who provides landscape coaching to homeowners, both virtually and in-person. She is a licensed landscape architect, is certified in permaculture, and maintains a weekly blog with a landscape and gardening focus. Today Jill shares some of her landscape and gardening secrets and we discuss some of the time-saving tips she utilizes to maintain that juggling act.

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What You’ll Discover in This Episode:

  • Jill’s top ten tips to transform your yard
  • How you can organize your home life so that you have more time for your business
  • Jill’s recommendations for finding and using your strengths
  • Jill’s organizations tips for balancing family life, social life, and business

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More About Jill

Jill worked as an employee of a landscape architecture firm for eleven years before taking the leap and opening her own business. While she has known since childhood that she wanted to work in landscape architecture (her father was a landscape architect), she “told everyone I knew that I would never own my own business.” She had always envisioned herself working for a firm, never taking on the responsibilities that business ownership requires. The decision came when she was pregnant with her third child and the notion of working for someone else, even part-time, seemed impossible with three children at home and a husband who worked full-time.

Jill didn’t open her business,, only out of necessity. She realized that she had the strength and skills to run her own business based on her relationships with her clients. Her clients were contacting her for work and advice long before she considered starting the business, which led her to understand that “they must believe that I’m capable enough to do the work by myself.”

In talking with friends and family about the new venture, Jill discovered something else. Many people wanted more than just landscape design; they wanted personal input and suggestions, something only Jill could do. She soon began to adjust her business model to create a landscape coaching component, which allows her to provide specific, thoughtful support to any type of client. Today Jill provides landscape architecture design, coaching, and tips and suggestions on her weekly blog.

With so many projects on her plate, plus the responsibilities of motherhood, Jill has set some important processes in place to make sure she can maintain the ‘juggling act.’ One of her biggest timesavers is setting routines for her family life, such as scheduled breakfasts and chore charts for her children. She explains that these steps allow her to “make less decisions, so the decisions throughout the day that I’m making are business decisions.”

Describe one personal habit that contributes to your well-being:

My list making.

What super power did you discover you had only to realize it was there all the time?

I’m personable.

What advice would you give to your 25 or 30 year old self?

Don’t stress about it all.

Check Out The Links Mentioned in This Episode!

StrengthsFinder 2.0

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